Under-Appreciated Hymns

When in the sultry glebe I faint, or on the thirsty mountain pant,
To fertile vales and dewy meads, my weary, wandring steps he leads.
Where peaceful rivers, soft and slow, amid the cooling verdant landscape flow.

(The Lord my Pasture will Prepare, Hymn no. 109).

What hymns do you love, that we don’t sing quite often enough?

(See also similar prior discussion from a few years back.)

117 comments for “Under-Appreciated Hymns

  1. February 1, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    An Angel From on High, Hymn no. 13; by Parley P. Pratt.

  2. dpc
    February 1, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    “What hymns do you love, that we don’t sing quite often enough?”


    On a related topic, I think some hymns are over-appreciated. #219 (Because I Have Been Given Much) is sung far too often.

  3. Snow White
    February 1, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    I love “Be Still My Soul” and “Abide with Me”, but many consider them funeral songs and we don’t sing them often.
    I also love “Lead Kindly Light” and “If you Could Hie to Kolob”. I was shocked when I first heard there are areas where they don’t play “Hie” at all because people think it’s blasphemous or something. Blame it on the uneducated Sunday mormons I guess.

  4. Bill
    February 1, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    Back in the 70s and early 80s we used to sing An Angel from on High all the time. I don’t know why it has fallen relatively out of favor.

    Kaimi, 109 is probably our only hymn composed by a court composer to Catherine the Great. The tune originally set the text, Ich bete an die Macht der Liebe. Here’s a bit of fascinating trivia from Wikipedia:

    James Blish, who novelized many episodes of the original series of Star Trek, noted in one story, Whom Gods Destroy, that Bortniansky’s Ich bete an die Macht der Liebe was the theme “to which all Starfleet Academy classes marched to their graduation.”

  5. Rachel
    February 1, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    #285 \”God Moves in a Mysterious Way\” and #128 \”When Faith Endures\”.

  6. Dan
    February 1, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Jesus Lover of My Soul

    that’s a beautiful hymn. I wish we sung that more often.

    Abide With Me

    same deal.

  7. February 1, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    Give me back “Book of Mormon Stories” with the original words…

    And “Give Said the Little Stream” with everyone putting pennies into that little paper house representing the LDS Children’s Hospital.

    I still love the old words of “you who unto Jesus” (which we all sang “yoo hoo Jesus”) in “How Firm a Foundation.”

    “Sons of Michael, He Approaches” is a funny hymn that you don’t hear that often. It’s also a hymn that gets modified every hymnal. (It originally was very influenced by BY’s A/G speculations)

    I can’t believe there are places where “Hie to Kolob” isn’t played. That’s the quintessential LDS hymn. And the revised music was really great. They used the Scottish song “Star of the County Down” (which I’ve been told isn’t a drinking song as the popular urban legend suggests).

    I do remember being uncomfortable when, as a missionary, it was played. But then someone said, “come on, it’s who we are.” I’ve loved it ever since. Especially when folks get daring and sing all the words.

  8. February 1, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    My favorite hymn is “Be Thou My Vision”

    “Be thou my Vision
    oh Lord of my heart,
    naught be all else to
    me, save that thou art.
    Thou my only thought,
    by day or by night,
    Waking or sleeping,
    Thy Presence my Light.”

    Riches I heed not,
    nor man’s empty praise,
    Thou mine inheritance,
    now and always.
    High King of heaven,
    my treasure Thou art.

    High King of heaven,
    my victory won,
    May I reach heaven’s joy,
    oh bright heaven’s Son.
    Heart of my own heart,
    whatever befall,
    Still be my Vision,
    oh Ruler of all.”

  9. February 1, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    #111 – Rock of Ages and 219 – Turn Your Hearts

  10. Sarah A.
    February 1, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    #242, Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow is a wonderful hymn that I rarely hear sung (I’ve loved it ever since I was little girl and first read The Secret Garden). I also really like #244, Come Along, Come Along- but only if it is sung to tempo and not like a funeral dirge, as so often happens with many of the hymns.

  11. TMD
    February 1, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    7 Actually, I believe that the tune for ‘Kolob’ is from the English folk hymn ‘Dives and Lazarus.’ What’s your source?

  12. February 1, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    I could dig being in a sultry glebe right about now, while the freezing rain pelts my window.
    #11 – I agree with you. I always smile when my classical station plays it.

    For FHE this year we are singing through the hymnal, two each time, one for opening and one for closing. I’m always surprised both at how many I know, and how many I don’t.

  13. RT
    February 1, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Come Thou Font of Every Blessing–oh, wait, they took that one out. Amazing Grace–wait, that one’s gone too.

    Prayer of Thanksgiving is thankfully still in the hymnal, and really ought to be sung on non-thanksgiving occasions. It’s absolutely majestic.

  14. Bill
    February 1, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    #11, if you follow the link he gave in 7, you will see that Dives and Lazarus is mentioned (incorrectly as Divers and Lazarus) as being part of a complex of related tunes arising out of the tune Guilderoy. The tune name under which it is best known is Kingsfold.

  15. John
    February 1, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    One of my old favorites in the old blue hymnal was (and still is) “Unanswered Yet?”

  16. Jeremy
    February 1, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    Neglected faves:

    Each Life That Touches Ours for Good (if not sung at my funeral I’ll go poltergeist on the chorister…)

    If You Could Hie to Kolob

    How Gentle God’s Command (although I like the Protestant words, too: “Blessed Be the Tie that Binds [our hearts in Christian love]”; it’s the one they sing for the funeral in “Our Town”)

    Lead Kindly Light (best bass line evar)

    Know This, That Every Soul is Free (no lesson on agency is complete without singing it or reading the words)

  17. Jeremy
    February 1, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    Oooh, and also:

    Thy Spirit, Lord, Has Stirred Our Souls — the shift from minor to major makes for beautiful word painting

  18. February 1, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    Come Let Us Anew.

    YouTube vid of the MoTab singing it:

  19. February 1, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    Come Let Us Anew.

    Search for it on YouTube. There’s a video of the MoTab singing it. WordPress didn’t like me linking to it.

  20. Jill
    February 1, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    #125 is also one of my favorites, “His goodness stands approved, unchanged from day to day; I’ll drop my burden at his feet and bear a song away.”. Beautiful!

