This is a hymn that I am 50-50 familiar with. I don't know the words by memory. I can probably hum about 50% of it correctly. Yet it isn't one that I have no idea about. It's a short one--have to be familiar with those to fit in when we do long hymns. Ah, spoken like a Ward Music Director. :-)
The hymn is not sung a lot, that I remember from my lifetime. Yet it isn't completely unknown. Does that explain the 50-50 description? It may apply to quite a few hymns in the book for me. Others would say, "I've never heard this hymn!" And they could be right, though I hear them say that about hymns that I know were sung in Conference in the previous few years.... Ah, the tonal memory of a Music Lover.
I love that this song is a plea to Heavenly Father to help us grow. It is our purpose on earth--to grow and become like Him. I love
For if we are to change, it will not be easy. We will have to go through fire (trials and tribulations) so we are malleable and able to be shaped the way He has in mind for us. The way He knows will be best for us.
I also like
For we our spirits are young, no matter what are earthly age may be. And I know for me, I am eager to learn all that Heavenly Father can offer. Eager to grow. And I need Him to help me one step at a time in that.
Verse 3 is all pretty awesome, too. I really like it when we refer to God as merciful, for so many choose to see the side where he has to execute justice. He cannot be God if He does not follow through on what He said He would. And yet over and over He extends His arm of mercy. That is what I see the most, and I will cherish it.
From the history book
The author stated "I am not prepared to go so far as to say this was inspiration [writing the text in an hour], but certainly the hymn almost wrote itself, and I didn't struggle over it as I have done over many of the other things I have written." Brother Bennett wrote it because with the 1948/1950 hymnal, the committee noticed there weren't very many hymns especially suitable for Priesthood meetings. The head of the committee wrote the music, and the tune name Elsie is for his first wife. Each year near his birthday, Brother Bennett's SLC ward would sing this hymn in his honor. :-)