I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know who I am. I know God's plan. I'll follow him in faith. I believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ. I'll honor his name. I'll do what is right; I'll follow his light. His truth I will proclaim.

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

LDS Hymn #57


This was another that came to my notice as current ward choir director. One of my more musically inclined brothers--familiar with more of the lesser known hymns than others--mentioned this as a possibility to be sung. So we did. A simple arrangement of a hymn not well know. The tune is very simple, with some movement for the tenors and basses. And the text is about the Millennium (since we are still in that section). But I like that the first verse is our commitment to the Lord--which is required for the other 3 verses to be possible for us.

Favorite line: When he comes down from heav'n to earth...we hope with him to stand

From the history book
Written by our Brother Phelps, this was also included in Emma's first hymnal in 1835. He was influenced by the talented Isaac Watts with his first line, as well as the fourth verse. After 1835, the first 2 lines of verse 2 were revised because they were awkward to sing, as was the first line of verse 3. The tune in the 1950 hymnal was too difficult, even for many choirs. "Only very experienced pianists and organists could play it." So our lovely organist John Longhurst (I kind of miss hearing him play) was invited to write the one that we don't sing today. ;-) The brand of one of the small pipe organs that the Tabernacle organists practice on is called the Austin, and Brother Longhurst composed this tune one day while at that organ.

Lyrics

  1. 1. We're not ashamed to own our Lord
    And worship him on earth.
    We love to learn his holy word
    And know what souls are worth.
  2. 2. When Jesus comes in burning flame
    To recompense the just,
    The world will know the only name
    In which the Saints can trust.
  3. 3. When he comes down from heav'n to earth
    With all his holy band,
    Before creation's second birth,
    We hope with him to stand.
  4. 4. He then will give us a new name,
    With robes of righteousness,
    And, in the New Jerusalem,
    Eternal happiness.
  5. Text: William W. Phelps, 1792-1872, alt. Included in the first LDS hymnbook, 1835.
    Music: John Longhurst, b. 1940. (c) 1985 IRI

Thursday, January 19, 2017

LDS Hymn #56


Wow. Another organ one. That is 3 in a row. We must have really liked this section! And like the other 2 I wasn't as familiar before and still not remembering well after. The soprano part moves a lot in this song. Possibly too much to make this easy for congregations. If the melody moves all over and includes syncopation, it is a little more difficult. Of course, if we sang it often, we would just be familiar with the tune. Seems to be a problem with too many of our hymns. The text is poetic description of the Millennium--particularly in nature. It is beautiful imagery. Though the phrase "sabbatic era" is not an often used one!

From the history book
Ha ha--she refers to the unusual phrase, too! It is likening the Millennium to the earth's Sabbath Day--6 days of labor and then a day of rest. In 1950, this hymn was paired with the tune for Hymn 150 in our current hymnal. Brother Cornwall, who wrote about the hymn in the 1950 hymnal wrote the current tune for this hymn when he was 90. The 1950 hymnal also had 4 other verses. More poetry, more imagery. Very nice. But 8 verses would never get sung. I like how the book points out that this is how the Millennium will appear to the righteous--peaceful, beautiful, full of light that dispels darkness.

Lyrics

  1. 1. Softly beams the sacred dawning
    Of the great millennial morn,
    And to Saints gives welcome warning
    That the day is hast'ning on,
    That the day is hast'ning on.
  2. 2. Splendid, rising o'er the mountains,
    Glowing with celestial cheer,
    Streaming from eternal fountains,
    Rays of living light appear,
    Rays of living light appear.
  3. 3. Swiftly flee the clouds of darkness;
    Speedily the mists retire;
    Nature's universal blackness
    Is consumed by heav'nly fire,
    Is consumed by heav'nly fire.
  4. 4. Yea, the fair sabbatic era,
    When the world will be at rest,
    Rapidly is drawing nearer;
    Then all Israel will be blest,
    Then all Israel will be blest.
  5. Text: John Jaques, 1827-1900
    Music: J. Spencer Cornwall, 1888-1983. (c) J. Spencer Cornwall, 1983. This hymn may be copied for incidental, noncommercial church or home use.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

