163. For the Worthy Widows of Zion
She is a Daughter of Zion.
She walks in the Way of the Lord.
She asks no praise from this fallen world,
Nor for any earthly reward.
She gives her heart to the Savior,
She spends her life in His love.
While the selfish and vain crave Earth’s riches,
She strives for a glory above.
She is a Bride-Wife of Zion.
She has partnered a man of renown.
She has given her life of virtue,
To serve as his glory and crown.
In counsel they labored together.
As one they endured life’s pains.
They were tested and tried by fierce fires,
Until only God’s gold would remain.
She is a Mother of Zion.
She conceived, by God’s grace, precious souls.
From birth she taught them truth and light,
That through Jesus they would be made whole.
They, in turn, raised dear seed unto Father,
Keeping faith with the love they were shown.
In a chain that endures forever,
Until God’s greatest gift shall be known.
She is a Widow of Zion.
But her bridegroom’s not left her alone.
So close he is watching and helping,
As guardian for the loves he has known.
Graced with powers sublime from the Savior,
Without ceasing he blesses her life.
Until Heaven’s “due time” of rejoining,
When he hears sacred praise with his wife:
“Well done, thou good and faithful servant:
Thou hast been faithful over a few things,
I will make thee ruler over many things:
enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”
(c) servingjesuspoetry.com [All commercial usage prohibited.]
 “The new declaration of the Relief Society begins, “We are beloved spirit daughters of God.” To be a daughter of God means that you are the offspring of Deity, literal descendants of a Divine Father, inheriting godly attributes and potential. To be a daughter of God also means that you have been born again, changed from a “carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness.” Elder James E. Faust, Conference Report October, 1999, “What it Means to be a Daughter of God”. See also, Mosiah 5:7—“And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters.”
 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6 [All bold type or underlining found here is added by the author—italics are supplied for direct quotations]
 3 Nephi 15:9 Jesus said: “Behold, I am the law, and the light. Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life.” Doctrine and Covenants 6:7 “Seek not for riches but for wisdom, and behold, the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto you, and then shall you be made rich. Behold, he that hath eternal life is rich.”
 The voice of Jesus unto Nephi, Helaman 10:4—“Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments.”
 Alma the younger testified to his son, Helaman: “And I have been supported under trials and troubles of every kind, yea, and in all manner of afflictions; yea, God has delivered me from prison, and from bonds, and from death; yea, and I do put my trust in him, and he will still deliver me. And I know that he will raise me up at the last day, to dwell with him in glory; yea, and I will praise him forever…” Alma 36:27-28.
 With the best of intentions, women enter God’s holy temples as brides to begin the sacred covenant of marriage. Not all (men or women) who make such promises endure. The recorder uses the term “wife” is used to denominate and differentiate those brides who endure to the end, and who are faithful and true, to their husbands and the Lord. Doctrine & Covenants section 132:19-26 explain and expound critical differences between those who remain obedient to God’s laws (and their holy covenant of marriage) and those who do not. See, also, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith , p. 340, with particular scrutiny of footnote 4, and also p. 128: “—“And now dear and well beloved brethren—and when we say brethren, we mean those who have continued faithful (fn. 17) in Christ, men, women and children—we feel to exhort you in the name of the Lord Jesus, to be strong in the faith in the new and everlasting covenant, and nothing frightened at your enemies.” (Other footnotes omitted. Fn 17 cross-references the following key scriptures regarding those who remain faithful: D&C 46:14, D&C 84:80, D&C 105:18, and D&C 108:5. This poem lauds those brides who have continued faithful as wives even beyond the mortal death of their husbands. These are they for whom the supernal blessings of Section 132:19-20, including inter alia, this promise: “Then shall they be gods.”
 President Howard W. Hunter: “A man who holds the priesthood accepts his wife as a partner in the leadership of the home and family with full knowledge of and full participation in all decisions relating thereto. Of necessity there must be in the Church and in the home a presiding officer (see D&C 107:21). By divine appointment, the responsibility to preside in the home rests upon the priesthood holder (see Moses 4:22). The Lord intended that the wife be a helpmeet for man (meet means equal)—that is, a companion equal and necessary in full partnership. Presiding in righteousness necessitates a shared responsibility between husband and wife; together you act with knowledge and participation in all family matters.” (Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 68).
