God versus the world

God versus the world

The world says: “You need to keep in touch
with your phone as the world keeps turning.”
I say: “I prefer to stay in touch
with God, and His infinite learning.”

The world says: “Seek for wealth and prestige.
Money is what life’s all about.”
I say: “The joy that God gives, you can’t buy,
not for any amount”

The world says: “Power is what you should want,
seek for control and success.”
I say: “God is worth much more to me,
and in Him I’ll find what is best.”

The world says: “Don’t look for more out of life.
Right here and right now is all you need.”
I say: “Happiness and joy in my life
come as God becomes closer to me.”

The world says: “Always put yourself first,
your focus in life should be you.”
I say: “My God told me to go forth and serve
others who need my help, too.”

The world says: “Go, and be true to yourself,
and your dreams of who you want to be.”
I say: “I’d rather be true to Truth,
and God’s greater plans for me.”

Trust

Sent home from my mission Aug 28, 2017

Trust

As I stood on a mountain
He said to me:
“come to the edge.”
and I didn’t because I feared I would fall.

Again He smiled, and beckoned to me:
“come to the edge.”
“No.” I said, “I’ll fall,
I don’t trust myself there.”

Comfortingly, He reached for my hand
I took it, He said:
“come to the edge, and trust me”
I trusted Him, so I followed.

I saw the view, the world,
and as I turned to Him to thank Him
He pushed me off the edge—
and I flew.

The next time that I stood there,
I remembered my flight—
the joy of the view
and the thrill of the hight—

And I thought it’d be wonderful
to do it again,
so I went to the edge
and jumped.

But I fell and didn’t fly!
and as the ground came up to meet me
my thoughts turned to a Savior
who left me all alone

I pleaded for someone to come to me
and saw him there besides me
He told me, “take my hand,
and I will do the rest”

“It’s all in your hands now”
I said, as I grabbed and held on tight
and right before we hit the ground—
we started to fly.

I’ve never left my Savior since,
but still, I’ve often thought—
why could I not do alone
what He did for me?

I’ve realized I’m not strong enough
and need my dear Savior near,
in Him I put my trust and faith—
I put it all in His hands.

Pure Water

I was talking with a friend the other week about how it feels to be truly clean, and she compared it to the waters of a river. I tried to capture that idea here:

Pure Water

I’ve stepped in a lot of rivers.
When they had dirt at the bottom,
My steps would send mud
floating down the river,
and the tan filth blocking any view of the riverbed.

I’ve looked at a lot of rivers.
And I love the ones that slowly,
In their crystal blue motion
capture the rolling beauty of nature
in their clear flowing depths.

I want to be a dirt-free river.
I want no mud of the world in me
and to flow confidently onward
to the ocean,
knowing I am clean.

The Miracle of the Sacrament

The Miracle of the Sacrament

If you saw the peace
   in the little crust of bread,
   as eyes were closed
   and thoughts turned upwards;

If you saw the cleansing
   in the little cup of water,
   as if liquid light were poured into a silhouette,
   and great drops of brightness overflow;

If you saw the power
   Christ was willing to use in your behalf,
   the legions of angels armed for battle
   awaiting your prayer for their help;

If you saw the gifts
   He holds, willing to give you,
   the blessings He prepared to make you happy,
   and the joy of living with Him up above;

If you saw the desire
   The Spirit has to live in you,
   to talk to you, to be your friend,
   to make you into something wonderful;

If you saw all this with spiritual eyes –  
   the miracle of the sacrament –  
   would you live the rest of the week
   the way you do now?

A House of Hope

A House of Hope

Hope is the warm bed
and the blankets I wrap myself in
when the cold creeps in,
and I need to feel held.

Hope is the solid door
that shuts the world out
and reminds me there is more to life
that I can make of it, myself.

Hope is the clear windows
that let me look and see
all the wonders God has made
and look out into forever.

Hope is the slick floors
I can slide on in my socks
and remember small joys now,
and big joys to come.

Hope is the slanted roof
carrying away the storm water
and keeping me dry
from the world’s droplets of depression.

Hope is the sturdy walls
Standing strong every day
and reminding me how long things last
when built with love and time.

Hope is the loving house
that invites me to be safe,
to belong, to find peace in
hope.

The Miracle of a Hand to Hold

Originally published 10-13-19

This last Thursday, I read this poem at the BYU Museum of Art Poetry Jam. A lot of different poets wrote works in response to different pieces of art on display, and we walked around and looked at the art while we heard the poets read their poems. It was a pretty neat experience. I wrote this poem in response to “Jesus and Peter on the Water” by Gustave Brion.

The Miracle of a Hand to Hold

As the only two men to ever walk on water
hold each other tightly,
the man holding desperately, the God holding lovingly,
the storm rages, and those without the faith to even try
watch over rough waves.

Living the Gospel Brings Me Hope Because

Originally Published 09-15-19

This poem is my answer to Elder Soares’ request to “post your response to the question “Living the gospel brings me hope because…’ on social media” using the hashtag #YAface2face or #LDSdevo Seeing that this blog is the main social media I use, I decided to write a poem. These are some ways I feel like the restored gospel of Jesus Christ brings me hope.

Living the Gospel Brings Me Hope Because…

Living the gospel
brings me hope
in the simple smiles around me.
Another child of God cares for me
and will fight with me to win an eternity of smiles.

Living the gospel
brings me hope
as fresh breezes in my soul
that lift my head and point me
to beyond the next horizon.

Living the gospel
brings me hope
when I slowly stop making mistakes
that I know God is helping me overcome.
Worthiness is a priceless feeling.

Living the gospel
brings me hope
because when I live His gospel,
I know the Spirit lives in me,
and I burn with answered prayers.

Courage

Originally published 09-13-19

I wrote this poem on 9/11:

Courage

I try not
to pray
for the strength to keep
winning my daily battles.

Now, I pray for the
courage
to keep trying,
to keep fighting
alongside God.

With a Purpose

Originally published 09-02-19

A couple weeks ago, I met with a group of people and
brainstormed ideas for what we could do to help people with mental health problems,
and also about how social media contributes to these problems. One woman made
the comment: “people now don’t have a purpose, they don’t have a meaning to
their lives. I think that is one of the main things we have lost [with social
media].” I liked the idea, and put it into a poem.

With a Purpose

Walk with a purpose
through the drifting world,
which preaches so loudly of acceptance
that many accept themselves as merely who they are,
without any idea of who they could be.

Step with meaning
away from useless habits,
from passive consumption of flashing media
to active, personal creation
of beauty.

Stride with confidence
to a destination hoped for,
if not seen:
a loving Father,
an eternal family.

To Friends Who Know How to Hear Silence

Originally published 08-21-19

I have had several experiences this week that have taught me
the priceless value of friends who know how to really listen. When I wrote this
poem, it wasn’t based on any specific personal experience, but I think we all have times
in our lives where we need friends who know how to hear silence.

To Friends Who Know How to Hear Silence

When the loudest noise is the stubborn air conditioner,
            and tears rolling on cheeks,

When words are gone, are incomplete,
            though repeated however heartfelt,

When it seems that each man—and I—am an island,
            an ocean away from true connection,
            an ocean away from humanity,

When all I have inside that must be said has
            no words, no true names,

When my thin voice cannot capture my bursting soul,

How thankful I am for friends
            who know how to hear silence.