Kim Berkey is a stay-at-home mom of twin toddlers who reads scripture in between tantrums and diaper changes. She completed her B.A. in Ancient Near East Studies from Brigham Young University in 2011, and plans to pursue graduate work in theology once her children are old enough to go to the bathroom by themselves.

All posts by Kim Berkey:

  • Hymn #256: As Zion’s Youth in Latter Days

    “I … desire that the song might mean to some of [the youth] what the songs of the youth had meant to me when I was struggling through my own teenage years. I received great sustenance, courage, and joy from the songs for youth. I wanted this song to do that for some suffering or […]

  • Hymn #22: We Listen to a Prophet’s Voice

    With another General Conference just a month away, now is the season when church members are reminded what a great blessing it is to have a living prophet. This hymn articulates our feelings as we approach General Conference—our gratitude for modern revelation, our love for President Monson, and our eagerness to apply his teachings. In […]

  • Hymn #322: Come, All Ye Sons of God

    Despite its current positioning in the hymnal, this is less of a “men’s hymn” than we traditionally assume. Although its title and first line are directed to “all ye sons of God,” three out of the four verses actually address scattered Israel, making this yet another of the many missionary hymns of the Church. The […]

  • Hymn #107: Lord, Accept Our True Devotion

    Today’s hymn is a really lovely collection of sentiments of religious devotion. It’s a sampling of the kinds of hopes and yearnings a devout Christian might experience, and when read/sung with a prayerful attitude, there’s a lot in these lyrics that can resonate with us. The first verse is a nice illustration of this: Lord, […]

  • Hymn #106: God Speed the Right

    This well-known hymn offers a simple prayer  that is repeated no less than twelve times: “God speed the right.” And although there is much we could say about this line in its own right, I want to use this post to reflect on all the things the hymn leaves implicit. God Speed the Right is, I […]

  • Hymn #180: Father in Heaven, We Do Believe

    My reflections today are drawn primarily from the title of this hymn. I’m struck that all of the actions this hymn describes–repenting, coming with a broken heart, being baptized, taking the sacrament, etc.–are all things we perform because “we do believe,” rather than “we do know.” In the church we talk a lot about testimony and how […]

  • Hymn #100: Nearer, My God, To Thee

    On a simplistic reading, this hymn is about using our trials to come closer to God. But I think that’s actually far too simplistic and misses the mark of what is, personally, my favorite hymn, a hymn based on one of the most gorgeous stories in the Old Testament. Nearer, My God, To Thee was written […]

  • Hymn #228 – You Can Make the Pathway Bright

    I find the repeated “you can” of this hymn very empowering. You can make the pathway bright, speak a gentle word, do a kindly deed, and live a happy life. The first verse tells us how: You can make the pathway bright, Fill the soul with heaven’s light, If there’s sunshine in your heart; Turning […]

  • Hymn #49: Adam-ondi-Ahman

    Out of several somewhat esoteric hymns in our hymnal, Adam-ondi-Ahman is one of my favorites (yes, I know I say that a lot!). This hymn also held a special place in the hearts of the early saints. In addition to being included in the first hymnal, it was sung at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple. […]

  • Hymn #296: Our Father, By Whose Name

    As a family-centered church, this is a hymn that we ought to sing much more frequently than just the occasional Father’s Day. In fact, although its first line does mention “fatherhood” specifically, this inclusive hymn goes on to celebrate and teach about the entire family. Our Father, By Whose Name is structured around the Godhead and […]

  • Hymn #178: O Lord of Hosts

    This is one of my favorite sacrament hymns. The music and poetry are both simply lovely! There are a lot of important elements within these verses, so I’d like to briefly comment on a few that jump out at me: “We now invoke / Thy Spirit … / to cleanse our hearts” This reminds me […]

  • Hymn #126: How Long, O Lord Most Holy and True

    This, surprisingly, is hymn of despair. Although there are precious few songs in our hymnal that express this kind of anguish, I’m grateful for the diversity of experience they attest to. Part of what is so poignant about this hymn is the way that despair is paired with expressions of belief and devotion. The trials through […]

