Bless This Land
About the Song
The text was written in response to current events which, of course, won’t stay current, so I won’t discuss them here. If you’d like background information on these lyrics, see this blog post.
The music for this song was written by Michael Moody, a talented musician and wonderful friend who has encouraged me in songwriting for many years. (If you want to read more about him, here’s a bio on Wikipedia.) I’ll never forget meeting him on my first visit to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ music office… feeling very small and young and timid in that hulking tower of a building… and watching in relief as he bounced my 3-year-old son on his knee and sang silly songs to him. I hope you enjoy his beautiful setting.
Note: Since the song’s first publication, Michael and I have revisited the hymn setting to make it more singable. The melody in the hymn setting is therefore different from the solo setting.
Sheet Music Downloads
Personal Composer:Transpose/resize .pc files using the Personal Composer Demo. (Help)
Spotify, Soundcloud (inc. free downloads)
Bless This Land (feat. Annabelle Smith)
Bless This Land (Piano Track)
Click the to download the free track for personal use.
Recording featuring vocals by Annabelle Smith:
Apple Music, Amazon
These files may be copied/shared in any quantity in any physical format unless otherwise noted. They may not be re-sold or offered for download.
Apple Music: Bless This Land (feat. Annabelle Smith)
Apple Music: Bless This Land (Piano Track)
Amazon: Bless This Land (feat. Annabelle Smith)
Amazon: Bless This Land (Piano Track)
(Video provided to YouTube by outside parties may contain ads that may be skipped after a few seconds.)
Bless this land, dear God our Father
Bless this land, thy children pray
Uphold us in our just endeavors
Speed our efforts, light our way
Bless this land, dear God our Father
Heal our wounds and right our wrongs
Defend us with thine arm forever
Teach us faith and make us strong
Bless every land and nation under heaven
At thy command let all our conflict cease
Oh teach us love for all of thy creation
Teach us wisdom
Teach us mercy
Teach us peace
Bless this land, dear God our Father
Bless this land, the home we love
Oh may our hope shine ever brighter
Guide and guard us from above
Make us thine, dear God our Father
For each kingdom is thine own
Unite our hearts until we gather
As one people at thy throne
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Will be using this piece for the Sunday before Memorial Day at the USNA Chapel. It is a beautiful piece that will be sung during communion at the first Sunday that regular congregants are being allowed back after COVID.
A friend and I sang “Bless This Land” in our Sacrament Meeting yesterday. I just happened across it while we were looking for arrangements of other patriotic songs that were Sacrament Meeting appropriate. We fell in love with it immediately! I would like to suggest that you submit it for the new Hymnbook. We need more patriotic hymns to sing, and this one is not only multi-cultural and applicable to all lands and nations, but also very beautiful, touching and inspiring!
Thank you for all your work in bringing beautiful music to us!
This was sung in our sacrament meeting today..so beautiful!
The Nauvoo Community Singers are singing this song in Nauvoo, IL for the 2019 Memorial Day/Independence Day performance season along with the performing missionaries and people from all over the area. This song is a non-denominational community group that seeks to unify the community through the power of music. Thank you Sally DeFord for this lovely musical prayer.
You know what, Cambodia is where I live. The the restored gospel started to be spread in 1994. I was just a little boy by that time. After had been through wars many years, Cambodia lost almost everything. Cambodian people’s heart, especially those who experienced in war, got wounded because of the hardship they had during those tragic periods. Up from my parents to my grand and great-grand parents generation, Cambodia was under wars. My parents experienced war during their childhood.
In May 2014, we celebrated 20th Anniversary of the church in Cambodia. We showed cultural performance, documentary video about Cambodian pioneers and the choir sang inspirational songs. I was assigned to lead the choir. In preparation, I happened to find your website and got caught by a song “Bless This Land.” I read the lyric and got touched with the verses “Bless this land, dear God our Father. Heal our wounds and right our wrongs. Defend us with thine arm forever. Teach us faith and make us strong” and “Bless every land and nation under heaven. At thy command let all our conflict cease. Teach us love for all of thy creation. Teach us wisdom. Teach us mercy. Teach us peace.” What Cambodian want is to heal our wounds and to let all our conflict cease. After the choir sang that song, I noticed that everyone in the theater hall (20th Anniversary Celebration) wet their faces with tears. That song that was sung by the Cambodian youth was such a humble prayer for the country.
