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Mormon Hymns Highlight: I Know That My Redeemer Lives

By Mormon.org

The beloved Christian hymn, “I Know That My Redeemer Lives,” celebrates the conviction of having faith in Jesus Christ. The lyrics testify of the Savior, the surety of His Resurrection, and the joy that His Atonement can bring to all humankind.

The lyricist of this hymn, however, did not begin his life committed to religion. Samuel Medley was born in 1738 in England, and he learned Christian teachings from his grandfather while going to school, but he didn’t have any interest in living a Christian lifestyle.

As a member of the British Royal Navy, Medley served his country during the Seven Years War. During a 1759 skirmish with the French, Medley’s leg was badly wounded. In fact, the injury was so severe, the ship’s doctor told Medley he would have to amputate the leg the next day.

Afraid and in pain, Medley turned to his childhood teachings about Christianity, praying to God that his leg could be saved. The next morning when the ship’s doctor came to inspect the leg, he was perplexed. The leg had healed sufficiently; there was no need for amputation.

Medley was sent back to his grandfather’s house to fully recover. There he rekindled the faith he’d been taught as a boy. He spent his days talking with his grandfather, reading the Bible, and studying a sermon by the English minister Isaac Watts. (Isaac Watts, coincidentally wrote the lyrics to the Christmas hymn, “Joy to the World.”)

In 1767, Medley himself began preaching in a Baptist congregation. For the next 27 years, Medley gained such a fervent following that the Baptist Church had to build an entirely new building to accommodate everyone who wanted to hear Medley’s words.

Along with his sermons, Medley contributed to his faith by writing hymns, many of which are still used today in Baptist services. One of the most recognizable hymns he wrote is, “I Know That My Redeemer Lives.”

I Know That My Redeemer Lives lyrics

1. I know that my Redeemer lives.

What comfort this sweet sentence gives!

He lives, he lives, who once was dead.

He lives, my ever-living Head.

He lives to bless me with his love.

He lives to plead for me above.

He lives my hungry soul to feed.

He lives to bless in time of need.

 

2. He lives to grant me rich supply.

He lives to guide me with his eye.

He lives to comfort me when faint.

He lives to hear my soul’s complaint.

He lives to silence all my fears.

He lives to wipe away my tears.

He lives to calm my troubled heart.

He lives all blessings to impart.

 

3. He lives, my kind, wise heav’nly Friend.

He lives and loves me to the end.

He lives, and while he lives, I’ll sing.

He lives, my Prophet, Priest, and King.

He lives and grants me daily breath.

He lives, and I shall conquer death.

He lives my mansion to prepare.

He lives to bring me safely there.

 

4. He lives! All glory to his name!

He lives, my Savior, still the same.

Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:

“I know that my Redeemer lives!”

He lives! All glory to his name!

He lives, my Savior, still the same.

Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:

“I know that my Redeemer lives!”

These words preach a simple yet profound message: that Jesus lives and that He died to atone for your sins and mistakes. Through Jesus’s sacrifice, you can return to live with your Father in Heaven in the life after this.

Samuel Medley’s lyrics were included in the first Mormon hymnbook compiled by Emma Smith, the wife of Joseph Smith. It continues to be among the most popular hymns that Mormons sing today.