The Poetic Corner: Another Ship That Sinks

Another Ship That Sinks

as days go by, it seems to me

that life’s no more a mystery than how we breathe

or why we see the rising of the sun

what’s simple and what’s beautiful

is waking up without a thought of self

but to help someone

 

i haven’t always been the best

of making the day worth it when i rest

my head

i think instead too much

of my own fears

returning years of chaos to my thoughts

 

my plans that span across the week

the good i’ll do, the way i’ll think

they end up as a ship that sinks

forever lost under the deep

and while i drown in ocean blue

wondering what i must do

thinking that i can’t be saved

i am no good, i’m just a slave to sin

within myself

 

i lift my gaze, see through my tears

from where i kneel there’s something near

a picture frame rests there for me

and suddenly it’s all so clear

my plans, my hopes, my thoughts, my dreams

in all these ways i missed one thing

the Savior of the world, my King

 

without Him i can only fall

though i think i try so hard

but i left him far behind

and this is why…

 

Jesus, You are everything

Savior, Friend, my only King

without You I can do nothing

I’m just another ship that sinks

 

Jesus, You are everything

the Light, the Life, the air i breathe

without You I can do nothing

I’m just another ship that sinks

 

Jesus, You are everything

the only way i’ll be happy

without Your grace I am nothing

I’m just another ship that sinks

The Poetic Corner: The Man on the Bench

The Man on the Bench

 

i sat down on a bench the other day
too tired to stand anymore
life it seemed had lost the dream
and i was losing my count of the score

then a man walking by sat next to me
and said “you look like a sight for sore eyes.”
i said “i’m sure I do and to tell the truth
i’m a bigger mess inside.”

he shook his head and smiled and told me “life is no big deal.
it’s the little things that count and build the love and hope we feel.”
i said “i haven’t any hope left and my love is thin as air.
so save your breath and take the rest of this to someone who cares.”

he just stared and said

“oh, faithless child, how often would i have helped you,
but you were busy with anything apart from the truth.
so many witnesses have shown you why you came to this Earth.
just take a notice and you’ll see what your life’s really worth.
it has worth.”

i blinked and took a breath hoping to block out what he said
but the words he spoke kept ringing notes familiar in my head
i said “i don’t know who you are but what makes you think you can change
the story of my life with just a simple word or phrase?”

he looked amazed and said

“oh, faithless child, how often would i have helped you.
i’ve been calling but the times that you’ve listened were few.
all the moments you had thought you were left to yourself,
i was holding you but you were too numb to have felt.”

my heart swelled as i closed my eyes to try and stop the tears
before me fell my life and all the wasted years
regret stung my heart
as i turned to face this Man
only to find he wasn’t near

with a bit of swallowed pride i stood up straight and realized
a newfound strength had just replaced the emptiness inside
silently i thanked the Man for giving me that day
to live my life
to be alive
to give up sight and walk by faith
to walk by faith

 

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! (Matthew 23:37)

From this verse, we can make a simple analogy. How often do we ignore the voice of the Good Shepherd? How often do we not hearken to the counsel of His prophets and His word in the Bible and the Book of Mormon? When life finds us in a bind, and we feel like we are far from the Savior, who do you think has moved? Certainly not Christ. His arms are always outstretched, ready to receive all who will come unto Him. As He says here, He is always willing to gather us as a hen gathers its chickens.

He is constantly supporting us from one moment to the next. In the Book of Mormon, a wise ruler named King Benjamin stated,

I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants. (Mosiah 2:21)

We live and do according to our will because Christ is our support. Even when we feel abandoned by everyone and everything, His light and life is still within us, keeping us alive and giving us breath. He is never gone, but sometimes we have been removed too far or become too numb to see the brightness and feel the warmth of His light.

Let’s shake off the numbness and draw closer to our Savior. I know He is ready to receive anyone and everyone, so long as we come unto Him with full purpose of heart, willing to obey Him and His gospel. Christ lives and loves us. No trial is too great for His power, and no darkness is too thick for His light to disperse. This is my testimony.

 

The Poetic Corner: Give the Burden to Me

I haven’t posted any of my poems recently. I think I’ll start trying to do that more. Here’s one I wrote recently.