  21. February 1, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    I find it quite interesting that many of these hymns are ones that I’ve thought, in previous wards (and in Seminary, but hymns in Seminary in Utah are a topic unto themselves), were sung perhaps bit too often. Several of my BYU wards sang If You Could Hie to Kolob, Lead Kindly Light, Abide With Me, and Be Still My Soul on a very frequent basis.

    Most of the hymns I’ve missed singing lately are the bright, lively, up-tempo ones that our ward chorister never approaches.

  22. JimD
    February 1, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me

  23. Zillah
    February 1, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    O Savior, Thou Who Wearest a Crown

    If the melody is good enough for St. Matthew’s Passion, it should be good enough for sacrament meeting.

    I’m a Pilgrim, I’m a Stranger

  24. February 1, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    #27 Praise to the Man

  25. Carrie
    February 1, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    We sing the first verses of “How Firm a Foundation” often enough, but not the equally beautiful later verses.

  26. Boise
    February 1, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    My vote is “For All the Saints,” with its wonderful walking bass line.

  27. TMD
    February 1, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    The always revolutionary ‘o say what is truth’

  28. Last Lemming
    February 1, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    Lead Kindly Light (best bass line evar)

    No, that honor goes to “Though in the Outward Church Below,” which, unfortunately, remains exiled to the blue hymnal.

  29. RT
    February 1, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    Truth Reflects Upon our Senses doesn’t get sung enough.

    As for funeral songs, we sang Oh What Songs of the Heart at my grandfather’s funeral two years ago. I grew up in the church, served a mission, and have been active for the decade since, but I don’t think I’d ever heard it before. It is absolutely amazing. It walks the line between hope, joy, and nostalgia in a way that is absolutely marvelous. (Personally, I think that Abide with Me has the opposite effect–it seems to walk a line between hope and barely-hanging-on, which seems odd at a gospel-centered funeral).

  30. East Coast
    February 1, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    As a ward organist, I would be wary of using “Oh What Songs of the Heart” because it always makes me cry and what’s worse than sitting up at the organ crying?

  31. Jones
    February 1, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    My favorite doesn’t get sung enough: “Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee”. I think all the saints should memorize “Come O, Thou King of Kings” and “Press Forward Saints”. I love to fantasize of a congregation where all would stand, sing with vigor and from memory, these inspiring hymns.

  32. jsg
    February 1, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    Match the following:

    1. “God Moves in a Mysterious Way”
    2. “Rock of Ages”
    3. “I’m a Pilgrim, I’m a Stranger”

    A. Def Leppard
    B. Steve Miller Band
    C. Bono

    I have to second “O Savior, Thou Who Wearest a Crown.” A perfectly suitable sacrament hymn.

  33. JrL
    February 1, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    I miss both versions of “Abide with Me,” whose use ebbed (wuite logically) immediately upon adoption of the consolidated meeting schedule. When II had input on stake conference music, I kept suggesting the for the Saturday evening session, with occasional success.

  34. East Coast
    February 1, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    For a stretch of about a year and a half I was choosing the music since the music director somehow couldn’t do it. I just looked at my schedule and I’m sure you’ll all be happy to hear that “Because I Have Been Given Much” was not used once.

    We did about 95 percent of the hymns mentioned in the comments. Boy, I didn’t know my choice of music was so in tune with the T&S crowd.

    Having had the opportunity to choose the music, I can’t complain about not getting to do my favorites. However, I carved the hymnbook up into about three categories:

    Class I: most people know or can easily pick up (How Firm a Foundation);

    Class II: some people know and most people will try to sing (Come O Thou King of Kings); and

    Class III: almost no one knows, are hard to sing, or have obscure texts (The Lord My Pasture Will Prepare — sorry, Kaimi).

    I would almost never do Class III songs unless there was a very good reason. I mostly stuck to Class I and tried to use Class II no more than once a week. For example, the topic from the stake was “Jesus Christ, the redeemer,” so we sang: “I Need Thee Every Hour,” “‘Tis Sweet to Sing the Matchless Love,” “Come Thou Glorious Day of Promise,” and “I Know That My Redeemer Lives.” Three Class I and one Class II.

    By the way, “O Savior, Thou Who Wearest” is hard to play and sing, so it only works if the organist is very good and you have a good solid base of educated singers in your ward, which not many wards do.

  35. Kaimi Wenger
    February 1, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    Awesome, jsg. I’ll never look at “I’m a Pilgrim, I’m a Stranger” quite the same. I’m a pilgrim, I’m a stranger, I’m a Mormon, and I’m a danger . . .

    Here are a couple more:

    1. Three Dog Night
    2. John Denver
    3. Kansas

    A. High on the Mountain Top
    B. Joy to the World
    C. Carry On

  36. Mark B.
    February 1, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    The Lord my Pasture is easy to sing. It’s only obscure because people spend too much time singing other stuff slowly.

    How about Go Ye Messengers of Glory, a great missionary hymn by John Taylor, which sadly is outblasted by the calliope-based children’s song whose name I’ve blotted out.

    Go, ye messengers of glory;
    Run, ye legates of the skies;
    Go and tell the pleasing story
    That a glorious angel flies,
    Great and mighty, Great and mighty,
    With a message from the skies.

    Go to ev’ry tribe and nation;
    Visit ev’ry land and clime.
    Sound to all the proclamation;
    Tell all the truth sublime;
    That the gospel, That the gospel
    Does in ancient glory shine.

    Or, the last two verses of God Loved us, So He Sent His Son, esp the last:

    This sacrament doth represent
    His blood and body for me spent.
    Partaking now is deed for word
    That I remember him, my Lord.

    And, Sing Praise to Him–it should be sung at least once a month.

    It’s a challenge for a congregation, but On this Day of Joy and Gladness should be sung often too.

    Merrill Bradshaw’s little hymn We Will Sing of Zion is an easy hymn to sing (if you have some sopranos to hit the high E’s in the penultimate phrase, but it’s seldom sung.

  37. Merry
    February 1, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    What Was Witnessed in the Heavens? – an awesome, almost never sung hymn of the restoration.

  38. Eliza Roxcy
    February 1, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one who is sick and tired of “Because I Have Been Given Much”. I also find it rather ironic that it is one of the few hymns with a big fat copyright violation warning on the bottom of the page. So much for sharing…

  39. Mark N.
    February 1, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    It originally was very influenced by BY’s A/G speculations

    Hmmm, that’s funny: it doesn’t seem to read as if it’s only BY speculatin’…

    Seems pretty darn sure of himself, as a matter of fact.

