Stay in the Boat

Our lesson in church today was about the talk Stay in the Boat and Hold On! by Elder M. Russell Ballard.

  1. Stay in the boat

Drifting down the river,
I see the calm stretches, but
Warned of the rapids ahead
I stay in the boat.

  1. Always wear a life jacket

Rowing in sync over white water,
Gratitude hits me at the lack of fear,
From having the safety of a team, and
The reassurance of a life jacket.

  1. Hold on with both hands.

When others take a turn at the oars
And the river bounces the boat,
It’s holding on with both hands
That turns the fear to joy.

Dont forget to stay in the boat!

When the rapids end and the boat pulls in,
I will be glad, with my crewmates and guide,
To have sailed through life’s rough river
And to end in joy and peace.

The Blessings of Life

How often, when I see a rose
Do I remember the Creator who made it?
How often do I pause in gratitude at the beauty
And ponder how blessed I am to see such a rose?

How often, when I see a person
Do I remember the Father of all mankind?
How often do I pause in gratitude of the people I know
And ponder how blessed I am to be together?

How often, when I’m in a trial
Do I remember the Ultimate Trial on the cross?
How often do I pause in gratitude of my Savior
And ponder how blessed I am in my Brother?

How often, in my busy life
Do I remember the things of deep importance?
How often do I pause in gratitude to God
And ponder the blessings of life?

The more you know

The more you know

The more you know
        Of the rough journey,
        Of the struggles few see,
        Of the refiner’s bright heat,
        Of the scars from rough times,
        Of the sadness that smiles conceal,
        Of the traumas and unjust treatments,
        Of the disappointments and discouragements,
        Of the hopes and dreams and secret wishes,
        Of the love in hearts not often shared,
        Of the good deeds and promises,
        Of the true joy of sweet smiles,
        Of the planted seeds of faith,
        Of the sacrifices of love,
        Of the hearts touched,
The more you forgive.

The Man Who Climbed the Mountain

The Man Who Climbed the Mountain.

I went to climb a mountain
To see the lofty view,
But the journey turned out to be more difficult
Than I expected it to.

I started up the path
And soon I saw a field of flowers.
I plucked a few, I smelled the scents,
And lost a couple of hours.

I began along the path again
But soon the path grew very steep.
I slowed, I wandered back and forth,
Night fell, and I had to leave.

The next day I started up again,
Committed to reaching the top.
Past the flowers, up the climb,
Determined not to stop.

The path turned thin, along a cliff
And I almost turned back to the base.
It took me hours, step by step,
To conquer my fear in that steep place.

I passed flowers in the final stretch,
Walked along cliffs, climbed paths quite steep.
It wasn’t as hard as it was at first.
Then, finally, I reached the peak.

I saw the view a different man
Than the one who started out the climb.
I conquered my distraction, laziness, and fear,
And in the end, that is what made the view so sublime.

Make Me

I wrote this poem after listening to General Conference on my mission, and I decided to share this poem this week.

As a missionary, I think a lot about being an instrument in the hands of God, and I thought about what different tools would symbolize and represent in terms of our earthly duties and responsibilities and ability to do God’s will.

Originally written Nov 12, 2018

Make Me

Make me a tool to change the world,
And shape me to Thy will.
Make me the instrument to move
Thy great work forward, still.

I’ll be a sword, if Thou dost wish,
To fight for right and truth.
Or be a plow, to break the ground,
And bring forth life and fruit.

I’ll be the hammer, building up
The people I’m around,
Or be the nail and hold them fast
And firmly to the ground.

I’ll be the sail, and drive along
My fellow travelers,
Or be the rudder, guiding true
Would-be wanderers.

I’ll be the hand, stretched out to lift,
To heal a life for good
I’ll be the one to follow Him
And do as He would do.

Refine me in Thy fire, Lord
Forge me strong, so I
Can go forth in Thy strength and might
Each moment till I die.

And come to Thee, that day to know
That I’ve done all I can.
And done the work Thou sendest me
Among the sons of man.

The Night my Savior Died for Me

I apologize for not posting a poem last week, I forgot until it was too late. This is the poem I meant to post last week, and I hope I will be able to schedule my posts a week in advance from here on out, now that I have a bit of a buffer of poems.

This poem was written as I tried to think up words that would go to the tune of There is a Green Hill Far Away that would carry a similar meaning.

The Night my Savior Died for Me

The night my savior died for me
I wonder if I cried
To know the infinite sacrifice
Paid to make me divine.

