Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » A Song for Returning Missionaries

A Song for Returning Missionaries

By: Ardis E. Parshall - August 01, 2013

A Song for Returning Missionaries

By Charles W. Penrose

From afar we have come to our lov’d valley home.
And enchanted our dwellings we view;
Oh! what rapture to hear, from our Prophet and Seer,
Welcome back, O ye faithful and true!
O Zion, dear Zion, land of the free!
Of your beauties we’ve sung, and your praises have rung
In the lands o’er the wide spreading sea.

With a tender caress, to our bosoms we press
Our companions and children so dear;
With our honor unsoiled, and our robes undefiled,
Oh! ‘tis heaven once more to be here.
O Zion, dear Zion, land of the free!
As the fond ivy clings to the tall forest kings,
Our affections entwine around thee.

Though in lands far away there are scenes bright and gay,
And the laugh echoes merrily round,
Rank hypocrisy grows, looking fair as the rose,
But its sharp deadly thorn may be found.
O Zion, dear Zion, land of the free!
Solid pleasures are thine, and thy virtue shall shine
When the nations in ashes shall be.

Here our voices we’ll raise, and we’ll sing to thy praise,
Sacred home of the Prophets of God:
Thy deliverance is nigh, thy oppressors shall die,
And rebellion shall bend neath thy rod.
O Zion, dear Zion, land of the free;
In thy temples we’ll bend, all thy rights we’ll defend,
And our home shall be ever with thee.




  1. Beautiful! Though I am not currently serving a full time mission, I do consider myself a self-called part time member missionary – of which I hope to never “return”. So, this song would not be sung for me, but I will sing it for my son, and other returning full time servants of the Lord. Thank you for sharing!

    Comment by April McMurtrey — August 1, 2013 @ 1:15 pm

  2. So, it looks like that last stanza is nearly identical to the final verse of our current hymn no. 34, O Ye Mountains High

    Comment by David Y. — August 1, 2013 @ 4:03 pm

  3. When did missionaries start being called from ‘the field’? Before 1921 surely?

    Comment by Adam G. — August 1, 2013 @ 4:32 pm

  4. From the very earliest days, Adam — the first converts in England were called as local missionaries, for instance, and served right along with “elders from Zion.” They usually got ministerial certificates, but it was well into the 20th century before their calls came from the First Presidency or the were recorded as missionaries on Church rolls.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 1, 2013 @ 5:00 pm

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