Friday, November 2, 2012


The other day, I was thinking about the movie "The Mountain of the Lord".  Specifically, I was thinking about the part of the movie where Johnston's army is approaching the city.  This requires the saints to bury the foundation of the temple to prevent the holy ground from being desecrated.  After the immediate threat of the army has passed, the foundation is exhumed so that the construction of the temple may continue.

Unfortunately, the foundation is discovered to have cracks in it, which will not support the weight of a granite temple.  Despondent, President Young vows not to move from the spot until he knows what he is to do.

Later in the day, Elder Woodruff comes to visit with President Young.  Elder Woodruff suggests a new plan of action.  The new approach will create a stable foundation, but will also require that the entire existing foundation be removed.  Nine years of labor have already been been put into the temple construction, and it will be necessary to start all over again.  This is indeed what is done.

There are several things that can be taken from this experience that apply to our marriages:

 1) Sometimes it is necessary to start over

Undoubtably, it was heartbreaking to throw away nine years of toil, sacrifice, blood, sweat, and tears.  And yet the purpose of the temple was to stand through the Millenium.  If they had continued to build on a damaged foundation, how long would it have been until the temple collapsed?  Then the foundation would still need to be removed, along with everything else that had collapsed on top of it.  They would have only been delaying the inevitable by trying to build on a damaged foundation.

Are there parts of our marriage that are build on a damaged foundation?  Have we built, expecting the other person to "complete us"?  Did we marry solely based on feelings of infatuation that have faded?  Are we relying on our own efforts too much?  Are there more serious issues, such as pornography, abuse, or an affair?  Are our marriages balanced precariously on a broken block of stone, nearing the point of collapse?

In many cases, a marriage may be on strong footings, and need only a small amount of renovation.  But sometimes all of the broken pieces need to come up so that a sure and strong foundation can be put in its place.  If you feel you are in this situation, please don't delay.  A broken foundation will not get better on its own.

2) Sometimes we need the help of other people

President Young was the prophet, and had spent a considerable amount of time praying and pondering on what to do.  But it was not until Elder Woodruff came and spoke with him that he was able to move forward with what needed to be done.

We are not sent to this earth to be alone in our struggles.  Prayerfully consider where you can turn to for help.  A loving bishop or a kind, supportive counselor can provide a listening ear and a helping hand.  You may also be able to find a mentor couple, who may have had similar experiences to yours.

I would be cautious about going to family or friends.  While they do care about you, they may be too close to the situation to provide an objective point of view.

The Lord knows your situation better than I do.  If you ask Him, He will direct you to someone who can help.  While the Lord can certainly meet all of our needs, He often works through other people.  He understands that sometimes we need to see the ear that is listening to us, and feel a physical hand of comfort on our shoulders.

3) Remember who your foundation is

I have saved the most important point for last.  We often look to others to be our foundation, whether it is our spouse, parent, friend, or leader.  While all of these people can be helpful, they cannot provide us with what we truly need.  The scriptures teach us where our foundation is to be found:
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.  Ephesians 2:19-20
Whether your foundation needs only a few bricks replaced, or a complete removal, be sure that you are built on the chief cornerstone.  Jesus loves you, and He very much wants your marriage to succeed.

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