Praise to the Lord
Our livelihood in the arts has been somewhat unpredictable. This hymn is autobiographical because we have been "..borne as on eagles' wings," safely sustained. We arranged it joyfully because we have seen how all we needed has been "...granted in what he ordaineth."
Joseph Smith's First Prayer
Though visions and revelations were constantly rolling before his eyes, nothing was more monumental than that first vision on that spring day in 1820.
Praise to the Man
I have always felt a certain kinship with the Prophet Joseph, having been born in December in Vermont, and spending my early years on a farm in that beautiful place. My family was of the Methodist faith (my father was a minister) when my mother embraced the Gospel. With all my heart, I say "Praise to the Man Who Communed With Jehovah" and began the Restoration.
We Thank Thee, O God, For a Prophet
This hymn is set thoughtfully, as a prayer; an expression of gratitude for the blessings of having a sure voice to guide us through dark clouds of trouble on the way to eternal perfection.
Adam Ondi Ahman
A few years ago, we had the privilege of walking with our sons through the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman. It was so green and still, and yet it seemed as if the very trees were waiting in anticipation of the awesome events to come. In this arrangement, we endeavored to capture the wonder we felt that day.
A Mighty Fortress is Our God
The night I arrived on my mission to South Africa, I was greeted by my Mission President and promptly put on a train to a remote town on the edge of the Kalahari Desert. Our apartment was in the shadow of a large Anglican cathedral. Our own congregation of six met in a tiny, old white house. As we fought prejudice and distrust to share the message of the Gospel with the people of Kimberley, I would sometimes long for the stability and acceptance that the cathedral represented. Singing "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" reminded me that God is the true source of strength.
There is Sunshine in My Soul Today
After a prolonged period of cloudy days, Melanie wrote in her journal: "The sun came out today. Blessed relief!" There couldn't be a more perfect description of the soul-rescuing effect of the Savior's love than "There is Sunshine in My Soul."
How Firm a Foundation
Faced with the prospect of losing our home, we felt one day that there was no hope. We sat down at the piano and sang "How Firm a Foundation" and we knew that things would work out for our good. (We did lose our house, but now we have a better one!)
Hope of Israel
This stirring hymn portrays life as it really is. "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against ... spiritual wickedness..." In Ephesians 6:12-16, Paul tells us to take the armor of God upon us, and the shield of faith to quench the fiery darts of the adversary. This marvelous hymn echoes his call, "Sound the war cry, 'Watch and Pray!' Vanquish every foe today."
Know This, That Every Soul is Free
Although quite unfamiliar, this hymn came first to our minds as we were contemplating this album. As Roger recorded the vocal, the experience was so powerful that we both wept. Because of Christ, every soul is free!
More Holiness Give Me
There was a time when I felt helpless; unable to grow in righteousness, because I thought I had to do it myself, and I couldn't. When I learned that our Heavenly Father would actually give us more holiness and more gratitude, if we would be faithful, then life took on new meaning.
Called to Serve
As the first strains of this hymn are played by a solitary french horn, we envision a missionary opening the letter, reading the Prophet's call, and accepting with all his heart. His voice joins a swelling throng of dedicated missionaries, "Called to Serve Our King." This is lovingly dedicated to our four sons, Nathan, Matthew, Jonathan, and Ben.
I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go
For all Melanie's young life, she was forever reading mysteries and concocting adventures. Although she never ended up on a mountain in Tibet, or got involved in a spy-ring, her life has become as great an adventure as she could ever have hoped. When I received my mission call to South Africa I thought they'd misspelled South America. I was hesitant to go to so remote a place. I went, and received the first of a lifetime of lessons which taught me that where God wants me to go is where I want to be.
Ye Elders of Israel
My family owes its conversion to the efforts of two missionaries, Elders Walsh and Seely, who found us in Vermont in 1958. At first my mom avoided them, even hiding at the neighbors' till they were gone. One fateful afternoon, however, they caught her at home. She said that when she opened the door, she felt the power of the spirit they possessed. She was baptized shortly thereafter, followed in time by the rest of the family. I appreciate the sacrifice of my noble dad, who gave up the extra income of his part-time ministry to join the Church.
Sweet Is the Work, My God, My King
Like the fruit in Lehi's dream, the work of love is sweeter than any other.
All Creatures of Our God and King
Melanie came to me, as she often does, and sang the opening string line of this arrangement. This joyous musical idea brought the rest of the arrangement flooding into my mind.