History of Hymns investigates the inception and evolution of the hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The episodes include the history and progression of both the music and the text and feature interesting stories surrounding the creators and others involved in the development of a hymn. Also included are stories surrounding the performance or inclusion of the hymn in a variety of settings.
George Manwaring, the author of "Joseph Smith's First Prayer," never had a music lesson in his life, yet he was able to play piano and organ and teach, all of which he did by ear. Inspired by a painting of the First Vision, he put the story of the First Vision to song. The musical arrangement for the hymn was done by A. C. Smyth, adapted from Sylvanus Billings Pond's melody.