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, October 11, 2017

So....

So, I guess I forgot to mention, but something happened in my life over the last year.

I found and married a man far better than Henry Tilney himself.

A new direction for my Happily Ever After has come about.

And I am loving every bit of it.



Monday, February 20, 2017

LDS Hymn #69



In the key of C, this is one of my easier hymns to play and it even has some moving parts. Though there are parts my small hands cannot reach the span in the men's parts. Still in the Praising section, this has a more older feel to its language (and I looked at the composer and lyricist info--makes sense why!). May favorite part is all of Verse 3, mentioning the songs sung before He was crucified and resurrected, and then the songs we sing to Him now that He is exalted and asking Him to accept our praises and love now.

From the history book
I like that it mentions on what we call Palm Sunday there were crowds of joyous followers, yet after he was arrested their loyalty faded. Then it asks "Are we among those who will remain faithful to the Savior in times of persecution and hardship? This song was originally a Latin hymn that was 78 lines long! It was written in 820 A.D., intended as a processional hymn on Palm Sunday. There is a legend associated with the hymn: The author was imprisoned by an emperor because the latter thought he was conspiring against him with his relatives. During the procession in Orleans while the emperor was visiting, they happened to stop under the tower where the composer was imprisoned and a voice was heard singing this hymn over the procession. The emperor wanted to know who the unseen singer was and was moved by what he heard. He pardoned his prisoner and sent him back to being a bishop. The legend they believe is fake, but shows how popular the hymn has been--lasting well over a thousand years in Christianity. The current hymnal is the first time an LDS hymnal included this hymn. A word change to reflect our doctrine (praise and love rather than prayer). And the tune is always what is paired with this hymn, which matches a marching processional.

Lyrics

  1. 1. All glory, laud, and honor
    To thee, Redeemer, King,
    To whom the lips of children
    Made sweet hosannas ring.
    Thou art the King of Israel,
    Thou David's royal Son,
    Who in the Lord's name comest,
    The King and Blessed One.
  2. 2. The company of angels
    Are praising thee on high,
    And mortal men and all things
    Created make reply.
    The people of the Hebrews
    With palms before thee went;
    Our praise and love and anthems
    Before thee we present.
  3. 3. To thee, before thy passion,
    They sang their hymns of praise;
    To thee, now high exalted,
    Our melody we raise.
    Thou didst accept their praises;
    Accept the love we bring,
    Who in all good delightest,
    Thou good and gracious King.
  4. Text: Theodulph of Orleans, ca. 760-821
    Music: Melchior Teschner, 1584-1635

Friday, February 17, 2017

LDS Hymn #68



Much of Christianity is familiar with this hymn. I remember liking it when I was younger. Liked hearing it sung. And all those fermatas made it stand out. But then somewhere--perhaps Seminary, maybe college--when it would get sung whoever was leading would hold out those fermatas to a ridiculous amount of time, dragging out the song instead of letting it be one of praise and honor. It got to be a little frustrating for me. In recent years, I have been able to choose and lead the music. Fermatas are a director's great power in holding as long as they wish. So I would have been able to keep them shorter and not drag the song. But I discovered that I don't lead fermatas well at all. I think I only picked it once. But it isn't the song's fault that I haven't been as much a fan of it. I should reacquaint myself with the majestic words matching the majestic tune. And appreciate that it is one I am able to play fairly easily. My favorite line inspite of "our differences :-) has always been: "He overcometh all."

From the history book
The hymn dated back to 1529, with the first line etched on author Martin Luther's tomb. It is inspired by Psalm 46. Its original language was German and has been translated into many others. Luther believed in the importance of musical worship and wanted to set up congregational singing throughout Protestant churches. The book contains quotes related to that. I particularly like Luther's own stating, "music is a gift and grace of God, not an invention of men." Apparently there are 3 other verses that most hymnals include. The LDS hymnal only includes the first (which adapted version of lyrics I included here).

1. A mighty fortress is our God,
a tower of strength never failing.
A helper mighty is our God
O'er ills of life prevailing.
He overcometh all.
He saveth from the Fall.
His might and pow'r are great.
He all things did create.
And he shall reign for evermore.

