We fall because it’s hard to climb

Originally published 07-12-19

I came across the title line for this poem in my old notes, and thought about how really, if you think about actual rock climbing, a lot of the effort is made before the climb even begins. Most people don’t make it to the top of the cliff because they don’t start climbing.

We fall because it’s hard to climb

Not many gather ropes and harnesses,
tools and chalk and carabiners,
Not many arrange with a buddy
to belay each others’ climb.

Not many leave the valley
and head to the mountains.
Not many make the time to go and
face a sheer rock face.

Few will reach up when tired
for the next slim handhold,
Few pull a belayed companion
who needs a little boost.

Few ascend a cliff face,
and few summit a mountain.
Few can turn and look and see
the world they’ve overcome.

A Brief History of a Zion People

Originally published 07-11-19

A Brief History of a Zion People

During institute last night, our teacher asked us to take two minutes to write a brief summary of the beliefs and history of the Church (we were talking about the Wentworth Letter). In my summary I focused more on the history, and later I rewrote it into verse to publish here.

God
commanded a boy—
Joseph Smith—
to restore His truth to the earth.

Persecution raged,
mobs combined,
enemies fought bitterly
against this prophet
and those who stood with Him.

Those who gave up
homes,
families,
everything that was theirs,
sometimes even their lives
to follow truth,
because God had spoken that truth
through a prophet, in our day.

Those who gave their all for God
are my ancestors,
and my heroes.

Hosanna to the Son of David

Originally published 07-07-19

I submitted this poem for consideration in the new hymnbook as a hymn.

Hosanna to the Son of David

A baby boy lay sleeping in an inn at Bethlehem,
And nearby, angels sang their song of peace, goodwill to men:
CHORUS: Hosanna to the Son of David, come in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest, glory be to God.

The multitudes flocked to the mount to learn great truths from Him.
They followed as He blessed the meek, and sang in praise this hymn:
CHORUS

When Jesus rode a humble colt into Jerusalem,
The joyful crowd waved palm branches and cried unto His name:
CHORUS

When soldiers took away the Christ, the crowd grew sparse and small.
And gone were all the hopeful throngs who once had cheered and called:
CHORUS

Although the cross stood on a hill, no multitudes there came.
Though Christ atoned for all their sins, no grateful voices sang:
CHORUS

He rose again, the third day passed, death’s victory was gone.
For justice had been answered, and our Advocate had won:
CHORUS

We take His body and His blood and promise as we do
That though the road is long and hard, we always will be true:
CHORUS

What I Believe

Originally published 07-03-19

This was one of my submissions for the new hymnal. I submitted it specifically for the children’s songbook.

What I Believe

I’ve never seen the baby wrapped up, in a manger stall,
But I believe that Christ was born to bless and save us all.
I’ve never seen Him go and heal the blind or cure the sick,
But I believe I can help and heal those I am with.

I’ve never seen my Savior suffer in Gethsemane,
But I believe He suffered so that He could comfort me.
I’ve never seen the wooden cross where my dear Savior died,
But I believe He understands my pain and sacrifice.

I’ve never seen the tomb where angels rolled away the stone,
But I believe it’s empty—Jesus won’t leave me alone.
I’ve never seen a lot of things I still believe are true,
But I know that God loves me, and so I will love you, too.

Two kinds of people

Originally published 6-29-19

This poem is based off one of the lines I best
remember from my middle-school English teacher, Mr. Wicks.

Two Kinds of People

There are two kinds of people in this world.
Know what they are,
To categorize, divide, organize, and separate them.

There are two kinds of people
In this world:
1. Those who are God’s children, and
2. Those who aren’t.
Quite simple—love God’s Children,
Ignore everyone else.
Serve God’s children,
Ostracize the rest.

It makes life easier, nicer, to know
That there are just two kinds of people.

Behold the Man

Originally published 6-25-19

This poem is based off of Elder Uchtdorf’s eponymous talk and the scripture John 19:5, where Pilate pleads with the Jews to “Behold the man!” and to not kill the innocent Christ. I thought it would be fitting to share, as last week we read this in Come Follow Me.

