Thanks to everyone who participated on FB and our blog. Congrats to 9th Day drawing winner, Clyde Becky Nichols, who won Nauvoo Temple star motif ornament.
The hymn’s author, Phillips Brooks, was a Harvard-trained minister whose dynamic and Christ-centered sermons brought him great popularity. He traveled widely during his lifetime, and he based his Christmas hymn and its picture of Bethlehem on memories of an 1865 visit to the Holy Land. During these travels he arranged to spend Christmas in Bethlehem. On Christmas Eve, he visited the field where according to tradition the shepherds heard the angelic proclamation. He then attended services in the Church of the Nativity. Afterwards he wrote a letter to the children of his Sunday School in Philadelphia, to whom he was exceptionally devoted, telling them of “standing in the old church in Bethlehem, close to the spot where Jesus was born, when the whole church was ringing hour after hour with the splendid hymns of praise to God.”
These vivid memories remained with Phillips Brooks. In 1868 he wrote this hymn text that embodies his lifelong devotion to the divine sonship of Jesus Christ. Lewis H. Redner, the superintendent of Reverend Brooks’ Sunday School and also the church organist, set the text to music. An editor later named the tune St. Louis, deriving this name from the composer’s first name.
Taken from: Karen Davidson, Our Latter-day Hymns, p. 220.
Have some kids draw some church pictures to send to the missionaries for Christmas to give to other children in the areas they are serving.