Long known for being, among other things, an adjunct to the Church's missionary effort, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, with its sister organization, the Orchestra at Temple Square, has now released an album that celebrates the grand effort to take the gospel message to every nation, kindred, tongue and people.
"Called to Serve" is the latest offering produced on the choir's own recording label. On the occasion of its release, choir officers on April 9 met with representatives of the Missionary Department for a formal presentation of the new CD. Present were Elder Richard G. Hinckley of the Seventy, executive director of the department; and Stephen B. Allen, managing director; choir president Mac Christensen; musical director Mack Wilberg; choir general manager Scott Barrick; and Sheri Dew, president of Deseret Book Co., the choir's distribution partner.
Brother Barrick said Deseret Book will provide copies to mission presidents and that the choir organization is encouraging families to provide copies to their missionary children and missionary couples around the world.
The CD contains 15 selections that have long been associated with missionary work. Most are in the current Church hymnbook published in 1985, including such universal favorites as "Redeemer of Israel," "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go," and "How Firm a Foundation."
Two of the selections, "He Sent His Son" and "I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus," are in the Children's Songbook; two others are in both the hymnal and the Children's Songbook: "I Am a Child of God" and the title selection, "Called to Serve." The newest of the selections, "This Is the Christ," has text by the late President James E. Faust of the First Presidency and Jan Pinborough, with music by Michael F. Moody, recently retired chairman of the General Music Committee.
Liner notes in the CD include the words to each selection and a brief paragraph of background about each. For example, it is noted that "Called to Serve" has been a favorite of Primary children since the 1920s and was the last hymn added to the 1985 hymnal "after a stirring rendition of it was sung at a special meeting of LDS Church leaders and mission presidents earlier that year."
Other selections on the album are "I Believe in Christ," with words by Elder Bruce R. McConkie and music by retired Tabernacle organist John Longhurst; "Ye Elders of Israel"; "I Know That My Redeemer Lives"; "High on the Mountain Top"; "Come, Come, Ye Saints"; "God Be with You Till We Meet Again"; and "The Spirit of God Like a Fire Is Burning."
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