Svithing the difference between direct and indirect objects


Here's something.

I don't know about you, but I associate Hymn #19, "We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet," with the prophet. What with it having become traditional to "spontaneously" stand and sing it when one walks in the room. We stand and sing "We thank thee, O God, for a prophet / To guide us in these latter days."

But since I associate singing this song at prophets, lines like this confuse me:
    We thank thee for every blessing
    Bestowed by thy bounteous hand.

    We’ll sing of his goodness and mercy.
    We’ll praise him by day and by night,
    Rejoice in his glorious gospel,
    And bask in its life-giving light.
These aren't the sort of things one sings to a human being.

The fact is, the vast majority of this song is only barely connected to prophets. It's a song of praise to God. Thanks, God, for that prophet and all the other cool stuff you give us. That sort of thing. It's not a song to the prophet or praising the prophet. It's thanks for the prophet.

And all the other cool stuff we've been given.

Like the gospel.

And it's life-giving light.

We thank thee, o God, for a prophet.

this svithe on thmusings
last week's svithe


NecroDancer said...

"We thank thee Oh God for a Prophet to guide us in these latter days..."

Let me suggest I would have significant problems if the song were merely about a prophet. This hymn is an expression of gratitude for the restoration of the gospel in its fullness. I've often wondered if others would recognize this. In fact, I spoken about this with my family more than once. This Hymn is one of my favorites for the very fact that it spans more than just a single aspect of the gospel.

Th. said...


I agree but I have strong doubts that this is generally recognized.

NecroDancer said...

You're right. I remember a certain conversation I had with a man who was struggling with his testimony. He complained that we sing hymns to the prophet. I struggled to understand to what hymn he referred. He explained it was "We Thank Thee O God For A Prophet".

After we read the Hymn together, he admitted that he didn't really remember reading all the words before. I am at a loss to explain why people would not recognize the words as they sing them.

Th. said...


This is one of my brother (Pallas Athena) 's biggest beefs. That drives him CRAZY.

It doesn't drive me crazy, but it is odd.