22017

43 Poems Perfect for Your Next Talk or Lesson

43 Poems Perfect for Your Next Talk or Lesson

Photo from iStock

When searching for resources to help write a talk or lesson, there are a few unique resources we often overlook. Poetry is one of them. And that's a shame—a good poem, or even just a few lines from one, can help a lesson's message stick in our minds long after the meeting is over. (Who can forget President Monson and the "Good Timber" poem in conference?)

Follow the general authorities' example and start using poetry in your talks and lessons with this handy list, sorted by topic. And don't worry about appropriateness—all of these poems have been quoted over the pulpit in conference.

Remember: While not every topic is represented, many poems will work for multiple subjects. Check out something related to your subject to find something that might work.

Still can't find anything? Check out the additional resources at the end of this post for more.

Agency

"Inscription for the Sun-Dial at Wells College"
By Henry Van Dyke

(Quoted by Russell M. Nelson in April 2005)

Baptism

"My Mom Bought Me a White Dress"
By Elder Perry's Daughter

(Quoted by L. Tom Perry in October 1993

Christ

“The Bridge Builder”
By Will Allen Dromgoole 

(Quoted by Thomas S. Monson in October 2003

"Reply to 'Invictus'"
By Orson F. Whitney 

(Quoted by Dallin H. Oaks in October 1988

Courage

“Equipment”
By Edgar A. Guest

(Quoted by H. David Burton in April 1994)

"Courage"
By Grantland Rice 

(Quoted by Sterling W. Sill in October 1974)

Faith

“The Cry of the Alien” 
By Strickland Gillilan

(Quoted by N. Eldon Tanner in October 1979)

“The Gate of the Year”
By M. Louise Haskins 

(Quoted by Thomas S. Monson in April 1991

Family History

"Our Heritage"
By Boyd K. Packer 

(Quoted by Mary Ellen Smoot in October 1997)

Forgiveness

"The House by the Side of the Road"
By Sam Walter Foss 

(Quoted by Gordon B. Hinckley in October 2005

Friends

"Law of the Jungle"
By Rudyard Kipling

(Quoted by Vaughn J. Featherstone in October 1999

Gratitude

“How Different” 
By Richard Trench 

(Quoted by Henry B. Eyring in October 1989)

“I Would Be Worthy”
By Hugh B. Brown

(Quoted by Marvin J. Ashton in April 1989)

Humility

"Father, Where Shall I Work Today?"
By Meade McGuire

(Quoted by James E. Faust in October 2002)

"True Nobility"
By Edgar Guest 

(Quoted by Joseph B. Wirthlin in October 1980)

Missionary Work

“Outwitted"
By Edwin Markham

(Quoted by Gordon B. Hinckley in October 1981)

"I Met a Stranger in the Night"
Author Unknown

(Quoted by Thomas S. Monson in April 1999)

Mothers

"Rock Me to Sleep"
By Elizabeth Akers Allen

(Quoted by Bradley D. Foster in April 2010)"The Reading Mother"
By Strickland Gillilan

(Quoted by Thomas S. Monson in October 2004)“Which Loved Best?” 
By Joy Allison

(Quoted by Thomas S. Monson in October 1985)

"Somebody's Mother"
By Mary Dow Brine

(Quoted by Thomas S. Monson in October 1971)

Obedience

Untitled Composition
By Rabindranath Tagore

(Quoted by Thomas S. Monson in April 2005)

Parenting

"The Echo"
By C. C. Miller

(Quoted by Richard J. Maynes in April 2011)

Patience

"Stick to Your Task"
Author Unknown

(Quoted by Russell M. Nelson in April 1997)"Little Boy Blue"
By Eugene Field

(Quoted by Thomas S. Monson in October 1998)

Untitled Composition
Author Unknown

(Quoted by Boyd K. Packer in October 2009) 

Prayer

“Prayer”
By Eliza M. Hickok 

(Quoted by L. Tom Perry in April 1993)"A Prayer"
By John Drinkwater

(Quoted by J. Richard Clarke in October 1981)

Priesthood

"Behold the Man"
By Keith B. McMullin

(Quoted by Keith B. McMullin in October 2011)

Repentance

"The Touch of the Master’s Hand"
By Myra Brooks Welch

(Quoted by Vaughn J. Featherstone in April 1973)

Service

"Around the Corner"
By Charles Hanson Towne

(Quoted by Thomas S. Monson in April 1996)Untitled Composition
Author Unknown

(Quoted by Thomas S. Monson in October 2009)“Living What We Pray For”
Author Unknown

(Quoted by Thomas S. Monson in October 1996)"Crossing the Bar"
By Lord Alfred Tennyson

(Quoted by Thomas S. Monson in April 1981)

Temptation

"All the Water in the World"
Author Unknown

(Quoted by Boyd K. Packer in October 1999) 

Testimony

“Dare to be a Mormon”
Author Unknown

(Quoted by Thomas S. Monson in October 2011)

Tithing

"What is Tithing?"
Author Unknown

(Quoted by Earl C. Tingey in April 2002) 

Trials

“The Oyster”
Author Unknown

(Quoted by John B. Dickson in October 1992)“Man-Making”
By Edwin Markham

(Quoted by Boyd K. Packer in April 2000)"Worth While"
By Ella Wheeler Wilcox 

(Quoted by Thomas S. Monson in October 1993)

"Good Timber"
By Douglas Malloch

(Quoted by Thomas S. Monson in October 2013)

Youth

"Morituri Salutamus"
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(Quoted by Thomas S. Monson in April 1997)"Fast and Slow"
By John Ciardi

(Quoted by Boyd K. Packer in October 2011)

Other resources:

If you can't find a poem that works in the above list, there are a few other great resources you can check out for Church-themed poems:43 Poems Perfect for Your Next Talk or Lesson

Best-loved Poems of the LDS People

Here is the greatest collection of classic poems recited by members of the Church since the turn of the century. You'll find poems that are perfect for talks on prayer, faith, families, aging, and so on. There are poems for dozens of occasions and holidays as well. Works by some of the world's best-known poets such as Shakespeare, Dickinson, Longfellow, Wordsworth, and Kipling are included alongside classic LDS poets W.W. Phelps, Eliza R. Snow, and David O. McKay. 

-->Add this gem to your family library


43 Poems Perfect for Your Next Talk or LessonChurch Magazines

The Church's magazines often publish poetry written by members. You can search these entries on lds.org for more poetry related to your topic.

-->Search lds.org now



43 Poems Perfect for Your Next Talk or LessonHymn Topics List

Hymn lyrics can also be read as poems—in fact, many often started off that way! Check the hymns by topic section of the hymnal to help you find a song and verse that are related to your subject.

-->Check the topics list online here 



43 Poems Perfect for Your Next Talk or Lesson

The Latter-day Sacrament Speaker’s Resource Book

Don't judge this book by its cover. Though not filled with poems, this underrated guidebook organizes quotes from Church leaders by topic and can help rescue any drowning talk or lesson. 

-->Add this gem to your family library