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!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

LDS Hymn #208

Hymn #208 - O Little Town of Bethlehem

I typically think of this song with the previous hymn (#207) because of their possibilities sharing the same tune. They also both tell a story in the first 2 verses, and then the 3rd verse reminds of the wonder, joy, promise, and excitement for why that humble birth story is so amazing. That 3rd verse is fabulous, because it contains one of the best messages in all the hymns: "No ear may hear his coming; But in this world of sin, Where meek souls will receive him, still The dear Christ enters in." It is similar to the phrase I like of "Wise men still seek Him." We must seek for Him, and be ready and open to receive Him as we find Him.

From the history book
The author Phillips Brooks was a Harvard-trained minister who based this hymn on memories of a visit to the Holy Land. He spent Christmas in Bethlehem in 1865. Three years later he wrote this hymn. I love that--he wrote about that little town, having actual memories of being there. The composer was the superintendent of  Brooks' Sunday School as well as the church organist. There were two other verses, though Brooks himself removed the fourth. Some hymnals still print the 5th verse, as the 4th.


  1. 1. O little town of Bethlehem,
    How still we see thee lie.
    Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
    The silent stars go by;
    Yet in thy dark streets shineth
    The everlasting Light.
    The hopes and fears of all the years
    Are met in thee tonight.
  2. 2. For Christ is born of Mary,
    And, gathered all above
    While mortals sleep, the angels keep
    Their watch of wond'ring love.
    O morning stars, together
    Proclaim the holy birth,
    And praises sing to God the King,
    And peace to men on earth.
  3. 3. How silently, how silently
    The wondrous gift is giv'n!
    So God imparts to human hearts
    The blessings of his heav'n.
    No ear may hear his coming;
    But in this world of sin,
    Where meek souls will receive him, still
    The dear Christ enters in.
  4. Text: Phillips Brooks, 1835-1893
    Music: Lewis H. Redner, 1831-1908

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