Top 10 facts, history & trivia:
It is Hymn #1 in the LDS Hymnbook.
- Considered a classic “restoration hymn” from early pioneer days of the church, it has lasted the test of time.
- The text is a poem written in 1840 by one of the church’s first apostles, Elder Parley P. Pratt.
- The poem was published later that year in the church paper, The Millennial Star, and became an instant favorite.
- In 1864, a new Mormon convert from England named George Careless set sail for the USA, to join the saints in Utah.
Brother Careless was a renowned professional musician, who had studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music in London. During the ocean voyage, he led the Mormon pioneers daily in singing.
- Shortly before arriving in New York harbor, the ship captain asked Careless for a copy of one of the hymns he had loved hearing the passengers sing. However, since his bags were already packed, Brother Careless opted to sit down right there and compose a brand new hymn for the captain. It was set to the text of Parley P. Pratt’s popular poem “The Morning Breaks”.
- After Careless arrived in the Salt Lake City valley, he was quickly called to be conductor of The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, as well as the Salt Lake City Symphony, Opera company, and many other special musical events.
- “The Morning Breaks” remains the signature “sign-on song” of The Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s weekly Sunday broadcast of
- Possibly one the most recognized Mormon hymn tunes by both Latter-day Saints and non-LDS – ironically, the words prove a bit more difficult to remember.
- The text of the hymn serves as a doctrinal feast. It declares that the prophesies of Isaiah and the promises of Jesus Christ have been fulfilled. After a long time of darkness, the light of truth has been restored in these last days before Christ’s triumphant second coming.
I hope you will enjoy listening to this beloved hymn, and studying the poem’s joyful message. - MoSop
“The Morning Breaks”
1. The morning breaks, the shadows flee;
Lo, Zions standard is unfurled!
The dawning of a brighter day,
Majestic rises on the world.
2. The clouds of error disappear
Before the rays of truth divine;
The glory bursting from afar,
Wide o’er the nations soon will shine.
3. The Gentile fullness now comes in,
And Israels blessings are at hand.
Lo, Judah’s remnant, cleansed from sin,
Shall in their promised Canaan stand.
4. Jehovah speaks! Let earth give ear,
And Gentile nations turn and live.
His mighty arm is making bare,
His cov’nant people to receive.
5. Angels from heav’n and truth from earth
Have met, and both have record borne;
Thus Zions light is bursting forth,
To bring her ransomed children home.
Text: Parley P. Pratt, 1807 – 1857
Music: George Careless, 1839 – 1932