Song 144 – Oh That I Were An Angel v.1

By May 26, 2018Songs

This song is referenced by Song 101 – This New Song and provided the music for Psalm 130. This song is based on Alma 29:1-5. Completely independently, on the 25th of August 2013 (which is 5 years after this song was written on the 31st of July 2008, I wrote Song 354 – O That I Were an Angel, v-2. A key difference is version-2 quotes from Alma 29:1-17, or the entire chapter, and not just the first 5 verses. I loved my mission. It was hard. I learned what Alma was talking about: “Oh that I were an angel and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people.” (For what it is worth, there is absolutely no way a 23-year-old uneducated farm boy from upstate New York could have written these inspiring words! I testify Joseph Smith translated the words of one much more experienced, just as he claimed he did.) I shudder to think what would have happened to the rest of my life if I had stayed at the University of Utah and not gone on a mission. As a shy, introverted, poorly spoken farm-boy from Southern Utah, I can look back across all of the education, graduate school, travel, professional training, public speaking, guitar performance, etc. opportunities of my life, and NOTHING taught me as much about things important to living life and interacting with people as did serving a mission for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I remember how disappointed I was when I opened my mission call. I was being sent to England. I was convinced I failed the language test. Maybe I did, and maybe I learned some of “the King’s English.” Later, I realized I was in the last group of 27 missionaries called to The British Mission, the first foreign mission of the church. By the time we reported to London, the mission name changed to The England East Mission. I worked hard on my mission. I struggled with companions, whom I was later told were mentally ill. I had 21 companions. I trained a lot of green missionaries. My mission was difficult. My Mission President was disfellowshipped from the church because of things that happened while I was serving under him. At one mission conference, where he had lectured us for an extended period of time, he asked for the missionaries to sustain something. I did not, and I might have been the only one who raised my had expressing my convictions. It has been long enough ago I do not remember the details. I worked with several missionaries who left the church because of the “stuff” that happened. I wish they would not have had to go through this trial of their faith. “But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish, for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me.”

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