25 Hymns You Didn't Realize Were Written by Prophets and General Authorities

by | Sep. 22, 2018

Mormon Life

John Taylor, 3rd Prophet of the Church 

John Taylor was known for his beautiful voice, which he used to comfort the prophet Joseph Smith singing "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief" in Carthage Jail. But John Taylor also wrote several hymns during his life, two of which are in the 1985 hymnal, “Go Ye Messengers of Glory” and “Go, Ye Messengers of Heaven."

Edward Partridge, First Presiding Bishop 

Edward Partridge was the first Presiding Bishop in 1831 and wrote the words to "Let Zion in Her Beauty Rise" (no. 41). 

Orson F. Whitney, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Orson F. Whitney was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles from 1906 until 1931. He wrote two hymns, "The Wintry Day, Descending to Its Close" (no. 37) and "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul" (no. 112). 

Loren C. Dunn, General Authority 

General Authority Loren C. Dunn wrote the lyrics to "Testimony" (no. 137). 

John A. Widtsoe, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

A prolific writer, John A. Widtsoe also wrote hymns, one of which, "How Long, O Lord Most Holy and True" is in the current hymnbook.

Russell M. Nelson, 17th Prophet of the Church

This song isn’t included in the hymn book, but the inspiring message it sends shows the type of life our prophet lives and accentuates his grateful attitude. The lyrics read: 

Our God is my maker;

Parents dear are my guide;

An angel wife, my true love;

children choice are my pride.

The Lord is my Light; 

His endless truth, my law.

My joy is in service to others;

My message is, my life.

David A. Bednar, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Also not in the hymnbook but worth mentioning is "One by One," which features lyrics by David A. Bednar and music by Paul Cardall. Elder Bednar's words bear powerful testimony that the gospel of Jesus Christ is for each person individually and He knows each of us personally. The last verse reads: 

One by one, one by one. 

Christ looked around Him and saw their tears. 

One by one, one by one. 

In his compassion, he calmed their fears. 

Jesus Christ healed each one brought forth unto Him. 

Then He blessed each precious child and prayed for them. 

The angels descended from heaven above, 

Encircling those little ones; each felt his love. 

One by one, one by one. 

He intercedes for each daughter and son. 

One by one, one by one. 

Strength from His grace gives us pow'r to become, 

One by one. 

The new hymnbook is sure to be inspired and full of uplifting songs. As part of the development process, Church leaders are asking for anyone who is musically inclined to submit hymns to be considered for the new hymnbook. If you don’t have a hymn to share, you can still voice your suggestions here

If you plan to submit your work, the deadline is July 1, 2019. For instructions on how to submit, click here

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