EFY Theme Song

EFY stands for Especially For Youth, and is an intensive religious retreat experience sponsored by the Church Educational System of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Several years ago, I heard the EFY theme song, which takes the LDS hymns "As Sisters in Zion" and "The Army of Helaman" and puts them together in a medley.

As I sat listening, I felt inspired to try to write complementary verses that reverse the roles of the songs. Here is my most current version of the lyrics. I continue to fiddle with the words, but feel close to being finished. At such a time, I hope to see them published in a church magazine.

These lyrics are my own creative work and I reserve the copyright for them for the time being.

We'll Bring the World His Truth (The Army of Helaman)
Children's Songbook #172 (original music and lyrics by Janice Kapp Perry)
(verse for women)
We have been raised as Esther of old
In loving families, prepared to go forth.
With fasting and prayer, our hearts will be bold
To rescue souls of infinite worth.

We are living daughters of Israel,
Saved for a time such as this.
And we will love and serve one another.
To God, this will be our gift.

by D. Brian Walton
I love the story of Esther and truly feel inspired by her example. Originally, I said "born as Esther of old", but I really feel the word "raised" captures more of the meaning of being prepared by our families. Also, I'm ashamed to say it took me a year to include the phrase, "saved for a time such as this," for what better phrase captures the mission of Esther to save her people? [Update: Last line of the verse, I just changed from "To touch a soul" to "To rescue souls" - dbw]

As Sisters in Zion
Hymn #309 (original lyrics by Emily H. Woodmansee, music by Janice Kapp Perry)
(2nd verse for men)
As brethren in Zion, we'll seek for the Spirit
To prompt us and guide us; it's voice we will heed.
We'll speak in the name of the Lord, our Savior;
His perfect example we'll follow in deed.

(3rd verse for men and women)
United in Zion, we'll raise up a standard,
Our actions reflecting the light of the Lord.
His gospel we'll offer to all of His children
Scattered in nations around the world.
[Note: The last line starts on the beat, not the pick-up note.]

- D. Brian Walton
When I wrote the words for the brethren, I really wanted to capture my vision of what it means to hold the priesthood. You can be the judge of how effective those four lines are in capturing that essence. Once I finished that verse, which was all I had originally so that the EFY theme could be swapped between men/women, I realized that I really wanted to have a way to bring As Sisters in Zion together into a single hymn.

I needed something to pull everything together, with sisters and brothers in Zion uniting. In this verse, I had in mind the scripture 3 Nephi 18:24, "Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up—that which ye have seen me do." Also, D&C 115:5, "Verily I say unto you all: Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations." From this came the third verse.

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