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!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

LDS Hymn #36

A Pioneer hymn! Technically, so is Hymn #35. This is our small tiny pioneer section, with crossover in our tiny Utah/Mountains section. This is a fun one to sing--very upbeat and praising of our amazing forefathers in our early Church's history. I am a lover of that history, and have great admiration of the many, many stories of those who crossed their plains for freedom, unity, and the right to live their faith. Sometimes I hear of converts to the Church, with no Pioneer ancestry, say that their stories do not matter to them, since it isn't their family. But it is their church's heritage and matters just as much. It matters to every single member--and there are far more of those having no Pioneer ancestry than those of us few who do. This hymn helps to illustrate how: "Stepping stones for generations Were their deeds of ev'ry day. Building new and firm foundations." And then an example to us: "Service ever was their watchcry; Love became their guiding star; Courage.... Ev'ry day some burden lifted, Ev'ry day some heart to cheer, Ev'ry day some hope the brighter." And then that wonderful praise: "Honor, praise, and veneration.... List our song of adoration." Ah! I love it!!!

Personal history: I once named a college paper based on the title of this hymn. Not intentionally, I just loved the phrase and my paper title worked so well with it. My professor wrote "great title" by it. Glad he appreciated it. Only at BYU could I get away with that! :-)

From the history book
She mentioned the importance of our Pioneer ancestry as well, and how this hymn honors it. Yay--same page! :-) Recalls a message by President David O. MacKay when he asked the Saints to try to think what it was for those Saints to enter a desolate, desert valley--and see what they have created today! I will admit I love to drive up along the Wasatch Front at night and look down on all the lights. To see the trees and parks that they were able to grow in the valley. To see the homes and buildings that they began with. We are still booming in growth all over the state (particularly in my county and its neighbors)--and it truly is a marvel that their hard work built up not only this state, but the Gospel around the world, too.


  1. 1. They, the builders of the nation,
    Blazing trails along the way;
    Stepping-stones for generations
    Were their deeds of ev'ry day.
    Building new and firm foundations,
    Pushing on the wild frontier,
    Forging onward, ever onward,
    Blessed, honored Pioneer!
  2. 2. Service ever was their watchcry;
    Love became their guiding star;
    Courage, their unfailing beacon,
    Radiating near and far.
    Ev'ry day some burden lifted,
    Ev'ry day some heart to cheer,
    Ev'ry day some hope the brighter,
    Blessed, honored Pioneer!
  3. 3. As an ensign to the nation,
    They unfurled the flag of truth,
    Pillar, guide, and inspiration
    To the hosts of waiting youth.
    Honor, praise, and veneration
    To the founders we revere!
    List our song of adoration,
    Blessed, honored Pioneer!
  4. Text: Ida R. Alldredge, 1892-1943. (c) 1948 IRI
    Music: Alfred M. Durham, 1872-1957. (c) 1948 IRI

Monday, November 28, 2016

LDS Hymn #35

I love this hymn! So much fun to sing and a pure beast to play! Syncopation, running notes, three flats. Sometimes the challenging hymn are quite the fun--even if I never have gotten it correctly all the way through. This could be considered another Mountain song where we found shelter in its height and beauty. Yet somehow growing up I was able to see beyond that when singing the song. The mountains were symbolic of any place where I found shelter from the trials and storms of life. That, and though not in Utah, I did grow up in a mountain state and very much enjoyed the beauty there.

From the history book
It was a choir hymn in the 1950 hymnal, but congregations liked it so much that they sang it anyway. The author was not LDS and her hills referred to mountains in Switzerland. Edward Sloan adapted Felicia's hymn, but after 1965 they dropped a verse mentioning "untutored Indian"--wise choice. I guess line 3 used to be a women's only part, since the 1985 hymnal added parts for bass and tenor. Another verse was left out in the 1985 hymnal as well. With the revisions of Felicia's original poem and what changes have been made over the years, I am very happy with the 4 verses we have now.