Behold the Man

When encompassed with sharp grief,
Behold the Man.
When surrounded by pressing trials,
Behold the Man.

In affliction’s fiery furnace,
Behold the Man.
Under guilt’s crushing weight,
Behold the Man.

In bleak, hopeless night,
Behold the Man
Who died the darkest yet most hopeful day.
Behold the Man.

See Him as who He truly is—
Behold the Man.
Follow Him, love Him,
Behold the Man.

Peace will come when we
Behold the Man.
So come to Him, remember Him —
Behold the Man.

The Carpenter of Nazareth

Originally published 05-22-19

Written July 5, 2018

I wrote this on my mission, but never sent it home. It is loosely based on a similar
poem I read of the same title. A note I wrote to myself on the side of my notebook on
that day reads “What can’t Christ heal?”

The Carpenter of Nazareth

The carpenter of Nazareth,
he fixes broken things.
Broken tools and broken toys,
whatever people need.

He takes the broken object
and examines it up close.
He feels the break, studies the crack,
and to his tools he goes.

He gently holds the wood in place
and starts to fix the crack,
‘til piece by piece he’s fixed it up
and gives it gently back.

Many come from Nazareth
to the carpenter to ask
if he could fix their broken thing,
if he was up to such a task.

And always, a smile and a reply
that he would try his best.
No one left denied of his care,
each felt an honored guest.

His Son saw all His father’s works
and when He became old
He also fixed up broken things,
but He fixed broken souls.

And as nails pierced this Master’s palms
into a cross of wood,
He gently took each soul in hand
and did what just He could.

He mends our cracks, He heals our wounds,
He picks up fallen souls.
The Son of Nazareth’s carpenter
came to make us whole

Choose Every Day to Believe

Originally published 05-18-19

We talked about faith in my institute class last week, and it inspired this poem. It is written as a song.

Choose Every Day to Believe

Two hundred years ago, a grove of trees
Blazed brightly, and a young boy’s prayer was heard.
He left the grove, and taught the world the truth,
I was not there, though, when that all occurred.

CHORUS: I never saw the boy in Palmyra,
And I never met the man in Nauvoo.
I get to see the labor, though, that he worked to achieve,
And I get to choose every day to believe.

Two thousand years ago, Jerusalem
Cheered as on a donkey rode their King.
He walked the garden of my olive press,
But I was not there to shout and praise and sing.

CHORUS: I never saw the boy, the Nazarean,
And I never met the man of Galilee.
I get to see the labor, though, that He worked to achieve,
And I get to choose every day to believe.

In the struggles of the day to day,
I’ll choose faith and go and light the world
I don’t know all things, and I have doubts,
But I am here to wave a flag unfurled.

CHORUS: I never saw the prophet, Joseph.
I never met my Savior, Jesus Christ
But I get to labor with them in this work that we’ll achieve
I get to choose every day to believe.

I—I choose every day to believe.

Mother’s Day poem

Originally published 5-12-19

I debated this week between posting my favorite poem, about the prodigal son, and this poem about mother’s day. I eventually went with this one, but I’ll share the other at some point. Happy Mother’s day!

Mother’s Day poem

Who prepares our meals and makes sure that we’re fed?
Who beautifies a house and makes of it a home?
Who sends us off to school and tucks us into bed?
To all these questions, and many more, the answer is: our Mom!

Thank you, Mom, for all the many things you do for me,
Thank you, Mom, that you’ve been there and with me all along,
Thank you for being an example of who I want to be,
I’m glad I have the blessing to call you my Mom!

I love you, Mom!

Break All Bonds

Originally published 05-07-19

This poem was inspired by the Come Follow Me for this last week. I loved the line in Luke 13:16, where Christ describes healing a woman on the Sabbath as “loosed from this bond.” I like the imagery, and I wrote this poem in response.

Break All Bonds

When an ox
falls in a hole
would you not each
rescue her?

Do you not—
even on the Sabbath—
lead your sheep
to be watered?

A daughter of Abraham,
too, can be loosed
from her bonds
on God’s day.

He who breaks all bonds
comes now to you:
will you let Him free you
today?