2. Did we in our own strength confide,
our striving would be losing,
were not the right man on our side,
the man of God's own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is he;
Lord Sabaoth, his name,
from age to age the same,
and he must win the battle.

3. And though this world, with devils filled,
should threaten to undo us,
we will not fear, for God hath willed
his truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim,
we tremble not for him;
his rage we can endure,
for lo, his doom is sure;
one little word shall fell him.

4. That word above all earthly powers,
no thanks to them, abideth;
the Spirit and the gifts are ours,
thru him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go,
this mortal life also;
the body they may kill;
God's truth abideth still;
his kingdom is forever.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

LDS Hymn #67

Hymn #67 - Glory to God on High


Always liked this hymn for its praising nature, its simplicity to sing, its easiness to play, and those two unison measures in the middle to bring us together as we praise His name. Love all the words. They state messages of the Atonement. The song invites us here on earth and those in heaven to join together in one song of love. Ah--beautiful!!

From the history book
That song mentioned correlates to the one mentioned in Revelation 5:9-13, which this hymn is an adaptation of. The tune name is Italian Hymn which honors the composer's nationality. It was published in 1761 and included in most Christian hymnals, though the text is not generally the same even if it is still of praise.

Lyrics

  1. 1. Glory to God on high!
    Let heav'n and earth reply.
    Praise ye his name.
    His love and grace adore,
    Who all our sorrows bore.
    Sing aloud evermore:
    Worthy the Lamb!
  2. 2. Jesus, our Lord and God,
    Bore sin's tremendous load.
    Praise ye his name.
    Tell what his arm has done,
    What spoils from death he won.
    Sing his great name alone:
    Worthy the Lamb!
  3. 3. Let all the hosts above
    Join in one song of love,
    Praising his name.
    To him ascribed be
    Honor and majesty
    Thru all eternity:
    Worthy the Lamb!
  4. Text: James Allen, 1734-1804, alt.
    Music: Felice de Giardini, 1716-1796

Thursday, February 9, 2017

LDS Hymn #66



The Praising section of the hymnbook is one of my favorites, as my favorite way to praise my Heavenly Father and my Savior is with song. And these songs allow me to do so in great fervor and spirit and joy--with all of me in the one talent I am (for now) best at. This particular hymn is sung often--in Conferences, in regular Sunday meetings. Quite often, for which I am glad. It really stands out for the measures when the music is written in unison, unifying the singers together in two ways instead of just one. But when the parts split, they just drive the message home more. And then the chorus is perfect with the words "Lift up your heart! Lift up your voice!" as it slowly ascends. Even with its dotted rhythms and accidentals (luckily in the key of C!), this is one that I have enjoyed playing and don't have too much difficulty in playing. So for me, this song excels in its composition, text, spirit, musicality, ease of play, and feeling.

From the history book
Based on the scripture Philippians 4:4. The tune was written in 1894 for these words and was given the name JUBILATE, which means "rejoice" in Latin. She also points out how perfectly suited the tune is to the text. Other hymnals have another verse: "Rejoice in glorious hope! Our Lord the Judge shall come, And take his servants up To their eternal home." Many other denominations use a different tune called DARWALL, which is what the current LDS hymnal uses for Hymn #265 ("Arise O God and Shine"), with a word change in line two to match syllables and notes. DARWALL also has an upward movement which words for the words.

Nothing said about Charles Wesley, the lyricist. According to Wikipedia, he was an English leader of the Methodist movement who wrote more than 6,000 hymns. This is the 1st of 6 of his hymns that we have in our hymnal, though I already wrote about one of the Christmas ones, and one of the the "New Year's ones" which I haven't written about yet but which my ward choir is working on right now. He writes some good rejoicing music for singers!

