Plan of Salvation: A Poem

 

I posted the following on Facebook, June 8th, 2009.  TG Entry: Salvation, Plan of

In commemoration of LeAnna Willmore’s retirement, my choir teacher in high school, I have decided to post the results to date of the high school choir class assignment I wish I had done. LeAnna had us write a song as an assignment. I wrote a silly little ditty. I have wished for years I had thought to write a hymn. I have not completed the assignment yet, but I have finally completed the words.

The subject matter of my words come from a talk I wrote with my daughter Abby, on Easter Sunday, March, 2005 for her to give at church. That day and evening, I was deeply affected by the poem “That Easter Morn” in the LDS hymnal. In addition to the poem, I love how the minor key of the hymn resolves to a major key at its conclusion. In contemplating the talk, I discovered that the basic plan of salvation really described what Abby and I had talked about.

I decided to use a 4-4-6 meter. It could be sung to a 8-6 meter hymn such as “There is a Green Hill Far Away”, another of my favorite hymns, although I am not sure the 8-6 meter highlights the rhyming scheme as effectively as a 4-4-6 meter might.

Pillars of Eternity

Our agency
In Father’s plan
Brought forth acclamation;
We chose to be
Children of Man’s
Eternal creations.

Near Eden’s way
Adam and Eve
Work, rear, mourn loss at pall;
And mortal clay
Satan deceives;
Impure through sin, we fall.

By faith affirm
Through sacrament
Before Gethsemane,
Spirit confirms
As I repent
Atonement cleanses me.

From temples, tombs
By Savior’s call
Our family is reborn.
Gathered at home
Witnesses all
On resurrection’s morn.

The poem refers to Bruce R. McConkie’s sermons about the Pillars of Eternity: the Creation, the Fall, the Atonement. I added reference to the Resurrection as a conclusion. It mentions the four major actors of the Father, Satan, the Spirit, and the Savior. It hints to four gardens: Eden, Adam-ondi-Ahman, Gethsemane, and the Garden Tomb, and subtle references to four homes: Our heavenly home, the home of our family of origin with our parents, the Last Supper, and the home where the Apostles (witnesses) were gathered after the resurrection.

It refers to Adam and Eve, their respective roles as father and mother, well as the words Family, Children and the course of life from birth, work, and rearing children to being placed in a casket (pall) at death; the four steps of the Gospel in Article of Faith 4: Faith, repentance, baptism (cleanse) and the Gift of the Holy Ghost (confirmation). It also contains references to the gathering of Israel and the Abrahamic Covenant in a sense, as we start with a family in Heaven, then our family of origin with our parents (“we”), to scattered individuals (“I” and “me”), and then back to a family again.

I was able to add a reference to the temple, but will have to content myself with the word “confirm” as a reference to priesthood.

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