As an English major, I have been exposed to all kinds of poetry. Some poems I have read are absolutely beautiful, yet some just leave me feeling downright confused with a capital “C.” But one of my favorite things to do is include a poem in my church talk or Sunday School lesson—not only can it help promote a thought-provoking discussion, but it also takes up around five minutes depending on the length of the poem. I mean…what? I’m not stalling…
“After All We Can Do” by Robbie Pierce
Missionary work, the Atonement, trials—take your pick. This poem can be applied to many different parts of the gospel.
“So do not lose faith; there is reason to hope:
Just climb up your ladder; he’ll throw down his rope.”
“The Soul’s Captain” by Orson F. Whitney
This poem was written as a reply to William Ernest Henley’s poem “Invictus.” Whitney contradicts Henley’s words and emphasizes the important role that the Savior plays in our lives.
“Men are as bubbles on the wave,
As leaves upon the tree,
Thou, captain of thy soul! Forsooth,
Who gave that place to thee?”
“The Race” attributed to D.H. Groberg
Our lives will be full of trials that seem to keep us from “winning” the race. All we have to do is endure to the end, no matter how many failures we experience before then.
“For all of life is like that race, with ups and downs and all.
And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.”
“Washed Clean” by Boyd K. Packer
Christ’s miracles do not stop at simply healing ten lepers. He atoned for the sins of every person who had lived, was living, and would live. His sacrifice allows us to be completely “washed clean.”
“The day He made ten lepers whole,
The day He made them clean,
Well symbolized His ministry
And what His life would mean.”
“The Ambulance Down in the Valley” by Joseph Malins
Rather than trying to fix a mistake after it has been made, wouldn’t it be so much easier to prevent that mistake in the first place?
“Better guide well the young than reclaim them when old,
For the voice of true wisdom is calling.
‘To rescue the fallen is good, but ’tis best
To prevent other people from falling.'”
“All the Water in the World” by unknown
We are constantly assailed by the destructive influence of the adversary. But no matter how hard he tries, he cannot affect our faith unless we choose to let him in.
“All the water in the world,
However hard it tried,
Could never sink the smallest ship
Unless it [gets] inside.”
“The Touch of the Master’s Hand” by Myra Brooks Welch
No matter how battered and scarred we think we are, the Savior is always available to show us our worth.
“The people cheered, but some of them cried,
‘We do not quite understand.
What changed its worth?’ Swift came the reply:
‘The touch of the Master’s hand.'”
“Good Timber” by Douglas Malloch
Just as daily exercise strengthens the muscles of the body, trials present the opportunity to strengthen our faith. If we never had to struggle, we would never have the chance to grow.
“Good timber does not grow with ease:
The stronger wind, the stronger trees;
The further sky, the greater length;
The more the storm, the more the strength.”
“Man-Making” by Edwin Markham
Do we allow our life experiences to help us to grow and become the people we were meant to be?
“We all are blind until we see
That in the human plan
Nothing is worth the making if
It does not make the man.”