I Am a Child of God

You may not know this, but I learned to play electric first. The acoustic came later.  This Fender Stratocaster is the guitar I learned to play on. While I love my acoustic, when I’m really wanting to pour out my soul, I pick up the Strat.

I Am a Child of God has always been a soul song to me.  Not like a 70’s soul song, but the type of soul song that touches your inner core, your soul, your spirit.  If you’re like me, it was always the go-to song when I needed to feel the spirit fast.  It was like the emergency line between me and Heavenly Father.  So it was basically a no-brainer that I should arrange this on the guitar that allows me to pour out my soul better than any other.

The other reason it was a no-brainer is because this song is about gratitude and love for your Heavenly and earthly parents.  My parents bought me this guitar when I was 15. They had given me a pawn shop guitar a few years earlier to see if I was serious about playing. When they saw that I was, they got me this American Standard Strat. It wasn’t cheap and we weren’t rich.  But they bought it for me anyways. (Little did they know that a year or two later my mom would be crying her eyes out while she lectured me about how I was never going to get into college because all I did was play that darn guitar instead of studying (Swear word censored.  The site is called Mormon Guitar after all).  This was also the only time I’ve ever heard my mom swear – in my life.)

Long story short, I still got into college (Ricks – which turned into BYU-Idaho while I was on my mission) and I still have this guitar.  This single guitar has meant more to me than I think even I realize.  It has defined me.  It has given me confidence.  It has given me a voice.  It has comforted me.  It has been there for me.  And my parents gave it to me.

This arrangement is simple and the inspiration for it is simple.  It’s just a thank you and an I love you to my parents.  You brought me up in the gospel and you gave me this guitar.  You are truly kind and dear.

** That strange look and smile I give at the end is because I heard my kids racing past the room where I was recording this, so I threw few extra licks in there to cover up the sound from their footsteps.  I was basically laughing because I thought it was funny that it happened right at the end of the recording and that I chose to throw in such a silly riff to try and cover it up.  Kids.

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About Ben Howington

I'm just an average Mormon trying to offset the filth out there on the internet, one guitar arrangement at a time. (Mormon.org Profile)

48 comments

  1. I have typed and backspaced. ..what to say? I’m ridiculously impressed with the whole package- your story-your guitar-your mom-your arrangement of I Am A Child Of God-and your comical expression at the end when your kids invade your production. My boy too loves his guitar and I’m thrilled he plays so well. I know it brings him comfort. He thanks me for it often. Hurry…I want to see/hear more!

    • Thank you so much for that comment, Amy. It really meant a lot. I hope you son continues to play. I learned about 90% of my skills while a teenager. There’s no better time to learn an instrument, and it will stick with him for life! Tell him to keep practicing. It will pay off!

  2. yes. to all of it. all any of us really need is a voice, to say what is deep in our hearts.
    this is great. you are great.

  3. These just keep getting better. Didn’t think you could top Follow the Prophet, but you did! I hope that, somehow, SRV heard that from wherever he is up there. Mighty fine pickin’.

  4. Thanks Ben and Lucille (making her first appearance) for another amazingly done song. I absolutely felt it man. Right in the soul.

  5. I have now listened to I Am a Child of God six times in a row and counting. I looked for you in iTunes and was disappointed not to find you. I’d happily part with my wife’s money to have your tracks on my playlist. Keep it up.

    • Yeah, not yet on iTunes. Maybe in the spring sometime. Only audio of these is what was recorded live for these videos. You can plug the Youtube URL into any online YouTube ripper to extract the audio. You can try this one- http://www.youtube-mp3.org/ Not the best quality, but its all there is until I sit down and record the high-quality versions for an album.

  6. Love this arrangement and all of the others. I can’t wait to see what others you come up with. These songs are my favorite to play on the guitar now. They are challenging, sound great, and you feel the Spirit when you play or listen to them. What more can a person ask for:)

    • Thanks so much! That really means a lot. I had been questioning myself of whether I was making them too challenging or not, but I settled on not easing up. If it’s not challenging, you’re not learning. :)

  7. I think this may be a pretty accurate representation of what it would have been like to have the Hendrix family over for FHE. Very well done, as always. Holla!

  8. Thanks for the great videos! I played one of your compositions at my daughter’s baptism–it was a special moment.

    If you don’t mind sharing, what equipment are you using to get such a soft tone (aside from the American strat)?

    • Thanks! Makes me really happy to hear that you were able to play it.

      I’m just going straight into a peavey classic 30 tube amp. Nothing fancy. I did, however, switch out the pickups in that strat with some Texas Specials. It really brought out the mids. Also, on the amp itself I’m going through the dirty channel with just a little bit of dirt on it. That allowed me to get just a little bit of break up when I dug into the strings.

  9. Fancy playing I am A Child of God of the Electric Gat! This is my most favorite rendition! A friend posted your link on facebook and now we’re wondering if you have a cd or someway we can download and listen to these songs on repeat?

  10. This guitar work is genius. You’re ability to capture the feel of the song and create something completely new and different yet recognizable is amazing. I could listen to this all day. Great tone as well.
    I was in a band that played a show with your band (Was it Jive Tribe?) at Craigo’s back in the day. I remember being blown away by your playing (and tone, I think you had an SG as well).
    I’m going to learn this note for note. Thanks for doing this.

    • Thanks Rob! I really appreciate that, especially coming from another guitarist. And yeah, it was Jive Tribe. I remember that show too. I liked you guys instantly. Especially when you started playing The Weight. Those were good days.
      I ended up selling that SG to buy the Martin a few months after that show. I don’t regret it, but there have been lots of times I wished I had a good humbucker guitar like that one. It would sustain notes for days.

  11. This is the greatest. I’m getting ready to go on a mission soon and so I’ve been trying to refine my music selection from the good rich rock and roll to something that invites the spirit. You’ve finally given me what I’ve been looking for. I can never get enough of hearing the guitar and that’s the one thing I was going to miss most on my mission. Now with your album coming out, I’m so stoked. Thank you so much for the music!
    P.S. I’m a Les Paul guy and you may or may not have swayed me to the bluesy Strats. That tone…

  12. I absolutely loved this arrangement!! The bluesy feel of this song is awesome!! I just came across your website today and I can’t wait to start learning some of these hymns!! Thanks!!

  13. I am a recent convert to the church and as a beginner guitar player I was blown away. My wife plays and sings (I can’t sing…at all) and we discovered your site last night. We just set on the sofa and listened for hours. Thanks for the beautiful renditions and the spirit it brings! I am gonna work up as many as I can. Thanks again!

  14. Yes… yes.. yes! Can’t stop playing this addictive bliss on the new album, (fun for the whole family). I would love to hear an all electric blues hymn album!

  15. Man, I can’t say enough how awesome you are ! It’s rare to find lds songs transcribed for guitar (more than just chords at least) and you offer these free. Your time and effort will bless many lives, they already have mine and I just discovered this site 10 minutes ago. I Am A Child of God never sounded better. Thank you so much ! I will be buying your album for sure.

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