Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

In 1985, the Church issued a new hymn book containing 341 hymns entitled Hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some new hymns appeared, which had not been published by the Church before, such as How Great Thou Art. Others were left out of the book such as Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. The Church did not give reasons for leaving out any particular hymn, just saying that the spirit was followed in the selection and there were too many hymns to be included into one book.

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing is a Christian hymn composed by the 18th century Methodist pastor and hymnist Robert Robinson. He was born 27 September 1735 in Swaffham, Norfolk, England. Robinson’s wi­dowed mo­ther sent him to Lon­don at 14, to learn the trade of bar­ber and hair dress­er. How­ev­er, after hearing a Methodist sermon he turned from his life of recklessness and hooliganism and be­came a Methodist min­is­ter. He lat­er moved to the Bapt­ist church and pas­tored in Cam­bridge, Eng­land. In lat­er life he en­count­ered a wo­man who was stu­dy­ing a hymn­al. She asked how he liked the hymn she was hum­ming. In tears, he replied:

Madam, I am the poor unhap­py man who wrote that hymn ma­ny years ago, and I would give a thou­sand worlds, if I had them, to en­joy the feel­ings I had then.

Robert Robinson died 8 June 1790 at Show­ell Green, War­wick­shire and is buried in Key Hill Cem­e­te­ry, Birm­ing­ham, Eng­land.

There is a curious phrase at the beginning of verse 2: Here I raise my Ebenezer. How many times have I sung that without knowing what it means? Apparently it refers to 1 Samuel 7:12:

Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.

Samuel took a lamb and made an offering to the Lord asking that He would help the Israelites defeat the Philistines. When the Philistines were beaten, Samuel erected a stone and called it Ebenezer so as to remind Israel of what the Lord had done. The Ebenezer stone is a source of inspiration and reminder to many, as witnessed by The Heart Of The Matter, A Life Worthy, and Another Think. There is even a blog called Ebenezer Stone.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings the hymn as follows, in an arrangement by Mack Wilberg. It is essentially the modern hymnal version, except that verse 2 is split into two parts and the last half of verse 3 is appended to each part to form two verses. See this Wikipedia article for the different versions, including the original. Here is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.

Also consider Mark Mabry’s spiritual journey to recreate and photograph the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing is rendered in his Reflections of Christ video.

1. Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Robert Robinson

Robert Robinson

2. Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Hither by Thy help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it;
Seal it for Thy courts above.

3. Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it;
Seal it for Thy courts above.

4. O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it;
Seal it for Thy courts above.
Rickety signature

Musical Testimony

Sarah playing the French horn at a spring concert

I love to listen to music. I joy in my children’s music, especially my daughter’s. She plays the piano beautifully and confidently, even before large audiences. Sarah is accomplished with the French horn, a difficult instrument to play. In marching band she played the mellophone which looks like an over-sized trumpet. It is only half the length of a normal horn, making it lighter to carry. While playing in the same range as the French horn, it is played lower in the harmonic series, where the harmonics are not so close together and it is easier to play the right harmonic.

Front cover of Sarah's CD case showing a picture of Christ holding a staffInside of Sarah's CD case with her testimony of Jesus Christ and the CD itself

For Christmas 2004, Sarah produced a CD of her own to give to friends and family. On the front of the CD case she placed a picture of Jesus Christ. This is a gift that I treasure. Derek received a disk while he was serving his mission in Guatemala. Would that not lift your spirits?

On the inside of the CD case are these words of testimony:

I love music. I love how closely the spirit is tied to it. I believe in Christ. I know that He died for us and He is risen. I’m grateful for the atonement and I know that His sacrifice makes all things possible. He is the way to return back to our Heavenly Father and He has shown us the way. I’m grateful for His love, His example, and the knowledge that the gospel principles are eternal. What joy this brings to my heart!

The following table has MP3 and Ogg Vorbis soundtracks made from Sarah’s CD. Lastly I have included links to the hymns on lds.org.

Merry Christmas from Sarah
TEXT (www.lds.org) MP3 Ogg HYMN (www.lds.org)
He Is Risen play play play
Nearer, My God, To Thee play play play
Jesus, Once of Humble Birth play play play
Lord, I Would Follow Thee play play play
I Believe in Christ play play play
I Stand All Amazed play play play
On This Day of Joy and Gladness play play play
I Need Thee Every Hour play play play
How Great Thou Art play play Copyright restrictions
If You Could Hie to Kolob play play Copyright restrictions

Sarah produced all her music for the CD on a Yamaha Clavinova CVP-207.
Rickety signature.