Sometimes you find things when you’re not looking for them, and realize they’ve been there all along.
My wife asked me to arrange “O My Father” for her this month because it contains one of the few references to Heavenly Mother.
Right on. I like things that are different.
Since that was her reasoning for picking the hymn, I wanted to stick to that angle for the inspiration of the arrangement. But musically, it was going to be difficult without pulling in another hymn or reference to highlight Heavenly Mother.
So I started going through the hymnbook looking for motherly hymns while the Sacrament was being passed one Sunday (since starting this site, I’ve found it’s one of the best times to get inspiration for these hymns.) I then whipped out my phone and started going through the primary hymnbook on it while everyone around me probably thought I was on Facebook.
I came to “I Often Go Walking”
I remember singing this in primary. I always loved it. Still do. Plus, it’s about being reminded of your mother. Perfect fit.
So I started looking at both of them trying to figure out where in “O My Father” would be a good place to pull in “I Often Go Walking.”
And then it happened. I realized how perfect of a fit it was.
Random side note: Have you ever seen National Treasure? It’s ridiculous. But I love it. It’s OK, you can admit that you do too. Who doesn’t love treasure hunting and bad acting?
Well I had a National Treasure moment. You know, the moment they found the map on the back of the Declaration of Independence. (Oh yeah, Spoiler alert!)
Something they had been looking for all their lives was right there the entire time. Hidden. But there.
You see, I realized ….
O My Father and I Often Go Walking are the same hymn.
Same chords. Same changes. Same length. Same message. The melodies weave in and out of each other in perfect harmony. Neither is dominant.
They are one.
I didn’t need to pull in I Often Go Walking. It was already there. I just hadn’t seen it before.
Now, was this ever the intent of the authors? I’m sure it wasn’t. But some things just happen. And I’m one who chooses not to believe in coincidences.
I’m not going to get into the doctrine about why there are only a few references to our Heavenly Mother in the scriptures and why we don’t focus on her. It’s not important.
What is important, is that she exists. And she loves us.
That’s a little weird to say, or even type. But this month I’ve come to realize it’s true.
She isn’t just a lyric in a hymn or a few verses of scripture. She’s one half of our heavenly parents.
She’s there. Somewhere. Maybe closer than we realize. And maybe She’s been there the whole time.
O my Father, thou that dwellest
In the high and glorious place,
When shall I regain thy presence
And again behold thy face?
In thy holy habitation,
Did my spirit once reside?
In my first primeval childhood
Was I nurtured near thy side?
For a wise and glorious purpose
Thou hast placed me here on earth
And withheld the recollection
Of my former friends and birth;
Yet ofttimes a secret something
Whispered, “You’re a stranger here,”
And I felt that I had wandered
From a more exalted sphere.
I had learned to call thee Father,
Thru thy Spirit from on high,
But, until the key of knowledge
Was restored, I knew not why.
In the heav’ns are parents single?
No, the thought makes reason stare!
Truth is reason; truth eternal
Tells me I’ve a mother there.
When I leave this frail existence,
When I lay this mortal by,
Father, Mother, may I meet you
In your royal courts on high?
Then, at length, when I’ve completed
All you sent me forth to do,
With your mutual approbation
Let me come and dwell with you.