Sunday, January 4, 2015

1985 LDS Hymnbook

Back in 1985, when the church published the new hymnbooks, our ward didn't have the money to buy all new ones for the whole congregation, so families were asked by the Bishop at the time (my grandpa) to consider purchasing a hymnbook for their family's use.  If you could donate just one, great.  If you could donate more, then do it!  Donated books were inscribed (by my Mom) with the person or family's name and the year: 1986.

It was such a special and wonderful thing to see these new green books appear in the pews!  And we were instructed on more than one occasion from the pulpit on how these books were to be treated.  They were to be used carefully and stored "spine-down" to prevent wear and tear.

Over the years, we have often enjoyed flipping to the front page of the hymnbooks to see whose name is inscribed in the front.  Sometimes the people have moved away or passed on and are remembered with fondness.  Sometimes, the person whose name is there, we haven't seen in a while and we're reminded to seek after their welfare.  Sometimes, the name we see is our own.

So, we're sitting in church this morning, in my home ward, with two of my three sisters, and my sister Dawn realizes that the hymnbook that my daughter is using is the one donated by my parents in behalf of my sisters Dawn and Cara back in 1986.  We took this silly photo just for fun, and remembered all the good times we had together around these books, and flipped through the other hymnbooks nearby looking for more familiar names...a ritual!

Now whenever I visit a chapel and see hymnbooks that are tattered and excessively worn, I get kind of irritated, I guess, and I think, this ward clearly didn't donate these hymnbooks themselves!  If they had, they'd be treating their books like the special gifts they are.  Even now when I go home, our hymnbooks which are now nearly 30 years old, are still in very nice condition, with careful repairs made when needed, and stored spine-down.

I recently heard that new hymnbooks are in the works for the church.  I'm guessing that the financial affairs of wards are different now, and maybe most people will just access the new hymnbooks on their devices, but oh, how there'll always be a place in my heart for these hymnals, bought at personal, financial sacrifice, by members of the Great Lorain Ward!

PS - It's my sisters Cara's 40th Birthday today!
Happy Birthday, Cara!


  1. oh to be forty again and know what I know now about! Fun memories of the past are captured in your hymnbooks!

  2. Awesome post! I love that you picked up the hymn book from the past and it was still in good condition. I do get frustrated when I see parents let their children do whatever with the hymn books.
    Happy Birthday to your sister; how fun to celebrate together.
    Blessings for all!

  3. Oooohhh new hymn books! Exciting:) I'm the prumary chorister and the book needs some additions! Our claim to fame in Las Vegas is that the members donated the money to build the temple bc why would anyone build a temple in Las Vegas?! Lol

  4. I remember checking first thing each week to make sure "our" hymbooks were in our pew. One always stayed, but the other one wandered all over the building. It was always fun to see who had donated the book we were using.

  5. I remember those days! We were asked to donate $5. RS bazaars, ward dinners, building fund, temple funds--to me--the good ol' days and remembered fondly and with much love.

  6. What a fun experience! We attend church in a recently built chapel, so all of our books are shiny and new. While the music inside still contains all the glorious tunes and lyrics I've come to love, I do miss the history that old hymnals carry.

    Thanks for sharing!