“Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great. Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind and the willing and the obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days.”
The church announced that this scripture was picked because of how it relates to President Nelson’s youth devotional from 2018. I loved that devotional. It resonated with me. In the past I’ve thought it would be neat to write a song for the youth theme but I had other projects and a busy life 🙂 So, when this theme was announced, I felt a strong desire to write a song to go with it. I submitted it to the church but I’m not really expecting anything.
I studied and emulated some pop songs that I think youth (and I) like these days. I hoped to achieve and fun but spiritual mix.
So much good can happen in our lives
When we give our heart and have a willing mind,
Weed out wasteful time from the day,
Counsel with the Lord as we pray.
The world has been scattered. Our call is to gather.
Anyone can receive The blessings only the gospel brings.
Out of small things will proceed what’s great
As I sacrifice a little each day.
The Lord will always provide a way
For hearts to open and lives to change.
For hearts to open and lives to change.
A battalion has formed. Will you enlist?
This moment’s one to not be missed.
We’ll step away from worldly distractions.
Replace it with Christlike actions.
There is no more important cause.
Zion will flourish because
The stone’s rolling forward. Nothing can stop it.
Our duty is clear as revealed by the prophet:
The world has been scattered.
Our call is to gather.
We’ll help all to receive
The blessings only the gospel brings.
I originally started writing this song intending it to be a primary song. However, the more I got into it, the more I felt like it was a youth song. I think it’s actually a tween song but no one really categorizes songs that way 🙂
After this last general conference, and noticing how much emphasis was on following the promptings of the spirit, I thought the timing of this song was perfect.
Our stake choir director asked if I could arrange an easy version of this song for a youth stake choir. K. Newell Dayley’s SSAATTBB arrangement is beautiful with a capital B, but way too hard for a beginning choir. So, I tried to make an easier arrangement with a very similar feel as Dayley’s. I almost feel bad saying it’s my arrangement because I imitated his so closely. I just hope this helps some choirs with fewer choir members or more inexperienced members.
I decided to add an SATB for choirs who are lucky enough to have more people and experience.
Choir tips: Here’s something I’ve never done before because until recently I knew nothing about singing. Luckily, I worked with an amazing choir director whose notes these are. This pdf is her marked-up notes for the youth choir. It is the notes for the SAB version but you can use them as reference for the SATB version as well.
Our director gave the youth this music when they were first learning their parts, then she gave them the above music afterward. NB=no breath. Commas=breath. And it is easy to hold out the last note. Choir members can breath whenever they want as long as it’s not the same time as the person next to them and they keep their mouth looking like they are still singing. Our choir director always said, “Breath anywhere you want except where there’s a slur!”
I hope this all helps! I know working with this piece helped me learn a lot!
I wrote this song as an entry for the 2012 LDS Music Competition. One of the suggested themes for entry was Stand in Holy Places. The second I read that theme, the melody and lyrics of the first phrase from the chorus popped right into my head. I knew I had to do that theme. As a youth I had such a zeal for the gospel and I hope I conveyed that same zeal in this song. Even though I didn’t place in the competition, I still love this song so much!