In Our Lovely Deseret #307

In our lovely Deseret, Where the Saints of God have met,

There’s a multitude of children all around.

They are generous and brave; They have precious souls to save;

They must listen and obey the gospel’s sound.

This is very much an instructional song for the children of the church.  It was written by Eliza R. Snow (1804-1867), who, although having no children of her own, loved and cared for the many families around her.  As you can well imagine, with the very large families in those early days of the Church, there would definitely have been “a multitude of children all around.”

Unlike much of the instructional music and lectures directed to children of that day, this song has a decidedly positive tone.  Sister Snow first establishes that these children “are generous and brave” with “precious souls to save.”  In the second verse, she explains the need for following the word of wisdom: “That the children may live long and be beautiful and strong,” since they “are seeking to be great and good and wise.”  They are further described in the chorus as coming together “in innocence and love… with happy hearts and cheerful faces.”

Having established a positive tone, Sister Snow goes on further in verses three and four to teach the children not to lose their tempers, to control evil passions, to be polite, to treat others well, to be kind, to pray and to love and serve the Lord – in short, just about everything a well-trained young child should know.

Spencer W. Kimball 1895-1985

President Spencer W. Kimball was one of those children.  He recounted his fondness for this instructional song in a talk given in the April 1978 conference:

“I remember the song “In Our Lovely Deseret,” which Sister Eliza R. Snow wrote. She composed many of our songs. I can remember how lustily we sang:

Hark! Hark! Hark! ’tis children’s music,

Children’s voices, O, how sweet,

When in innocence and love,

Like the angels up above,

They with happy hearts and cheerful faces meet.

“I am not sure how much innocence and love we had, but I remember we sang it, even straining our little voices to reach the high E which was pretty high for children’s voices. I remember we sang:

That the children may live long,

And be beautiful and strong.

I wanted to live a long time and I wanted to be beautiful and strong—but never reached it.

Tea and coffee and tobacco they despise.

And I learned to despise them. There were people in our rural community who were members of the Church who sometimes used tea and coffee and sometimes tobacco. The song goes on:

Drink no liquor, and they eat

But a very little meat

“[I still don’t eat very much meat.]

They are seeking to be great and good and wise.

And then we’d “Hark! Hark! Hark” again, “… When in innocence and love Like the angels up above.” And then the third verse went:

They should be instructed young,

How to watch and guard the tongue,

And their tempers train, and evil passions bind;

They should always be polite,

And treat ev’rybody right

And in ev’ry place be affable and kind.

“And then we’d “Hark! Hark! Hark” again.

They must not forget to pray,

Night and morning ev’ry day,

For the Lord to keep them safe from ev’ry ill,

And assist them to do right,

That with all their mind and might

They may love him and may learn to do his will.

And then we’d sing, “Hark! Hark! Hark” again. I was never quite sure whether the angels were limited in their voice culture as we were, but we were glad to take the credit [https://www.lds.org/ensign/1978/05/strengthening-the-family-the-basic-unit-of-the-church?lang=eng].”

History

Eliza R. Snow 1804-1887

Eliza R. Snow (1804-1887) was born in Beckett, Massachusetts, but moved with her family to Mantua, Ohio, when she was only two years old.  Mantua, Ohio, happened to be located only four miles from Hiram, Ohio, where Joseph Smith took up residence for a time.  During that period, her family became very interested in the new Church he had organized.  Her mother and sister joined first, then Eliza, and then her brother, Lorenzo, who later became the 5th President of the Church.

Eliza was the first secretary of the Relief Society organization when it was formed in Nauvoo in 1847, with Emma Smith as President.  Eliza served as secretary for the three years following and took copious notes of the organizational process, as directed by the prophet Joseph Smith.  Later, she used these notes to re-establish the Relief Society in the Utah Territory.  She was called as the second General Relief Society president in 1868 and spent many years travelling around Utah helping Bishops establish the Relief Society organization in their wards.  She served as General President of the Relief Society until her death in 1887.

Eliza R. Snow was a wife of Joseph Smith and, after his death, married Brigham Young.

