You are here

The Book of Mormon in Latter-day Saint Hymnody

TitleThe Book of Mormon in Latter-day Saint Hymnody
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsDavidson, Karen Lynn
JournalJournal of Book of Mormon Studies
Pagination14-27, 76-77
KeywordsHymn; Literary; Literature; Music

A church member who has loved the Book of Mormon since childhood and who takes it for granted that the Book of Mormon is central to LDS class instruction, general conference addresses, and missionary discussions is likely to be surprised that we have only six Book of Mormon hymns in our 1985 hymnbook. Early hymn writers turned to the Book of Mormon itself for their texts. Twelve Book of Mormon hymns were introduced into Mormon hymnody by Emma Smith’s first hymnal, but the Book of Mormon as a theme almost disappeared from later hymnals. Only one hymn relating to the Book of Mormon was among the forty-nine new hymns added to the 1985 hymnal. In this article, Book of Mormon hymns are listed, discussed, and categorized. Most of the Book of Mormon hymns that have been written are narrative, rather than devotional. Each new hymnbook must meet the needs of its age. Devotional hymns are likely to be more forthcoming as literary appreciation of the Book of Mormon continues to grow.