Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sabbath Songs: Come, Come Ye Saints

I say unto you, be of good cheer . . . for I am in your midst, and I have not forsaken you. –D&C 61:36

On July 24, 1847 the first group of Mormon pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. For years prior to this, they had suffered abuse at the hands of mobs, had their homes burned, their property taken and been driven from city to city because of their religious beliefs. Seeking a place where they could live in peace, they loaded up what little belongings and supplies they had into wagons and handcarts and made the thirteen hundred-mile trek west. These courageous pioneers gave birth and buried loved ones along the trail. They suffered starvation and exposure. Their faith was tested to the limit. Despite their hardships, these Saints remained hopeful, faithful, cheerful as they put one foot in front of the other day after day.

The first company to head west was comprised mostly of men. They left their families to pave the way for others to follow. William Clayton, a member of this group, received word while on the trail that his wife had given birth to a son. Of this he said, I feel to thank my heavenly father for my boy and pray that he will spare and preserve his life and that of his mother and so order it so that we may soon meet again.

After receiving the news of the birth of his son, William Clayton wrote lyrics for an English Folk Song, which became a sort of anthem for those to follow on the long trail west. It was a source of comfort for those who faced the hardships of the trek across the mid-west and its words offer comfort today in the face of different, but equally challenging trials.

Come, come, ye Saints, no toil nor labor fear;
But with joy wend your way.
Though hard to you this journey may appear,
Grace shall be as your day.
'Tis better far for us to strive
Our useless cares from us to drive;
Do this, and joy your hearts will swell—
All is well! All is well!

Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard?
'Tis not so; all is right.
Why should we think to earn a great reward
If we now shun the fight?
Gird up your loins; fresh courage take.
Our God will never us forsake;
And soon we'll have this tale to tell—
All is well! All is well!


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mom said...

Love those piano guys even the one on the cello! and a great inspirational piece of music.