A Light that Shames the Noonday Sun

In the summer of 1820 a fourteen-year-old boy named Joseph Smith Jr. walked into a grove of trees in upstate New York to pray. Prompted by a verse from James that stated “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God…”, Joseph intended to ask which church he should join himself with. When he knelt to pray, he felt as though he was being assailed by an unseen power that wished to destroy him, yet no sooner did he lift up his voice to God than he felt himself delivered and saw a glorious light descend around him. “A Light that Shames the Noonday Sun” is based upon this visionary experience of Joseph Smith Jr. and was written for the 200th Birthday Celebration of Joseph Smith Jr.. The song cycle was premiered by Dr. Lawrence Vincent, head of Brigham Young University Opera, on December 23rd 2005 in the Madsen recital hall at BYU.

  1. Where is the Truth?
    by M Ryan Taylor, based on the writings of Joseph Smith Jr.

    Where? O where? Where is the truth?
    Where is the truth I seek?
    Who? Who is right?
    Each minister professes to love the light of the Prince of Peace,
    yet they make war, make war upon each other!
    Each swears, swears affection for the cause of Christ,
    yet they make war, make war,
    loving only, only the man,
    the man whose thought agrees with theirs!

    Surely, surely truth rests within one of these camps.
    Surely the Savior’s path is is cast in the hearts of some . . .
    yet young as I, unlearned, untried, of men who can I trust?

    What tool? What tool have I?
    What tool have I to sift men’s hearts?

    I am but a boy.

  2. If Any of You Lack Wisdom
    from KJV James 1:5-6

    If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not.
    But let him ask in faith, nothing doubting.
    For he that doubts is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
    If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God; and it shall be given him!

  3. The Grove

    Oh . . . Oh God, deliver me!

  4. A Light that Shames the Noonday Sun
    by M Ryan Taylor, based on the writings of Joseph Smith Jr.

    A light that shames the noonday sun
    delivers and enfolds the grove
    with fires from which no new fires run
    descending here where once I strove;

    it banishes the storm,
    and fills with joy my trembling form
    that I had felt near slip away
    beneath that dark before this day.

    “Joseph! Joseph! This is my beloved son. Hear Him!”

  5. The Standard of Truth
    Joseph Smith Jr.

    The standard of truth has been erected! No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say, “The Work is Done.”

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