Sunday, January 15, 2017
LDS Hymn #54
I have no memory of this hymn before I learned to play it in my organ class. And even that memory is rather vague. I have a feeling it is one of the earlier ones I played. Looking over the tune, my brain can mostly pick it out--so that's about as much as I remember. The title makes one think this song is about temples and should be in the temple section (~280s). Verse 1 is about temples, specifically the Salt Lake City one as prophesied about in Isaiah--which is quoted in the first verse. But the rest of the verses help you see that this is about the Millennium, and thus in its "proper section." The last verse is actually a couple of lines repeated twice. But as they are about the reasons we have to rejoice in the Millennium and walking with God, it definitely works.
The text was written before the Gospel was restored and then adapted, and the tune is one of the few copyrighted (why the link takes you only to the lyrics), so I am intrigued to read the history. You will, unfortunately, have to get a hold of an actual printed 1985 LDS hymnal to plunk out the tune for yourself.
From the history book
The 1950 hymnal attributed this book to John Logan, but many feel it was Michael Bruce who died young and was not able to claim his authorship of several hymns that Logan had published. Bruce was a young Protestant Scotsman who would be familiar with the same Isaiah scriptures in the 1700s as LDS Saints would be. The text was first published in 1781 and came into an LDS hymnal in 1841 in Emma's second hymnal. It had been matched with Joseph Daynes' tune since 1889. But apparently it was a bit difficult. The 1985 hymnbook committee found a tune from the Reorganized LDS (or now Community of Christ)) hymnal by Leland Sateren which matched well with these lyrics. And that would explain why the tune is under copyright.
Update: How do you like that?! This was the closing hymn in Relief Society today!