Lives of Faith Pieced in Poetry

Brittany Chapman

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About the Lecture

In former eras, poetry kept pace with daily life. Faithful men and women shared meaningful experiences and sentiments in verse that were otherwise left unrecorded. Poetry can help unfold history and offers a peek into the untold stories of the past. Chapman’s research has uncovered many inspirational poems written by leaders and members of the Church. “Poetry is a largely untapped biographical source,” said Chapman. Her lecture will illuminate stories behind many of these pieces of poetry.

One of the poems Chapman will be sharing in the lecture is an acrostic written by Wilford Woodruff to Barbara Moses in her autograph book. Chapman, who received her master’s degree in Victorian Studies, noted, “Autograph books were a big deal in the Victorian era, and this poem hints at a relationship rich in faith in the early days of the Church.” Autograph books were often used by Latter-day Saints to preserve advice or sentiments between friends and family, in addition to collecting the signatures of famous persons.

Another poem that will be highlighted is from Ruth May Fox, a former general Young Women president, who recorded an experience of caring for her terminally ill 17-year-old daughter. This story was told only by the means of poetry, which impresses the emotion of the experience upon its reader.

This event was part of the 2014 Men and Women of Faith lecture series sponsored by the Church History Library. This event is free and open to the public. The Assembly Hall is located on Temple Square, 50 North West Temple.

For more information, please see the 2014 Men and Women of Faith Lecture Series or call 1-801-240-2272.

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