High on the Mountain Top

"High on the Mountain Top" is an 1850s hymn written by Latter Day Saint hymn writers Joel H. Johnson and Ebenezer Beesley.[1] Originally named "Deseret", it is hymn number 5 in the current LDS Church hymnal.

"High on the Mountain Top"
Joel H. Johnson2.jpg
The text writer of the Latter Day Saint hymn
Written1853 (1853)
Textby Joel H. Johnson
Meter6 6 6 6 8 8
Melody"Deseret" by Ebenezer Beesley
Composed1854 (1854)

The lyrics to the hymn were written by Johnson in 1853, five years after Brigham Young preached on Ensign Peak as the Mormon pioneers first arrived in the Salt Lake Valley.[2] Even though Johnson's journal contains more than 700 hymns, "High on the Mountain Top" is his most notable contribution to LDS music.[3]

In 1854, Beesley composed music to accompany Johnson's poem. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir adopted Beesley's rendition and it has since become one of the choir's standard numbers.

The hymn has five verses and centers on the theme that God has restored the gospel to the earth.


  1. ^ Petersen, Randy (2014). Be Still, My Soul: The Inspiring Stories Behind 175 of the Most-loved Hymns. Tyndale House Publishers. pp. 60–61. ISBN 0825434335.
  2. ^ Koltko, Claire; et al. (2006). The Eyewitness History of the Church 3 (Google eBook). Cedar Fort. p. 187. ISBN 1555179630.
  3. ^ "Joel Johnson: An Early Member of the Church who Wrote More Than 700 Hymns, Including High on the Mountain Top", Mormon Tabernacle Choir, April 2014. Accessed 14 Nov 2014.