Lyrics

  1. 1. Rejoice, the Lord is King!
    Your Lord and King adore!
    Mortals, give thanks and sing
    And triumph evermore.
  2. (Chorus)
    Lift up your heart! Lift up your voice!
    Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!
    Lift up your heart! Lift up your voice!
    Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!
  3. 2. The Lord, the Savior, reigns,
    The God of truth and love.
    When he had purged our stains,
    He took his seat above.
  4. 3. His kingdom cannot fail;
    He rules o'er earth and heav'n.
    The keys of death and hell
    To Christ the Lord are giv'n.
  5. Text: Charles Wesley, 1707-1788
    Music: Horatio Parker, 1863-1919

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

LDS Hymn #65




(This confused me, since a couple of rhythms were wrong, and I wondered why the first time through he skipped the middle line unless he thought the two repeated lines unnecessary. Then I figured out he was playing the full introduction as suggested in the hymnal.)

Not an often-sung hymn in our congregations, even though it is written by Our Brother Phelps and included in the first hymnal. Perhaps it is that 2/2 time signature. Eep. Of the "normal" time signatures, I think I have discovered that one is my least favorite. Especially in a hymn like this when it has so many quarter notes, yet they aren't quarter notes. (Forgive my lack of musical theory skills and knowledge because I don't know how else to describe them.) The melody is extremely simple. And the basses get some very nice notes--my choir would be envious because I keep giving them high notes. Oops.

A nice praising song of our Lord, particularly the first 2 verses. The last 2 are more about being righteous so we can return to live with Him again. Also, this hymn could technically be shorter, since there are 3 lines, and line 2 and 3 are exactly the same in each verse. So one could find a melody that fit only line 1 and 2 of the song and make it work. (Oh! I found one!!) Apparently I played this in my early organ lesson days when I didn't have to worry so much on the pedal. I should really consider it for my choir on one of our easier months.

From the history book
Though included in the first hymnal, this song does not dwell on any of the hardships they were facing. It was simply about praising and rejoicing. She mentions how this one will appeal to those who love to sing hymns, particularly for the reference of singing praises in verse 1 and verse 4 (where we join a heavenly choir). Agreed. I as a lover of hymns and hymn singing particularly love those hymns that refer to singing praises. There is a fabulous paragraph she writes with a nod to us ward music directors, but I love her last line: "The words of this hymn are an excellent tonic for anyone who has fallen into the habit of half-hearted hymn-singing." Shame on them, though it happens too often. So I like that whether serious or slight jest, she addressed that. In verse 2, Brother Phelps simply stated in just 8 words the central message of Christianity in alluding to the Atonement and reminding us of its importance.

She talks about the rhythm and measures and such, but she used just enough theory jargon to put it out of my un-theory trained understanding. Brother Cornwall said "The rhythm of this hymn tine is the musical reason for its inclusion," and yet I feel that is the reason it is no longer sung! But well done to William Bradbury for something unique, even if I don't understand it.

Lyrics

  1. 1. Come, all ye Saints who dwell on earth,
    Your cheerful voices raise,
    Our great Redeemer's love to sing,
    And celebrate his praise,
    Our great Redeemer's love to sing,
    And celebrate his praise.
  2. 2. His love is great; he died for us.
    Shall we ungrateful be,
    Since he has marked a road to bliss
    And said, "Come, follow me,"
    Since he has marked a road to bliss
    And said, "Come, follow me"?
  3. 3. The straight and narrow way we've found!
    Then let us travel on,
    Till we, in the celestial world,
    Shall meet where Christ is gone,
    Till we, in the celestial world,
    Shall meet where Christ is gone.
  4. 4. And there we'll join the heav'nly choir
    And sing his praise above,
    While endless ages roll around,
    Perfected by his love,
    While endless ages roll around,
    Perfected by his love.
  5. Text: William W. Phelps, 1792-1872. Included in the first LDS hymnbook, 1835.
    Music: William B. Bradbury, 1816-1868

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

LDS Hymn #64



Another praising song with Alleluias! This time they are not scattered in the verse like Hymn #62, but are the opening part of the chorus. I adore the chorus of this song! All about rejoicing through song. That always gets to my heart. And the tune of this one is fabulous--goes perfectly with the attitude of praising and joy. Generally sung on Sundays because of the reference to being in a place of worship. But often sung in General Conferences and other times we meet together as Saints. Text and music written by the same composer of Hymn #63.

