Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mission Songs: Where to Find Them? or Can You Even Find Them!


Recently I looked at all the official mission sites on LDS Mission Network searching for mission songs. Most sites are very complete with information about the mission, missionaries, and mission presidents. A few even have recipes but there is something lacking that I discovered and that is there are few if any mission songs listed. I have tried Googling mission songs but not too many come up.

I was able to find the following handful of songs from the LDS Mission Network, which included:

Ardis Parshall did a post on a few older missions songs in January 2009 and one lady shared the You Tube rendition of the Latvia Riga Mission. One commenter shared her New York mission song but she doesn't identify which New York mission.

It really is hard to dig up a complete collection of mission songs anywhere on the Internet. Even LDS.Com is lacking on this topic. I ran across another one recently when reading Marvin and Ellen Slovacek's Czech Prague Mission Experience 2007 - 2010 blog. A few weeks ago Sister Slovacek, the mission president's wife, and Elder Tanner composed a mission song:

Our mission is fortunate to have some very talented musicians. When Elder Tanner arrived last year, we knew it was time to create a mission song. He and I sat down at the piano and pounded out a few notes. Then we got a notebook and wrote the lyrics. Elder Tanner then input our notes (mostly his) and lyrics (mostly mine) in a computer program. The result is a stirring rendition of this song at every zone conference. Every time I hear it, I think of us at the piano debating over past martyrs and whether it should be near and far, or far and near. (He won. He said most of us come from far, then near. I couldn't argue with that logic.) Thank you , Elder Tanner. You have left an indelible impression on the Czech Prague Mission for many years to come!
I remember when I served in the Canada Toronto Mission that we had our own special song also. I remember how President M. Russell Ballard would have his mission secretary Elder Bellon who was also an accomplished pianist play for us in zone and mission-wide firesides as we exuberantly sang our song. I am not sure if every mission has their own mission song since they are hard to find.

As to their content and words some merely use the tune of existing songs with new lyrics. A few like the one above from the Czech Prague Mission has original melodies and lyrics which is rarer than the first kind.

I am interested in acquiring a copy of every mission's song and posted it here on this blog. When I can save a couple hundred bucks I will write off to all the 350 missions and ask for a copy. You would think someone in the Church's historical department like Ardis could help me with this. It would be a valuable resource. If you want to include your song feel free to put it under the comment section. I will find a way to index them so people searching for mission songs can find them on my missionary blog which is devoted to all matters about missions.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oregon Portland Mission Song

-Sung to tune of "Called to Serve"


Called to serve in the Oregon Portland Mission
Called by a prophet in the latter-days;

Standing firm to point the true direction

Straight and narrow is the way.

Blessed to teach our Heavenly Father’s children
Blessed to share our testimonies true

Of the Prophet Joseph, and the Restoration

And the Book of Mormon, too.

(Chorus)

Sharing, ever caring

Touching hearts with gospel light;

Shining, souls refining

Planting seeds of truth and right

Leading and succeeding

Working hard in rain or sun;

Having faith to do His will

And reach the heart of everyone.

United in our missionary efforts
United in our missionary pride;

Building friendships that will be eternal

As we’re lengthening our stride.

(Sharing, ever caring

Touching hearts with gospel light;

Shining, souls refining

Planting seed of truth and right

Leading and succeeding

Working hard in rain or sun;

Sure love you, we’re happy to be here

Cause Portland’s Number One! SUCCESS!!!!!

Anonymous said...

These searches pull up other mission songs:

Mission song

Mission songs

Dr. B said...

Anonymous:

You're right I missed about twenty mission songs. Thanks for the catch.

Dr. B said...

I don't think 25 mission songs cuts it when there are 365 missions of the church plus several defunct ones.

adamwest said...

Hey, I have the lyrics to the Brazil São Paulo South Mission, where I served from 1984-1986. The Church has since changed the words in the hymn, but for many of us, the old lyrics are the best, and near and dear to our hearts and soles. Here are the lyrics we sang to Up, Awake!

Up awake ye defenders of Zion,
The foe’s at the doors of your homes
Let each heart be the heart of a lion,
Unyielding and proud as he roams.
Remember the wrongs of Missouri,
Forget not the fate of Nauvoo,
When the God hating foe is before you,
Stand firm and be faithful and true!
When the God hating foe is before you,
Stand firm and be faithful and true!

É Sião de montanhas cercadas,
Seus nobres guerreiros bravos são,
Em Jesus sua fé tem fundada,
Seus braços potentes em salvação
Pelo orgulho dos homens comabatidas
Suas forças parecem nada ser
Mas a sua unidade é conhecida,
E são firmes, fieis no viver!
Mas a sua unidade é conhecida,
E são firmes, fieis no viver!

Anonymous said...

Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Mission went something like this:
Missionaries come follow the savior
come serve in the army of God
O be valiant in His service and hold fast to the iron rod,
We are gathered from every city, marching forth with our banner in sight
and we will win the battle in defending truth and right
We know that we must love the Lord and serve our fellow man we something or other ...know the gospel plan. Repeat chorus Missionaries come follow the Savior...