Poem: How Many Times, Dear Brother?

by Joseph

How many times, dear brother?
Have I heard you utter the plea:
“If I didn’t have the Atonement,
“I don’t know where I’d be.”

“Maybe in a half-way house,”
You’d speculate with grief,
“And crack-cocaine addicted,
“Feeding habits as a thief.

“I might have my own problems,
“I struggle with self as the norm,
“But I’m blessed to keep that private,
“Within my own house, I stay warm.”

Woe unto you, dear brother—
in you lies a great sin;
If you didn’t have the Atonement,
You’d be in the same place you are in.

Most people, without the Atonement,
live very normal lives,
they go to churches, every sect;
each comfortably survives.

There are those who, however,
Are taught the higher laws,
Which knowledge in them causes
A highlight of their flaws.

God says to them: “Come to me,
“I’ll make thine weakness strength;
“I’ll make those who offer sacrifice
“True saints in width and length.”

Then Israel stares fastly at
The mountain to be climbed,
And saints, so called—like you, dear brother,
Reply, “No thanks; I’m fine.”

You’ve heard how, in the desert,
Israel lusted after bread;
“I’ve weakness too, I should repent.
“But now it’s time for bed.”

You heard how that The Lord
Invited all to Sinai;
“I wish the Lord would speak with me,”
But the TV tires your eye.

An internet ad inquires,
“Know thou the word of The Lord?”
You scroll past it lightly,
“I have more than time can afford!”

Then you mark off on your checklist:
“Trust in the arm of God;”
And say, as you open your paycheck:
“The winepress I have trod.”

“There’s barely time to consider
“On the lilies of the field;
“There’s work, and school—the list goes on!
“But don’t worry; I was sealed.”

How many times, dear brother?
Have I heard you utter the plea:
“If I didn’t have the Atonement,
“I don’t know where I’d be.”

Leading a good life, I’m sure,
Flirting old, recurring sin;
Yes, prospering in Babylon:
You’d be in the same place you are in.

iron

“Doing the minimum of what the Lord asks of us won’t be enough. Hoping that we will have the Atonement work in our lives and that we will perhaps sometimes feel the influence of the Holy Ghost won’t be enough. And one great burst of effort won’t be enough.”
Henry B. Eyring

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