Before It Was Nauvoo


Here is a folksy little tune that captures the spirit of the Saints in 1839 as they settled in Commerce, Illinois – soon to be known as Nauvoo. The first three verses are from an anonymous poem found in the Times & Seasons; the fourth verse was added by me.

-Kurt Kammeyer

Commerce Illinois


The Many Faces of “O My Father”


This is probably the earliest version of this well-beloved LDS hymn written by Eliza R. Snow.  The file includes some interesting context to when the hymn was written, including that it used to be sung to the tune of the German national anthem, (Das Deutschlandlied)  among other tunes. This is a tune that is no longer used, but provides another great pairing with these plaintive words.

PDF: O my Father


Just When You Thought “If You Could Hie to Kolob” Was Out There…

Thou Earth wast once
This hymn text by Eliza R. Snow touches on a rather unusual doctrine, which she must have learned at the feet of the Prophet: the concept that from time to time, pieces of the Earth have been flung off into space, only to be regathered in the Millenium.
Astronomers are in general agreement that the Moon was formed about 4.5 billion years ago from a catastrophic collision between the Earth and some Mars-sized planet. Perhaps some day we will understand the full import of what Sister Eliza was alluding to in this strange hymn.
-Kurt Kammeyer
The full text was published in the Times and Seasons, as recorded here:

PDF: Thou Earth wast once

Angel Music


Today we have both a legacy hymn and a new arrangement, both about angels. The first is a shape note arrangement of “An Angel from on High” as Parley P. Pratt most likely intended it to be sung.

An Angel from on High

The second, is a dual hymn arrangement, to the tune of “Thou Lovely Source of True Delight”.

I Saw a Mighty Angel Fly_Arise Oh God and Shine Final

Though Outward Trials by Eliza R. Snow


This is another Eliza R. Snow original poem, set to a traditional shape-note tune. Today, our hymnbook has a version called “Though Deepening Trials”.

Though Outward Trials

To learn about shape notes, go here:

A Pioneer Hymn: The Upper California


Today we have a very rare pioneer songs that has a rock-solid historic LDS background. The words are by John Taylor, the lyrics by E.J. Loder.

The Upper California

Awake! (By Joseph Smith?)



Could this hymn have been written by the Prophet Joseph Smith himself? Click on the PDF to read the music and to see why one hymn historian (hymnstorian?) thinks it could have been.

PDF: Awake