Growing Doubt

Sep 18, 15 Growing Doubt

Posted by in Faith Crisis, Featured, Poetry, Truth

I was once told. . . 2002 by Jonathan G. Cannon I was once told there’s danger in a question— Faith and doubt cannot live in one mind, And doubt leads men to shun the truth and fight Their God—so I was told. I also learned Truth shines eternal in the Son, and that is All the light we need—straight from the source— But I’ve seen mortal eyes fixed on the sun Now following his brightness filtered through Closed eyelids, doing good and seeing the world As this light tells them it must look. Then when Night comes they work to morning, filling their call And telling those who stand in darkness what The sun is like—the joys of fixing on his light. They have forgotten that the child of night Is not the child of darkness. There is truth At night. The moon and wandering stars reflect That same sun closed eyes preach, but no closed eyes Will find these lights; and stars we cannot see Give still more light than the sun that leads the blind. I was told I’d built a tower to see the heavens, And the Lord would cast it down and show The foolishness of men. Maybe it is so, But truth is good and light, and I will love...

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Leaving Eden

About a year ago I began my quest to better know Heavenly Mother. Frankly, I haven’t made it very far, but I have thought a lot more about Her, and I have thought more about mother Eve. Today I want to honor two women. I don’t know much about either, but I believe they have both played key roles in uplifting all humanity. I begin with my losing poem submission for the A Mother Here art and poetry contest, and then share my musings on the Eve of history. Note: The featured image is titled “Heavenly Mother and the Tree of Life” by Mark Jarman and can be found in this gallery. (1/14/2015 Edit: because someone was interested, the artist has provided an email address where prints can be requested. See the comments for his contact information.) Heavenly Mother Mother’s Voice Before I was, I heard you call: Come be My son. There is no safety here, no sameness, no return, But I will teach you freedom. Mother, I listened. I came. I’m listening. I’m coming. I heard—I hear your voice— Love and be Free. . . I followed others who had gathered round   Into your presence, learning at your feet.   I came too late to hear my brother speak— Great Abraham above the hallowed ground— Today we are engaged in a great war,   That all who dwell on earth Gods’ joy will prove.   That this world, under God, shall have new love— A birth of freedom greater than before. Though lives had passed, You thought that I should keep   The words he spoke—Our Parents brought forth our     New World, conceived in Liberty. This World     From its conception dedicated toward   This proposition—all Gods’ children are Created equal, born for freedom. Free. Mother Eve I think I’ve long subconsciously understood that symbolism, allegory, and parable have always been significant in how we are taught and learn the Gospel of Christ, but part of me continues to...

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A Wednesday Sermon

Nov 05, 14 A Wednesday Sermon

Posted by in Featured, Forgiveness, Humanity, Poetry

My thoughts wander as the congregation weaves in between the gaps among the aisles of the chapel. These days, I long for a sermon that spoke to the multifaceted nature of God and the nature that lies within me. The messages of mercy and forgiveness leave me for a want that the words have yet to satisfy. I say, when I am to forget my brother cursed the ground then called upon me to produce a bountiful harvest, what is mercy and forgiveness to a people who ask for justice? The days prior to our service were filled with the intermingling of scripture and the sight of the most strangest of fruits in flowering dogwood trees. These are the oldest of wounds. Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. A sort of damnation is revealed when what America is converges with what America thought it was. If that place is anywhere on earth, Ferguson is burning, indeed. Louder I say, when the hands of a nation are soiled but it is my presence that brings revulsion, what is mercy and forgiveness to a people asking for justice? “Mercy and forgiveness, calm the waters of the want and need for justice!” Who proclaims these things but those who don’t see themselves hanging in those trees? Ever louder, I say: Show me mercy unlike my country. Learned me forgiveness so I may not do onto my brother and sister as they have done onto me. Then try to quell the ushering of justice, for when we recognize our own sins, a healing begins....

