Literary Lorenzo Snow #3: To the Latter-day Saints

February 3, 2013 | 2 comments
By
Eliza R. Snow

Eliza R. Snow

The concept of enduring to the end can be somewhat vague. Much of what it requires depends on environment and circumstance — what is required for you to endure to the end is perhaps different than what will be required of me. But the underlying gospel principles are known, and the following poem by Eliza R. Snow talks about some of them.

As the best known of Mormonism’s poets, Snow perhaps needs no introduction. But I think this poem can be put in context. Snow dates this poem on November 24, 1843, perhaps near the height of the Nauvoo period, a kind of Camelot for the early saints. While the struggles of Kirtland and Missouri were several years behind, Snow may have also foreseen that struggles lay ahead. Here is how she saw enduring to the end:

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To the Latter-day Saints

by Eliza R. Snow

The trials of the present day
Require the saints to watch and pray,
That they may keep the narrow way
To the celestial glory.
For even saints may turn aside,
For fear of ills that may betide,
Or else induc’d by worldly pride,
And lose celestial glory.
O’er rugged cliffs, are mountains high,
Through sunless vales the path may lie,
Our faith and confidence to try,
In the celestial glory.
Why should we fear, though cowards say
Old Anak’s host s in ambush lay,
Or there’s a lion in the way
To the celestial glory.
Fear not, though life should be at stake,
But think how Jesus, for our sake
Endur’d, that we might yet partake
Of the celestial glory.
We here may sometimes suffer wrong,
But when we join with Enoch’s throng
We’ll loudly echo vict’ry’s song
In the celestial glory.
What though by some who seem devout,
Our names as evil are cast out,
If honor clothe us round about
In the celestial glory.
Be steadfast, and with courage hold
The key of God’s eternal mould
What will the mysteries unfold
Of the celestial glory.
O, let your hearts and hands be pure,
And faithful to the end endure,
That you the blessing may secure
Of the celestial glory.
With patience cultivate within
Those principles averse to sin,
And be prepared to enter in
To the celestial glory.
Then let the “Times and Seasons” fly,
And bring the glorious period nigh,
When Zion will be rais’d on high
In the celestial glory.

Morley Settlement, Nov. 24th.

Times and Seasons, 1 December 1843
Nauvoo Neighbor, 20 December 1843

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Snow sees several principles as necessary to enduring to the end. She says that “even saints may turn aside,” perhaps suggesting the need for humility. She also suggests patience,

With patience cultivate within
Those principles averse to sin,

She also puts our enduring to the end in the context of the suffering of our Savior:

Fear not, though life should be at stake,
But think how Jesus, for our sake
Endur’d, that we might yet partake

And of course she also speaks of conflict and persecution, even from those who should be our allies:

What though by some who seem devout,
Our names as evil are cast out,
If honor clothe us round about

This last stanza seems like something that could even apply to our experiences in the Bloggernacle!

I don’t know that Snow has captured everything that could be said about enduring to the end, but I do think there is a lot here to think about.

2 Responses to Literary Lorenzo Snow #3: To the Latter-day Saints

  1. James Olsen on February 3, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    I love how replete with Mormon themes her writing is. My favorite stanza:

    Be steadfast, and with courage hold
    The key of God’s eternal mould
    What will the mysteries unfold
    Of the celestial glory.

  2. Kent Larsen on February 3, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Exactly, James. Eliza’s poetry celebrates her Mormonness.