The Creation of He’ll Provide A Way


— By Blake Gillette

From the time that I was challenged as a 13 year old boy to read the entire Book of Mormon for the first time, I took Moroni’s promise to heart, and I had a deep spiritual confirmation it was true and the historical people in the book were real. I’ve never looked back. More importantly, they collectively stand with the Bible as a second confirming witness of Jesus Christ as the savior of the world, and God speaks to “ all nations of the Earth, and they shall write it.” (2 Nephi 29:12)

From the songwriting standpoint, bless my dear mother, that she forced me to learn the piano by the Suzuki method. To her credit, she felt that she had failed in the previous five children and teaching them how to play the piano proficiently but wasn’t going to fail with me as the last child of six, by eight years, a.k.a. the second caboose. My older brother Danny returned from his mission in the Amazon rainforest and with very little training begin writing instrumental piano Yanni-like songs. I quickly became competitive knowing that I had better training, and I should be the one writing more songs than him. I grew up profoundly touched by the artists Kenneth Cope (My Servant Joseph, Women at the Well) and Brett Raymond (First light) and the many powerful EFY songs. I had tremendous musical friends, Scott Neville and Devon Erickson, and we considered ourselves “the three tenors” of 9th grade Madrigals at Mueller Park Junior High. Looking back, we were trying to be GENTRI before GENTRI even existed, just not quite as handsome nor as vocally gifted as them.

So by the age of 16, I had written a song for fun and then Scott took that song and wrote inspired lyrics one day in the middle of class as they came to him seemingly out of nowhere.  They stand today untouched from the original he penned so long ago. The original song was called “He’ll Provide a Way.” We thought it was pretty great in that Nephi quoted his most famous scripture “I will go and do.“ We for sure had an “Afterglow” (an early 90s LDS group with speaking parts mixed into their music) vibe going. Scott wrote lyrics to more stories such as Helaman and the Stripling Warriors (On the Wings of Angels) and Moroni (Alone) at the end of the Book of Mormon. And then I wrote one more song about Alma the younger called “A Perfect Ray.” For whatever reason we were driven to the individual stories of The Book of Mormon, real stories about real people with powerful messages. I continued to work on these songs on my mission and ultimately polished “On The Wings of Angels” to be the mission song and incorporated “The Standard of Truth“ (The Wentworth Letter, Joseph Smith) into the song. As the years went by, I honed my craft, getting better at songwriting, and then slowly started to add additional powerful stories to this ever-growing collection of Book of Mormon heroes and messages. And to make a long story short, I have been working with Masa Fukuda over the last five years to bring these songs to fruition in a cohesive whole. Wayne Burton has graciously jumped in, brought an incredible talent in songwriting and storytelling, and contributed his own beautiful songs to bring this to the finish (A Marvelous Light, Never Leave Us, Rock of our Redeemer). I would not have the memory or time to list how every piece of this came together in the end and can only have been guided by God’s hand. One simple example is the man behind the musical narration Steve Pogue, a lawyer from Sacramento. One day I was thinking, “I really need someone to help me write the narration for this musical” and that week I received a letter from Steve while at work requesting that I look at some of his work and give some guidance on the musical aspects of his beautiful poetry and writings. His lyrics were clear, faith-filled, and eloquent. We talked and quickly knew that we were of similar heart and mind, and he expeditiously wrote the beautiful narrative to the entire musical. God had dropped him right into our path to help this project move forward. It is simply a miracle that began in 1997 over 26 years ago with foresight that could only come from God. This musical will help “flood the earth” with the Book of Mormon and its simple, clear message of Christ’s redemptive power.

As for the musical itself, I consider it a blend of modern musical style with the ancient stories in the Hamilton–like presentation on stage with a diversity of characters and voices for our modern world. Narrated through the stories of the Book of Mormon by Moroni as if he is leafing through the final plates before him, we are given a highlighted tour of some of the greatest moments in this book culminating in the appearance of Jesus Christ to the people of Bountiful.

Moroni takes us on a journey through the faith-filled story of Nephi retrieving the plates and later his poignant psalm after his father’s passing. Then the narrative weaves into the story of defiant Abinadi in the court of King Noah, and Alma the Younger’s incredible conversion back to the fold. Abish and a Lamanite Queen sing a deeply powerful song sing a deeply powerful song, called “His Tender Mercies” together about the miraculous conversion of Lamoni’s people with Ammon’s example of love and devotion to them. We then hear the righteous rejoicing of Ammon and the sons of Mosiah in bringing the Lamanites to the light of the gospel. Captain Moroni rallies the troops to the Title of Liberty in a song called “Brothers in Arms.” Finally, Act 1 ends with a powerful lullaby of a stripling warrior’s mother to her son, and the ultimate miraculous preservation of those young stripling warriors by their mother’s faith captured in “On the Wings of Angels.”

The second act begins with the purposeful plea of Nephi, son of Nephi, the night before Christ’s birth, praying that the signs be shown to avoid the killing of the believers. Christ comes to the land Bountiful, and we hear the people sing in the depth of passion for their savior to “never leave us.” With 170 years of peace after his visitation, we learn how those who were there would have taught their children about his glorious visitation. We then revisit the powerful words of Helaman to his sons, Nephi and Lehi, about the “Rock of Our Redeemer.” Ultimately Moroni closes the narrative with his own song called “Alone” which includes the promise of the Book of Mormon and a message for all “to come into Christ.” Then in a powerful finale, we revisit the messages of all the songs with a modern-day focus on joining with us all in the fight for truth, teaching of God’s love for all of his children, and spreading the redeeming message of the gospel of Jesus Christ to all the world.

We want to not only capture the truths in the Book of Mormon as it witnesses of Jesus Christ, but also inspire the next generation of missionaries and youth to go forth and serve in the name of Christ and join in the building up of Zion.