This hymn first appeared in A Collection of Sacred Hymns for the Church of the Latter-day Saints in 1836. It must have been a favorite of Sister Emma Smith, because it also appeared in her 1861 reprint of the 1835 LDS hymnal. The tune we sing it to today, URE, was composed by Thomas Griggs in 1883.
PDF: Gently Raise
You can hear it every week as well on Music and the Spoken Word, the half hour broadcast from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. A version of this hymn has been used to open the broadcast since the first broadcast in 1929. The introduction was recently changed to feature a version of the hymn that has both orchestral and choral parts.