George F. Root 1820-1895

George F. Root (1820-1895) was a very popular composer of the day.  He had already achieved much fame prior to the Civil War (1861-1865) but composed 35 well-loved songs for and about that conflict.  His song “Tramp, Tramp, Tramp” was one of these.  With its catchy tune and poignant lyrics describing the thoughts of a captured Union soldier, it was sung often by the Union soldiers:

In the prison cell I sit,

Thinking, Mother dear, of you,

And our bright and happy home so far away;

And the tears they fill my eyes

Spite of all that I can do,

Though I try to cheer my comrades and be gay.

Tramp, tramp, tramp, the boys are marching;

Cheer up, comrades, they will come,

And beneath the starry flag

We shall breathe the air again

Of the freeland in our own beloved home.

This is the tune that Eliza R. Snow used to carry the lyrics of “In Our Lovely Deseret.”  The tune was also used for “Jesus Loves the Little Children” and, across the ocean, for “God Save Ireland,” an Irish rebel song which served as an unofficial Irish national anthem for Irish nationalists from the 1870s to the 1910s.

Congregation Choir Arrangements

Our Congregation Choir arrangements add a beautiful alternate accompaniment to the original SATB found in the hymnbook.  This alternate, enhanced accompaniment could be used with the SATB for a piano/organ duet accompaniment for the entire congregation or a large choir.  It could also be used alone as a more embellished accompaniment for a solo singer or group, or just to enjoy as a piano solo.

The countermelody is designed for voice or instrument and can be sung by itself or in combination with the original melody.  Here is a sample of the countermelody being sung as the piano plays the original melody.  You will hear one verse with just the enhanced piano, then a second verse with enhanced piano and vocal countermelody:

PURCHASE IT HERE.

Here is a sample of the SATB accompaniment (the one in the hymnbook) being played on the organ while the enhanced accompaniment is played on the piano and the countermelody comes in on the oboe.

PURCHASE IT HERE.

Jesus Said Love Everyone, CS 61

This little song contains a simple yet profound message – and one that is often very difficult to live by:

“Jesus said love everyone: Treat them kindly too.

When your heart is filled with love, Others will love you.”

If only we could all live by these words all the time!  Wouldn’t the world be a happy place?

Since that doesn’t always happen, the next best thing is to teach this message to children while they are young, that it might be incorporated into their thinking and way of living.  What better way to teach it than through the words and melody of a pretty little song like this?

Jesus taught: “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22: 39).

Jesus also taught that we shouldn’t just love our neighbours and friends.  We should love everyone, even those who are hard to love: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5: 44).

Children can learn to be kind and learn that the love they send out to the world will come back to them somewhere somehow.  And they will, at least, be happier.

History

Moiselle Renstrom (1889-1956) was a teacher who had the gift of becoming “as a little child” (Graham: We Shall Make Music, p. 85).  She wrote several books of children’s music: Merrily We Sing, Musical Adventures, and Rhythm Fun.  These books have been used widely by early childhood teachers for over sixty years.  They are still available at Amazon and other book sources – even after all these years.

Sister Renstrom wrote thirteen of the songs included in the Children’s Songbook.  Many of her songs, such as Once There Was a Snowman, Little Seeds Lie Fast Asleep, Two Little Eyes and Rain is Falling All Around encourage children to pretend and move with the music.  Sister Pat Kelsey Graham, who was on the selection committee for the Children’s Songbook, states that [Sister Renstrom’s] works required no changes.  “She knew the range for children’s voices, wrote so that it was easy to play, taught well with her rhymes, and was doctrinally accurate” (Ibid).

Congregation Choir Arrangements

Our Congregation Choir for Primary arrangement of this song includes an enhanced piano part and a countermelody that could be used for voice or any appropriate instrument, such as flute, violin, oboe, bells or the upper part of the piano.  Some of your Primary children may be capable of adding this countermelody on the instrument they are learning.

Listen to it here with vocals performing the countermelody.  PURCHASE it here.

