#327 Go, Ye Messengers of Heaven (Men’s Choir)

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1. Go, ye messengers of heaven,
Chosen by divine command;
Go and publish free salvation
To a dark, benighted land.

2. Go to island, vale, and mountain;
There fulfill the great command;
Gather out the sons of Jacob
To possess the promised land.

3. When your thousands all are gathered,
And their prayers for you ascend,
And the Lord has crowned with blessings
All the labors of your hand,

4. Then the song of joy and transport
Will from ev’ry land resound;
Then the nations long in darkness
By the Savior will be crowned.

Text: John Taylor, 1808-1887
Music: F. Christensen, arr. (c) 1985 IRI

Written By: John Taylor

John Taylor (November 1, 1808 – July 25, 1887) was the third president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1880 to 1887.

Taylor was born in MilnthorpeWestmorland (now part of Cumbria), England, the son of James and Agnes Taylor. He had formal schooling up to age fourteen, and then he served an initial apprenticeship to a cooper and later received training as a woodturner and cabinetmaker. He was christened in the Church of England, but joined the Methodist church at sixteen. He was appointed a lay preacher a year later, and felt a calling to preach in America. Taylor’s parents and siblings emigrated to Upper Canada (present-day Ontario) in 1830. John stayed in England to dispose of the family property and joined his family in Toronto in 1832. He met Leonora Cannon from the Isle of Manwhile attending a Toronto Methodist Church and, although she initially rejected his proposal, married her on January 28, 1833.

Between 1834 and 1836, John and Leonora Taylor participated in a religious study group in Toronto. The group discussed problems and concerns with their Methodist faith, and quickly became known as the “Dissenters.” Other members included Joseph Fielding and his sisters Mary and Mercy, who later also became prominent in the Latter Day Saint faith.

Taylor is reported to have had a marvelous singing voice. At the request of Hyrum Smith (Joseph Smith’s brother), he twice sang the song “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief” in Carthage Jail just before the Smiths were killed.[11]

Taylor wrote the lyrics to several hymns, some of which are still used by the LDS Church. Taylor’s hymn Joseph the Seer was sung at the 200th anniversary celebration of Joseph Smith’s birth. The 1985 English-language edition of the LDS Church hymnal includes two hymns written by Taylor, “Go Ye Messengers of Glory” (#262) and “Go, Ye Messengers of Heaven” (#327).

Music By: F. Christensen, arr.