  1. 1. For the strength of the hills we bless thee,
    Our God, our fathers' God;
    Thou hast made thy children mighty
    By the touch of the mountain sod.
    Thou hast led thy chosen Israel
    To freedom's last abode;
  2. (Chorus]
    For the strength of the hills we bless thee,
    Our God, our fathers' God.
  3. 2. At the hands of foul oppressors
    We've borne and suffered long;
    Thou hast been our help in weakness,
    And thy pow'r hath made us strong.
    Amid ruthless foes outnumbered
    In weariness we trod;
  4. 3. Thou hast led us here in safety
    Where the mountain bulwark stands
    As the guardian of the loved ones
    Thou hast brought from many lands.
    For the rock and for the river,
    The valley's fertile sod,
  5. 4. We are watchers of a beacon
    Whose light must never die;
    We are guardians of an altar
    'Midst the silence of the sky.
    Here the rocks yield founts of courage,
    Struck forth as by thy rod;
  6. Text: Felicia D. Hemans, 1793-1835; adapted by Edward L. Sloan, 1830-1874
    Music: Evan Stephens, 1854-1930

Thursday, November 24, 2016

LDS Hymn #34

This was another "Utah mountain" hymn. I remember singing it once growing up. I immediately liked the tune. I still do. The text is more about finding retreat from the persecutions and tribulation that the early Saints had to flee, and there in those mountains find rest to regain the strength after being so battered the previous 15 years. I like the relief and rest one can feel in the hymn, and the tribute to the beauty they found in their refuge.

But I have a little personal issue with this hymn because of a false notion it can support. When I came out to Utah for college, I encountered people (not all, but enough) who felt or at least acted like Utah and the LDS members who lived there were better than the LDS members who lived outside of it. How they referred to themselves as Zion, not remembering or realizing that Zion is the Pure in Heart. It is not a place, it is a state of mind and being--how we as Saints all over the world should be. Yet the chorus of this song unfortunately promotes the idea that Utah is Zion. If we want to be technical, the only physical place that can be called Zion is in Missouri.

It has always irked me, being a non-native Utah LDS member when the Utah LDS members put themselves above those of us not from there. And claim that they are Zion and the best place to be. That the rest of us are "the mission field." (The mandate to proclaim the Gospel is to all the world, not everywhere but Utah. By the way. Once upon a time there weren't missionaries in Utah, but now there are so can we stop calling the rest of us the mission field? Thank you.) I have come to love being a Utah transplant because of the many temples, being close to attend General Conference, having members in my workplace(!!), have members who are my neighbors, having Church meetings so close, being able to have Gospel discussions outside of my home on an easy, daily basis. But I do not think I am better or more blessed than others outside of Utah. I miss my East coast...everything. This is where the Lord wants me now, and I am grateful and find its joys and beauties. But it does not make this the chosen place anymore! It served its purpose in giving us strength and rejuvenation, and allowed us to move on and up.

Thus, I appreciate this hymn for many aspects, but it also tends to rub me the wrong way at times. Just gotta be honest on that!

From the history book
Who knew--the hymn was written by a man who hadn't seen Utah, yet. He was serving a mission in England. Had been there for ten years, each year being promised if he served another year then he would be released and get to go to Zion. Originally he sang it as a person who had never been to Zion, but later changed a little to fit with those Saints who had gathered to Utah. The tune was "Lily Dale" and even used in a 1939 movie set in the American West. The tune was originally published in 1852. Matching of tune and text first appeared in 1880. I think my favorite thing in the book is that she mentions this song in the figurative text. And in that, I love the song! Seeing the Gospel as a mountain refuge, I can totally get behind that. Then the Zion chorus doesn't bother me in the least.


  1. 1. O ye mountains high, where the clear blue sky
    Arches over the vales of the free,
    Where the pure breezes blow and the clear streamlets flow,
    How I've longed to your bosom to flee!
    O Zion! dear Zion! land of the free,
    Now my own mountain home, unto thee I have come;
    All my fond hopes are centered in thee.
  2. 2. Tho the great and the wise all thy beauties despise,
    To the humble and pure thou art dear;
    Tho the haughty may smile and the wicked revile,
    Yet we love thy glad tidings to hear.
    O Zion! dear Zion! home of the free,
    Tho thou wert forced to fly to thy chambers on high,
    Yet we'll share joy and sorrow with thee.
  3. 3. In thy mountain retreat, God will strengthen thy feet;
    Without fear of thy foes thou shalt tread;
    And their silver and gold, as the prophets have told,
    Shall be brought to adorn thy fair head.
    O Zion! dear Zion! home of the free,
    Soon thy towers shall shine with a splendor divine,
    And eternal thy glory shall be.
  4. 4. Here our voices we'll raise, and we'll sing to thy praise,
    Sacred home of the prophets of God.
    Thy deliv'rance is nigh; thy oppressors shall die;
    And thy land shall be freedom's abode.
    O Zion! dear Zion! land of the free,
    In thy temples we'll bend; all thy rights we'll defend;
    And our home shall be ever with thee.
  5. Text: Charles W. Penrose, 1832-1925
    Music: H. S. Thompson, ca. 1852

