Those beloved lyrics have brought comfort and hope to people the world over for generations. But few might guess that when the words were penned, their author's life was far from being filled with "peace like a river."
In 1873, Horatio and Anna Spafford suffered heartbreaking devastation when their four cherished daughters lost their lives in the sinking of the Ville du Havre. What was meant to be a festive season of yuletide cheer spent in Paris was instantly transformed into a time of mourning and loss. And that season of sorrow could have stretched throughout a lifetime—were it not for the Spaffords' stalwart faith in the Lord's ability to heal all wounds and soothe every pain.
Channeling his grief into something that would help both himself and others look forward and upward in times of tragedy, Horatio Spafford, in his simple yet profound way, wrote the words that would become a healing balm for years to come. The story behind the timeless hymn "It Is Well with My Soul," and all the goodness that flowed from the Spaffords' faith-filled lives thereafter, will inspire you and your family to always look upward to the Savior and trust in His soothing hand, whether in times of peace or of sorrow.
This is the fascinating true story of a family tragedy behind the writing of the beloved hymn, It Is Well with My Soul in the 19th century. Originally presented by acclaimed British actor Hugh Bonneville at the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's 2017 Christmas concert.