Hymn : Families Can Be Together Forever
The words of the two verses are:
I have a family here on earth. They are so good to me. I want to share my life with them through all eternity. While I am in my early years, Ill prepare most carefully, so I can marry in Gods temple for eternity.
The refrain says,
Families can be together forever through Heavenly Fathers plan. I always want to be with my own family and the Lord has shown me how I can. The Lord has shown me how I can.
The Bible teaches that the earthly family is not eternal. Only the family of God, made up of all believers in Jesus, is. For a rebuttal on the LDS position, see here.
The New Lds Hymnbook: Changes And Possibilities
Recently, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that they were going to prepare a new hymnbook and childrenâs songbook for use in the worldwide Church. Specifically, the goal is to create unity in hymn numbers and selections that reflect the needs of a global organization. This is the first time in over thirty years that the official hymnbook for the Church has changed, and it is a matter of no small excitement for Mormon musicians and general membership. The current hymnbook is wonderful, but change can always bring new opportunities and improvements. Part of the excitement is that there is an unprecedented amount of involvement of general membership being made possible through online surveys and song submission opportunities.
Salt Lake Tabernacle Organ, image courtesy Wikemedia commons
Based on trends within the Church, the history of hymnbooks in Mormonism, and the statements that have been made about the forthcoming books, what might the new hymn and song books look like? There are a number of faucets to examine in considering this question, including continuity with past hymnals, new LDS music available for use, what might be removed and changed, and the hymnbook and songbookâs relationships to the general Christian tradition of music, and the tunes being used. Letâs look at each of these in turn.
Title page of the 1840 Manchester hymnal. Image courtesy SingPraises.net
Hymnbooks in different languages. Image courtesy LDS.org
List Of Lds Hymnals Published 18352002
- “Up! Arouse Thee, O Beautiful Zion”
- “When Christ Was Born in Bethlehem” words by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
- “When Dark and Drear the Skies Appear”
- “When First the Glorious Light of Truth” words by William Clayton
- “We’ll Sing the Songs of Zion”
- “What Voice Salutes the Startled Ear?”
- “Ye Children of Our God” words by Parley P. Pratt
- “Ye Chosen Twelve, To You are Given” words by Parley P. Pratt
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Christian Churches Including The Latter
Four decades ago, when my wife Dianne and I were active Baptists, somehow we ended up with a Baptist hymnal in our home. This same kleptomaniac-like behavior has surfaced on multiple occasions with respect to LDS hymnals. We even have an LDS hymnal embossed with Joseph Smith Memorial Building.
Our Baptist hymnal is a part of the 22nd printing of the once widely-used, 1956-copyrighted edition published by Convention Press in Nashville, Tenn.
Dianne and I were married in The First Baptist Church of Hartwell, Ga., by her cousin minister in 1968. Five years and two children later, we became the first two converts in my small hometown of Wetumpka, Ala., to what the world calls Mormonism. Through the ensuing years subsequent to our conversion to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we received much enjoyment sitting at the piano and singing some of our favorite hymns from this old Baptist hymnbook hymns that we learned and loved throughout the 1950s, 60s, and early 70s and still love today.
Recently I searched our current 1985 edition of Hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to determine how many of these hymns are common to our older Baptist hymnal. One might be surprised to learn that of the 341 hymns in the LDS hymnal, 55, or 16 percent, are also found in this particular Baptist hymnal.
Changes In Hymn Tunes
Early LDS hymnbooks had no tunes, and the chorister was expected to select a tune that matched the meter and mood of the hymn text. It was not always expected that the congregation sing the text with the same tune each time. Even after music was printed with the hymn texts, however, the tunes used with each hymn text have changed from time to time in Latter-day Saint hymnbooks. For example, of the twenty-six hymns in the 1985 hymnal that were included in the 1835 hymnbook, only five of the original hymns are probably still sung to their original tunes. These are:
|O God! Our Help in Ages Past|
Even among these, “Joy to the World” has been included in Latter-day Saint hymnbooks with at least two different tunes over the years. Some examples of iconic Latter-day Saint hymns that are sung to different hymn tunes than they were originally include “Praise to the Man,” “An Angel From on High,” and “If You Could Hie to Kolob“.