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

LDS Hymn #33

This is not one we sang much growing up, even if I did live in the Mountain State. I think we automatically assumed this was "a Utah hymn," so we didn't sing it. But really anyone could enjoy and/or connect with the song because it just talks about the beauty of nature and how we can see God's hand in it all. So perhaps if you live in the desert with no mountains, you don't understand that. But you can understand wildflowers. Sunshine. Flowing rivers (yes, even in a desert). We just have to look around where ever we may be, see the beauty there, and know that God's hand is in that beauty. That was one of my first lessons I learned from moving as a child. I was not happy with our second move. The third was difficult. My fourth to college was one of the hardest. I had to learn to find beauty where ever I was. I started with nature, because I knew it would never fail me. And that was able to transition to finding beauty in the people and cultures around me. It made the subsequent moves much easier to make. So I enjoy this hymn now as I have learned to find that beauty and thank my Heavenly Father for it.

From the history book
"All Saints can join together in singing our gratitude for the beauties of our world." George Pyper describes the hymn as a literary gem as it brought together "two kindred spirits...both loving music, art, and God's beautiful outdoors."


  1. 1. Our mountain home so dear,
    Where crystal waters clear
    Flow ever free,
    Flow ever free,
    While thru the valleys wide
    The flow'rs on ev'ry side,
    Blooming in stately pride,
    Are fair to see.
  2. 2. We'll roam the verdant hills
    And by the sparkling rills
    Pluck the wildflow'rs,
    Pluck the wildflow'rs;
    The fragrance on the air,
    The landscape bright and fair,
    And sunshine ev'rywhere
    Make pleasant hours.
  3. 3. In sylvan depth and shade,
    In forest and in glade,
    Where-e'er we pass,
    Where-e'er we pass,
    The hand of God we see
    In leaf and bud and tree,
    Or bird or humming bee,
    Or blade of grass.
  4. 4. The streamlet, flow'r, and sod
    Bespeak the works of God;
    And all combine,
    And all combine,
    With most transporting grace,
    His handiwork to trace,
    Thru nature's smiling face,
    In art divine.
  5. Text: Emmeline B. Wells, 1828-1921
    Music: Evan Stephens, 1854-1930

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

LDS Hymn #32

I don't think I was familiar with this hymn at all until a couple or so years ago when I learned it as one of my hymns in my organ lessons. And that 2/2 time kills me! Even now looking at the tune I cannot quite hear it in my mind because I keep getting it the timing wrong. Yet the notes below the hymn say this one was in the first LDS hymnal. The text talks of the Restoration, and how throughout history this time was looked forward to. That it has finally come--so much to rejoice and be happy about. Being in this time with the fulness of the Gospel, my freedoms, and so many advances around us, I do feel truly blessed and feel to rejoice in it. But not that it is necessarily "Yay, I got to be born in this dispensation, at this time," but rather "I am so grateful for all that men and women did throughout history that led to such a blessed time that has so greatly blessed me and my life."

From the history book
The text first was printed 3 years after the Church was organized. The author Philo was a close friend of Joseph Smith's. Some lines had been changed by the 1950 hymnal. A couple of word changes and a sentence structure change occurred for the current hymnal. Seeing what they were, I agree with them! A little awkward in singing as well as understanding. Though it makes me wonder what Brother Dibble must think in heaven to see his words changed. Really the changes were there to go better with current times (meaning words) and ease of singing.


