In June 2018, major upcoming revisions to the official Church hymnbook and Children’s Songbook were announced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Elder Ronald A. Rasband spoke of the new music collection, which is set to be created over the next few years. “We recognize the power that sacred music has to unify the members of the Church throughout the world. We desire to offer a consistent core collection of hymns and songs in every language that reflects the diverse needs of the global Church in our day.”
As part of an on-going survey, which you may still participate in here, members have been asked questions about their favorite songs, new songs they’d like added, songs they’d like to see dropped and more. In a news release today, the Church offered some updates on the process.
According to the survey so far, the most requested hymn for the new hymnbook is “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” Other hymns in the Christian tradition, such as “Amazing Grace”, have also been highly recommended.
Contemporary songs in Church history, including “If the Savior Stood Beside Me”, which have traditionally been published in Church magazines, round out the popular suggestions list.
Two committees have been assembled to provide recommendations to help the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles decide what goes in each book. “Committee members have expertise in a variety of areas, including music, education, literature, world cultures and Church doctrine,” said Audrey Livingston, the Church’s product manager for sacred music and secretary of both committees.
The Church is also taking submissions for new music. Those interested can write, compose and submit works by July 1, 2019.
“We invite all who are gifted with musical and poetic talent to share those gifts,” said Elder Erich W. Kopischke, a General Authority Seventy and adviser to the songbook revision project.
Those submitting new music are asked to remember that new music should do these five things:
- Increase faith in and worship of Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
- Teach core doctrine with power and clarity.
- Invite joyful singing at home and at church.
- Comfort the weary and inspire people to endure in faith.
- Unify Latter-day Saints and others throughout the world.
Which songs would you love to see included in a new hymnbook? Which songs would you like to see dropped?