THERE IS A BALM IN GILEAD

Lyrics: Traditional
Arrangement, Additional Lyrics: Katharine L. Moore, 2000
Tune: “Thaxted” (Gustav Holst, 1921)
Dedicated to Elder Boyd K. Packer (1924-2015)

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I.
As Jesus ate, I entered in
Among the Pharisees.
Wordlessly, I knelt upon the ground
At my Redeemer’s feet.
My tears washed and my hair dried them;
I rubbed ointment tenderly,
Jesus spoke, Thy sin’s forgiven.
Thou has loved much. Go in peace.
There is a Balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole
There is a Balm in Gilead
To heal the sin-sick soul.

When others sit in judgement
My grievous sins to find
They wound my tender spirit,
But Thou, O Lord, can bind
I pray to be made worthy;
Find hope to start anew
Courage take, with faith obedient;
Henceforward ever true
There is a Balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole
There is a Balm in Gilead
To heal the sin-sick soul.

II.
He strayed away and wandered
By sin he left the Fold
But through Christ, he found forgiveness
Repentance makes him whole.
I see my Prodigal brother
Returned again to Thee
Give me, O Lord, a new heart
Remove mine enmity
There is a Balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole
There is a Balm in Gilead
To heal the sin-sick soul.

Would you be a friend to Mercy
Or Justice would you seek?
For with what measure that ye mete
Shall met again to thee
Now both sides of the mirror
Are very plain to see
I can choose to be of mercy
or choose a judge like me.
There is a Balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole
There is a Balm in Gilead
To heal the sin-sick soul.

III.
Death has stolen her away from me *
Left me alone to grieve
But united in the flesh
I know I will again receive
My loved ones to my bosom
Resurrected gloriously.
Graves shall open, all shall rise up
Praising Christ on bended knee
There is a Balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole
There is a Balm in Gilead
To heal the sin-sick soul.

I vow to Thee, my Father
To live so I may be
Reunited with all those I love,
Especially Lord, to Thee
Comfort those in need of comfort
Mourn with those that mourn and grieve
Feed the hungry, clothe the naked,
Help the widow in her need
I covenant, Dear Father
Who gave Thy Son for me
In the dear name of my Brother
To follow at His feet.

IV.
Contentions and resentments
Ravage my family
Sorrowing, I kneel before my God
And offer up my plea
Let my charitable actions
Be the change I yearn to see
Let me love with no condition,
Have faith and hope all things
There is a Balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole
There is a Balm in Gilead
To heal the sin-sick soul.

Do good to them that curse thee,
Use thee despitefully
What thou dost unto thy neighbor
Is done again to Me…
When a man demands a mile
Endure it cheerfully,
Then with mercy, of thine own will
Walk the second mile for free.
There is a Balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole
There is a Balm in Gilead
To heal the sin-sick soul.

V.
I have a wound that’s hidden
which others cannot see.
I reveal my pain to God in prayer;
He answers privately.
Gently reaching to my reaching
Comes the salve I dearly seek:
Thou speaks peace to heart and mind
I am healed infinitely
There is a Balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole
There is a Balm in Gilead
To heal the sin-sick soul.

In bitterness, I suffered
Injustice done to me
But I must withhold judgement;
Trust vengeance unto thee.
I let it go and reach for
Thy hand to comfort me.
Soon the time will come when Thou shalt
Show what I can not now see.
Jesus is the Balm of Gilead
That makes the wounded whole.
Jesus is the Balm of Gilead
That heals the sin-sick soul

VI. (Foundation)
When the Savior laid upon the ground
Deep in Gethsemane,
He pled, Father, please remove this cup
All is possible in Thee.
But if not, I bow my will
And I submit it unto Thee.
Then he groaned beneath the burden;
Suffered that men might be free.
Remember the Atonement
Of God’s Beloved Son
The strict demands of Justice
By Mercy overcome

Soon the Great and Dreadful Judgment Day
Will dawn upon mankind.
No servant at the Mercy Seat:
The Savior we shall find:
Actions, thoughts, words and intentions
Every whit will be defined
Will I stand before Thee guiltless?
Oh will Thou claim me Thine?
Forgiveness and Repentance
Form one eternal round
What mercy I show others
From God can then be found.

Jehovah is the Great
And Mediating One
He pleads before the Father
For those who Love have done
Oh Father, please remember
The suffering of thy Son
For my sake, let them enter
Obedient, they’ve shown
That they do love thee, Father,
and love thy children, too.
They have proven faithful servants.
My grace now brings them through.

Will I hear my Heavenly Father’s voice
And feel His arms ’round me?
Proven faithful, ever more to live
With Him eternally?
There is no other way or name
Whereby man can be saved
‘Tis only through the merits,
Life and mercy Jesus gave!
Let me strive then, to be valiant to
My covenants to Thee
Let me overcome through charity;
Celestial glory see.

*based on the story of John, related by Elder Boyd. K Packer in all three of his discourses based on the Balm of Gilead. The author originally found Elder Packer’s discourses after seeking to know more about the Gilead symbolism, which she found deeply touching in the motion picture, The Spitfire Grill (1996). Turns out, she was looking for the same Thing that Percy was.

Illustration: Balm of Gilead by Annie Henrie

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