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Jobology 101: Prose and Poetry in the King James Bible

Sep 24, 14 Jobology 101: Prose and Poetry in the King James Bible

Posted by in Featured, Old Testament, Poetry

For the last eighteen months or so, I have been a semi-professional Jobologist. In researching for my book, Re-reading Job: Understanding the Ancient World’s Greatest Poem, I read the Book of Job many times in a dozen or so different translations. I also read a good-sized shelf full of commentary and derivative Jobanalia. And I am fully aware that I have only scratched the surface of this great work. I have been asked several times during speaking engagements what I would consider the single most important thing that I learned while writing the book. And actually, this isn’t even a hard question, as I learned one thing that has completely transformed the way that I understand the Bible. Here it is: biblical texts often change between different registers, styles, and genres in ways that the readers are supposed to notice. This realization, for me at least, has been huge. Job is perhaps the most famous example of this phenomenon. The first two chapters and the last half of the last chapter are written in simple, straightforward prose paragraphs that tell a happy and uplifting story. Here is an example from Job 2:8-10, taken (for reasons that I hope will become clear) from the Jewish Publication Society’s Tanakh translation of the Bible: He took a potsherd to scratch himself as he sat in ashes. His wife said to him, “You still keep your integrity! Blaspheme God and die!” But he said to her, “You talk as any shameless woman might talk! Should we accept only good from God and not accept evil?” For all that, Job said nothing sinful. This is the story of Job that most people know. The inspiring, not-terribly-complicated story of a righteous man who holds fast to his faith in the face of adversity and is ultimately rewarded for his patience. But this version of Job disappears in Chapter 3 and does not resurface again until the very end of the book. Just a few lines after he rebukes his wife for...

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Living Scriptures

I went west seeking God. I wanted to knock at the door and made it known that I am seeking the greater light. A burning in my heart was the Spirit’s testimony that what I was doing was right for me. In a sea of people, and under a storm of hail and insults I walked. Singing my song unto the Lord, I waited. I approached the gatekeeper and petitioned humanity for the errand of a deity. I received an un-Christ-like answer in a Christ-like way. My mission was completed, and not a twinge of regret filled my heart and soul. I went seeking God. I found Him in the tear-stained faces of my...

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The One

If you’re so unhappy, why stay? they shouted, why not leave? You are alone. Things do not change here ever. Why do you wander? they shouted, pride or sin? You are the one to blame. We follow. We know what’s right. The One loved the ninety and nine and left, searching among the shouts, to find the...

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To Be A Prophetess

Apr 02, 14 To Be A Prophetess

Posted by in Featured, Poetry

To Be A Prophetess God called you by a blessed name, Prophetess Then wove Heaven into the palms of your hands. As we floated down the river Nile It was our lives you watched over Our victories you prophesied and imagined into song But, Prophetess, there will be those who despise you; the wrathful, the envious Who crave to tear your holy linens from you For your voice will rise as thunder amongst whispers of doubt and disbelief and your flesh they will deem unworthy of your divine name But they will not make kindling of your triumph, no. For what is a grain of salt to a blaze? They will curse, they will agonize, they will celebrate, they will praise They will speak of everything but you Until your life is a hymn no more. Tell me, if miracles leave my lips, will they forget me...

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Hoping For A Wise Star

Some of us celebrate Christmas with surety about the truth of the Savior’s birth. Some of us feel lonely, isolated from the apparent joy that seems to come so easily to those who testify of what they know. Some of us are surrounded by loved ones, embraced at family gatherings, welcomed with open arms by neighbors at ward or branch Christmas dinners. Others of us feel the sting of disillusionment and sorrow amidst a crisis of faith (or any number of marginalizing burdens) most acutely during the holidays. We’re not sure where we belong or if we’re welcome at all. Some of us are clear about the path we have chosen. Others of us find ourselves slogging along what seems like a muddy road to enlightenment. Where ever we are, we keep looking, keep pressing on toward the thing or things that speak truth to our souls and bring us peace. I’m looking for words to express something that moves me deeply, but about which I have been unable to write. So, I wrote about that – about the journey to find the words, a journey to enlightenment. May we all find what we seek. That is my hope for you, dear reader, this Christmas season and always. At very least, may you find your star.    Waiting for Words   I listen to the song in my head about a manger, wonder how to write the Only Story. I wander through holy lands in my heart, patient pen cradled between fingers, descend beside a stream of tears into the silent night. Lambs bleating on hillsides disappear when I turn to look, their keepers gone with them. Men from the East move together toward redemption, their tale told in beams of moonlight, while I walk ancient roads, wordless, alone, watch dust blow away toward Bethlehem. Still, still in the long dark I hear a lullaby, lift my eyes, hoping for a wise star. . Melody Newey © 2013...

