Members from more than 40 countries have sent in survey responses and new music submissions since the official announcement in 2018 that Hymns and the Children’s Songbook would be revised. Now, as the July 1, 2019, deadline for submissions draws near, new information has been released about goals for the hymn and song selection process, along with doctrinal priorities for new music submissions.
“Latter-day Saints from across the globe are encouraged to participate in the revision process,” said Elder Erich W. Kopischke of the Seventy, who serves as an adviser to the committees overseeing revision efforts. “We invite all members of the Lord’s Church who have been blessed with musical and poetic gifts to share those gifts freely as guided by His Spirit,” he said.
Here are ways you can participate:
Under the direction of the First Presidency, a Hymnbook Committee and a Children’s Songbook Committee have been called and set apart to recommend revisions for Hymns and the Children’s Songbook. They will make their recommendations to the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who will then make the final decisions. So far, the committees have evaluated more than 1,200 pieces of music found in various Church music publications.
The committees are following five strategic goals. Sacred music of the Church should:
Increase faith in and worship of our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
Teach the core doctrine and principles of the gospel with power and clarity.
Invite joyful singing at home and at church.
Comfort the weary and inspire members to endure in faith.
Unify members throughout the Church.
Along with considering which songs to include, both committees are also recommending textual and musical adaptations. Many edits include changing single words or phrases to make the language more culturally sensitive or doctrinally correct.
The song most often suggested for inclusion in the new hymnbook is “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” Many people have also recommended borrowing songs and hymns from other Christian traditions, such as “Amazing Grace.”