The First Vision

 As a young boy of fourteen Joseph sought for truth and light,

He attended religious meetings but none of them felt right.

He pondered on the questions that lived within his heart,

Which of all these churches is right? Where am I to start?

In James he read, if any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God,

Who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraided not.

He planned and picked a place where he could pray to God out loud,

Kneeling down in the quiet his head in reverence bowed.

Softly he began to utter the feelings of his heart,

At once a force of darkness seized him, so he could make no start.

The power that seized him was astonishing and real,

He was bound by a dark force, which held him with great zeal.

Exerting all his faith and energy, he cried to be set free,

From the power that held him captive and the doom that he did see.

Suddenly a light appeared above him, like the brightness of the sun,

As the light descended gradually the darkness that held him was undone.

Looking up he saw two personages glorious and bright,

Standing in the air above him, it was a sacred holy sight!

Calling Joseph by name the Father pointed to the Son,

In reverence Joseph beheld Him and made his questions known.

Looking up he asked which of the sects is right.

The Savior answered none of them hold my purity and light.

Their creeds are an abomination for they teach the doctrines of men,

Join none of them my son for my truth is not in them.

After the vision had ended, Joseph awoke with his strength gone,

Soon he recovered and walked with joy toward his family’s home!

One can only imagine the musings of his soul,

The joy he felt inside for all that he had known.

How beautiful was the day when Joseph sought for light,

And found the truth of heaven, beautiful and bright!

 Written by Mickey

Wilford Woodruff, the fourth President of the Church, said: “The Lord told Joseph that He would prove him, whether he would abide in His covenant or not, even unto death. He did prove him; and although [Joseph] had the whole world to contend against and the treachery of false friends to withstand, although his whole life was a scene of trouble and anxiety and care, yet, in all his afflictions, his imprisonments, the mobbings and ill treatment he passed through, he was ever true to his God.”

What Love
 
What love shown in his proving, what light shown in the dark,
How valiant our dear prophet even when times were stark.
What faith exceeded life's storms, what perseverance shown,
What ere he had to endure his love for God was known.
 
What love lived in his ministry, what devotion to his Lord,
For even as he suffered he brought forth God's holy word.
What childlike submission, what patience in his test,
What reward for a faithful servant, he shall be truly blest!
 
What glory he will yet know for he loved his God,
What gift a King can offer to a Son who held the rod.
What joy beyond his anguish, pressed down and running over,
What peace for all eternity for God will be his cover!
 
What joy upon Mount Zion will he ever hold within,
What beauty amongst his family for God will purge his sin!
What glory will he forever be blessed to share,
What joy found through a life of devotion and care!
 
Written by Mickey
 

“The destinies of all people are in the hands of a just God, and He will do no injustice to any one; and this one thing is sure, that they who will live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution [see 2 Timothy 3:12]; and before their robes are made white in the blood of the Lamb, it is to be expected, according to John the Revelator, they will pass through great tribulation [see Revelation 7:13–14].”

Artwork by Liz Lemon Swindle

John Taylor, the third President of the Church, said: “I heard the Prophet Joseph say, in speaking to the Twelve on one occasion: ‘You will have all kinds of trials to pass through. And it is quite as necessary for you to be tried as it was for Abraham and other men of God, and (said he) God will feel after you, and He will take hold of you and wrench your very heart strings, and if you cannot stand it you will not be fit for an inheritance in the Celestial Kingdom of God."

 

Prove You


God will wrench your very heart and see to truth you hold,
God will search amid your probation to find the purest gold.
God will fasten you and lead you as he holds ever near,
God will prove you and see if you will overcome fear.
Before the rest and peace is the storm that shows your will,
Sometimes as you suffer God will be silent and still.
Be wise amid the tumult for your character will be seen,
If you prove faithful through adversity, God will wash you clean.
Press on yea Saints of Zion for glory awaits us all,
Honor the King Israel who raises you from your fall!

