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11 of the Most Powerful Lyrics in the Hymnbook

One of my favorite parts of church each week is when I get to pull out the hymn book and join the congregation in a rousing version of "The Spirit of God" or a reverent rendition of "Abide with Me." But I don't enjoy singing hymns at church only. Whenever I need a little more inspiration or to feel closer to God, I flip on the Tabernacle Choir or sing one of my favorites karaoke-style. Whether they make us feel pumped or peaceful, hymns inspire us with their music and lyrics. Here are 11 incredible lines from hymns that have inspired many over the years. Share your favorites in the comments below!

1. The Spirit of God, verse four

How blessed the day when the lamb and the lion shall lie down together without any ire. And Ephraim be crowned with his blessing in Zion, as Jesus descends with his chariot of fire!

No wonder this hymn is a favorite pick for temple dedications. We can't help but be inspired to do temple work with this promise about the Second Coming, especially when singing in unison with a congregation or listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir:


2. O My Father, verse four

When I leave this frail existence, when I lay this mortal by, Father, Mother, may I meet you in your royal courts on high? Then, at length, when I’ve completed all you sent me forth to do, with your mutual approbation let me come and dwell with you.

It's rare that we sing about our heavenly parents, but this sacred song penned by Eliza R. Snow is a touching reminder that we can one day return to live with both of them.

3. We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet, verse two

When dark clouds of trouble hang o'er us and threaten our peace to destroy, there is hope smiling brightly before us, and we know that deliv'rance is nigh.

This hymn especially struck home at a recent conference when there was not a unanimous sustaining vote. The knowledge that we have a living prophet on the earth that guides us through the clouds of worldly mindsets and temptations to the bright hope of the gospel makes our hearts rejoice.  

4. Come, Come Ye Saints, verse four

And should we die before our journey's through, happy day! All is well! We then are free from toil and sorrow, too; with the just we shall dwell! But if our lives are spared again to see the Saints their rest obtain, oh, how we'll make this chorus swell-- All is well! All is well!

If this verse from a beloved pioneer hymn doesn't make you tear up, I don't know what will. When I sing this line, I always feel inspired to accomplish more and have a stronger testimony, like the courageous saints who were willing to die (or live) while crossing the plains to Zion.


5. How Firm a Foundation, verse seven

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes. That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake, I'll never, no never, I'll never, no never, I'll never, no never, no never forsake!

Who can help but sing that last promise with gusto? We all want to be stalwart and faithful, and somehow singing this song makes us feel more devoted and motivated to truly NEVER forsake our Savior.

6. I Know That My Redeemer Lives, verse three

He lives, my kind, wise heav'nly Friend. He lives and loves me to the end. He lives, and while he lives, I'll sing. He lives, my Prophet, Priest, and King. He lives and grants me daily breath. He lives, and I shall conquer death. He lives my mansion to prepare. He lives to bring me safely there.

Not only does this verse come to a climax in the music, but the words remind us of our heavenly home and the goal we are aiming for. It reminds us of the love our Redeemer has for us, and that He truly has redeemed us all, meaning that there is no need to fear death if we are being faithful.

This beautiful arrangement is from LDS composer, Michael R. Hicks. Purchase this song on CD here.


7. I Stand All Amazed, verse two

I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine to rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine. That he should extend his great love unto such as I, sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify. Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me enough to die for me! Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!

It's hard not to feel motivated by this incredible reminder about the purpose of the Atonement—an overwhelming act of love that the Savior took upon Himself for each of us individually.

8. Praise to the Man, verse four

Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven; earth must atone for the blood of that man.

While we love this song for the inspiring memorial it is to the first prophet of this dispensation, Joseph Smith, this line is particularly moving, reminding us not only of Joseph's sacrifice, but more importantly, of the atoning sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ. 

9. Called to Serve, chorus

Onward, ever onward, as we glory in his name. Forward, pressing forward, as a triumph song we sing. God our strength will be. Press forward ever, called to serve our King.

I know few returned missionaries who don't love singing this song with enthusiasm. There is no more inspiring cause than serving the Lord and spreading the light of the gospel to His children, whether as a missionary or member. Check out this version sung by the missionaries in April 2012 conference.


10. Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd, verse three

Dear to the heart of the Shepherd, dear are the “ninety and nine.” Dear are the sheep that have wandered out in the desert to pine. Hark! He is earnestly calling, tenderly pleading today: “Will you not seek for my lost ones, off from my shelter astray?” Out in the desert they wander, hungry and helpless and cold. Off to the rescue he hastens, bringing them back to the fold.

Christ often used parables to explain or drive home a point to His disciples. The image of Him as a shepherd is poignantly used in this line, which reminds us of the value of missionary work, and also the importance of home and visiting teaching. And that like Him, we too can be shepherds for those who have wandered.

11. Let Us All Press On, verse two

We will not retreat, though our numbers may be few when compared with the opposite host in view. But an unseen pow’r will aid me and you in the glorious cause of truth.

Though the music itself inspires determination to conquer Satan and his hosts, this line especially reminds us that God is our constant companion and support when trials and temptations come.

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