The day my Savior rose again
Did I shed tears of joy
That I, engraved upon His palms
Could live with Him someday?

Whene’er my Savior answers me
And my beseeching prayer
I feel again His love for me
And His belonging care.

The times my Savior lives in me
I love with all my soul.
I yearn to give my all to Him
And through Him, be made whole.

Nothing More and Nothing Less

Nothing More and Nothing Less

I was talking with a friend today who told me that their biggest fear was failure. Not being smart enough or good enough or capable enough to live up to what people expect of them. This poem is a response to them and to anyone else who fears failure.

Be you – that’s all I ask of you,
Nothing more and nothing less.
To be all you can be, my friend,
Is all that I request.

You won’t disappoint the world
In falling far short of perfectness
Those who love you don’t just love
The parts you show off to impress.

And God, who loves you most of all,
Has perfect knowledge that you possess
So much good, and kindness, and care, and love,
When sins and errors you confess.

I don’t expect a perfect friend,
It’s fun together to progress,
We’ll push each other to work and grow,
To each do better than yesterday’s best.

And as we work to be our best selves,
We’ll take time to breathe and rest.
Take time to pause and think and laugh,
And in our mental health invest

So walk some more with me, my friend,
Life is good, and we are blessed.
Be you – that’s all I ask of you.
Nothing more and nothing less.

My Mountain, Your Mountain

In my Elder’s Quorum lesson today, we were discussing the General Conference talk Becoming Like Him, but Scott D. Whiting. One of the Elders mentioned an interesting idea in the discussion about how we shouldn’t compare our speed in life with that of someone else’s. Someone walking on a trail and someone climbing a cliff will go very different speeds. That idea eventually turned into this poem.

My Mountain, Your Mountain

I went out to climb a mountain
And saw you do the same.
Nature to see and wonder at,
A mountainside to tame.

We each had different paths,
but soon, you seemed higher up.
I struggled to push my self harder –
I must not be climbing fast enough.

I redoubled my efforts,
Looked again, and though we were near,
My path looked rocky and cluttered,
While yours seemed wide and clear.

I began to scale a cliff,
And saw you climb one, too.
But you went up more rapidly,
It seemed easier for you.

I neared the top, watching you,
jealous of your speed,
We reached the top together,
And you smiled, and said to me:

“You’ve climbed so well, I’ve noticed you,
I wish I was half so skilled.
I tried so hard to keep up with you,
Meting you makes me so thrilled!”

“But,” I said, “I envied you,”
“You seemed to be the best.”
We laughed at ourselves and sat down together,
Enjoying the view and the rest.

More Like My Savior

During sacrament meeting today, I was reading the words of “I Stand All Amazed,” probably my favorite sacrament hymn. I pondered about the author, Charles H. Gabriel, someone who must have done a lot of pondering to be able to put such thoughts into words. I read a little bit about him, and found out he actually wrote a lot of hymns in his lifetime. I found one called “More Like the Master” that I really liked, and this poem is based on that one.

More Like My Savior

More like my Savior I would be,
More like the Man who died for me,
More courage to face the world standing with Him,
More strength to love those who are mired in sin.

More like my Savior, I consistently pray,
More gratitude, for blessings each day,
More humble, to follow His guidance and word,
More meek, to learn lessons from my loving Lord.

More like my Savior, I’ll learn and grow,
More determined to follow Him back home,
More willing to ask for His help when I fall,
More able to trust He’ll be there through it all.

Gospel Shoes

In preparing for my mission, I invested in a nice pair of mission shoes. They lasted me my whole mission and are still the shoes I wear to church now. It was a great investment, I love them.

Gospel Shoes

The gospel is like my new pair of mission shoes,
Like me when I was baptized, they’re clean,
Shiny, and full of promises of long use.

The gospel is like my newish pair of mission shoes.
A little uncomfortable at first,
It feels a bit tight, and I don’t know if I like it.

The gospel is like my best pair of mission shoes,
Molding to my feet, supporting my sole,
And often unnoticed in the help it gives me.

The gospel is like my used pair of mission shoes,
Trusted in storms on and relied upon,
Dear to my heart and important to me.

The gospel is like my old pair of mission shoes,
Quality standing the test of time,
Worn familiar by my footsteps.

The gospel is like my well-worn pair of mission shoes,
I put them on and think about the paths I’ve walked with God,
I smile, and I take another step.