  40. Bill
    February 1, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    39 – For more info check here:


  41. Mark N.
    February 1, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    40 – Thanks for the link. After having pondered the whole BY Adam/God “theory” for a while, I’ve decided that there’s a lot of doctrine that makes much more sense if you buy into at least some of it.

    However, if it turns out that none of it is even remotely correct, I’m sure there will be those who will be more than happy to set me straight on the other side of the veil once I get there. I doubt that severe spiritual whippings will be involved if and when the topic comes up.

    I found a nice piano solo version of “Sons of Michael” in one of the books passed down to me from my mom when she passed away. When I was asked to do a solo number a year or so ago, I decided I’d do that one as my way of injecting a little subversiveness into the meeting. I certainly don’t feel any strong compunctions to bring up the topic in my priesthood quorum meetings on Sunday.

  42. February 1, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    Mark (#39), one can speculate and be pretty convinced ones speculations are the truth. I’d say that’s the heart of most philosophical writing in fact. (big grin) You don’t have to read many philosophical papers to find folks mighty sure of themselves in a fashion that makes Brigham seem tentative.

    “East Coast” (#34). I really liked what Pres. Benson did and had 10 minutes taken out of Sunday School to learn songs. I think that with so many converts this is especially useful. I’d like to see a return to that – if only every other week. Of course I also think it’d be better to take 10 minutes out of Sacrament meeting rather than Sunday School.

    It is surprisingly to me how many folks are listing songs as “under-appreciated” when I hear them sung in numerous wards all the time. I mean “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief?” That’s probably one of the most popular songs in the hymnal even if it isn’t sung in Sacrament that often.

  43. Latter-day Guy
    February 1, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    Re: 7, 11, 14. Hie To Kolob, the tune, as a hymn tune is most commonly called Kingsfold, as a folk tune it is used in the song Star of the County Down (slightly altered).

  44. Latter-day Guy
    February 1, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    What about hymns we loathe? If it mentions anything about sunshine, it should be removed from the hymnal FOREVER. Ugh. (Also, note that the chorus to Scatter Sunshine is sung incorrectly EVERY TIME. We usually sing Sca-a-a–ter-r-r Su-u-un Shi-i-ine, when it should be Sca-a-a–a-a-ter Su-u-un Shi-i-ine. Even though it sucks, let’s do it right from now on.)

  45. Hans
    February 1, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    Interesting speculation on “O Savior, Thou Who Wearest a Crown”: The Lutherans refer to it as the “Passion Chorale”, sung during the Lent and Easter, especially during Passion or Holy Week and a centerpiece for Good Friday. The tune was originally a love song (different text), arranged for solo voice with lute accompaniment.

    Other hymns not sung often enough: Thy Spirit Lord has stirred our souls; Ring out wild bells;

    Other hymns not appearing in our hymnal: Joyful joyful we adore thee (Beethoven’s Ode to Joy/9th Symphony); My Jesus as thou wilt (CM von Weber); Though in the outward church below (Mozart) with its beautiful bass part; And Did Those Feet in Ancient Time (from “The New Jerusalem” by William Blake, music used in Chariots of Fire),


    My ward choir sang a medley of Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me and Jesus, Lover of My Soul in Sacrament one Sunday.

    In regard to “Carry On”: we always referred to it as “The Vulture Hymn:, aka “Carrion, carrion”.

    “For All the Saints”: the hymn tune is “Sine Nomine” (Without Name), because Vaughan Williams never named his tune.

  46. Mark B.
    February 1, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    Actually, Scatter Sunshine is so bad that it should be sung wrong because it doesn’t deserve to be done right. That glissando, for one thing.

    Besides, it doesn’t deserve to called a hymn–does it say a thing about God, either for or agin?

  47. JWL
    February 2, 2008 at 12:56 am

    Re: #8

    I also love “Be Thou My Vision” but has it ever been in any LDS hymnal?

  48. Scott Fife
    February 2, 2008 at 1:01 am

    “Far, Far Away on Judea’s Plains” for some reason is seldom sung these days. It is one of my favorite Christmas hymns, and the only one composed by a Mormon.

  49. JWL
    February 2, 2008 at 1:02 am

    Also, I have always thought of “If You Could Hie” as the King Follett Discourse hymn. Maybe if the KFD is ever canonized we will be more comfortable with it. In the meantime, the uncomfortable reference to “race” in the third stanza refers I believe to the human race in general, rather than the social categories based on superficial facial and skin pigmentation characteristics.

  50. Ray
    February 2, 2008 at 1:15 am

    #37 – The Wintry Day, Descending to a Close

    #195 – How Great the Wisdom and the Love, verse 6

    (There are a number of hymns where the best verses are the “extra” ones that don’t get sung.)

    #335 – Brightly Beams Our Father’s Mercy – I wish there was a version written for all parts, not just for the men.

  51. Bill
    February 2, 2008 at 1:32 am

    43, that’s what I said.

  52. February 2, 2008 at 1:33 am

    Mark B., I agree–“Sing Praise to Him” should be sung at least once a month.

    Here are my other favorites that aren’t sung enough (as someone else pointed out, most of the suggestions others are offering seem to be hymns I hear too often):

    #6–Redeemer of Israel
    #8–Awake and Arise
    #63–Great King of Heaven
    #64–On This Day of Joy and Gladness
    #68–A Mighty Fortress is Our God
    #72–Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
    #95–Now Thank We All Our God
    #110–Cast Thy Burden upon the Lord
    #166–Abide with Me!
    #265–Arise, O God, and Shine

  53. Jonovitch
    February 2, 2008 at 1:43 am

    I sang in an SATB quartet two weeks ago: #44 Beautiful Zion, Built Above. My first reaction to the request was “Okay, I’ll do it, but I don’t have to like it.” I thought it would be a lame, plodding pioneer-era dirge (which it does sound like on the Church’s hymn site player).

    After we ran through it a couple times, I was surprised how beautiful the lyrics and harmonies actually sounded, especially the refrain. I started to feel myself calling longingly to “Zion, Zion, Lovely Zion, Beautiful Zion” as if beckoning her to come to me. The congregation also seemed to be surprised with this “sleeper hit.”

    I recommend pulling together a quartet to try this one out — you might surprise yourselves too.


  54. Bill
    February 2, 2008 at 1:44 am

    I don’t think “Be thou my vision” has been in an LDS hymnal. Although both text and music are very old, they were combined in their present form only in the last century (text translated from Old Irish in 1905).

