Lest I am accused of playing favorites, and particularly by my nephew, Jonathan Skaggs, a proud member of the BYU Men's Chorus, I am, in fact, here to make sure you are aware of the recently released album, Set Apart: Beloved Missionary Hymns, being made available as a free download! And, to give you a little behind the scenes insight, with his help.

I say this, because I have given great attention to the flurry of excitement in the lowering of the age of women who desire to serve a Mormon mission and the influx of new sister missionaries into the field; and rightfully so, as this is unprecedented in the history of the LDS Church!

As the Lord hastens His work, this totality in missionary service is thrilling for all to observe as we witness the rolling forth of the stone cut out of the mountain as it continues to gain momentum before our very eyes!

As my very first guest blogger, in the history of WBMW, it is my sincere pleasure to have Jonathan share his experiences both in the choir and in preparation to serve the Lord, full-time, as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for two years.

Jonathan Skaggs...

In August 2013, I became a member of the Men's Chorus at Brigham Young University, the nation's largest collegiate men's choir. There have been many wonderful experiences. I especially love singing hymns! In high school I often felt the spirit of our Savior when singing the hymns and other Christian music in different venues. However, this year has been a crowning experience as we had to strive to learn all the music necessary to reach our goals. We have been able to learn several pieces of music each week in preparation. We have performed in many different concerts. 
The BYU Men’s Chorus recently sang in General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; but our biggest accomplishment is even greater. It began a few years ago when our director, Sister Rosalind Hall, felt she should reach a greater audience and wanted to accomplish more with the BYU Men’s Chorus. She decided to stretch the men beyond previous capacity. We were going to sing a full length concert at the Touchan Theater in Saint George, Utah, in November of last year. We prepared diligently for our performance and learned more songs than ever before; without sacrificing our sound. Everything was ready to go a week before when we were told the disappointing news that we would not be preforming at Touchan because of bad weather. We decided to turn this lemon into lemonade, by throwing a free concert here at Brigham Young University.
BYU Men's Chorus 2013
The semester was coming to a close and we performed a concert at the Mission Training Center. The Spirit was so strong it was almost tangible. Immediately following the concert we had our last meeting with the choir and Sister Hall announced to us her plan for the next semester. With President Monson’s missionary announcement, she wanted to do something for all missionaries. Missionaries are limited to spiritual and uplifting music while they serve a mission. She also wanted to reach a greater audience by creating a CD of beloved missionary hymns to be able to download absolutely free of charge. 
After winter break we embarked on this journey. Putting the whole thing together was more work than I thought it would be; and I knew it was going to be a lot. We are an excellent choir, but there is no way that we could have done this project without the help of the Lord. I could often feel his presence as we sang and knew that we were doing what the Savior wanted to us to do. 
I leave on a full time mission to the Argentina Rosario Mission on July 3, 2013. I know that the Lord has called me to serve in Argentina, and that as I learn to trust in Him he will bless me to bring the Gospel to the pure in heart. I am very excited to have this inspired CD that I can take on my mission, and that it will help me be more in tune with the Spirit. I have learned when we are striving for a righteous cause, Christ will help us to do his work and bless us in other ways also. I know that this is His work and He is hastening the Work!

Thank you Jonathan! You will be a tremendous Missionary in God's Army! Thank you for sharing your special experiences, and sweet testimony, with all of us here on WBMW. Now, everyone please go and download this beautiful album and share it with everyone you know!

Download Set Apart: Beloved Missionary Hymns FREE HERE.

"It’s not surprising that the BYU Men’s Chorus is often referred to as a “missionary choir.” If any choir knows the joy, excitement, dedication, difficulty, trials, and tears of missionary work, this one does. Nearly two-thirds of the 180 members have already served full-time missions for the Church, and most of the others either have their calls or are awaiting their assignment. Collectively, they’ve given over 2 million hours of missionary service, having walked, biked, driven, flown, and even canoed over 7.8 million miles to preach the gospel. These men have served in 98 different missions, speaking 31 languages, and covering 67 countries and 23 of the United States." The Set Apart Project
You can also LIKE BYU Men's Chorus Facebook Page

Kathryn Skaggs

More from WBMW:

Boy Scouts of America Propose Brilliant Plan: Upset Pretty Much Everyone

Update: LDS Church Releases Brilliant Statement in Response BSA Proposal

Newly Called Sister Missionaries Unite and Create EPIC Video

New Missionary Age Requirement: It's NOT about you!

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