From the history book
Dr. Robertson was the chairman of the General Church Music Committee. At the time, youth choruses were being encoraged, so he wrote this song for them in hopes of bringing "music of great quality to the youth of the LDS Church." What we have in our hymnal is abridge and adapted from his original anthem. Generally Brother Robertson set already written words to music, but he wanted to write the words for this as well. His daughter said, "My father always loved to set to music the Hebrew word Alleluia, probably because of its inherently beautiful sounds, its historical importance, and its meaning." And he does a wonderful job at it!

His daughter also pointed out that the three basic elements of a hymn are that it is 1) a song 2) of praise 3) to the Lord. And this song is all 3.

Here is another video with the song sung a little more reflective than general, which is not only beautiful because of that, but because it is our BYU choir men. *Sigh* Anything sounds better with men who can sing singing it! :-) PLUS! I believe this was one of Dr. Staheli's last performances as a conductor before he retired. I miss singing under his leadership.

Lyrics

  1. 1. On this day of joy and gladness,
    Lord, we praise thy holy name;
    In this sacred place of worship,
    We thy glories loud proclaim!
  2. (Chorus)
    Alleluia, Alleluia,
    Bright and clear our voices ring,
    Singing songs of exultation
    To our Maker, Lord, and King!
  3. 2. Open wide the fount of Zion;
    Let her richest blessings flow
    To the Saints who nobly serve thee
    In the gospel here below.
  4. 3. May we labor in the kingdom--
    By the prophets long foretold--
    Where the children of the promise
    Shall be gathered in the fold.
  5. Text and music: Leroy J. Robertson, 1896-1971
    (c) 1980 IRI

Monday, February 6, 2017

LDS Hymn #63


A hymn not often sung in our congregations. A fairly simple melody and only two verses. Seems like an obvious choice to me, but, well..... Yeah. Part of the praising songs. The first verse works especially well for the close of a meeting because, at least for me, that is how I feel after being fed by the Spirit--longing to raise my heart in prayer and praise.

From the history book
It points out that the hymn unites two thoughts--prayer of gratitude and then our realization that the wonders of nature also praise God. This connects with Psalm 145:10--"All they works shall praise thee, O Lord." She also quotes Ralph Waldo Emerson when he said "Therefore is Nature ever the ally of Religion: lends all her pomp and riches to the religious sentiment." So true!

Lyrics

  1. 1. Great King of heav'n, our hearts we raise
    To thee in prayer, to thee in praise.
    The vales exult, the hills acclaim,
    And all thy works revere thy name.
  2. 2. O Israel's God! Thine arm is strong.
    To thee all earth and skies belong,
    And with one voice in one glad chord,
    With myriad echoes, praise the Lord.
  3. Text: Carrie Stockdale Thomas, 1848-1931. (c) 1948 IRI
    Music: Leroy J. Robertson, 1896-1971. (c) 1948 IRI

Sunday, February 5, 2017

LDS Hymn #62



One of my most favoritest of favorite hymns. When I am asked to pick JUST one (do people understand just how hard favorites are for passionate people like me?!), this is the hymn that I go with. Always having a thing for the "Alleluia hymns," this hymn stood out as a child. But then seeing its role in the LDS Church movie "Mountain of the Lord" when I was a tween (and thus watching that movie countless times for the many years following), it took on another meaning. I no longer wanted to just sing the hymns in Church. I wanted to sing them with feeling and testimony and the praise due to them--especially when they are praising hymns like this one! Joy of joys that this hymn in 3 flats (one of my hardest keys to play) with a random 3/2 time signature and accidentals scattered as well as ranges that my small hands cannot reach and is one of those fast upbeat hymns that I always struggle with is still one that I have managed to learn and be able to play. A true blessing from the Lord to help me be able to play one of my most favoritest of favorite hymns.

As my voice developed over time into a 3 octave range, I reveled in getting to sing high notes in Church, when often lower register hymns were chosen because not many--especially of our elder members--can hit those high notes. But oh the joy to praise in full, top voice those high notes of "Alleluia!" Just like my choir director Kelly DeHaan would talk about in our Sterling Singers choirsides. Sometimes one just has to bear their testimony fortissimo--and singing is the only way we're allowed to do so in our meetings. So why not embrace that opportunity when it comes?

