Thursday, November 30, 2006

A Fall Storm

The Brazos is a sullen mirror, a darkened glass reflecting Fall's penumbras. As I sit, accompanied only by the chattering of the rain against the window, mist rises from the river and rushes along with the current. I hardly notice the webs clinging to the edges of the window which the rain has failed to clean.

The family of turtles I saw a few days ago sunbathing on a log jutting from the shore isn't there today. Likely, they're huddled together in some hidden lair. But alone, I'm at peace, enjoying the storm properly---warm and reading.

Recently, a journal came out with a list of the most influential Americans of all time. I read Joseph Smith and Brigham Young were both listed.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I've noticed that since I posted my article about the Book of Mormon on Sunday that my blog has received several dozen hits. Perhaps my counter is acting up, or maybe the novelty of having access to an actual Mormon has stirred up interest. Anyway, I want you to know that I am open to questions about my Church. But know that I have no authority to speak on behalf of my Church. I can only share my feelings and insights.

Regardless, feel free to send a question through the comments links. If you don't want the comment posted, tell me, and I won't post it. If it's a question I know the answer to, I'll write a general response and post it on my main blog page.

And it also takes a lot for me to get offended; so even if you feel your question may be offensive to an average Mormon, you can ask me.

Regardless, I'll continue sharing my poetry, essays, and short stories with you all.


Friday, November 24, 2006

Pure Religion

Last night, I watched the news and was touched by the reports of several establishments throughout Central Texas which provided Thanksgiving dinner to the poor and needy. Is there a better definition of Christianity?

Jesus taught the people of ancient America, "Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up---that which ye have seen me do." (3 Nephi 18:24).

I am certain that if Jesus were among us today, His Thanksgiving holiday would've been spent lightening the burdens of those around Him. But He isn't here, so we must do what He has done and would do.

May God bless all those who spent their holiday serving others, whether in the community or within their own homes.

The following are a few of my favorite scriptures about pure religion:

"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." (James 1:27).

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the LORD hath annointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified." (Isaiah 61:1-3).

"And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our father, he being an enemy to all righteousness.

But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.

And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish . . . .

For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?" (Mosiah 4:14-16, 19).

"[B]ear one another's burdens, that they may be light ; . . . mourn with those that mourn; . . . comfort those that stand in need of comfort, . . . stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all places that ye may be in, even until death . . . ." (Mosiah 18:8-9).

Friday, November 17, 2006

My Andean Home

Utah’s mountains are rarely green, but after spring’s warmth begins to melt winter’s snow, the mountains’ soil becomes saturated with life-giving moisture, and flowers and grasses adorn the mountainside. And when it rains, a misty line of clouds hovers over the hills, obscuring all but the the mountains’ bases. Storm-subdued greens compliment the clouds’ soft gray tones while the rain falls. During such spring storms, I feel like I’m in Cayambe, Ecuador.

Rainstorms in Cayambe always came suddenly. The sun would often rise on a beautiful day with a sky unblemished by clouds, and, hours later, grayness would seep from the canyons of the surrounding mountains and hang over the valley. With a loud thunderclap, the sky would erupt with rain. If I was in a home with a tin roof, the pounding rain would reverberate through the house, and I couldn’t hear what my companion and those we taught were saying. During one storm, Cayambe’s streets turned into canals. We needed to cross the road, so I stepped in. Dirty rainwater reached my calves as we made our way to our appointment.

On Sundays, storms would often come one-half hour before church services started, and people wouldn’t come; they blamed the rain. But I understood. When your only means of transportation is your feet, walking fifteen minutes in a downpour to sit through three hours in a cold church isn’t very enticing.

