This question was posed during our testimony meeting today, catching firm hold of my attention. The brother in question was talking about the building of the Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
To those who may not know much - if anything - about it, ten years to the day after arriving in the Salt Lake valley, the members of our church heard disheartening news: Johnson's army had been sent to settle matters regarding the "Mormon's". Word had gotten out this Church was getting together an army, so government decided to send troops out to see precisely what was going on.
Seven years strenuous work on the Salt Lake Temple suddenly needed to be undone, in fear this precious building would come to the same destructive end as had happened to the two previous temples built (Nauvoo and Kirtland). Giant granite stones were hidden, the building taken down to the ground. To anyone who had just come upon the area, it would look as though a field was ready to plant.
After peace between the Church and government had been established, and the army removed, the members began to dig up the dirt covering the sandstone foundations of the temple. To their utter dismay, over time there had appeared two very large cracks running through the base. Can you imagine, after such hard work and so many years lost, what it must have been like to see this?
Yet they did not long pause in their disheartened state. Brigham Young, then president of the Church, ordered the stones be taken up and replaced - not with more sandstone, but with the same granite as made up the temple walls.
“When the Temple is built I want it to stand through the millennium, in connection with many others that will yet be built.”
That it has. The temple was at last finished. A year later, in 1893, the temple was dedicated to the Lord. It still stands today, as solid now as it first stood over 100 years ago.
This may not have been the case. Had they been allowed to continue with the building of the temple without interruption, what might have happened as the great weight of the granite building pressed on the sandstone? Would there have been people inside, working on the walls or setting up the lighting? Could someone have been seriously hurt?
What if President Young had instead chosen to replace the cracked blocks with more sandstone? Is this something they'd find themselves doing every few years? What damage would have occured to the temple as a result?
After reading and thinking about all of this, let's turn our thoughts to our own lives. What sort of "foundations" do we build our own lives upon? What do we turn to in times of need? As the brother who started my whole train of thinking stated: "When I get home from work one of the first things I do is go to my computer. I want to chill out for a moment and see who's on Facebook, what everyone's been up to that day, see if I have any e-mails. My wife asked me, 'Why do you always go to the computer room? Why don't you come see me?' Valid question. I began to realize I was building my family foundation on the wrong thing."
As have I. It's not an easy thing to admit, the possibility we just might, kinda, sorta, maybe be doing something slightly wrong. Yet even I - perfect Laurie - have been known to choose computer time over kids time. Even I have been known to want to watch some television rather than read to my kids. Or hold family prayer. Or scripture study. Not so perfect, am I.
And this creates a shaky foundation for our family life. When I choose things that encourage my attentions to be focused on less important matters, cracks appear - especially under pressure. If my children don't feel as though they can come to me in times of peace with simple matters, why would they come to me when things get really bad?
Take some time today to think about other ways you might crack under the pressures of the world. Ask yourself, upon what have I built my foundations? Are they upon the rock of the Lord? If not, it's time to start making a few changes. If yes, then trust those foundations will not crack, no matter what pressures may be placed upon them.