March 31, 2011

Be Still My Soul

"Be Still, My Soul" is a hymn originally written in German during the latter half of the 17th century. This period of time marked by a revival that broke out across Germany. Lutherans as this time were practicing Pietism. This doctrine was composed of religious devotion, ethical purity, and charitable activity. The newest hymn at these revival meeting was "Be Still, My Soul."
     Three different composers worked to create "Be Still, My Soul." A woman involved in the Pietism Movement, Katharina von Schlegel wrote the lyrics. A century later, Jane Borthwick, a Scottish-born composer, translated the hymn into English. The last contributor was Jean Sibelius, Finland's finest composer. The music from "Finlandia" is used as the tune for this hymn. God used three people with three different languages to give us this wonderful example of Christian patience.

Be still, my soul--
The Lord is on thy side!
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide.
In ev'ry change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul--
Thy best, thy heav'nly Friend
Thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul! thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as he has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul! the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul! the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul! when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

     "Be Still, My Soul" was the favorite hymn of the Olympic athlete Eric Liddell. He became famous in 1924 for not competing on the Sabbath. He became a missionary in China and in World War II was captured. He taught this song to fellow prisoners at the compound where he was held. Eventually he died in the prison camp of a brain tumor.

"Be Still My Soul" Story
LDS Radio "History of Hymns"
Be Still, My Soul

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