Jessica Valentine Jessica Valentine is probably the last person you should pick to play a hymn on the piano, but she will gladly sing them at the top of her lungs (and frequently does). She recently transitioned into the role of mother after having spent the last several years teaching junior high English and math. When her son allows it, she enjoys cooking, crafting, running, and painting.

All posts by Jessica Valentine:

  • Hymn #214: I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

    I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas day and that you are celebrating this blessed day with the ones you love. It is a privilege to sit down today and share my thoughts with you regarding this hymn. I have attached a link to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s performance of this song with […]

  • Hymn #210: With Wondering Awe

      Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna to his name! The word “hosanna” is used to express adoration, praise or joy. It is most often used as an exclamation, almost as if the speaker cannot hold back his or her excitement about the topic at hand. We are told in the book of Luke that after the angel […]

  • Hymn #205: Once in Royal David’s City

    This hymn has an interesting history. It was first published in 1848 in a hymnal titled Hymns for Little Children, which I will discuss later.  And, since 1919, Kings College Chapel Cambridge has sung this as their processional hymn for their Christmas Eve service, wherein a soloist sings the first verse, the choir sings the […]

  • Hymn #186: Again We Meet Around the Board

    Again We Meet Around the Board is a pretty distinct title. As you know, I’m big into words and how they work and what they do, so as I pondered this hymn, the word “board” particularly stood out to me. In this usage, I believe it means a table at which a council sits. Let’s […]

  • Hymn #93: Prayer of Thanksgiving

    If you are a regular reader of my posts, you know that I love to get into the nuts and bolts of words. I’m all about definitions, parts of speech, and the like. So when I looked at this hymn, I decided to start by defining thanksgiving. And notice, I’m using the lower case word, […]

  • Hymn #289: Holy Temples on Mount Zion

      Grab a piece of paper or open a Word document. We’re going to take a quiz. I’m going to give you one essay question. Ready? Here we go! What is the purpose of temples? After reading that question, you probably understand why I told you it was an essay question. And, not surprisingly, this […]

  • Hymn #74: Praise Ye the Lord

    Praising the Lord is an action that most, if not all, Christians try to do. Praising comes in many forms. Nephi explains it well when he says, “We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies” (2 Nephi 25:26).  We praise […]

  • Hymn #275: Men Are That They Might Have Joy

    1. A voice hath spoken from the dust, Its message pure, without alloy, Of treasured hope and sacred trust: Oh, “men are that they might have joy.” 2. Should sorrow come, we’ll not despair, For He would not that men should pine. The grief that comes we’ll learn to bear Until again the sun doth […]

  • Hymn #48: Glorious Things Are Sung of Zion

    The word “Zion” is used prolifically in modern LDS vernacular. Zion had come to mean the church in general, the people of the church, the church in Utah, the heaven on earth prophesied regarding the Second Coming, and so on. Zion is even used as a name for new places, especially prolific during the pioneers’ […]

  • Hymn #162: Lord, We Come Before Thee Now

    I recently watched a few different renditions of Moses’ life and his leading of Israel out of Egypt. As I watched these and then read the accompanying scriptural references, I was particularly touched by the idea of prayer. These people had been in captivity for 430 years (Exodus 12:41), praying for their freedom from bondage. […]

  • Hymn #250: We Are All Enlisted

    When most of us hear the word “enlisted,” we probably think of someone who has been enrolled in the military. However, to enlist also means to engage in something. If we look at the word enlist this way, as a synonym for engage, what does this hymn look like?  We are all [engaged] till the […]

  • Hymn #299: Children of Our Heavenly Father

    The word “gather” means to bring together and take in from scattered places or sources. When we talk of our Heavenly Father gathering us, we are speaking of our Lord finding us in our scattered places and bringing us together in His care. This brings to mind the parable of the lost sheep, where the […]

  • Hymn #117: Come Unto Jesus

    What is God’s plan for His children? What is His purpose in sending us to Earth, through the veil? To sum it up succinctly, Lehi states that, “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy” (2 Nephi 2:25). God wants His children to be happy. We are here to […]

  • Hymn #24: God Bless Our Prophet Dear

    People pray for a slew of different reasons. We pray to thank God for the blessings He provides us. We pray to thank Him for the lessons we are learning. We pray to express desire to come closer to Him. We pray to receive blessings for ourselves and for others. We pray for comfort. I […]

  • Hymn #308: Love One Another

    As I have loved you, Love one another. This new commandment: Love one another. By this shall men know Ye are my disciples, If ye have love One to another. As recorded in both the tenth chapter of Luke and the twelfth chapter of Mark, Jesus is approached by a lawyer who asks how he […]

  • Hymn #223: Have I Done Any Good?

    I recently watched a video clip put out by the Church (you can watch it here) about a mom who has a full day planned, but all of her plans get pushed to the side by last minute tasks that others ask her to do. By the end of the day, she is frustrated, tired, […]

  • Hymn #172: In Humility, Our Savior

    As Christians, the most pivotal piece of doctrine we cling to is this: we have a Savior who died for us so that we can repent of our sins. Each of us needs that forgiving power, but how often do we really think about what that means? How often do we take the time to […]