Deseret (1850)
by Joel H. Johnson


Medium: poem

Publication date: 1850

Publisher: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Written by: Joel H. Johnson

1 characters in this story:

(Click links for info about character
and his/her religious practice, affiliation, etc.)
Pub. #
God God
deity real/historical person
CBR Scale: D God
[1st app: Old Testament (1402 B.C.)] various 313

Reprints of this poem:
Hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1985): "High on the Mountain Top"
The Songs of Zion (1908): "High on the Mountain Top"

This poem, written by Joel H Johnson, became the hymn "High on the Mountain Top."

Sources differ slightly regarding when Johnson wrote this poem. One source states 1850. Another states 19 February 1853.

Johnson showed the poem to John Taylor, who was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve at that time. Taylor asked if he could keep the poem, and it soon became a favorite hymn within the Church.

"High on the mountain top,
  A banner is unfurled. 
  Ye nations now look up;
It waves to all the world." 
In Deseret's sweet, peaceful land-
On Zion's mount behold it stand!

For God remembers still
  His promise made of old
  That He on Zion's hill 
  Truth's standard would unfold!
Her light should there attract the gaze
Of all the world in latter days.

His house shall there be reared
  His glory to display
  And people shall be heard
  In distant lands to say
We'll now go up and serve the Lord,
Obey His truth, and learn His word.

For there we shall be taught 
  The law that will go forth,
  With truth and wisdom fraught
  To govern all the earth;
Forever there His ways we'll tread
And save ourselves and all our dead.

Then hail to Deseret!
  A refuge for the good,
  And safety for the great,
  If they but understood.
That God with plagues will shake the world
Till all its thrones shall down be hurled.

In Deseret doth truth
  Rear up its royal head;
  Though nations may oppose,
  Still wider it shall spread;
Yes, truth and justice, love and grace,
In Deseret find ample place,