"Lord, I Would Follow Thee"
shared by Kelli

"Lord, I Would Follow Thee" is the prayer of someone who seeks to love and emulate Jesus Christ.

To help another in misfortune, to refrain from judging unrighteously, to heal and comfort--as we sing this hymn we ask the Lord to bless us with the opportunity and the willingness to fulfill these Christlike roles.

The text of this hymn, new to the 1985 hymnal, is an expansion of its first line: "Savior, may I learn to love thee,/Walk the path that thou hast shown." If we truly learn to love the Savior, we will want to be like him. What are the characteristics of the path he has shown? How can we be like the Savior? The hymn specifies some important ways: by pausing "to help abd life another," by resisting the temptation to judge hastily, by showing a "gentle heart" to the "wounded and the weary," and by following the example of the Savior in the love we show to others.

Author Susan Evans McCloud stated that she felt a need for "a song on brotherly love and compassion, on the need to be Christlike in our treatment of others." She described her feelings when writing this hymn: "I tried to think back to the occasions most precious to me when I obtained my own testimony of the Savior's sacrifice for us

and of my Heavenly Father's personal love. I wanted the song to have both tenderness and conviction. I thought of how I felt when my little sister lost her three-month-old baby and asked me to go with her the following day to find a dress for the funeral and a locket for the baby. I was so acutely aware of the need for tenderness in our dealings with others; I yearned for it in all the people we met on our way, wishing they could somehow know of the need and pain which did not show." These feelings became the spirit of the hymn, correlating closely with the words "In the quiet heart is hidden/Sorrow that thee eye can't see."

Composer K. Newell Dayley noted that the hymn tune is simple and easily remembered. Musically, measures one and two are the reverse of measures nine and ten, lending variety and emphasis to the opening line of each verse of the text as it is repeated near the conclusion of the verse. This repetition helps us to focus on the main message of each verse before we repeat with the prayer that is at the center of this hymn: "Lord, I Would Follow Thee."

(this is from a book, I just don't know which. Conny H.)