Would I See Him

Sent home from my mission Aug 07, 2017

The poem I want to share with you this week is one I wrote half of in the MTC around Christmastime, and I finished the rest of it out in the mission field. I thought about what kind of person I would be if I lived in the time of Christ—would I be a shepherd who went and worshiped the baby Jesus, or would I be one of the hundreds or thousands of other people in Bethlehem to whom this was just another baby? 

Would I See Him?

If I’d walked the roads of Palestine
in older, simpler years,
would I have seen a man
drying people’s tears?
Would I listen to His words 
and choose to follow where He goes,
or would I spit on Him, reject Him,
there in Calvary, alone?

If I’d walked the roads of Bethlehem
on a certain silent night,
Would I have seen a baby
in swaddling clothes wrapped tight?
Would I have knelt and sang his praise
and worshiped Him, my Christ, that day,
or would I have been too busy
and continued on my way?

And in the paths I’m on today
in this loud and noisy world,
do I make time to see my Savior
and His gospel flag unfurled?
To pray for truth, and seek His grace
and follow what He taught,
or will I never feel His hand in mine
and do the works He wrought?

As I seek to walk His paths,
and simply serve my brother,
will someone see me, and notice 
as I try to help another?
Will they see my work and think of Him
who served us each so selflessly?
I don’t know, but I did my part
And I that’s enough for me.

The Great Minister

Originally published 11-03-19

I had stake conference this weekend, and one of the speakers, talking about ministering said a line I really liked. I expanded the idea and turned it into a poem.

The Great Minister

I’ve never raised the dead
        back to life,
never been able to say “I know
        exactly what you’re going through,”
or “I’ve suffered through that so you
        don’t have to,”
never made a mountain move
        or multiplied loaves and fish.
never made up for every loss,
        every broken dream.
never “wiped away tears
        from off all faces.”
never been a perfect example
        to lead the way back home,
never died to save my friends
        and enemies,
never changed the world.

But, like the Man who did those things,

I can take somebody’s hand
        and lift them higher.
I can weep with those
        who just need to cry right now.
I can help make tiny miracles happen,
        with my simple prayers and faith.
I can follow gentle promptings
        and bless those I am near.
I can wipe one tear
        off of one face.
I can be a friend, be close
        to those who suffer.
I can let my candle,
        however dim, show the way.
I can give some hours of my life
        to help someone in need
I can change a life.

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.

He let the world go dark

Originally published 07-19-19

This poem is based off a line someone said as a part of
their testimony last Sunday. That line became the last stanza, and I wrote all
the other stanzas to set the scene. Sometimes we don’t really appreciate just
how much of a miracle the Atonement and Resurrection was, but I think it helps
to think of how the people would have felt when Christ died.

He let the world go dark

Disciples fled
when He was seized.

Leaders mocked
but He opened not His mouth.

Followers watched
as He was condemned.

Peter cried
when the cock crowed thrice.

Mary wept
to see her Son on a cross.

Friends mourned
as they buried His body.

He let the world go dark
to rise up on that Sunday
shining brilliantly.

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.

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.

Easter Poem: The Price

Originally published 04-21-19

Though this is not the original poem I had planned to post on Easter, I hope it still helps you remember the reason behind what Christ did on the event we celebrate today.

The Price

No money changed hands,
no contract was made,
no sum was counted out,
yet still, a price was paid.

Though paid in blood, not cash,
though paid for others’ sins,
though more than anyone could pay,
the price was paid by Him.

He paid it, not for fame,
He paid it, not just because He must,
He paid with His great drops of blood.
The price was paid for us.

He asks no slaughtered lamb,
He asks no rivers of oil,
He asks no burnt offerings, now.
The price was paid in full.