This is a very short, simple song.  For variety and a bit more of a challenge, you could lengthen the song as we have done in the sample by singing it the first time through with the original melody, the second time with the countermelody and the third time with both together.

Alternatively, you could have an instrument play with the children singing the second time through.  To make things easier for the children, you could have an adult soloist (perhaps a teacher?) sing the countermelody.

As with all our Congregation Choir arrangements, the enhanced piano part is not enhanced so much that it is difficult for the average pianist to play.  Hours of practice are not required!

From Homes of Saints Glad Songs Arise #297

Singing is a big part of our Church meetings.  Young children in Primary learn the basics of the gospel and feel the stirrings of testimony through the songs they sing. They feel the good spirit of these songs and they love them.  When my husband was the Bishop of our ward, he would interview children ready to graduate from Primary and ask them what their favourite part of Primary was.  Invariably, they answered that it was the songs.  They loved singing the Primary songs.  We have many beloved hymns as well that help us learn and express our beliefs.

We are blessed to sing the same hymns and Primary songs wherever we live in the Church and many of us sing them often in our homes.  These songs bring a wonderful spirit of goodness to our homes.  We express our faith through them and we teach our children with them.

The blessings we sing about in the first verse of this hymn include faith, peace, scriptures, and living prophets.  In the second verse we are told:

“God’s truths protect the hearth from wrong when error’s ways allure,

Lift minds from self to nobleness, Keep thought and action pure.”

Learning the hymns can keep us safe at home and away from home.  Boyd K. Packer learned about the protecting power of hymns from his brother shortly after WWII.

“My brother, Colonel Leon C. Packer, was stationed at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. A much decorated B-24 pilot, he became a brigadier general in the Air Force.

“…[H]e told me how he was able to hold himself together under fire. He said, ‘I have a favorite hymn’—and he named it—‘and when things got rough I would sing it silently to myself, and there would come a faith and an assurance that kept me on course’” (Boyd K. Packer: The Spirit of Revelation, October 1999).

In a later talk, President Packer gave further advice on this subject:

Choose a favorite hymn or song… one with words that are uplifting and music that is reverent, one that makes you feel something akin to inspiration. There are many beautiful songs to choose from. Seek the guidance of the Spirit in making your selection. Go over the song in your mind carefully. Memorize it. Even though you have had no musical training, you can think through a simple song. Now use this as the course for your thoughts to follow. Make it your emergency channel.

“Whenever you find shady actors slipping from the sidelines of your thinking onto the stage of your mind, put on this CD, as it were. It will change your whole mood.

“Because the music is uplifting and clean, the baser thoughts will slip shamefully away. For while virtue, by choice, will not associate with filth, evil cannot tolerate the presence of light. In due time you will find yourself humming the music inwardly, almost automatically, to drive out unworthy thoughts” (Boyd K. Packer: Worthy Thoughts, Worthy Music, April 2008).

History

Vernald W. Johns (1902-1999), the writer of this hymn text, reported that “the thought of the joy the gospel brings to those who live its principles, as felt in our own and other families, provided the title line that had to be expanded.  Because I am a music director in the Church, it was natural for me to think of joyfulness in terms of song.” (Karen Lynn Davidson: Our Latter-day Hymns, p. 299).

Composer G. William Richards (1918-2005), who served as a member of the 1985 Hymnbook Executive Committee, reported that in the work of that committee “many texts were passed around each week which had been submitted without tunes.  This one was circulated for a month or so and appeared to be an orphan, so I took it home with me one night”(Ibid).  He soon had the music written and submitted it anonymously.  A simple and dignified hymn tune, Brother Richards gave it the name DYRENG because his wife’s home in Manti, Utah, the Dyreng home, “had many glad songs arise in it” (Ibid).

Congregation Choir Arrangements

Our Congregation Choir arrangements add a beautiful, alternate accompaniment to the original SATB found in the hymnbook.  This alternate accompaniment could be used  with the SATB as a piano/organ duet accompaniment for the entire congregation or for  a large choir.  It could also be used alone as a more embellished accompaniment for a solo singer or group, or just to enjoy as a piano solo.

