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Poem: After All We Can Do

Updated: Feb 10, 2020

After All We Can Do

by Robbie Pierce

(2 Nephi 25:23)

I had been in that hole for a very long time—

In the dark and the damp, in the cold and the slime.

The shaft was above me; I could see it quite clear,

But there’s no way I ever could reach it from here.

Nor could I remember the world way up there,

So I lost every hope and gave in to despair.

I knew nothing but darkness, the floor, and the wall.

Then from off in the distance I heard someone call:

“Get up! Get ready! There’s nothing the matter!

Take rocks and take sticks and build up a fine ladder!”

This had never occurred to me, had not crossed my mind,

So I started to stack all the stones I could find.

When I ran out of stones, then old sticks were my goal,

For some way or another I’d get out of that hole.

I soon had a ladder that was really quite tall,

And I thought, “I’ll soon leave this place once and for all!”

I climbed up my ladder; it was no easy chore,

For from lifting those boulders, my shoulders were sore.

I climbed up the ladder, but soon had to stop,

For my ladder stopped short, some ten feet from the top.

I went back down my ladder and felt all around,

But there were no more boulders nor sticks to be found.

I sat down in the darkness and started to cry.

I’d done all I could do; I gave my best try.

But in spite of my work, in this hole I must die.

And all I could do was to sit and think, “Why?”

Was my ladder to short? Was my hole much too deep?

Then from way up on high came a voice: “Do not weep.”

And then faith, hope, and love entered into my chest

As the voice said to me that I’d done my best.

He said, “You’ve worked very hard, and your labor’s been rough,

But the ladder you’ve built is at last tall enough.

So do not despair; there is reason to hope,

Just climb up your ladder; I’ll throw down my rope.”

I climbed up my ladder, then climbed up the cord.

When I got to the top, there stood the Lord.

I’ve never been happier; I felt my struggle was done.

I blinked in the brightness that came from the Son.

I fell to the ground; His feet I did kiss.

I cried, “Lord, how can I ever repay Thee for this?”

He looked all about Him. There were holes in the ground.

They had people inside and were seen all around.

There were thousands of holes that were damp, dark and deep.

Then the Lord looked at me, and He said, “feed my sheep,”

And he went on his way to save other lost souls,

So I got right to work, calling down to the holes,

“Get up! Get ready! There is nothing the matter!

Take rocks, and take sticks, and build up a fine ladder!”

It now was my turn to spread the good word,

The most glorious message that man ever heard:

That there’s one who is coming to save one and all,

And we need to be ready when he gives the call.

He’ll pull us all out of the holes that we’re in

And save all our souls from death and from sin.

So do not lose faith; there is reason to hope:

Just climb up your ladder; he’ll throw down his rope.

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