Away in a Manger Piano Solo

Away in a MangerGet the Sheet Music

It’s remarkable to me that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Great I Am, who appeared to Moses in the burning bush, and saved the Hebrew slaves from Pharaoh, sending plagues and seas on the pursuing armies, was born in the humblest circumstance—like the poorest of the poor, with straw laid out in a troff for His cradle. This little child, born anonymously in the most obscure circumstances during the busiest holiday celebrated by the children of Israel, was, in fact, the very God and Redeemer of Israel.

I wanted to catch that in the music, just a little. In what might be considered the chorus version of this piece, where primary children would normally sing, “Asleep, asleep, the Savior in a stall,” I changed things up a bit to match an original melody I used in my arrangement of the hymn, Redeemer of Israel, as if to say, “This tiny child, asleep in the stall, is the very Redeemer of Israel.”

O My Father

O My Father

One of my favorite quotes is by President Ezra Taft Benson. He said, “Nothing is going to startle us more when we passthrough the veil to the other side than to realize how well we know ourFather and how familiar his face is to us.” (“Jesus Christ—Gifts andExpectations,” in Speeches of the Year, 1974, Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1975, p. 313.)

I believe that. God is not a distant being. He’s a loving, intimate, and kind Father. He teaches, guides, chastises, and loves us all. Sometimes, like tantruming three-year-olds, we forget that, and think He must hate us because we’ve caused ourselves pain.

But in quiet moments, when we listen, we can hear His voice, whispering that He loves us, and wants to help us become more than what we are. And I think He’s whispering it a lot more often than we may think.

The sheet music and MP3 are available on my website.

For the Beauty of the Earth, with a little help from Bach’s 1st prelude…

For the Beauty of the Earth
Cover photo by Ria Spencer

If you’re ever struggling spiritually, take a walk. Look around at the beauty of the world. Notice the grass, flowers, trees, and mountains. Notice the people, birds, and wildlife. Notice the ground and sky. Notice the colors, and the finer, quieter details.

Then say a prayer, as you walk. Thank your Heavenly Father for the beauty surrounding you. Get specific. Thank him for the fragrance of damp flowers, for gentle breezes, and the ever changing canvas that is the painting in the sky.

Then thank Him for your family, home, job, car, talents, gifts, and opportunities. Again, be specific. Walk as long as you can, and spend the entire time thanking Him for things, large and small.

I can promise you that not only will you find more beauty in the world around you, but you’ll find your heart longing to be closer to God. You’ll find your motivation to do what’s right strengthening and expanding.

Then thank the Lord for that.

In doing so, not only will your life get better, but you’ll find others thanking you for the beauty you provide in their lives. In short, you will become more. You will make the world more beautiful.

The sheet music for this piece is available at my website

My African Dream

My African Dream CoverOn my mission to South Africa, I had many dreams about home. I mentioned this to a companion once, and he said since the beginning of his mission, he hadn’t once dreamed about home. This surprised me, because I hadn’t once dreamed about my mission or Africa – my dreams were always about home.

Later in my mission I dreamed a few dreams about my mission, but the vast majority took place at home.

There was one dream that recurred many times in my mission in different forms. I was home for a short time from my mission. I had little time, because for some reason I was about to go back. Knowing this, I told my family all the incredible things about Africa—about the culture, the people, the traditions, the art, the music—everything that fascinated me about this incredible land. In the dream, I’d be telling them as much as I could in the short time I had. Then I would wake from the dream and realize that I had indeed returned to Africa.

About halfway through my mission, I had a dream that I’d returned home. It was the end of my mission, and I was home for good. In my dream I came to a striking realization that my mission was over. No more teaching, no more tracting, no more missionary work. I also had another shock when I realized that Africa was gone forever. No more teaching the word of God by candlelight in a broken shanty. No more beautiful African people, with their easy laughs and contagious faith. No more rusty golden sunsets or palm-cactus forests. No more walks down dusty, poor, villages with distant voices singing in perfect harmony from some unknown house, with pulsing drums carried in the wind. No more African stars glowing like nebulae in the night sky. No more red sand. No more Africa.

In the dream, the realization of this loss hit me dramatically. I thought about the fact that there were no people in the world like Africans. No culture that was more unique and beautiful. I adored this people. Oh, how I loved them.

In the dream I told everyone at home about all the African ways and the incredible African people. I told them about the amazing children of God who had learned and accepted the gospel, about their commitment and love for the truth. In my dream, I suddenly felt terribly sad to have left Africa. I wanted to keep teaching these people. I wanted to go back. I wanted to be a missionary in Africa for as long as I could.

Because of these powerful feelings, waking up was a joyous relief. My mission wasn’t over. There wasn’t anything I wanted more at that time than to be a missionary in the Johannesburg South Africa Mission.

Of course I missed my family, but for now, that was all I wanted, and I decided I would make my remaining year the best possible mission I could.

And I did.

After writing the memoir of my mission, I wrote a piano piece called, My African Dream, to remind me of everything I loved about Africa, and the mixed emotions from the powerful dream of coming home and leaving it all behind.

My Sheet Music Book is Finally Available!

Yay! I finally have my sheet music available in a book format. You know those cool spiral-bound books that make it super-easy to play them at the piano? Well, that’s what it is. You can also get the book as a downloadable PDF.

I’ve linked the purchase buttons here:

Order the spiral-bound book Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu. 34.95

Download the printable PDF null $29.95

Contains piano solo sheet music of these arrangements by Chas Hathaway:

All Creatures of Our God and King
Amazing Grace
Battle Hymn of the Republic
Beautiful Savior
Come Thou Fount
Come, Come Ye Saints
How Great Thou Art
Wide As Eternity
The Fourth Day (original music by Chas)
If You Could Hie to Kolob
If You Could Hie to Kolob (for SATB choir)
Praise to the Man (soprano/alto duet)
The Lord is My Shepherd
We’ll Bring the World His Truth
Gethsemane, (for SATB choir, original song by Chas)
How Gentle God’s Commands

Listen to MP3s of these pieces:

You can also purchase these pieces as individual PDF downloads on the Sheet Music Page of my website

Amazing Grace: Piano Solo Arrangement
(MP3 and Sheet Music)

Amazing Grace

The classic Christian hymn, Amazing Grace, was written by John Newton in 1772. John has an interesting story. As a slave trader, John had a profitable career. Later, seeing the error of slavery, he turned his heart and devoted the rest of his life to the abolition of slavery. As one feeling the need for divine grace for his involvement in the horror of slavery, he said, “I hope it will always be a subject of humiliating reflection to me . . . that I was once an active instrument in a business at which my heart now shudders.”

Obviously, our actions must reflect our efforts to follow the Savior, Jesus Christ, but all of us, at some time in our lives, come to the realization that there is no hope without His help. Then, once coming upon that beautiful grace and forgiveness, we find that his mercy is a necessary part of our existence every hour of every day.

Without the Lord, we have nothing, but with Him we have everything. We can and should do all in our power to serve, honor, worship, and love Him, but in the end, it will be his incredible grace that will save us.

Amazing Grace

Original Lyrics, by John Newton, 1772

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now I’m found,
Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who call’d me here below,
Will be forever mine.