Songs of Peace

“Songs of Peace,” Friend, July 1994, 24

Songs of Peace

Sing ye to the Lord (Ex. 15:21).

Music has always been an important part of worship in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Many of the hymns we sing today, including those listed below, were also sung by the Saints in the early days of the Church. See if you can match each hymn to the facts about it.*

1. High on the Mountain Top
(Hymns, no. 5)

a. In 1833 an armed mob stormed into the Church settlement at Independence, Missouri. They destroyed much of the property there, including the building that housed W. W. Phelps’s family and the newspaper press. Later the Saints were forced out of the county and had to leave all their possessions behind. More than two hundred of their homes were destroyed. W. W. Phelps wrote this hymn to give hope to the Saints at this challenging time.

2. The Spirit of God
(Hymns, no. 2)

b. This hymn was written by William Clayton on April 15, 1846, during his journey from Nauvoo to Winter Quarters. The pioneers sung it often while traveling and in the evenings around their campfires. It continues to give comfort and courage to the Saints today.

3. Now Let Us Rejoice
(Hymns, no. 3)

c. The wife of United States President Andrew Jackson loved this hymn, and he asked that it be sung at his deathbed. It was also sung at the funerals of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. Since 1773, many churches have included it in their hymnals.

4. Though Deepening Trials
(Hymns, no. 122)

d. Mob violence forced Joel H. Johnson, the author of this hymn, to move many times after he was baptized in 1831. A mob of one hundred drove him out of Nauvoo, forcing him to leave behind thousands of dollars’ worth of property. Later he traveled to the Salt Lake Valley, arriving there in October of 1848. His journal contains 736 hymns and songs.

5. Come, Thou Glorious Day of Promise
(Hymns, no. 50)

e. Eliza R. Snow was among those who left Nauvoo in 1846. She led an ox team to Winter Quarters, and the difficulties of that journey made her very ill, even close to death. She managed to recover, and throughout her life she wrote many hymns, including this one, urging the Saints to have faith amid their hardships.

6. How Firm a Foundation
(Hymns, no. 85)

f. Alexander Neibaur, author of this hymn, was Jewish but had converted to Christianity as a young man. He recognized the Book of Mormon to be the book he had been shown in a dream. He read it and knew it to be true, and in 1838 he was baptized a member of the Church. He entered the Salt Lake Valley in 1848 and became the pioneer dentist there.

7. Come, Come, Ye Saints
(Hymns, no. 30)

g. W. W. Phelps wrote this hymn for the dedication of the Kirtland Temple in 1836. Joseph Smith and other Church members testified that heavenly messengers were present at that sacred service. It continues to be sung at temple dedication services today.