Years ago I met Marvin K. Gardner who worked with Church magazines.  He’s one of the “good guys.”  He’s written hymns, including “Press Forward, Saints.”  He was on the committee which prepared the 1985 hymn book.  He wrote the words to a beautiful hymn, “Room In The Inn,” which was published in the New Era in December of 1989. This is a wonderful addition to whatever else we might read or think about today – on Christmas Eve.


  1. Ah, Joseph, how you wearily implore
    that someone will have pity on your plight,
    And, with compassion, open wide the door—
    For Jesus will be born this holy night.
    Will no one offer shelter to the stranger?
    Must Christ the King be cradled in a manger?


That night there was no room in the inn;
This night may there be room within—
Within my heart for him.


  1. Ah, Mary, how you patiently endure!
    While heav’n awaits the blessed baby’s birth,
    You wait outside the inn—alone, obscure—
    And pray for some compassion here on earth!
    You would have given shelter to the stranger.
    Why must your Son lie cradled in a manger?



  1. O Father, how thy sons and daughters cry—
    The lonely ones, the weary, the oppressed.
    Fill thou my heart with love, that I may try
    To lift another’s burden, give him rest.
    Oh, may I have compassion for the stranger.
    Remembering that Baby in a manger!



Text:  Marvin Gardner
Music:  Vanja Watkins
Composition Date:  1989-12-01

The music is included in the New Era Dec 1989




3 thoughts on “ROOM IN THE INN

  1. This reminds me of my first Christmas I spent alone. I was 23 at the time. It was the first Christmas after my father had died. My mother chose to spend the whole month of December with my brother in Arizona. So I was left all on my own since my other siblings were married and gone also. Our Christmases had always been a huge checklist of things needing to be done and Christ was never high enough on the list for me. Other than always having a nativity, daily family prayers, and weekly church attendance, He was hardly mentioned. We were always so busy with that checklist. It was such a stressful time of year. So I wanted this first Christmas alone to be different. I read the Christmas stories from both the Bible and the Book of Mormon (it always confused me why we never did that) along with some other Christmas stories I had collected over the years. I pulled out my guitar and sang many Christmas songs and hymns, ending with my 2 favorites: “Oh Holy Night”, and “Silent Night.” It was the best Christmas I had ever had as I “made room” for Him. 33 years later I’m still alone (but not really alone) and doing those same things. Other than this year, little to no voice, so no singing, other than in my heart. So I’m listening to Julie Andrews, Karen Carpenter, and others who sing so much better than I do anyway. I do hate not joining in though and start to cough each time I try. Over the years, I’ve also added some videos like “Mr. Krueger’s Christmas.” I LOVE when he speaks to the baby Jesus, expressing his gratitude. It always makes me cry as he expresses many of the same things I feel. I try to keep Christmas simple. I like it that way. I understand that isn’t always possible when you have little ones about and large families to accommodate. But it is possible to keep Christ at the center of all of it if you choose to and I choose to. It has made all the difference for me, truly making it a joyful time of year.

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