  • Hymn #253: Like Ten Thousand Legions Marching

    Here’s another hymn for you to add to your arsenal of hymns about missionary work! The title’s metaphorical “ten thousand legions marching” refers to “a mighty band of youth” who share the gospel, which is further described throughout the first three verses. I find the metaphor of a legion surprisingly compelling. For instance, a “legion” […]

  • Hymn #86: How Great Thou Art

    There are few hymns as classic as How Great Thou Art. It’s been a favorite of Christians all over the world for  over a hundred years. Its popularity is due in large measure to the universal experience it describes: who hasn’t “see[n] the stars” or hiked among “lofty mountain grandeur” and felt overawed by the […]

  • Hymn #176: ‘Tis Sweet to Sing the Matchless Love

    What is “matchless love?” It is love that is unrivaled, unparalleled, and incomparable—literally, love without match. In praising God for his “matchless love,” this hymn contemplates what is so remarkable and unique about the atonement: there has never been love like the Savior’s in either its scope or its effects or its purity. The atonement […]

  • Hymn #189: O Thou, Before the World Began

    I’m grateful for the opportunity to write about this sacrament hymn during the Easter season, because it contains a number of important doctrines about the Savior and his atonement. I’ll begin by listing just a few: “O thou, before the world began / Ordained a sacrifice for man” – The atonement was not a response […]

  • Hymn #179: Again, Our Dear Redeeming Lord

    “Again, our dear redeeming Lord.” Again. From its very first word, this hymn highlights the repetitive nature of the sacrament. Here we are. Again. The priests offer the same prayer, the bishop gives the same nod, the same deacons exchange the same confused glances, your toddler takes the same fistful of bread. You repeat your […]

  • Hymn #292: O My Father

    O My Father holds a prized place within the LDS hymnal, both historically and theologically. Its author, Eliza R. Snow, is one of the most prominent female figures in early church history, and the hymn itself is best known for mentioning Heavenly Mother in its third and fourth verses. Eliza wrote this hymn at the […]

  • Hymn #255: Carry On

    If you’re looking for a hymn with pep, look no further. “Carry On” is about as upbeat and optimistic as they come. The lyrics were written in 1930 by General Young Women’s president Ruth May Fox specifically for the June centennial celebration of the Church’s organization. The theme for the meeting was “Onward with Mormon […]

  • Hymn #12: ‘Twas Witnessed in the Morning Sky

    We’ve already covered a number of restoration hymns on this blog, but this one has some uniquely beautiful messages that I want to look at in detail. The imagery of the first verse can teach us a lot about the Restoration generally. Notice that this is something seen specifically in “the morning sky.” Why the […]

  • Hymn #236 – Lord, Accept into Thy Kingdom

    Lord, Accept into Thy Kingdom is a hymn about baptism that draws heavily on 2 Nephi 31. It’s also a challenging hymn to dig into, but it presented at least a couple of interesting ideas! Because it’s such an unfamiliar hymn, I want first to briefly describe its organization, and then dig into some of […]

  • Hymn #168: As the Shadows Fall

    As the Shadows Fall is one of the “evening hymns”—a hymn whose lyrics are set at the close of the day, and which fulfills the admonition in Alma 37:37: “Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the […]

  • Hymn #263: Go Forth with Faith

    Missionary work is a topic very much on the minds of our church leaders, and a key part of our identity as Latter-day Saints. Unfortunately, the topic of “missionary work” all too often brings up feelings of guilt and anxiety for many members, myself included. I was surprised to find, however, that as I worked […]

  • Hymn #120: Lean On My Ample Arm

    This hymn is one of the least well-known in the hymnbook. It’s also one of my favorites. Like the more popular Be Still My Soul, this hymn reminds us that constant peace is available through the Savior no matter what the circumstances. I have loved that message of rest and comfort ever since I was […]

  • Hymn #9: Come, Rejoice

    Come, Rejoice is one of several LDS hymns that praise God for the restoration of the gospel. Verse 1 invites all to “come, rejoice” because “the king of glory / speaks to earth again.” But the actual content of the restoration is presented in surprising terms: Truth bursts forth in radiant light Showing all the path […]