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.

Always Remember Him

I really enjoyed general conference, and I will likely have some poems in future weeks about some of the messages. For this week, here is a poem I wrote on my mission:

Sep 03, 2018

My poem for this week was written in answer to a question my brother James had: How can we literally fulfill the commandment to “always remember Christ?” When I first heard this question, my mind went to a quote I had heard by President Eyring: “I have learned… something about always remembering. Fathers and mothers who love their children already know it. It is this: The child may be absent. The cares of the day may be great. Yet love for the child can be ever present in the heart of the parent, coloring and shaping every word, every act, and every choice.” I once thought, on my mission, that the Gospel should impact every part of our lives. I thought about it, and my mind thought “There is no way that the Gospel can influence the way I clip my fingernails.” With a little bit of thought, and D&C 42:41, I realized that we are commanded to be clean, and therefore it does matter. Maybe that’s a little bit of a stretch, and it’s certainly an odd metaphor, but the gospel affects everything from how we work (be diligent and be honest, etc.), to everything we let it affect. That kind of relates to my poem. (It made more sense in my head):

Always Remember Him

We’re commanded, and we promise
Each week we eat the bread,
To “always remember Him”
Who made salvation possible.

But how can we remember,
Every second, minute, moment,
And still live a life-
Still think, still survive.

I don’t know the perfect answer,
But perhaps my thoughts might help
In understanding how we can
Keep our covenants.

First, I don’t think Christ means
That every moment, in our conscious thought,
We must think His name-
That just wouldn’t work.

But I think part of what He means
Is that every act and every word
Must be because of who we are-
Followers of Him.

When I help an old woman
Onto a bus, I don’t think (actively, at least):
“I must remember Christ”, but
I remember Him in what I do.

I don’t believe our life has any piece
That the gospel, if lived, cannot touch.
And so, as we consistently do what He would do,
We will find that we always remember Him.

Faith in a bright night

Originally published 10-03-19

I wanted to publish a poem that related to General Conference, and I thought of this one, as told from someone who had heard Samuel the Lamanite. That was a very unpopular time to listen to the prophets. We have a thing or two to learn from that time.

Faith in a bright night

Every evening, I stay up
until the sun is gone
and the sky goes dark
again.

Every day, I see
fewer and fewer watching
with hope, and more crowds
mocking faith.

One sunset set apart
by the jeering mob to be the end
of those of us who still believe
in men of God.

One night, I witness
the blazing, sunless sky
when hope was burned into my chest
and faith confirmed.

One life, I’ll live
not always seeing through the night,
but knowing there will always rise
the Son.

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.

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