Imagine you are building a stone wall to protect your home. Throughout life, you are given stones that are to be used in your wall. Your wall is unique and you build it at your own pace. You may choose to take wall building classes, observe the walls that others have built, and study the history of all kinds of stone walls in order to help you make your wall sturdy and able to withstand storms.
One day, you are handed a stone that will not sit right. It is awkwardly shaped and there is no place for it to rest securely on your wall. You turn it upside down, examine it thoroughly, but it just does not fit. But need this stone in your wall. What are you going to do?
There are a few options here:
You could throw it away and figure, “This is causing me too much grief. I will just deal with having a hole here and throw this one away.”
You could also dismantle your entire wall and give up on the endeavor. You understood stone wall building to be a seamless endeavor. Others around you never seemed to have any problems. Clearly, you were lied to. Something sneaky is going on that other stonewall builders are not telling you about. You are too smart for this scheme and feel bad for all of the hoodwinked wall builders around you. Besides, with no more wall to build, you can live a pretty carefree life. Less work, more play, right?
You could dismantle some of your wall, reexamine some of the preexisting stones, turn them around. Perhaps there is more than one way to build this wall and as you adjust other stones you discover new sides and angles that you had never noticed before. After some rearranging, suddenly there is the perfect spot for this troublesome stone!
You could also set the odd stone aside and wait. Maybe your wall is built just fine, but there are stones you have not received that will be given to you that will provide the perfect place for this one stone. This may happen quickly, or it may take years, even a lifetime.
Over time building your wall, you may collect many stones that seem to just not work.
As you go through life gaining experience, learning about the gospel, studying the history of the church, and praying and seeking out personal revelation, you may reach some truths that do not sit well with the truths you already have established in your testimony. You will feel confusion, frustration, and maybe even despair and hopelessness.
Hold onto these truths, even if they confuse you to no end. Even if they are causing you grief and frustration, hold onto them. Set them aside for now. If you have reexamined your testimony and understanding of principles in the gospel and there just still is not a place for this truth to sit, just wait. Keep seeking out truth. Hold on with faith.
When you get stuck, ask for help. The best person to ask for help is our Heavenly Father. If we are ready and able to learn, He will give us what we have not yet received and will help us find the answer. This may not happen immediately, and we may have quite the test in patience. But we do not have to build our testimony alone, and help is there for us.
Ultimately we will not build a perfect wall or testimony. But along with accepting truths, if we accept Jesus Christ’s atonement and allow Him to be the foundation our wall is built on, He will come and act as the mortar and support beams to our jumbled, imperfect wall of stones we have tried to build to protect our homes. He will accompany us in our trials of faith and lift us when we reach out to Him.
When we build our testimonies as best as we can and let Jesus Christ be our Savior and Redeemer and our spiritual foundation, we allow a spiritual wall of protection to surround our souls and help keep us on the covenant path back to our true home in Heaven.
“Spiritual Bonfires of Testimony” -Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, October 1992
“Receiving a Testimony of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ” -Elder Robert D. Hales, October 2003
“Prepared to Obtain Every Needful Thing” -Elder David A. Bednar, April 2019
You can follow Laura on Twitter @Laurathecellist.