O My Father
The immortal poem-hymn, "O My Father" was written by the
inspired poetess Eliza R. Snow sometime in the spring of 1845 in
the city of Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, in the home of Stephen
Markham where she had been given temporary shelter.
The tiny room occupied by the author at that time, was a small
unfinished attic chamber with unfinished sloping inside ceiling,
with no heating facilities in the winter and no ventilating system to
moderate the heat of the summer. At best it was but a shelter for
its inmate from snow and sun. And yet it provided a quiet retreat
for occasional contemplation and composition.
The room was severly plain in its furnishings with but one
small window to light its dim gloom and a small but very
neat bed upon which to rest.
A miniature trunk in one corner incompassed all the earthly
belongings of this high priestess of the new dispensation.
A small braided rag mat covered a part of the bare board floor and
near the bed stood a tiny round light stand on which was kept a shining
brass candlestick, the Holy Bible and her beloved Book of Mormon.
It was in this primeval environment that Eliza R. Snow, then a
middle aged woman, with a small gold pencil given her by Joseph
Smith, the prophet, wrote the divine words of those four immortal
stanzas a composition which solves, in simple language, yet crystal
clear, man's eternal inquiry: "From whence do we come, why are
we here, and what is our destiny?"