During our sacrament service this past Sunday, our Bishop opened up the last 10 minutes for those who wanted to come share a favorite hymn which had strengthened their testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. After the individual shared their testimony of the hymn, we all sang the first verse together. I didn’t take the opportunity to share one of my favorite hymns, so I would like to do so here.
Know This, That Every Soul is Free
Know this, that ev’ry soul is free
To choose his life and what he’ll be;
For this eternal truth is giv’n:
That God will force no man to heav’n.
He’ll call, persuade, direct aright,
And bless with wisdom, love, and light,
In nameless ways be good and kind,
But never force the human mind.
Freedom and reason make us men;
Take these away, what are we then
Mere animals, and just as well
The beasts may think of heav’n or hell.
May we no more our pow’rs abuse,
But ways of truth and goodness choose;
Our God is pleased when we improve
His grace and seek his perfect love.
I love that this hymn explains that we have the freedom “to choose [our] life and what [we’ll] be”. “God will force no man to heav’n”. He guides, directs and blesses us, but ultimately leaves the choice to us. We can recommit ourselves each day to follow him and let him direct our lives. I love the line that says, “In nameless ways be good and kind, But never force the human mind.”
I believe that God is good and kind. He always has our best interest at heart and wants nothing more that our safe return to him. I also love the end of the hymn where it says, “Our God is pleased when we improve, His grace and seek his perfect love” I know that God is pleased and overjoyed each time we triumph over evil.