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Used by permission of Liz Lemon Swindle. Painting available through Repartee Gallery.

"The Prodigal Son"

When was the moment? He turned and walked away?
When God became second. To temptations that slay?

When was the first time, that his faith took flight?
For he once loved God! With all his heart, mind, and might!

A chosen son! A precious child, free and pure!
Parents watched over him! Protected, and secured.

He grew into a man. Was seduced by Satan's charms.
Christ's commandments forgotten. The devil, inflicted harm.

When did God lose him? And divine counsels become trite?
Why did he retreat? From the Savior's holy light?

Misled by the Evil One. Who did cunningly steal.
Both heart and soul. To destroy heaven's seal.

Worthless dreams! And fleshly pleasures!
Stop progression! And cause carnage unmeasured!

Each morning and night! Righteous parents still pray.
Pleading and hoping, divine judgments be stayed.

That God's truth! Will again! Echo in his ears!
Erasing the falsehoods. That brought endless tears.

"We love you son! With all of our hearts!
Eternal blessings and glories! God wishes to impart!"

"Let not the burden. Of your past mistakes.
Prevent you from returning, to God's loving embrace!"


The anguish of righteous parents can only be understood by those who have spiritually lost a son or daughter. The questions often comes, "what did we do wrong? What could I have done differently?" So often without them knowing or believing it, "they did nothing wrong."

As so many parents in the Book of Mormon, such as Lehi and Sariah, or Alma and his wife, children were raised that "walked away." I think of the love of Sariah when her boys returned from Jerusalem after recovering the brass plates. Her tears of joy when she saw them returning in the distance horizon. Her words of testimony were so sweet! "Yea, and I also know of a surety that the Lord hath protected my sons, and delivered them..." (1 Nephi 5:8) I ponder Lehi's prayers and words of love and counsel to rebellious his sons. I think of the endless prayers on bent knees from Alma to the Lord pleading for his lost sons. He too, recorded his heartfelt admonitions.

Those deep emotions are so real, and so true today in the lives of many "goodly parents." (1 Nephi 1:1) And, I repeat, "they did nothing wrong!"

The scriptures tell us what to do as parents, when children go astray. We pray unceasingly for them morning and nights. We keep our covenants with God. And we love our children, through all of their trials.

The prodigal son is a the message of hope. I have considered the thoughts of the father of the prodigal son. This poem depicts his lament and sadness before his return. I am comforted with the results of the parable of "The Prodigal Son." For he returns to His earthly parents, and they celebrate. The symbolism, of course, is in the return of our lost spiritual brothers and sisters to our heavenly parents. But, some of us experience this directly as part of our earthly education.

I believe the feelings of a lost child coming home, are as great as the feelings that endeared us to them the day of their birth. Perhaps the intensity is even greater. For what greater desire could a parent in Zion have, than to see their child return to the embrace of Our Loving Father in Heaven.

To be lost spiritually, and then found represents a "fullness of joy beyond measure!" In such occasions, there is much reason to rejoice. There is great cause, to celebrate!

"...But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found..." (Luke 15:20-24)


All poems protected by copyright

A Bridge To Heaven's Gate

A Lighthouse Of Love

A Prayer To Heaven

A Ripple In The Water

A Shepard's Call

Abandoned Moments and Forsaken Memories

Adversity, My Friend

Anger's Prison

An Ocean of Pride

Become As A Child

Be Still

Born Again

Bound By Service

Burning Sparks

Christmas Eve Memories

Day And Night

Does Mercy Rob Justice?

Faith In My Trials

Father Is Waiting

Forever My Angel

Free From Hypocrisy

God's Gift

God's Poet

God's Witness

Heaven's Treasure

He Counseled God

Hidden In The Forest

Hope And Faith

If There Were No Light!

In Remembrance

In The Upper Room

My Father, My Knight

My Last Thoughts

My Mother

My Needs Are Great

Our Father's Love

Our Sweet Temples

Promises and Procrastination



Rescuing God's Children

Resurrection's Glory!

Shun Pride, And Forgive

Spiritual Gifts

Suffer It To Be

Sweet Feast


Tell Me! Why Dear Lord?

The Endless Road

The Hem Of My Garnent

The Message Of Hope

The Notes I No Longer Hear

The Power To Lift

The Prodigal Son

The Sabbath Hour

The Seven Days of Creation

The Story of Flowers

The War For Eternal Choices

Time To Become

To The Shores of Paradise

Walk With Me

When Doubt Puts Truth On Trial

Whisperings of Wisdom