My journey to compose new music to the Articles of Faith began in 1995. I was teaching music lessons in Pocatello, Idaho and had a successful program with many students, mostly LDS boys. One boy in particular, Michael, was trying to learn the Article of Faith 1 piece from the LDS Primary Song Book. After weeks of effort, it just wasn't working out. Michael couldn't get it. I wondered why? Michael was doing well with his other songs. So, why was this song so difficult?
I noticed the problem seemed to be related to a mental block and not a physical one. I went home and started playing AF #1 to see if I could detect the difficulty. After playing through it 5 times, I discovered that I too was stumbling through it. I couldn't get it to flow or progress smoothly. I looked at it more closely and realized that the meter was odd and changing. There were no flowing rhythms or standard phrases. The melody seemed like a myriad of many songs, not one. I concluded that if I was struggling, there was no way that Michael or any of my other students could learn AF #1. I found similar problems with the other Article of Faith songs. Eventually, I deemed them extremely difficult to memorize and wondered what could I do to help Michael and my other students?
For me and others, music is one of the most powerful ways we gain and share a testimony of the Gospel. In particular, the Articles of Faith are among the most important verses of scripture we should memorize. Being honest, at that point in time, I, myself, hadn’t been able to commit them to memory. I had composed other music for my students, and thought perhaps I should try composing new music for the Articles of Faith. I did this not only for my students, but so that I, my children, and all children could more easily memorize the Articles of Faith. It took several months to accomplish, but I am pleased with the results.