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Amazing Grace


ErikJohnson

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On a previous thread, Mormon apologist Daniel C. Peterson characterized the song â??Amazing Graceâ? as a â??great hymn.â? T-shirt, presumably an LDS poster, opined that it is â??unfortunateâ? that Amazing Grace is not in the LDS hymnbookâ??but he/she noted encouragingly that it is preformed on occasion by the Tabernacle Choir (along with many other non-LDS and secular songs).

These pro-Amazing Grace sentiments were sharply countermanded by another, presumably LDS poster, Maklelan, who stated: â??It's doctrinally unsound, according to the First Presidency. That's why it's not in the hymnbook.â?

In a time when the prevailing LDS sentiment seems to be to try and co-opt any and all things Christian, Maklelanâ??s post felt like a blast from the past.

Regrettably, Maklelan didnâ??t furnish a reference for his â??according to the First Presidencyâ? assertion. None-the-less, Iâ??d like to hear from any LDS who support Maklelanâ??s view (and presumably the view of the Mormon First Presidency). Why is Amazing Grace doctrinally unsound, according to Mormonism?

--Erik

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There are many great hymns that would be great additions to the LDS hymnal. There are also so great hymns that the LDS share with other 'Christian' churches already.

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On a previous thread, Mormon apologist Daniel C. Peterson characterized the song â??Amazing Graceâ? as a â??great hymn.â? T-shirt, presumably an LDS poster, opined that it is â??unfortunateâ? that Amazing Grace is not in the LDS hymnbookâ??but he/she noted encouragingly that it is preformed on occasion by the Tabernacle Choir (along with many other non-LDS and secular songs).

These pro-Amazing Grace sentiments were sharply countermanded by another, presumably LDS poster, Maklelan, who stated: â??It's doctrinally unsound, according to the First Presidency. That's why it's not in the hymnbook.â?

In a time when the prevailing LDS sentiment seems to be to try and co-opt any and all things Christian, Maklelanâ??s post felt like a blast from the past.

Regrettably, Maklelan didnâ??t furnish a reference for his â??according to the First Presidencyâ? assertion. None-the-less, Iâ??d like to hear from any LDS who support Maklelanâ??s view (and presumably the view of the Mormon First Presidency). Why is Amazing Grace doctrinally unsound, according to Mormonism?

--Erik

I'd like to be the first to respond and say that I have absolutely nothing against this hymn, and I think it's one of the most beautiful songs on earth when played on the bagpipes. I take issue with this assessment of my statement as countermanding pro-Amazing Grace sentiments.

I merely stated what I understand the issue to be. Amazing Grace carries for most Christians a "free grace" quality, and the powers that be in the LDS church have, according to two general authorities I have spoken to about it, decided the doctrinal undertones merit its exclusion from the hymnbook. There is no published statement from the First Presidency addressing this issue, as far as I know. If that closes the case for you then so be it.

I find the histrionics and openly patronizing and bating tone of your post a little silly. If I have offended your sensitivities by explaining why the hymn is not in the hymnal then I apologize, but that's the issue as it has been explained to me by those in authority. If you have a better explanation I would love to hear it.

EDIT: Evidently I was not the first.

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On a previous thread, Mormon apologist Daniel C. Peterson characterized the song “Amazing Grace” as a “great hymn.” T-shirt, presumably an LDS poster, opined that it is “unfortunate” that Amazing Grace is not in the LDS hymnbook—but he/she noted encouragingly that it is preformed on occasion by the Tabernacle Choir (along with many other non-LDS and secular songs).

These pro-Amazing Grace sentiments were sharply countermanded by another, presumably LDS poster, Maklelan, who stated: “It's doctrinally unsound, according to the First Presidency. That's why it's not in the hymnbook.”

In a time when the prevailing LDS sentiment seems to be to try and co-opt any and all things Christian, Maklelan’s post felt like a blast from the past.

Regrettably, Maklelan didn’t furnish a reference for his “according to the First Presidency” assertion. None-the-less, I’d like to hear from any LDS who support Maklelan’s view (and presumably the view of the Mormon First Presidency). Why is Amazing Grace doctrinally unsound, according to Mormonism?

--Erik

Or in other words...

On this thread, anti-Mormon critic ErikJohnson characterized prevailing LDS sentiment as trying to co-opt all things Christian. He, presumably still an anti-Mormon, then opined that it is unfortunate that Maklelan's assertion regarding Amazing Grace not being doctrinal was not sharply countermanded, and appears to be a blast from the past. A past that is regrettable to many, presumably anti-Mormon, Christians. So, he asks those who support Baal... I mean, Maklelan's view, why is Amazing Grace so doctrinally unsound despite the fact the Mormon Tabernacle Choir occasionally performs it?

