Sunday, October 14, 2018

WHAT MORE COULD I HAVE DONE

[Chorus]

Come let us all who labor
In the vineyard of God's Son
Think on the words our master sued,
"What more could I have done?"

[Verse 1]

Behold, our Lord and Master
Of his house of Israel
Would liken to an olive tree
That is tame and rich and well.

And in his vineyard planted there
This tree of olive wood
To bear the sweetest fruits of truth
In a spot that's choice and good

[Chorus]

[Verse 2]

Each day the servant labored long
With the love his master sent;
The branches pruned and dug about,
To the roots gave nourishment.

Yet, as the Olive Tree bore fruit
It grieved the master sore
For he looked upon the harvest fruits,
Half were good, and half were poor.

[Chorus]

[Verse 3]

O tree of Israel's labors
Why could you not withstand
The loftiness that faileth,
The pride of mortal man?

Thy branches reached for riches
Thy trunk grew thick with pride
O Israel, young and tender
Decaying from inside.

[Chorus]

Come let us all who labor
In the vineyard of God's Son
Think on the words our master sued,
"What more could I have done?"

[Verse 4]

O Wake ye servant, nourish strong
The branches grafted in
Entwine them all together
That they grow and thrive as one

Preserve the roots of Priesthood power
Through obedience to thy Lord.
O, heed the Spirit's whispering call,
And live His every word.

[Chorus]

Come let us all who labor
In the vineyard of God's Son
Think on the words our master sued,
"What more could I have done?"


Note: this hymn is sung to a slightly modified If You Could His To Kolob, where the first 4 stanzas are repeated. The last 4 stanzas of the original song serve as the chorus for this hymn.

Tom Christensen, a good friend of mine and a spiritual mentor to me help provide the inspiration for this hymn/poem. The reference comes from Jacob 5 in the Book of Mormon. Jacob wished to write the words of Zenos regarding his allegory of the Olive Tree. The Olive Tree referred to the house of Israel. It was once planted as a tender tree in good soil, but soon waxed old and decayed. The Master of the vineyard desired to preserve the tree and it's roots. Through much labor and great pains this was accomplished, but only be casting most of it into the fires and grafting in wild branches.

During all of these trials in the vineyard the Master repeatedly asks his servant, "What could I have done more for my vineyard?"

When reflecting upon the Master's words, Tom said they haunted him. What more could he do if he were to try to emulate the path the Savior walked. I told him that the Lord does not ask this of us. This question is upon himself. In all that we do wrong in this world God continues to want to do more to make things better. He loves us so immensely that he will fight for us, struggle for us, and cross the darkest chasm to save us from our errors. He will never give up on us. Let us never give on him.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

RUDYARD KIPLING'S IF



If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too.
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:


If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster,
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make a heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And—which is more—you'll be a Man, my son!


What a great poem from Rudyard Kipling! This poem was written in a paternal tone towards Kipling's son, John.

Monday, October 8, 2018

THE LORD THY GOD FIGHTS FOR YOUR SOUL


The Lord thy God fights for your Soul
Who so desires to make you whole
To take you from this world of pain
And in His kingdom rule and reign.

Do not give way, give up, give in
To those temptations brought through sin;
For there's another here below
Who'll drag you down to depths of woe.

He hates that you're a child of God
So hold fast child that iron rod.
His strength and wit cannot surpass
The grip you pledge, so just hold fast.

God is with you do not despair.
He'll make the cross seem light to bear.
First, pray to Him that this may be;
He stands prepared, and gives freely;

His gift of peace, a treasured trove,
Can wrap you in his arms of love.
Now rise up child from knees prepared
To spread this gift which he has shared.

And take in hand His shield of Hope,
To give you strength that you may cope,
And fend against the fiery darts
So you may heal your broken hearts.




I wrote this poem for a talk I gave in September 2018. I had been working on the poem the first time I gave this talk several years ago. Yet, I did not have it finished. The meter was wrong back then. I fixed the meter and made it flow better with better language.

I have passed through my own trials that have strained me as a person. In many instances I wanted to give way, give up and give in. But I didn't. And, I am so glad that I did not. God is real. He is aware of us all. He is aware of you. You possess greatness and can overcome all things that you experience in this life. Here is the final excerpt taken from that talk:

"YOU are the greatest gift that God above all else. Think about everything that He has risked and sacrificed so that you can be on this Earth at this very time. Share THAT gift with others. Share of yourself! This is the single greatest thing you can do for our Heavenly Father is to make his gift\, which is you\, touch as many\, and as deeply as it possibly can. Remember though, just because you are in the service of God does not mean that you will do things perfectly. He expects that. He desires that his work is done as such, 'But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;' '..by small and simple things are great things brought to pass' "

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