Hymn Lyric Submissions

Last month I submitted lyrics for four songs to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for consideration for the new hymn book and children’s songbook which are currently being compiled. This is a once-a-generation effort, as the last time this happened was when I was a little kid. My submissions were all additional verses to existing songs, and all written about 15 years ago.

Here they are:

Sweet Hour of Prayer

This is a third verse for the hymn “Sweet Hour of Prayer,” adding to the original 2 verses attributed to William W. Walford. These words were written because I felt especially grateful to God for a temporal blessing he gave me during a time of financial uncertainty and leanness. The first two verses describe calling upon God in times of “distress and grief,” making our “wants and wishes known.” But I wanted a verse about praying to offer our love and gratitude to God for his wonderful blessings.

Sweet hour of prayer
Sweet hour of prayer
When God did all my wounds repair
I sang through thee my song of praise,
Acknowledged him in all my ways.

And ever when he blesses me —
When lame, I walk; when blind, I see —
My love and joy through thee I’ll share
In gratitude, sweet hour of prayer,
My love and joy through thee I’ll share
In gratitude, sweet hour of prayer

I Know My Father Lives

This is a 3rd verse for the children’s song “I Know My Father Lives,” by Reid N. Nibley, adding the next step in the Plan of Salvation. The original two verses talk about how God is our Father, and how he sent us to earth to live his plan. The 3rd verse teaches that after we die we will live with him again. We sang this song with the 3rd verse at the graveside service for my daughter Evelyn who died earlier this year.

And when my life is done
I’ll live with Him above.
The Spirit whispers this to me
And fills me with his love,
And fills me with his love.

Love One Another

This is a 2nd verse for the children’s song “Love One Another,” by Luacine Clark Fox. The original song was based on Jesus’ teaching at the Last Supper, recorded in John 13:34-35. I felt that this song would be improved by a second verse with lyrics taken from the same scriptural passage. My second verse is based on John 14:15-16,21, also at the Last Supper, where Jesus taught that our love for him is manifest by our keeping his commandments, and that if we will keep his commandments then he will send the Spirit to comfort and accompany us.

If ye have loved me,
Keep my commandments.
All those who love me
Keep my commandments.
Then will the Spirit
Be your companion,
If ye will keep my commandments.

Keep the Commandments

This is another verse to the children’s song “Keep the Commandments,” by Barbara A. McConochie. I felt that the song would be improved as a teaching tool for children by adding a verse that describes the two great commandments as taught by Jesus in Matthew 22:37-39.

Love Heav’nly Father,
Love Heav’nly Father,
With all of your heart
And with all of your soul.
Love your neighbor,
Love your neighbor.
Words of the Savior:
Keep my commandments.
In this there is safety and peace.

Not sure if any of these will be included in the new hymn book, but I wanted to post them here in case anyone might like them.

Alan Sanderson

writing: https://medicineandfaith.com music: https://sanderson.band

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