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The Tabernacle Choir Blog

The History of "Love At Home"

John Hugh McNaughton hails from Caledonia, New York, where there is a monument that stands in his honor for his contributions to principles of truth. Born in 1829 to Scottish parents, he was a little-known composer who wrote the well-known hymn “Love at Home.” The hymn is unique in the fact that it doesn’t paraphrase scripture or read like a prayer.

The Mormon Channel explores “Love at Home” extensively in their series History of Hymns. Below is an excerpt from episode 27:

The hymn “Love at Home” expresses a positive assertion that the home can succeed, and when it does, even the elements of earth seem transformed with a beauty more glorious—and “all the world is filled with love” as our Heavenly Father looks down with the pleasure of His love upon His children: “Oh, there’s one who smiles on high, when there’s love at home.”

We all yearn to and strive to follow the counsel of President David O. McKay, in our day, when he taught: “The home is the first and most effective place for children to learn the lessons of life: truth, honor, virtue, self-control, the value of education, honest work, and the purpose and privilege of life. Nothing can take the place of home in rearing and teaching children, and no other success can compensate for failure in the home.”

McNaughton was known as “the poet McNaughton” because of the emotions that his music and lyrics provoked. He also had a deep love for his Scottish roots, naming the tune Caledonia, which during the Roman era was the poetic name for Scotland. It was also the name of his birthplace in New York.

Click here to listen to episode 27 of History of Hymns on the Mormon Channel in its entirety. The video below features the Choir singing Mack Wilberg's arrangement of "Love at Home."