Listen to our arrangements below.  You will first hear just the organ doing the introduction.  The piano joins in on the first verse and then the countermelody (vocal in one; flute in the other) joins in for the second demonstration verse.

PURCHASE our arrangement with vocal countermelody here.

PURCHASE our arrangement with instrumental (flute in this sample) countermelody here.

 

 

 

 

 

Love at Home #294

Mother’s Day is fast approaching.  The hymn LOVE AT HOME is always appropriate on this sacred occasion when we celebrate our mothers.  I call it a sacred occasion because I am remembering a conversation I had with my daughter this week.  She is about 38 weeks pregnant and taught her last day of school for a while last Tuesday.  She mentioned that it really was time she stopped working.  She said that a couple of the other teachers had called her a “goddess.”  I asked what they meant by that term and she said that people like to call pregnant women “goddesses.”  As I thought about it, I decided that was a good term for a very pregnant woman.  Pregnancy, such a close partnership with God, is a sacred state.  President Thomas S. Monson seems to agree with me on that point – see quote #20 below.

Twenty Favourite Quotes About Mothers

  1.  Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever (Unknown).
  2. A Mother’s greatest masterpiece is her children (Unknown).
  3. A Mother is she who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take (Cardinal Mermillod).
  4. And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living (Genesis 3: 20).
  5. Being a mother means that your heart is no longer yours; it wanders wherever your children do (Unknown).
  6. Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed (Linda Wooten).
  7. Mother: One person who does the work of twenty – for free (Unknown).
  8. The only thing better than having you for a Mom is my children having you for a Grandma (Unknown).
  9. Be kind to the women. They constitute half the population and are mothers to the other half (Gordon B. Hinckley).
  10. God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers (Jewish Proverb).
  11. MOM turned upside down spells WOW! (Unknown).
  12. Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world (in whom there is often such an inner sense of spirituality) will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that the women of the Church are seen as distinct and different—in happy ways—from the women of the world (Spencer W. Kimball).
  13. All that I am or ever hope to be I owe to my angel mother (Abraham Lincoln).
  14. Mothers are like buttons; they hold everything together (Unknown).
  15. My children are now all grown. Some are in their 60s. But when they call and I answer the phone, they say, “How are you?” And before I can answer, they ask, “Is Mother there?”  (Gordon B. Hinckley).
  16. Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; … yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them. And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it. (Alma 56:45–48).
  17.  I never knew how much love my heart could hold until someone called me Mommy (Unknown).
  18. In the end, I am the only one who can give my children a happy mother who loves life (Janene Wolsey Baadsgaard).
  19. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home (John 19:26–27).
  20. May each of us treasure this truth; one cannot forget mother and remember God. One cannot remember mother and forget God. Why? Because these two sacred persons, God and mother, partners in creation, in love, in sacrifice, in service, are as one (Thomas S. Monson).

Congregation Choir Arrangements

Our Congregation Choir arrangements add a beautiful, alternate accompaniment to the original SATB found in the hymnbook.  This alternate accompaniment could be used  with the SATB as a piano/organ duet accompaniment for the entire congregation or for  a large choir.  It could also be used alone as a more embellished accompaniment for a solo singer or group, or just to enjoy as a piano solo.

Listen to our arrangements below.  You will first hear just the organ doing the introduction.  The piano joins in on the first verse and then the countermelody (vocal in one; violin in the other) joins in for the second demonstration verse.

PURCHASE the arrangement with vocal countermelody here.  LISTEN to it below.

PURCHASE the arrangement with instrumental countermelody here.  LISTEN to it below.

Did You Think to Pray? #140

A prayer in the morning sets the tone for the day.  For me, it makes the day go more smoothly.  Even though I’m generally in a big hurry in the morning, anxious to get crossing things off my list, any time spent in prayer is certain to be returned later on through greater efficiency and greater purpose.  That’s why I find the advice in this hymn very applicable – and very wise.