LDS Hymn #55



This section of songs is definitely one of my personal lesser-sung hymns. Apparently I have played this in my early organ lesson days. Looking over the tune, I know I have heard MoTab sing this a few times as well. SUCH a fun tune. I may have even sung it a couple of times growing up. But for such a fun hymn, we don't sing this nearly enough. (And that moving bass part in the last line! What poor bass would pass up that chance?!) I am not very familiar with the words. Should definitely memorize this. Too fun not to. Looking over the lyrics, it has great, poetic descriptions of the Lord coming and the world and the people of the world's reactions to it. They are very majestic descriptions as well as full of excitement, and that matches the tune perfectly.

From the history book
The author of the hymn based it on the first 6 verses of Psalm 50. The 1950 hymnal had this as a choir hymn. She said it is not one of our easiest hymns. Really?! There may be a lot of moving parts, but it doesn't seem as hard as some others I have seen. But for the current hymnal they did put it in a lower register and added in soprano and alto parts that weren't in a part of it. The 1950 hymnal had a another verse: "Gather first my saints around me, Those who to my covenants stood--Those who humbly sought and found me Through the dying Savior's blood. Blest Redeemer, Dearest Sacrifice to God." I like those! And, this hymn was included in Emma's 1841 hymnal, and in the 1889 Psalmody this was paired with the present tune, by our fabulous Evan Stephens.

Lyrics

  1. 1. Lo, the mighty God appearing!
    From on high Jehovah speaks!
    Eastern lands the summons hearing,
    O'er the west his thunder breaks.
    Earth behold him! Earth behold him!
    Universal nature shakes.
    Earth behold him! Earth behold him!
    Universal nature shakes.
  2. 2. Zion, all its light unfolding,
    God in glory shall display.
    Lo! he comes! nor silence holding;
    Fire and clouds prepare his way.
    Tempests round him! Tempests round him!
    Hasten on the dreadful day.
    Tempests round him! Tempests round him!
    Hasten on the dreadful day.
  3. 3. To the heav'ns his voice ascending,
    To the earth beneath he cries.
    Souls immortal, now descending,
    Let their sleeping dust arise!
    Rise to judgment! Rise to judgment!
    Let thy throne adorn the skies.
    Rise to judgment! Rise to judgment!
    Let thy throne adorn the skies.
  4. 4. Now the heav'ns on high adore him
    And his righteousness declare.
    Sinners perish from before him,
    But his Saints his mercies share.
    Just his judgments! Just his judgments!
    God, himself the judge, is there.
    Just his judgments! Just his judgments!
    God, himself the judge, is there.
  5. Text: William Goode, 1762-1816
    Music: Evan Stephens, 1854-1930

Sunday, January 15, 2017

LDS Hymn #54


I have no memory of this hymn before I learned to play it in my organ class. And even that memory is rather vague. I have a feeling it is one of the earlier ones I played. Looking over the tune, my brain can mostly pick it out--so that's about as much as I remember. The title makes one think this song is about temples and should be in the temple section (~280s). Verse 1 is about temples, specifically the Salt Lake City one as prophesied about in Isaiah--which is quoted in the first verse. But the rest of the verses help you see that this is about the Millennium, and thus in its "proper section." The last verse is actually a couple of lines repeated twice. But as they are about the reasons we have to rejoice in the Millennium and walking with God, it definitely works.

The text was written before the Gospel was restored and then adapted, and the tune is one of the few copyrighted (why the link takes you only to the lyrics), so I am intrigued to read the history. You will, unfortunately, have to get a hold of an actual printed 1985 LDS hymnal to plunk out the tune for yourself.

