In November 1962, Crawford Gates was commissioned by the BYU Motion Picture Studio to write the musical score for a new film titled THE WINDOWS OF HEAVEN. The film's story centered around the severe drought in Southern Utah at the turn of the 20th century, when LDS President Lorenzo Snow went to St. George to offer what spiritual help he could to the destitute Saints. The film score was written for orchestra, and Gates chose the familiar LDS hymn, THOUGH DEEP'NING TRIALS, as a musical theme, which seemed appropriate to the subject material of the story.
The film was seen by Karl Engemann, Vice President of Artists and Repertoire at Capitol Records. He was impressed by Gates' orchestral treatement of the familiar hymn tune. Karl contacted him with an idea that was stimulated by the film score. He suggested Gates write an entire album of orchestral settings of familiar and beloved LDS hymn tunes in the style used in THE WINDOWS OF HEAVEN. He was suggeting something that was entirely new--a complete album of orchestral settings of hymns with no choral or textual elements.
"Karl set the recording date, 24 July 1964, and recruited the Hollywood Symphonia, some of the finest instrumental musicians in the film industry. I conducted them in the 6-hour recording session. The original album had a life of 35 years and was well-received by the public. It is hoped that this re-release of BELOVED MORMON HYMNS will be an inspiration and joy to many more." ~Crawford Gates