Poem: The Baptism of Eve

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As I have studied the account of Adam’s baptism in the Pearl of Great Price, I have wondered about Eve’s baptism. This poem is my imagination of that great event.

The Baptism of Eve

Moses 6:64–68 (Pearl of Great Price):

And it came to pass, when the Lord had spoken with Adam, our father, that Adam cried unto the Lord, and he was caught away by the Spirit of the Lord, and was carried down into the water, and was laid under the water, and was brought forth out of the water. And thus he was baptized, and the Spirit of God descended upon him, and thus he was born of the Spirit, and became quickened in the inner man. And he heard a voice out of heaven saying: Thou art baptized with fire, and with the Holy Ghost.And thou art after the order of him who was without beginning of days or end of years, from all eternity to all eternity.

She saw that Adam came back from his prayers
a different man.
“The promised day has come,”
he said.
“Your clothes are wet,” Eve answered him,
and brushed a dripping curl that wandered free
from Adam’s glistening brow. He drew her near.
“Come to the clearest pool—”
“Yes, I will come.”
“—the one reflecting heaven. I, by right,
can do for you the service I received
from Holy Spirit’s love.”
“This glorious day
shall see us both renewed, as Father taught,”
the woman said, and took her husband’s hand.

They walked the distance to the waterside—
the pool at the headwaters of the spring.
Eve waded in, head high, as queen to throne,
the grateful heiress of the royal grace.
And Adam stood beside her, said her name,
and laid her into water’s cool embrace,
and called her into depths she had not known.
“This is a type of death,” she thought, and heard
her memory repeat that if she ate
the fruit of knowledge, she would surely die.
“And I have surely died to live in Christ,
as I will surely die, but first will live
to teach my children of His sacrifice,
and mine, and Adam’s. Father, I thank Thee.”
As though no time had passed, she rose again,
Streaming joy to morning new in life.
Beside the pool he laid hands on her head
and gave the Holy Spirit as a gift.

From then they took their water from the place
where that pool fell out clean over the rocks,
and named the falls a holy source of life.
There Adam built an altar and they prayed.
The two remembered always that their hopes
were answered with the kindness of the Lord,
in making a way back to heaven’s shores.

—Lisa Bolin Hawkins

“I Will … Sanctify to Thee Thy Deepest Distress” (Poem: No Regrets)

Jesus comforts Mary and MarthaWe may sometimes feel that we will never heal from things that have happened to us, or from regrets for things we have done or have not done. The Lord has promised that in the next life, He “shall wipe away all tears from [our] eyes, and there shall be no more … sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain …” (Revelation 21:4). How is He going to do that? How can the memories of past pain or of our regrets ever be sweet or holy to us?

Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints addressed this topic at a multi-stake women’s meeting in Provo, Utah, on 11 November 2017. Elder Renlund quoted the Christian scholar C. S. Lewis, who wrote in The Great Divorce: A Dream (2001), 69 (chapter 9) [Elder Renlund also quoted this in his conference talk in April 2018, “Family History and Temple Work: Sealing and Healing,” available at lds.org]:

[Mortals] say of some temporal suffering, “No future bliss can make up for it,” not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory. … The Blessed will say, “We have never lived anywhere except in Heaven.”

Our Savior can, through His mercy, help us to gain a celestial perspective on the painful experiences of our lives. In this way, heaven can “work backwards” to turn the painful and difficult experiences of mortal life into glorious remembrances. The Lord’s holy and heavenly therapy for these post-traumatic stresses will “sanctify to [us our] deepest distress” (Hymn 85, “How Firm a Foundation”).

The Old Testament prophet Joel told of a terrible drought and plague of locusts that  occurred in the land of Judah. However, after the people had repented and turned their hearts to the Lord, God promised in Joel 2:25:

I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten.

He who was sent to “heal the brokenhearted” (Luke 4:18) will restore us to wholeness. That which we thought was lost will be found (see Luke 15:11–32)—presented to us with His redeeming love: not new, but burnished with the deep, blazing light of mature reflection and gratitude. As He promised the prophet Joseph Smith, whatever happens, “All these things shall give thee experience and shall be for thy good” (D&C 122:7).

Meanwhile, as Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught in his talk, “Like a Broken Vessel”:

Above all, never lose faith in your Father in Heaven, who loves you more than you can comprehend. As President Monson said … : “That love never changes. … It is there for you when you are sad or happy, discouraged or hopeful. God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve [it]. It is simply always there.” Never, ever doubt that, and never harden your heart. Faithfully pursue the time-tested devotional practices that bring the Spirit of the Lord into your life. Seek the counsel of those who hold keys for your spiritual well-being. Ask for and cherish priesthood blessings. Take the sacrament every week, and hold fast to the perfecting promises of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Believe in miracles. I have seen so many of them come when every other indication would say that hope was lost. Hope is never lost. If those miracles do not come soon or fully or seemingly at all, remember the Savior’s own anguished example: if the bitter cup does not pass, drink it and be strong, trusting in happier days ahead.

(Available at lds.org, footnotes omitted.)

Here is a poem I wrote in winter 2017 about this idea:

 No Regrets

I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten. Joel 2:25.

Some years I chose drought,
and all but invited the locusts to descend.
Other times I neglected the fields.
At times others caused the drought
or sent the locusts;
my joy was withered by their decisions.

I thank Thee for the promises:
Thou hast felt my fasting with me.
I thank Thee for the healing:
I knew it would come someday
like the rustle of wings.
I thank Thee for those who
take my hands and bring me into the
solemn assembly of tear-stained hopes,
and at last to the harvest of rejoicing.

But I wonder about the fields I never saw green,19
the gathering I did not help,
the altars where I did not kneel.
My heart wilts for all I did not choose
and all that others chose to deny me.

And yet—Thou hast always known the
righteous desires of my heart;
and in Thy mercy promised,
to meet my regrets with grace—
I trust Thy loving kindness
to restore all that I lost.

—Lisa Bolin Hawkins

Edited 19 September 2018.

Poem: Late Autumn Night

Autumn Night

Written years ago and revised today, this seems like the perfect poem for the coming night.

Late Autumn Night
Unseen leaves skitter past
In the shadows cast by the frost-calling moon
Hung ominous in the trees:
It sings the newly cold wind–
A wind of harvest past, brown grass;
Not quite numb to the heart,
But dangerously near.
A season is dying here,
And all its bones
Are rattling along the ground,
Whispering, “Hurry, hurry, haste:
This bare gray chill is not for you–
We rush to a hopeless grave;
You are of mercy and grace:
The lamps of home.”

–Lisa Bolin Hawkins