I’m writing about Phelps’s much-discussed hymn because a) I love that hymn, and b) I need some help. For my book on the death culture of early Mormonism, I would really like to be able to cite the original version of the hymn. Unfortunately, although everyone gestures toward a Deseret News publication in 1856, neither I nor several partners in crime has been able to find the actual original publication, not in the Phelps papers at BYU, not in the electronic archive of the DesNews, not scrounging around all the usual places. So, who’s up to the challenge? Where and in what form was “If You Could Hie to Kolob” first published?
Also feel free to argue about the meaning/relevance of the hymn as needed and/or desired.