  55. Edje
    February 2, 2008 at 2:24 am

    Ray (49): I presume you are aware that #335 and #235 are the same tune? That doesn’t solve the problem of not having the text and music together, but the SATB is available.

  56. Ray
    February 2, 2008 at 3:00 am

    Yeah, edje, but for a congregation to sing it without difficulty the text and music really do need to be together.

    BTW, I am a big fan of singing words of hymns to different tunes, since it almost forces people to pay attention to the words. Too often, many members sleep-sing through the hymns.

  57. Catherine
    February 2, 2008 at 3:31 am

    As a long-time organist I can tell you that if there are some hymns that are NEVER sung in your ward, it may very well be because the organist simply can\’t play them. One of my favorites, All Creatures of Our God and King, is murder on my hands and the accidentals never make it from my brain to my feet.

    My all time favorite though, which is almost impossible for a congregation to sing, is #37, \”The Wintry Day, Descending to Its Close\”, a poignant hymn of longing for home, filled with wonderful imagery and metaphor.

  58. philokalon
    February 2, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    This may have been in the blue hymnal–can’t remember.
    1. T. Aquinas, Tantum ergo. After one listening, in the setting by Gabriel Faure, you’ll embrace the most naive view of the real eucharistic presence.
    2. Schmucke dich, o liebe Seele: BWV 180. 20th Sunday after Trinity. The beauty of this piece pushes the Restoration all the way back to Oct. 1724 with its own first vision, which presents one with certain High Priest’s Group pedagogical problems–not insurmountable, when all hearing aids are off.
    3. “Beautiful Savior.”

  59. TMD
    February 2, 2008 at 12:47 pm


    While in my catholic incarnation I very much liked Tantum ergo, (be it in latin or not), I’d say that it will never be in a mormon hymnal for very good theological reasons! (not just the real presence aspect, the ‘adoration’ part, too).

  60. Ann
    February 2, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    Wow, apparently everybody loves “Hie to Kolob” but me. Hunh.

  61. philokalon
    February 2, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    TMD: Good point. Though I don’t remember, during my training in seminary, any proscriptions of venerations or adorations. But those were early hours, and I may have dozed some. I’ll make enquiries of the Bishop, or the Priests: “Is there anything in canon law or the magisterium which procscribes the phrase “sacramentum veneremur”? And if so, is the proscription binding upon me?”

    My suspicion is that you are correct.

  62. Pam
    February 2, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    Our choir sang “If You Could Hie to Kolob” one month when the theme for high council was on education. At the end of the 3rd verse the words ‘In a Eternal Round’. insired us to sing the fourth and fifth verses together as a round. The fourth verse started and after 8 counts the fifth verse was started. It was a pleasing surprise how much this added to the message of the hymn.

  63. February 2, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief.

    All verses.

  64. February 2, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    Amazing Grace.

  65. KerBearRN
    February 2, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    All Creatures of our God and King…love the image of all of creation praising our Heavenly Father. Reminiscent of the scripture in the Book of Mormon (why am I blank? Alma?), “All things denote there is a God…” Also the images of Francis of Assisi with all the birds perched on him and the animals at his feet is a lovely and endearing one…

    O Lord Most Holy (Cesar Franck) — not in the hymnbook, but a gorgeous piece of music. The Mo Tab choir sang that one in April of 06 and it was beautiful. I admit to a weakness for the Latin (Panis Angelicus)–what is it about Latin that makes it such a beautiful sung language?? And there is a version by Pavarotti and Sting that is stunning…

    Beautiful Savior.

  66. February 2, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    Numbers 118, 25, and one that’s not in the book. I have a preference for “doctrinal hymns.” I also like singing the tune of The Spirit of God to the words of Now Let us Rejoice (and vice versa, which is how it was at one point)

    118 (Ye Simple Souls Who Stray) has a message we just don’t hear often at all. That and the fact that it doesn’t have a niche venue like so many others. We sang it in seminary once, and the teacher commented about how different it was. Plus, the second half is a little hard to play, especially on organ.

    25 (Now We’ll Sing with One Accord) a fairly comprehensive “doctrinal hymn) about the restoration. The music of the last line sounds a little goofy, but I like it.

    Afar in Old Judea (Price Publishing “Hymns of the Restoration” #220 and Community of Christ “Hymns of the Saints” #296). Written by Roy Cheville, a member of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in the ’50s. I am in the process of arranging this for a small men’s choir, which I hope to do in a sacrament meeting someday.

    Afar in old Judea, Above the Jordan stream,
    A heav’nly light decended on a baptismal scene.
    Then came the confirmation of Jesus from above,
    The sacramental signet: the Spirit as a dove.

    In ancient Zarahemla, Above the temple towers
    Appeared the Christ of Judah To crown the watchful hours.
    A voice serene yet piercing Beyond our words to tell,
    Proclaimed him as the Savior Whom prophets did foretell.

    Then in a time of searching, A youth who sought God’s way
    Saw in Palmyra’s woodland A light beyond his day,
    And when the vision opened To him whose sight was dim,
    He heard the Father saying, “This is my Son, hear Him!”

  67. Jacob M
    February 2, 2008 at 7:55 pm
  68. Marjorie Conder
    February 2, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    Jesus Once of Humble Birth sung as a Millenial song–like this–
    Jesus once of humble birth
    etc. All the way through–Amazing

    Adam-ondi-Ahman needs a wider exposure–it is us.

    Come All Whose Souls Are Lighted #268 Used to be known as From Greenland’s Icy Mountains.

    Another vote for Lead Kindly Light.

    It is impossible to sing The Spirit of God Like a Fire Is Burning too many times.
    Likewise Redeemer of Israel and I will give another vote for If You Could Hie to Kolob.

    I would also vote to get rid of the “sunshine songs”. They are all dreadful. And while you are at it get rid of Let Us All Press On and Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel.

  69. February 3, 2008 at 1:47 am

    BTW – best version of Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief is the version by the New York Dolls in New York Doll. It’s a really stripped down bluesy rendition. I love it. (Although they only do a few verses)

  70. February 3, 2008 at 2:09 am

    #216 – “We Are Sowing”
    #102 – “Jesus, Lover of My Soul”
    #97 – “Lead, Kindly Light”

    Although it’s anot a hymn, the closing song at President Hinckley’s funeral, “My Shepherd Will Supply My Need” has been one of my favorites for over a year now. Beautiful words, beautiful instruments, and a heavenly ending – “No more a stranger or a guest, but like a child at home”, sung oh so gently by men’s voices.

