President Hinckley’s Hymn

President Hinckley’s Poem “What is this thing That Men Call Death?” set to music by Janice Kapp Perry is now available on free sheet music, and as a free MP3 download. This post includes a listening clip, the poem text [song lyrics], the original News Article about the new hymn, and an incredible video that tells the “Rest of the Story!”. Don’t miss it! – MoSop [updated 11/14/2014]
Click Arrow To Listen
“What Is This Thing That Men Call Death”

By Gordon Bitner Hinckley

What is this thing that men call death,
This quiet passing in the night?
‘Tis not the end, but genesis
Of better worlds and greater light.
O God, touch thou my aching heart,
And calm my troubled, haunting fears.
Let hope and faith, transcendent, pure.
Give strength and peace beyond my tears
There is no death, but only change,
With recompense for vict’ry won.
The gift of him who loved all men,
The Son of God, the Holy One.


President Gordon Bitner Hinckley, world leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was ordained and set apart as the 15th President of the Church on Sunday, March 12, 1995. He passed away January 27, 2008, at the age of 97.
President Gordon Bitner Hinckley, world leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was ordained and set apart as the 15th President of the Church on Sunday, March 12, 1995. He passed away January 27, 2008, at the age of 97.
President Hinckley’s hymn recorded by LDS artists

Reported by: Angie Larsen

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – A hymn introduced during the funeral of President Gordon B. Hinckley is striking a chord with thousands of Latter Day Saints. Monday several LDS musicians gathered to record the poem written by President Hinckley and set to music by Janice Kapp Perry.
President Hinckley wrote “What is This Thing That Men Call Death” about 20 years ago. Just three days before he died, he granted permission to Janice Kapp Perry to put his words to music. After the prophet’s funeral, Perry received more than 10-thousand requests for the hymn. So the composer is making the music available to everyone.
Instead of the entire Mormon Tabernacle Choir, six popular LDS vocalists are recording President Hinckley’s hymn, ‘What is This Thing That Men Call Death’

Vocalist Tammy Simister Robinson says, “It’s an honor.”

There are two ways to record, one is to use a large group and pick the best performance. But that can get really expensive.

“The other way is to choose a small group and be real picky about what you’re doing and build a bunch of tracks on top of each other to create a big sound,” explains producer and vocalist Greg Hansen.

Music engineer Steven Lerud adds, “It’s a full choir, it sounds glorious.”

The musicians say being asked to record this hymn is a true blessing. “It’s a reflection of probably an entire church’s sentiment at this time,” says Hansen.

“It will be a recollection of how much he loved us and how much knowledge he had about the gospel and the purpose of our life here on this earth,” says Robinson.

Tuesday a cello will be added to the recording and by Wednesday evening, the hymn will be available for download to anyone who wants it for free. The sheet music is available right now in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Songwriter Janice Kapp Perry is taking care of all the expense for getting the hymn recorded. 
UPDATED INFO 11/14/2014
For more information on “What is This Thing That Men Call Death?” go to
To download free sheet music go to, or open this PDF, what-is-this-thing-that-men-call-death-eng. For the FREE mp3 download of this hymn go to:


  1. The line, “There is no death, but only change” pretty much sums it up. Some folks may grieve in unhealthy ways, staying in the denial or anger phase, but death really is just a part of the Nature of Things. For my husband and I, we see death as “being called home” to a loving Creator. We would miss each other if one of us was to die first, but we would not grieve “the change!”


  2. How can I get a copy of the sheet music for “What Is This Thing That Men Call Death?”
    I would like to print it off a website if you can tell me where to find it.


  3. Thank you for your website!! I’m preparing a lesson this week for RS on “death.” I did a search for lds>death>hope and was led right to your site/blog. I found what I needed in President Hinckley’s poem and also the link to the mp3 downloads of the music.

    We are “retired” and moved from Utah to a little spot in the middle of nowhere on the north-central prairie of the US, just down from Canada. A radically different lifestyle and church life than Utah/Idaho. Our little branch in Dunseith, North Dakota, has 11 active adults, 2 YM, 3 YM and 7 primary. No active member lives in the town where the “chapel” is located and make roundtrip drive of anywhere between 30 and 90 miles each Sunday. Living in the “Mission Field” is not a play on words for the hearty band of saints! ;o)

    Again, thank you so much for your site.


  4. Welcome SlowPace! I am so glad that you were able to find what you were looking for.

    What an amazing opportunity you are experiencing in your new ND home. I am positive that the Lord sent you there for a reason. You and your husband are certainly having the opportunity to be modern pioneers and build the kingdom in that part of the globe. – God Bless!


  5. Dear Fellow LDS,

    Thank you for this website. Whenever I open this website we have in the church I feel blessed…

    The song you input I love to hear day by day of my life…

    Thank you again…



  6. Hi,

    I want to thank you, this page is wonderful and inspired… I love this song, Is the first time I heard it, but it’s really deeply.

    Im from Honduras and in this page i could find a lot of knowledge to me.

    God bless you,



I love your comments! ♥

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s