  1. 1. The happy day at last has come.
    The truth restored is now made known.
    The promised angel's come again
    To introduce Messiah's reign.
  2. 2. The gospel trump again is heard.
    The truth from darkness has appeared.
    The lands which long benighted lay
    Have now beheld a glorious day:
  3. 3. The day by prophets long foretold,
    The day which Abram did behold,
    The day that Saints desired so long,
    When God his great work would perform,
  4. 4. The day when Saints again shall hear
    The voice of Jesus in their ear,
    And angels, who above do reign,
    Come down to speak again with men.
  5. Text: Philo Dibble, 1806-1895. Included in the first LDS hymnbook, 1835.
    Music: Ebenezer Beesley, 1840-1906

Monday, November 21, 2016

LDS Hymn #31

This is what I call a classic, meaning it has been around in hymn-dom since before any LDS hymnal, and is sung in many faiths. The Isaac Watts wrote the hymn. Very easy tune to remember. A great testimony and praise of our Heavenly Father--how He is always there, has been and will be, forever. My favorite line: Our hope for years to come.

From the history book
It also mentioned how beloved this hymn is in many Christian faiths. There was another verse, which used to be verse 4, and the now verse 4 was verse 5 and rarely sung. And verse 3 is based on Psalm 90:2, as Isaac Watts liked using Psalms in hymns.

UPDATE, 11/28/16 - watching Return to Cranford and this is the hymn they're singing at the beginning! :-)


  1. 1. O God, our help in ages past,
    Our hope for years to come,
    Our shelter from the stormy blast,
    And our eternal home.
  2. 2. Within the shadow of thy throne,
    Still may we dwell secure.
    Sufficient is thine arm alone,
    And our defense is sure.
  3. 3. Before the hills in order stood,
    Or earth received her frame,
    From everlasting thou art God,
    To endless years the same.
  4. 4. O God, our help in ages past,
    Our hope for years to come,
    Be thou our guide while life shall last,
    And our eternal home.
  5. Text: Isaac Watts, 1674-1748. Included in the first LDS hymnbook, 1835.
    Music: William Croft, 1677-1727

Sunday, November 20, 2016

LDS Hymn #30

Another well-loved, often sung (at least in July!) hymn with Church History ties. I have heard the story of the writing of this hymn countless times, and yet I still love it. William Clayton was in one of the first groups to cross the Mississippi in the great exodus from Nauvoo. The first week of a frigid (remember--east coast humidity there!) February, William had to leave his very pregnant wife behind. A couple of months after leaving he received word that his wife had delivered and both she and the baby were fine. In the midst of great trial and suffering, he found joy. And if you know my blog, you know that is the theme of my life, so it is no wonder that I have a tender spot for the hymn that he wrote because of that joy in the midst of trial.

It fit so perfectly with what the Saints were just then embarking on--the long journey west. Yet every verse, except for the reference to the west in verse 3, applies perfectly for our personal journeys in life. This song took on greater meaning when my cousin Jordan died about 2 months before his 16th birthday. The weekend of his death, our ward choir was putting on our delayed Pioneer program. I didn't make it through Verse 4. Off and on it has been a difficult one to sing, most recently being last year when my aunt died around Pioneer Day. I stood in front of my ward congregation leading the song, unable to sing as I cried through the verse. With the deaths I have experienced in my life, this verse takes on the meaning not because of the loss I have felt, but because of the truth I can sing of that they "are free from toil and sorrow, too" and believe that "with the just [they] shall dwell."

For my own personal life, that verse is one to sing in the sense that "Thy will be done." "If I perish, I perish." But I would love to live some more days to experience more things in this life--have a chance to grow and learn and serve. So, if I am blessed with a few more days on this earth--how very grateful I will always be for the Lord giving them to me!

From the history book
There was already a hymn called "All is Well" that Clayton wrote new words to. Another Church history anecdote with this hymn was shared. I think there are many. This hymn has been in every LDS hymnal since 1851. I remember once practicing at another religion's church when I lived in West Virginia. Always intrigued by hymnals, I looked inside. And I found this hymn. So apparently it made its way to other hymnals, too!