Thank you for such beautiful music!! I’ve been using more of your music since then for the Christmas devotional and Pioneer Day Celebration. Your talent has changed many Cambodian’s heart and life, including me. I represent all Cambodian saints, express our gratitude to you.
Phirun, thank you so much for sharing this. I so wish I could have heard your youth sing! It must have been a remarkable, powerful experience. I pray that our Heavenly Father will heal your land and bless you and all of us with the peace we need so much.
Is there accompaniment score that is different than the downloadable hymn music? I’m a newbie choir director and would like to sing this for Thanksgiving but noticed that the accompaniment sound track is different than the sheet music.
The piano for the soloist uses the solo version, though some of the melody notes were omitted. I’m not sure if that accompaniment will fit the SATB hymn parts, but it might be worth a try. Let us all know if it works!
Dear Sister DeFord,
I wanted to write to tell you about an extraordinary experience we had with one of your songs this week-end. My husband and I are currently serving a mission in Phnom Penh Cambodia. Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of when the church was first recognized here, so we hosted a huge event for 3000 members at a beautiful theatre in Phnom Penh. The program was a three hour multi-media event, featuring cultural dancing, choirs, general authority talks – and it was all wonderful!
Phirun Amreth, who was over the music chose for a solo selection your beautiful hymn, Bless this Land. He took the liberty to translate it into Khmer so the members could sense the full impact of the words. He told me after the performance that he felt the Lord’s spirit guide him in his efforts as he translated it and was reassured that this piece was the best choice for the program.
Thang Pytheary, a beautiful young adult female soloist, performed the piece. It was perfect! A young Khmer girl sitting next to me during the practice said with tears standing in her eyes, “My heart has never been so touched by a song before, I don’t ever want to forget this feeling.” I cried, as well, as I read the words on the backdrop behind the soloist as she sang. I don’t know if you know, but the Cambodian people endured a governmental genocide from 1975 to 1979 under the despotic reign of Pol Pot. Every citizen in Cambodia has relatives who were killed during that period. They have every reason to be filled with hatred, suspicion, and bitterness, but they are actually very forgiving and sweet natured. As I read the words, “Bless this land, Dear God our Father, heal our wounds and right our wrongs” I was completely touched by the spirit and felt a deeper love for the Cambodian people than I had ever felt before. I sensed their pain and sorrow, but have also witnessed their forgiveness and their resilience as they have moved forward after the Khmer Rouge. (There is a part of me that feels that their determination to not be filled with negativity is a direct result of why the gospel was able to come here, and why it has flourished in such a short period of time.)
Having enjoyed the song so much during the practice, I anxiously waited for the performance during the program. I was not at all disappointed! As Theary sang, I looked behind me at the audience. Their attention was fixed and deep emotion was evident in many eyes. I saw tears. After the song, the audience erupted in applause. I could tell everyone was affected by this beautiful song…translated into Khmer!
I just wanted to let you know that this song, which is so deeply beautiful, was used by the Lord for a very special purpose in Cambodia this week-end. Thank you so much for living your life and developing your talents so that you could be used as the vehicle to bring it to earth. The same, of course, is true for all the pieces you have given to the world. I have been deeply touched, moved, and inspired many times throughout my life by your music. And now I have another memory to bring home with me from Cambodia when our mission is complete!
Just wanted you to share our special moment.
Lots of love, Sister Salli Hollenzer
Salli, I don’t know how I managed to miss this for so long. Thank you!!!! As you can see, Phirun also wrote to talk about this event, and when I replied to him I saw this as well. Words just aren’t enough to express my gratitude… I keep typing and then erasing and starting over. So I guess, just thank you!