Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wie groß bist du!

Photo found here.

One of the things I love most about BYU is the opportunity to join with my classmates in singing the hymns of Zion. In the Mormon culture we are taught to sing at a very young age, and no matter what hymn the teacher chooses that day, there are always a few people who add gorgeous harmonies. It feels like a symphony - each student coming together, uniting hearts and voices to praise the God who has guided our steps to this splendid university. 

I thought singing the hymns in a religion class of 200 was incredible, but yesterday I discovered that a tiny German class of 6 can be even more powerful.  

The hymn for the day was Wie groß bist du!” known in English as "How Great Thou Art." This has always been one of my favorite hymns, and I have fond memories of my mother singing it as she washed the dishes and cooked dinner. When I visit home, we sing it together as I help her with the household chores. 

As my class sang the song, I was surprised to see that the Germans have added another verse between our second and third verses. (I was even more surprised that I understood it!) Here are the lyrics and my translation:

Wenn ich bedenk, was du für mich gegeben
die Schmerzen all, die du gelitten hast
Du starbst on Kreuz damit wir können leben
und nahmst auf dich all unserer Sünden Last.

Dann preis ich dich, mein Heiland und mein Gott.
Wie groß bist du! Wie groß bist du!
Dann preis ich dich, mein Heiland und mein Gott.
Wie groß bist du! Wie groß bist du!


When I think what you have given for me
All the pain you have suffered 
You died on the cross so we could have life
And you took the load of all our sins

Then sings my soul, my Savior and my God -
How great thou art! How great thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior and my God -
How great thou art! How great thou art! 

I was surprised once more as tears filled my eyes and my voice started to falter. 

Truly Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. I am amazed and humbled by all that He offers me. It is a honor and a privilege to attend Brigham Young University and have the chance to associate with such wonderful people whose examples bring me closer to Christ. I am awed by the power and potential of my fellow classmates, whether it be in a class of 200 or a class of 6. I can sense that Heavenly Father has important assignments for us after we leave this university, but our works will continue to harmonize with each other across time and space, creating rich music of praise to the Lord. Just like our singing, each of us has something unique to offer that makes a powerful collaboration. I believe that our individual lives of discipleship, like our voices, will come together to create a gift to the Lord that is even more beautiful and more lasting. And that, my friends, is true joy. 

When Christ shall come,
With shouts of acclamation,
And take me home,
What joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow
In humble adoration
And there proclaim,
"My God, how great Thou art!" 

Truly, Lord, how great thou art. 


  1. That's why I absolutely love knowing a different language, you just get to learn so much more and often you pick up on things you wouldn't normally in english. that's so awesome that you know german and that you were able to pick up on that! :)

  2. Oh, I just love that I get to be a part of these precious moments by reading your blog. You are an amazing blogger! I can't wait to sing in the kitchen with you again, I am counting the days until Christmas! haha Love you!

  3. I've always been impressed at the harmonic richness our little class manages to make, day in and day out. Vielen Dakk für dein Zeugnis :)