Hands across the Altar

    “Hands across the Altar,” Ensign, March 2016, 61

    Hands across the Altar

    The author lives in Utah but is currently serving a mission with her husband in Atlanta, Georgia, USA

    hands poem

    Strong, unblemished, untried hands

    clasped across the altar—making a promise.

    Unknown challenges will stretch tendons;

    tragedies will break bones;

    tasks will wear calluses

    and scar fingers.

    The hands promised support, protection, love,

    comfort, compassion, trust, and


    They tilled gardens, blessed heads, paid bills,

    fixed water pipes, drove cars, and

    wiped tears.

    Now they are large-knuckled and blue-veined,

    with skin like parchment.

    The parchment of a promise kept.