The Mormon Man’s Burden

With apologies to Rudyard Kipling.

Take up the Mormon Man’s burden–
Send forth the best ye breed–
Go bind your sons to wives
To serve your church’s need;
To wait, in presiding’s harness,
On female folk and youth—
Your forever family, sealed
In God’s patriarchal truth.

Take up the Mormon Man’s burden–
In long-suffering to abide,
To veil the threat of priesthood
And check the show of pride;
By gentle speech and meekness,
An hundred times made plain
To seek another’s service,
And work another’s gain.

Take up the Mormon Man’s burden–
The setting up of chairs—
Put on your white shirt and tie
And cure sickness with your prayers.
And when your goal is nearest
The end only for others sought,
Watch sin and feminist folly
Dismiss your labor as nought.

Take up the Mormon Man’s burden–
Not just a bishop’s iron rule
But an unpaid mover’s toil—
And the presidency of Sunday School.
The pedestals ye shall not stand on,
The babes ye shall not birth,
Mark your gender’s role as lesser
In this mortal life on earth.

Take up the Mormon Man’s burden–
Have done with childish things—
The lightly profferred Laurels,
Or your future as priests and kings.
Strive now, to prove your manhood
To all the chapel’s listening ears:
Be humbly grateful for your privilege,
As you share your testimony in tears.


  1. This calls to mind an editorial poem written in response to Kipling’s when the US was bogged down in the Phillipines after the Spanish-American War (and I’m paraphrasing here):

    We’ve taken up the white man’s burden
    Of our brothers black and brown;
    Now, Mr. Kipling, tell us, please:
    How may we put it down?


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