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I suppose anyone could look them up, but I think it would be nice to post the words to the song so people can more easily judge their doctrinal worthiness....

"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,

That saved a wretch like me....

I once was lost but now am found,

Was blind, but now, I see.

T'was Grace that taught...

my heart to fear.

And Grace, my fears relieved.

How precious did that Grace appear...

the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares...

we have already come.

T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far...

and Grace will lead us home.

The Lord has promised good to me...

His word my hope secures.

He will my shield and portion be...

as long as life endures.

When we've been here ten thousand years...

bright shining as the sun.

We've no less days to sing God's praise...

then when we've first begun.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,

That saved a wretch like me....

I once was lost but now am found,

Was blind, but now, I see.

I see a bit of OSAS in it (bolded) but it depends on how you look at it. Also we can still be saved from the entanglements of the world by being born again, but that is not salvation.

I might have voted for the second option, but it does not correctly describe my opinion. I think the way it was intended, it is doctrinally unsound, but I don't consider it a threat; so I didn't vote at all.

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Incidentally, I was assigned the musical prelude (piano) that we do ten minutes before the sacrament meeting and I brought in a "jazzy" Amazing Grace, a "jazzy" instrumental version of Beauty and the Beast, and a Bach Trio. Guess what, they approved the other two songs but disallowed Amazing Grace, they told me that it is a song that usually draws too much attention to itself and thus should not be used as a prelude. Hmmm...

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I don't really have a specific reply to the poll, but it did remind me of a story about my late grandfather. He was a music lover and he, for many years, hated the song 'How Great thou Art" as he thought it much too Protestant for his tastes. (Some may notice that the opinionated streak was passed along. <_<) Well, after his first wife died, he remarried and his new wife loved the song. Not many years after, the 'How Great thou Art' was added to the LDS hymnal. Well, needless to say, by the end of his life, this was one of his favorite hymns and he would always insist that it be sung at family gatherings, although he would also make sure to point out that he thought it was not doctrinally 100% sound. :P

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I'd choose the last two poll options if I could -- a great hymn, yet overrated. Sure, it has a pleasant tune and everything, but the characterization of humanity is a bit... demeaning, I think.

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On a previous thread, Mormon apologist Daniel C. Peterson characterized the song â??Amazing Graceâ? as a â??great hymn.â? T-shirt, presumably an LDS poster, opined that it is â??unfortunateâ? that Amazing Grace is not in the LDS hymnbookâ??but he/she noted encouragingly that it is preformed on occasion by the Tabernacle Choir (along with many other non-LDS and secular songs).

These pro-Amazing Grace sentiments were sharply countermanded by another, presumably LDS poster, Maklelan, who stated: â??It's doctrinally unsound, according to the First Presidency. That's why it's not in the hymnbook.â?

In a time when the prevailing LDS sentiment seems to be to try and co-opt any and all things Christian, Maklelanâ??s post felt like a blast from the past.

Regrettably, Maklelan didnâ??t furnish a reference for his â??according to the First Presidencyâ? assertion. None-the-less, Iâ??d like to hear from any LDS who support Maklelanâ??s view (and presumably the view of the Mormon First Presidency). Why is Amazing Grace doctrinally unsound, according to Mormonism?

--Erik

Did you know that this was a sermon, that became a song?

Pa Pa :P

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I love the song but I hear it all too often sung by pop artists who want to draw more attention to themselves then to the message. But thats just my take.

None of the vote options said "I'm LDS and I think its a wonderfully inspiring song but teaches grace alone" so I didn't vote.

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I love the song but I hear it all too often sung by pop artists who want to draw more attention to themselves then to the message. But thats just my take.

None of the vote options said "I'm LDS and I think its a wonderfully inspiring song but teaches grace alone" so I didn't vote.

I thought the OP was a little condescending. I also didn't vote because I disagree with all the options.

To be honest, the pop artist thing you mention is similar to my view; mostly that I hear a lot of people who are terrible singers try to sing it. I like a nice instrumental on the bagpipes, as was mentioned, but as for me I've heard the song butchered so often that I don't really "miss" it.

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I didn't vote as none of the option agreed with my views-

I think that amazing grace is a beautiful song in the context that it was written-but i really don't care if it's in the LDS hymnbook or not.

Since it was written from the perspective of a slave runner, i feel it's a beautiful song that probably very much fit the description of the man who wrote it (a slave runner would no doubt be a 'wretch' who was very 'lost' before he changed his ways, etc.)

but in the perspective of 'the every day Christian' i think the words are too heavy-handed and indeed not doctrinally sound for every person automatically.