The first verse of DID YOU THINK TO PRAY? describes the protecting power of prayer.  “Did you sue for loving favour as a shield today?”  Before you left your room this morning, did you pray that your family would be kept safe?  Did you pray for their physical protection and the protection of correct choices?  King David recognized the need for this in morning prayers:  “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up… For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield” (Psalm 5: 3, 12).

The second verse speaks of the calming power of prayer.  “Did you plead for grace, my brother, that you might forgive another who had crossed your way?”  Did you ask for a forgiving heart?

The third verse speaks of the power prayer has to soothe sorrow, as the Balm of Gilead soothes wounds.  Balm of Gilead was a healing ointment made from the resin of bushes that grew in Gilead.  Prayer is a healing ointment to the sorrow of our souls.

Bruce D. Porter said the following in a BYU talk:

“I am deeply thankful for the gift of prayer, which is surely among the greatest of gifts given by our Father in Heaven to His children on earth. Prayer is the ordained means by which men and women, and even little children, come to know God. It is our channel of communication with heaven. It is a priceless privilege.

“My mother grew up in the small town of Liberty, Utah. When she was young, in the 1930s, her ward had an organist who could play only one hymn. The congregation sang other hymns a cappella, but at least once every Sunday they would sing, “Ere you left your room this morning, Did you think to pray?”

“I especially love the third verse of the hymn:

When sore trials came upon you,

Did you think to pray?

When your soul was full of sorrow,

Balm of Gilead did you borrow

At the gates of day?

[“Did You Think to Pray?” Hymns, 2002, no. 140]

“I think of ‘the gates of day’ as the opening to a realm of eternal daylight—gates of prayer that connect us with our heavenly home and the realm of glory where God and Christ dwell. When we pray, we borrow strength, love, and light at the very door of eternity.  (https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/bruce-d-porter_did-you-think-to-pray/)

Remember that Christ is at the door knocking.  He wants to help us in every way he can but he waits for us to ask.  Asking first thing in the morning gives us so much help for each challenging event that we might encounter through the day.

History

Mary A. Pepper Kidder (1820-1905) was the daughter of Daniel Freeman Pepper. She belonged to the Methodist Episcopal Church and lived most of her life in New York City.

Mary was blinded as a teenager but, fortunately, had her sight restored after a few years.  Being blind for several years and not knowing whether sight would ever return would be no small thing.  Perhaps it was that very challenge that helped her develop her inward sight – and skills as a poet.

Mary married Ellis Usher Kidder in 1844 and together they had three children.  Ellis was a printer in a music publishing business.  During the civil war, he enlisted as a 40-year-old private and, although surviving several battles, died of dysentery.  Mary was left to provide for her three children, who still lived at home.  What had once been merely a hobby became her livelihood as she took to writing hymns, temperance songs and patriotic songs for a living.

Tragedy struck for her soon after the war when her twelve-year-old son drowned.  It struck again when her only daughter died at the age of 38.  She seems to have had a close relationship with her surviving son and his wife. (http://drhamrick.blogspot.ca/2012/11/did-you-think-to-pray.html)

Mary Kidder clearly knew much of the sad and challenging parts of life.  She would have known too the importance of arming herself with the protecting and guiding power of prayer each and every morning.

Congregation Choir Arrangements

Our Congregation Choir arrangements add a beautiful, alternate accompaniment to the original SATB found in the hymnbook.  This alternate accompaniment could be used  with the SATB as a piano/organ duet accompaniment for the entire congregation or for  a large choir.  It could also be used alone as a more embellished accompaniment for a solo singer or group, or just to enjoy as a piano solo.

Listen to our arrangements below.  You will first hear just the organ doing the introduction.  The piano joins in on the first verse and then the countermelody (vocal in one; oboe in the other) joins in for the second demonstration verse.

PURCHASE this arrangement with vocal countermelody here. Computer vocals sing the countermelody in our sample.

PURCHASE this arrangement with instrumental countermelody here.  An oboe plays the countermelody in our sample.

Come Unto Jesus #117

Christ’s love is truly unconditional.  He loves us just as we are – saint, sinner, weak, strong, careless or burdened with cares.  He loves us and extends to us that ever-present welcome: “Come unto me.”  With outstretched arms, he beckons us to come, to partake of his love, to lay our burdens at his feet, to learn of him and become like him.

