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Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Torchbearer


The God of the Great Endeavor gave me a torch to Bear.

I lifted it high above me in the dark and murky air.


Straightway and loud hosannas the crowd acclaimed its light.

And followed me as I carried my torch through the dark and starless night.

Till mad with the people’s praises and drunken with vanity,

I forgot it was the Torch that drew them

And fancied they followed me.

And my arm grew sore and weary upholding the shiny load,

And my tired feet went stumbling over the hilly road.


I fell, the torch beneath me, in a moment the flame was out.


But lo! From the throng a stripling sprang forth with a mighty shout,


Caught up the torch as it smouldered and lifted it high again,


Till fanned by the winds of heaven it fired the souls of men.


As I lay alone in the darkness,


The feet of the trampling crowd, pass over and beyond me,


Their praises proclaimed aloud.


And I learned in the deepening shadow this glorious verity,


T’is the torch the people follow, who ‘ere the bearer be.


Humbert Wolfe



I copied this poem
from the desk of my mission president when I was called as an Assistant to him
on my mission a decade ago.


Wherever I go, this poem is a constant reminder to me to be humble especially if you are called to lead. Those who have been called to serve should remember always, despite the adulation and abounding praise and vanities we will receive, we are there to direct people's attention and life to Him, we are instrument to His hands, whatever path of destiny we are are traversing, our simple pride will always be sublime to the praise and glory of our God.