Wednesday, May 25, 2011


OK, I've been thinking about this and have decided that the ExMormon community needs a Hymn Book.  So I've started working on re-writing some hymns that I grew up singing in Sacrament Meeting and Sunday School (and, of course, later on in Seminary and Relief Society).

I mean, really... I need to put some good use to all these LDS hymns still rolling around in my brain, which is something I just can't seem to stop.  Of course, part of the reason for that is I was Ward Organist for many years (and also played the piano in Relief Society and Primary).  Plus I sang in many Ward Choirs and Stake Choirs over the years (and also sang solos as well as in duets, trios and quartets).  In fact, for a few years, I was in the Southern California Mormon Choir (which is SoCal's answer to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir).  Music is the one thing I miss about going to church... but not enough to go back to the Mormon Church... or any other church at this point since it seems that I'm irrevocably burned out on organized religion in general...

So anyway, I think the ExMormon Hymn Book should include ones like:

The Spirit of God, #2 (my mind is already swirling with the possibilities, some of which will probably turn out to be slightly "blasphemous").

Praise to the Man, #27 (oh yes, I feel an ExMormon version of this one coming on.  I mean, praising Joseph Smith?  This "revision" should come very easily).

Come, Come Ye Saints, #30 (yes, the possibilities are endless, and I'm sure you know where I may go with this one).

Joseph Smith's First Prayer, #26 (which was previously entitled Oh, How Lovely Was the Morning when I was growing up.  And really, how could I pass this one up? - especially since it is now very obvious to me that the whole "First Vision" thing is a complete fabrication.  I mean, really?  9 versions?  Get real.)

Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd, #221 (I have to "revise" this one, mainly because it was one that always cracked me up when I was a teenager - my best friend and I sat together in Sacrament Meeting a couple of times when this hymn was sung, and we couldn't make it through much of it without breaking out in laughter.  Very strange indeed.).

If You Could Hie to Kolob, #284 (which I always thought was rather strange anyway, so creating "revisions" to it shouldn't be much of a stretch).  As it turns out, the recorded music for this one is not available on because of "copyright restrictions."

And so many others... 

Anyway, the first one I've "revised" is I Stand All Amazed, #193.  This hymn has a particular significance to me, aside from the "religious" implications, because it had already been revised years ago by a girl who came to live with my family when she was 18, had just joined the Mormon Church, and had been thrown out by her very Catholic family (my mother was Relief Society President at the time, and took in some "stray" people from time to time).  Anyway, this girl "fell in love" with a boy who lived in our Ward, and began singing this hymn at home with the words, "I Stand All Amazed by the love Michael offers me."  I'm sure she made up other words at the time, but I don't remember anymore right now.  I was 12 at the time so remembering all details is rather difficult at this point.

So, without further ado, here is my Ex-Mormon version of this beloved hymn: 
LDS Hymn Book #193
I stand all amazed at the crap Mormons pushed on me,
Confused at the lies that they buy into mindlessly.
I shutter to think that I once was a TBM,
That I once believed it, but now I’m not one of them.

Oh, it is wonderful
That I could see the light,
Enough to know what’s right.
Oh, it is wonderful,
Wonderful to me.

I marvel that finally I saw it’s a pile of crap,
So grateful to know I was able to spring the trap.
That I should extend my distaste for its doctrine now,
Sufficient to voice all its ills, this I do avow.

Oh, it is wonderful
That I could recognize
The fact that it’s all lies.
Oh, it is wonderful,
Wonderful to me.

I think of the years when I struggled to go to church,
Such torture, such hate and repulsion I do besmirch.
No, no, I will party and do what the hell I please,
Until I am falling down drunk at a few orgies.

Oh, it is wonderful,
That I am finally free
To live life blissfully.
Oh, it is wonderful,
Wonderful to me.

Well, I obviously have my work cut out for me in compiling an ExMormon Hymn Book.  But it must be done because a lot of these hymns are really crying out for revision.  And of course, I would love suggestions...

So I'll keep you posted on what comes to me... because I know it will happen (since that's just the way my mind works).


Macha said...

You. Rock.

Jim Whitefield said...

Ditto that - great stuff!

Jean said...

Diane, with the skills to re-write the hymns, why not try writing something positive that we can all relate to? We were just talking about this at the weekend; some of those old songs were so lovely and our family so enjoyed singing 4 part harmony.

The spirit of 'love' like a fire is burning. If we had new words let us use them to send out some positive energy as we sing and enjoy the beautiful sounds of music.

What do you think?

Stef said...

Just sang your whole song outloud acapella. It was - refreshing.

Now I just need to recruit an audience . . .

Anonymous said...

Since only 168 of the 358 hymns are actually by LDS authors, one should realize that the mormon "faith" is a borrowed faith, stolen from various Christian and Pagan ideas that have no power to save if followed mindlessly since it is based on a lie. Religion has the potential to transform individuals to become "better persons" and to help them conform to social expectations but to truly become God's children requires a supernatural act that cannot be grasped by intent no matter how much willpower is used. Only by actually encountering the Living God is such transformation possible and all the dressplay and speechifying useless activity.