"O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place?
...Remember thy suffering saints, O our God; and thy servants will rejoice in thy name forever.
My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes"
-D&C 121:1, 6-8
The Story Behind the Song
I started a "project" the year after we moved back to Utah. I wanted to write a musical about the life of Emma Smith. There were so many trials to which she was called to bear silent witness at Joseph's side, and I couldn't imagine the tremendous amount of faith, courage and love she must have had. On all of the countless occasions when Joseph was taken away without cause and held in prison awaiting trial for the false accusations laid against him, Emma was home alone with their five children, worrying, wondering, waiting. I like to think that when the Lord answered Joseph's prayer from Liberty Jail, He also reassured Emma with the same feelings of hope, peace, and comfort. It was not easy for me to convey the anguish felt by these two faithful, amazing people, but when writing the music for the Lord's answer, it flowed through me as I remembered all the times when I had felt the same message of assurance from Him in my own life.
Since I began writing the musical, there have been several books published and a few movies released about the life of Emma Smith. I am grateful that her story is being told. Since then I have not felt the same sense of urgency to continue the project. It's still rolling around in my head somewhere, and I have about half of it about halfway done. This is the only song I've managed to get a recording of thus far (special thanks to the incomparable Shane Warby for recording the part of Joseph!) The other songs will follow, someday....
Oh God, where art thou?
And where is the pavilion
That covereth thy hiding place?
In this cell, in this prison,
Thy face is hid from me.
Thy suff'ring Saints, Oh God!
Oh God, be with Joseph!
Please keep my husband safe.
What horrors lie within that place?
Oh God, bring Him home now.
I need my husband here.
Thy promises, Oh God!
Peace be unto thy soul.
Thine affliction shall be but a small moment.
And if thou endure it well,
God shall exalt thee on high!
A time will come, when all shall be revealed.
What pow'r can stay the heavens?
Whatever trials you must pass through,
Fear not what man can do.
For thy God doth stand by you
Forever, and ever.