 Proverbs 12: 4 “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband.” 31:10-12 “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life So he will have no lack of gain.”
 1 Nephi 20:10--“For, behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” See also: Doctrine and Covenants 128:24 “Behold, the great day of the Lord is at hand; and who can abide the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap; and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.”
 1 Nephi 1:1 “I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days.”
 Proverbs 31:25-29—“Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. ‘Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.’
 Pearl of Great Price, Moses 1:39—“For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” “Immortality”, the gift of living forever without fear of death, was “locked in” for all mankind when Jesus concluded his supernal sacrifice and declared from the cross “It is finished”. This is a great Divine gift; given freely to all—the righteous and the rebellious. However, “eternal life” is not a synonym, not just a redundant way of saying “living forever”. Rather, it refers to the greatest gift Deity offers only those who have been washed in the blood of the Lamb and made and kept sacred covenants—this is the gift of God’s life, living with Him and the Savior with the opportunity to grow “grace by grace” in acquiring their knowledge and power and fullness of joy. See, e.g. Doctrine and Covenants 14:7—“And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.”
 When Elder Bruce R. McConkie’s father, Oscar W. McConkie, was close to death, he called his family to his bedside and declared: “I am going to die. When I die, I shall not cease to love you. I shall not cease to pray for you. I shall not cease to labor in your behalf.”
 Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 435-36—“Hence, when messengers are sent to minister to the inhabitants of this earth, they are not strangers, but from the ranks of our kindred, friends, and fellow-beings and fellow-servants…. In like manner our fathers and mothers, brothers, sisters and friends who have passed away from this earth, having been faithful, and worthy to enjoy these rights and privileges, may have a mission given them to visit their relatives and friends upon the earth again, bringing from the divine Presence messages of love, of warning, or reproof and instruction, to those whom they had learned to love in the flesh.” The recorder respectfully submits that the supernal bonds between the faithful bridegroom-husband and his equally steadfast bride-wife give rise to the most powerful and divine acts of protection, blessing, and unending love which the worthy widow may receive from Deity, but for the interventions, instruction, and grace given her by Deity—most particularly, the lover of her soul, even Jesus Christ.
 Matthew 25:21. The author believes that the faithful, upon leaving mortality, begin to experience that supernal gift, when they are greeted by the Savior and given the “Divine embrace” and named “good and faithful servants”. Authoritative support for this view is found in the Teachings of President Nelson, as expounded in his sublime discourse of October 24, 2018 entitled: “From Gethsemane to Golgotha: President Nelson's Beautiful Insights into the Savior's Atonement”:
Rich meaning is found in study of the word atonement in the Semitic languages of Old Testament times. In Hebrew, the basic word for atonement is kaphar, a verb that means “to cover” or “to forgive.” Closely related is the Aramaic and Arabic word kafat, meaning “a close embrace”—no doubt related to the Egyptian ritual embrace. References to that embrace are evident in the Book of Mormon. One states that “the Lord hath redeemed my soul . . . ; I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love” (2 Nephi 1:15). Another proffers the glorious hope of our being “clasped in the arms of Jesus” (Mormon 5:11).
BACKGROUND AND TRIGGER:
I have labeled this "162(b)" because it merely expands the previous piece. The changes are obvious--the addition of a Fourth Stanza and a few word changes at the start of previous stanzas. But the subject matter and purpose of those changes merits brief discussion:
1. I was prompted to attempt to explain a difference I found in the scriptures between "bride" and "wife"--the former entering into a marriage with the best of intentions and the latter as a woman whose life of honor, worship, and fidelity would yield Divine approval and a true "eternal marriage" [Fn. 6]. [See, Elder Gong, October 2022 Conference: "Happy and Forever".]
2. The theme of "deceased loved ones serving us from the World of Spirits" was required. This was a concept which I had been exploring for several months. I was convinced of its truth--having felt, repeatedly, a supportive influence and blessing from my own deceased parents on many occasions [Fn. 14].
With these additions, I hope the piece might provide comfort and blessing to worthy widows. I pray it does so, and again emphasize that any good I might do is God's gift to me.