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LDS Church to significantly alter hymn book; asks for original submissions

SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will significantly revise its hymnbook and children’s songbook and is asking members and nonmembers to submit original music for consideration.

“We recognize the power that sacred music has to unify the members of the Church throughout the world,” Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said in a statement on the church’s website.

According to the church, the revisions will seek to “reflect the needs of members around the world” — a nod to the organization’s ever-more global reach and growing membership outside the U.S.

The collections will include core hymns and songs that teach the doctrines of the gospel of Jesus Christ and will be made available in every language, the church said in a statement.

An official notice was sent to Church leaders around the world to inform them of the changes and ask for submissions of original music.

The church invites composers and authors to submit original hymns, children’s songs, song text without music or music without text at newmusic.lds.org. Each person (member or nonmember) may submit up to five hymns and five children’s songs.

The church encourages submissions of hymns and songs from multiple cultural styles, even if it does not match the musical style typically included in the hymnbook, the church said on its website.

The deadline is July 1, 2019.

Those who wish to provide input but don’t want to submit original work can take the feedback survey here.

Committees assembled under the direction of LDS Church leadership will recommend revisions to the current collections and choose new music from the submissions.

“Perhaps the most meaningful hymns and songs of the Restoration have not yet been written,” said Elder LeGrand R. Curtis Jr. of the Seventy — a group of leaders who work under the direction of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “We encourage our talented members to prayerfully consider what they might add to the body of music already known and loved by the Church.”

The church’s first hymnbook was compiled in 1835 by Emma Smith — wife of LDS Church founder Joseph Smith. The current hymnbook was last revised in 1985.

Prototypes of the new hymnbooks will be ready in several years, according to church officials. Hymns that are more applicable to specific languages and areas will be made available online.

For more information, click here.

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