With Tears of Joy

With Tears of Joy

I look up at the narrow road to heaven,
And look at my feet, wand’ring from the way.
I look back at the gospel path, where true joy can be found,
And wish that I could make it back to stay.

CHORUS: I stray from him, I fall away, I wander,
This covenant path seems too hard to complete.
But if He lets me try again to reach Him,
With tears of joy, I’ll wet His blessed feet.

I thought this gospel road would be so easy,
And trials would be small bumps on the way
But seeing all the mountains and the cliffs I’ve yet to climb,
I want to turn around and walk away.

CHORUS

I stumbled on the road again, exhausted
Unable to move on through my despair.
A hand reached down and wiped away a desperate, pleading tear.
Then I looked up and saw my Savior there.

CHORUS

The Man Who Climbed the Mountain

The Man Who Climbed the Mountain.

I went to climb a mountain
To see the lofty view,
But the journey turned out to be more difficult
Than I expected it to.

I started up the path
And soon I saw a field of flowers.
I plucked a few, I smelled the scents,
And lost a couple of hours.

I began along the path again
But soon the path grew very steep.
I slowed, I wandered back and forth,
Night fell, and I had to leave.

The next day I started up again,
Committed to reaching the top.
Past the flowers, up the climb,
Determined not to stop.

The path turned thin, along a cliff
And I almost turned back to the base.
It took me hours, step by step,
To conquer my fear in that steep place.

I passed flowers in the final stretch,
Walked along cliffs, climbed paths quite steep.
It wasn’t as hard as it was at first.
Then, finally, I reached the peak.

I saw the view a different man
Than the one who started out the climb.
I conquered my distraction, laziness, and fear,
And in the end, that is what made the view so sublime.

His Lifting Power

Originally written Nov 27, 2017

His Lifting Power

Christ died to let me try again,
To heal the broken law.
But I think it’s also more than that,
And I ponder what God saw

In me to give me His sacrifice,
Infinite in power
His eldest son to die and suffer
Alone for me in his final hours.

And I can’t help but think of how
The Atonement has two sides
Not just to lift me up —
Though from sinner’s depths I’ll rise —

But to push me up, enable me
To reach celestial heights.
To become all that God wants of me
Takes more than just my might.

And so I thank my God
For the potential of us all
And the Infinite Atonement
Lifting me each time I fall

And lifting me yet higher —
For that is God’s great plan
The “why” of His Atonement —
“the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39)

Taking you for Granite

This week’s poem isn’t a spiritual one, but a fun poem inspired by a pun I heard about taking things for granite, instead of for granted.

Taking you for Granite

I think you’re really gneiss,
You’re a pretty coal person,
I’ll always sand(stone) by you,
You shale always be my friend.

CHORUS:
You are marbleous,
I’ll always lava you,
You are my rock,
And I won’t take you for granite,

It’s sedimentary, my dear Watson:
You set my heart on (sa)phire,
Of quartz, I like you a lot,
And I think I always shale.

I chalk it up to fate
That life pressed us together,
Though it didn’t take much heat or pressure
For my heart to metamorphosize into loving you.

You’re really quite o-clay,
I can’t express how cool you ore.
I hope you’re not ruby awakened
When I say that ge(ode), you’re so fine.

Dehydration

Most people who know me know I really don’t like to be dehydrated, and so I carry a water bottle around all the time. When I realized the spiritual parallels, I decided to write this poem.

Dehydration

I notice quickly when I get dehydrated.
My mouth gets dry, I feel a headache grow,
My mind pushes me to go and drink,
And my body yearns to just be filled.

Because of this, I carry a water bottle
Just about everywhere I go.
I drink from it often, I refill it a lot,
Staying hydrated is important to me.

I notice, too, when I get spiritually dehydrated.
I feel sad, I lose perspective,
My life feels empty, blank, and unfulfilling,
And my spirit yearns to just be filled.

And yet, I don’t carry a spiritual water bottle,
A prayer or a scripture in my heart.
But Christ is more important than dead water,
And He will fill my cup to overflowing.

Charity is

Charity is
Smiling as a child reads slowly,
Slower than you could yourself,
Charity suffereth long.

Charity is
Not snapping back when someone snaps at you,
Being patient when people have had a hard day,
Charity is kind.

Charity is
Being happy when someone does better than you,
Because you see how happy they are,
Charity envieth not.

Charity is
Shoveling driveways early, before anyone would see,
Letting the service be an anonymous surprise.
Charity vaunteth not itself.

Charity is
Admitting you are wrong,
When your pride wants to put up a fight.
Charity is not puffed up.

Charity is
Mowing a neighbor’s lawn when they can’t pay,
Serving then when that service can’t help you,
Charity seeketh not her own.

Charity is
Seeing the child of God inside the addict,
The saint inside the sinner,
Charity rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.

Charity is
Mary’s Son in the garden,
Bleeding and praying to do his Father’s will.
Charity beareth all things, believeth all things.

Charity is
The Man dying on the cross
Forgiving those who tortured and killed,
Charity beareth all things, hopeth all things.

Charity is
The Christ, living to bring you and I
Back home to live with Him.
Charity never faileth.

My Measuring Stick

During church today, the high councilor made the observation that “When I’m looking at others, I don’t see the average person, and think, ‘I’m doing pretty well compared to that.’ No, I look at the very best person around me, and I see how far I fall short of them.” After some reflection on that, I wrote this.

My Measuring Stick

Jealous of him for how smart that he is,
Ignoring the talents I’ve got,
Distainful of those who just can’t understand,
Ignoring how I lack a lot.

Jealous of her for how social she is,
Ignoring the friends that I have.
Distainful of him for his social mistakes,
Ignoring my faux pas and gaffs.

Jealous of all of the good in the world,
Ignoring the good in my life.
Distainful of those who are worse off than me,
Ignoring my personal strife.

Jealous of early saints, who personally knew Joseph
Ignoring the modern Prophet’s calls.
Distainful of those who won’t follow Christ,
Ignoring the times my faith falls.

Jealous of Peter for walking on water,
Ignoring the miracles I’ve felt.
Distainful of Thomas for his lack of faith,
Ignoring all the doubts in myself.

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.