behold, my soul
delighteth in the things of the Lord
and my heart
pondereth continually upon the things
which I have seen and heard

nothwithstanding the great
goodness of the Lord, in shewing me
his great and marvelous works
my heart
exclaimeth, O wretched man
that I am

yea, my heart
sorroweth, because of my flesh
my soul
grieveth, because of mine iniquities

I am encompassed about, because
of the temptations and the sins
which doth so easily beset me
and when I desire to rejoice

my heart
groaneth because of my sins
nevertheless, I know
in whom I have trusted

Poet’s Notes:

Reactions to this piece are welcome in the comments below. As a suggested question, what lines of the poem stand out to you? Why?

This free verse poem is adapted from the opening text of what is sometimes called the Psalm of Nephi (found in 2 Nephi Chapter 4 in The Book of Mormon). I’ve adapted the text from the 1830 edition, as reprinted by Herald Publishing House in Independence, Missouri.

Featured image by Oleh Slobodeniuk (iStock)