Final Thoughts
I'll Trust Him Forevermore (The Psalm of Nephi)
When thinking about the Prophet Joseph Smith and Book of Mormon prophet Nephi, it's easy to mentally elevate these magnificent leaders to iconic status. Each impacted millions of lives for good, and their influence will be felt through the eternities among the humble and faithful followers of Jesus Christ. The spirituality and achievements of these prophets sometimes seems unattainable. In truth, both had important missions to perform. But Joseph and Nephi were quick to teach that all can enjoy the fullest blessings of the gospel by diligently seeking to learn and do the will of the Savior. That message of hope extends to you and I, and it comes from two beloved prophets who recognized their own imperfections.
Joseph Smith and Nephi recognized their weakness, but through humility and faith in Jesus Christ, weak things became strong unto them. Careful study of their lives reveals a pattern that applies to all who would claim the blessings of spiritual strength in the Lord. Doctrine and Covenants Revelation Sites has provided some examples of this process in the life of Joseph Smith. Nephi gave additional insights into the process in 2 Nephi 4:15-35, which is often referred to as the "Psalm of Nephi." I wrote this hymn several years ago, when I finally recognized the pattern found in Nephi's psalm. Perhaps it will be as helpful for you as it has been for me.
Birthplace of the Prophet Joseph Smith, in Sharon (South Royalton), Vermont.
Download sheet music in PDF format 553 KB
The Eagle Song
Like Joseph Smith and Nephi, I was raised by goodly parents who love the Lord. In my youth, my mother was especially diligent in pushing me along in worthy endeavors, such as Scouting. In large part because of her encouragement, I eventually achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. She wrote a beautiful song for my Eagle court of honor, which was performed on that occasion, and has been performed at many similar ceremonies over the years. At one time, a kind BSA regional leader who loved the song lobbied for it to become the national Eagle Song, which never materialized. But the message it carries reminds me of the choices made by a young boy who remained true in his convictions and eventually became the Prophet of the Restoration. I hope you enjoy its beauty and message as much as I do.
Download sheet music in PDF format 695 KB
I'll Trust Him Forevermore The Psalm of Nephi
My soul delighteth in the word of God,
and following His path beside the iron rod.
But then when I desire to rejoice,
my song of praise is raised with trembling in my voice.
Yea, my heart grieveth because of my flesh,
and those temptations that so easily beset.
But nonetheless I know in whom I trust,
I'll trust Him forevermore.
". . . For my soul delighteth in the scriptures, and my heart pondereth them, and writeth them for the learning and the profit of my children. Behold, my soul delighteth in the things of the Lord; and my heart pondereth continually upon the things which I have seen and heard. Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities. I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me. And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted." (2 Nephi 4:15-19)
The Lord hath led me through afflictions sore,
and He protected me while passing through the storm.
His love hath consumed my flesh in holiness,
and the Holy Ghost to me hath been a sweet witness.
By day I worshipped and knelt at His feet,
and He hath ministered in power unto me.
And thus I know that God is my support,
I'll trust Him forevermore.
"My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep. He hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh. He hath confounded mine enemies, unto the causing of them to quake before me. Behold, he hath heard my cry by day, and he hath given me knowledge by visions in the night-time. And by day have I waxed bold in mighty prayer before him; yea, my voice have I sent up on high; and angels came down and ministered unto me. And upon the wings of his Spirit hath my body been carried away upon exceedingly high mountains. And mine eyes have beheld great things, yea, even too great for man; therefore I was bidden that I should not write them." (2 Nephi 4:20-25)
In condescension He reveals His love,
and those who seek Him will be lifted from above.
Why shall I waste away and linger more
when He inviteth me to feast upon His word.
My soul rejoices when He bids me come.
Oh awake and arise! And look unto the Son!
Rejoice my heart and cry unto the Lord,
I'll trust Him forevermore.
"O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath visited men in so much mercy, why should my heart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions? And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy? Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul. Do not anger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions. Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation. (2 Nephi 4:26-30)
Because my heart is broken and contrite,
I pleading seek the strength to follow in Thy light.
Wilt Thou protect me from designing men?
Wilt Thou make me tremble at the very thought of sin?
I long to live in Thy eternal bliss.
I know Thou givest those who ask Thee not amiss.
I'll put my trust in Thee forevermore,
Forever and evermore.
"O Lord, wilt thou redeem my soul? Wilt thou deliver me out of the hands of mine enemies? Wilt thou make me that I may shake at the appearance of sin? May the gates of hell be shut continually before me, because that my heart is broken and my spirit is contrite! O Lord, wilt thou not shut the gates of thy righteousness before me, that I may walk in the path of the low valley, that I may be strict in the plain road! O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thy righteousness! O Lord, wilt thou make a way for mine escape before mine enemies! Wilt thou make my path straight before me! Wilt thou not place a stumbling block in my way--but that thou wouldst clear my way before me, and hedge not up my way, but the ways of mine enemy. O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm. Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen." (2 Nephi 4:31-35)
The Eagle Song
The Eagle soars on wings made strong,
by lessons learned and journeys long.
With courage does he glide,
to tame and grace the countryside.
A young boy swears in Scouting's name
to love his God, his land and man,
to do his best in word and deed,
work hard with honor, then succeed.
To set his foot upon the Eagle road,
to make his plan and meet his goal.
The boy must pass the tests that measure worth,
to help him find his place on earth.
So, like the Eagle may you strive,
high goals achieve, with courage live.
Upon the brink of life you stand,
Your choice has changed the boy into the man!
Soaring above the plains near Independence Rock, Wyoming
Copyright 2005 Steve Mortensen. All rights reserved.