    To me, it was a fitting ending to a wonderful service of a godly man.

  71. Mark D.
    February 3, 2008 at 2:32 am

    #68: I think “Let Us All Press On” (#243) is one of the most uniquely Mormon hymns we have, and for that reason it is not likely to go anywhere.

    I find it enormously fascinating to compare the themes of hymns – both ours, the ones we have adopted, and other typically Protestant ones we have not. The theology is often rather more subtle and sophisticated than a casual examination would indicate.

    Compare the implied theology of “Let Us All Press On” to “God Moves in a Mysterious Way” (abbreviated as #285) for example. The latter is a classic Protestant hymn that focuses on God’s grace and sovereign power, whereas the former is a classic Mormon hymn that emphasizes God’s supervision and assistance in a work we have to perform.

  72. Carol F.
    February 3, 2008 at 3:02 am

    #120 Lean on My Ample Arm

    I think this hymn is gorgeous, but um, scary, because the soprano line goes to a high F sharp and then hangs out there. Still, I wish I dared use it.

    I am our ward’s new music chairperson and will be using your comments to help me choose songs for the future!

  73. Bonnie B.
    February 3, 2008 at 4:44 am

    I nominate # 45 – Lead Me Into Life Eternal. I have always been drawn to to this simple tune that expresses so beautifully a sincere request for assistance and guidance.

  74. Dale
    February 3, 2008 at 6:30 am

    Hie to Kolob is the hymn—-Kingsford.

    It has many different verses written to it.

  75. Hans
    February 3, 2008 at 8:32 am

    Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) was one of the musical editors of “The English Hymnal”, first published in 1906, with a new edition that was first published in 1933. One of the hymn tunes used was “Kingsfold”, which was a traditional English melody that Vaugham Williams first discovered in “English Country Songs”, published in 1893, under the title “Dives and Lazarus”, the same tune with RVW’s harmonization used in our LDS Hymns (1985) as #284 IYCHTK. In the English Hymnal the tune is paired with the text “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say”, #574,

    A few years later Vaughan Williams was again one of the musical editors for the original edition of “The Oxford Book of Carols”, first published in 1928. Here again he used “Kingsfold” for the carol #60 (second setting) “Job”. The following note is included:

    “Tune noted by the late A.J. Hipkens in Westminster and printed in “English Country Songs” to the words of ‘Dives and Lazarus’, but it probably belongs to ‘Job’. (C.F. the hymn tune “Kingsfold”, E.H. 574).

    Over the years RVW found different versions of the same tune, sometimes under different names, such as “The Star of the County Down” as it was known in Ulster, Northern Ireland. And so RVW’s “Five Variants on Dives and Lazarus”, written for the New York World’s Fair in 1939, are not a set of variations in the conventional sense, but “reminiscences of various versions” as Vaughan Williams describes them..

  76. February 3, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    Everything needs to be sung faster in my ward. Actually, from visiting other wards and in being in my old branch, I’m going to arbitrarily accuse the entire quad-stake area of this issue. They didn’t put those little numbers on the top left-hand corner of the music because they’re pretty, and 50 beats per minute is too slow for almost all of the songs. Period.

    Assuming that everything can be sung at the correct speed, I’d say we should sing everything not on the lists on pages 381, 385, and 386 in the hymnal, more often. There’s actually a lot of great songs on those pages, but because they’re so well-known, they get played a lot (especially when last-minute decisions are made.)

    I also think more effort should go into learning the hymns. I would be sincerely surprised if my ward has more than thirty adults who can sing any particular hymn of the less-commonly-sung variety (you can tell, because when we do sing something that’s familiar, we sound about eight times louder: it’s like all the people who can read music are suddenly joined by the rest of the congregation, or something.)

    Also I think congregations should make a commitment to learning and singing a handful of less-commonly-sung hymns at a time. It’s not enough to sing an obscure song once in Sacrament and check it off the list; that seems to just teach the congregation to really hate the rest hymn (or whichever one has been designated as the “hymn no one knows” slot.)

    Oh, and I love the sunshine and work songs. I don’t think whole categories of hymns ought to be removed (with the possible exception of the “sunset” songs that don’t work with the current block system.) They serve a purpose, after all, even if you don’t feel sunshiny. ^_^

  77. tesseract
    February 3, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    These are sung occasionally, but I would be perfectly happy if we sang them every week:

    #62 – All Creatures of our God and King
    # 92 – For the Beauty of the Earth
    #335 – Brightly Beams Our Father’s Mercy (please make parts for everyone!)
    Come Thou Fount of every Blessing and Amazing Grace (put them back in the hymnal already)

    Also some more I recently discovered in our hymnal and wish were sung more. All very simple, but beautiful.

    #143 – let the holy spirit guide
    # 137- testimony
    # 123 – oh may my soul commune with thee

  78. Scott Fife
    February 3, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    Sarah (76), I agree with you 100 percent. In most wards these days, the hymns are sung far too slow. No wonder ward members often sing with little enthusiasm, when the chorister is leading so slowly. Also, I believe congregations should stand, whenever the rest hymn is sung. More people participate when standing and sing louder, and we all need to stretch our legs!

  79. February 3, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    I second all of the ward organists who\’ve already joined in this discussion. I love \”All Creatures of our God and King\” and \”O Savior, Thou who Wearest a Crown\” but even with six months of advance notice, those hymns are just too hard to play! Also, I can\’t play \”Far, Far Away on Judea\’s Plains\” more than once a year because it takes that long for the bruises on my knees to heal from whacking them on the manual.

    In the current hymnal, my favorites are \”Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me\”, \”Through Deepening Trials\”, \”In Fasting We Approach Thee\”, and \”O God, The Eternal Father.\” I remember we did \”Ring Out, Wild Bells\” in a student ward once, and one guy wound up singing it solo. My wife was conducting, she kind of mumbled through it, and told me never to choose it again. It really only works right around New Year\’s anyway.

    My favorite of all time has to be \”The Seer, Joseph the Seer\” which to my knowledge was never sung in church even when it was in the hymnal.

  80. Anita
    February 3, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    One Sunday after singing “If you could hie to Kolob,” my ten year old daughter parodied:
    “There is no end to verses, in this particular hymn…”

  81. queuno
    February 3, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    DW votes for “The Lord is my Shepherd” (23rd psalm). We only hear it at funerals.

