Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » The Clerical Sense

The Clerical Sense

By: Ardis E. Parshall - November 12, 2013

The Clerical Sense

By Joseph L. Townsend

A tourist came from Jupiter
To view our little earth.
Astonished at the things he saw
He noted all their worth:
And then, as you may well infer,
He soon returned to Jupiter
And wrote a book,
A little book
About our little earth.

The king who ruled at Jupiter
A rival envoy sent,
To see if what the first one wrote
Was truthful in intent;
To tell, forsooth, what folks we were
He soon returned to Jupiter
And wrote a book,
A little book –
He had to, being sent.

The two who came from Jupiter
Wrote each of many a thing.
One, truth to please the people,
One, just to please the king;
And both affirmed, for wise they were
Among the wise of Jupiter –
And held each book
A truthful book,
The truth in everything.

And from these books all Jupiter
Took sides in a review:
Was one book right, ’tis logical
The other wasn’t true.
And as these men could not concur,
The clergymen of Jupiter
Have written books
And written books
To prove each point of view.




  1. Wonderful.

    I’ll have to use this with my Seminary students tomorrow.

    This is exactly what is going on with so many arguments in the world today.

    Comment by Kent Larsen — November 12, 2013 @ 12:52 pm

  2. He could have just told those Jupiterians to Choose the Right.

    Comment by Mark B. — November 12, 2013 @ 1:08 pm

  3. Kinda odd, if you ask me.

    Comment by David Y. — November 12, 2013 @ 1:10 pm

  4. Odd? Who asked you, David? :) Yeah, but that’s why it appealed to me.

    I hope you-all recognize Townsend in connection with these hymns:

    #52 “The Day Dawn is Breaking”
    #99 Nearer, Dear Savior, to Thee
    #185 Reverently and Meekly Now
    #232 Let Us Oft Speak Kind Words To Each Other
    #239 Choose the Right
    #258 O Thou Rock Of Our Salvation
    #259 Hope of Israel
    #271 Oh, Holy Words of Truth and Love
    #274 The Iron Rod
    #286 Oh, What Songs of the Heart

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — November 12, 2013 @ 2:21 pm

  5. My SciFi side, and my Mormon side, are both fulfilled in complementary ways!

    Thanks Ardis!

    Comment by Juliathepoet — November 12, 2013 @ 7:47 pm

  6. I just calls ’em as I sees ’em. It’s just that it seemed an odd way to get to the point that “clergymen” write to prove their points. And yes, I recognized Townsend’s name as the writer of well-known hymns; maybe the juxtaposition of those hymn texts in my mind with *this* piece added to my perception of its oddness. But who asked me, anyway? [wink]

    Comment by David Y. — November 12, 2013 @ 8:00 pm

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