The Introduction to the History of the (LDS) Church states that after the death of Christ's twelve apostles, "a really un-Christian religion was gradually substituted for the beautiful religion of Jesus Christ; that a universal apostasy from the Christian doctrine and the Christian Church took place." Indeed, "Nothing less than a complete apostasy from the Christian religion would warrant the establishment of the (sic) Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." It is said, " spiritual darkness fell like a pall over the nations; and thus they lay for ages."
The History of the Church points out that Joseph Smith said he was told by God in his First Vision that all the creeds of the Christian churches were an abomination before the Almighty. And, we are told, after a decline in the morality and spirituality of professing Christians, there was "an utter departure from the true and living God and Jesus Christ whom He had sent, and an establishment of a system in its place, as debasing to men as it was dishonorable to God."
What does this have to do with hymns? Apostle Boyd K. Packer said in the October 1991 General Conference, "If we will listen, they are teaching the gospel, for the hymns of the Restoration are, in fact, a course in doctrine!" More recently, Apostle Packer asserted that LDS hymns are evidence of the Christian nature of the LDS Church. He said, "Suppose someone who had never heard of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came upon one of our hymnbooks and asked himself, 'Who published this? What do they believe? What kind of people are they?'" According to Apostle Packer, hymns reveal the character and faith of the people who embrace them.
Using Apostle Packer's method of analysis, this page gives you an opportunity to discover what the alleged apostate Christians believed -- what kind of people they were and are -- by a look at a hymn of the Apostasy. This hymn, representative of all historic Christian hymns, demonstrates the "spiritual darkness" and the "utter departure from the true and living God" of these men and women whose belief system was and is "dishonorable to God" and whose very beliefs were and are an "abomination" before Him.
As an additional tool, a hymn of the Restoration is included as well, in order to provide the contrast.
|HYMN OF THE APOSTASY||HYMN OF THE RESTORATION|
O for a thousand tongues to sing
Jesus! The name that charms our fears,
He breaks the power of canceled sin,
Hear Him, ye deaf; His praise, ye dumb,
My gracious Master and my God,
The Seer, Joseph, the Seer!
Of noble seed, of heavenly birth,
The Saints, the Saints, his only pride!
He's free! He's free! The Prophet's free!
Quotes from: HOC 1:XL, XLI, LXVIII, XCIV; Church News 2/8/97 p. 14; The Peaceable Followers of Christ, LDS Church News web site 2/14/98