The following is a revision, the March 31, 2015 version; the earlier one (Mar 19) was improved.
Over thirty years ago I wrote the music for what soon became my sacred song about Jesus Christ and his atonement. On occasion I revised the music and the text. This week I modified the song further, making it a sacrament hymn: “Through my Savior.” For those unaware of the meaning of sacrament hymn, it is sung by an LDS congregation right before they partake of the sacred emblems of bread and water. It’s very similar to what some Christians call the Holy Communion. But this one is an exception in one way.
I do not expect any LDS congregation to adapt my hymn and sing it instead of a sacrament hymn in the official hymn book. It is arranged in simple choir format, for a ward choir to sing in a sacrament meeting. Of course this should only be done with the approval of the bishop of the ward, for he has that stewardship and responsibility for his congregation.
For us who are baptized members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the sacrament helps us remember our Savior, but it is more. We renew our baptismal covenants, promising that we intend to always remember him and keep his commandments and take upon ourselves his name.
In the Book of Mormon, in Third Nephi, we read of the Savior’s visit to Christians in this American continent. He gave them the sacrament and authorized those who would continue to give the people those sacred emblems.
With all the many wonderful sacrament hymns we have in our LDS hymn book, it took over thirty years for me to arrive at a point where I felt it appropriate to write one, revising the first two verses of my song and changing the melody somewhat. Still, my own contribution is provided for choir singing, not to replace any sacrament hymn choice. Here are the words of the revised two verses:
Father in Heaven, thy name is blessed. Heeding thy Spirit’s pleading we repent. For thy Beloved, with our assembling blessing his name, we take the sacrament. When I remember his cup of trembling, Drop after drop of blood was shed for me, Oh, my Father, because of Jesus, then I know I may return to thee.
I was begotten by thee my Father, nurtured in wondrous realms in ages past. My older brother to be my savior. Then came the time: mortality at last! Now in the shadow of mortal weakness, sorrow and sin and counterfeit I see. Oh, my Father, premortal Father, through my Savior I return to thee.
This hymn I approve for non-commercial church and home use.
Addendum: The following two words were changed on August 16, 2015:
Verse #1: “pleading I repent” instead of the early-2015 version which had “pleading we repent”
Verse #2: “would be my Savior” instead of the earlier version of “to be my Savior”