“[Christ] doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile” (2 Nephi 26: 33).

Spencer Kinard beautifully expresses some considerations on this topic in “The Spoken Word”:

“One of the most frequent words in Christ’s vocabulary was a small one – come.  The gestures which we associate with him echo that same idea.  Arms outstretched in welcome, his entire being said, ‘Come.”  This is not a restricted invitation for the few, for the elect, for those who somehow deserve it; he made it open and for all, no matter how weak or afraid or hesitant… Come follow me, in fact, was the message of his life.

“Come.  It is an immediate appeal, admitting no excuses. We who say to the Lord, ‘I am too busy.  I am too tired.  I will work you in at another time,’ have missed the point.  There is not a mortal being who is not burdened with cares that threaten to absorb him altogether.  All are preoccupied, all busy…

“Come.  It is without qualifications.  Not come when we are perfect.  Not come when we have no doubts or smudges, when life is uncontested and we have no problems.  Nor is it an invitation to come only when life is at its darkest – only in time of dire need.  It is a simple, ‘Come now.  Come as you are.’

“He knows that if we will come to him in pain, we will leave in joy.  If we come in confusion, we will leave in clarity.  If we come in darkness, we will leave in light.  So he offers the invitation and leaves it extended with a kind of divine hopefulness – until we respond” (A Time for Reflection [Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Co., 1986], pp.113-14).

The words of this hymn beautifully tell us:

Come unto Jesus

… He’ll ever heed you

…He’ll surely hear you

…He’ll safely guide you

…Ever he calls, “Come to me.”

If we believe him and follow his words, we will be able to find joy, no matter our trials.  Come Unto Jesus… just come.

History

Orson Pratt Huish (1851-1932) was born In Blaenavon, Monmouthshire, England, to James W. Huish and Helen Niblet.  He was named after Orson Pratt, who was the president of the British Mission at the time.  When Orson was nine years old, he travelled with his mother and siblings to join his father in St. Louis, Missouri.  From there, they travelled with the Job Pingree Company of Mormon pioneers to Payson, Utah, where they settled into a life of farming and ranching.

In 1880, Huish formed the “Huish Band” with four of his brothers and one sister.  They performed throughout the Utah Territory, often playing for dances. Previously, Orson had performed with the band of John D. Stark, another resident of Payson, Utah.  I am sure he must have also known Joseph L. Townsend, another hymn writer of about the same age, who also lived in Payson, Utah. Joseph L. Townsend is the writer of ten hymn texts in our LDS hymnal.  Payson must have been quite a musical town in those years!  It probably still is.  🙂

Orson Pratt Huish seemed to have been full of creativity and business drive.  In addition to forming the band with his siblings, he operated general stores at various times in Moab, Utah; Eugene, Oregon; and Albuquerque, New Mexico.  He also opened a drugstore called Huish Drug.  He was trained in commercial photography and operated a photography business.  He was also a painter of some note and is listed in “Artists of Utah” by Olpin, Seifrit and Swanson (1999).

In his spare time (!!!), Orson Pratt Huish managed to write over 300 songs.  Three of his hymns are contained in our current hymnal and much of his music is still widely available.

Congregation Choir Arrangements

Our Congregation Choir arrangements add a beautiful, alternate accompaniment to the original SATB found in the hymnbook.  This alternate accompaniment could be used  with the SATB as a piano/organ duet accompaniment for the entire congregation or for  a large choir.  It could also be used alone as a more embellished accompaniment for a solo singer or group, or just to enjoy as a piano solo.

Listen to our arrangements below.  You will first hear just the organ doing the introduction.  The piano joins in on the first verse and then the countermelody (vocal in one; violin in the other) joins in for the second demonstration verse.

PURCHASE this arrangement with enhanced piano accompaniment and vocal countermelody here.

 

PURCHASE this arrangement with enhanced piano accompaniment and instrumental countermelody here.

