Monday, October 6, 2014

How Firm a Foundation

I had never particularly loved the hymn "How Firm a Foundation". It was fine but nothing special to me. I didn't really like the music and never paid much attention to the lyrics. Recently, however, I have heard a lot of people talk about how much they love this hymn. We even had a whole lesson dedicated to it in Relief Society a couple weeks ago. Members of the ward, including the current and former bishops, shared experiences of when the words of this hymn strengthened them and "caused them to stand". We sang the words to the tune of "Away in a Manger" because some feel that the current tune sounds too much like a march. It was beautiful, and I was able to focus more on the words. I have typed up my favorite verses below. As a sidenote: I always thought we were the ones speaking in the last verse - "I will not, I cannot desert to his foes" and that we will never forsake God. But God is speaking in the rest of the hymn. Why not in the last verse? To the soul that has sought rest and peace in Jesus Christ, God says, "I will not, I cannot desert to his foes". And even though all hell will shake, God will never forsake that soul. I believe that.

Fear not, I am with thee; oh be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o'erflow,
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and they gold to refine.

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake!


  1. Totally changed the way I read that last verse! I love that interpretation, with first-person pronouns referring to God. PS-I love you.

  2. Wow, that just changed that hymn for me. The words are so beautiful. Too bad we only sing the first three (sometimes only first and third), over and over again, never rotating in the other verses. I think Away in a Manger gives a wonderfully fresh, tender way of conveying the words.

  3. I love that hymn. Truly one of the great ones for comfort and encouragement in the gospel.

  4. Yeah, I totally love the way the Lord speaks to us his servants in that last verse. I had never thought about that before. P.S. I love you more than David