After the rain stopped, it was usually dusk, and sunsets after a storm were gorgeous. There are two things in nature that will electrify colors: when the clouds part after a rainstorm, the humid air deepens the hues of every leaf, tree, and blade of grass, and when the sun is low in the sky, either in the morning or the evening, its rays glaze everything they touch with gold. When the two of them combine, like they did in Cayambe, the effect is magical. The mountains were vibrant greens, the valley glistened, and the pastel colors of Cayambe’s Spanish-colonial, adobe homes and buildings seemed more springlike. So when Utah’s rains mimic Cayambe’s, I close my eyes and return to Cayambe, a small, Andean city in Ecuador’s northern highlands.
An hour by bus from Ecuador’s capital, Quito, Cayambe rests on the east bench of Ecuador’s Valley of the Sun. Hundreds of years ago, the Cayambi Indians cultivated the valley, and when the Spanish conquistadores discovered it, they took the land, built haciendas, and subjugated the natives. Today, the Cayambis no longer exist as a people. Their Quichuan dialect has almost disappeared, and most Cayambeños are the decedents of Spanish and Native American progenitors. But in the mountain villages surrounding the valley, thousands of natives farm and live much like their ancestors, and their rectangular fields still ascend the slopes of green mountainsides to the east, north, and west of the valley.

And towering to the east of Cayambe is an extinct volcano: the Nevado. It gently rises from the city and gradually ascends to heaven. At fifteen thousand feet, its rich green foliage surrenders to shimmering snow. The mountain climbs several thousand more feet before the snow becomes sky. From Cayambe, the Nevado looks like a symmetrical, white bell skirted by green velvet. On clear days, the glacier would reflect sunshine, and the snow’s whiteness would intensify until its brightness seemed celestial. I have never seen anything so brilliantly white.

And when sunset would bathe the valley in its rosy hues, the Nevado would blush. Even after the sun had descended, the glacier would resonate pink for several minutes while shadows blanketed Cayambe and its countryside. But the Nevado’s beauty was not obscured with nightfall. When the moon was full, bluish moonlight would reflect from the glacier, and the mountain would glow.
Beneath this massive volcano, Cayambe and the Valley of the Sun blossom. They are the flower of Ecuador. Three minutes longitude north of the equator, Cayambe’s elevation determines its climate. And at 8,000 feet above sea-level, spring is eternal in Cayambe. The valley’s fertile soil is ideal for farming; green acres of alfalfa and corn and golden wheat fields checkerboard it.
Twenty years ago, Cayambe and its sister village Tabacundo were small settlements occupied only by those whose ancestors had lived there for centuries. But after someone discovered that the valley’s soil was perfect for cultivating flowers, the Valley of the Sun bloomed. Today, hundreds of plastic-covered greenhouses are interspersed among grain and alfalfa fields and glisten in the Ecuadorian sun. Flower cultivation is a multimillion dollar enterprise, and Cayambeño roses are exported throughout the world. If you watched Princess Diana’s funeral several years ago, you saw flowers grown on the Valley of the Sun’s plantations. And because one dozen roses only costs fifty-two cents within the town, Cayambe is the ideal residence for romantics and husbands who are in the "dog house."
The plantations also provide steady work and have attracted thousands of Ecuadorians hoping to encounter steady work in an economically troubled country, and Cayambe’s population is as diverse as the Valley’s flowers: Indians work beside Costeños (coastal people), Serranos (Mountain people), and Ezmeraldeños—decedents of African slaves who overpowered their ship’s slave traders off the coast of Ecuador and gained their freedom on the shores of South America.

Most people wouldn't let us into their homes, so we talked to many of them in Cayambe's streets. Old men in dingy, dark sweaters and tailor-made slacks with either adjust-to-fit caps or narrow-brimmed hats which seemed to be from classic, black-and-white movies often sat together talking. I don’t know what they discussed; they never let missionaries near them. If we tried to talk, they simply reminded us that they were Católicos.

Old women, on the other hand, scared me to death. When we tracted, I prayed that an old woman wouldn’t open the door at every house we knocked. Whenever, a door opened and I saw a woman in a cardigan with silver hair pulled back into a braid, I braced myself. I considered myself lucky if I could spit out my companion’s and my name before the door would slam. It’s not that old women were mean people. They were only mean to LDS missionaries, and I never understood why. I always wondered why those women’s grandmotherly instincts didn’t kick in when they saw two young men, boys really, standing at their door. I’ve since thought about it, and I’ve realized that they didn’t reject us because of who we were; they rejected us because of what we represented: change. I’m certain that if they would have listened, we would have become friends, and they might have accepted our message. But they were trying desperately to maintain their way of life in a town which was becoming more different daily. I don’t blame them for wanting to hold onto what they loved the most.

