Story : Faith of a Child

Father and Child

The father, a well digger, strong was he,
And as loving and kind as a father could be.
And Mary his daughter, Just five years old,
Was very much dearer than millions in gold.
To Mary her father was big, grand and nice,
So each had a treasure, beyond any price.

One day to the well, little Mary was sent
To take daddy’s lunch, how gladly she went.
But when she looked down, not a thing could be seen.
The well, like a pocket, was dark as could be.
The father saw Mary and heard her voice, too,
But made not a sound, just to see what she’d do.

She dropped to her knees, the dear little soul,
And called down, “Oh, Daddy, are you down this hole?”
“Why, yes Mary darling, I’m here at your feet,
Just drop my lunch for I’m ready to eat.
Just let it go easy, I’ll catch it all right.”
She did and she saw it fall out of sight.

“Why Mary,” said father, “There’s enough here for two,
Now this is the thing I would like you to do.
You jump down here to me and we’ll eat it together,
Down here in the cool and away from the weather.”
“Oh, daddy, I’m afraid, I can’t see you at all,
Be sure now you catch me and don’t let me fall.”

‘Twas just for a moment she wavered in doubt,
Then closing her dear little eyes she jumped out.
In the darkness, yes, that was the test,
She trusted in faith At her father’s request.
And both were so happy he kissed her and smiled
Because of the sweet trusting faith of his child.

“Oh, sweet little Mary, you put me to shame,
How often my Father Has called me the same,
But because it was dark I turned back in doubt.
Refusing the call, though his arms were stretched out.”

– – – written by Joseph H. Dean

4 thoughts on “Story : Faith of a Child”

  1. The poem you quote on your website under the title “Story: Faith of a child” is a partial quote of a poem written in 1922 by my great-grandfather, Joseph H. Dean. It is not quoted in its entirety and there is no citation to properly attribute it.

    You can see download a typed transcript of the full poem at the following Internet address:*wl7AENrA

    Additionally, you can see a scan of the original publication of the poem at this address:*drAALRg5X0fBYA

    I ask that if you are going to quote the poem, that you properly attribute it to Joseph H. Dean and, possibly, give the correct citation.

    If the links don’t work for you, please email me at and I will see that you receive a copy of the poem and the scan of its publication.

    Thank you.

  2. @David Dean
    The links at Adobe do not work. I have been sharing the poem “The faith of little Mary” for the last 20 years since I was given a copy as a missionary. I would love to see the whole poem if possible.

  3. The poem was written by my great-grandfather, Joseph H. Dean and first published in July 1922.

    Here is a link to access two PDF documents evidencing authorship: !21196&authkey=!AEJr75TKl_xvZoU. Also, you may view a copy of the published document in Google Books at this link:

    Here is the correct citation language to be added to the poem: (Dean, Joseph H., “The Faith of Little Mary.” Improvement Era [Salt Lake City, Utah] July 1922 [Vol XXV No. 9], inside cover.)

  4. As previously requested by David Dean, I and many of my family members would greatly appreciate it if you’d make the change to give Joseph H. Dean (my great-great-grandfather) credit for his poem, originally written and published as “The Faith of Little Mary” in July 1922. It was actually based on a true experience with his own daughter.

    You can view the original publication here:

    Thank you!

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