Hymns

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“One song that was new to the 1985 hymnal is ‘Be Thou Humble.’ This tranquil hymn was written by Grietje Terburg Rowley, who passed away last year. She joined the Church in 1950 in Hawaii, where she was teaching school. Sister Rowley served on the General Music Committee and helped to adapt the hymns into multiple languages. She based her text for ‘Be Thou Humble’ on two verses of scripture: Doctrine and Covenants 112:10 and Ether 12:27…

“Like all of the Church’s hymns, ‘Be Thou Humble’ teaches pure and simple truths. It teaches us that if we humble ourselves, our prayers are answered; we enjoy peace of mind; we serve more effectively in our callings; and, if we continue to be faithful, we will ultimately return to the presence of our Heavenly Father…

“I am grateful for the individuals like Sister Grietje Rowley who have penned inspiring words and music which help us learn the doctrine of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which includes humility.”

Steven E. Snow, General Authority Seventy
Be Thou Humble,” April 2016 General Conference

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“Just a few months after the Church was organized, a revelation was received by the Prophet Joseph Smith for his wife Emma. The Lord directed her ‘to make a selection of sacred hymns, as it shall be given thee, which is pleasing unto me, to be had in my church.’

“Emma Smith assembled a collection of hymns which first appeared in this Kirtland hymnal in 1836. There were only 90 songs included in this thin little booklet. Many of them were hymns from Protestant faiths. At least 26 of them were written by William W. Phelps, who later prepared and assisted in the printing of the hymnal. Only the lyrics were written; no musical notes accompanied the texts. This humble little hymnal proved to be a great blessing to early members of the Church.

“The latest edition of our English-language hymnal was published in 1985. Many of the selections which Emma chose so many years earlier are still included in our hymnbook, such as ‘I Know That My Redeemer Lives’ and ‘How Firm a Foundation.’ ”

Steven E. Snow, General Authority Seventy
Be Thou Humble,” April 2016 General Conference

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“I love the testimony of our poetess and friend Emma Lou Thayne. In words we now sing as a hymn, she wrote:

Where can I turn for peace?
Where is my solace
When other sources cease to make me whole?
When with a wounded heart, anger, or malice,
I draw myself apart,
Searching my soul?
Where, when my aching grows,
Where, when I languish,
Where, in my need to know, where can I run?
Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand?
He, only One.”

Dallin H. Oaks, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Strengthened by the Atonement of Jesus Christ,” October 2015 General Conference

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“As a young woman attending youth conference, I felt the Spirit bear witness to me of the truthfulness of the restored gospel. In preparation for a testimony meeting, we sang ‘The Spirit of God.’ Now, I had sung that hymn many times before in sacrament meetings. But on this occasion, from nearly the opening note, I felt the Spirit. By the time we sang, ‘The latter-day glory begins to come forth,’ I knew that these were more than nice lyrics; they were beautiful truths.”

Vicki F. Matsumori, Second Counselor, Primary General Presidency
Helping Others Recognize the Whisperings of the Spirit,” October 2009 General Conference

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“Your prayer can take many forms. It can be sung in a hymn, or whispered, or even thought. It can be as short as one word—’help!’—or it could be as long as Enos’s prayer that lasted all night and all day.

“The important thing to remember is to pray often, talk to Heavenly Father, seek his counsel so that he can guide you. When you draw near to Heavenly Father in prayer, he will draw near to you. You need never feel alone again.”

Dwan J. Young, Primary General President
Draw Near to Him in Prayer,” October 1985 General Conference

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“…When we sing that doctrinal hymn and anthem of affection, ‘O My Father,’ we get a sense of the ultimate in maternal modesty, of the restrained, queenly elegance of our Heavenly Mother, and knowing how profoundly our mortal mothers have shaped us here, do we suppose her influence on us as individuals to be less if we live so as to return there?”

Spencer W. Kimball, President of the Church
The True Way of Life and Salvation,” April 1978 General Conference

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