Even though we experienced rejection from Cayambe’s elderly, younger couples would listen to us. When I was with my first companion in Cayambe, Elder Ortiz, whenever an appointment fell through, he beeped like a radar until he spotted a couple. At times, it was difficult to discern which were families and which were simply sweethearts. But if a young man or woman carried a baby or if a couple was holding hands, we would approach them.

Normally, the novelty of speaking with a gringo would hold their attention for a moment, and when we taught them that their families could be together forever, most listened intently, especially wives. They gave us their addresses, and we usually taught them three or four times. Sadly, work schedules, family problems, or the lack of interest ended our visits with each family. But they accepted the Book of Mormon, and about half read at least one chapter. I still pray for the Ramirez, Maygua, Hernandez, Lopez, and Farinango families. We found them all on the streets, and they each found their way into my heart. May God bless them.
It was hard to spend so much time in the streets. Although the temperature rarely rose higher than 75 degrees, the Caymbeño sun was intense. Because Cayambe is so high, there is less sun-filtering atmosphere to protect exposed skin and eyes. Elder Neff and I looked like lobsters for the entire time we were there. What was worse, canyon winds would stir up street dirt and lodge it in our eyes.

But the time in the street was worth it. I fell in love with missionary work in Cayambe, and I haven’t lost it. One preparation day, I was in our kitchen which had blue-tiled counter tops and a red, cement floor. I had a copy of the Brigham Young Priesthood and Relief Society manual. In it, Brother Brigham said that the desire to preach the Gospel burned in his bones. He could not be restrained. As I read his words, I realized that the same desire burned within me. I couldn’t stop, and, today, I am addicted to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with others. It is a legacy passed down to me by the Prophets, and I hope to give it to my children. And I feel like Nephi when he said, "And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ . . . , that [all] may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins" (2 Nephi 25:26). If I had never gone to Cayambe, I never would have felt it.
So when it rains in the springtime, I long for Cayambe. I can’t wait to return. I miss its people and dust-blown streets. Part of me wouldn’t mind to hear one of the colorful rejections which my companions and I received daily. At least I could talk to someone from Cayambe. One day, I will take my wife, daughter, and son to show them the Nevado. We will try to find the Mayguas and the Farinangos. And I will buy my wife a fifty-two-cent bouquet of red roses. Until then, I’ll have to watch rainstorms cover Utah’s runoff-greened mountains with misty clouds to ease my longing for my Andean home.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

An Appetizer for Thanksgiving

If you read the story I posted below about Mashcag and his hunger for cuy, this is what Mashcag was craving. Yep, that's a guinea pig.

By the way, it's quite delicious.

Even though I'm not a fan of having pets, I've thought about letting my daughter get a guinea pig. That way, if she misbehaves, we'll have an authentic Andean dinner that night!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Fairness: A Latter-day Saint's Perspective

Please make sure to read on after the comment breaks. Otherwise, you'll get an extremely incomplete understanding of my view of fairness! I had to split up my thoughts because they weren't publishing correctly. There are three parts: Justice, Mercy, and Fairness.


Fairness, to me, is the perfect unity of Mercy and Justice. But I can't explain the relationship in the context of law school or my life. Rather, I feel it's necessary to view fairness in the context of Eternal Law. After examining this macrocosm, hopefully, we can understand and apply the principles of Eternal Fairness to the microcosms of our lives.


All of us are familiar with the statue of blindfolded justice holding a balance and a sword. Justice demands that the balance be at equilibrium. Each violation of the law tips the scales against the offender, and the only way for the scales to equalize if for justice to wield her sword and exact punishment.

