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Raise My Ebenezer


Deborah

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This morning as I was listening to the panel discussion in the BOM they brought up "Come Thou Fount of Many Blessings" and the phrase raising my Ebnezer. I had heard this explained at one time but forgot the reference. I found it today. It is from the Old Testament and is a "stone of help" in the Hebrew.

Here is the scriptural reference frp, 1 Samuel 7:12 " Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Eben-ezer, saying, Hitherto hath the Lord helped us."

It is a very obscure reference and the author of the song was only 23 when he wrote it as part of a sermon. Most of us love that hymn and can related to it so I truly think it was inspired when you consider this very young man at age 17 with some of his drinking buddies "decided to attend an evangelistic meeting, with a plan to make fun of the proceedings." Of course he did not make fun but instead was converted.

Anyway I thought those who still didn't know the reference might enjoy reading this about one of our favorite hymns. Here is a reference to his life:

http://www.sharefait...-the-story.html

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For some reason it was taken out of the current hymnal. I expect it to be put back in some day. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings it and it is on many church CD's.

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I did some checking and believe you're right, it just got left out. One blog I read said that they were told that the members would sing it too often since it was a favorite, and that's why it was taken out, it doesn't hold water for me though. When I read the words of the song, sovereign grace leapt out at me, is it because of the predestination theory, that is not conducive to the teachings? Or do we believe in a predestination? Of course there is a thread in General Discussions, that discusses this.

Yes, hopefully it will be put back in for sure! In my research there were several members that wished it was!

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I did some checking and believe you're right, it just got left out. One blog I read said that they were told that the members would sing it too often since it was a favorite, and that's why it was taken out, it doesn't hold water for me though. When I read the words of the song, sovereign grace leapt out at me, is it because of the predestination theory, that is not conducive to the teachings? Or do we believe in a predestination? Of course there is a thread in General Discussions, that discusses this.

Yes, hopefully it will be put back in for sure! In my research there were several members that wished it was!

That is one of the most beautiful hymns I have ever listened too (my opinion). There was a family of musicians who had a special on BYU TV some time ago and they played that hymn and had a young woman do the vocal. It was heavenly, no pun intended. And, yes, I do wish it was back in the hymna. I also wish that some of the arrangements I remember were restored, such as in the chorus to amazing grace.

Glenn

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This morning as I was listening to the panel discussion in the BOM they brought up "Come Thou Fount of Many Blessings" and the phrase raising my Ebnezer. I had heard this explained at one time but forgot the reference. I found it today. It is from the Old Testament and is a "stone of help" in the Hebrew.

Here is the scriptural reference frp, 1 Samuel 7:12 " Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Eben-ezer, saying, Hitherto hath the Lord helped us."

It is a very obscure reference and the author of the song was only 23 when he wrote it as part of a sermon. Most of us love that hymn and can related to it so I truly think it was inspired when you consider this very young man at age 17 with some of his drinking buddies "decided to attend an evangelistic meeting, with a plan to make fun of the proceedings." Of course he did not make fun but instead was converted.

Anyway I thought those who still didn't know the reference might enjoy reading this about one of our favorite hymns. Here is a reference to his life:

http://www.sharefait...-the-story.html

I love that hymn also and wasn't even aware that it had been removed from the LDS Hymnbook.

The reference to Ebenezer is to a memorial pillar or stela (maṣṣeba) set up by Samuel to commemorate the Lord's help in defeating the Philistines. Such memorial pillars were regularly set up in Patriarchal and ancient Israelite times (Gen 28:18-22, 31:44-52, 33:9-15, 35:19-21, Ex 24:3-8, Josh 24:25-27, 2 Sam 18:18), but later fell into disfavor. A number of such stelae have been discovered archeologically in both Canaanite and Israelite contexts, and the one from the Arad sanctuary was painted red.

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There was a thread about a year and a half ago that talked about this.

From the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia:

eb-en-e'-zer ('ebhen ha-`ezer, "stone of the help"; Abenezer):

(1) Here Israel was defeated by the Philistines, 4,000 men falling in the battle (1 Samuel 4:1). It appears also to have been the scene of the disaster when the ark of God was captured (1 Samuel 4:3). The place is not identified. It was over against Aphek; but this site is also unknown (compare Joshua 12:18). Eusebius, Onomasticon places it between Jerusalem and Ascalon, in the neighborhood of Beth-shemesh. Conder suggests Deir Aban, fully 2 miles East of `Ain Shems (PEF, III, 24).

(2) A stone set up by Samuel to perpetuate the memory of the signal victory granted to Israel over the Philistines in answer to his prayer (1 Samuel 7:12). It stood between Mizpeh and Shen. The latter is probably identical with `Ain Sinia, North of Bethel. This defines the district in which it may be found; but no identification is yet possible.

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I did some checking and believe you're right, it just got left out. One blog I read said that they were told that the members would sing it too often since it was a favorite, and that's why it was taken out, it doesn't hold water for me though.

This is quite false.

I was 31 when the current hymnbook was published, so I well remember the days prior to that. While "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing," was in the old hymnbook, it was not well known in the Church, and it was seldom sung (just as there are numerous hymns in today's hymnbook that are not sung very often).

It did not become well-known among Latter-day Saints until Mack Wilberg arranged and popularized it, first with his BYU groups and later with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. That, of course, was after the publication of the new hymnbook.

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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The current hymnbook has been around less than 30 years -- not very long, as hymnbooks go.

I remember getting it for a wedding gift....which would make it 33 years at the least....hmm...maybe it was the family Christmas present from the inlaws instead.

add-on: 1985...must have been an inlaw gift...

Edited by calmoriah
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I remember getting it for a wedding gift....which would make it 33 years at the least....hmm...maybe it was the family Christmas present from the inlaws instead.

add-on: 1985...must have been an inlaw gift...

I hired on at the Church News in 1985. One of the first stories i covered was a follow-up on how the new hymnbook was being received. I Interviewed Elder Hugh W. Pinnock of the Seventy and Michael Moody, General Music Committee chairman, for the story. Elder Pinnock gave me a signed, first-edition copy. I still have it, one of several copies I own, including one from Brother Moody that he gave us as a wedding gift about a decade later.

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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