Toward the end of my five-year calling as ward Relief Society president I wrote and recorded an album of songs on rather serious subjects—things I had experienced vicariously with different members of our ward. Musically treating the subjects of death, depression, loneliness, sin and abuse was an interesting challenge. I came to understand more fully that our hope in every difficult circumstance comes from having an unshakable faith and trust in our Savior, Jesus Christ. There are many times in life when we must walk by faith, looking forward to a future time when the eyes of our understanding will be opened and once again there will be light.


The title song of the album, “There Will Be Light,” came from my experiences in trying to help a few sisters who were experiencing various degrees of depression. Whether we experience the mild day-to-day depression that seems to affect most of us occasionally or the truly debilitating depression experienced by some, the battle to rise above these feelings must be fought. The song invites us to remember that “God did not give us the spirit of fear, and if we take the first step He’ll always by there, and there will be light.” Counseling and medication are often necessary to break the cycle of acute, prolonged depression, but I have seen a deep faith and reliance upon God work miracles in some cases.

There Will Be Light 

Words & Music by Janice Kapp Perry

Soloist – Jenny Jordan Frogley

I woke up this morning, I walked through the day
But the sun never seemed to come up
It’s been quite a while now that things have seemed gray
They say I don’t try hard enough
But the darkness seems heavy, the feeling so real
How can I rise again, how can I heal
And then I remember, through sorrowful tears
God did not give me the spirit of fear
And if I take the first step, He’ll always be there


And there will be light, beautiful light
There will be light, sweet, saving light
Oh, it still won’t be easy, I’ll still have to fight
Just to see in the distance a small patch of white
Pulling me upward past blackness and night
Where there will be light

I can’t quite explain how this emptiness feels
‘Cause I don’t understand it myself
But, friend, I can tell you, it hurts and it’s real
And it feels like I’ll never be well
If I say “I don’t need you” or “leave me alone”
Never believe me, I’m lost on my own
Just help me remember that help is so near
God did not give me the spirit of fear
And if I take the first step He’ll always be there

Repeat chorus

Early Death of a Loved One

A funeral service for a person who has lived a long and productive life is often a solemn but joyful celebration of the goodness and completeness of his or her life. But with the untimely passing of a younger person, the pain of unanswered questions, unfulfilled dreams and empty arms can be devastating. Loved ones, through faith, usually find the strength to go on because they must, but first they must deal with the crushing pain of an early goodbye.

My first personal experience with the death of a young person was traumatic. I was about twelve and was visiting my friend Delma Grigg for the day. Her father, Nephi Grigg, was bishop of our ward in Vale, Oregon.

A couple who lived on a farm near ours, the Gardners, suddenly burst through the door of the Grigg home crying, “Bishop! Bishop! Our son Harvey (age eleven) has been killed!” Delma and I were frozen in fear in a corner of the room as the parents moaned and cried out in a terrible kind of grief I had never seen or even contemplated before. Later, of course, comfort came to this stalwart couple. But seeing grief so fresh and overwhelming is something I have never forgotten.

More than forty years later that experience came back to me when my cousin David Ross called to tell me that the two teen-aged sons of his good friends Clayton and Nita Kearl had been killed in a terrible car accident. I was heartbroken for them. I could not even imagine the depth of their grief. My daughter Lynne and I sang my song “The Test” at the funeral service for the boys. The service was beautiful and comforting, and I marveled at the Kearl’s composure and strength. Still, I knew there would be days and years or even a lifetime of mourning their loss. At home a few days later I tried to imagine their tender feelings as I wrote a song especially for them.

An Early Goodbye

Words & Music by Janice Kapp Perry
Soloist – Johanne Frechette Perry

There is pain in an early goodbye
There are so many dreams you must set aside
So many mem’ries to cause you pain
So many plans to change
There is pain in an early goodbye
There are so many times when you question why
So many feelings you must deny
So many tears to cry

There are so many things that I wanted to say
So many reasons I hoped you could stay
I loved you completely, I have no regrets
But I just wasn’t ready yet

So I’ll cry a little bit, and I’ll die a little bit
And I’ll try with all my heart to make some sense of it
And there’s only one power to lean upon
There’s only one reason that I can go on

I believe in the wisdom of God
He ruleth the seasons, he fails us not
This kind of sorrow He too has known
I do not walk alone
There is nothing and no one to blame

And there’s no use in thinking what might have been
I would have kept you through life’s short span
But God had a different plan

So I’ll pray for the day when the sorrow will cease
Pray for the day when I’ll know perfect peace
I’ll find the courage to make it somehow
But I’m feeling so lonely now

So I’ll cry a little bit, then I’ll try a little bit
And I’ll trust in God above to make some sense of it
Then my eye will be single to one bright star
To live my life worthy to be where you are

But today it’s not easy, today I may cry
So if you see a tear in my eye
It’s the pain of an early goodbye

Repentance From Sin

Although most of us want to do what is right, the adversary can sometimes make black appear white, and with a few wrong choices, we can find ourselves in a downward spiral from which it is very difficult to recover.Often we feel we have gone too far and things are hopeless.The words of the scripture and of prophets assure us, however, that there is a way back. Because none of us has reached perfection, we are all in need of the saving power of Christ throughout our lives.

Through the marvelous gift of the Atonement, Jesus Christ has provided a way back when we have strayed.

The words and phrases of the scriptures are often very poetic and I especially love these comforting words from Isaiah: “Though your sins be as scarlet, they may be white as snow; though they be red as crimson, they may be as wool.”

One of the sweetest things I have witnessed is seeing a person who is deeply involved in sin decide to humbly repent and accept the gift of the Atonement. It is so comforting to know there is a way back—He is the way!

There is a Way Back

Words & Music by Janice Kapp Perry
Soloist: – Jenny Jordan Frogley

I want to win and I try so hard
Desire for sin was never in my heart
But at times I hear a whisper
Saying, “Once would be all right”
And I give in to the other side

And when you fall, it can be so hard
You taste the gall, you feel a broken heart
For the one who has deceived you
Making black appear as white
Can lead you down to an endless night

But there’s a way back to where you were
There’s a way back, and the path is sure
Because the Father’s own Begotten Son
Came to pay the price for all the wrong we’ve done
Oh, He gave His life my soul to save
Yes, the Son went down to the grave

There is a way, there is always light
There is a way, do not give up the fight
Though your sins may be as scarlet
They may be as white as snow
Just thank the Lord that He loves you so.

Repeat chorus

Though your sins be as scarlet
They may be white as snow
Though they bed red as crimson
They may be white as wool

There is a way back to where you were
There is a way back, and the path is sure
Because the Father’s own Begotten Son
Came to pay the price for all the wrong we’ve done
Oh He gave His life my soul to save
Yes, the Son rose up from the grave

There is a way, He is the way

Songs of Comfort and Hope

It was my hope that this album of songs, “There Will Be Light,” would not be merely a collection of sad songs but rather a collection of songs of hope and comfort, filled with the conviction that His peace can be enough to sustain us through every kind of trial.

There is but one who bore all things for us
There is but one who offers perfect love
Whatever earthly pain we know
He has descended far below

There is no sorrow He cannot comprehend
There is no suffering He cannot understand
He was forsaken, left alone
Our deepest pain to Him is known
In the arms of His love there is healing
In the arms of His love there is hope
There is One who is just
There is One we can trust
We are safe in the arms of His love

(JKP, 1991)

Janice Kapp Perry: Composer, author, lecturer