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(Sing Chorus) Until we reach the valley-O

(Sing Chorus) To cross the plains with our handcart. For merrily on our way we go,
thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine. Millions shall know ‘Brother Joseph’ again. We say it is high time to start As we go marching up the hill.
thy dross to consume, thy dross to consume, Wake up the world for the conflict of justice. God's servant spoke it long ago. For some must push and some must pull,
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design Earth must atone for the blood of that man. (Chorus)
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply. For we do know it will be so;
Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven; While judgements cleanse the earth from sin. To cross the plains with your handcart.
When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie, Then with the faithful make a start
and in God's chambers be shut in Before the promised land you gain,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress. (Sing Chorus)
Crowned in the midst of the prophets of old. Obedient be and you'll be blessed, For you must cross the raging main
And sanctify to thee, and sanctify to thee, When you get there among the rest,
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless, Faithful and true he will enter his kingdom, For sure God's judgments are at hand.
Ever and ever the keys he will hold. (Sing Chorus) To leave behind your native lands
The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o’erflow, To cross the plains with our handcart.
When through the deep waters I call thee to go, Great is his glory and endless his priesthood. Prepare yourselves for many more
And thank the day we made a start Ye Saints who dwell on Europe's shore,
Upheld my righteous, omnipotent hand. (Sing Chorus) How cheerfully we'll march along The Handcart Song
Upheld by righteous, upheld by my righteous, Plead unto heav’n while the earth lauds his fame. And then with music and with song
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee and cause thee to stand Long shall his blood, which was shed by assassins, And fresh supplies our hearts to cheer. (Sing Chorus)
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid. Honored and blest be his ever great name! With music sweet and friends so dear Thus saith our God: Ye have eternal life
Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed Praise to his mem’ry, he died as a martyr; We will be met upon the plains His love proclaim thru days of mortal strife.
And long before the valley's gained, Press on, enduring in the ways of Christ.
As thy days may demand so thy succor shall be. Death cannot conquer the hero again.
As thy days may demand, as thy days may demand, (Sing Chorus)
Mingling with Gods, he can plan for his brethren; Their strength increasing day by day. (Sing Chorus)
At home or abroad, on the land or the sea – Traitors and tyrants now fight him in vain. Come unto God; find everlasting light.
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth, And children too will laugh and play,
In every condition — in sickness, in health, Hail to the Prophet, ascended to heaven! Receive his name, rejoicing in his might.
(Chorus) Young men more happy than a king, Press forward, feasting on the word of Christ.
And maidens fair will dance and sing,
Who unto the savior for refuge have fled?
Who unto the Savior, who unto the savior, Kings shall extol him, and nations revere. Thus lend a hand to pull the same (Chorus) Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
What more can he say than to you he hath said Blessed to open the last dispensation, To see the old and feeble dame With love of God and love of all mankind.
Is laid for your faith in his excellent Word! Jesus anointed that Prophet and Seer. 'Twould very much surprise the world With hope’s bright flame alight in heart and mind,
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah! As o'er the road the carts were pulled, Press forward, Saints, with steadfast faith in Christ,
How Firm a Foundation (85) Praise to the Man (87) (The Handcart Song continued) Press Forward, Saints (81)
The Spirit of God (2) Now Let Us Rejoice (3) Redeemer of Israel (6) Come, Come, Ye Saints (30)
The Spirit of God like a fire is burning! Now let us rejoice in the day of salvation. Redeemer of Israel, Our only delight, Come, come, ye saints, no toil nor labor fear;
The latter-day glory begins to come forth; No longer as strangers on earth need we roam. On whom for a blessing we call, But with joy wend your way.
The visions and blessings of old are returning, Our shadow by day, And our pillar by night, Though hard to you this journey may appear,
Good tidings are sounding to us and each nation, Grace shall be as your day.
And angels are coming to visit the earth. Our King, our Deliv'rer, our all!
(Chorus) And shortly the hour of redemption will come, Tis better far for us to strive our useless cares from
We'll sing and we'll shout with the armies of heaven, us to drive; Do this, and joy your hearts will swell -
Hosanna, hosanna to God and the Lamb! (Chorus) We know he is coming, To gather his sheep All is well! All is well!
Let glory to them in the highest be given, When all that was promised the Saints will be given, And lead them to Zion in love,
For why in the valley Of death should they weep Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard?
Henceforth and forever, Amen and amen! And none will molest them from morn until ev'n, 'Tis not so; all is right.
And earth will appear as the Garden of Eden, Or in the lone wilderness rove? Why should we think to earn a great reward if we
The Lord is extending the Saints' understanding, now shun the fight? Gird up your loins; fresh
Restoring their judges and all as at first. And Jesus will say to all Israel, "Come home."
How long we have wandered, As strangers in sin courage take.
The knowledge and power of God are expanding; And cried in the desert for thee! Our God will never us forsake;
The veil o'er the earth is beginning to burst. We'll love one another and never dissemble Our foes have rejoiced And soon we'll have this tale to tell-
But cease to do evil and ever be one. When our sorrows they've seen, All is well! All is well!
We'll call in our solemn assemblies in spirit, And when the ungodly are fearing and tremble,
To spread forth the kingdom of heaven abroad, But Israel will shortly be free. We'll find the place which God for us prepared,
That we through our faith may begin to inherit We'll watch for the day when the Savior will come, Far away, in the West,
The visions and blessings and glories of God. (Sing Chorus) As children of Zion, Good tidings for us. Where none shall come to hurt or make afraid;
The tokens already appear. There the saints, will be blessed.
Old Israel that fled from the world for his In faith we'll rely on the arm of Jehovah Fear not, and be just, For the kingdom is ours. We'll make the air, with music ring, Shout praises
freedom, To guide thru these last days of trouble and gloom, The hour of redemption is near. to our god and king; Above the rest
Must come with the cloud and the pillar, amain: these words we'll tell - All is well! All is well!
And after the scourges and harvest are over,
A Moses, and Aaron, and Joshua lead him, Restore, my dear Savior, The light of thy face;
And feed him on manna from heaven again. We'll rise with the just when the Savior doth come. And should we die before our journey's through,
Then all that was promised the Saints will be given, Thy soul-cheering comfort impart; Happy day! All is well!
How blessed the day when the lamb and the lion And they will be crown'd with the angels of heav'n, And let the sweet longing For thy holy place We then are free from toil and sorrow, too;
Shall lie down together without any ire, Bring hope to my desolate heart. With the just we shall dwell!
And earth will appear as the Garden of Eden, But if our lives are spared again to see the Saints
And Ephraim be crowned with his blessing in Zion, And Christ and his people will ever be one. their rest obtain, Oh, how we'll make
As Jesus descends with his chariot of fire! this chorus swell- All is well! All is well!
Some Background Information