:P

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I voted for number two because that hymn is doctrinally unsound...at least the way in which it was intended. For many years I disliked the song "How Great Thou Art" which is included in the LDS hymnbook, although some of the words have been altered which actually make it more appealing to me personally, and I have come to like it over the years, although it still is not one of my favorites. Being from the South I guess I associate both of these hymns with the Baptist Church, I had to attend a Baptist Private School in the 8th grade and was persecuted mercilessly by the so-called Christians there for being a Mormon, so I guess I am a little biased against these hymns. However, the category I would have prefered would have been: A Great hymn ( I think instrumentally with bag pipes it is wonderful) but I am glad it is not currently in the LDS hymn book.

As for your statement:

In a time when the prevailing LDS sentiment seems to be to try and co-opt any and all things Christian, Maklelanâ??s post felt like a blast from the past.
We do not need to co-opt anything from anyone else because we have the fullness of the Gospel so there is really nothing you have to offer us. Another "blast from the past." :P
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For me, 'Amazing Grace' is a wonderful and evocative hymn. However, it feels very protestant. That in itself is not a bad thing, but may be more of a general reason it is not included in the LDS hymnal.

What makes it such for me is:

1. This is not just any ol' Christian hymn. This is one of the bedrock anthems for traditional Protestantism. I can only imagine the howls from critics who accuse of us of trying to mascarade as a "Christian" church if we coopted this hymn.

2. It has a general total 'grace' focus without any mention of the works as a part of the salvic formula. In fact the hymn does seem in parts to suggest that the means of salvation comes from grace alone.

3. I agree with another poster that the hymn does imply "once-saved-always-saved."

4. I also think that the hymn implies a state of salvation that is more traditional Christian than Latter Day Saint -- those who are saved by grace spend eternity in shining glory singing praises to God.

All-in-all, I love this hymn and do not take the doctrinal points to literally. I'd be happy to have it in the LDS hymnal. I think that overall, the song is just too much of a Protestant anthem to be naturally included in the hymnal.

Regards,

Six

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I wonder, if we don't include "Amazing Grace" due to it's not being doctrinal, should we include "The Star-Spangled Banner" or "America the Beautiful"? Neither has a lick of Mormon doctrine in their text, and we all know that Zion is found wherever the Saints congregate, not specifically in the USA.

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For me, 'Amazing Grace' is a wonderful and evocative hymn. However, it feels very protestant. That in itself is not a bad thing, but may be more of a general reason it is not included in the LDS hymnal.

What makes it such for me is:

1. This is not just any ol' Christian hymn. This is one of the bedrock anthems for traditional Protestantism. I can only imagine the howls from critics who accuse of us of trying to mascarade as a "Christian" church if we coopted this hymn.

2. It has a general total 'grace' focus without any mention of the works as a part of the salvic formula. In fact the hymn does seem in parts to suggest that the means of salvation comes from grace alone.

3. I agree with another poster that the hymn does imply "once-saved-always-saved."

4. I also think that the hymn implies a state of salvation that is more traditional Christian than Latter Day Saint -- those who are saved by grace spend eternity in shining glory singing praises to God.

All-in-all, I love this hymn and do not take the doctrinal points to literally. I'd be happy to have it in the LDS hymnal. I think that overall, the song is just too much of a Protestant anthem to be naturally included in the hymnal.

Regards,

Six

If it was IN the hymn book the critics could start a thread about that, too, because, hey, full hymn inclusion matters.

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I wonder, if we don't include "Amazing Grace" due to it's not being doctrinal, should we include "The Star-Spangled Banner" or "America the Beautiful"? Neither has a lick of Mormon doctrine in their text, and we all know that Zion is found wherever the Saints congregate, not specifically in the USA.

We could stretch the scriptures and read 1 Nephi in a way that supports the inclusion of those hymns.

I wish "O Canada" was in the hymnal, just so I could learn the words and sing along next time the Jazz play the Raptors.

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It does not teach "once saved, always saved". In the Baptist church, this doctrine was once considered a belief of the minority, and only recently has become mainstream. From the same people who brought them the popular "left behind".

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We could stretch the scriptures and read 1 Nephi in a way that supports the inclusion of those hymns.

I wish "O Canada" was in the hymnal, just so I could learn the words and sing along next time the Jazz play the Raptors.

Hey I love "O Canada" we sung that in every Zone Conference on my Mission! :P

Oh and patriotism is a true principle of the Gospel:

Articles of Faith #12 "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law."
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