Inward Stillness

Inward Stillness

Posted by Lane Johnson on 15th Sep 2014

I wrote this piece in the late spring of 2005. A good friend of ours told my wife about this beautiful little thought from a Longfellow play. I had already set two of Longfellow's poems (Snow-flakes and The Rainy Day) and so I was a bit reluctant to set another one so close on the heels of the others. However, I was really drawn to the message of these lines and from the moment I read them, the wheels started churning. Within a few days of learning about these words, I sat down at the piano and in a few hours had most of Inward Stillness written.

I presented it to Dr. Ronald Staheli in the summer of 2005 and he decided to program it for that fall. The BYU Singers debuted this piece at a BYU devotional in early September of 2005 and also included it later that month in their Choral Showcase program. Inward Stillness was published by Walton Music in 2008.

Text, from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Christus: A Mystery, Part III: The New England Tragedies

Let us, then, labor for an inward stillness,--
An inward stillness and an inward healing;
That perfect silence where the lips and heart are still,
And we no longer entertain our own imperfect thoughts and vain opinions,
But God alone speaks in us, and we wait in singleness of heart,
That we may know His will, and in the silence of our spirits,
That we may do His will, and do that only!

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