When Lin Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical “Hamilton” hit the stage, it was an immediate success. I’m a huge fan, and I’ve almost memorized the entire musical. Yeah.
But some lyrics stood out to me as especially well written, and after some thought I realized it was because they echoed the things I know to be true on a grander scale. So here are 7 eternal truths in Hamilton.
Warning: I’m reading these lyrics at a textual level only. Any connotations beyond that are not part of this bit of thinking.
“You keep out of trouble and you double your choices.” My Shot
From very young ages, Latter-day Saints are taught that their choices have consequences. If you choose to do something wrong, you are going to face the consequences of that choice whether you like it or not. A bad choice might have consequences that take away a part of all of your ability to think and choose for yourself. Making good choices and staying away from “trouble” allows you to have freedom to continue to make your own choices.
“When you’re living on your knees, you rise up.” My Shot
Pardon the artistic liberty, but it is the goal of most LDS members to spend a good amount of their days on their knees in prayer. Devotion to earnest and sincere prayer is a key part of developing a relationship with Christ and with Heavenly Father. Latter-day Saints pray before meals, when starting meetings, at the beginning and end of the day, and really whenever they need to. Prayer is powerful.
“Life doesn’t discriminate between the sinners and the saints…” Wait For It
Many have asked the question “Why do bad things happen to good people?” The answer lies in the knowledge that life itself is a test, and not just a time to be tested. Sometimes, bad things happen that aren’t the fault of any person. It’s a part of living here on Earth. Trials and challenges are dealt to all people, regardless of whether or not they ‘deserve’ them. Life truly doesn’t discriminate.
“Forgiveness. Can you imagine?” It’s Quiet Uptown
One of the greatest and most beautiful principles of the gospel is the fact that we can be forgiven of our sins. Christ’s capacity to forgive and to save us from our sins is beyond our ability to comprehend. The process of repentance can be long and difficult. But it is worth it to know that once your heart is back in the right place, you will not be denied. Can you imagine?
“I can’t wait to see you again. It’s only a matter of time.” Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story
One of the last lines of the show has Eliza tearfully assuring her husband that she will see him again. The knowledge that we will be reunited with loved ones beyond the grave sustains us through the sadness of losing them here on Earth. Death is not the end, because we will see the family and friends that we love so much again. It’s only a matter of time.
“I know that greatness lies in you.” History Has It’s Eyes on You
Our divine nature as God’s children is a key part of our testimonies. The potential to help and to lift others lies within each of us. Like Hamilton, it is up to us to turn our potential for goodness into a force that will bless the lives of others. Whether we end up on an actual battlefield, or instead fighting the war of the heart, we have the ability to connect and to save. All we have to do it reach out.
“Tomorrow there’ll be more of us.” The Story of Tonight
Latter-day Saints believe the gospel should be shared with the world. They want to share the truths that make their lives full and worthwhile. Over 74,000 missionaries serve worldwide on formal 2-year or year-and-a-half missions. The culture of reaching out to neighbors and friends spreads the gospel even further wherever Latter-day Saints live. There were over 15 million members in 2015.
These eternal truths in Hamilton can be found everywhere, from music to books to religion. Try looking around, and you’ll see how the gospel permeates every part of our lives.