How Great the Wisdom and the Love

In the fall of 2017, I was contacted by a fellow named Lynn Chatterton, who had a very odd request. He had come across my arrangement of this hymn for strings, flutes and choir, and asked if it could be adapated for an organ accompaniment. He said he was involved in a project about which he could not share the details at that time, but was interested in "proposing" that this arrangement be used provided it could be adapted for the organ. Apparently that was the only intstrument that would be available for the event.

Of course, my mind starts racing. What event could Lynn be involved in? General Conference? Turns out it was something far more important. After I had spent dozens of hours trying to adapt strings and flutes to the organ, which wasn't going smoothly to begin with, Lynn confessed that he had been asked to prepare three musical numbers that would be presented during one of the rededication sessions of the Jordan River Temple in May 2018.

I was floored.

I compose music for "fun" and as a form of spiritual therapy. Up to that point my music had never gone beyond the walls of a ward sacrament meeting or stake conference. I was totally unprepared for what followed Lynn's revelation.

I was immediately enveloped in a full-scale war with the adversary. Thoughts of inadequacy, worthlessness and utter depression clashed with moments of sweet comfort, revelation and peace brought on the wings of the Spirit. My general policy for publishing music is that if I could listen to it three times in a row without feeling an urgent need to tweak something then it was ready. I must have listened to this composition four or five hundred times over the course of it's creation (about three months) before it passed that test.

After a long trail of blood, sweat, and tears (okay, there there wasn't any blood, but a lot of tears), what you see here was submitted to the music committee handling the dedication and...miracle of miracles...was approved. It was presented as the second number, just before the final speaker, in third rededication session.

Many thanks to Lynn and an amazing choir and organist. What I gave them was very difficult for twenty voices, ten fingers and two feet, to pull off, but as I listened to them and watched the reactions on President Eyring and other's faces, the Spirit's blessing surpassed the trials and burdens of this responsiblity ten fold.

Written for SSAATTBB choir with organ accompaniment.

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