#139 In Fasting We Approach Thee

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1. In fasting we approach thee here
And pray thy Spirit from above
Will cleanse our hearts, cast out our fear,
And fill our hunger with thy love.

2. Thru this small sacrifice, may we
Recall that strength and life each day
Are sacred blessings sent from thee–
Fill us with gratitude, we pray.

3. And may our fast fill us with care
For all thy children now in need.
May we from our abundance share,
Thy sheep to bless, thy lambs to feed.

4. This fast, dear Father, sanctify–
Our faith and trust in thee increase.
As we commune and testify,
May we be filled with joy and peace.

Text: Paul L. Anderson, b. 1946. (c) 1981 Paul L. Anderson and Lynn R. Carson.
Music: Clay Christiansen, b. 1949. (c) 1985 IRI

-History: (Source: Wikipedia)

Written By: Paul L. Anderson

Paul L. Anderson (born 1946) is a Latter-day Saint architectural historian, museum curator and hymnwriter.

Anderson was born in Pasadena, California[1] and as a young man served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) in Japan.

Anderson received a B.A. with honors from Stanford University in 1968 and a Master of Architecture from Princeton University in 1972. He was an architect in Pasadena, California and received his license in 1976.[2][3]

Anderson married the historian Lavina Fielding in 1977. They lived in Salt Lake City, Utah and had one son, Christian, who was born in 1980.[4] During the 1993 conflict between some intellectuals and LDS leadership (in which Lavina was excommunicated), Paul publicly called for peace and reconciliation between the parties.[5]

In 1973, Anderson received a fellowship from the LDS Church’s Historical Department to study historical Mormon architecture, which led to a position restoring the church’s historic buildings. He helped in the planning of the Museum of Church History and Art, which opened in 1984, and later in designing its exhibits. He helped launch the Brigham Young University Museum of Art in 1992 and since then has served as head of design and curator.[2] Anderson was heavily involved with the work of Nauvoo Restoration, Inc.[citation needed]

Anderson has been a longtime member of the Mormon History Association (MHA), and planned its 1987 conference in England, for which he was awarded a Special Citation from the MHA.[6] He served as MHA president from 2007–8.[7]

Anderson also has a strong musical interest. For several years he sang in the Utah Symphony Chorus. He has written the text of four hymns in the 1985 LDS hymnbook[2]: #139 “In Fasting We Approach Thee”, #148 “Sabbath Day”, #291 “Turn Your Hearts”, and #311 “We Meet Again as Sisters”.

Music By: Clay Christiansen

Clay Christiansen (born 1949) is one of the organists for the organ of the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City and also an official organist of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir meaning that he accompanies the Choir in both Salt Lake City and when they are on tour, as well as providing organ recitals in both the Tabernacle and the Conference Center. He is one of three full time organists, the other two being Andrew E. Unsworth and Richard Elliott. In addition Bonnie Goodliffe and Linda Margetts are part-time organists.

Christiansen has a bachelors degree from Brigham Young University and masters and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Utah.

From 1972-1982 Christiansen was the organist for St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Salt Lake City. Christiansen was also organist at Congregation Kol Ami, a Jewish synagogue in Salt Lake City. From 1982 until the present he has been one of the Tabernacle Organists.

Christiansen and his wife, the former Diane Francom, are the parents of 13 children.

Christiansen is also a composer. He wrote the music to the hymn “In Fasting We Approach Thee”. He has written a broad variety of choral, piano and organ compositions.[1]