There is an eternal balance for each of us. And to be saved, our balances must be at equilibrium. God has given us commandments. If we keep the commandments, our balances remain at equilibrium. If we disobey the commandments, or sin, our balances tip against us. The only way equalize the balance is for justice to inflict punishment. (2 Nephi 2:10; Alma 42:22.) No good works will justify the balance because as we keep the commandments, God immediately blesses us, and we remain in debt to justice for the laws we have broken. (Mosiah 2:20-24.)

If we could live a perfect life, then Justice would save us. But only Jesus lived perfectly, and none of us are without sin. (See 1 John 1:8). Thus, if we were to receive what we deserve, all of us would become "devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God, . . ." (2 Nephi 9:9.)

But God doesn’t want to condemn us to endless torment. (See John 3:17.) We are His children,(Psalm 82:6; Romans 8:16-17, 21) and more than anything else He wants us to come home. (D&C 18:10-13). But if He simply threw open the gates of heaven and let everyone come in as a gesture of His divine mercy, justice would not be satisfied. And mercy cannot rob justice. (Alma 42:25.)

However, there is a way for justice to be satisfied and for mercy to claim us. But it requires someone to stand between justice and mercy, even a Mediator. Jesus Christ came, satisfied the demands of justice, and paid the price of sin as He bled from every pore in Gethsamane and as He hung upon the cross of Calvary. (See Isaiah 53; Matthew 26:36-46, 27:46-50; Luke 22:42-44; 2 Nephi 2:6-10; Mosiah 3:3-10.) Because He suffered the punishment which justice demands for a broken law, Jesus can extend mercy to all of us so that we need not suffer the demands of justice. (Alma 42:21-23.)

Still, we must merit mercy. In the beginning, God gave us our agency—the ability to choose and act for ourselves—and He will never force us into heaven. He wants us to come willingly. (Alma 42:27).

There are many men and women who have merited mercy because they "offered sacrifice in similitude of the great sacrifice of the Son of God, and suffered tribulation in their Redeemer’s name." (D&C 138:13.) To say they offered a sacrifice of the same magnitude of the Savior would be blasphemous, but the personal magnitude of each’s sacrifice had similar eternal significance.
Speaking in the broadest terms, Jesus’ sacrifice was that of His will. By allowing His will to be "swallowed up in the will of the Father" (Mosiah 15:7), Jesus shrunk beneath the burden of sin, death, and sorrow but finally overcame them. Thus descending below all things, Jesus can lift us above all things. And as He lifts us, we will become "even as [He] is." (3 Nephi 27:27.) Yet during the exalting process of redemption, Jesus requires us to give Him our hearts, even our whole souls, just as He gave His Father everything as He prayed, "Not as I will, but as thou wilt." (Matthew 26:39. See also 3 Nephi 9:20; Omni 1:26.)

But giving our whole souls to the Lord isn’t easy. All of us have our favorite sins, and we aren’t quick to let go of them. The fact is, it feels good to sin. At times, we value our sinful appetites more than our eternal birthright. That’s why Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a mess of pottage. (Genesis 25:29-34). Such Esau-like lack of perspective will keep us from meriting mercy. As pleasurable as our favorite sins may be, they’re not worth our eternal birthright. (See Romans 8:16-17.) We must let go of our respective messes of pottage.

Yet to succeed to our eternal inheritance, the cost is much more than pottage. God wants our everything. But what do we really have to give when even the air we breath is on loan? (Mosiah 2:21.) "[O]ur wills constitute all we really have to give God anyway. The usual gifts and their derivatives we give to Him could be stamped justifiably ‘Return to Sender’ with a capital S." (Neal A. Maxwell, "Consecrate Thy Performance," Ensign, May 2002, 38.)

Yielding our agency to the will of the Father means loving Him with all our "heart, might, mind, and strength." (D&C 59:5.) For if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. (John 14:15.) Thus, those who offered sacrifice in similitude of the sacrifice of the Son of God simply obeyed God’s commandments, even if that meant letting go of their lives or the life of a beloved son. (Genesis 22:2.) Still, even as they let go, they trusted Jesus’ promise: "every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall inherit everlasting life." (Matthew 19:29.)