Revivals of the old tunes in recordings of traditional Mormon hymns have generated interest and appreciation, as in the “Return to Nauvoo” collection by the FiddleSticks group and the “Parley P Pratt” collection by Roger Hoffman.
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Talk: Hymns In The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter
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Deseret Sunday School Songs
Before correlation, the church auxiliaries were free to publish their own curricula and hymnbooks. The Deseret Sunday School Union published a series of songbooks beginning in the late 1884. Many of the songs in these early Sunday School songbooks were intended for use with youth and followed the “gospel song” style of bouncy rhythms, repeated pitches, a verse-chorus pattern, melodramatic metaphor, and a tendency to focus on exhortation to the singers. These songbooks were extremely popular and introduced such favorites as “Oh, How Lovely Was the Morning”, “Improve the Shining Moments”, and “Choose the Right”.
A new edition of the Sunday School songbook entitled Deseret Sunday School Songs was published in 1909. Following the format of the Songs of Zion hymnbook, it was expanded and printed with two-staff notation instead of the three-staff format of the Psalmody. Deseret Sunday School Songs outlasted the Psalmody, being used in the LDS Church until 1948. It was much more popular because the tunes were more “singable”. Of the 295 hymns in the Deseret Sunday School Songs, 120 still appear in the 1985 Latter-day Saint hymnal.
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Additional Hymn And Song Evaluation
While new hymns and songs will be added to the updated music collections, many current selections will also be republished. At the same time the invitation was made to submit original works, members were also invited to take a survey that documented both positive and negative feedback about current hymns and songs as well as suggestions of new hymns and songs. The committees have reviewed the feedback and suggestions, which have helped to inform their recommendations.
Schank reported that the process of sorting through current hymns and songs has largely been completed, but there is still much to do.
Initial recommendations for the current hymns and songs have already gone to the senior leaders of the Church, and we have received helpful feedback. Our leaders are very interested and involved in this project and, in many instances, have given detailed and meaningful counsel regarding both the content and the process of the revision, Schank said.
Meanwhile, the committees have gone on to review hundreds of additional hymns and songs, including music published in the Church magazines over several decades, as well as sacred music currently used in other Christian faith traditions. Administrative review of the new music submissions is complete, but the evaluation process for those selections is ongoing, he said.
Tithing And Other Donations
Church members are expected to donate of their income to support the operations of the church, including construction of temples, meetinghouses, and other buildings, and other church uses. Members are also encouraged to on the for at least two consecutive meals. They donate at least the cost of the two skipped meals as a , which the church uses to assist the poor and needy and expand its .
All able LDS young men are expected to serve a two-year, full-time proselytizing mission. Missionaries do not choose where they serve or the language in which they will proselytize, and are expected to fund their missions themselves or with the aid of their families. Prospective male missionaries must be at least 18 years old and no older than 25, not yet married, have completed secondary school, and meet certain criteria for physical fitness and spiritual worthiness. Missionary service is not compulsory, nor is it required for young men to retain their church membership.
Unmarried women 19 years and older may also serve as missionaries, generally for a term of 18 months. However, the LDS Church emphasizes that women are not under the same expectation to serve as male members are, and may serve solely as a personal decision. There is no maximum age for missionary service for women.
All proselyting missionaries are organized geographically into administrative areas called . The efforts in each mission are directed by an older adult male . As of July 2020, there were of the church.
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Update On Hymnbook Revision: Latter
Members of the Church from 66 countries shared nearly 50,000 suggestions and more than 16,000 original hymns, songs and texts. The Church& #39 s revised music collections are not expected to be completed for several years.
Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
The Hymnbook and Childrens Songbook committees have been amazed by the response to the that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would be revising the current hymnbook and Childrens Songbook.
Members of the Church from 66 countries shared nearly 50,000 suggestions and more than 16,000 original hymns, songs and texts.
Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and an advisor to the revision committees said the committees never expected such an incredible response from members of the Church. Their dedication and contributions are humbling!
But dont expect to see published books anytime soon, he said. While progress has been made on the revision process, the new music collections are still several years away from being released.
A Collection Of Sacred Hymns For The Church Of The Latter Day Saints 1835
A revelation was given to the Prophet Joseph Smith in July 1830 instructing Emma Smith to begin compiling a hymnbook: And it shall be given thee also, to make a selection of sacred hymns, as it shall be given thee, which is pleasing unto me, to be had in my church .