Give the Burden to Me

I know you are crying
though no one sees your tears
I know you are trying
though no one thinks you care
let My love set you free
give the burden to Me
give the burden to Me

I know you are hurting
though no one sees your pain
I know you are searching
though no one sees you pray
let My strength help you breathe
give the burden to Me

’cause I love you
I died to let you live
and I know you
I live to lift you up

so quit dragging your feet
have faith for tomorrow
there’s no need
to waste life in sorrow
you can see
i’ve lifted the weight from your back
so you could stand up straight

’cause I love you
I died to let you live
and I know you
I live to lift you up

because I know your shame
they spit in My face
and though your hands may ache
Mine are engraved
so don’t you think that I don’t know your pain
I bled every pore for your sake

’cause I descended below you and all things
so I could lift you and place your pains on Me
so give the burden to Me
give the burden to Me

 

Though the world does not see and usually doesn’t care about our problems, the Savior does. Though our family and friends may not notice our problems, our Savior does. Jesus Christ understands us. From the everyday struggles to the seemingly impossible trials, He knows them all. He suffered for it all, and He wants us to give Him those burdens so we can stand up and face the world.

He didn’t die so we could sit in a dark corner and feel sorry for ourselves. He did die for us, but then He rose from the dead with a perfected and glorified body. He lives so we can do the same. He lifts and gives us strength to conquer our trials.

Christ invites us to take His yoke upon us. We must do our part and pull what weight we can, but whatever we cannot pull, He will. He will carry the rest for us. So allow Christ to strengthen you. Give the burdens to Him.

 

Our Father

Let me ask you a question. Do you believe God is your Father? I’m not talking metaphorically here. I’m not asking if God is a father figure, because of course He is. I’m being literal. Do you believe you are a literal child of God, that God is literally the father of your spirit? Your answer can change the entire meaning and nature of your relationship with God.

My companion and I met a man a couple days ago that did not believe he was a child of God, or anyone was, for that matter. Instead, he said, in essence, that we are just creations of God, created for the purpose of worshiping and giving glory to our Creator. Of course, giving glory to God is part of what we do, but it is certainly not the sole reason for our existence! How vain and arrogant such a God would be. I certainly would not want to worship such a being, or even believe in it.

The God I worship is no such person. He is not prideful, vain, egotistical, or selfish. Such are the characteristics of mankind, not the Almighty.The God I worship is a God of love, kindness, selflessness, and mercy. The God I worship is my Father, my ultimate Father, and the Father of my spirit.

Hebrews chapter 12 verse 9 says,

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

Acts 17:28 and 29 states,

For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.

In John 20:17, Jesus says to Mary,

Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

I know that we are children of God. He is indeed our Father. Without this relationship there is no relationship. How do I know? The scriptures testify of it and the Spirit bears witness to me that it is true. I can’t imagine going through life without believing God is our literal father. Such doctrine is empty. Truth is light. It enlightens, empowers, comforts, strengthens, and helps us to endure. God is not our Father? There is no enlightenment or empowering strength with such a thought. None whatsoever.

But there is strength and comfort when we understand that God really is our Father, literally. When no one else is around, we can always count on three people to be with us and stand by us: Our Father in Heaven, our eldest brother Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost.

The Poetic Corner: Rain and Perspective

So… I like writing poetry. I don’t claim to really be any good, but I enjoy it nonetheless. I started writing poetry when I was about 17. It was mostly out of boredom. Plus, I like art and I like creative writing. Poetry is sort of like mixing the two together, and it fulfills my need for both of those things in an easy, convenient way.

I wrote this… let’s see… sometime in the beginning of my senior year of high school. I was sitting in class, paying more attention to the rain outside than to the teacher. Here’s what I wrote.

Rain

rain, rain
come to stay
i need you here another day
your ever-presence soothes my waking soul
i’ve never felt so worry-free
when you show up and comfort me
these tears of joy so make my person whole

rain, rain
touch my face
the sweetest voice, this rhythmic pace
our hands embraced in love i hope is true
and when this cloudy storm is gone
your touch forever lingers on
to fill my heart with memories of you

So, if you’ve read the “About Elder Wilkins” section on the home page, you’ll know that I grew up in Wisconsin, south-eastern Wisconsin, to be a little more specific. The weather there is rather mild and often cloudy and rainy. While it doesn’t quite match up to the rainfall you might find in the pacific north-west, it still rains quite a bit.