And inasmuch as everlasting life means knowing God and Jesus Christ, our submission to God’s will acquaints us with Them. For we are doing exactly what They have done. Our Heavenly Father gave His only begotten Son for our salvation; Jesus gave His life, thus showing us there is nothing more important to Them than our eternal salvation and joy.

How is it that we cannot give away all our sins, including our favorite sins, so that we can receive the blessings they most earnestly want us to have? If we let go of our sins and cling to the commandments—even until our wills are swallowed up in the will of the Father—when Jesus comes to take us home, "we will be like him, . . . purified even as he is pure." (Moroni 7:48.) And we will know Them, "the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom [He] has[] sent." (John 17:3.)

And we will merit mercy.

And a mediator must stand between justice and mercy to determine what is fair. The perfect Mediator, Jesus Christ, knows our peculiar circumstances, and most importantly our hearts. (Alma 18:32.) He knows the difference between someone who openly seeks sin and someone who, in a moment of weakness, succombs to temptation. He also discerns between the penitent sinner who, through sincere repentance, is willing to submit to God's commandments and the recalcitrant dissembler who says he is sorry when he has no intention of changing his ways. Thus, Jesus' judgement of us will be perfectly fair.

And if we seek to be fair, we must emulate Jesus as best as we can. We may not be able to see into the hearts of our fellow beings, but we can consider their circumstances to temper justice with mercy.One last thing, let us not be bitter when we see mercy extended to others for we will all need mercy sooner or later.

For an excellent parable and discussion of the principles of mercy and justice, see Boyd K. Packer, The Mediator.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Just so you know

I plan on posting at least weekly. Time restraints will prevent me from doing much more.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Hello all

I've finally found a forum to share the most important things in my life with others. I hope you'll enjoy my thoughts, essays, and poems.


Wondering where Erda is?

The Erda Way

People who spend their whole lives in a city will never know how liberating it is to look out of their back window and see acres of alfalfa waving in the wind or how close to God they can feel by staring into a night sky undimmed by streetlights. They’ll never know what it’s like to smell the dust in the air after a rainstorm or wheat’s nutty scent when it’s wet. Buildings dominate their view. Stars barely even freckle their night sky. And all they get to smell is exhaust. City life is so confining. That’s why I loved growing up in Erda.

I know, "who’s ever heard’a Erda?" Well, now you have. But I can’t fault you for your ignorance. Most people don’t even know where Tooele is. That’s the city closest to Erda. Still lost, huh? Take I-80 westbound from Salt Lake City until you reach exit 99. After less than a half-hour you’ll be in the Tooele valley. Erda is the valley’s centerpiece. To the north, Stansbury Park swells with recent arrivals; there’s a new house completed there almost hourly. To the west, Grantsville continues as a cowboy haven. To the south, Tooele creeps northward with new subdivisions and Utah’s first Super Walmart.

And Erda sits contentedly in the middle and stretches eastward until it fades into the Oquirrh Mountains. It probably covers the most square mileage in the valley, but don’t worry about getting lost; there’s only one main road in the town: Erda Way.

That road’s name says a lot about my childhood and youth. You see, I grew up the Erda way. My dad managed the Church farm there, and farming was central to my life. Some of my earliest memories are of Dad and me in the swather. I loved being in the cab with him. I can still smell the grease that kept the blades lubricated. But the true olfactory treat came when the cutting started. It’s difficult to describe newly cut alfalfa’s smell. It smells green and fresh, but it’s nothing like grass. It’s so subtle that someone has to point out that you’re smelling it. Driving through the countryside, you’ve probably smelled it without knowing what it was.

While the smell of alfalfa is lovely, it doesn’t compare to sunset after a day of cutting. As the sun’s last rays stretch across the field, everything is golden. Vibrant greens radiate from each row of hay. Across the road, sprinklers scatter the sunlight into dazzling spectra. And shadows extend from the few trees bordering the field. Above it all, the sky seems embarrassed by the valley’s beauty, as if the sun were going too far. But her blushing only accentuates the scene’s splendor. A day in a tractor isn’t comfortable; in fact, it makes your body ache. But those sunsets are worth it.

