1977
The Visions
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“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.