Mormon Monday: On Poetry

I recently found the  blog of a guy I knew when I lived in Provo attending BYU, Latter-day Poet.  His name is Alex Barlow and we met through mutual friends and various theatre projects we were both a part of.  Finding his blog made me think about poetry, especially LDS poetry.

I used to write a lot of poetry, back in high school I always had a notebook and wrote a lot of rhymes and phrases, working on poems.  I don’t know why, but for some reason I have not written much in recent years.  Reading Alex’s blog and his poetry I was impressed to share a few of my own.  I have always enjoyed writing about literature, I even wrote a series of Shakespearean sonnets about different Shakespearean characters.  I like to take passages of literature as inspiration, as a jumping off point for what I write.  So, I would like to share a few LDS-centric poems based off of various scriptural passages.

Suddenly, He Was There

At the moment when I needed him most,

When I almost sank in despair,

When thick darkness gathered about me,

Suddenly, He was there.

He didn’t appear before me,

Standing in a pillar of light,

I didn’t hear his voice aloud,

Echoing through the night,

He didn’t send his angels

With their trumps loud to declare,

But when I needed my Savior most,

Suddenly, He was there.

He’s there when I need him

He’s there when I don’t

He’s there when I ask for him

He’s there when I won’t

He’s there to grant blessings

To guide from above

He’s there to give comfort

He’s there to give Love.

15 After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.

16 But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction—not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being—just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.

17 It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!

Joseph Smith History 1: 15-20 – The First Vision

Rain upon the Mountains

Rain upon the mountains falls like tears from God above,

The God of heaven weeps for us, flooding us with his love,

But still I feel I’m drowning in a never-ending sea,

Will he that sent the waters ever come to rescue me?

Satan looks up from earth and laughs while the God of Heaven weeps,

He glories in captivity and the slavery he reaps,

But God looks down with sadness and he cries for every sore,

And for every tear that I have shed, He sheds a thousand more.

26 And he beheld Satan; and he had a great chain in his hand, and it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness; and he looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced.

 27 And Enoch beheld angels descending out of heaven, bearing testimony of the Father and Son; and the Holy Ghost fell on many, and they were caught up by the powers of heaven into Zion.

 28 And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon the residue of the people, and he wept; and Enoch bore record of it, saying: How is it that the heavens weep, and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains?

 29 And Enoch said unto the Lord: How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity?

 30 And were it possible that man could number the particles of the earth, yea, millions of earths like this, it would not be a beginning to the number of thy creations; and thy curtains are stretched out still; and yet thou art there, and thy bosom is there; and also thou art just; thou art merciful and kind forever;

 31 And thou hast taken Zion to thine own bosom, from all thy creations, from all eternity to all eternity; and naught but peace,justice, and truth is the habitation of thy throne; and mercy shall go before thy face and have no end; how is it thou canst weep?

 32 The Lord said unto Enoch: Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency;

 33 And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood;

Moses 7: 26-33 – Enoch’s vision

Lifted Up

How are thou fallen, fallen from grace?

Thou who hast known the Lord, and seen his face?

Knowest thou not the glory of God

Hast thou not held to his Iron Rod?

I cried unto the Lord in my need

And He in his mercy was there,

I cried from the depths of Hell to my God

And he rescued me from despair,

I cried to Him over my house and my field

And he thought it fit to bless,

I cried to him mightily, day and night

And he delivered me from distress.

“As I have come to be lifted up

That all men might know that I AM

So also will I lift you up”

Is the promise from the Son of Man.

He caused himself to be lifted up

He gave himself a ransom for sin

I, myself, can be lifted up

If I will but come to Him.

Lifted up and set apart

Called to serve the Lord,

Chosen to be a witness

Chosen to know his word

Called to know the Love of God

And set apart to teach

Lifted up like Christ, our King

And then sent forth to preach.

13 Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me.

 14 And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—

3 Nephi 27:13-14

I hope you enjoyed reading these poems as much as I have enjoyed writing them and sharing them.  It does feel good to share these poems with others, I feel almost as if these poems were given to me, not that I wrote them out of my own creativity.  Some of the words came too easily that I felt genuinely inspired.

Thank you.

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One thought on “Mormon Monday: On Poetry

  1. These are fantastic, I especially loved Rain upon the mountains. I’ve always loved those particular passages of scriptures because they do show how much God truly cares for us. Anyway, thanks for the mention and I’m glad you felt inspired to share these.

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