January 1, 2022
There is something right or righteous about praising our Savior Jesus Christ. As Jehovah God of Israel—who “paid the price of our peace” and “by whose wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5; cf. 57:19)—he apprises those who believe in him that they are “a people I formed for myself to speak out in praise of me” (Isaiah 43:21). Akin to expressing gratitude to him who saves our souls, in other words, our praising Jehovah/Jesus puts us in a right relationship with him, a covenant kinship that is congruent with who he is and who we are.
Paul concurs with such an affinity: “Let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Hebrew 13:15–16). Paul’s reminding us not to forget to glorify God but to open our mouths and offer him praise implies that those who do so will know for themselves the blessings that flow from it. Whom do we know, in fact, who is more worthy of praise than Jesus our Savior and our God who sent him?
The heavenly hosts acknowledge this: “Suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men” (Luke 2:13–14); “A voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth” (Revelation 19:5–6).
Book of Mormon heroes also knew this: “They were driven forth before the wind. And they did sing praises unto the Lord; yea, the brother of Jared did sing praises unto the Lord, and he did thank and praise the Lord all the day long; and when the night came, they did not cease to praise the Lord” (Ether 6:8–9); “I did look unto my God, and I did praise him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions” (1 Nephi 18:16). Indeed, the Book of Psalms (Hebrew tehilim or “Praises”) is dedicated to God’s praise:
“I will declare your name to my brethren: in the midst of the congregation I will praise you. You who fear the Lord, praise him; all you seed of Jacob glorify him; fear him all you seed of Israel. For he has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; nor has he hidden his face from him; but when he cried to him, he heard. My praise is of you in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before those who fear him. The meek will eat and be satisfied: they will praise the Lord that seek him: your heart shall live forever” (Psalm 22:22–26).
If we aren’t in the attitude of praising our God—in our hearts if not always with our lips—shall we ever know him? Conversely, can we know him to whom we don’t render due praise? Thankfully, some do: “O Jehovah, you bring about our peace; even all that we have accomplished you have done for us” (Isaiah 26:12); “I will recount in praise of Jehovah Jehovah’s loving favors, according to all that Jehovah has done for us, according to the great kindness he has mercifully and most graciously rendered the house of Israel” (Isaiah 63:7).
At his glorious coming, men will say, “O Jehovah, you are my God; I will extol you by praising your name. For with perfect faithfulness you have performed wonders, things planned of old” (Isaiah 25:1); “Give thanks to Jehovah; invoke his name. Make known his deeds among the nations; commemorate his exalted name. Sing in praise of Jehovah, who has performed wonders; let it be acknowledged throughout the earth! Shout and sing for joy, O inhabitants of Zion, for renowned among you is the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 12:4–6).