Latter-day Saint Life

What was the African American spiritual in the Friend to Friend broadcast?

Songs performed in official Church broadcasts are often familiar to Latter-day Saint families—traditionally being chosen from the official Church hymnal or Primary Children’s Songbook. But the final song in Saturday’s Friend to Friend broadcast was a new one for many members and may be more familiar to those of other Christian faiths.

The song is an African American spiritual titled “I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me.” It has been featured in 14 published Christian hymnals, according to, but it’s not in the hymnbook of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, the words of the song echoed the messages taught by the Primary General Presidency in the broadcast: the importance of working and praying and living in such a way that God can use us to bless and serve others.

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The song, performed by a choir of young children, was shared along with depictions of children serving others at the 25-minute mark of the 30-minute broadcast.

Spirituals are a genre of American Christian music first created by enslaved people of African descent in the 17th–19th centuries. The genre includes "sing songs," work songs, and plantation songs, and the style ultimately evolved into religious blues and gospel songs.

You can listen to “I'm Gonna Live So God Can Use Me” from the broadcast in the player below (the video will begin just before the song starts). Or start the video from the beginning to watch Saturday’s full Friend to Friend broadcast with its messages, activities, and lessons.

Here’s another instance of the popular Christian song with over 37,000 views from YouTube.

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