“All is Well” in Zion, or Not?

I was a student at BYU from 1999-2007. During that time, I often remember walking across campus and hearing the Carillon Bell Tower toll it’s hourly chime to the tune of “Come, Come Ye Saints.” Of course, the lyrics always came swiftly to mind – “All is Well! All is Well!” Sometimes, if I was going to take a tough test, such a thought brought comfort. At other times, it would unsettle me to think we didn’t do more in “happy valley.”

This foundational church hymn conveys the hope that no matter the trouble we may run into, all will be well in the end. In fact, the original title to the hymn was “All is Well,” penned by William Clayton on April 15, 1846, as he sat near his campsite in Locus Creek, Iowa, on a Mormon pioneer caravan. He had just received word of the birth of his baby boy back in Nauvoo. The hymn became a symbol of the Mormon migration west, sung by the pioneers as they made the arduous journey, burying loved ones by the wayside.

But I have also wondered at what has been said in opposition to the “all is well” attitude.

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