Excellence in the little things

Written Apr 07, 2018

The title and idea of this poem is one I thought about often on my mission, as I noticed that the missionaries that were the greatest were those who strove to do even the small things as well as they could. This is something I have thought about a lot recently, and it rings true to me. One of my favorite quotes is “Most often it is the sacrifices we make to keep our covenants that sanctify us and make us holy,” by Sister Carol F. McConkie in her conference talk The Beauty of Holiness, and I think that fits perfectly with this poem.

Excellence in the little things

We who seek excellence
In eternity and in forever
Truly seek for excellence
In the little things.

Excellence comes after growing
From grace to grace.
If we never perfect our little virtues,
Perfect excellence will never be our virtue

Each of us, and this whole world
Changes all at once.
The question of excellence, then,
Is a question of how to grow in a storm.

Excellence is acting,
Not reacting.
Excellence is choosing,
Not living others’ choices.

Never shrinking from the fight,
However hard, however small,
Is more important than surviving.
That’s not why we’re here.

We’re here to become excellent,
Little by little, piece by piece,
The small battles, well fought
Truly lead us to our Captain, our Lord.

So fight the good fight,
Never give up,
And always seek for
Excellence in the little things.

Frosted Flowers

Originally published 03-15-19

Frosted Flowers

I saw the flowerbed
In the winter morning sun–
Mulch, with
Strong short tulip sprouts,
And white and purple pansies.

In the middle, a statue–a man, a woman,
And a child taking early but encouraged steps
In a joyous, bronzed moment–
And in their shadow, frost.

The frosted flowers, I saw,
Weren’t dead,
But drooped,
Vibrant petals
Hanging down,
Slumped, dejected.

The sun had just climbed enough
that the shadow abandoned one slumping pansy.
It twitched.
The head slowly lifted
And the flower drooped
Not quite as far.

Further from the shade,
I saw the bright purples standing tall,
Proud, stripped of frost by
Bright sunlight,
Becoming bright nature,
And the day seemed warmer.

And I walked away warm inside,
Feeling that however long
And cold
The night,
The sun will come,
And I can rise, bright again.