The Difference

At the sacrament meeting I went to this week, a missionary spoke about ministering, and he said “the difference between a lost soul and a found one could be a text or a call. You never know.” I decided to expand that idea into this poem.

The Difference

The difference between a lost soul
And a found one
Could be a text hello, prompted by the spirit
To a man lonelier than anybody knows.

The difference between a wandering soul
And a purposeful one
Could be a call out of the blue
To a woman struggling not to cry.

The difference between a lonely soul
And a belonging one
Could be an invitation to catch up
With an old friend.

The difference between an aimless soul
And a devoted one
Could be a sincere “hello”
To someone who doesn’t know they’re noticed.

The difference between a stranger
And a friend you never knew you missed
Could be a simple smile
To someone without enough smiles in their life.

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.

How Grateful I Am

How Grateful I Am

How grateful I am for the friends that I know,
Friends who I see and make my smile grow,
Friends who I cherish and help when I can,
Friends who help me a better man.

How grateful I am for my family, blessed,
Family that accepts me when I’m a mess,
Family to laugh with, to play with, to love,
Family forever with God up above.

How grateful I am for the earth where I live,
The earth that selflessly, generously gives,
The earth full of beauty, of life and of joy,
The earth that we all are blessed to enjoy.

How grateful I am for the words of the Lord,
The words of the prophets who testified bold,
The words of disciples who struggled like me,
The words of the scriptures, so inspiring.

How grateful I am for the Savior, dear,
My Savior who, when I’m troubled, always is near,
My Savior who loves me when I stumble and fall,
My Savior who helps me to grow to my all.

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.

When Trying isn’t Enough

I wrote this a few months ago and found it on my computer today. It is meant to be a song, and some day I hope it will be.

When Trying isn’t Enough

I stumbled one more time,
and fell, the bitter dust to eat
I push with arms too weary
to bring me to my feet.

I tried and tried to stand
and I’ve failed so many times
Everyone has some last chance
and I think this was mine.

CHORUS: What do I do
when trying isn’t enough?
When my tired arms can’t lift me
and my voice is hoarse and rough
from calling for help
that doesn’t seem to come.
What do I do when I try
and it isn’t enough to get me home.

Shaking hands reach out
for another mirage of hope.
but the water disappears
and I gasp with my parched throat

“I’ve traveled many miles
in this desert, in this heat,
Is this to be forever?
Is there no crust for me to eat?”

CHORUS

As I give up hope,
I rest, despair now overwhelming
then a shadow falls on me
and I see an arm extending.

“I’m here to help, I’m here.
Let me care for you.
Your Brother will not leave
and will always be true.”

CHORUS’: I turn to you
When trying isn’t enough
When my tired arms can’t lift me
and my voice is hoarse and rough
I’m calling for help
and my Friend has come
I’ll lean on you when I try,
You are enough to get me home.

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.

Names of My God

My poem this week is one I wrote on my mission.

Originally published Dec 04, 2017

On a mission, I am blessed to see how the gospel blesses people in so many phases of life, from being a young adult to raising a family to being old, and from everything from sickness to heartache to searching for truth. The gospel’s got you covered. This fits in interestingly with the fact that Christ has so many names throughout the scriptures for the many different things He does. He is the bread of life for those seeking bread, and he is the Lord of Hosts for those needing protection and vengeance. His perfection doesn’t mean he just perfectly fills one role, rather, it means that He meets our needs perfectly through the many roles He plays.

Names of My God

It’s easy to see that Christ has many names
Throughout all of sacred writ.
As he ministers and administers,
Scriptures bear record, and use names that try to fit:

The Lord is my Shepherd when I, like a sheep, have gone amiss,
He leadeth me in paths of righteousness when I try to find my way,
He becomes my leader when I need, badly, to be led.
I can always trust my Shepherd to never lead His sheep astray.

Jesus is my Savior from sin and from death.
He’s always there to save me from aching guilt and pain-
He will save me from the valley of the shadow of death,
And I’ll keep following Him, my Savior, again.

Christ- my Redeemer- paid my eternal debt
Nothing left unpaid, no deed left undone.
Every time I come up short, He makes up the difference
And every time I lose, I can trust in what He’s won.

My Messiah is God’s Firstborn, my Eldest brother,
My perfect example, my greatest role model,
He is the perfect one to look to, to know
How to act, how to live, how to stand up tall.

He is a God, the Creator of everything,
All-knowing, all-powerful, all-wonderful.
Though heavens and earth shall pass away,
He will still be there, greater than they all.

A great rabbi, a teacher of the truths of eternity
He taught of Heaven, of a Father full of love.
He helped those around him, in life (and all of us, now) to understand
That His gospel is for each of us, from a Father up above.

Whatever I may need Him for-
For guidance, truth, answers, or just a helping hand-
He is my God, my Shepherd and Savior,
Redeemer, Brother, Teacher, and my Friend.

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.