As I said in my previous post, I am ambivalent about Mormon culture. It is certainly not the reason I came back to the Church. But if there was one thing about Mormon culture that could draw me in, it is the hymns and the sacred music of the Church. Perhaps my greatest comfort in returning to Church has been the privilege of singing those hymns every Sunday.
Can culture be a vehicle through which the Spirit can work with us? The great hymns of the Church remind us that, Yes, culture can be a vehicle of the Spirit. With the presence of the Spirit, words written on a page, sung out loud in harmony with others, resonating in our ears and in our hearts, become a prayer to God, and can help unite our souls with him. And yet what is a hymn but a mere "cultural" production? The Spirit can use culture to reach us.
But then, anything can be a vehicle of the Spirit. But when the Spirit does this, the vehicle itself is always transcended. The Spirit can use culture to help us move beyond culture, into a truer relationship with God.