Written by Mickey
 

“There is no safety, only in the arm of Jehovah. None else can deliver, and he will not deliver unless we do prove ourselves faithful to him in the severest trouble. For he that will have his robes washed in the blood of the Lamb must come up through great tribulation [see Revelation 7:13–14], even the greatest of all affliction. The destinies of all people are in the hands of a just God, and He will do no injustice to any one; and this one thing is sure, that they who will live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution [see 2 Timothy 3:12]; and before their robes are made white in the blood of the Lamb, it is to be expected, according to John the Revelator, they will pass through great tribulation [see Revelation 7:13–14]. Men have to suffer that they may come upon Mount Zion and be exalted above the heavens.” Joseph Smith

Murmur Not

Murmur not as you endure the refining flames of God,
He will purge your dross if you cling firmly to the rod.
Murmur not if trouble finds you for angels stand to see,
The conduct of a soul and the love that may be.
Murmur not when you are weary but kneel in faith to pray,
Look unto God for mercy for He is your only way.
Murmur not for God must prove you before he raises you up,
So be brave amid the conflict and drink the bitter cup.
Murmur not for this life is a moment and then you may rest,
But first you must be faithful and pass your fiery test

Written by Mickey

"President Young, who knew something about trial and tribulation but also of man’s high destiny, said that the Lord lets us pass through these experiences that we might become true friends of God. By developing our individual capacities, wisely exercising our agency, and trusting God—including when we feel forsaken and alone—then we can, said President Young, learn to be “righteous in the dark.” (Secretary’s Journal, 28 Jan. 1857.) The gospel glow we see radiating from some—amid dark difficulties—comes from illuminated individuals who are “of good cheer”! To be cheerful when others are in despair, to keep the faith when others falter, to be true even when we feel forsaken—all of these are deeply desired outcomes during the deliberate, divine tutorials which God gives to us—because He loves us. (See Mosiah 3:19.) These learning experiences must not be misread as divine indifference. Instead, such tutorials are a part of the divine unfolding." Neal A. Maxwell

Determined

A determined soul can take the hits and meekly rise by grace,
A determined soul will view with patience the beauty of her place.
A determined soul will not give in to the temptation of pride,
A determined soul will persevere and stay by God's side.
A determined soul will view with reverence God's omnipotent hand,
A determined soul will choose with care the place to stand.
A determined soul with gratitude can see her blessings when things are grim,
A determined soul will praise God's name and never give in!

Written by determined Mickey

Take My Hand

Take my hand now, be my friend I pray,
All is forgiven, I will walk with you today.
Let the past go, let your pain turn to peace,
Take my hand friend, let your spirit be at ease.
Look ahead my friend, can you see God’s sacred tree,
Let us walk together, there is joy for you and me!
Look ahead my friend, let your heart be light,
All is forgiven and our path is clear and bright!

Written by Mickey

Artwork by David Lindsley

The Prophet wrote the following in a letter to the Saints on September 1, 1842, later recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 127:2: “And as for the perils which I am called to pass through, they seem but a small thing to me, as the envy and wrath of man have been my common lot all the days of my life. … Deep water is what I am wont to swim in. It all has become a second nature to me; and I feel, like Paul, to glory in tribulation; for to this day has the God of my fathers delivered me out of them all, and will deliver me from henceforth; for behold, and lo, I shall triumph over all my enemies, for the Lord God hath spoken it.”

God Of Our Fathers

The God of our Fathers has delivered me from woe,
My enemies he shall ever over throw.
The God of our Fathers has ever prepared a way,
He blesses me as I prove faithful and ever choose to stay.
The God of our Fathers is my shelter in the storm,
He spares me not life's lessons, yet delivers me from harm.
The God of our Fathers will refine my willing soul,
He is my staff and stay, the joy I ever know!

Written by Mickey

Above and Beyond

Satan couldn't stop me but he surely tried his best,
As I walked toward God he did not rest.
Every truth I found he sought to steal,
In the fight for life, Satan's power is real.

Above and beyond his snares and lies,
Is the God of heaven who is just and wise.
As I yield my heart and meekly repent,
The power of his love is called and sent.

My peace and victory Christ has surely won,
I stand with thanksgiving by God's holy Son!
All hell flees and a way is clear,
I am safe as I journey for God is near!

The path before me is bright and secure,
Through Christ I have joy as I endure!
What weakness will he turn to power in me?
What kindness and beauty will come to be?

A miracle, a light born of love,
I am now a child of God above.
No limits or fetters, no enemy can stand,
For I have reached and clasped the Saviors hand.

Written by Mickey