Sign up for Meridian’s Free Newsletter, please CLICK HERE

The following is excerpted from the Deseret News. To read the full article, CLICK HERE.

No toil nor labor fear, indeed.

Two small committees have begun to wend their way through a mountain of 17,000 new songs submitted for long-awaited revisions of the hymnbook and children’s songbook of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In fact, mailed submissions postmarked July 1 — the deadline for new hymns and songs — poured into church headquarters throughout early July. Contributions came from more than 60 countries.

“We were expecting about 10,000,” said Audrey Livingston, secretary to both the hymnbook committee and the children’s songbook committee. “The 1985 hymnbook (still in use today) generated about 6,000 submissions.”

The project is immense. It will take years to complete, Livingston said. The goal is a hymnal both sacred and more reflective of a global church, which counts more than 16 million members. When the current hymnbook was published, 60% of church members lived in the United States. Today, Americans constitute 40% of the faith.

The 14 committee members asked for help from church members. Even that created more work. They are sifting through 45,000 suggestions received through an online feedback survey — recommendations for hymns to keep or remove from the current hymnbook, or hymns to adopt from other faiths.

“It’s a lot to go through,” Livingston said.

It’s also a once-in-a-generation opportunity for songwriters and lyricists to contribute to a book designed to inspire, provide spiritual nourishment and build faith.

To read the full article, CLICK HERE.