Tuesday, October 11, 2016
LDS Hymn #6
I am sure I sang this song plenty of times growing up. But it didn't really sink into my soul until I sang it as part of the BYU (audition) choirs. It was the very first song I learned, and we sang it at our first Combined Choirs concert showcase. And, of course, it was the amazing Mack Wilberg arrangement (as seen in video) which has that magnificent descant in the last verse (the 4th in the hymnal). There I was trying to learn harmony as a newly appointed Soprano II and suddenly the lyrics came together and held meaning for me. I absolutely loved it!
The whole song praising the Lord--how wonderful He is, how He is there for us, and He will always help us. For years as a teenager I had been trying to learn more about my Savior and develop a closer, stronger relationship with Him. This song epitomized the relationship that, by my 3rd year in college, had been developed between my Redeemer and me.
From the history book
The fabulous William W. Phelps saw a hymn by Joseph Swain and adapted it while also adding a couple more verses. The book prints the original verses, and they are very similar. I do prefer Phelps' wording--more poetic and flows better for me.