    DW also notes that that the problem is that you have a favorite song, but the chorister and organist butcher the timing and ruin it.

    She also comment that the alto line of “I stand all amazed” (Asombro me da) is pretty boring – just one note, basically, and in Spanish-speaking missions, it gets sung every week…

  82. Barbara
    February 3, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    Sorry to inform several of you, but Amazing Grace has never been in an LDS hymnal. But I used it with a choir in stake conference once and it was well received by everyone. A couple of favorites that I haven\’t heard used lately are #75 \”In Hymns of Praise\” and #115 \”Come Ye Disconsolate.\” My vote for the very most obscure hymn in the book: #126 \”How Long, O Lord Most Holy and True\”. Minor key, and a subject matter of spirits in prison. Has anybody ever sung this hymn? (I will confess— we did it in my ward choir once, just so John A. Widtsoe wouldn\’t feel bad.)

  83. February 3, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    I really like #67, “Glory to God on High”, but I have only sung it at church a few times in the time I’ve been a member. It’s fun to sing at top volume. Plus, it has a special place in my heart. When I was a new convert, I had the opportunity to be in the choir for a regional conference, and this was one of the songs the choir performed. This conference took place about a week before President Hunter passed away, and President Hinckley was our visiting general authority.

    I also wish we would sing #100 “Nearer My God to Thee” more often. It unfortunately tends to be relegated to the list of hymns only sung at funerals. (Although the end of the movie “Titanic” probably doesn’t help with that characterization any.)

  84. sister blah 2
    February 4, 2008 at 2:20 am

    Not in the pantheon of Best Hymns Ever, but IMHO very underappreciated: #28 Saints, Behold How Great Jehovah (most people have never even heard of it, but it’s excellent)

    There are a number of hymns that are my absolute all-time favorites that unfortunately seem to be viewed as exclusively for funerals, and thus aren’t sung very often: Come Let Us Anew (my favorite!), Each Life That Touches Ours For Good, Abide With Me, Nearer My God To Thee.

    Chopping block: Shoulder to the Wheel, Scatter Sunshine.

    Should replace Called to Serve since it is way, way better: Go Forth With Faith

  85. sister blah 2
    February 4, 2008 at 2:22 am

    Additional hymns on my chopping block, and I know this will be widely viewed as insane heresy: Master the Tempest is Raging, How Great Thou Art

  86. February 4, 2008 at 6:55 am

    Having heard just a hint of it in the prelude music at President Hinckley’s funeral, I second the bid for Come Ye Disconsolate. Are we not frequently enough disconsolate at the hash we make of our lives sometimes, or that other people do, or that the Lord’s timing does, that we ever feel disconsolate long enough to sing it? Earth has no sorrow heaven cannot heal – that is a wonderful message, and has been balm to my soul more than once.

  87. jsg
    February 4, 2008 at 10:58 am

    “Lord, Dismiss Us with Thy Blessing” played up-tempo on a kazoo may be a bit obnoxious, but a little melancholy and some dynamics turns it into a whole new creature. Better for a choir than a congregation.

  88. February 4, 2008 at 11:34 am

    Hie To Kolob

    Fount of Every Blessing – Why is this no longer in the Hymnal?!

    Also really like Abide with Me, and Poor Wafaring Man of Grief, though I don’t know if these qualify as “underappreciated” or “under-sung”

  89. JWL
    February 4, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    This is third hand gossip at best, but hey, this is the blogosphere! Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing was dropped from the current hymnal as an oversight. The revision committees were going too slowly and a decree came down from on high to get it finished already. In the resulting rush Come Thou Fount got accidently left on the cutting room floor. No one had deliberately nixed it, it just got lost in the last minute shuffle.

    This is pure speculation, not even third hand gossip. I suspect that Amazing Grace has never been included in our hymnal because we used to be suspicious of “grace” talk, equating it with Calvinist salvation-by-grace-alone theology which we rejected. Now that we are trying to demonstrate how Chirst-centered our theology is, Amazing Grace should not be so suspect. If comes down to trade-offs on the next hymnal, I vote for dropping “I Believe in Christ” in favor of Amazing Grace. Just in case someone feels that replacing that long tedious pseudo-hymn would signal that we don’t believe in Christ, or don’t respect Church leaders’ efforts at writing hymn lyrics, I would note that President Hinckley’s lyrics to #135 (My Redemmer Lives) get the same message across in one-fourth the space of Elder McConkie’s.

  90. David
    February 4, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    #89 – Amen! I absolutely cringe at “I Believe in Christ”. It seems to be a favorite of some and therefore chosen way too often.

  91. Snow White
    February 4, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    Oh yeah! Beautiful Savior is awesome, especially with the descant! It’s in the Primary songbook, but I’ve never actually heard it sung in Primary or Sacrament meeting. I third or fourth the hatin’ on Because I Have Been Given Much. yuck.
    I’m also not fond of “Onward Christian Soldiers”, but that’s because they always play it like a dirge.
    Our Primary has done “Let the Holy Spirit Guide”, which is great because, as already mentioned, it’s a wonderful little hymn no one sings.

  92. Jacob
    February 4, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    While not technically a hymn, I adore “I Feel My Savior’s Love” and “My Heavenly Father Loves Me”. Primary songs are so delightful. I hope they include more in the next hymnbook.

  93. Mark M
    February 4, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    Latter-day Guy (#44),
    “What about hymns we loathe? If it mentions anything about sunshine, it should be removed from the hymnal FOREVER. Ugh.”

    Lighten up a bit! (Pun not quite intended.) Shall we also ban hymns with words like “trees” and “flowers” and “beauty”?

  94. Mark B.
    February 4, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    Only if the sap is running through them.

    Which it does by the barrel through Pathways Bright, Scattered Sunshine, Welcome Sabbath Mornings, Shoulders to Wheels and Roses which bloom beneath your feet (damned thorn!).

  95. Mark M
    February 4, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    While I certainly don’t count it as a favorite (not even in my Top 100 list out of 300+ hymns), it somehow became a tradition after our first son was born to sing #280 “Welcome, Welcome, Sabbath Morning” during the Sunday morning drive to church. Sometimes I even sing it when he greets me Sunday morning as a signal that we get to go to church today.