Every time this song comes up, I possibly sing a little louder than any other hymn. Because it is perfect. Not only does it have those "Alleluias" scattered throughout the song, the words for a nature lover like me thrill me to the very core. (Yes, I know--I am waxing eloquent like Anne Shirley, but it cannot be helped--that is how beautiful songs and the glorious world Heavenly Father has created for us affect me.) But the words don't have to be just about the wondrous things in nature singing back to praise their Creator. Those parts of nature are symbolic of us, and how we can praise, too.

"Lift up your voice and with us sing"
"Make music for thy Lord to hear" (I adore that line)
"In praise rejoice"
"Find a voice"
"That gives to man both warmth and light"

We are also His creations. And we should join together as His children to praise and thank him for all that we are and have: in us as children of God, as human beings, and for the beauty of all that is around us--created for us. Truly it is a "How can I keep from singing" moment! And this song evokes and enables those emotions for me.

Because of copyright, I cannot share they lyrics or sheet music, which are also not on the LDS hymns page. But this is not a hymn singular to the LDS church. So many other religions know this, because it was the amazing St. Francis of Assisi who wrote it. (I don't really know much else about him, but he has always had a fond place in my heart for writing this hymn I love so much.) But I feel the video above helps in at least you getting to hear it, as well as some of the beauties of the world that they included with the video.

From the history book (excited to read this!)
"It is a joyous inventory of the blessings heaped upon us by a loving Creator as each of His creations is urged to join in a chorus of praise." So well said. St. Francis became weak and suffered periods of temporary blindness. He knew he would not live much longer, so he composed a hymn "declaring one final time his love for the simple things of nature and praising God for them. His feeling of unity with nature was all-inclusive and highly personal; the original version addresses the sun, wind, and fire as 'brothers,' the moon and water as 'sisters,' and the earth, as retained in our version, as 'mother.'" He added another stanza addressed to our sister death. "Such were his feelings of peace as his life closed."

The original hymn was in vulgar Latin, the language of the common people in St Francis' time. William Draper translated the version the LDS use in their hymnal, writing it for a schoolchildren's festival in England. He condensed the words and added in the "Alleluias" (woohoo!). The tune was first printed in 1623 in Germany, and its title translates to "Let us rejoice." Quite fitting.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

LDS Hymn #61


One of the shortest hymns in the book. Simple message and a simple tune. Yet we never sing this one. This is the first in the "Praising" section. (I gave it that name.) My favorite line is "Let our song still our joy and praise prolong."

From the history book
The hymn was written to be at the close of meetings. I love how she points out that in our meetings "the responsibility for what is occurring rests with one individual at a time" in talks, prayers, or in small groups like a musical number or new callings. But at the end of the meeting "all individuals join together in one expression of heartfelt praise," bringing the congregation together and making them whole. This hymn first appeared in 1927. It is in a chorale style, which used to be written in half-note rhythms but changed to quarter notes for the current hymnal so that it wouldn't invite a slow tempe (like those 2/2 hymns I have already written of my frustrations!).

Lyrics

  1. 1. Raise your voices to the Lord,
    Ye who here have heard his word.
    As we part, his praise proclaim,
    Shout thanksgiving to his name.
  2. 2. Shout thanksgiving! Let our song
    Still our joy and praise prolong,
    Until here we meet again
    To renew the glad refrain.
  3. Text and music: Evan Stephens, 1854-1930

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

LDS Hymn #60




 When have I not known this hymn? Not originally an LDS hymn, this is one I can join many of other faiths and sing with gusto and faith about our great Lord. I know from my experiences with this hymn that it was "made popular" because it was sung so much in the U.S. Civil War. Those men--both sides--were fighting for what they believed were their rights and freedom. Rights to live free, basically. And many on both sides probably felt their cause was just and that God would guide them in their fight. I am very grateful that the Lord did eventually bless us to keep our country together. If we can only continue to do so today when so much internal contention is tearing us apart.

