’Tis Sweet to Sing
April 1997

“’Tis Sweet to Sing,” New Era, Apr. 1997, 21

’Tis Sweet to Sing

Like great art, the hymns are tone pictures of the gospel’s beauty. Here is a gallery of favorites.

“Blessed be the name of our God; let us sing to his praise” (Alma 26:8).

At the birth of the Savior Jesus Christ, angels sang of his coming, and after the Last Supper, Jesus and the Apostles sang a hymn. In the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord tells Emma Smith that music should be an important part of our lives too: “The song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads” (D&C 25:12). On the following pages, we’ve gathered pictures of the Savior and words from LDS hymns about the Savior. As you read, think about the meaning of the words and the meaning of his life.

Happy Easter.

Painting by Carl Heinrich Bloch

Painting by Carl Heinrich Bloch

There is no end to glory;

There is no end to love;

There is no end to being;

There is no death above.

(“If You Could Hie to Kolob,” Hymns, no. 284)

Oh, how joyful it will be

When our Savior we shall see!

When in splendor he’ll descend,

Then all wickedness will end.

Oh, what songs we then will sing

To our Savior, Lord, and King!

Oh, what love will then bear sway

When our fears shall flee away!

(“Come, Ye Children of the Lord,” Hymns, no. 58)

Painting by Carl Heinrich Bloch

Painting by Carl Heinrich Bloch

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you” (John 14:27).

Come unto Jesus, ye heavy laden,

Care-worn and fainting, by sin oppressed.

He’ll safely guide you unto that haven

Where all who trust him may rest.

(“Come unto Jesus,” Hymns, no. 117)

Painting by Carl Heinrich Bloch

Painting by Carl Heinrich Bloch

We know he is coming

To gather his sheep

And lead them to Zion in love,

For why in the valley

Of death should they weep

Or in the lone wilderness rove?

(“Redeemer of Israel,” Hymns, no. 6)

Upon the cross of Calvary

They crucified our Lord

And sealed with blood the sacrifice

That sanctified his word.

(“Upon the Cross of Calvary,” Hymns, no. 184)

There was no other good enough

To pay the price of sin.

He only could unlock the gate

Of heav’n and let us in.

(“There Is a Green Hill Far Away,” Hymns, no. 194)

Painting by Carl Heinrich Bloch

Painting by Carl Heinrich Bloch

Jesus, the very thought of thee

With sweetness fills my breast;

But sweeter far thy face to see

And in thy presence rest.

Jesus, our only joy be thou,

As thou our prize wilt be;

Jesus, be thou our glory now,

And thru eternity.

(“Jesus the Very Thought of Thee,” Hymns, no. 141)

“I am the light and the life of the world” (3 Ne. 11:11).

Once he groaned in blood and tears;

Now in glory he appears.

Once rejected by his own,

Now their King he shall be known.

(“Jesus, Once of Humble Birth,” Hymns, no. 196)

Painting by Carl Heinrich Bloch

Painting by Carl Heinrich Bloch

He is risen! He is risen!

Tell it out with joyful voice.

He has burst his three days’ prison;

Let the whole wide earth rejoice.

Death is conquered, man is free.

Christ has won the victory.

(“He Is Risen!” Hymns, no. 199)

And when I think that God, his Son not sparing,

Sent him to die, I scarce can take it in,

That on the cross my burden gladly bearing

He bled and died to take away my sin.

(“How Great Thou Art,” Hymns, no. 86)

© 1953 S. K. Hine. Assigned to Manna Music Incorporated, 35255 Brooten Road Pacific City, Oregon 97135. Renewed 1981. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

The Lord is my light; then why should I fear?

By day and by night his presence is near.

He is my salvation from sorrow and sin;

This blessed assurance the Spirit doth bring.

(“The Lord Is My Light,” Hymns, no. 89)

Painting by Carl Heinrich Bloch

Painting by Carl Heinrich Bloch

Hearts in Harmony

Power. That’s what the seminary council at East High School in Salt Lake City wanted. Not the power that builds fortunes or lights buildings, but the power that builds testimonies and lights the fire of the Spirit.

The council members decided to draw on all their powers of creativity to create an opening assembly for the school year that would get everyone excited about following the Savior. They knew that music is an especially powerful tool (particularly hymns, like the ones you’ve read on these pages), and that when paired with visual images, it is even more effective. The scriptures have power, too. So they decided to find a scriptural theme for the whole seminary to live by for the year.

But they knew that to make a good decision, they would have to rely on another power—the power of prayer.

“When we got together to make the final selection for our scripture theme for the year, we knelt down and prayed,” says Meggan Felt. “After we voted, it seemed that everyone knew the right scripture.”

That scripture was 2 Timothy 1:7–8: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord.” [2 Tim. 1:7–8] A scripture that talks, not only about power, but also about love. It was a perfect fit.

“This scripture is a reminder to me that the Savior is always there,” says council member Enos Beebe.

And, after seeing the assembly that the council had spent hours putting together, which featured a slideshow of artwork of the Savior paired with music about his life, other students echoed Enos’s thoughts about the scripture. And that made all the work worth it.

Even if it did take a “powerful” long time.