    Just last week, my wife carried the hymnal so that we could sing all of the verses. (I had remembered only about 1-1/2 verses from my youth.) The first 3 verses are good — skip the 4th, unless you want to laugh at a poor effort to end the hymn. ;-)

    By the way, the 4th verse begins…
    “Here we meet with friends and neighbors, [so far, so good]
    Parents, too, are in the throng. [Oh, really?!?]

  96. East Coast
    February 4, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who prefers to skip “I Believe in Christ.” I find it very slow, too repetitive, and it doesn’t seem to flow from beginning to end in any easy-to-understand way. I would also skip “If You Could Hie” for a similar reason.

    And as far as the songs about the little birds go (#93), you can get rid of most of them as far as I’m concerned. “Earth with its Ten Thousand Flowers,” “All Creatures,” “The Light Divine.” But keep the sunshine ones. There’s nothing like singing “There is Sunshine in my Soul Today” on a gray February Sabbath.

    And…after thinking about this topic for a few days, one of my all time beloved hymns is “Der Zeiten Fülle nun begann.” It is very beloved by the German saints. I went to a regional conference in Hanau about 15 years ago where President Hinckley spoke and I still remember clearly what he said. This song was used in the conference. It has a nice tune and wonderful text about the Restoration.

    However, the original hymn by Philo Dibble has the unfortunate title of “The Happy Day At Last Has Come” (Hymn 32). That’s a really hard title to get past. Can you say “Fonz?” It’s definitely better in translation! Regardless, I still wish it was used more here.

  97. Mark M
    February 4, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    Mark B.,
    The funny thing is I wrote #95 before I read your #94. And yes, I think I enjoy singing #280 (Sabbath Morning) on the way to church, knowing full well that we’ll NEVER sing it there.

  98. Mark M
    February 4, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    East Coast (#96),

    I chuckled inside when our ward choir sang “The Happy Day At Last Has Come” a week ago, given that our recently-released and now retiring-from-work and moving-closer-to-grandchildren stake president was singing tenor in the choir, just before giving his final talk to the ward. (He spoke as a ward member, not as stake president this time.)

    I thought the title was very appropriate for celebrating the conclusion of a long working career.

    P.S. I guess we’re both ward organists on the East Coast

  99. Mark M
    February 4, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    I don’t mind singing #134 I Believe in Christ occasionally. It would be nice it the bishopric announced which 2 verses of it we were singing that day. That would make it seem like a normal-length, 4-verse hymn. I do admit to sometimes feeling early in the 2nd verse that it is going to take a long time to get to the end, and my voice will be strained. (Yes, not a very Christ-like thought.

    Then again, I always thought that “Hie” would never end. I finally realized (after a few years) that was precisely the point of the hymn. The Tabernacle Choir rescued it for me with a beautiful arrangement sung at a Gen Conf where the music and dynamics built ever stronger with each verse. Hooray! I don’t want an eternity of dull repetition!

  100. East Coast
    February 4, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    That’s funny about the former Stake President and nice to know that the song is used from time to time.

    I used to subscribe to a newsletter put out by a lady in Utah about church music topics. I lost track of it a number of years ago. It was very well researched and often had original materials about some of the hymns, church musicians, etc., and suggestions for programs, organ registrations, etc. Is it appropriate to ask here if anyone knows of something similar?

  101. Mark N.
    February 4, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    Is it time (given that we’re an international church and all that) to retire the hymns that sing the praises of Utah’s mountains and the like?

  102. Mark N.
    February 4, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    99 – Then again, I always thought that “Hie” would never end. I finally realized (after a few years) that was precisely the point of the hymn.

    If I look up the hymn name in the back of the book, will I find that the official name is “Groundhog”? :-)

  103. East Coast
    February 4, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    #101 Probably not. The mountain imagery is very scriptural. Think Isaiah. There’s only a few of these songs left anyway. 255 Firm as the Mountains Around Us, 33 Our Mountain Home So Dear, 34 O Ye Mountains High, 35 For the Strength of the Hills, 43 Zion Stands with Hills Surrounded.

    I just read through 54 Behold the Mountain of the Lord and that doesn’t count as a Utah song. It was written in the mid 1700s.

    I think if any one of them could go it would be #33. However, it has that choral quality to it that is so beloved by a particular type of church musician which keeps it in the hymnbook even if it’s not generally sung.

    Among the songs to be added to the next hymnbook should be “Faith in Every Footstep.” I can’t say it’s under-appreciated, though, since our ward tends to do it at least once a year.

  104. rp
    February 4, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    hymns that we don\’t sing enough: for all the saints, o come thou king of kings, let zion in her beauty rise, now let us rejoice (not the greatest parts, but the words are awesome), all the \”christmas\” and \”thanksgiving\” songs and especially the \”easter\” songs. \”He is Risen\” and \”Christ the Lord is Risen Today\” are two of the greates hymns, and most appropriate for Sacrament meeting, but we only sing them once or twice a year because someone labeled them as \”easter hymns.\” Same for \”Joy to the World\”, etc.

    lines I\’m uncomfortable singing: \”The wicked who fight against zion will surely be smitten at last\”, \”while they who reject this glad message shall never such happiness know\”, \”there is no end to race\”. I\’m uncomfortable with \”Faith of our Fathers\” because I had a lot of people reject the gospel on my mission for the exact reasons and feelings expressed in that hymn.

    hymns I wish were in the hymn book: Come thou font of every blessing, Amazing Grace, Faith in Every footstep

    The sunshine hymns are awful, but the worst hymn of all is \”The Light Divine\”

  105. rp
    February 4, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    fount, not font

  106. February 4, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    99, Mark, it is only the music of “I Believe” that makes it at all bearable. The lyrics are, IMO, awful — strained rhymes and tortured syntax — and it never would have made it into the book had its author not been who he was. I’d rather scatter sunshine for six hours straight than believe!

  107. Mark B.
    February 4, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    You mean, AP, that you’ve got a problem with planting your feet on gospel sod?

    (Biting tongue to avoid a bit of off-color British slang.)

    And, rp, I’m glad that I’m not the only one who finds “surely be smitten at last” and “never such happiness know” difficult to sing. Especially in that bouncy dotted eighth–sixteenth note rhythm. It’s as if that line the 2 Nephi were changed to Satan “leadeth them [cheerfully] down to hell.

