Dearest Children, God Is Near You (Shaker Style)

Over the weekend, I sang not only in three sessions of General Conference, but also in a concert with a local chamber choir called the Deseret Chamber Singers. It is quite a different experience when you are one of only two tenor IIs instead of one of eighty or so.

In that concert, we sang a beautiful Shaker song called “Love Is Little”, and once I heard it, I knew I needed to adapt a hymn to the melody. The result is below:

Dearest Children God Is Near You (Love Is Little)

In the coming weeks, I will be working to put together an entire hymnbook of a variety of hymns, both original texts and new settings of beloved texts from our current hymnbook. If you would like to contribute, or just to know more, click on the “Submissions” page above. Please pass the word along to anyone who might be interested.

I am also working on a lengthy piece with the working title “Christmas in Zerahemla” about the story of Samuel the Lamanite and the coming of Christ. More on that as it develops.

Millennial Arrangement: Joseph Smith’s First Prayer

I love the original version of “Joseph Smith’s First Prayer”. In fact, on my first tour with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, I had the opportunity to sing it at the Sacred Grove in New York. But I also think this version, set to the old lullaby “Suo Gan” helps me see the words in a whole a new light. I hope you enjoy it.

PDF: Joseph Smiths First Prayer_Suo Gan

Original Hymn: Blessed

PDF:Blessed

The tune to this hymn came to me as I was drifting off to sleep. It played over and over in my head so that I remembered it in the morning, and started to work on the words:

The pure in heart shall see God’s face

And surely know He is

What greater gift can he bestow

Than knowing we are His?

The meek shall all the earth receive

The peaceable, the kind

When God’s pure kingdom stands alone

And all men peace will find.

The merciful, the penitent

Shall all receive the same

God will recall their sins no more

When they call on his name.

How blessed are all those who mourn

For they shall comfort find

God himself will dry their tears

And soothe the wearied mind.

How blessed the obedient

Who keep all God’s commands

They are prospered in all things

They truly understand.

Those who endure this mortal day

And fight the valiant fight

Shall reclaim their heaven’ly home

A land of endless light.

 

 

Sacrament Hymn: Great Is Thy Mercy

This week I collaborated with a fellow Mormon Tabernacle Choir member to create a new sacrament hymn. He wrote the music and I wrote the lyrics, and I’m really pleased with the result. He has started a new site to post his compositions, and you can check out our combined effort there:

http://ldshappymusic.blogspot.com/2014/01/great-is-thy-mercy.html

 

Here are the words:

Great is thy mercy, O Lord, most holy.

We bring our souls as an off’ring to thee.

Great is thy love, more than I comprehend

Infinite, eternal, thy Son, whom thou didst send.

 

Great is thy power, O Lord, most mighty.

Breaking the chains of death and of sin.

Great is thy grace, in saving those who roam.

Blotting even scarlet sins, through Christ who did atone.

 

Great is thy glory, O Lord, most holy.

We leave our burdens at thy feet.

Great is thy plan that gives up hope anew.

Making clear our path as we our covenants renew.

 

Four Part Men: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

jesus-on-cross-4-1364043-m

“When I Survey the Wond’rous Cross” is one of my grandmother’s favorite songs. I have always loved it as well and have had a chance to sing the traditional version with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. It seemed to me that there really was only one version that I heard everyone do, and a friend of mine mentioned to me that it might be nice to do a men’s arrangement.

So, friend, here you have it.

When I Survey The Wondrous Cross (TTBB)