  1. 1. Come, come, ye Saints, no toil nor labor fear;
    But with joy wend your way.
    Though hard to you this journey may appear,
    Grace shall be as your day.
    'Tis better far for us to strive
    Our useless cares from us to drive;
    Do this, and joy your hearts will swell--
    All is well! All is well!
  2. 2. Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard?
    'Tis not so; all is right.
    Why should we think to earn a great reward
    If we now shun the fight?
    Gird up your loins; fresh courage take.
    Our God will never us forsake;
    And soon we'll have this tale to tell--
    All is well! All is well!
  3. 3. We'll find the place which God for us prepared,
    Far away in the West,
    Where none shall come to hurt or make afraid;
    There the Saints will be blessed.
    We'll make the air with music ring,
    Shout praises to our God and King;
    Above the rest these words we'll tell--
    All is well! All is well!
  4. 4. And should we die before our journey's through,
    Happy day! All is well!
    We then are free from toil and sorrow, too;
    With the just we shall dwell!
    But if our lives are spared again
    To see the Saints their rest obtain,
    Oh, how we'll make this chorus swell--
    All is well! All is well!
  5. Text: William Clayton, 1814-1879
    Music: English folk song

Saturday, November 19, 2016

LDS Hymn #29

Another very well-beloved hymn today because of its beautiful lyrics which teach a wonderful lesson, its very singable tune which is quite far from the typical chord-chord-chord, and its tie to a significant event in our Church's history as this was the hymn Joseph Smith, Jr. asked John Taylor to sing while they were imprisoned in Carthage Jail, where only a few hours later Joseph would be killed by a mob. The first five verses tell different stories of how the singer provides service to someone in need. It is a toss up whether it could be read as the same poor wayfaring man in each verse, or several different men the singer is helping. At least until you get to the last few verses. The symbolism is, of course, to serve poor wayfaring person who come across our path whom we are able to help. In either case, the singer who is serving the wayfarer always finds themself very blessed and in unexpected ways because of the sacrifice given to offer these services. Then verse 6 and 7 are the concluding story, the most beautiful and uplifting to me when the singer offers the ultimate sacrifice of their own life if needed, and then the Savior reveals Himself to basically say "Well done thou good and faithful servant" because all of the service rendered to the wayfarer(s) was unto Him. So, so beautiful.

The hymn, being 7 verses long, (and 5 lines each verse!) is almost always shortened. In any performance or recording I have ever heard, all but 1 have shortened. "Understandable" in some cases because some in congregations who are not fans of singing get bored or tired (the latter being much more understandable to me than the first). Now, with those 5 verses being separate stories, it makes sense to leave out 1 or 2 or 3 and still convey the message of serving and how that service is rendered unto God, too. But many, especially in congregations, choose to leave off the last 4 and only sing the first 3. In doing that, they leave off the most beautiful, sweet part of the entire hymn!

So it would be more seemly to leave out verses in the middle. But, ahhh, leaving out! So painful to me. In that case it is like saying "Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess. And they lived happily ever after." Where is the middle? The fabulous part of the substance of the story or message. A wonderful, beautiful ending is great, but it lacks its poignancy and significance if what led up to it is taken away. Plus! Then you have to choose which of the wonderful verses to leave out.

Verse 1: Introducing the wayfarer(s) who often crosses the path--and how could we turn down offering them help?--Something in his eye that won my life; I knew not why
Verse 2: Sacrificing the need for food (basic, vital need)--I gave him all; he blessed it
Verse 3: Sacrificing the need for water (basic, vital need)--I ran and raised the suff'rer up
Verse 4: Sacrificing comfort to offer shelter and rest (another basic need--not necessarily the comfort part, though that helps a great deal in getting a proper rest, but in shelter when one has very little in that to offer as well)--To bid him welcome...and cheered my guest
Verse 5: Sacrificing one's own need of healing to heal another (which contains some of my favorite, more personal-connection lines "I had myself a wound concealed But from that hour forgot the smart, And peace bound up my broken heart"_
Verse 6: To see this simple person falsely accused and condemned, and stand up for them at cost of reputation and moreso at cost of life--The flesh was weak; my blood ran chill, But my free spirit cried, "I will!"
Verse 7: The Savior accepting all of our sacrifices and deeds--"Of me thou hast not been ashamed."

I think it is a shame that we do not sing all 7. And in all honesty, I have not picked this hymn yet in my time as music director because I don't want people to be grouchy because we sing all the verses of this amazing hymn.

