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Amazing Grace

Don - March 13, 2007

For FHE we took two of our sons to see “Amazing Grace”. What a great movie.

A couple of things came out of our discussion about it.First that all of the black organizations have jumped on the band wagon and promoted this movie. It seems like the perfect vechile to further promote their cause.

Second, why isn’t Amazing Grace included in our Hymn book?

Third, that my son had read the journal/book of the black slave featured in the movie. He remembered all sorts of details etc about this guy! (He’s got a degree in history, but this still blew me away….and he’s looking for a job where he can use his knowledge and research skills….any ideas?)

Great movie go see it.


  1. Don – You’ve sparked my interest. I thought sure that ‘Amazing Grace’ was included in the LDS Hymnal but your comment forced me to check it out and, sure enough, it’s not there. What a shame. I wonder how we can lobby for its inclusion?

    I’ll make seeing the movie a priorty this weekend. Thanks for the tip.

    Comment by Lamonte — March 13, 2007 @ 10:13 am

  2. I posted on the absence of Amazing Grace in the hymnbook myself once. At the time of the latest hymnbook, I must assume that there was something about the lyrics that were found doctrinally wanting. But I am not sure what that would be.

    My post which includes lyrics can be found here.

    Comment by Eric Nielson — March 13, 2007 @ 11:32 am

  3. I took an Institute class a long, long time ago about the history of music in the church. If I remember correctly, Amazing Grace was included in a ~1920s edition of the LDS Hymnal, but was left out of later editions … just because, lol. Gotta have room for everything else, and songs fall in and out of favor. Plus over time it’s definitely acquired a “fundy” flavor to it (Baptist, Pentacostal, that sort of thing). Of course, so too did How Great Thou Art — one of the most loved hymns by Mormons now, I’d say — until the prophet’s wife (can’t remember which one) lobbied to have it included in the ~1950s or ~1960s sometime. Now that one sounds as Mormon to us as If You Could Hie To Kolob, so I have hope that Amazing Grace will one day make it back in as well.

    Take all of this with a full shaker of salt, as my memory is slipping and I could be wrong about every bit of it. ;-)

    Comment by RCH — March 13, 2007 @ 11:47 am

  4. The “aweful wretch” phrase I’ve heard was one phrase that didn’t sit well. But we have hymns with false or questionable doctrine already in the hymn book. And there are certainly more than a few of our hymns that get ZERO time in sacrament meeting….and for good reason.

    Comment by cj douglass — March 13, 2007 @ 11:50 am

  5. Hymns like Lean On My Ample Arm, cj? I don’t think I’ve ever actually heard that one, but the title alone always gets me to giggling as I picture big flabby grandma arms….

    Comment by RCH — March 13, 2007 @ 11:52 am

  6. Eric – Those are interesting comments posted on your previous blog. The one about “… it seems to me that it’s a much better solo than a hymn” seems like a reasonable reason (sorry for the redundancy). Maybe if enough people who make the decisions see the movie – and if the movie is as good as Don says it is – there will be a change coming. In any event, it is a beautiful song giving glory to God for his benevolence and should be part of our worship of Him.

    Comment by Lamonte — March 13, 2007 @ 11:53 am

  7. Ummm, wasn’t it Nephi who said, “O wretched man that I am!“. Hardly seems to qualify as either false or questionable doctrine.

    Comment by Jacob J — March 13, 2007 @ 1:44 pm

  8. Yes, those are Nephi’s words. I guess I heard that the lyric was attributed to the catholic doctrine that our physical bodies are parasites to which our spirits will be eternaly free of after death. Again, its all hearsay.

    Comment by cj douglass — March 13, 2007 @ 2:35 pm

  9. I’ve also wondered what doctrinally could be wrong with the song. The only other reason I could see with it being in our hymnal is because it would attach us too much to the Protestants (another post could be on why so many often think we ARE a protestant sect). But then again, we have plenty of other hymns like that. (Anyone sang “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” in church lately?)

    Comment by Bret — March 13, 2007 @ 8:54 pm

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