The hymn by W.W. Phelps serves as the backdrop for this lesson. A tender story of an eight-year-old on her baptism day and fun musical note treats reinforce the gratitude we can develop for the Prophet Joseph Smith and the restoration of the gospel.
If you wish to print sheet music or have an online music file to accompany you click on the song link to visit: http://www.lds.org/cm
3. Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of the Latter-day Saints, founded a great city, and left a fame and name that cannot be slain. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated!
Watch chapter 12 from the Modern Prophets, Praise to the Man DVD or CLICK FOR CLIP
Praise to the Man
To praise means to express great approval, admiration, and respect for a person’s achievements and good qualities. When W. W. Phelps wrote the song “Praise to the Man” he was expressing his admiration for the Prophet Joseph Smith who: “has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it.” D&C 135:3
“We do not worship the Prophet...
But we acknowledge the Prophet; we proclaim him; we respect him; we reverence him as an instrument in the hands of the Almighty in restoring to the earth the ancient truths of the divine gospel, together with the priesthood through which the authority of God is exercised in the affairs of His Church and for the blessing of His people.”
Joseph Smith knew the importance of sacred music when he received a revelation instructing his wife, Emma, to select hymns for the newly restored Church, “And it shall be given thee, also, to make a selection of sacred hymns, as it shall be given thee, which is pleasing unto me, to be had in my church. For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.” D&C 25:11–12
Praising and showing devotion with song.
“Praise to the Man,” one of W. W. Phelps’ inspiring hymns, is a magnificent tribute to the Prophet Joseph Smith....We sing, ‘Wake up the world for the conflict of justice. Millions shall know ‘brother Joseph’ again.’ What a prophetic utterance!...millions do know that Joseph Smith was and is a prophet of God and millions more will undoubtedly obtain this testimony.”
On the day the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were martyred, John Taylor, who was a prisoner in the Carthage jail with the two brothers and Willard Richards, sang the hymn “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief.” After he finished the song, the Prophet said,
“Sing that song again, will you, John?”
Being filled with despair, John told Joseph that he did not feel like singing to which the Prophet replied,
“You’ll feel better once you begin, and so will I,”
Hyrum also asked John to sing the song again. Because of his love for the two men, John sang the song again. The spirit of love and service in the song filled the hearts of the men with comfort and peace just before their death.
Joseph Smith quotations come from “Intimate Disciple: Portrait of Willard Richards” by Claire Noall.
"A Time to Show Thanks"
Eight-year-old Mary woke up early Saturday morning and instead of watching cartoons she tiptoed into her parent’s bedroom.
“It’s finally here. Today I’m getting baptized!” she announced with excitement. “Are you going to get up and get ready?”
Mother turned on the lamp next to her bed and put on her robe. “It’s a bit too early to start getting ready, but we can go make breakfast. I’ve planned your favorite for your special day!”
“Mmmm, strawberry pancakes with whipped cream?”
“Oh, is that your favorite?” Mother teased, “I thought it was oatmeal.”
After the blessing on the food the family talked as they ate the yummy pancakes. Father smiled as he wiped a dab of whipped cream from Mary’s nose. “So, Princess, are you sure you’ve made the right decision?”
“Oh yes, Daddy, I’m sure. The missionaries taught me all about baptism, but I knew for sure when we watched Praise to the Man for Family Home Evening.” Mary placed her hand on her chest, “Daddy, I could feel it right here! Especially when they sang the song. I didn’t understand all the words, but my heart burned and it made me cry. Remember?”
Father nodded and then wiped a tear from his cheek and silently thanked Heavenly Father for blessing them with this very precious daughter.
That evening Mother buttoned up the back of Mary’s baptism dress. “My Mother made this dress for me and my Grandma Smith sewed these buttons on,” Mother told Mary.
Mary had heard the story often. On rainy days she and Mother would go through the contents of Mother’s cedar chest. The dress was wrapped in white tissue paper along with Mother’s blessing dress, that Mary had also been blessed in. Mary had four brothers and Mother would tell her how she wasn’t sure the dresses Grandma had so lovingly kept in her cedar chest would ever be worn again. “And then we were blessed with you!” Mother would always say.
Mary hugged Mother before walking down the steps of the baptismal font to Father’s loving arms.
