On 4 September 2019, Jerald Simon released a music video of his original song called “A Season to Be Strong.” The song features his twin brother, Josh, singing the lead vocals.
Jerald Simon was a 17-years-old young man when he originally wrote and composed “A Season to Be Strong” in the summer of 1998. He was then about to enter his senior year of high school at Weber High School in Pleasant View, Utah. He was also a member of the Weber High School Seminary Council. Seminary is a church sponsored curriculum for high school students to study the scriptures and learn about prophets, morals, and becoming more Christ-like.
The Council met during the summer to plan the 1998-1999 school year. During the meeting, they talked about themes and planned various activities. The theme for the year was “A Season to Be Strong,” which was taken from a talk given by then-president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gordon B. Hinckley. Jerald was the person assigned to compose the theme song for the seminary students.
The following is a quote from the talk that President Hinckley gave. He said:
Now, my brethren and sisters, the time has come for us to stand a little taller, to lift our eyes and stretch our minds to a greater comprehension and understanding of the grand millennial mission of this, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is a season to be strong. It is a time to move forward without hesitation, knowing well the meaning, the breadth, and the importance of our mission. It is a time to do what is right regardless of the consequences that might follow. It is a time to be found keeping the commandments. It is a season to reach out with kindness and love to those in distress and to those who are wandering in darkness and pain. It is a time to be considerate and good, decent and courteous toward one another in all of our relationships. In other words, to become more Christlike” (“This Is the Work of the Master,” Ensign, May 1995, 71).
Using that quote as a resource for inspiration, Jerald sat down at the piano and began composing the song that is now called “A Season to Be Strong.” He recounts the experience in his own words. He said:
After studying the quote by President Hinckley about ‘standing a little taller’, and ‘stretching our minds to a greater comprehension’, I knew I needed to compose a song focusing on becoming more Christ-like. Since our theme for the year was ‘A Season to Be Strong’, I decided to make that the title as well. I remember sitting at the piano with a blank sheet of paper with only the title written at the top. To begin, I offered a silent prayer, asking for heavenly help to create what God wanted me to compose. What happened next, for me, was a personal manifestation that God inspires us, and we are all instruments in His hands.
I have composed many songs in my lifetime, but no song ever came to me so quickly – both musically and lyrically. I personally believe as a composer that when we are on the Lord’s errand, we compose with Heaven’s help. It was as though the music and lyrics were being played into my mind and heart by angels, and I desperately tried to capture every word and note as quickly as I could so I would not miss the music or lose the lyrics. Within 15 – 20 minutes I had the entire song and all of the words finished. It was a sacred and deeply sanctifying experience. I have had similar spiritual musical experiences before and since, but not to this magnitude. That morning at the piano, time stood still and the world was in perfect harmony.
Jerald Simon and his brother Josh invite feedback about the song or testimonials that anyone would be willing to share with them, as well as with others. “A Season to Be Strong” is available on iTunes and Apple Music.