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“Jesus Holds My Hand”

Laura and Mary repeated their Bible verses. Ma read a Bible story and a psalm. Then Pa played hymns on the fiddle, and they all sang…. — On the Banks of Plum Creek, Chapter 36, “Prairie Winter”

Jesus Holds My Hand is Hymn #85 in Pure Gold for the Sunday School by Rev. Robert T. Lowry and W. Howard Doane. The hymnal was ublished in New York by Biglow & Main, 1871. Words and Music are by John M. Evans.

Robert T. Lowry (1826-1899) wanted to be known as a preacher but will always be remembered as a hymn-writer. Born in Philadephia, Lowry became a Baptist preacher, for forty-five years pastoring churches in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. He wrote the popular “Shall We Gather at the River” and “Christ Arose.”

W.H. Doane’s main occupation was president of a woodworking company, although he was trained in church choirs and earned a doctorate of music from Dennison University. During his lifetime, Doane (1832-1915) composed hundreds of hymns, and he published over 40 collection of hymns. Pure Gold was his fifth collection; a copy was owned by the Ingalls family. While working on the Little House books, Laura wrote sister Carrie and asked if she still had the old hymnal, and Carrie mailed it to Laura for reference.


1. When gloomy clouds across the sky,
Cast shadows o’er the land,
Bright rays of light illume my path,
For Jesus holds my hand.

[chorus] Safe will be my rest (safe will be my rest),
With His presence blest (with His presence blest),
If on sea and land, Jesus holds my hand.

2. How sweet to rest secure in Him,
Whose presence can command
That holy peace which I may feel,
When Jesus holds my hand.

3. When on the bring of death’s cold stream,
My weary feet shall stand,
Its turbid waves I will not fear,
If Jesus holds my hand.

4. And when I reach the other shore,
With all the blood-bought band,
Then will I praise Thee ever more,
That Thou didst hold my hand.

(from On the Banks of Plum Creek)

When gloomy clouds across the sky
Cast shadows o’er the land,
Bright rays of hope illume my path,
For Jesus holds my hand.





“Jesus Holds My Hand” (BPC 36)
     “When gloomy clouds across the sky”