Well, it’s up there. For those of you that made it through the “paper” on the sacrament, you will understand to a greater degree why all that work was essential preparation for writing this hymn. So, here is the “Author’s Introduction” as published with the hymn. Click on title to see score.
Note: in writing the introduction, I learned that chiasm is not the same as chiamus and that chiamuses really is the plural form of the latter. Who’d-a-thunk?
To See Thy Face
The hymn’s origin and an introduction to the structure of the chiasmuses
This work originated with a desire to adapt and compile a set of hymns of praise. Preparation included fasting, prayer, and an in-depth study of the scriptures that continued for many months. During this time the Lord, in His infinite mercy, revealed a broad set of false beliefs and false traditions in our understanding of the sacrament. A small, but important sample includes:
- the doctrine of the sacrament — how it relates to the Doctrine of Christ; the distinction between the sacrament prayer and a sacramental covenant, what it means to be worthy, etc.;
- covenants — the conditions for making covenants, being in the presence of the Father while protected by the veil (while we might not see Him…), etc.;
- ordinances – tokens (more than just types) of future ordinances and possibilities, etc.;
- terminology — “a new and everlasting covenant,” etc.
This preparation completed when the Lord revealed a greater understanding of the phrase “always have His Spirit to be with [us].” Rapid progress then ensued. On many occasions, prayers were offered to resolve difficulties and conflicts between inclusion of all the fundamental doctrines within constrained space and the four immovable walls: comprehension, rhyme, meter, and the chiasmuses. The usual answer to these petitions was, “Am I to gift you that which you think to offer as a gift to me? Get back to work!”
The hymn includes five principal chiasmuses (five verses), nested within one great chiasmus (the hymn). But when you look deeper, you will find other interdependent chiasmuses. For example, one concept at the center of each of the five principal chiasmuses forms another chiasmus — a path of progression beginning with a prayer to be worthy to covenant, to learning and testifying of Christ, to becoming like Christ, to doing the works of Christ, and ultimately leads to fulfilling all the desires of the Father. There are many more. Have fun exploring.
Embedded within the hymn are various related themes. For example, found at the beginning of this prayer is a plea to receive a blessing from our righteous Father, which is reflected at the end with us blessing Him in concert with a representative host of exalted beings. In a further example, within the third verse is another reflective pair expanding the meaning of always having the Spirit of Christ with us.
Ultimately, Reed Larsen was given drafts of the first couple of verses, and he gave voice to the magic and majesty of the music. With further refining of the lyrics and the music, the hymn was complete. The hope is for the real miracle of the intended gift to take place within the minds and hearts of those who study and sing these words in final preparation to make righteous, sacramental covenants, while kneeling before the presence of our God.