from the pen of meekness
we have in like enlisted
sworn and confused

on every side is no new thing
either we are or we take
by the world clean and divine

honor the ransom bought with life
without forever
without eternal
return to the presence of thrones
no tongue
no mind

no heart can be within us
the revealers of our day
which sets apart our warfare

but this is not all

more than knowing
more than confessing
we preach manifestation
to be valiant

am I valiant in
am I valiant if
am I valiant to
am I valiant or

if we are to gain
must we pretend
to be able to get

is coming obligation
ever our dispensation
is nothing in this world
in any way everlasting

whenever we abide
desires bear witness
proclaimed anew manfully
so graphically expressed

Poet’s Notes

The above piece is an erasure poem. It utilizes words and phrases taken from the printed text of Elder Bruce R. McConkie’s October, 1974 General Conference address: Be Valiant in the Fight of Faith. The poem is a new piece with its own potential meanings, not an abridgment.

For another McConkie-inspired poem, try Wresting McConkie: A Mormon Cento.

Image of the statue of Fray Antonio Margil de Jesús, the Patron Saint of Texas, in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, taken by Jake Christensen.