Growing up in the LDS church, I always felt the spirit the strongest when I would listen to uplifting, spiritual music. As I grew in age and knowledge, I began to realize that a song doesn’t have to come straight from the Hymn book in order for it to be spiritual. I began to search for songs that were upbeat and catchy that would still bring the spirit and inspire me to want to be better. I find myself listening to these songs not only on Sundays when I am trying to keep the Sabbath day holy, but also other days of the week when I want to listen to something that will make me feel good. My hope with this post is that it will lead you to find music that you had never heard before and inspire you to listen to songs that lift you up and make you want to be better.
One great place to start is with EFY music. Each summer, there is a week-long camp geared towards members of the church that are wanting to have fun, increase their testimonies, and become closer with their Heavenly Father. This name of this program is “Especially For Youth” or “EFY”. All youth from the ages of 14-18 are invited to participate in this experience. As part of the experience, the Especially For Youth program puts together a soundtrack of songs that are sung and played throughout the week to help the participants feel the spirit. These songs are often released to the public on youtube and on spotify for anybody to listen to.
Currently, the entire EFY albums from 2013 – 2016 can be found on Spotify for all those who would like to give them a listen. Considering that there are about 12 songs on each album, that is nearly 48 uplifting, fun, and inspiring songs that are different than your ordinary hymn book melodies.
Some of the most popular EFY tunes throughout the years include:
Even When You’re Broken – Julie Yardley
The Right Place – Beyond 5
Firm In the Faith- Scott Krippayne
I decide – Dustin C.
One Prayer Away – Colton Avery
We Can Do More – Ryan I
Right Where You Are – Jessie Booth
Who Am I – Nik Day
Anxiously Engaged – Rowan Taylor
Solid Ground – Nik Day
I am Enough – Nicole Sheahan
Silver Lining – Stephanie Smith
Right Where I Belong – Chris Tenbau
Just How I am – Laken Quigley
Sun’s Gonna Rise – Stephen Brown
Here Am I – Spencer Forsey
Dare to Stand Alone – Zac Love
We Are – Madilyn Page
Miracle – Stephanie Smith
He Showed Me How – David Archuleta
He Hears Your Heart – Bryn Castleton
Not So Little – Nik Day
You are Called – Christian Love
New Song – Scott Krippayne
Light of the World – Ryan I
What Matters Most – Abe Kaelin
Last Time – Nik Day
Another Great song that has come from the Especially For Youth Program is the EFY Medley. The EFY medley is a mash up of “As Sisters in Zion” and “We’ll Bring the World His Truth”. This song brings the spirit so strong and is one of my all time favorites.
What a lot of people don’t know is that music can be found by going online to LDS.org. One of the best resources that I have found for finding good music is to go to LDS.org/youth/music. This particular web address has its own music player with 185 uplifting songs. This web player includes EFY songs, songs written to go with the yearly theme, songs created especially for missionaries, and many, many more.
If you still have not found the music that you are searching for, there are many artists that have albums specifically created for LDS members. Some of these Artists include:
- The Piano Guys
- Kenneth Cope
- Jenny Phillips
- Jericho Road
- David Archuleta
- Sally Deford
- The Piano Guys are a group of Latter Day Saints that create beautiful instrumental music. They are gained their popularity through Youtube and are known for the amazing scenery in the background of their music videos. They create beautiful arrangements for both LDS hymns and today’s most popular songs. Both are uplifting and have the ability to bring the spirit into your life.
Their Youtube Channel can be found at https://www.youtube.com/user/ThePianoGuys
- Kenneth Cope is an amazing composer and singer who has made it his goal in life to “proclaim the gospel through the arts”. His music is geared specifically towards Latter Day Saints. He has released more than 12 albums with many wonderful songs on them each. His CDs/ downloadable albums can be purchased online at deseretbook.com.
- Jenny Phillips is another amazing LDS musician. Her songs are typically geared especially towards Mormon young women. Her songs are beautiful and sung with such grace. On her website, she has an option to stream 35 of her songs for free. These songs include some of her inspirational/sacred favorites and some LDS Hymns. These songs can be accessed by visiting jennyphillips.com/stream. The rest of her songs can be purchased on this same website.
- Jericho Road is comprised of 4 LDS, Brigham Young University graduates. Abe Mills, Dave Kimball, Bret Bryce, and Justin Smith, met at college in a performing group. They decided to begin creating Christian music in 2001 and haven’t looked back since. Their music is geared towards all Christians and is well-known around the United States.
- David Archuleta is an extremely talented LDS artist. He is well known both inside and outside the LDS culture. He has some songs that are specifically geared for Mormons and some that are listened to by many nonmembers around the country. He is a great example of standing up for his beliefs and living the gospel while living a life of fame.
- Sally Deford is an LDS composer. She composes wonderful arrangements for LDS hymns and writes new uplifting songs of her own. She kindly posts these arrangements on her website and allows anybody to use them for free. Her songs and her arrangements can be found at defordmusic.com.