And cutting time is only the beginning of Erda’s charms. I loved walking in alfalfa fields; there’s nothing else like it. When the breeze is right, you feel like you’re wading through an emerald pond. It’s so relaxing, even when you’re moving sprinklers. And you’re the only person around. I loved being alone with the alfalfa. I could think and reflect without the noise of traffic or car stereos. New thoughts and ideas came to me as I walked; my mind was open to the Spirit, and the Gospel became as green, fresh, and vivid as the field.

And my mediation often overflowed into the evening. I used to sit outside and think as I looked at a sky shimmering with stars. As I would gaze into heaven, crickets would chirp while the sprinklers’ rhythmic tapping kept time. I used to let the sky’s vastness envelope me. Some people say that they feel alone when they look into the heavens at night. I don’t. All of those points of light reassured me that God lives, that He is in control, and that there is a purpose to life. He always seemed so near when I looked up into His heavens. I never felt alone surrounded by so many of His creations.

And then, there are thunderstorms. Watching lightening bolts illuminate the valley used to help me unwind. Sometimes, my family would turn on classical music and turn off the lights as we marveled at each blue flash. We could spend hours in the living room or kitchen just watching the storms. Sometimes, however, they would get too violent, and the power would go out. We’d light candles and pray that the wind wouldn’t braid the wheel lines—four-inch diameter, aluminum pipes threaded through the middle of six-foot tall, bicycle wheels without rubber—into pretzels while the pumps were off. Thankfully, it hardly ever did, and when the storms would subside, the smell of wet dirt would fill our home. My sister Sherri loved it, and she would inhale, eyes closed, as deeply and often as she could until the air’s dusty perfume evaporated. And if the sun hadn’t gone down by the time the clouds parted, the air’s humidity would amplify the colors around our home. The grass and leaves on the trees would be greener. The dirt would be a richer brown. And the fields would glow.

Erda’s spaciousness also added to its beauty. Our nearest neighbor was fifty yards away, and their yard was large enough for all seven of my brothers and me to play football. We could run thirty yard routes before we risked crashing into a house or a fence.

Even Erda’s traffic was endearing. I wouldn’t even cross the street if I could see a car on the road; sometimes, I would wait three or four minutes for a car a half-mile away to pass me before I would start crossing.

And all of these things were part of the Erda way. I miss it. Erda’s farms, sky, and open serenity call to me. I long to return to the soothing simplicity of my youth because I don’t think that I’ll ever understand city life. In my opinion, it’s so confining, but Erda equates with heaven. Now, I know that cities have a lot going for them, but, one morning, I would love to wake up and look out of my bedroom window to see something other than a parking lot. An alfalfa field would be nice
Here are two poems I wrote; hope you like them.


Glistening wet with hope,
My eyes seek the Master,
And bound beneath transgression’s veil,
I cry out to the Savior:
"Jesus, I too seek Thy face;
So long I’ve suffered here,
Yet hope pierces my dark veil
Now that Thou art near.
I’ve waited long; please come dear Lord.
I cannot rise alone.
I see Thy hand raise another’s veil;
Wilt Thou lift just one?
Rend my veil, and I shall arise
Enough to see Thy face;
Heal me that I too may be
A partaker of Thy Grace."


It constricts, suffocates, and grinds below
Its heavy hand. I can’t find rest. I shrink
Beneath depression’s crushing press. To drink
The bitter cup, I’m not the first. I know
Of One who drank it to its dregs. Although
He bore it all, I feel alone and think
That I can bear no more. And on the brink
Of helplessness, to Him, again, I go.
My son, I’ve not forsaken thee. Yield not
For I’ve shrunk too. I’ve borne thy grief, carried
Thy woe. My stripes shall heal thee still. Behold
My hands, My feet, My side: with these I bought
Thy soul. Doubt not; fear not. I know thy need—
And from this trial, thou shalt emerge as gold.