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Sacred Circles

Oct 15, 13 Sacred Circles

Posted by in Featured, Feminism, Poetry

SACRED CIRCLES By Cami Alex Thurman Ashby There I was, a young Beehive, bubbling with excitement… it was my first Girl’s Camp in Young Womens! A taste of Sisterhood, seasoned with laughter, skits, music and love; Always to be enjoyed with a side of scary camp-fire tales, moments of journal writing and scripture studies under a tree. I must mention lest we forget mosquito bites, unwanted periods, trying to find bathrooms in the dark, trying to USE bathrooms in the dark, wardrobe malfunctions when swimming, talking about the boys back home, sharing testimonies, singing hymns, listening to talks and sharing testimonies again… and again. Not really knowing for sure what was true but knowing that the tears in my eyes were created by this Circle, this Sacred Circle of Sisterhood. This Circle that allowed for us to have fun, make mistakes, share our secrets and to see each other as we really were, as we really are.. Divine Women in the making. I ached for that circle all year long, every year of my Young Womanhood. All the petty bickering, silly squabbles, the broken-up BFF’s, the judgments and comparisons… I knew they would be forsaken once camp came again; Once we were thrown together, having to work as one in order to eat decent food, have semi-workable showers, put on a skit, put up our tents, check off all our qualifications, and learn the camp theme song for the year. Once we started each morning with a collective prayer and ended each night, holding hands and bowing heads, we’d remember this Sacred Circle and we’d get it right, at least for a while, when we got back home. How I longed to share this with MY daughters someday. Maybe I could be a camp director or bring the meals or help check off qualifications or something…anything. And if I didn’t go with her, I would see her come home, all aglow with a fresh renewal of relationships with her sisters, with her Self ….with...

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Broken Things

Oct 14, 13 Broken Things

Posted by in Disability, Faith Crisis, Featured, Poetry

Guest Post by Heather Duncan Note from Melody: My dear friend and poet, Heather, penned this beautiful verse many years ago. One of the recent general conference talks captured similar imagery, suggesting that being broken is a natural state for mortality. It is a holy condition, a blessed condition. God often dwells there–in our broken places. Thanks to Heather for this gentle reminder.     God Loves Broken Things   Like clouds that break to quench the earth and earth that breaks for grain to grow, God loves the broken things of earth.   The hands that do the kneading know good flour is made from broken grain and earth must break for grain to grow.   There’s good in sorrow, grace in pain— like supper graced by broken bread. Good lives are made from broken grain,   and we are just as richly fed by shattered life and broken heart as supper graced by broken bread.   When we are broken, torn apart he reaches out to make us whole— each shattered life, each broken heart.   He weeps beside each grieving soul like clouds that break to quench the earth. His hands reach out to make us whole. God loves the broken things of earth.     Heather Holland Duncan lives in Provo, Utah with five spirited children and an intensely affectionate golden retriever. She is a student at UVU, studying English literature, anthropology, and creative writing. Her chapbook, Mastering the Art of Joy, was published in 2011 as winner of the Edna Meudt Memorial Award. Her poems and essays have also appeared in The Found Poetry Review, Pulitzer Remix, Segullah, and Encore. Some of her favorite things are yoga, running, raspberries, trees, birds, and...

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