I grew up with recordings of this hymn, mostly sung by MoTab, and of course being THE recording. My favorite arrangement. So I was thrilled when I toured Europe with the band and choir that this was one of the numbers we did together. Up till then it had always been a boisterous, wahoo-our-Lord-is-wonderful kind of song. Another one looking forward to His coming (thus still a Second Coming song). But it was not until I sang it in a cathedral in Paris, where my view took in a statue of my Savior on the cross that the last verse truly struck home with how spiritual the song can be to those who open up to its message of healing, strength, Atonement, and courage. I have never been able to sing this song the same since!

(Except for perhaps the time our visiting Nauvoo group sang it on one of our travels and the chorister led it SOOOOO slowly that we all believed that army was never going to make it.)

From the history book
The author of this hymn, Julia Ward Howe, just before the Civil War began, heard this familiar tune--often sung to words comic or satirical--being sung with words about John Brown's body. (Having studied West Virginia history, I was familiar with that version as well.) Her former pastor was visiting from Boston and encouraged her to write more uplifting words. She woke one morning with a poem in her mind, and hurried up to write it before she forgot. It was first published in 1862 and spread rapidly. It was originally written as a battle cry for the North side of the Civil War. But as the book says, "its meaning far transcends the original purpose." Other hymnals have 2 other verses, one concerning the Civil War background (which is in the version that is close to my heart) and one about the Second Coming:

I have seen him in the watchfires of a hundred circling camps;
They have builded him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read his righteous sentence in the dim and flaring lamps;
His day is marching on.

He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave;
He is wisdom to the mighty, he is honor to the brave;
So the world shall be his footstool, and the soul or wrong his slave.
Our God is marching on.

This hymn was sung in early hymnody, but not in the 1950 hymnal. It was brought back in 1985, to which I am very grateful. I do love this song.

Lyrics

  1. 1. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
    He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored.
    He hath loosed the fateful lightning of his terrible, swift sword;
    His truth is marching on.
  2. (Chorus)
    Glory, glory, hallelujah!
    Glory, glory, hallelujah!
    Glory, glory, hallelujah!
    His truth is marching on.
  3. 2. He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
    He is sifting out the hearts of men before his judgment seat.
    Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer him; be jubilant my feet!
    Our God is marching on.
  4. 3. In the beauty of the lilies, Christ was born across the sea,
    With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me.
    As he died to make men holy, let us live to make men free,
    While God is marching on.
  5. Text: Julia Ward Howe, 1819-1910
    Music: Anon., ca. 1861
(Here is the actual recording of SOA singing the song--right after the exact experience that it forever touched my heart: )

 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

LDS Hymn #59



This is such a fun hymn to sing! Lots of movement. Fun to play on the piano, but much harder on the organ when you have to make it legato. Then you have the echoing tenor and bass on the third line--always love those. I have sung this song so many times, and knew we were singing about our desire for the Lord to come. Somehow I never put it together that it was singing about the Second Coming and Millennium. Last song of that in its section. Not sure why I never quite connected. But it is still wonderful!

Favorite lines:
*With healing in thy wings
*With songs of joy, a happier strain
*The wide expanse of heaven fill
*And ev'ry tongue sounds praise to thee

From the history book
Our wonderful Parley P. Pratt had this hymn published in 1840. They're not sure the story behind his writing it, but Brother George Pyper feels it was probably written amidst the trial in Missouri when the Saints would most especially be looking forward to the Savior coming again and taking way the pain, leaving behind joy and rejoicing. Even if not written during those trials, the memory of them likely remained freshly. The 1950 hymnal had the last two verses printed below the hymn and rarely sung, so they put them up with the other hymns to be sung more. Ironic that even then they knew about congregations' bad habit of not singing all verses, particularly ones printed below the music. Yet the current hymnal still has hymns printed that way and the verses are sadly neglected.