From the history book
The 1950 hymnal attributed this book to John Logan, but many feel it was Michael Bruce who died young and was not able to claim his authorship of several hymns that Logan had published. Bruce was a young Protestant Scotsman who would be familiar with the same Isaiah scriptures in the 1700s as LDS Saints would be. The text was first published in 1781 and came into an LDS hymnal in 1841 in Emma's second hymnal. It had been matched with Joseph Daynes' tune since 1889. But apparently it was a bit difficult. The 1985 hymnbook committee found a tune from the Reorganized LDS (or now Community of Christ)) hymnal by Leland Sateren which matched well with these lyrics. And that would explain why the tune is under copyright.

Update: How do you like that?! This was the closing hymn in Relief Society today!


Lyrics

  1. 1. Behold, the mountain of the Lord
    In latter days shall rise
    On mountaintops, above the hills,
    And draw the wond'ring eyes.
    To this shall joyful nations come;
    All tribes and tongues shall flow.
    "Up to the hill of God," they'll say,
    "And to his house we'll go."
  2. 2. The rays that shine from Zion's hill
    Shall lighten ev'ry land;
    The King who reigns in Salem's tow'r
    Shall all the world command.
    Among the nations he shall judge;
    His judgments truth shall guide;
    His scepter shall protect the just
    And quell the sinner's pride.
  3. 3. No strife shall rage, nor hostile feuds
    Disturb those peaceful years;
    To plowshares men shall beat their swords,
    To pruning hooks their spears.
    No longer host encount'ring host
    Shall crowds of slain deplore;
    They'll hang the trumpet in the hall
    And study war no more.
  4. 4. Come, then, O house of Jacob, come,
    To worship at His shrine,
    And, walking in the light of God,
    With holy beauties shine.
    Come, then, O house of Jacob, come,
    To worship at His shrine,
    And, walking in the light of God,
    With holy beauties shine.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

LDS Hymn #53


I know nothing about this hymn. I don't think I even picked it for any congregation to sing. 2/2 is possibly my least favorite time signature and I struggle trying to sight-read this song. No tune comes to mind and my rhythm is totally off. Will have to listen to the recording on LDS.org a few times to get that. But looking over the text--I like that. The joy of having a prophet on earth again. The peace and friendship that will come with the Millennium.

From the history book
I like how it points out that this hymn includes all inhabitants of the earth, not just the Saints. It talks of how the tune reflects the message in a joyous but noble manner. That it is straightforward in style (and yes, those chords are straight forward if I could just get the timing right!). The tune name honors a city near to me because it is where the composer went to high school and later met his wife while teaching at the high school. The text first appeared in 1863, but the tune did not get published until 1948.

I am determined to get to know this little hymn more in spite of that 2/2 time.

Lyrics

  1. 1. Let earth's inhabitants rejoice
    And gladly hail the glorious hour;
    Again is heard a prophet's voice,
    And all may feel the gospel's pow'r.
  2. 2. The blissful time will soon arrive,
    The day by holy men foretold,
    When man no more with man will strive,
    And all in each a friend behold.
  3. 3. Oppression will no more be found,
    Nor tyrant hold relentless sway,
    But love to God and man abound
    Thruout the long millennial day.
  4. Text: William Clegg, 1823-1903
    Music: Leroy J. Robertson, 1896-1971. (c) 1948 IRI

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

LDS Hymn #52



My first memory of this hymn being set into my head was in 10th grade when I was singing in the ward choir. I was in the soprano section with my good friend from high school and Young Women's (not a common occurrence in my east coast home) and her mother. I think I may have sung this once or twice growing up. The tune when I sang it in choir was somewhat familiar. But I didn't know the words. So, there we were sight-singing. And all 3 of us gustily singing in the chorus were suddenly holding out "Hail to thine ear........!" What? Ear!? Before we all at the same moment realized it was the first syllable of the word "early." Oh! We should have been singing "er!" And every time I have sung this hymn I think of "Hail to thine ear."

