Journal of Book of Mormon Studies


John S. Tanner


Book of Mormon, Art, 2 Nephi, Nephi's Psalm, Nephi, Modern Church


The first line of Nephi’s Psalm (found in 2 Nephi 4:16– 35) matches perfectly the iambic pentameter of Jean Sibelius’s Finlandia, more commonly known among Latter-day Saints as the hymn Be Still, My Soul. Because of this coincidence, John S. Tanner decided to write lyrics based on Nephi’s Psalm, called I Love the Lord, after which he solicited the help of Ronald J. Staheli in composing a musical arrangement based on Finlandia. Tanner later wrote another adaptation of Nephi’s Psalm, called Sometimes My Soul, using the tune of an American folk song. He explains the process of writing these two songs and the accompanying challenges.