O Divine Redeemer
Last night as I was falling asleep I was listening to the Mormon Channel app on my Kindle Fire when one of my favorite hymns came on: O Divine Redeemer.
The first time I remember hearing this hymn was on a P-Day in July of 2004 in the Seattle North Stake Center of the Church. Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve had passed away, and it was the first time since I had been a member of the Church that one of the men whom we sustain as a Prophet, Seer, or Revelator, had left his mortal probation. A good brother from the ward in which I was serving at the time was kind enough to record the funeral proceedings for me, and there in the lobby of the stake center the following P-Day my good companion and I watched the funeral proceedings on a blurry VHS tape. The services were touching. President Hinckley’s words were heart-stirring, and as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir rose to sing the closing hymn I was intrigued by the eerie sounds which the organ produced. And for the first in my life I fell in love with this great hymn.
Originally published to the world by Charles Gounod in 1893, the words still convey the yearnings of many Christian souls.
Ah! Turn me not away,
Receive me tho’ unworthy;
Hear Thou my cry,
Behold, Lord, my distress!
Answer me from thy throne
Haste Thee, Lord to mine aid,
Thy pity shew in my deep anguish!
Let not the sword of vengeance smite me,
Though righteous thine anger,
O Lord! Shield me in danger, O regard me!
On Thee, Lord, alone will I call.
O Divine Redeemer!
I pray Thee, grant me pardon,
and remember not, remember not my sins!
Forgive me, O Divine Redeemer!
Night gathers round my soul;
Fearful, I cry to Thee;
Come to mine aid, O Lord!
Haste Thee, Lord, haste to help me!
Hear my cry! Save me Lord in Thy mercy;
Come and save me O Lord
Save, in the day of retribution,
From Death shield Thou me, O my God!
O Divine Redeemer, have mercy!
Help me, my Saviour!
I am thankful to know of such a loving Lord who has truly pardoned my many transgressions and remembers the most scarlet of my sins no more.
I know that He lives.