This last week I've been watching General Conference talks while I eat breakfast and it really has been pretty great covering those again. Sort of. Some, or all, may be more like the first time because for some reason I was pretty sleepy during a number of talks. Thank goodness for DVR, right? Anyway, one of those also happened to be President Monson's Sunday morning address, which was wonderful, obviously, but then it was followed up by the MoTab's latest performance of the hymn.
I don't know what it was about it, but it just got to me again. I got very emotional, laying on the couch tucked under a blanket while Amy was still using the bathroom. With my feet stretched out over the length of the couch, what little my body covers anyway, and my head leaning on the arm of the couch, I quietly sniffled through the duration of the song, and even into my shower.
There's a lot of legend about the song. It was written by Robert Robinson, and the story goes that he was a rowdy teen, given to drinking and causing trouble, but was then convicted by the gospel and that he needed to change. Some stories have it that he and his friends were attacking a gypsy fortune teller, who told him that he'd live to see his children and grandchildren to be born, only to realize that he did not want them to see him as the person he currently was. Other stories have it that he never was able to give up his drinking, and that he died never having fully overcome his vices.
The thing that strikes me most about this song is that it must have come from a very deep and very personal place, one that everyone has felt to some degree at one time or another. Regardless of how it came about, Robinson penned some amazing words that just about any can relate to. Everyone has experienced that loneliness and longing for some greater power to rescue them, and every member has felt that guilt born of weakness that causes both the author and hearer to exclaim "prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love."
Just so beautiful. The part that really got to me in that performance was when the men begin the verse singing "Here I raise my Ebeneezer." The clarity of that choir and their voices, the words, it's all very good.
Anyway, here is another version of it. I just happen to like the full orchestra and not just the organ accompaniment.