Christ’s love is truly unconditional. He loves us just as we are – saint, sinner, weak, strong, careless or burdened with cares. He loves us and extends to us that ever-present welcome: “Come unto me.” With outstretched arms, he beckons us to come, to partake of his love, to lay our burdens at his feet, to learn of him and become like him.
“[Christ] doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile” (2 Nephi 26: 33).
Spencer Kinard beautifully expresses some considerations on this topic in “The Spoken Word”:
“One of the most frequent words in Christ’s vocabulary was a small one – come. The gestures which we associate with him echo that same idea. Arms outstretched in welcome, his entire being said, ‘Come.” This is not a restricted invitation for the few, for the elect, for those who somehow deserve it; he made it open and for all, no matter how weak or afraid or hesitant… Come follow me, in fact, was the message of his life.
“Come. It is an immediate appeal, admitting no excuses. We who say to the Lord, ‘I am too busy. I am too tired. I will work you in at another time,’ have missed the point. There is not a mortal being who is not burdened with cares that threaten to absorb him altogether. All are preoccupied, all busy…
“Come. It is without qualifications. Not come when we are perfect. Not come when we have no doubts or smudges, when life is uncontested and we have no problems. Nor is it an invitation to come only when life is at its darkest – only in time of dire need. It is a simple, ‘Come now. Come as you are.’
“He knows that if we will come to him in pain, we will leave in joy. If we come in confusion, we will leave in clarity. If we come in darkness, we will leave in light. So he offers the invitation and leaves it extended with a kind of divine hopefulness – until we respond” (A Time for Reflection [Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Co., 1986], pp.113-14).
The words of this hymn beautifully tell us:
Come unto Jesus
… He’ll ever heed you
…He’ll surely hear you
…He’ll safely guide you
…Ever he calls, “Come to me.”
If we believe him and follow his words, we will be able to find joy, no matter our trials. Come Unto Jesus… just come.
Orson Pratt Huish (1851-1932) was born In Blaenavon, Monmouthshire, England, to James W. Huish and Helen Niblet. He was named after Orson Pratt, who was the president of the British Mission at the time. When Orson was nine years old, he travelled with his mother and siblings to join his father in St. Louis, Missouri. From there, they travelled with the Job Pingree Company of Mormon pioneers to Payson, Utah, where they settled into a life of farming and ranching.
In 1880, Huish formed the “Huish Band” with four of his brothers and one sister. They performed throughout the Utah Territory, often playing for dances. Previously, Orson had performed with the band of John D. Stark, another resident of Payson, Utah. I am sure he must have also known Joseph L. Townsend, another hymn writer of about the same age, who also lived in Payson, Utah. Joseph L. Townsend is the writer of ten hymn texts in our LDS hymnal. Payson must have been quite a musical town in those years! It probably still is. 🙂
Orson Pratt Huish seemed to have been full of creativity and business drive. In addition to forming the band with his siblings, he operated general stores at various times in Moab, Utah; Eugene, Oregon; and Albuquerque, New Mexico. He also opened a drugstore called Huish Drug. He was trained in commercial photography and operated a photography business. He was also a painter of some note and is listed in “Artists of Utah” by Olpin, Seifrit and Swanson (1999).
In his spare time (!!!), Orson Pratt Huish managed to write over 300 songs. Three of his hymns are contained in our current hymnal and much of his music is still widely available.
Congregation Choir Arrangements
Our Congregation Choir arrangements add a beautiful, alternate accompaniment to the original SATB found in the hymnbook. This alternate accompaniment could be used with the SATB as a piano/organ duet accompaniment for the entire congregation or for a large choir. It could also be used alone as a more embellished accompaniment for a solo singer or group, or just to enjoy as a piano solo.
Listen to our arrangements below. You will first hear just the organ doing the introduction. The piano joins in on the first verse and then the countermelody (vocal in one; violin in the other) joins in for the second demonstration verse.