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.

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.

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.

May God Always be With You

May God Always be With You

My friend,

May you be blessed and comforted,
May you be strong and true.
May your light shine so all the world can see,
For I’ve seen it in you.

May the Master Healer tend your wounds,
May the Good Shepherd watch over your soul,
May you feel love for all God’s children,
For your love can make them whole.

May you never regret your choices,
May you repent quickly whenever you need,
May peace and joy be your rewards,
For you let God succeed.

May you stand tall as you stand for truth,
May the devil fear your name,
May you choose to always fight God’s fight,
For you belong with him again.

Rise as you are

There were a lot of thoughts from the devotional today by Elder Gong that I thought would make good poems, but I decided to do this one for this week. I don’t know if it’s something he actually said, but it’s a thought I had related to something he said.

Rise as you are

Rise as you are,
Whoever you are.
However dimly your light may shine,
It will make a difference in the night.

Rise as the stars,
Who rise every night.
Though the world’s flashy neon drowns out their beauty,
The stars let their beauty shine anyways.

Rise as the sun,
Who rises every day.
Though clouds and storms may block his life-sustaining light,
The sun shines on the world anyways.

Rise as the moon,
Who rises every night,
Though sometimes the best she has to give is no light at all,
The moon rises, anyways.

Rise as you are,
Whoever you are.
However dimly your light may shine,
It will make a difference in the night.

Not Too Much to Ask

Not Too Much to Ask

My God gave me my everything.
Everything that makes me bright and happy.
I’m truly in His debt, He loves me so,
My love for others is not too much for Him to ask of me.

He gave me every breath I breathe,
My body, with such detail and quality,
My every moment is because of Him,
To spend those moments helping others is not too much for Him to ask of me. 

He guides me onward, leading me right,
I travel on His paths to mountains I can’t yet see.
He leads me away from rocky roads of pain,
My heed to His directions is not too much for Him to ask of me.

I know that I can live with Him
Because He died for me on Calvary. 
My hope was paid for with his broken heart,
My living to come back home is not too much for Him to ask of me. 

He gave me my heart, my mind, my strength,
And asks so little in return from me. 
And yet, to Him who gave me everything,
I will give whatever He asks of me. 

Slay a Dragon Every Day

December 7th, 2020, marks the 4 year anniversary of me leaving on my mission. Later this week will be the 2 year anniversary of me coming home from my mission. I have a lot of thoughts about it, and it seems really fast and really slow at the same time. One of my many thoughts about it is that time will keep going whether or not you use it, and that thought inspired me to write this poem.

The title, Slay a Dragon Every Day, comes from a line I heard in a zone conference on my mission. I thought it was a regularly used phrase, but apparently not. I think it ought to be, though.

Slay a Dragon Every Day

It was the first competition of the Marching Band season.
This was my senior year, I was ready to march
The best I ever had, and play the best I’d ever played.

I marched onto that field, and 10 minutes later I marched off, sweatier and out of breath. 
I thought about what I’d just done.
I hadn’t marched or played or performed any better than I usually had,
But I also hadn’t marched or played or performed any worse.

In fact, I had done just as well as every day I had practiced.

I thought about that for a while.
If I had practiced with more intensity, I would have performed that way.
If I had given 110% every day on the practice field,
That’s what I would have left behind on the performance field.

I guess that’s why the saying goes
“Slay a dragon every day.”
We each get the same amount of time,
If we spend it fighting metaphorical orcs or goblins,
We may get something out of it.

But if we slay a dragon every day,
Or at least mount the hill to fight one,
We’re living up to all that we could be,
And not settling for less than giving
110% every day.

Gratitude Day 7: My Redeemer

I wanted to finish this week by talking about one thing I’m especially grateful for. Though I may not always remember to thank Him for it, truly everything I have is from God. I want to focus on one aspect of that, and #GiveThanks for my Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, and all that He has done for me.

I thought a very applicable passage to use in a poem on expressing gratitude to the Savior is Micah 6:6-8, one of my favorite Old Testament passages.

My Redeemer

How can I thank the Man,
Who, stooping with my heavy cross,
Ascended to the hill
Where He died?

How can I thank the Man
Who suffered every pain I know,
Every broken bone, every wounded heart,
All my hurt inside?

How can I thank the Man
Who lived to teach me how to live,
Setting an example, often lonely,
So I could have a stalwart guide?

How can I thank the Man
Who drunk the bitterest of cups,
Who has mourned when I have wept,
And comforted when I’ve cried.

How can I thank the Man?
Ten thousand rams are not enough,
Nor ten thousand rivers of oil,
However deep, however wide.

How can I thank the Man?
I’ll do justly, I’ll love mercy,
I’ll walk humbly with Him,
And forever with Him abide.

Gratitude Day 6: The Scriptures

I apologize for not posting this yesterday, I had a rough night:

One thing that has consistently been a source of strength and light in my life is the scriptures. If I turn to them with a willing and open heart, I am very often able to receive answers to the questions I have, even if they may not be the answers I want. I want to #GiveThanks for the scriptures.

Scriptures

Whatever you are feeling,
Whatever’s in your heart,
Someone else has felt it too,
And recorded it, in part.

Have you ever just felt lonely?
Moroni knows how that is.
His family dead, his life in danger,
You can read how he lived.

And what about discouraged?
Alma and Amulek have this addressed:
Read of how they carried on
When in prison, with seemingly no success.

When you feel like everyone’s against you,
Nephi’s got your back.
His brothers murmured and even beat him,
But read how his kindness never lacked.

And any feeling you’ve ever felt
Has been felt by our Savior, dear.
Read how He died so you can live,
When you need Him, He’ll be near.

These heroes of the pages
Really lived, and really felt
The emotions that I’ve gone through,
I can read, and look to them for help.

Gratitude Day 5: The Plan of Salvation

One of my favorite verses in the Book of Mormon, as well as one we are studying this week for Come Follow Me, is Ether 12:4. In that verse, Moroni teaches that “whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.” In short, our faith in God leads us to hope for and seek something better, His plan is for us to become like and return to Him. I want to #GiveThanks for the Plan of Salvation and it’s impact on my life.

This poem is kind of based off of one of my favorite poems, Choose Something Like a Star, by Robert Frost; and one of my favorite quotes, which I first heard from President Thomas S. Monson, in his devotional Decisions Determine Destiny: “Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them with your hands. But . . . you choose them as your guides, and following them you will reach your destiny.”

The Plan of Salvation

I walk along life’s paths,
with many blind corners,
many unknowns ahead,
and few road signs —
I often get lost.

The only things constant are
the world changing around me,
and the ever unchanging stars.

Some travelers I’ve met on my journey
have told me that the stars should be guides —
“You can’t walk far enough to reach them,
but they’ll always lead you true.”

Others say — “Stars are useless,
all that matters is the path.”
Though if you don’t know where you’re going,
there are so many paths to take,
and I don’t know where to go.

I try to follow the stars.
They remind me that, in the chaos of the universe,
something is eternally true,
eternally pointing
to a final destination
where God knows I belong.