Southern Gospel

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June 8-13th, 2017, found us blazing the mountains and hollers of the Smoky Mountains, more precisely Tennessee. We did two firesides, one in Knoxville, and the other in Sevierville, close to where I was born in 1962. Oh my! Love getting in the midst of those accents again! It didn’t take long for me to swing back into that mode either 🙂

I was humbled by the genuine hearts and new friendships which were formed. Since coming home I have had a lot of feedback from those who have experienced suffering in their family, and they said to me that they have a renewed hope in mending fences and pulling their families together. Responses such as these strengthens me to keep doing this work for if we can reach even one heart and motivate it then we have achieved our purpose! In saying that, I must convey that it is the Spirit that moves such wondrous emotions and all credit goes to the Lord, not us. We are looking forward to July in Nauvoo, and August back to Tennessee!

Note: The funding process we had for paying our travel expenses for the past sixteen years is no longer available to us due to new guidelines. We have an addition to our page called Patreon, for those who want to sponsor us and keep this work going for as little as $3 a month! We have seen many lives changed as we have been doing this work, even our own. We appreciate any help. Become a patron and take part in this journey we are on!

A Little Piece of Heaven

This past Sunday we did a fireside for the missionaries at Adam-Ondi-Ahman, and it was such a choice experience. There were many genuine people there who have both feet on the ground in the gospel. That’s a hard thing to do in the times we live in. There are so many things that we have to weigh carefully so as not to offend, it seems as if we are always walking upon fragile glass. But there is no glass when you drive through the gates at Adam-Ondi-Ahman. There is a shift and everything is calm and peaceful. When you walk the trails at the different sites you have moments that your mind can claim as its own, to drift and ponder where it will, and have a private conversation with the Lord. This is where, no matter what you are going through, you can breathe in the air, feel the Spirit, and find some healing. Does it solve all of your problems? Of course not, but you leave knowing that even though you’re going back to a world of trials, the Lord is with you always, and He will help you through it. It has been such a blessing in many ways to do our firesides for the past sixteen years and we look forward to doing them for many years to come, but it is nights like this one that give us more strength to push forward. If you have never been to Adam-Ondi-Ahman, the time is now! Go and have a wonderful experience in a peaceful valley.

On the Road!!!

We are in the midst of our spring tour and would like to thank the wonderful folks in Santee, Hemet, Morro Bay and Irvine California! What a week! Six firesides in seven days! We loved every minute and are grateful to those who took us to see the wonderful sites in these areas such as the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park and the wonderful seals just up from Morro Bay and much more. We have made new friends and are grateful for the feedback from those who have a renewed interest in healing their families and finding wholeness and healing through the Atonement! After a rest in St. George with our special cousins Gracia and Ivor Jones we will be heading to Utah for some events there. Although most of the firesides in Utah are private FHE in individual homes for multiple families we do have one that is open to the public as a stake fireside:

April 26
250 W 600 S Lindon UT 7 PM

Thank you so much! We will keep you updated as we go and please remember we do have a donation link in the upper right portion of the page. We are still raising funds for our summer tour which covers several New England states and Canada!

Having Fun in the Media

We recently interviewed for both LDS.net and The Mormon Channel. While at The Mormon Channel, we had the opportunity to tour the church’s very own internet radio station. It’s fascinating to see what the Lord has provided His church with to spread the gospel to all the world! Here are the links to these two interviews.

LDS.net Article

Mormon Channel Interview

A Song Every Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Music: The soft mist that settles into crevices where nothing else can reach.

-Kimberly Jo Smith

In life we experience so many degrees of trauma it is a wonder that we can gather a fraction of coherent thought or reasoning. But I have found that Heavenly Father has equipped us all with various forms of natural anti-depressants in the form of compassionate service, fellowshipping, art, reading, writing, positive media, and then there is music. I have found whenever a dark cloud forms over me that music is a driving force which dissipates that cloud very quickly.

Someone once asked me if I hum very often, for while in her home she noticed that I hummed a lot. I responded that I hum every day without even thinking and had done so since I was little. She then went on to say that it was an inner healing mechanism which had probably saved me in many ways because the vibration of notes carried throughout my body, creating a relaxing calm. I didn’t think about it much at the time but have since looked deeper into the effect music has on us physically, mentally and spiritually. In doing so I can see why the Lord made music so much a part of our lives and how the adversary has used it as well. There is a marked difference in the attitude and personality of those who listen to fun, uplifting music and those who listen to dark, degrading music of hopelessness. One brings a happy jolly disposition as well as healing; the other a dark, reclusive, and destructive personality. So it is indeed true we must always be wary of the kind of music we listen to.

