While the book carries "1835" as its publication date it probably came off the press early 1836.  It contains the texts for 90 hymns, at least fifty of them "overtly borrowed and rewritten Protestant hymns," and about forty probably written by members of the church.  Of the 40 original hymns, most have been attributed to W. W. Phelps. 
The preface to the hymnal is as follows:
In order to sing by the Spirit, and with the understanding,  it is necessary that the church of the Latter Day Saints should have a collection of "Sacred Hymns," adapted to their faith and belief in the gospel, and, as far as can be, holding forth the promises made to the fathers who died in the precious faith of a glorious resurrection, and a thousand years' reign on earth with the Son of Man in his glory. Notwithstanding the church, as it were, is still in its infancy, yet, as the song of the righteous is a prayer unto God,  it is sincerely hoped that the following collection, selected with an eye single to his glory,  may answer every purpose till more are composed, or till we are blessed with a copious variety of the songs of Zion.