  108. nita
    February 5, 2008 at 1:21 am

    Lots of songs I like that aren’t sung enough you all already mentionned, since I have a long commute, I play the hymns on CD:

    ~How Gentle God’s Commands
    ~We Are Sowing
    ~Lord, I would Follow Thee (has touching story to it if you read the book that tells the stories of the hymns)
    ~As I Search the Holy Scriptures

    ***and Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow (I joined the Church as a teen. Growing up my dad would sing this song, it is so simple and so true of a hymn)

    ~Also the best verses in How Firm A Foundation are never

    sung. :( :( the last several verses are the ones that are the voice of the Savior, there is also a special message to old people in telling of the Savior’s love for them in those verses (I work w/the elderly)

    * I don’t like: Jesus the very Thought of Thee. The words are ok, but I can’t stand the music. When I left for my mission, I’d hoped we’d sing #220 for a closing song.( i went in 1991 when we were allowed to choose songs). INstead, someone changed it to that song.

    *the one that brings back memories of singing it in a silly voice at BYU: Judge Not that Ye Be Not Judeth (something like that??)

    * I also really like the hymn, Ye Elders of Israel- yeah I’ve only sung it when I was on my mission, and I’m a sister. But I compensate by playing it on the CD. I t hink this song could also work w/inserting “sisters”.

    * another hymn I like is “Prayer is the Soul’s Sincere Desire”, has some great words to it!!

  109. February 5, 2008 at 1:25 am

    I have a different perspective on “The Light Divine”. I served my mission in Thailand in the early 90’s. It seems like one branch sang that hymn every other week. I had never heard it before, but I grew to love it there in the field. I’ve probably only sung it once or twice in English in my life! I guess it shows how time and place affect opinion on music.

  110. gloria
    February 5, 2008 at 11:03 am

    I had never heard or sung #248 Up, Awake Ye Defenders of Zion until our mission to Nigeria. The Saints there sing it very frequently, they love the phrase, “Let each heart be the heart of a lion,’ (they know their lions) – and they really sing! Yes, they often sing a bit sharp and with interesting and inventive tempo, but everyone sings and to hear the chapel walls echo with “Then let us be faithful and true” gives us great hope for the Church is that troubled country.

  111. Mark B.
    February 5, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    The Nigerian saints are probably free from any taint of “Hooray for the Red, White and Blue.”

  112. Mark M
    February 5, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    I also like “Praise God For Whom All Blessings Flow”.

    It always brings me a smile to remember how it was sung in the video and filmstrip “Restoration of the Priesthood” (circa 1979). In this sweet depiction, the Saints are in the Peter Whitmer home to organize the church on April 6, 1830, and they sing this hymn as the sacrament bread is broken. Starting on the second line of the hymn, a deep bass voice joins in unison 2 octaves below the women. Love it!

  113. Sasha
    February 6, 2008 at 12:47 am

    This vote is still too close to call. I vote for Romney…..wait, wrong poll…..Oh What Songs of the Heart is one of the best underappreciated hymns. I played it in sacrament meetings twice and every time I got comments like “What hymn is that? It is beautiful”. I agree.

  114. D Hunsaker
    February 11, 2008 at 4:42 am

    230. Scatter Sunshine

    I know some don\’t like it, but that\’s because they didn\’t have a grandpa like mine. He taught it to me one summer when we were shoveling out an overweight cattle truck. Scattering Sunshine means different things to different people.

    How much joy and comfort You can all bestow,
    If you scatter sunshine Ev’rywhere you go.
    Scatter sunshine all along your way.
    Cheer and bless and brighten Ev’ry passing day.

    I always smile when it is sung. It brings me joy just to think about it.

  115. eljee
    February 13, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    I’m coming a bit late to this discussion, having just found this site, but I wanted to add my two cents. I could include half the hymnal, but here are just some of those I think are undersung:

    Now Let Us Rejoice (seems to be relegated to stake conference)
    Redeemer of Israel
    Come, Rejoice
    Come, Listen to a Prophet’s Voice
    Let Zion in her Beauty Rise
    We Will Sing of Zion
    Come, Ye Children of the Lord
    virtually all the hymns between #’s 61 and 84!
    Father in Heaven, in Thy Love Abounding
    As the Dew From Heaven Distilling (one of the most beautiful texts!)
    Lord, We Come Before Thee Now
    How Wondrous and Great
    Jehovah, Lord of Heaven and Earth
    Our Father, By Whose Name

    I don’t care for most of the hymns between #’220 and #250, with a couple of exceptions. I do like Called to Serve, but it takes a good organist to play in a dignified manner that doesn’t sound like a calliope. I also love I Believe in Christ and think it quite majestic and grand, but in order for it to be effective, it must be sung.at the right tempo (not too slowly), with the right registrations on the organ, and with NO slowing down at the end of the first half of each verse.

    I agree with the previous poster who organizes the hymns into three categories of very familiar, semi-familiar, and totally unfamiliar. Whenever I have had a say in choosing hymns, I have tried to use the first two categories equally, and occasionally choose something from the last. I am very concerned that we need to keep the category of semi-familiar hymns alive, because many of them seem to be slipping into oblivion. Our pool of singable hymns is shrinking as we do not make a concerted effort to sing a wide variety of hymns! We got a new bishop about 18 months ago who immediately put an end to singing anything that was not extremely familiar. Even many hymns that I considered familiar were axed (he would go through an monitor what we chose). I was released a short time later, and I think it was a blessing because it would have been extremely difficult for me to labor under those restrictions.

    There are many hymns that I think need to be kept alive simply for historical reasons–they are important to our history as a Church either musically or because of the circumstances of their writing, the person who wrote them, etc. When I have served as ward organist, I have viewed part of my calling as educational, making sure that we are still at least remotely familiar with these.

  116. eljee
    February 13, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    I have to add one more, from the men’s section, #324 Rise Up, O Men of God.

  117. catherine
    February 25, 2008 at 2:38 am

    How nice it is to find so many kindred spirits who love the beautiful hymns of the Church!

    To the returned Sister Missionary who loves \”Ye Elders of Israel\”–I, too, love that hymn and sang it on my mission with joy. When I first discovered it as a teenager, I thought it unfair that the men had such a great missionary hymn and then realized that it could include women too. The words: \”Ye Elders of Israel, come join now with me\” are referring to how the Elders are joining with the women of the Church in sharing the gospel! It doesn\’t leave us out. It was easy to sing with the Elders as I saw myself united with the labourers in sharing the good news of the Gospel.

    Another great song in the Men\’s section is 320–The Priesthood of Our Lord. Try singing it as a round. WOW, it is great! I had a Stake Choir sing it for Stake Conference once and it was amazing.

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