Lyrics

  1. 1. Come, O thou King of Kings!
    We've waited long for thee,
    With healing in thy wings,
    To set thy people free.
    Come, thou desire of nations, come;
    Let Israel now be gathered home.
  2. 2. Come, make an end to sin,
    And cleanse the earth by fire,
    And righteousness bring in,
    That Saints may tune the lyre
    With songs of joy, a happier strain,
    To welcome in thy peaceful reign.
  3. 3. Hosannas now shall sound
    From all the ransomed throng,
    And glory echo round
    A new triumphal song;
    The wide expanse of heaven fill
    With anthems sweet from Zion's hill.
  4. 4. Hail! Prince of life and peace!
    Thrice welcome to thy throne!
    While all the chosen race
    Their Lord and Savior own,
    The heathen nations bow the knee,
    And ev'ry tongue sounds praise to thee.
  5. Text: Parley P. Pratt, 1807-1857
    Music: Anon., ca. 1889

Monday, January 23, 2017

LDS Hymn #58



This is one of the hymns that has reached into various aspects of my life. It is often sung in our congregations and as the Choir & Congregation hymn in General Conferences. So, by 6th grade, when band expectations were crushed and I looked forward to days of choirs in Junior High, I was fairly familiar with this hymn. It became more profound to me when my sister who made it into the prestigious PHS a cappella choir was singing the school alma mater--and it was to this hymn's tune. But my brothers told me it was the Junior High alma mater's tune as well. I made it into 7th grade choir and it was the first song we learned. So then when it would come up in church, Kiersten would quietly sing the words to the high school alma mater and I would quietly sing the junior high's. It was in no disrespect to the hymn. It was because we had taken to that fabulous tune and loved that it intersected in our spiritual and secular lives.

By 10th grade, I had made it into the prestigious a cappella choir and learned those words. I suppose something about memorizing the Jr High alma mater, and then the High School alma mater, within a year or so I had also memorized the hymn as well. What was another set of words? So this was one of the first hymns that I was consciously aware that I knew by memory. (Also one of the first I could play out of the regular hymnal.) Sometime by the end of high school or early college days, I paid attention to those words I had memorized--and they have come very close to my heart. A lover of temples and temple ordinances, verse 3 especially resonated. But a song about singing? And rejoicing? And our Savior coming again when we can "live in love and peace?" All sung to a tune that is all about praising, joy, and exultation--which tune had also come to have a meaning of honor, begun by my alma mater singing. I would have to say that this is one of my favorites. Even though it became one of the "oversung" in college, I chose instead of being annoyed to glory in the words I knew by heart and letting their meaning sink even more into my singing praises.

From the history book
I love this line: "What response other than song could so well reflect the emotions and gratitude of the followers of Jesus Christ?" Agreed!! The tune is a Spanish folk melody which many Christian denominations used in their hymnals. (Thus now surprising that m 2 alma maters were set to this tune; even more so when one knows that my Jr High choir director who wrote that alma mater was LDS for some years.) The tune was already well known when the text was written by Brother Wallis, first printed in 1884.

Lyrics

  1. 1. Come, ye children of the Lord,
    Let us sing with one accord.
    Let us raise a joyful strain
    To our Lord who soon will reign
    On this earth when it shall be
    Cleansed from all iniquity,
    When all men from sin will cease,
    And will live in love and peace.
  2. 2. Oh, how joyful it will be
    When our Savior we shall see!
    When in splendor he'll descend,
    Then all wickedness will end.
    Oh, what songs we then will sing
    To our Savior, Lord, and King!
    Oh, what love will then bear sway
    When our fears shall flee away!
  3. 3. All arrayed in spotless white,
    We will dwell 'mid truth and light.
    We will sing the songs of praise;
    We will shout in joyous lays.
    Earth shall then be cleansed from sin.
    Ev'ry living thing therein
    Shall in love and beauty dwell;
    Then with joy each heart will swell.Text: James H. Wallis, 1861-1940
  4. Music: Spanish melody; arr. by Benjamin Carr, 1768-1831

And for those curious about my alma mater words.
PHS:

(And yes, the student body ALWAYS joined in on that last part like that. Even when we would "sing" it at church, our whole family liked to sing that line. And it is true. I will forever love PHS even if I only had one year. It was one of the best years of my life.)