Aside from that fun memory, I enjoy this hymn. A bright one to sing about the Restoration and getting to live the Gospel on earth until the beautiful day of the Millennium.

Favorite lines:
*"the world is awaking"
*All of Verse 2, especially "In many a temple the Saints will assemble And labor as saviors of dear ones away"
*Still let us be doing
*Then pure and supernal, our friendship eternal, With Jesus

Some great text with wonderful messages and lessons!

From the history book
She quotes J. Spencer Cornwall who "often did not care for hymns in the less dignified gospel-song tradition...calling [this hymn] 'distinct and interesting due to its chorus which is rhythmically different from the verse part, but beautifully co-ordinated with the tune and form of the verse.'" This is SO true! First published in 1877, by a man who became a member only 4 years earlier.


Sunday, January 8, 2017

LDS Hymn #51


Definitely a hymn I did not know until recently. About 2 years ago, I asked my ward choir for songs they would like to try to sing. One of my loyal tenors mentioned this one, as it is his favorite hymn. So we did a simple arrangement of it a few months later. In that time or shortly after, I suggested it be one of the ones I try on the organ (before she was insisting that everything I try to do with the pedal). Thus I got to know the tune very well, and the lyrics a bit. The tune moves and is full of accidentals. Helps to stand out in one's mind. The lyrics are a bit more "old-fashioned." Written in the 1800s, they have that Victorian-esque flair. Which means it takes my mind a bit more effort to break it down and understand its meaning. But overall I get it as a rejoicing hymn--declaring to all (particularly the sons of Michael, whom I assume that means Priesthood holders???) that the Savior is coming and to be prepared for the gloriousness that will accompany and the humility and rejoicing we will/should be filled with because of this great, longed-for event.

Favorite lines:
*Raise aloft your voices millions In a torrent pow'r of song.
*Hail our head with music soft! Raise sweet melodies aloft!

From the history book
I knew that Michael referred to Adam. The book says that "sons of Michael" refer to all human beings, since we are all his descendants. Verse 3's Mother refers to Eve, showing that she is at Adam or Michael's side in this. The hymn is also referring to the grand council that Joseph Smith prophesied about, referencing Daniel 7. So what I majorly missed in the text is that the hymn is very much about Michael and Eve. We are singing about the grand council that Michael will preside at. The 1985 hymnal wanted to distinguish that, so they went with the (now mostly used) format of capitalizing the words when referring to Deity and leaving them lowercase when referring to Michael (Father vs father).

The hymn was first published in 1861 and part of the 1950 hymnal. Its original tune was apparently so hard that only choirs could attempt it. (Their choirs must have been magnificently skilled in music back then!) So Brother Wolford wrote a more singable tune, which actually helped him come to love the text which he didn't beforehand. He said that the hymn sounds wonderful in unison, but as an organist "wrote a setting that has a melodic bass line--one that feels good to the feet!" And those bass rarely ever get such fun parts to sing. So by all means, let them sing it!

Lyrics

  1. 1. Sons of Michael, he approaches!
    Rise, the ancient father greet.
    Bow, ye thousands, low before him;
    Minister before his feet.
    Hail the patriarch's glad reign,
    Spreading over sea and main.
  2. 2. Sons of Michael, 'tis his chariot
    Rolls its burning wheels along!
    Raise aloft your voices million
    In a torrent pow'r of song.
    Hail our head with music soft!
    Raise sweet melodies aloft!
  3. 3. Mother of our generations,
    Glorious by great Michael's side,
    Take thy children's adoration;
    Endless with thy seed abide.
    Lo! to greet thee now advance
    Thousands in the glorious dance!
  4. 4. Raise a chorus, sons of Michael,
    Like old ocean's roaring swell,
    Till the mighty acclamation
    Thru rebounding space doth tell
    That the ancient one doth reign
    In his Father's house again!
  5. Text: Elias L. T. Harrison, 1830-1900, alt.
    Music: Darwin K. Wolford, b. 1936. (c) 1985 IRI