“Come, Come Ye Saints”


The reconstructed temple in Nauvoo, Illinois


After being forced from the city of Nauvoo, Illinois, that they had built, the first companies of Mormon emigrants entered the Valley of the Great Salt Lake on 24 July 1847.


“Come, Come Ye Saints” is sometimes called the “anthem” of the nineteenth-century Mormon pioneers.  The lyrics for it were written on 15 April 1846 by the English-born William Clayton, as his company of pioneers rested at Locust Creek, Iowa, more than a hundred miles to the west of Nauvoo.  HIs words were set to the music of a then-popular English folk tune:


Come, come, ye saints, no toil nor labor fear;
But with joy wend your way.
Though hard to you this journey may appear,
Grace shall be as your day.
‘Tis better far for us to strive
Our useless cares from us to drive;
Do this, and joy your hearts will swell –
All is well! All is well!

Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard?
‘Tis not so; all is right.
Why should we think to earn a great reward
If we now shun the fight?
Gird up your loins; fresh courage take.
Our God will never us forsake.
And soon we’ll have this tale to tell –
All is well! All is well!

We’ll find the place which God for us prepared,
Far away, in the West,
Where none shall come to hurt or make afraid.
There the saints will be blessed.
We’ll make the air with music ring,
Shout praises to our God and King.
Above the rest these words we’ll tell –
All is well! All is well!

And should we die before our journey’s through,
Happy day! All is well!
We then are free from toil and sorrow, too;
With the just we shall dwell!
But if our lives are spared again
To see the Saints their rest obtain,
Oh, how we’ll make this chorus swell –
All is well! All is well!


This coming Thursday, the 167th anniversary of the entry of those first pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley will be celebrated as “Pioneer Day” in Utah and adjacent areas and marked by Latter-day Saints in various ways around the world.


Here’s a performance of “Come, Come Ye Saints” by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir:




The Salt Lake Temple
(Click to enlarge)



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