JJHS:
Jackson Junior may you grow
For as we reap we needs must sow.
Jackson Junior proud and true
Your students love to strive for you.
So here we pledge our loyalty
Forever singing young and free
Jackson will make history
What e'er you ask
We give to thee!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

LDS Hymn #57


This was another that came to my notice as current ward choir director. One of my more musically inclined brothers--familiar with more of the lesser known hymns than others--mentioned this as a possibility to be sung. So we did. A simple arrangement of a hymn not well know. The tune is very simple, with some movement for the tenors and basses. And the text is about the Millennium (since we are still in that section). But I like that the first verse is our commitment to the Lord--which is required for the other 3 verses to be possible for us.

Favorite line: When he comes down from heav'n to earth...we hope with him to stand

From the history book
Written by our Brother Phelps, this was also included in Emma's first hymnal in 1835. He was influenced by the talented Isaac Watts with his first line, as well as the fourth verse. After 1835, the first 2 lines of verse 2 were revised because they were awkward to sing, as was the first line of verse 3. The tune in the 1950 hymnal was too difficult, even for many choirs. "Only very experienced pianists and organists could play it." So our lovely organist John Longhurst (I kind of miss hearing him play) was invited to write the one that we don't sing today. ;-) The brand of one of the small pipe organs that the Tabernacle organists practice on is called the Austin, and Brother Longhurst composed this tune one day while at that organ.

Lyrics

  1. 1. We're not ashamed to own our Lord
    And worship him on earth.
    We love to learn his holy word
    And know what souls are worth.
  2. 2. When Jesus comes in burning flame
    To recompense the just,
    The world will know the only name
    In which the Saints can trust.
  3. 3. When he comes down from heav'n to earth
    With all his holy band,
    Before creation's second birth,
    We hope with him to stand.
  4. 4. He then will give us a new name,
    With robes of righteousness,
    And, in the New Jerusalem,
    Eternal happiness.
  5. Text: William W. Phelps, 1792-1872, alt. Included in the first LDS hymnbook, 1835.
    Music: John Longhurst, b. 1940. (c) 1985 IRI

Thursday, January 19, 2017

LDS Hymn #56


Wow. Another organ one. That is 3 in a row. We must have really liked this section! And like the other 2 I wasn't as familiar before and still not remembering well after. The soprano part moves a lot in this song. Possibly too much to make this easy for congregations. If the melody moves all over and includes syncopation, it is a little more difficult. Of course, if we sang it often, we would just be familiar with the tune. Seems to be a problem with too many of our hymns. The text is poetic description of the Millennium--particularly in nature. It is beautiful imagery. Though the phrase "sabbatic era" is not an often used one!

From the history book
Ha ha--she refers to the unusual phrase, too! It is likening the Millennium to the earth's Sabbath Day--6 days of labor and then a day of rest. In 1950, this hymn was paired with the tune for Hymn 150 in our current hymnal. Brother Cornwall, who wrote about the hymn in the 1950 hymnal wrote the current tune for this hymn when he was 90. The 1950 hymnal also had 4 other verses. More poetry, more imagery. Very nice. But 8 verses would never get sung. I like how the book points out that this is how the Millennium will appear to the righteous--peaceful, beautiful, full of light that dispels darkness.

Lyrics

  1. 1. Softly beams the sacred dawning
    Of the great millennial morn,
    And to Saints gives welcome warning
    That the day is hast'ning on,
    That the day is hast'ning on.
  2. 2. Splendid, rising o'er the mountains,
    Glowing with celestial cheer,
    Streaming from eternal fountains,
    Rays of living light appear,
    Rays of living light appear.
  3. 3. Swiftly flee the clouds of darkness;
    Speedily the mists retire;
    Nature's universal blackness
    Is consumed by heav'nly fire,
    Is consumed by heav'nly fire.
  4. 4. Yea, the fair sabbatic era,
    When the world will be at rest,
    Rapidly is drawing nearer;
    Then all Israel will be blest,
    Then all Israel will be blest.
  5. Text: John Jaques, 1827-1900
    Music: J. Spencer Cornwall, 1888-1983. (c) J. Spencer Cornwall, 1983. This hymn may be copied for incidental, noncommercial church or home use.