From the history book
The poem was called "The Stranger" and first appeared in 1834 in an anthology of verse. I had always wondered if the author was LDS, because of the time when the Saints embraced the hymn and began to sing it. But it sounds as if he was not. Which is fine, as these words illustrated a New Testament scripture that is relevant to all of us. The book, of course, mentions the significance of the hymn because of our Church history ties. The composer was a reverend in New York, and our current tune is "a rather elaborate variation" of it.


  1. 1. A poor, wayfaring Man of grief
    Hath often crossed me on my way,
    Who sued so humbly for relief
    That I could never answer nay.
    I had not pow'r to ask his name,
    Whereto he went, or whence he came;
    Yet there was something in his eye
    That won my love; I knew not why.
  2. 2. Once, when my scanty meal was spread,
    He entered; not a word he spake,
    Just perishing for want of bread.
    I gave him all; he blessed it, brake,
    And ate, but gave me part again.
    Mine was an angel's portion then,
    For while I fed with eager haste,
    The crust was manna to my taste.
  3. 3. I spied him where a fountain burst
    Clear from the rock; his strength was gone.
    The heedless water mocked his thirst;
    He heard it, saw it hurrying on.
    I ran and raised the suff'rer up;
    Thrice from the stream he drained my cup,
    Dipped and returned it running o'er;
    I drank and never thirsted more.
  4. 4. 'Twas night; the floods were out; it blew
    A winter hurricane aloof.
    I heard his voice abroad and flew
    To bid him welcome to my roof.
    I warmed and clothed and cheered my guest
    And laid him on my couch to rest,
    Then made the earth my bed and seemed
    In Eden's garden while I dreamed.
  5. 5. Stript, wounded, beaten nigh to death,
    I found him by the highway side.
    I roused his pulse, brought back his breath,
    Revived his spirit, and supplied
    Wine, oil, refreshment--he was healed.
    I had myself a wound concealed,
    But from that hour forgot the smart,
    And peace bound up my broken heart.
  6. 6. In pris'n I saw him next, condemned
    To meet a traitor's doom at morn.
    The tide of lying tongues I stemmed,
    And honored him 'mid shame and scorn.
    My friendship's utmost zeal to try,
    He asked if I for him would die.
    The flesh was weak; my blood ran chill,
    But my free spirit cried, "I will!"
  7. 7. Then in a moment to my view
    The stranger started from disguise.
    The tokens in his hands I knew;
    The Savior stood before mine eyes.
    He spake, and my poor name he named,
    "Of me thou hast not been ashamed.
    These deeds shall thy memorial be;
    Fear not, thou didst them unto me."
  8. Text: James Montgomery, 1771-1854
    Music: George Coles, 1792-1858, alt.
    Hymn sung prior to the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith. See History of the Church, 6:614-15.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

LDS Hymn #28

(Personal note! My baby bro is in this choir! My thoughts would be that he knows this one well, and perhaps it is a little closer to his heart than others.)

This hymn has very rarely been sung in my lifetime. I feel even worse for lesser-known hymns like this, which share a page spread with a well-known, often sung hymn. How sad that poor hymn must feel to be opened to so much, but never sung! At least it wasn't one that used to be sung and was forgotten over time. I believe this one was written for the 1985 hymnal. Which means it has been neglected all of its life..... Hmm. I think this poor hymn needs a little bit of love! I don't know the tune by heart, but I can tell from the musical notation that it is a moving one, which I love. Of course, most congregations full of many who don't know how to read music would not do well with the movement like that. They need those chords. Perhaps that is why it doesn't get sung much. The words almost make it feel like it was written when the Gospel was newly restored, not 150+ years later. Still, the sentiments of joy and freedom and excitement that the truth is restored and is going forth among the world are just as prevalent today as they were then. Maybe moreso to a degree because we see it moving forward at a great pace and growing beyond belief.

From the history book
The lyricist was inspired by a Conference talk in 1972 that told of the growth of the Church and as a missionary got to have a personal role in sharing the gospel in the world. He used Old Testament imagery in the text. The composer "wanted to write a short, energetic piece not unlike the spirited pieces of English origin." It says that the first 2 measures of the song constitute most of the tune with slight variation. Meaning that congregations "should feel secure when singing the melody for the first time." Ha ha ha!!! Sorry. I find that funny considering my thoughts before I read the history. Well, you can be sure I have our ward sing this one after the holiday season.


