It is now the Christmas season. Let us not forget what this time of celebration is all about - Christ! And so, in my attempt to spread the Christmas cheer, I share the history of another hymn of Mormonism - I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.
The Story Behind the Hymn
In 1861 the Civil War broke out. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was one of the men living in New England at the time. In July Henry's wife died, just a couple days before their anniversary. Two years later his son was mortally wounded as a soldier in the war. All of these were undoubtedly on his mind when he wrote the words: "For hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men."
But Christmas did come even in the midst of great war, and the church bells rang out. At this time the true meaning of Christmas must have struck home - "God is not dead nor doth he sleep." Because of Christ's atonement that was made for the love of all men we can have hope even in the darkest of times.
When listening to this hymn the words of Elder Holland often come to mind:
"It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines."
- The Laborers in the Vineyard, General Conference, April 2012 -
The Words of the Hymn
I heard the bells on Christmas day. Their old familiar carols play, and wild and sweet the words repeat of peace on earth, good will to men.
I thought how, as the day had come, the belfries of all Christendom had rolled along the unbroken song of peace on earth, good will to men.
And in despair I bowed my head: "There is no peace on earth," I said, "For hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men."
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: "God is not dead, nor doth he sleep; The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with peace on earth, good will to men."
Till, ringing, singing, on its way, the world revolved from night to day. A voice, a chime, a change sublime, of peace on earth, good will to men!
Let's remember this Christmas season the love of Christ and what he has done for us. "For the Lord thy God is a merciful God; he will not forsake thee..." (Deuteronomy 4:31).
History of Mormonism - http://mormontopics.org/eng/christ
Listen to 'I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day - http://www.lds.org/music/library/...Longfellow
Question on Mormonism? - http://mormon.org/chat