Come, Come Ye Saints W. W. Phelps and the First Hymnal The Handcart Song Other Hymns

“The author of this favorite LDS hymn, William Wines Phelps wrote many of the There were ten handcart companies in How Firm a Foundation is a Protestant
William Clayton, was a member of one hymns of the restored church. He was an all, from 1856 to 1860. Although food hymn that was included in the first
of the first companies of Saints to head early church leader, including serving as an was always in short supply, eight of these (1835) hymnal.
westward to Utah. Forced out of assistant to the president in Missouri, scribe companies came through with few
Nauvoo, Illinois, William and the other to Joseph Smith, and a church printer, problems. They were said to be as fast as Press Forward, Saints is a modern
pioneers faced great difficulties on the editor, and song-writer. or faster than any other means of hymn, published in the latest (1985)
muddy trail. Not only did they battle the crossing the plains - apparently humans version of the LDS hymnal. It is based
weather, but they also faced sickness, W. W. Phelps published the first hymns of on 2 Nephi 31:20, which is the theme for
can pull handcarts faster than oxen can
hunger and exhaustion. the church in 1832 in Independence, the trek as well as the stake for 2009:
pull wagons. They were also much less
Missouri, with many of the songs written by
“William carried an added burden; his
expensive than a wagon and ox team,
Phelps. Wherefore, ye must press forward
pregnant wife, Diantha, remained in making it possible for the poorer Saints with a steadfastness in Christ, having
Nauvoo, too sick to travel. When word When Emma Smith was assigned in 1835 to immigrating from Europe to make the a perfect brightness of hope, and a
from his sweetheart finally came, compile a selection of sacred hymns for use journey. love of God and of all men.
William learned that she had given birth by the Saints, W. W. Phelps was appointed Wherefore, if ye shall press forward,
to a healthy baby boy. Ecstatic with joy, to help with the revisions and printing. The Two handcart companies, called the feasting upon the word of Christ,
he penned the lines to this now famous book they produced was very small (3” x 4 Martin and Willy after their captains, left and endure to the end, behold, thus
song, stressing the point that all was 1/2”) and contained 90 hymns. late (August/September) from Iowa, and saith the Father: Ye shall have
well. were caught in early winter storms eternal life.
While many hymns that we sing today were in Wyoming, suffering much loss of life
“The song became popular with the included in the early LDS hymnals, they and being rescued heroically by those
traveling Saints, and remains a stirring were not printed with music. The tunes used who had already settled in the valley.
tribute to the courage and faith of for a given set of words may have varied
pioneers like William Clayton.” from one time to another, but it is likely that Sometime during the trek west, an
(Source: Suite101.com) the tunes we use now were rarely if ever the unknown traveler wrote the words to
tunes used when the early hymns were sung. “The Handcart Song.” The tune is set to
a Scottish dance tune called the
Three of the songs in this collection were Cumberland Reel. The words express the
written by W. W. Phelps and included in the feelings and hopes of those traveling
first hymnal. They are: across the plains in the handcart
companies. The words were later
• The Spirit of God (sung at the rewritten to honor the handcart pioneers
dedication of the Kirtland Temple)
and included in the Primary songbook.
• Redeemer of Israel (not original to
(Source: Numachi.com and “Songs of the
Phelps, but re-worded by him)
Great American West”)
• Now Let Us Rejoice

A fourth song, “Praise to the Man,” was


written by Phelps in August, 1844, one
month after the martyrdom of Joseph Smith.

Compiled by Jon Forsyth, July 2009


For the Nashua NH Stake Pioneer Trek