  1. 1. Saints, behold how great Jehovah
    Hath his blessings on you shed.
    Zion ev'rywhere is growing
    As the gospel light is spread!
  2. 2. Out of all past dispensations,
    God is bringing into one
    Ev'ry truth by prophets spoken,
    For the last days have begun.
  3. 3. Rise and lift up Zion's standard;
    Tell our Father's children now:
    Heaven's blessed King approaches;
    All men must before him bow.
  4. Text: Douglas W. Stott, b. 1925. (c) 1985 IRI
    Music: A. Laurence Lyon,1934-2006. (c) 1985 IRI

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

LDS Hymn #27

In my opinion, this is one of the most fun songs to sing with its melody, constantly moving parts. I sometimes would get bored by the "chord-chord-chord" nature of most typical hymns. This is may be composed of chords, but it also has so much movement. And I love it! Of course, that credit cannot be given to the early Saints since it is based on a Scottish folk song (yay heritage!) and is one I often hear bagpipe bands play. Then again, the majority of bagpipe bands I listen to are here in Utah. I wonder if ones outside of Utah play this tune as much. Hmmmm... Well, whatever the case, I love this tune.

I also love the words. This hymn shows how we praise and honor Joseph Smith, but we do not worship him. We acknowledge what amazing things he did as an instrument in God's hands to restore the fulness of the Gospel, the priesthood keys, and enable salvation for the living and the dead. To have endured so much suffering and do so overall with an optimistic, upbeat attitude about life. His cheerful disposition. His love for people and life. His tireless work ethic. As a man, he was pretty amazing. And then to be the main instrument to help us--the world!--again fully access the Lord's Atonement and promised blessings of exaltation, my joy is great that Joseph the Prophet sacrificed so much for me and all of mankind. So I find the greatest joy in singing his praises with this song--in the most fun, upbeat way possible!

I am excited for this coming Sunday because this year the Primary (the children's organization) learned two of the verses to sing in their program. I actually was substituting as the Primary chorister during the month they were to learn it. Teaching it to them was interesting and hilarious. I always like to teach actions in songs to little kids, which the majority of our Primary is quite young. And we came up with the actions on the spot. Absolutely hilarious. I think the adult leaders' favorite was the action for "mingling with gods." I aim to please. :-)

Favorite line: "Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven." I remember a talk given on that and it really resonated with me.

From the history book
Another hymn by the talented William W. Phelps, a close friend of the Prophet Joseph--who had his own forgiveness story with him which has always touched me. Phelps wrote this to express grief and admiration for his lost prophet and friend. This song is described as having a "joyful sadness." Agreed. For it has always been a huge sorrow to me for how Joseph Smith died, yet it set him free from the mobs and hypocrites.

The second verse originally was more specific to where he was martyred, but in 1927 they changed the wording to fir the "good neighbor" policy of the Church. The original text was first printed in 1844. Though it was Brother Phelps hymn, the first verse seems to be based on Sir Walter Scott's Lady of the Lake. They think it was likely that in the early days of the hymn, it was sung to the "Hail to the Chief" tune, and moved to the current "Scotland the Brave" tune after they moved to Utah. And thank goodness for that!!!


  1. 1. Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah!
    Jesus anointed that Prophet and Seer.
    Blessed to open the last dispensation,
    Kings shall extol him, and nations revere.
  2. (Chorus]
    Hail to the Prophet, ascended to heaven!
    Traitors and tyrants now fight him in vain.
    Mingling with Gods, he can plan for his brethren;
    Death cannot conquer the hero again.
  3. 2. Praise to his mem'ry, he died as a martyr;
    Honored and blest be his ever great name!
    Long shall his blood, which was shed by assassins,
    Plead unto heav'n while the earth lauds his fame.
  4. 3. Great is his glory and endless his priesthood.
    Ever and ever the keys he will hold.
    Faithful and true, he will enter his kingdom,
    Crowned in the midst of the prophets of old.
  5. 4. Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven;
    Earth must atone for the blood of that man.
    Wake up the world for the conflict of justice.
    Millions shall know "Brother Joseph" again.
  6. Text: William W. Phelps, 1792-1872
    Music: Scottish folk song