Monday, September 12, 2005

A Building Blueprint

When I was in shop class in 7th grade one of our projects was to build a bridge out of balsa wood and green glue. I think that we were instructed in the dynamics of construction, trusses, and weight distribution, but were given free reign to apply the principles to our own designs. We spent several weeks constructing our bridges, and when our termination deadline was up we all gathered at the front of the class to test out the strength of our bridges.

I remember looking around at my competition, which consisted mostly of 8th grade rednecks, and thinking that there was no possible way that I was going to lose this contest. They looked something like this:

The teacher would suspend our bridges between two platforms and attach a bucket underneath to which weight was gradually added. I was disappointed to find that my bridge snapped in half in near record time. I mustn’t have listened too intently to the physics lessons that preceded the bridge building. Or perhaps I focused too intently on making the bridge look pretty instead of sturdy. Either way I was left to wonder how the mustachioed 13 year old in the Big Johnson T-Shirt was able to outwit me.

I couldn’t help but think of this experience as I listed to President Thomas S. Monson speak yesterday at a multi-stake conference, which was held in the Conference Center. “Jesus was a builder,” he said. “They called him ‘the carpenter’s son.’” He explained that Christ wisely counseled men not to build their house upon sand, but rather upon a rock, so that when the rains and winds came your livelihood wouldn’t be washed away. He then read to us from D&C 88:119

“Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.”

I’m not much of a builder, but when President Monson referred to this verse of scripture as our "building blueprint" I was inspired to take out a spiritual hammer and go to work. I hope I can fashion a new bridge with beams of faith, learning, order, glory, and fasting. Hopefully I can maneuver them with less awkwardness than I did with the sticks of balsa and green glue. Hopefully the bucket holds.

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