Text: EMMA LOU THAYNE
Music: JOLEEN G. MEREDITH
Tune Name: GRANT
Arrangement: BRITT QUENTIN
© 1973 Intellectual Reserve, Inc
Who of us have not yearned for the only one that can reach our reaching while we are in our individual Gethsemanes? We are reminded that it is our “Savior and Friend” that is the answer to our anguish, wounded heart and soul searching.
As the result of an assignment to write a musical number for a 1973 Young Women’s conference this hymn was born . Emma Lou Thayne telephoned Joleen Meredith to discuss the assignment.
“I happened to be in the music room of our home at the time. Sister (Emma Lou] Thayne (b. 1924) said she had been thinking of a message of hope and peace as the hymn’s theme.” Joleen Meredith (b. 1935) explains. She continues, “As she began to relate some of the beginning lyrics, I stepped to the piano (I had a long telephone cord) and said, ‘Sounds good – the music should go something like this…’ She said ‘good,’ and gave me another line. I responded with additional measures of music. Before the conversation ended, we had mostly ‘roughed in’ the basic hymn. We have lovingly spoken of this number as the ‘telephone hymn’ throughout the years.”
Emma Lou Thayne: “The words to the hymn came for me out of a troubled time for our family. We had one daughter ill; I was facing a spinal fusion and interruption of teaching mid-quarter at the University of Utah; my husband was about to become bishop of a student ward; and four daughters were under the age of seventeen with busy lives. ‘Pray at night, plan in the morning’ had been the byword of our family; now it became ‘Pray all the time.’”
“It is ironic that the publishing and singing of this hymn happened in this particular year  when hearing it and its long-ago-but-still-vital-to-me message has lent solace to a new time of personal trial. Five months ago a crowbar flew off the freeway and through my windshield to fracture eight bones in my face, barely missing my right eye. In this time, when reading and writing have not been part of my life, I have come to hear some inner music that is often prompted by the very searching that this hymn talks of. I am grateful for the unbelievably timely resurrection of the song that has helped so much in my own recent resurrection, a resurrection of what I might never have known without the trial and without the granted grace of the impulse to reach.”
The tune name GRANT is named after William Grant, Joleen Meredith’s pioneer musician grandfather.