Welcome to The Latter-day Saint Organist's Resource Blog

The purpose of this blog is to help pianists learn to become true organists. Many individuals believe that if you play the piano you can play the organ, but the instruments differ greatly. While this blog is specifically geared towards members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, much of the information shared can be utilized by all. I hope that the information I share here will help you become an effective organist in your ward, stake, or other congregation.

Feel free to browse and search this blog. It was started in January 2010 and while new posts aren't added very often, this blog contains a wealth of information and is a wonderful resource for all organists. If you're a new reader, you can find the first lesson here: Before We Begin: Acquiring the Essentials. Also, please "like" the corresponding facebook page, which is updated more often. A link is provided on the right sidebar, or you can click here.

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Thursday, June 28, 2018

New Hymnal Announced. Can we get one marked for the organ?

I'm sure most, if not all, of my readers are aware that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced that they will be producing a new hymnal and children's songbook. I linked to the article on my facebook page.

The church has asked for input via a survey link.

Many of you are aware that Carol Dean created a trial version of the hymnal, meticulously marked for organ, that she worked on perfecting and tweaking until she passed away earlier this month. I have been tasked with furthering her work. With this announcement, can you think how wonderful it would be if the Church would publish an organ version of the hymnal? I can't believe how many members of the church contact me every week requesting Carol's markings, and most of you found out about it through word of mouth! There appears to be a huge need for a hymnal of this type.

I think a hymnal marked for organ, and a simplified hymnal for organists would be a very much needed addition to the church's publications.

If you agree please fill out the above survey and either under the "general difficulties experienced" or "other feedback" fields, state how difficult it is as a pianist to play the organ without markings, or request a hymnal with organ markings.

If enough survey takers request a version of the hymnal with organ markings, the church might make one available!


  1. Annnnd....if they'd just take Love at Home out of the book, I'd be thrilled.

    1. I am aware of Carol Dean's book, having sampled some of it.

      For me, it was too "busy". Too many things to look at. And when you
      are going from piano to organ, you are essentially trying to divide your
      brain into three "tracks" while looking at two tracks.

      That is why I made a book for myself where the bass has it's own
      staff, and the alto is either with the soprano, or with the tenor.

      This made it soooo much easier to read the hymns. (The book also has
      fingering and pedal suggestions).

      The only down side is, there was no room for the words, but I found that
      a minor inconvenience, as have the people who have bought my book.

      For anyone interested, the book is titled:
      LDS Hymns for Organ on Three Staves,
      and is available on Amazon.

      Mary Dennis

  2. I bought Carol Dean's marked hymnal and then bought another 28 more books to share with fellow organists in Calgary. I love the book, it's a great resource. At first l thought that there were too many markings but got used to it and don't use them all.

  3. I agree, Jennifer! I love Carol's book! I'm glad I was able to buy it directly from her a couple of years ago. I use it often when I think there might be a smarter way to finger or pedal a passage. I think the Church Music Committee should take this seriously, especially if they want better trained organists! My hymnbook is marked up the way I want it, and I'm sort-of dreading the new edition because I'll be most likely starting from scratch on the new hymns, and transporting my markings from the old hymnal to the new, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. Yes, I will input via the survey. What a good idea. The piano is NOT the organ!

    1. It's like remarking scriptures when you are forced to acquire a new set!

  4. I too bought my copy directly from Carol after a lesson from her at the BYU Organ Workshop years ago. She always stressed it was a trial version for learning. She had mentioned that she approached the Church Music Committee about publishing it but there were obstacles with copyright laws and publishing our hymnbook in organist format. I don't know the ins and outs of the laws but I do remember she was frustrated because she couldn't get it done. The only way she got around it was by offering this trial version or whatever she actually called it. So I don't really see the Church taking on that fight.

    The other thing with the book is that it's just one way to pedal and finger a hymn but I love it. As a beginner I was overwhelmed but at least I had a starting point using her suggestions. Sometimes I would mark over hers and put in my own preferences. But it at least it got me started and going to learn the hymns. I think we even discussed having multiple volumes to get around the law but somehow that wasn't an option for Carol either and I don't remember why. I'm totally for a new hymnbook for organists published by the Church (or anyone else willing to make it available).

    I read the comments where some folks think her version is too busy but I have adjusted and appreciate the different markings of phrasing for the different verses. I would also prefer a 3 stave organ version but I'm okay with 2 if that's all I can get. I have taken her book out of the spiral binding and placed the pages in protective covers into a 3 ring binder. This has been a great way to preserve her copy and allows me to add pages as I find alternate free accompaniments or harmonizations or introductions etc. It's heavy and large but I absolutely love it and would be lost without it.

    Another option if someone were to take this over is to make it available via .pdf file and let us print and bind the book ourselves. I don't know if the Church Music Committee would be open to that option but they publish lots of things that way now.

    I'm just thankful I met Carol some 15 years ago and got a copy of her hymns. I really hope something like this becomes available for the new edition!

  5. I am a very neeewwww organist and would love a trial copy. I have the resources to print and bind a PDF or could purchase a printed trial version if that is best. Could you please advise how to obtain a copy?

    1. Email ldsorganistblog@gmail.com for information on obtaining a trial copy. Thanks!