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Resurrection Day

By: Ardis E. Parshall - July 24, 2012

Resurrection Day

By William Clayton

Tune. – The field of Monterrey

When first the glorious Light of Truth
Burst forth in this last age,
How few there were with heart and soul
T’obey it, did engage;
Yet of those few how many
Have passed from earth away,
And in their graves are sleeping
Till the Resurrection day.

How many on Missouri’s plains
Were left in death’s embrace,
Pure honest hearts too good to live
In such a wicked place.
And are they left in sorrow
And in doubt to pine away?
Oh, no! in peace they’re sleeping
Till the Resurrection day.

And in Nauvoo, the city where
The Temple cheered the brave,
Hundreds of faithful Saints have found
A cold yet peaceful grave;
And there they now are sleeping
Beneath the silent clay,
But soon they’ll share the glories
Of a Resurrection day.

Our Patriarch and prophet too
Were massacred, they bled
To seal their Testimony;
They were numbered with the dead.
Ah, tell me, are they sleeping?
Methinks I hear them say –
Death’s icy chains are bursting,
‘Tis the Resurrection day.

And here in this sweet, peaceful vale,
The shafts of death are hurled,
And many faithful Saints are called
T’enjoy a better world;
And friends are often weeping
For their friends who pass away,
And in their graves are sleeping
Till the Resurrection day.

Why should we mourn because we leave
These scenes of toil and pain?
O, happy change, the faithful go
Celestial joys to gain;
And soon we all shall follow
To realms of endless day,
And taste the joyous glories
Of a Resurrection day.


One of my favorite childhood hymns; it was omitted from the current hymn book. The words in the earlier hymn book were modified somewhat from the original words presented here.



  1. Is this the right tune? It seems to fit the words, more or less.

    Comment by Amy T — July 24, 2012 @ 12:50 pm

  2. Hmm. That didn’t link. Try this. The Fields of Monterrey.

    Comment by Amy T — July 24, 2012 @ 12:51 pm

  3. I can’t remember if I read it or just heard someone expressing the opinion that it was omitted because it didn’t accurately reflect the state of the spirit after death i.e. not sleeping.

    Comment by Alison — July 24, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

  4. Amy, the LDS hymn tune is obviously adapted from that tune; ours is much more sedate. Here’s a version: When First the Glorious Light of Truth (but this version is dolled up from the straightforward way we used to sing it).

    Alison, if so, that’s too bad — the body is certainly in the grave. I wouldn’t be surprised if some uber-literal Music Committee member without a poetic bone in his body thought so, though. If it was good enough for 130+ years of Latter-day Saints to sing, it’s good enough for me!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 24, 2012 @ 1:26 pm

  5. Ah, my mission president was on that commmittee and I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have been him :-) I just found a blog by one of his granddaughters, and she mentions how “He often told us stories about particular hymns and how they got in.” Unfortunately the one she chooses to share is one we’ve all heard!

    Comment by Alison — July 24, 2012 @ 4:21 pm

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