In 1779, just three years after America’s Independence, a poem called “Amazing Grace” was published. Written by the repentant former slave trader-turned-clergyman John Newton, his words became not only an emblem of Christianity, but also a symbol of hope, and an anthem for the birth of a new nation. With the message that forgiveness and redemption are possible regardless of sins committed, and that the soul can be delivered from despair through the mercy of God, “Amazing Grace” is one of the most recognizable songs in the English-speaking world.
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind but now I see.
God’s grace sets us Free! We have the Freedom to change! We can have Freedom to learn. Freedom to fight tyranny. Freedom to worship. Freedom to overcome whatever hardships life may bring. Freedom to pursue our dreams. Freedom to embrace the good of today, and the shining hope for a better world to come.
When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise,
Than when we first begun.
Set to music, “Amazing Grace” is one of the most beloved and enduring folk hymns of history.
Author Gilbert Chase writes that “Amazing Grace” is “without a doubt the most famous of all the folk hymns,” and Jonathan Aitken, a Newton biographer, estimates that it is performed about 10 million times annually.
In the summer of 2011 The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra and Temple Square recorded a special arrangement of “Amazing Grace” by director Mack Wilberg [with bagpipes!]. The Choir symbolically gathered on the banks of the Missouri River during their “Heartland of America Tour” to sing for this special music video. I can think of no better way to commemorate Independence Day than sharing this beloved anthem of Freedom with you today.
God bless you, my friends. And God bless America – MoSop