Sacred Music Sunday: From Homes of Saints Glad Songs Arise

photo of log cabin surrounded by plants
Photo by Kelly on

I find most of the hymns in the hymnal about home and family to be narrow and reductive – only one kind of home is contemplated, and it isn’t mine. It’s a father employed in a white-collar job, a mother who is not employed, and a house full of smiling children. It’s not a single person who has to bring home the bacon and fry it up. It’s not the teenage convert whose parents don’t attend church. It’s not the part-member family. It’s not the group of roommates. It’s not the widow or the divorcee.

I love the hymn From Homes of Saints Glad Songs Arise because it avoids this trap. The whole song is about what goes on in a righteous home, and not once in the hymn is a reference to the number of people in the home, the relationship of those people, their gender, marital status, professions, or any other irrelevant factor.

Anyone can have a saintly home if they follow the example laid out in the hymn. In the home of a saint:

  1. The Lord is King.
  2. Prayers ascend.
  3. The scriptures are loved.
  4. Hymns of praise are sung.

The smiling nuclear family on the cover of the Ensign can do this. But so can every other conceivable home and family arrangement. Because there’s no one way that the home of a saint looks.


  1. Songs about family can be triggering for various reasons. My husband went through a period of depression for years and during that time frame our relationship went downhill. He did not treat me well. It became terribly painful for me to hear “Love at Home” or “Families Can be Together Forever”. This isn’t an unusual reaction: I have been told by primary leaders of children whose parents have recently been divorced crying during certain songs.

    Now that things have improved in my marriage the songs are less triggering but still aren’t my favorites. While I would rather the songs were removed from the hymn books, my husband loves them and says they gave him solace when his parents divorced in his 20s. He says they gave him hope for a future family.

    Still, I feel like the purpose of sacrament meeting should be to offer encouragement for the down hearted through the atonement of Jesus Christ. I feel like these songs are about something else. They extol a certain way of living that cannot apply to everyone in this life.

    Not to be harsh, but sometimes our gratitude on these topics feels like we have climbed the rameumpton stand to express our gratitude for being better than other people. I wish instead we were more welcoming, supportive and Christ like towards people in a variety of circumstances. To me this is what gathering Israel and doing missionary work is all about.

  2. I’ve been in a “not-traditional-LDS” family situation (inactive husband, single mother) in some fashion or another for decades. I’ve loved this song since my children were small but couldn’t articulate why. Thanks for putting the reason into words…this is exactly what was in my heart.

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