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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Song of the Righteous: Part 5

At least one sacrament hymn had to be in the list, so for Song of the Righteous number 5, #185, Reverently and Meekly Now.

Rev'rently and meekly now let thy head most humbly bow.
Think of me, thou ransomed one; Think what I for thee have done.
With my blood that dripped like rain, Sweat in agony of pain,
With my body on the tree I have ransomed even thee.

In this bread now blest for thee, emblem of my body see;
In this water or this wine, emblem of my blood divine.
Oh, remember what was done that the sinner might be won.
On the cross of Calvary I have suffered death for thee.

Bid thine heart all strife to cease; With thy brethren be at peace.
Oh, forgive as thou wouldst be e[v]en forgiven now by me.
In the solemn faith of prayer cast upon me all thy care,
And my Spirit's grace shall be like a fountain unto thee.

At the throne I intercede; For thee ever do I plead.
I have loved thee as thy friend, with a love that cannot end.
Be obedient, I implore, prayerful, watchful evermore,
And be constant unto me, that thy Savior I may be.

Aside from the New Testament and the Savior's personal ministry among the Nephites in the Book of Mormon, I don't know of many places where we have large concentrations of the His words to us as a whole in this manner.  Hymns where the idea is that the Savior Himself is speaking to us are something to which I believe we should pay special attention.

As encouraged in the sacrament prayer, this one starts out by setting the tone for us to "always remember Him."  There are so many times where I know my choices would be very different I would simply remember that I will be contributing to His pain in Gethsemane and making myself more a part of that awful scene if I make what I know deep down is the wrong choice.  As W Cleon Skousen noted, "The [capillaries] of His [blood]stream couldn’t even contain [His blood] and it spilled out into the sweat glands and poured out on His skin as ... great drops of blood."  Only Christ could have done it and He only could have done it if motivated by His perfect, infinite love for us.

Jack R. Christianson once referred to a few of the words of "This is the Christ" as sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, "How many drops of blood were shed for me?", and responded "far, far too many".  The same goes for me and I echo brother Christianson further when he expressed how sick and tired he was of being a part of that scene.  I hate it.  I want to be, as my dad has paraphrased Nephi's sentiments about sin, "scared spit-less" of being a part of that any more.  I want to be better at remembering what He did and letting that knowledge and His love determine my desires and choices instead of the loud, rude, immature screaming demands of the flesh.

After reminding us to put Him first, He reiterates His second great commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves.  "Bid thine heart all strife to cease; With thy brethren be at peace. Oh, forgive as thou wouldst be e[v]en forgiven now by me." There was a letter written, I know not by whom, meant to sound like it was coming directly from Heavenly Father.  A part of it says "My child, be a peacemaker.  It breaks my heart to see so many of my children fighting.  If they could only see what I have hoped, planned and wished for them, but you, you faithful child, are my hope.  It is through you that my work must proceed.  You haven't much time.  There is so much to be done.  I beg you to get started, accomplish the mission I gave you before you left me.  I'll help you.  I'm always nearer to you than you might suspect.  I'm never too busy or too far away to come to you."

The beautiful end to the hymn is a reminder of His constant and close relationship and love for each of us, followed up by Him urgently begging us ("imploring") to stay "constant to Him" so that His sacrifice for us may take full effect and that "[our] Savior [He] may be".