I got that familiar little thrill we all feel when one of our favorite hymns is sung in General Conference, as our first session this morning opened with “Let Zion in Her Beauty Rise.” (I was especially happy to have caught it since we experienced significant technical difficulties getting the conference to stream, causing us to miss both the intro and Pres. Monson’s subsequent talk – in eight years of internet streaming conference, I’ve never not had technical troubles, except one time, in the middle of the night, in a smoke filled internet cafe in Alexandria, Egypt). This is one of the great hymns of the restoration, written by Edward Partridge and included in Emma’s hymnal.
Sadly, as with many of our hymns, we only get a few (slightly sanitized) verses of this hymn today. I thought I’d put it up with all of it’s millenarial gusto for all to enjoy. Here’s how it read in our first hymnal:
2. Ye heralds sound the gospel trump,
To earth’s remotest bound;
Go spread the news from pole to pole,
In all the nations round,
That Jesus in the clouds above,
With hosts of angels too,
Will soon appear his saints to save,
His enemies subdue.
3. But ere that great and solemn day,
The stars from heav’n will fall,
The moon be turned into blood,
The waters into gall,
The sun with blackness will be clothed,
All nature look affright!
While men, rebellious wicked men,
Gaze heedless on the sight.
4. The earth shall reel, the heavens shake,
The sea move to the north,
The earth roll up like as a scroll,
When God’s command goes forth;
The mountains sink, the valleys rise,
And all become a plain,
The islands and the continents
Will then unite again.
5. Alas! the day will then arrive,
When rebels to God’s grace,
Will call for rocks to fall on them,
And hide them from his face:
Not so with those who keep his law,
They joy to meet their Lord
In clouds above, with them that slept
In Christ, their sure reward.
6. That glorious rest will then commence,
Which prophets did foretell,
When Christ will reign with saints on earth,
And in their presence dwell
A thousand years: O glorious day!
Dear Lord prepare my heart,
To stand with thee, on Zion’s mount,
And never more to part.
7. Then when the thousand years are past,
And Satan is unbound,
O Lord preserve us from his grasp,
By fire from heav’n sent down,
Until our great last change shall come,
T’imortalize this clay,
Then we in the celestial world,
Will spend eternal day.