Saturday, October 29, 2016
LDS Hymn #17
This is another hymn, not often song, that if asked to hum it on the spot, I would not quite remember it. But as soon as I see the music I remember. This is an odd one to lead when I am not as familiar with any non-soprano parts. For in this song we get one of the fun composings when there is a "solo" or "soli" part. Only in this case, all parts are singing except soprano. So as I lead, I wonder if I should switch to at least alto on that part. It feels weird, but it would be so much the odder to not be singing (or at least mouthing) the words while I am up there conducting the congregation in the hymn.
While this is a Restoration song, it doesn't talk as much about the events that brought the Restoration about as it does how we should be as Saints. We now have the fulness of the Gospel restored, so we have more of a responsibility to be obedient and living that Gospel.
From the history book
The hymn talks about the Lord's protection of the Saints, which had another meaning back in the early days of the Church and all the persecution they endured. There were 3 other verses (2, 4, and 6) that more specifically referred to those persecutions. AND it turns out the 1985 Hymnbook Committee tried to avoid printing extra verses at the bottom of the page. Probably because they knew as we now see it happening that congregations just don't bother singing those "extra" verses.
Verse 2 mentions "blood of those that [were] slaughtered." Definitely not the cheeriest verse to sing in church now! Reminds me of one of the hymns from the older hymnbook about "How many on Missorui's plains were massacred, they bled...." Yeah.
I rather like the other 2 verses, especially #4. So I will just put them here:
Then let your souls be stayed on God,
A glorious scene is drawing nigh;
Though tempests gather like a flood,
The storm, though fierce, will soon pass by.
Our God in judgement will come near;
His mighty arm he will make bare.
For Zion's sake he will appear;
Then, O ye Saints, awake, prepare!