Friday, February 22, 2008
"What Is This Thing That Men Call Death?"
I came across a very interesting article yesterday written by Janice Kapp Perry. I read it online at Meridian Magazine but it was also published in the Deseret News. Take some time to go to that link and read the story behind one of my new favorite hymns: "What Is This Thing That Men Call Death?". The words, which I love, were written by President Hinckley. The music, which I love, was written by Janice Kapp Perry. It's kind of miraculous how it all came together, and just in time to be sung by the Tabernacle Choir at President Hinckley's funeral.
I've since downloaded it into my iTunes and can't get enough of it. It's simple, yet profound; moving, and memorable. You can download the mp3 file for free (both the song and the instrumental version) at this link. If you simply want the sheet music, you can get that here. Some of the most tender and testimony-building times are those in which I've either been witness to, or contemplate, the death of a loved one. This poem, written by Gordon B. Hinckley, speaks of the heart of the gospel:
What is this thing that men call death, This quiet passing in the night?
'Tis not the end but genesis--Of better worlds and greater light.
O God, touch Thou my aching heart--And calm my troubled, haunting fears.
Let hope and faith, transcendent, pure, Give strength and peace beyond my tears.
There is no death, but only change, With recompense for victory won.
The gift of Him who loved all men, The Son of God, the Holy One.