“Our prophet has some words for you, and these are the words, ‘Be true, be true’” (Stand for the Right, CS 159). It has ever been so. Prophets from the beginning have encouraged their followers to be true and faithful, unwavering in the path of righteousness.
In a talk given to the youth of the Church in 2000, President Hinckley presented his “six B’s,” six areas of advice for youth. They include:
1. Be grateful.
2. Be smart.
3. Be clean.
4. Be true.
5. Be humble.
6. Be prayerful.
In discussing #4 Be True, he said:
“Many of you are descendants of the pioneers, who died by the hundreds and thousands in testimony of the truth of this work. If they were to look down upon you, they would plead with you: “Be true. Be loyal. Be ‘true to the faith that our parents have cherished, true to the truth for which martyrs have perished.’” They would say, “Faith of our fathers, holy faith, we will be true to thee till death” (Hymns, nos. 254 and 84).
“And those of you who may not be descended from pioneer ancestry, you belong to a Church which has been made strong by the loyalty and unwavering affection of its members through the generations.
“Be true to your own convictions. You know what is right, and you know what is wrong. You know when you are doing the proper thing. You know when you are giving strength to the right cause. Be loyal. Be faithful. Be true, my beloved associates in this great kingdom.” (https://www.lds.org/new-era/2001/01/a-prophets-counsel-and-prayer-for-youth?lang=eng)
History of STAND FOR THE RIGHT
Words and music for this song were written by Joseph Ballantyne (1868-1944). He was the son of Richard Ballantyne who founded the Sunday School of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Joseph studied music and was the chairman of the music committee for the Deseret Sunday School Board. During this time, he wrote many children’s songs, including “Jesus Once Was a Little Child” (music), “Little Purple Pansies” (music), “Oh, Hush Thee, My Baby” (words and music), “Shine On” (words and music), and, of course, “Stand for the Right” (words and music).
“Stand for the Right” was first printed in The Primary Song Book in 1939. The prophet at that time, the one Brother Ballantyne may have had in mind when he wrote this song, was President Heber J. Grant. Like President Hinckley, President Grant spoke of his pioneer parents when he talked about being true and faithful.
“I have never heard and never expect to hear, to the day of my death, my favorite hymn: ‘Come, Come, Ye Saints’ … but what I think of that wonderful journey of Brigham Young and his band of Pioneers, those who followed him, and my heart goes out in gratitude beyond all the power with which God has given me to express it, that my father and my mother were among those who were true to God, and who made those sacrifices for the conviction of their hearts, because of the knowledge that they had that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, and that Joseph Smith is his Prophet.” (President Heber J. Grant in Conference Report, Oct. 1922).
Congregation Choir for Primary Arrangements of STAND FOR THE RIGHT
Our Congregation Choir for Primary arrangement of this song includes an embellished piano part and a countermelody that could be used for voice or any appropriate instrument.
Listen to it here with vocals performing the countermelody. PURCHASE it here.
This is a very short, simple song that most Primary children know quite well already. For variety and a bit more of a challenge, you could lengthen the song as we have done in the above sample by singing it the first time through with the original melody, the second time with the countermelody and the third time with both together.
Alternatively, you could have an instrument play with the children singing the second time through. To make things easier for the children, you could have an adult soloist (perhaps a teacher?) sing the countermelody.
As with all our Congregation Choir arrangements, the embellished piano part is not embellished so much that it is difficult for the average pianist to play. Hours of practice are not required!
The ninth of the ten commandments tells us to not bear false witness against our neighbours. The thirteenth article of faith reminds us that “We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent…” Being true has been part of our belief system since the very beginning and will continue to be so forevermore. Being true includes more than simply being honest. It includes being faithful and loyal to ourselves, our family, our Church and our God.