In June (2015) Deseret News posted a light-hearted article recounting journalist Jerry Johnston’s encounter with a street poet. The poet sits on the sidewalk with a sign that says, “Pick a topic, get a poem.” For a donation of any amount, the poet will spend 90 seconds of his life writing a custom-made poem for his benefactor.
Mr. Johnston asked for a poem about Mormons. The resulting verse talked about devotion, dedication, faith and communion. Mr. Johnston described the prose:
“The poem seemed a tad self-conscious and had a hint of pandering about it. And I’m sure with a rewrite, he’d clean up a couple of the clunky lines. But hey, the dude tried to speak the truth.
“And in this day and age, getting a slice of truth for $5 — even truth tossed off by a resourceful, out-of-work liberal arts graduate — has the feel of a real bargain.”
I thought it might be fun for us to take up Mr. Johnston’s challenge to the street poet. While the article was titled, “You have 90 seconds – describe the Mormons,” here on Mormon Coffee let’s change it up a bit: You have 90 seconds – describe Mormonism.
I undertake this challenge to describe Mormonism all the time (although I take considerably longer than 90 seconds to do it!). So today I’m bowing out and giving the greater Mormon Coffee community the floor. You can write poetry if you’d like, but if you are more comfortable with a different form of communication, go for it. The goal is for you to share “a slice of truth” in describing Mormonism.
And this will be an even better bargain than Mr. Johnston got from the street poet because, with regard to the Christian commenters at Mormon Coffee, not only do they endeavor to speak truth completely free of charge, but the truth they speak has the incredible potential to set people free.
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Mormonism is based on the premise that the gospel of Jesus Christ disappeared from the earth with the death of the original apostles. The sect claims that the true gospel was restored in the early 19th century by a man, Joseph Smith, who claimed he had received gold plates from an angel with a message about ancient Jews coming to America. Smith “translated” the message, it is said, by putting a magic rock in his hat and seeing the words appear.
While the Book of Mormon contains little if any doctrine the sect endorses, some of the (doctrines) are:
1. That God was once a man who lived on another planet.
2. By being true to ……….
Sincere, loving people
Who want to believe
Who want to be great.
They work hard and
do well in life.
Striving to get more.
But so deceived
And they know it
They have to.
Who would believe
a man with a rock in a hat
But those who want to?
Once upon a time there was a guy named Joe
Who wanted money
So he wrote a book
Maybe he didn’t mean to be a crook
At least when he married his first honey
Joe promoted his tale
Of ancient nations
Promising it applied to new generations
Pretty soon his legacy led to new iterations
He found himself more honey
And people gave him money
Money today makes the church go on
Mormonism is a man made religion that seeks to answers life’s questions of origin and destination in a nice, neat, comforting package called “Eternal Progression.” Loosely based on Christianity, the differences much outweigh the similarities. Salvation found in Mormonism is not biblical and therefore Christians do not believe that most Mormons are saved. Though Jesus is mentioned in the name of the church, their teaching does not give Jesus the full status of Godhood that is found in the Bible and in traditional Christianity. Off the top of my head… finished my final thought so it was about 103 seconds.
I tried to post this am but am not sure where it went.
Anyway, a second attempt:
Good, respectful people
Sincere in living virtuous
lives to get ahead.
Wanting to do what’s right
and what’s to be done.
To get ahead.
To get ahead in spiritual matters,
of course, where they know best
All others are scandalous.
But deceived they are
More than anything else.
And they know it.
I’m afraid that for me to write some poetry would be mission impossible . I do appreciate that as you asked , the poem or statement we choose to use should be on Mormonism rather than Mormons because that is where the spot light should be focused , at least in my opinion .
The vast majority of Mormons are people no different than us . Sadly, they have been detoured by their leaders into accepting a imitation gospel . Mormon leaders are the kind of prophets that Jesus warned who come in the latter days — Matt 24:11 . Mormonism is not what it claims to be , and the Mormon people need to do the safe thing and dismiss their leaders as authorities from their lives .
It answers three questions for me.
Where I am from, why I am here, and where I will be.
It is a lot of nonsense
to the people of the world
but let me commence
to give you’re understanding a swirl
I have come from God
who gave me a wonderful bod
Now in my worldly stroll
I must keep this body in control
Now we all are kin
and we all sin
but don’t feel down
and get a frown
and don’t get the blues
because there is some wonderful news
We have a brother
who is like no other
Who has taken care of all of our needs
as long as we watch our thoughts, words and deeds
If we fall off the track
He will carry us on his back
And be our guide
until we reach the other side.
I would like to submit my Haiku in the poem category. Here goes.
An angel of light-
Deception for the ages,
Trust God, no one else.