By Mike Romero
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints plays a monumental role in shaping many aspects of Utah culture – especially music. Music has always had a special place in Latter-day Saint worship. There are official Church performing groups like the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square; grassroots performing acts like Gladys Knight’s Grammy Award-winning Saints Unified Voices; internationally recognized BYU performing groups; and, of course, Primary songs and weekly hymns in the local ward.
One thing that has always interested me about Latter-day Saint music is the fact that there really isn’t a Latter-day Saint music industry. Sure, Deseret Book sells records. But Latter-day Saint music does not function the same way broader Christian music does, with for-profit labels and sold out worship ministry tours. Because there’s really no money or fame to be had in the LDS music space, making and distributing music for a Latter-day Saint audience is largely a labor of love.
Out of necessity, many musicians who identify as Latter-day Saints pursue secular careers while moonlighting occasionally as religious artists. In a faith with a lay ministry, it’s pretty poetic.
Now, you can hear some of those artists express their faith on all streaming platforms through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ official profile. The organization is now registered as an official artist on streaming platforms under “Church of Jesus Christ.” You can find the Church on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and Pandora.
“Music is a way to worship God and feel the spirit,” says Matthew Anderson, a product manager for the Church. “This not only provides members with a great source to boost their spirituality, but also gives the Church new ways to reach individuals seeking to feel the love of Christ.”
Current releases include the soundtrack from Season 1 of the Book of Mormon Videos series, hymns by popular Latter-day Saint musicians, and musical numbers from Latter-day Saint events like Face to Face.
The Church of Jesus Christ account exists separate from Strive to Be, the annual music for Latter-day Saint teens. You can check out our Sabbath Sounds playlist, featuring some standout tracks from Latter-day Saint musicians, regardless of Spotify profile, below.