Literary DCGD #6: May I Remember Thee

The principle of personal revelation is a foundation of Mormonism, a key to our understanding of the gospel. And few places in the scriptures make this as clear as in D&C 8 and 9, which are discussed in Gospel Doctrine lesson 6. There we learn, among other things, that faith is a key aspect of personal revelation. Thus to receive personal revelation, we need to remember the Lord, as is described in the poem I selected for this lesson.

Its author, Minnie Iverson Hodapp, was a prolific Mormon poet of the first half of the 20th century. Born in Utah in 1889, she served an LDS mission to Hawaii, received a bachelor’s degree from BYU and married a german convert, Fred Hodapp, who died in 1918, leaving her to raise a son alone. Despite the challenges of a single parent, she was a frequent contributor to the Church magazines and in her later years published several books, including Cartwheels to Zion, Nauvoo Bell and Flowering Moments on Temple Square.


May I Remember Thee

by Minnie Iverson Hodapp

May I remember Thee, O Lord,
With joyful innocence,
Nor read thy dear and precious word
With darkened countenance,
But as the crystal streams upstart
With bright and mirthful glee,
With gladness and a willing heart
May I remember Thee.
May I remember thee, O Lord,
But not with sighing fear,
By sweet revealings of Thy word,
Inspire and draw me near.
By every dear and lovely thing
Which all around I see
’Mid flowers a-bloom and birds that sing,
May I remember Thee.
May I remember Thee, O Lord,
In happiness and smile,
All graciously and willingly
With spirit free from guile.
’Neath balmy skies of summer blue
Where life is glad and free,
With loving heart and spirit true,
May I remember Thee.

(H.T. Keepapitchinin)


The portion of this poem most relevant to this lesson is the second stanza, where Hodapp sees personal revelation as itself something that helps her to remember the Lord:

By sweet revealings of Thy word,
Inspire and draw me near.

In a way this sentiment is almost paradoxical, personal revelation helps us to remember the Lord, just as remembering the Lord facilitates personal revelation. When both are working they put us in a virtuous cycle.

Perhaps a poem like this will help us find and stay in that cycle.