Thursday, April 12, 2018

Yoo-hoo unto Jesus!

The most recent hymnal for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was published in 1985 (a pretty easy year for me to remember). The hymnbook prior to that was published in 1948.

Quite a few changes happened between those two publications, but my favourite is the change to How Firm a Foundation, hymn #66 in the brown 1948 edition:

How firm a foundation, ye Saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said,
You who unto Jesus, you who unto Jesus,
You who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?

I have never, personally, sung it this way since the 1985 book was published before I could speak so I grew up singing:

How firm a foundation, ye Saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said,
Who unto the Savior, who unto the Savior,
Who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?

But I've heard many in my parents' generation fondly remember irreverently, if unintentionally, cracking up over "Yoo-hoo unto Jesus!" Thus, I'm sure, the change.

With 30+ years of practice under my belt, I've gotten fairly good at behaving reverently when the occasion calls for it. I admit that I went through that awkward stage where I'd twitter* with my Sunday School peers should anyone ever be called on to read a verse of scripture containing the words "ass" or "hell" or "damnation." And I probably was a wiggly Sunbeam. But I got through all of that and now I'm pretty good at behaving reverently when I should be.

Like, for example, during family scripture study...

I'm super reverent during family scripture study. I'm like the Scripture Study Reverence Police—the SSRP. I'm so reverent I enforce reverence: "Stop talking. Sit still. Follow along. Stop licking your brother. Seriously, stop."

Tonight I was taking a turn reading aloud, in 2 Nephi, chapter 24 (compare Isaiah 14): "The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet; they break forth into singing," I read. "Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, and also the cedars of Lebanon, saying: Since thou art laid down no feller is come..."

And I started laughing so hard Andrew had to take over for me.

I know that this is referring to a feller of trees, a woodsman. I get that. But, guys, the more common usage, the one that overpowered my mind was the "nonstandard spelling of fellow," reflecting the nonstandard pronunciation common in "various dialects" feller.

And I just could not even.

* Dear younger-than-my-generation readers, twitter is not only a social media platform; it's a bonafide word. I did not have a cell phone at the age of this anecdote and Twitter hadn't been invented. Yes, for real. You can close your mouth now. 

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