LDS musician Garth Smith, known for his moving arrangements of sacred Latter-day Saint music, recently touched the life of one of his ward members by simply playing the piano.
Christine Petrolati lost her hearing from scarlet fever when she was 12-years-old, Smith shared on his official Facebook page. She is a convert to the Church and has developed the ability to “hear” music through vibrations. Eleven years ago, Petrolati read the words of the hymn “Joseph Smith’s First Prayer” for the first time. On a recent Sunday, she asked Smith to play it for her on the piano.
“I played the hymn while Christine placed both hands on the piano,” Smith said. “She had all four verses memorized. As I played tears streamed down her face and when I finished, tears were streaming down my face.”
Afterward, Petrolati sent Smith a letter, which he shared with her position.
“You have no idea what a profound impact you made on my life today playing that song for me; allowing me to hear it MY way,” Petrolati wrote. “It has taken me the majority of my life to accept no longer being able to hear music. I have learned over time; that just because I can no longer hear it; doesn’t mean that the music is no longer there.”
“I fell in love with Joseph Smith’s First Prayer when I first read it about 10 or 11 years ago but had no idea what the piece of music sounded like. Soooooooo beautiful… Even more than I imagined!! Thank you so much.”
Smith called it a moment he would “remember and cherish” always. You can listen to Smith’s arrangement of “Joseph Smith’s First Prayer” below.
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.