Beauty Everywhere, CS 232-233

“Beauty Everywhere” is another song that helps us recognize and rejoice in the beauties of the world around us – skies, leaves, flowers, birds, etc.  This gratitude for the beauties in nature is just a start, however.  The verses also mention love, life and God in his heavens.  In the chorus, we are encouraged to have hearts “full of thanks for all he gives to [us].”

Gratitude is an important element in our church.  Roughly 25% of our sacrament meetings – our testimony meetings – are dedicated to feeling grateful.  Much of every prayer we utter is dedicated to gratitude.  And Heavenly Father doesn’t just want to hear this gratitude for his sake.  He requires it for our sakes.  He knows that we will be happier if we recognize and express gratitude for all we have.  Gratitude builds as we become more aware of our abundance.  As we become more grateful, we will find more and more things to be grateful for.

As Alma lovingly taught his son, Helaman, “… when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day” (Alma 37:37).

A similar quote from Tecumseh (1768-1813), a Shawnee Native American Leader says,  “When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself” (As quoted in A Sourcebook for Earth’s Community of Religions (1995) by Joel Diederik Beversluis).

History

President Hinckley paid tribute to Matilda Watts Cahoon (1881-1973), writer of this song text, at a celebration of the new hymnbook in 1985.  He declared (with the usual twinkle in his eye, I’m sure):

“She somehow coaxed a tune out of me as a part of the boy’s chorus in junior high school.  She was a great and delightful and lovely teacher” (LDS Church News).

Matilda Watts Cahoon was a teacher in Utah’s public schools for thirty-nine years, the first woman delegate to the state legislature from Salt Lake County, and a member of the Primary general board from 1913-1939.

Mildred Tanner Pettit (1895-1977), composer of the music for this song, was also a member of the Primary general board for a time and collaborated often with Sister Mildred Cahoon on songs and programs.  She also wrote the music for “I Am a Child of God.”

Congregation Choir Arrangements

Our Congregation Choir for Primary arrangement of this song includes an enhanced piano part and a countermelody that could be used for voice or any appropriate instrument.

LISTEN to it here with a flute playing the countermelody:

verse 1: voices singing melody

verse 2: voices singing melody and flute on countermelody

PURCHASE it here.

My Heavenly Father Loves Me, CS 228-229

Robin Singing

I love this song!  It has a beautiful melody and a beautiful message.  God loves us and he has given us a wonderful world to enjoy – because He loves us.  If we focus on the beauties of the world around us, we are bound to see them – because they are there.  They are there, in fact, in rich abundance.  And we will be happy if we see them.

When we sing this song, we are reminded of the great gifts our Heavenly Father has bestowed upon us – the wonder of birds that sing lilting songs from the marshes and the trees, a blue sky with ever-changing clouds and colors, rain that replenishes the earth and wind that brushes our cheeks.  We have the velvet of a rose to touch and smell, eyes to see such wonders, magical sounds to hear and a mind and heart that allow us to fully participate in and enjoy the God-given life we have here.  What a wonder it all is!  How blessed we are to have a Heavenly Father who loves us so much.  That is why I love this song.  It reminds me of all this and makes me happy.

History

Clara W. McMaster, 1904-1997

Clara W. McMaster (1904-1997) was the eleventh child in her family and grew up singing and playing the piano with a large group of siblings, parents, relatives and friends.  She said:
“I’m grateful that as a child we had an orchestra, and a chorus in our family.  It was easy because we had no radios, TV, or movies.  I was born on a farm, and I knew the sounds in the barnyard.  When I was called to the Primary general board, I was told that the children needed a song to teach them that their Heavenly Father loves them.  I didn’t really know how to do that.  The Lord answered my prayers through the song of a bird.  All I would have to do to write this song was to bear my testimony.  This was my way of saying to the children that my Heavenly Father loves me.  It wasn’t my song.  It was something brought into my heart many years ago.  I’m grateful that the children still want to sing my song” (Graham: We Shall Make Music, p. 179-180).

Sister McMaster also said that “Music is a rich gift of God, and it is in the world to make the lives of His children happier and better” (Graham: We Shall Make Music, p. 180).

