Sunday, August 2, 2009

"For The Strength Of The Hills" Was Written About The Vaudois Mountains In Switzerland--Who Knew? / Lloyd




Yesterday's post, Our early pioneers put their lives on the line because of their religious witness, referenced a verse from the Hymn "For the Strength of the Hills." The following is a great comment from Uchenna & Jen Paul. Didn't want you to miss it--Lloyd

It's interesting - at home we were discussing the hymn, For the Strength of the Hills, last Sunday and researched a little about it.

Though it first appeared in our LDS Hymnal in 1950, we learned that it was written by Felicia Hemans, who died in 1835 in Europe, so she probably hadn't heard of the church. The original poem was called "Hymn of the Vaudois Mountaineers in times of persecution," and the hills refer to the Vaudois Mountains in Switzerland (see "Our Latter-Day Hymns:The Stories and the Messages" by Karen Lynn Davidson).

The origins of the Vaudois Mountaineers, also called the Waldenses, is debated; some claim they were conservatives of the early Christian church and were driven into the wilderness because they wouldn't bow to the Roman power taking over the church and introducing doctrines they felt were contrary to the truth.

Modern scholars say they started in France in the 1100's and were denounced as heretics. During the Reformation they joined with the new protestant faith.

The bottom line is to see paralells between the persecution they endured and the ones that Mormon pioneers had to endure hundreds of years later, which makes it resonate with us. Modern day pioneers may also have to endure persecution, though in different forms.

--Uchenna & Jen

1 comment:

  1. The Waldensians were/are in the Piedmont area of Italy. My family converted to Mormonism, along with 4 other Waldensen families after Snow and other missionaries came through the area.

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