November, 27, 2012

Like a Prayer unto Thee

The theme of the November Family Home Evenings was “Like a Prayer unto Thee: Our LDS Hymn Tradition.” In order to prepare to host FHE last week, I spent time reading about various influential contributors to the LDS hymn book. Although we chose to focus largely on W.W. Phelps during our FHE, I also spent time reading about Eliza R. Snow. She wrote the lyrics of 10 hymns, some of the most well-known being “Oh My Father” and “How Great the Wisdom and the Love.”

From her youth, Eliza grew up in a highly religious family, but the family decided none of the churches on the earth followed the pattern of Christ’s original church. Eliza and her family would later join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and gather in Kirtland.

Following the death of the Prophet Joseph, Eliza traveled to Utah with the Saints. In Utah, she would go on to serve as the second General Relief Society President of the Church. Throughout Eliza’s presidency, the Primary and the Young Women’s Mutual Improvement Association were organized, the Woman’s Exponent was created, and welfare program was introduced. Also, she was well known for her beautiful poetry, and wrote over 500 poems throughout the course of her life. Additionally, her younger brother, Lorenzo Snow, would later become the fifth president of the Church [1].

In an 1887 Relief Society Conference, Eliza said, “To be able to do Father’s will is what I wish to live for” [2]. I was touched by her testimony and realized the great power that one individual can have on many generations. Sister Snow understood her mission as a Daughter of God, and I look to her as a stalwart example of a Latter-day Saint woman. As we sing Eliza R. Snow’s hymns and hear her name from time to time, may we be forever grateful for her great faith and dignified leadership.

Melinda Clark, Gallery Educator 


[1] “Eliza R. Snow.” Relief Society General President. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2012. <>.
[2] Eliza R. Snow, address given at Salt Lake Stake Relief Society conference, Sept. 15, 1887, in “Salt Lake Stake,” Woman’s Exponent, Oct. 1, 1887, 70.