Sister McMaster was a member of the Tabernacle Choir for twenty-two years and served for fourteen years on the Primary general board.

Congregation Choir Arrangement

Our Congregation Choir for Primary arrangement of this song includes an enhanced piano part and a countermelody that could be used for voice or any appropriate instrument.  Perhaps a flute playing the countermelody would be a nice reminder of the bird song that first brought this song into being.

Listen to it here with voices singing the countermelody:

verse 1: melody (with enhanced piano accompaniment)

verse 2: countermelody

verse 3: both melodies together

PURCHASE it here.

Though Deepening Trials #122

History

Eliza R. Snow (1804-1887), writer of this hymn text, grew up in Mantua, Ohio, a town located only four miles from Hiram, Ohio, where Joseph Smith took up residence for a time.  During that period, her family became very interested in the new Church he had organized.  Her parents and sister joined first, then Eliza, and then her brother, Lorenzo, who later became the 5th President of the Church.

Eliza’s parents put great stock in education and Eliza was a star pupil.  She was an accomplished poet even before she joined the Church.  Later, as a member of the Church, she became known as “Zion’s Poetess.”  She wrote hundreds of poems, some of which were set to music, becoming beloved hymns of our faith.  Some of these include:  “Great is the Lord;” “Again We Meet Around the Board;” “Awake, Ye Saints of God, Awake!” “How Great the Wisdom and the Love;” “The Time Is Far Spent;” “In Our Lovely Deseret;” “Though Deepening Trials;” “Behold the Great Redeemer Die;” “Truth Reflects Upon Our Senses” and “O My Father.”

Eliza was the first secretary of the Relief Society organization when it was formed in Nauvoo in 1847, with Emma Smith as President.  Eliza served as secretary for the three years following and took copious notes of the organizational process, as directed by the prophet Joseph Smith.  Later, she used these notes to re-establish the Relief Society in the Utah Territory.  She was called as the second General Relief Society president in 1868 and spent many years travelling around Utah helping Bishops establish Relief Societies in their wards.  She served as General President of the Relief Society until her death in 1887.

No one knew better than Eliza R. Snow the trials faced by the early members of the Church.  She was there facing them too.  She was one of the first women to leave Nauvoo in the bitter cold of February, 1846.  Childless herself, she helped others with their families.  She helped the sick and assisted new mothers.  She wrote poems of consolation to those who had lost loved ones and kept a daily journal.  One of her journal entries records: “I saw a funeral train following to its wilderness grave, a little child of Brother Gurley. It was a lonely sight—my feelings truly sympathize with those who are call’d to leave their dear relatives by the way.” (Ensign 1973) 

“Though Deepening Trials” is a hymn of encouragement and faith.  I was surprised at first to note that it is marked to be sung “Cheerfully,”  but such was Eliza’s attitude.  Some excerpts include:

“Though deepening trials throng your way, press on, press on, ye Saints of God!

“Though tribulations rage abroad, Christ says, ‘In me ye shall have peace.’

“This work is moving on apace… The ‘little stone,’ must fill the earth.”

Our trials are different than those she faced, but we can certainly look to the example of Eliza R. Snow in bearing them with faith, hope and good humor.

Congregation Choir Arrangements

Our Congregation Choir arrangements add a beautiful, alternate accompaniment to the original SATB found in the hymnbook.  This alternate accompaniment could be used with the SATB for a piano/organ duet accompaniment for the entire congregation or for  a large choir.  It could also be used alone as a more embellished accompaniment for a solo singer or group, or just to enjoy as a piano solo.

Listen to our arrangements below.  You will first hear just the organ doing the introduction.  The piano joins in on the first verse and then the countermelody (vocal in one; violin in the other) joins in for the second demonstration verse.

“Though Deepening Trials” with vocal countermelody.  PURCHASE HERE.

“Though Deepening Trials” with instrumental countermelody.  PURCHASE HERE.

© 2017 Hamilton and Son Music | Blog

Web Design and Development by June Lily