The hymnbook was published five years later and was arranged and printed by William W. Phelps under the title A Collection of Sacred Hymns, for the Church of the Latter Day Saints. The hymnbook was only three inches by four-and-one-half inches, a size that can fit into a pocket. The hymnbook contained 90 hymns with only words and no tunes. Of these 90 hymns, 39 of the hymns were written by Latter-day Saints and 26 remain in todays hymnbook, including The Spirit of God, How Firm a Foundation, and I Know That My Redeemer Lives.
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Cosmology And Plan Of Salvation
The and include the doctrines of a , an earthly mortal existence, , and .
According to these doctrines, every human spirit is a spiritual child of a , and each has the potential to continue to learn, grow, and progress in the eternities, eventually achieving eternal life, which is to become one with God in the same way that is one with the Father, thus allowing the children of God to become divine beings that is, gods themselves. This view on the doctrine of is also referred to as becoming a joint-heir with Christ. The process by which this is accomplished is called , a doctrine which includes the reunification of the mortal family after the and the ability to have spirit children in the afterlife and inherit a portion of Gods kingdom. To obtain this state of godhood, the church teaches that one must have faith in Jesus Christ, of his or her sins, strive to keep the commandments faithfully, and participate in a sequence of ceremonial called , which include , , the , and .
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Hymn : Keep The Commandments
The words of this hymn are straightforward in four simple sentences:
Keep the commandments keep the commandments! In this there is safety in this there is peace. He will send blessings he will send blessings. Words of a prophet: Keep the commandments. In this there is safety and peace.
D& C 25:15 quotes God as saying that a person is supposed to keep the commandments continually. Is this really possible? For a response, see here.
Social Events And Gatherings
Additional meetings are also held at the . Church officers may conduct leadership meetings or host training sessions and classes. The ward or branch community may schedule social activities at the meetinghouse, including dances, dinners, holiday parties and musical presentations. The churchs and organizations meet at the meetinghouse once a week, where the youth participate in activities. At the start of 2020, the church implemented a new initiative for children and youth worldwide, which replaced all other church youth programs.
In LDS theology, a temple is considered to be a holy building, dedicated as a House of the Lord and held as more sacred than a typical meetinghouse or chapel. In temples, church members participate in ceremonies that are considered the most sacred in the church, including marriage, and an ceremony that includes a , receiving a , and making with God. are performed in the temples as well.
Temples are considered by church members to be the most sacred structures on earth, and as such, operating temples are not open to the public. Permission to enter is reserved only for church members who pass and receive a special recommendation card, called a temple recommend, that they present upon entry. Church members are instructed not to share details about temple ordinances with non-members or even converse about them outside the temple itself. As of April 2021, there are 160 operating temples located throughout the world.
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Hymn : Praise To The Man
All the words are as given:
Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah! Jesus anointed that Prophet and Seer. Blessed to open the last dispensation, kings shall extol him and nations revere.
Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven earth must atone for the blood of that man. Wake up the world for the conflict of justice. Millions shall know Brother Joseph again.
Refrain: Hail to the Prophet, ascended to heaven! Traitors and tyrants now fight in vain. Mingling with Gods, he can plan for his brethren death cannot conquer the hero again.
Praise to his memory, he died as a martyr Honored and blest be his ever great name! Long shall his blood, which was shed by assassins, plead unto heaven while the earth lauds his fame.
Great is his glory and endless his priesthood. Ever and ever the keys he will hold. Faithful and true, he will enter his kingdom, crowned in the midst of the prophets of old.
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Hymn 2: Now Well Sing With One Accord
And an angel surely then, for a blessing unto men, brought the priesthood back again, in its ancient purity. Even Joseph he inspired. . . And the Book of Mormon true, with its covenant ever new, for the Gentile and the Jew, he translated sacredly. Gods commandments to mankind, for believing Saints designed. And to bless the seeking mind, came to him from Jesus Christ.
There is no evidence besides the testimony of Joseph Smith that these two events restoring the priesthood took place. In fact, there is no date in 1829 given for the time when the Melchizedek Priesthood was bestowed upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery by Peter, James and John, which is quite curious considering this was such an earth-shattering event. For more, see here.
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