Mormon women have a rich, if under-appreciated history as poets. The art of poetry has been a way for Mormon women to express their deepest feelings; the joys and struggles of the everyday, the complexities of womanhood and their spirituality and quest for the divine. Each poem is an invocation, a supplication for understanding and connection.
We at the Exponent wish to honor Mormon women by giving voice to their heartfelt invocations. Every other Sunday we will be exploring the poetry of Mormon women, both from the past and the present, whether sacred or mundane. If you have a poem you wish to share, please consider submitting it to us at ExponentblogATgmailDOTcom. We hope you enjoy these poems as much as we do.
Perhaps the only way to begin is with a poem so monumental in Mormon women’s poetry, experience and theology.
Invocation, or the Eternal Father and Mother
O my Father, thou that dwellest
In the high and glorious place,
When shall I regain thy presence,
And again behold thy face?
In thy holy habitation,
Did my spirit once reside?
In my first primeval childhood,
Was I nurtured near thy side?
For a wise and glorious purpose
Thou hast placed me here on earth,
And withheld the recollection
Of my former friends and birth.
Yet ofttimes a secret something
Whispered, “You’re a stranger here.”
And I felt that I had wandered
From a more exalted sphere.
I had learned to call thee Father,
Through thy Spirit from on high;
But until the key of knowledge
Was restored, I knew not why.
In the heavens are parents single?
No; the thought makes reason stare!
Truth is reason, truth eternal
Tells me I’ve a mother there.
When I leave this frail existence,
When I lay this mortal by,
Father, Mother, may I meet you
In your royal courts on high?
Then, at length, when I’ve completed
All you sent me forth to do,
With your mutual approbation
Let me come and dwell with you.