The next day, during Fast and Testimony Meeting, the congregation sang Praise to the Man. Mary squeezed Father’s hand as she felt that warm feeling in her heart again. After the opening prayer Father confirmed Mary a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
As one of the newest members of the Church, Mary listened carefully as the priests blessed the Sacrament and partook with a feeling of gratitude to the Savior.
When the bishop announced that it was now time to bare testimonies, Mary felt like her heart was going to burst if she didn’t get up. She reverently walked to the pulpit. “I am so grateful for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I am thankful that They appeared to Joseph Smith and the church was restored so that I could be baptized and confirmed. I know this is the only true Church! I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and that President Hinckley is our prophet today!...”
Line a 9x9 inch square baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of the pan. Butter the foil and set aside.
In a heavy 3 quart saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the sugar, sweetened condensed milk, corn syrup, and salt.
Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until mixture comes to a boil. Clip a candy thermometer to side of the pan.
Continue to cook without stirring until candy thermometer reaches 244 degrees F. (firm-ball stage). Reaching firm-ball stage should take 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and remove candy thermometer from saucepan.
Stir in anise extract and food coloring, without scraping sides or bottom of pan.
Quickly pour candy, without scraping the sides or bottom of the pan, into the buttered-foil-lined pan.
Cool until easy to handle (approximately 1 hour).
1 C. butter
2 C. sugar
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 C. corn syrup
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. anise extract (if your family doesn’t like black licorice substitute vanilla extract.)
1/2 tsp. black food coloring paste (purchase at craft store in the cake decorating section.)
Turn out of pan and remove foil. Cut with a buttered knife into 36 pieces. Give each child a piece of wax paper to work on and one or two pieces of candy. Help the children shape their candy into musical note shapes. Wipe hands on paper towel if they become too buttery. Wrap extra pieces (after they cool completely) in a square of wax paper and twist ends to seal.
Optional: Listen to church hymns or songs from the Childrens Songbook, while shaping the candy into notes.
Note: Navigate to the Interactive Church Music Player and then pick hymn #27
1. Print out the artwork.
2. Cut along dotted lines around each phrase of the hymn and at the bottom of the definition pages.
3. Tape definitions together–Top to bottom of each page
(keeping in order).
4. Tape the definition poster onto a wall that is easily accessible.
5. Mix up the paper slips containing the phrases to “Praise to the Man.”
Younger children will need help from an older sibling or parent.
1. Explain that during the period that W. W. Phelps wrote “Praise to the Man, some people spoke very proper English and used different words than we might use today.
2. Ask: Listen carefully as I read the words to “Praise to the Man.”
3. Ask: “Does everyone understand what each word means?”
4. Explain that this activity is to help us to better understand this sacred and powerful hymn that W. W. Phelps wrote to honor the Prophet Joseph Smith Jr. after he was killed. (Optional: Softly play the music to “Praise to the Man” while you do this activity.)
5. Take turns drawing a phrase and taping it on or next to its meaning. Talk about the meaning and its importance. (Note: Some definitions are similar. Use the definition that matches the phrase in size.)
6. After all the phrases are assembled together in order sing the song together again.
To express great approval, admiration, and respect for a person’s achievements.
2. Is music a good way to show and express praise?
In a revelation given to the Prophet Brigham Young the Lord commanded his people to “Praise the Lord with singing...”
3. In the song “Praise to the Man” who is “the Man” the author is praising?
W.W. Phelps wrote the song “Praise to the Man” to express his love and admiration for the Prophet Joseph Smith who “has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it.” (D&C 135:3.)
4. Read the words to the first verse of the song “Praise to the Man” out loud.
5. Do you understand the meaning of all the words in the song “Praise to the Man”?
W.W. Phelps wrote the song “Praise to the Man” over 100 years ago and some of the words might sound a little foreign to us until we learn their meaning in words that we understand.
6. Discuss the definition of each phrase of the first verse of the song “Praise to the Man” one at a time. See Activity
Helping your children to understand the significance of Joseph Smith’s contribution to the world through this wonderful song of praise can help them gain a greater love for the Prophet and strengthen their testimonies.
“We do not worship the Prophet...But we acknowledge the Prophet; we proclaim him; we respect him; we reverence him as an instrument in the hands of the Almighty in restoring to the earth the ancient truths of the divine gospel, together with the priesthood through which the authority of God is exercised in the affairs of His Church and for the blessing of His people.”