“It has been said that poets stand next to the prophets in their ability to lift us up.” -Sterling W Sill Former Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
I love poetry. I love reading poetry and I have felt the spirit multiple occasions as I have endeavored to capture my own feelings and thoughts by writing my own poems.
As I’ve listened to and read multiple General Conference talks, I’ve realized that I am not alone in this. It’s very clear that many prophets and apostles find truth and inspiration from poetry. While there have probably been hundreds of poems shared in general conferences over the years, here are five poems I found particularly life changing.
1. The Bridge Builder by Will Allen Dromgoole
Shared by President Thomas S. Monson in his talk, “The Bridge Builder” back in 2003, President Monson had this to say about his interpretation of this poem,
“The message of the poem has prompted my thinking and comforted my soul, for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, was the supreme architect and builder of bridges for you, for me, for all mankind. He has built the bridges over which we must cross if we are to reach our heavenly home.”
2. It Will Show In Your Face
Shared by Elaine S Dalton in her talk, “It Shows in Your Face” in April 2006, this poem was often said to her by her grandfather. It is a great reminder for all of us on how we should strive to live.
3.” The Quality of Mercy” By William Shakespeare (taken from his play, the Merchant of Venice)
I have to admit I am a big Shakespeare fan, so I was really excited when I came across this piece shared by President Gordon B Hinckley in his talk, “Blessed Are the Merciful” (1990). While not technically a stand alone poem, it’s still an amazing piece of verse.
4. Man-Making By Edwin Dalton
President Boyd K Packer has used poetry many different times to support his conference addresses. This is just one I found particularly poignant. This poem was shared in April of 2000 in his talk “Cloven Tongues of Fire”
5. Good Timber by Douglas Malloch
Of course I had to include this one! I remember after President Thomas S Monson shared this poem in his talk “I Will Not Fail Thee, nor Forsake Thee” (given just last general conference) my Facebook feed filled with quotes from this piece.
Overall poetry is a powerful tool that can teach us eternal truths. What are some of your favorite poems?
About the Author:
You’ve probably seen a lot of great LDS painters, singers, and musicians. But what about LDS poets?
Alex Barlow is embarking to uplift others by sharing one LDS poem a day. . Click here to see some of his work (and get a free eBook of his poems!)