The Visions

    “The Visions,” Ensign, June 1977, 52

    The Visions

    They met, Orson, Hyrum, with others

    In the sparse shade from cottonwoods

    Shadowing the Montrose School.

    Cotton snow drifted feathery

    To float in the icewater barrel.

    Joseph sipped the cool water,

    Cupped in hands, guided by God,

    And it became Rocky Mountain

    Crystal in a stream, snow

    Melted from another Sinai

    To bathe and feed those

    Driven by the burning mobs.

    The sun, hot on the desert,

    Prismed into amber light of wheat,

    Mellow in fields and meadows,

    Farmyards with silver silos,

    Leaf green orchards hung with

    Crimson fruit which glistened

    In the lavender of sunsets

    Overlaid on the day’s blue.

    Hidden in the brush base of mountains

    Bloomed wild roses and blue clover.

    Away, he saw the graves,

    Marked along the rutted trails to Zion,

    Mud-hard, cracked to faces

    Of apostasy that forced murder

    In lands outside of Eden.

    But a golden-spired temple

    Reached an angel to him

    And to God, whose hand lifted

    Valleys above deserts in a dream,

    Not of air, but fertile earth,

    And he heard a voice

    Whisper him westward.

    Emma polished the maple desk

    And wound the gold-layered clock.

    She hung prisms on the chandelier,

    Light reflecting on cut-glass crystal,

    Daisies floating in a water bowl

    Beside a pitcher, plum colored

    As the china basin.

    She hung embroidered samplers

    In the warmth of copper kitchen,

    Swept the primrose carpet,

    Walked barefoot in the lawns

    Outside the house.

    She cuddled a child,

    Laid him soft in a feather bed,

    And turned back to the desk

    To write her prophet

    Of the mansion she could not leave.

    Joseph held the letter,

    Sadly sweet-scented,

    And summer’s day calm

    Crossed the Mississippi,

    Another lamb for a world

    That could not comprehend the first.