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.

The Village of Krasnodosch

Sent home from my mission, Oct 08, 2018

I thought of this poem this week while listening to a conference talk describing the Jewish seder. Jewish families not only set a place for Elijah, but fill his cup to the brim and send a child to the door to see if Elijah is there. (Hosanna and Hallelujah—The Living Jesus Christ: The Heart of Restoration and Easter, by Elder Gerrit W. Gong) I think this tradition is a great example of living with faith. 

My poem this week, tentatively titled “The village of Krasnodosch” (crass- no- doesh, roughly translated as “red rain”), is a story I heard in sacrament meeting once in Ivano-Frankivsk. I put the story to verse, because I think it fits really well. The speaker used it to point out the difference between mere hope and faith. It reminds me of a quote I heard once, that “faith is what we choose to act on every day”. I liked the story and I hope you’ll enjoy it, too!

The Village of Krasnodosch

There once was a small village
With the name of Krasnodosch.
The people there loved God, and they
All followed him with hope.

One spring, the people planted fields,
But then, no rain did fall.
One week turned to two, then three,
The fields weren’t looking well. 

The people all decided they would gather
Together on the next day
And pray that God would send them rain,
So the drought would go away.

The day was hot and cloudless
As the crowd started to form,
But one young girl walked up with an
Umbrella on her arm.

They asked her why, she said, “Well,
Aren’t we here to pray for rain?”
They shrugged, and all together,
They prayed, and then they prayed again.

They prayed for several hours,
But the rain still didn’t fall.
The crowd started to go back home,
But with hope, hearts were full.

“Look!” Said the umbrella girl,
“A cloud!” The crowd all turned
And saw far off a tiny thing,
The name “cloud” barely earned

They watched as it grew closer, and
They watched as it grew big.
They wondered if this answered prayers,
And each sure hoped it did.

The cloud stood right on top of them,
But not a drop fell down
“Schwoop!” the girl’s umbrella went,
But some began to frown

Then, after a while, a drop,
Then one more, two, and then,
Someone opened heaven’s floodgates-
It began to pour down rain.

The town ran home, glad but wet-
Their hope was not in vain.
The umbrella girl, she walked home dry,
For she had prayed in faith.

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.

Redeemer

Redeemer

If every bad thought
were a stone you had to carry everywhere,
how grateful you would be
if someone helped you lift the pack
and let you walk again.

If every unkind word
were a year you could never see your family,
how grateful you would be
if someone offered to take on your lonely decades
and let you hug your family again.

If every hurtful deed
were a stab wound in your flesh,
how grateful you would be
to the doctor who bound and healed your wounds
and let you live without pain again.

And yet,

when every bad thought would always weigh us down from happiness,
when every unkind word would keep us from our family forever,
when every hurtful deed would lead to everlasting pain and death,
how often we forget
the Man who suffered, struggled, and died
to let us live again.

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.

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.

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.