The Stonemason

Public forum to discuss questions about Mormon history and doctrine.
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QuestionAbound
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The Stonemason

Post by QuestionAbound » 05 Aug 2018, 06:41

I watched this in preparation for seminary this coming year.
https://www.lds.org/media-library/video ... g=eng&_r=1

For some reason, this was a game-changer for me in some ways.

I've heard the phrase "put it on the shelf" quite often, but I haven't heard anyone tell me that the "thing" that I'm putting on the shelf will "fit" some day.

Some of my questions or concerns (or odd-shaped stones) have indeed found a place to fit later in life...after I had built my wall a bit more.
The reason they didn't fit before is because I didn't have a place for them to fit...that space had not yet been created.

Anyway, this video and analogy isn't a fix-all, but it has helped me.

In pulling from the video, I like that we can come here to share our stones with each other. Sometimes letting someone else hold the stone for us is helpful. It is a weight lifted. It is a bonding experience.
:thumbup:

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DarkJedi
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Re: The Stonemason

Post by DarkJedi » 06 Aug 2018, 06:26

It is a nice little video, thanks for sharing.
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
I think there is a good message in the video about my little mantra that I have repeated here in a bit:
Take it slow
Focus on what you do believe
Don't dump all at once

That said, as I have rebuilt my own faith there are many things I have reused and many things that still sit in the pile of rubble. Some of them will probably be used at some time as my understanding of things becomes greater. There are some things, like polygamy, the priesthood ban or the November policy that I just don't see fitting ever. But forever is a long time, and I don't know when the "then" in 1 Cor 13 will be.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Roy
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Re: The Stonemason

Post by Roy » 06 Aug 2018, 17:28

I first heard this analogy from a blog
https://dinosaursarefun.blogspot.com/20 ... ed-of.html
The Rock Wall
Here's my final thought. An institute teacher shared this with me years ago, and it's a FANTASTIC analogy. Your testimony is like a rock wall. (Don't worry about the purpose of the wall--the analogy doesn't stretch that far.) Everyone is constantly building to their walls, stone by stone. And every now and then, you may stumble upon a stone and not see exactly where it fits. It may be labeled "gay marriage" or "visiting teaching" or "hymns are boring" or "why do we have so many freaking meetings and why are they so freaking long." But that doesn't mean you abandon the wall. It means you set the stone aside and keep building with what you DO know. And as you build, you may suddenly see where that stone fits. Some people have likened this process to a jigsaw puzzle, but that implies that everyone's testimony looks the same eventually. I like the stone wall better because everyone's will look completely different, and have different foundations, but all of them are still valid. It can be frustrating to feel sometimes like you're surrounded by stones you don't understand. But hang in there. You'll find their place eventually. And as you do, you'll find your OWN place, too.

The blog author says the got this concept from an institute instructor. That institute instructor may have gotten it from Richard Hickley or maybe from the unnamed church leader Bro. Hinckley got it from. I particularly like the part from the blog post that I bolded. It is important to me as I build my wall that it is more like a mosaic art project than a blue printed construction task. I cannot build a "testimony wall" that looks like everyone else's as my pieces are different.
https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/richard- ... riorities/
Some of you struggle with certain doctrines or practices of the Church, past or present; they just don’t quite seem to fit for you. I say, so what? That’s okay. You’re still young. Be patient, but be persistent. Keep studying them, thinking about them, and praying about them. Everyone has questions. I suppose even the prophets themselves had and have some questions. But don’t throw away the jewels you do have in the meantime. Hold on to them; build on them.
Did you know that the two greatest intellectual achievements of the first half of the last century, the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics, are in some points in conflict with each other? They cannot both be right in every detail. These are not my words but the words of Stephen Hawking, the great British physicist. Yet scientists rely on both of these theories every day to advance scientific knowledge, knowing that someday the differences will be understood, reconciled, and corrected.
So it is with the gospel and our testimonies, yours and mine. This is not to suggest that the gospel is imperfect, but our understanding of it sometimes is. Like the scientist who uses relativity and quantum mechanics, we do not discard the gospel or our testimony because not every piece “fits” today. Years ago a Church leader used the following metaphor: Have you ever watched a stonemason build a rock wall? He will sometimes pick up a rock that just does not fit anywhere in the niches in the wall. But does he abandon the wall and walk away? No, he simply sets the rock aside and keeps building until a niche appears where it fits and then proceeds until the wall is finished. So perhaps should we temporarily set aside questions that we continue to struggle with and that we cannot quite seem to answer today, having faith that at sometime in the future a niche will appear in the rock wall of our testimony where they fit perfectly. Don’t abandon the rock wall of your testimony because one or two rocks don’t seem to fit. That has been my personal experience.
Bolding mine. Prophets have unanswered questions! Our understanding of the gospel is imperfect!

Once again, I like the analogy with a few tweaks:
1) I, once again, need the freedom and flexibility to build a wall that does not look like everyone else's but is nonetheless valid.
2) I do not believe that all the pieces need to be used in the rock wall. When building a rock wall a stonemason may choose from among thousands of rocks. I imagine that after finishing such a project any stonemason would have a pile of leftover rocks. These are rocks that he/she had held onto thinking that there might be place for them in the wall but that place never materialized. To force these unused pieces into the wall would be unhelpful and even damaging to the finished wall.
3) “To be perfectly frank, there have been times when members or leaders in the church have simply made mistakes. There may have been things said or done that were not in harmony with our values, principles or doctrine.” Some of the rocks in my pile may represent "mistakes". I do not need to continually reexamine every rock waiting for it to magically fit. If I determine that a particular rock is incongruent with my purpose then perhaps it is just a mistake of the past. I can set it aside in a reject pile and move on with the rocks in my good pile. I try to be charitable on these things and to withold passing final judgement. However, my sanity and quality of life are improved by being able to personally reject certain rocks.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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Heber13
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Re: The Stonemason

Post by Heber13 » 08 Aug 2018, 10:04

Roy wrote:
06 Aug 2018, 17:28
need the freedom and flexibility to build a wall that does not look like everyone else's but is nonetheless valid.
yes, I like this thought too.

I prefer the rock wall analogy to the jigsaw puzzle because the wall can be built with any bricks, where as the jigsaw puzzle is incomplete if not assembled with all the pieces the original artist started with.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

Rusty92
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Re: The Stonemason

Post by Rusty92 » 16 Aug 2018, 16:32

I have a stonemason in my family tree who worked as a stone mason on the Salt Lake temple
He fell to his death and left a widow and children
You would of thought the Lord would of looked after him
Not such luck!

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Heber13
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Re: The Stonemason

Post by Heber13 » 17 Aug 2018, 11:39

Rusty92 wrote:
16 Aug 2018, 16:32
I have a stonemason in my family tree who worked as a stone mason on the Salt Lake temple
He fell to his death and left a widow and children
You would of thought the Lord would of looked after him
Not such luck!
I might have thought of some miracles like some kind of special protection in years past...but...you kind of learn that isn't how it works. They only tell the stories in church of miraculous and inexplicable things while building the temples...they kind of don't tell the other stuff.

Kind of like the seagull and cricket stories...sounds great that seagulls answered prayers and saved their crops......that one year. They don't mention the next year the crickets came again but no seagulls saved anything and crops were destroyed.

Stuff just happens in life.

It's amazing how many unsafe jobs people used to do. What a sacrifice for your family. Thanks for sharing.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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