As I considered the many elements behind our interaction with music I began to reflect about my own history with it. Many individuals have written me asking where that sound comes from, the style and harmonies that my son and I employ when we are on stage, and my first response is, “From the Tennessee mountains,” because that is where I am from and what has influenced me the most. But a more accurate answer would be from within.

The scriptures tell us that we all come to this earth with specific gifts and talents (quote) and to utilize them. My first memories involve music. My father always played the guitar and he was in a Bluegrass band and when I heard them play it moved something inside of me. He taught me and my sister in one sitting how to sing lead and how to do harmony, and we picked it up like it was one of our own limbs, a natural part of who we were.

When I grew older I noticed that certain music, particularly older, southern gospel genres, would bring tears to my eyes. Something about it touched me within. That is when I decided to dig into my heritage and see just how deep the music went. On my father’s Smith side I can trace music back to the 1830’s. Each generation had musical talents with some of Joseph and Emma Smith’s children and grandchildren composing hymns that were in Restoration hymn books. From the resources I found, the majority of my ancestors on the Smith side were very adept in vocal abilities as well. On my mother’s side music was also prevalent. Her family grew up in the East Tennessee Mountains where my Mammaw and Pappaw engaged in Sacred Harp singing, a raw type of gospel that originated in the Appalachian Mountains in the late 18th to early 19th centuries. (For a brief history visit fasola.org)

After researching my musical roots I came to a better understanding of why music is so embedded within me. It brought to me a realization of just how important it is to know one’s heritage, for it is that heritage which explains who we are and why we have some of the tendencies that we do. I do not believe an ancestor’s song dies when they leave this earth, it carries on to be realized in a more magnified manner for a different time. So now, when I am composing and writing I appreciate the source from where those talents came from; generations of ancestors and above all a Heavenly Father who gifted us with those talents.

There are so many stories to tell of our past and present in music, art, dance and many other modes which can uplift and heal. It is so important to cultivate any talent we have been given and use it to bring happiness to those around us.

Book Now Available!

Rising Hills Cover ThumbFifteen years after I was prompted to write my family’s story I now have it in hand, published and available for all to read. The end result was much different than I had anticipated. I thought it was to be a source of healing for me and my family, but it became a volume of life’s lessons that can help anyone heal from all traumas in their lives through the Atonement. This book has been written in all corners of the United States and in-between as we traveled over the course of twelve years doing firesides and concerts. I met many people who influenced me, by their own struggles, to emphasize the importance of knowing the Savior and understanding the Atonement. There were those who still carried negative feelings toward Emma, but left our firesides healed, carrying a better understanding of Joseph’s widow, and why she stayed in Nauvoo. I knew I would have to include Emma’s story in my book to help people understand the importance of holding a state of love in any situation, not judging those whose situation you have know way of knowing, and letting go of negative feelings concerning events you do not understand. The road to forgiveness, coping, unity, conversion, compassion, letting go, moving forward, the Atonement and opening your heart to the pure love of Christ can all be found in my new book, Rising Hills and Sinking Valleys. The reader will also come to know the Smith family in a manner that has never been opened before. This work of love has been accomplished through many miracles and many trials. I have opened up my own soul and the lives of my predecessors in hopes that all families can heal and unite.

You can order Rising Hills and Sinking Valleys from our online store.

Serenity Blue Video

Something that we’ve been wanting to do for a while now is to make a video for the song Serenity Blue.  A few weeks ago, that goal was realized.  We received permission to use video from the movie Emma Smith, My Story in the video.  This video is a powerful representation about the love Joseph had for those that he left behind when he was called from this earth.  We hope you enjoy it and pass it along to your friends.

Happy Birthday Emma

Well, much has been going on the past few weeks.  Last weekend we were in Independence for the Joseph and Emma Smith family reunion.  As part of the reunion, we sang Happy Birthday to our Grandmother Emma and had cake in her honor.  The two of us also had the privilege to participate in another tribute to the elect lady.  Seth Adam Smith, a good friend of ours, asked us to participate in a video he was making for Emma’s last dream.  It’s a wonderful video that I think you’ll all enjoy.  In other news, our Willow video just reached 10,000 views!  We are currently packing up and getting ready for a long drive to Utah, where we have much planned, including the recording of our album.  So be sure to subscribe to our RSS feed and follow us on facebook to keep up with everything that’s going on!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O63zpghH_dg