I grew up with rain. I love rain and cloudy, stormy weather. A lot people don’t. Stereotypically, clouds and rain are known as “bad” weather. To me, however, it’s wonderful. And it’s really nothing more than a matter of perspective. Someone may hate the rain because they don’t like getting wet, because it ruins their outdoor activities, or because they don’t like the dark clouds.

I don’t mind getting wet. I like looking at the dark clouds. I love the sound of rain and the way it looks when it falls from the sky.

Life is all about perspective. We must choose how to look at what it throws at us. We can see the rain and think that it has done nothing more than ruin the day, or we can choose to see how it may add to the day and make it more beautiful.

How do you see the rain?

We are the children of God.

Romans 8:16

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.

It is a blessing for me to know that I am a child of God. Understanding this divine relationship with our Creator is key to receiving His strength and being comforted by His love. God is indeed our literal Father. Just as we have parents on the Earth, He is the Father of our Spirits. He loves and cares for us just as a nurturing parent watches over a child.

When we pray, we are not sending out hopes and wishes to some indifferent being that may or may not talk back. When we pray, we are talking one on one with our Father. He listens and He cares, and I know that He answers our prayers and wants to bless us.

Matthew 7: 7-11

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

We are imperfect beings, often prone to selfishness and envy, yet we know how to give good gifts. Our Father in Heaven is perfect in every way. His love for us is perfect. If we can give good gifts, surely He will bless us in ways we can’t even imagine. I know this to be true. I know that our Heavenly Father loves each of us more than we can even think to comprehend. Having this understanding has been a great comfort and a great strength to me throughout my life. I know that when I kneel down to pray, my Father in Heaven is listening with the intentions and concerns of a loving parent.

If you are feeling distanced from God, remember that He is your Father and wants nothing more than to pour down blessings upon you. We simply need to show our faith and love for Him, submitting ourselves humbly to Him as a child. I can promise anyone who is reading this that they can know of God’s love for them through sincere, faithful prayer. He is our Father. Tell Him you love Him. You will be blessed with strength and peace.

“I give unto men weakness…”

We all have our trials, our challenges, and our weaknesses. Weakness is an inevitable part of life, and many wonder why we have them. If God loves us so much, why does He allow us to suffer from tribulation? Why does he allow us to be tempted?

The prophet Moroni had weakness. Strong as he was at speaking, he had absolutely no confidence in his abilities to write impressively:

Ether 12

23And I said unto him: Lord, the Gentiles will mock at these things, because of our weakness in writing; for Lord thou has made us mighty in word by faith, but thou has not made us mighty in writing; for thou has made all this people that they could speak much, because of the Holy Ghost which thou has given them;

25 – Thou hast also made our words powerful and great, even that we cannot write them; wherefore, when we write we behold our weakness, and stumble because of the placing of our words; and I fear lest the Gentiles shall mock at our words.

Moroni, at least in his eyes, could not write well. He stumbled over words and how to place them, and was afraid that in the future others would read his words and laugh at them. The Lord gave him this counsel:

26 And when I had said this, the Lord spake unto me, saying: Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness;

27And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

Weakness plays a critical role in our lives. Having weakness brings us closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Through our trials we gain an understanding of our need for Them, and as we turn to Them for comfort and strength, our relationship with Them grows deeper. Our faith increases. Our testimonies becomes mightier. Our love for our Father in Heaven and our Savior Jesus Christ enlarges. And, as the Lord promises, our weaknesses evolve into strengths.

In fact, weakness is something we should embrace. A lesson we can learn from Paul:

2 Corinthians 12

9And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

10Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Paul understood the necessity of weakness, and how it can bring us closer to Christ. He recognized the strength one can receive when they humble themselves and use Christ’s Atonement to lift them up.

I know that through Christ, our weaknesses can be made into strengths. I know that we are given our weakness because God loves us and He wants us to grow. For how can we expect to become stronger if we allow ourselves to be swept away by the currents of tribulation? We must fight against them and look steadfastly to Christ to aid us during our times of trial and weakness.

I add my testimony to Paul’s and testify that God has given unto us weakness to bring us closer to Him and to the Lord Jesus Christ.