A Poem Celebrating Mormon Stories Podcast on its 10th Anniversary

John Dehlin Mormon Stories

by Andrew Christensen

Whatever else there is to say,
About all this…
Whatever else, there’s this, at least.
It’s quite a thing.
This thing that’s been done.
This thing we’ve all seen.
What we’ve been through.
It’s something.

It’s quite a thing – no question – to sit in a quiet chapel,
As someone rises,
In the middle of a talk.
As someone rises,
And walks to the back,
And throws open the curtains,
To let the sunlight stream in.
Where before we’d mistaken…no…
Where before we’d been offered
As daylight.

It’s quite a thing,
That there’s daylight.
In the chapel.
Illuminating dark corners.
Illuminating faces.

Oh, the faces…
Brothers and Sisters,
Your faces.
It’s been quite a thing, hasn’t it?
To sit there, stunned, eyes adjusting?
To look up, tentatively, and look around, and see,
By light of day,
Here and there,
Other anguish.
Other tears.
On faces we thought we knew,
But could never know – not really – by candlelight.
And oh, the warmth of the resulting embraces, by light of day.

And it’s quite a thing to say, now,
Quietly and with a modest, reverent resolve,
And a little sorrow, respectfully…
“Friends… Beloved…”
“There was as much shadow as light here…before… by candlelight.”
“This isn’t the chapel I thought it was.”
“I need to go… now… I think… for awhile.”

And it is quite a thing to dare, now,
To believe for a bold moment,
That one way to honor those pioneer ancestors,
Who pressed west by candlelight,MormonStories-iTunes
Is to release the echo of their grip
On those handcarts.
And set them down, in daylight,
And rest.
And head south, or north, or back east.
Just maybe anywhere but west, for now.

It’s quite a thing to set out, so.
Echoes of prayer still on our lips, and
With a self-conscious smile, then, heads cocked,
To pause, and listen, loving ourselves,
To hear,
The words of our mouths.