The Fulness of Times

~ Kinda rockish musical theater ~ 2017-01-02

The text of Doctrine and Covenants Section 1, set to upbeat music. Some sung, some spoken.

Notes / Back story

Within the last 2 weeks I woke up several times with little song fragments in my head. They were all in the same meter (12/8) so I just wrote them all into the same project. Then on Saturday morning, while reading Doctrine and Covenants Section 1 to prepare for the Sunday school lesson I had to teach that week, I started thinking how the text of it could fit with the song fragments I had been working on. So I put it together, wrote a few more segments to match the mood of various parts of the passage, and voila. A new song.

One thing writing this song really did for me was to help me understand what it might have been like to be there in the meeting as Joseph received this revelation. One thing that I think we often miss in reading the scriptures is the joy and excitement people must have been feeling as they wrote it. I think it often takes an extra effort to put yourself in their situations.

(For those who don't know, the Doctrine and Covenants is book is a collection of modern-day revelations received by various prophets, compiled in much the same way as the ancient scriptures such as the Bible and Book of Mormon).

Anyway I finished this at about 10am on New Year's Day, which was good because church started at 11. The debut performance was that day in class!

Today I've been making little tweaks here and there, and I just recorded the vocals. If you know my voice you can probably tell I'm kinda congested, but I just couldn't wait to get it out there.

I tried to stick to the text as closely as possible, just changing an awkward wording now and then and eliminating a few lines that I felt were covered in other places to avoid redundancy. This is probably the longest passage I've ever tried to convert to a song this way. I was worried it would be too long, but it looks like it came out to about 5:30.

OH.. ONE BIG EXCEPTION: The words of the chorus are not actually in this section anywhere. However, these phrases (roll forth in the fulness of times & dispensation of the fullness of times) are so synonymous with the latter-day work that it's hard to talk about it without using them. They were used in several of the quotes in the lesson manual, and I guess that's where I got the idea to use them in the chorus and song title.


V1: All must hearken to those I have given authority

Hearken, all ye people,
The voice of the Lord is unto all men
There is no eye that shall not see,
No ear shall not hear,
No heart that shall not be penetrated.

The voice of warning comes from my disciples.
They shall go forth and none shall stay them.

This is my authority,
and that of my servants.
Fear and tremble, O ye people,
What I have decreed shall be fulfilled.

They who go forth shall have power to seal
Both on Earth and in heaven
Unto the day when the Lord shall come
To measure each man as he has measured others.

This work shall roll forth
In the fullness of times.
Dispensation of
the fullness of times.

V2: Prepare for calamity and destruction

Prepare ye for that which is to come,
For the Lord is nigh.
And His anger is kindled,
and His sword is bathed in heaven,

and it shall fall upon the inhabitants of the earth
and the arm of the Lord shall be revealed,
And they who will not hear shall be cut off
from among His people.

For they have strayed,
and every man walketh in his own way
After the image of his own god
whose likeness is that of the world

And whose substance is that of an idol
Which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon.
Even Babylon the great.

V3: I have called servants to prepare the world

Wherefore, I the Lord,
knowing the calamity which should come,
Called upon my servant Joseph
And spoke to him from heaven.

And gave him commandments
And also gave commandments to others
That they should proclaim these things unto the world
And all this that it might be fulfilled

That weak things should come forth
and break down the strong and mighty ones.
And that every man might speak in the name of the Lord,
Even the Savior of the world

That faith may increase
That my covenant might be established
That the fulness of my gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and the simple
unto the ends of the world

This work shall roll forth
In the fullness of times.
Dispensation of
the fullness of times.

V4: Through living the commandments you will find blessings and the church will roll forth

I have given these commandments
unto my servants in their weakness
That they might come to understanding.
That when they err it will be known

And when they seek wisdom they will be instructed
And when they sin they will be chastened
And when they are humble they will be made strong
And be blessed from on high and receive knowledge.

And that my servant Joseph Smith might have power
To translate the Book of Mormon
That you may lay the foundation of this church
And bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness;

The only church upon the face of the whole earth
With which I the Lord and well pleased.
But He that repents not, from him shall be taken
the light which he has received.

V5: Summary. The hour is coming soon; All I have spoken will come to pass; Search these commandments & prophecies; My servants speak for me.

I the Lord am willing
to make these things known to all flesh,
For I am no respecter of persons.
And the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand,

When peace shall be taken from the earth
But I shall have power over my saints
And shall reign in their midst
And come down in judgement upon the world.

Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful
and the prophecies and promises shall be fulfilled
What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken,
And I excuse not myself.

And though the heavens and the earth pass away,
My word shall not pass away.
Whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants
It is the same.

This work shall roll forth
In the fullness of times.
Dispensation of
the fullness of times.

The Lord is God, The Spirit beareth record
And the record is true
And the truth abideth forever and ever.

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