When I was in college in the late '70's, there was also a buzz going around about submitting hymns for a new hymnal. Many of my musical friends were writing new texts and setting them to music or finding existing hymn texts and crafting new tunes to go with them. I actually don't know if any of their hymns were submitted, but I do know that none of them were included into the 1985 hymnal.
I asked the General Music Chairman once what the committee's criteria was for choosing hymns or children's songs to go in a new songbook. He didn't give me any real guidance, only that the songs would have to be award winners in the Music Submissions contest held yearly. Wonder if that will be the case as they work to create these new music collections? Elder David B. Haight came to our Stake Conference back when the 1985 hymnal was still pretty new. We were preparing to use a few of the newer hymns as part of Stake Conference. He had an interesting reaction. He said that he oversaw part of the selection process of the 1985 Hymnal. He was so tired of the straining and stressing over the new hymns that he asked if we would just sing some of the old familiar tunes. It must be a monumental task to choose the hymns and songs for use throughout the entire Church!
My sister has been after me to write a new baptism song for years. She said recently that this was my chance to write a good one and get it submitted. Since she obviously had particular ideas, I asked her to get me started with words and concepts for the song. We were out to lunch with friends and she immediately whipped out her phone, wrote out a few lines and emailed them to me. Five minutes! That is all it took her to come up with these words. She has been in charge of Stake Baptisms for children for many years. She has often thought that we needed a song about keeping the baptism covenant.
I made my first covenant today
I chose to live the Savior's way
My heavenly brother I will serve
His blessings I will try to deserve
The Hioly Ghost is my constant guide
I will feel his warmth daily by my side
I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ
I love my Savior Jesus Christ
So, using these concepts as a starting point, I went home and wrote her a new song. Here's what I came up with. Please tell me what you think.