…the parched land shall become a pool, and the thirsty lands springs of water…(Isaiah 35:7)

Oh What Songs of the Heart

Reflections on Eternal Life

By Eric Chaffey


It’s been far too long since I’ve written a  blog post on here. A lot has happened in the last nine months. Some things have changed and others haven’t. In the experiences of same sex attraction, changes, anxiety etc. My love of hymns and music remains and I’m so grateful for the comfort they provide. 

Recently, a very good friend of mine was killed by an impaired driver as he was bicycling to work. After the shock, there was sadness and grief. Not only for the loss of a friend, but for his wife and three young children. Matthew and I were in the same LDS ward for a few months when I first moved to Salt Lake City in 2001. He was one of those people who loved everyone and everyone loved him as well and even though we were only in the same place for a few months, my life is better for having known him and that’s a blessing that I’ll be forever grateful for. At one time when I was having kind of a rough time he gave me a priesthood blessing. Although I never told him about my same sex attraction, He was the kind of person who would be okay with it and would still care. When my engagement ended, he was supportive and encouraging. He was one of the people who encouraged me when I first got into bicycling.

Matthew’s death was sad and unexpected and it caused in me some deep reflection. He isn’t the first friend or family member I’ve known to have died. As I’ve prayed for his family and spent time in the temple over the last couple of weeks I’ve found comfort and peace. The tears and the sadness are still there. But along with it is the comfort of knowing that a loving Heavenly Father provided for us a way to return to him and that the separation from our friends and loved ones isn’t forever. The knowledge that family relationships and friendships continue beyond the veil is a great source of comfort.

As I’ve reflected on this over the last week or so, a couple of hymns have come to mind. One of them was written by an LDS hymn writer named Joseph Townsend. It speaks of the reunions we’ll have with loved ones when we meet again:

1. Oh, what songs of the heart
We shall sing all the day,
When again we assemble at home,
When we meet ne’er to part
With the blest o’er the way,
There no more from our loved ones to roam!
When we meet ne’er to part,
Oh, what songs of the heart
We shall sing in our beautiful home.

2. Tho our rapture and bliss
There’s no song can express,
We will shout, we will sing o’er and o’er,
As we greet with a kiss,
And with joy we caress
All our loved ones that passed on before;
As we greet with a kiss,
In our rapture and bliss,
All our loved ones that passed on before.

3. Oh, the visions we’ll see
In that home of the blest,
There’s no word, there’s no thought can impart,
But our rapture will be
All the soul can attest,
In the heavenly songs of the heart;
But our rapture will be
In the vision we’ll see
Best expressed in the songs of the heart.

4. Oh, what songs we’ll employ!
Oh, what welcome we’ll hear!
While our transports of love are complete,
As the heart swells with joy
In embraces most dear
When our heavenly parents we meet!
As the heart swells with joy,
Oh, what songs we’ll employ,
When our heavenly parents we meet!

I look forward to that day to come when I will be able to see and embrace Matthew, David, Carol, Maureen, my father, and other beloved friends and family. As well as the loving warmth and embrace of the Savior.

2 people like this post.

3 Responses to “Oh What Songs of the Heart”

  1. Rex Goode said:

    Beautifully shared! I’m sorry for your loss. He sounds like a wonderful person.

  2. Colleen Naqshbandi said:

    I am Rex Goode’s maternal aunt living in Calgary, Alberta. I have lost more of my loved ones than I can count and these hymns keep me going. It is wonderful to know that I will see my loved ones again.

  3. Eric said:

    Thank you so much. I appreciate your love and support.

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