“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).
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