#34 O Ye Mountains High

Music & voice:

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Music only:

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1. O ye mountains high, where the clear blue sky
Arches over the vales of the free,
Where the pure breezes blow and the clear streamlets flow,
How I’ve longed to your bosom to flee!
O Zion! dear Zion! land of the free,
Now my own mountain home, unto thee I have come;
All my fond hopes are centered in thee.

2. Tho the great and the wise all thy beauties despise,
To the humble and pure thou art dear;
Tho the haughty may smile and the wicked revile,
Yet we love thy glad tidings to hear.
O Zion! dear Zion! home of the free,
Tho thou wert forced to fly to thy chambers on high,
Yet we’ll share joy and sorrow with thee.

3. In thy mountain retreat, God will strengthen thy feet;
Without fear of thy foes thou shalt tread;
And their silver and gold, as the prophets have told,
Shall be brought to adorn thy fair head.
O Zion! dear Zion! home of the free,
Soon thy towers shall shine with a splendor divine,
And eternal thy glory shall be.

4. Here our voices we’ll raise, and we’ll sing to thy praise,
Sacred home of the prophets of God.
Thy deliv’rance is nigh; thy oppressors shall die;
And thy land shall be freedom’s abode.
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.

Text: Charles W. Penrose, 1832-1925
Music: H. S. Thompson, ca. 1852

-History: (Source: Wikipedia)

Charles William Penrose (4 February 1832 – 16 May 1925) was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from July 7, 1904. Penrose was also a member of the First Presidency of the church under Church Presidents Joseph F. Smith and Heber J. Grant from 1911 until his death.

Penrose was born in London, England; the name “Penrose” is of Cornish origin.[2] It is said that he learned to read the scriptures by the age of four. He was introduced to the church and baptized at the age of eighteen on May 14, 1850 in London. He also met and married his wife Lucetta Stratford there. The couple had three children.

After joining the church, Penrose was called to a mission of seven years, preaching throughout England. In 1861, he emigrated to Utah. After arriving, he was called on yet another mission to England. Upon his return, he settled in Ogden, Utah. There he became involved in newspaper publishing, eventually becoming the editor of the Deseret News in Salt Lake City. Penrose was known for his writing, including missionary tracts and for penning lyrics for LDS hymns, including God of Our FathersO Ye Mountains High, and Up, Awake, Ye Defenders of Zion.

Some claim that Penrose, with the assistance of a few others, wrote the 1890 Manifesto. However, this claim has been refuted. George Reynolds testified in the Smoot Hearings before the U.S. Senate that he, Charles W. Penrose, and John R. Winder edited the manifesto that President Wilford Woodruff delivered, preparing it for publication.

Penrose was a professor of theology at Brigham Young Academy from 1897 to 1899 and again in 1901 and 1902.[3]

Penrose was called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and ordained an apostle on July 7, 1904 after the passing of Elder Abraham O. Woodruff. After John Henry Smith (the Second Counselor to President Joseph F. Smith) died, he was called and set apart as Second Counselor in his stead on December 7, 1911. James E. Talmage filled the vacancy in the Quorum of the Twelve caused by President John Henry Smith‘s death and Charles W. Penrose’s call as Second Counselor. He also served as Second Counselor for President Heber J. Grant when the First Presidency was reorganized on November 23, 1918 after the death of President Joseph F. Smith. On March 10, 1921, he was set apart as First Counselor in the same presidency to replace President Anthon H. Lund who had died eight days earlier. He served there until his death, four years later in Salt Lake City from chronic prostatitis.[4]

Some of Penrose poems were put to music and became LDS hymns. “Up, Awake, Ye Defenders of Zion”, originally a militant hymn containing references to trials of LDS members in the central United States and the threatening United States government (ironically set to the melody for “Columbia, Gem of the Ocean,” thus asserting the Saints’ true patriotism, despite their alleged “rebellion”), became an anthem for LDS members during the difficulties preceding and during the Utah War of 1857–58.[5]

Some of Penrose lyrics appear in the current LDS hymnal, including:

  • God of Our Fathers, We Come Unto Thee
  • O Ye Mountains High
  • School Thy Feelings
  • Up, Awake, Ye Defenders of Zion (with modified lyrics, 1985)