History of a Song: August - “As We Take the Sacrament”
This hymn is a common one that is sung during LDS sacrament services and is one of the few hymns that Mormons use that is truly ' a homegrown' product- both the lyrics and the music are written by practicing Mormons. This particular hymn is #169 in the 1985 English LDS Church Hymnal.
The lyrics to this song were written by Lee Tom Perry, who was born in 1951. He is the son of an high ranking LDS religious leader (L Tom Perry). When he was in his late teens, he served a two year LDS mission in Japan and later was an associate dean of the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University. He has worked in a variety of callings in the Mormon church including mission president in California and as a stake president. He is also considered an LDS academic who has written or co-authored a few books including “Righteous Influence: What Every Leader Should Know about Drawing on the Powers of Heaven”, “Real -Time Strategy:Improvising Team-Based Planning for a Fast -Changing World”, and “Offensive Strategy:Forging a New Competitiveness in the Fires of Head-To- Head Competition.” Some of his speeches while working at BYU were quite popular and can be found in a readable format online.
Daniel Lyman Carter wrote the music for this hymn and he was born in 1955. He is primarily a LDS composer/songwriter and has a few songs to his credit including the discussed one and “A Young Man Prepared”. He has received commissions from church leader to compose music for special celebrations such as the Sesquicentennial Celebration in 1997. he had contributed several compositions to Mormon church magazines and his works have been performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and other groups throughout the Mormon church. He has also contributed articles on music to church magazines and he also taught and spoke several times at regional LDS Church music workshops. He also started a Choral group that performed for around a decade throughout regional Mormon areas and which put out a CD titles “Come Unto Him – Music by Dan Carter”. He has over 350 pieces of music in print and he continues to write and compose as well as publish.
This song is rarely heard except for the sacrament portion of the LDS church meeting, but it is one of my favorites. I am sort of biased though because the whole sacrament portion of the meeting is the best time for me at church. A few minutes of quiet to just think and remember the savior when I am sitting up and sort of awake- that can't be beaten. So what do you think of this song... many people I know at church do not like it which is a shame (well, I think so : ) Does this song give you any particular emotions one way or another? What are your thoughts...?