In the 118th psalm, there is an interesting passage which highlights the disconnect between popular opinion and intrinsic value:
The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.
This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.
In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Jacob also references this passage. After emphasizing the importance of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and lamenting the current state of the Jewish people, he asks a thoughtful question in the context of a discouraging prophecy:
And now I, Jacob, am led on by the Spirit unto prophesying; for I perceive by the workings of the Spirit which is in me, that by the stumbling of the Jews they will reject the stone upon which they might build and have safe foundation.
But behold, according to the scriptures, this stone shall become the great, and the last, and the only sure foundation, upon which the Jews can build.
And now, my beloved, how is it possible that these, after having rejected the sure foundation, can ever build upon it, that it may become the head of their corner?
I would paraphrase Jacob’s question this way: If people initially reject something which turns out to be not only true but fundamental, how can they ever recover?
He answers that question by quoting and then commenting on a very long allegory written by the prophet Zenos (Jacob 5-6). I would summarize the answer by saying that God is patient with us and will continue to reach out to us even if we are not responsive at first.
I’ve been thinking today about how Jacob’s question relates to my own spiritual foundation. Here are my thoughts:
- I can become more wise over time. Some things which I might have rejected or undervalued in the past may become important to me over time as I become more mature.
- I can rely on God’s continued love and support, even as I learn and grow.
- I can also follow God’s example, being patient with those who fail to recognize fundamental truths I have come to know. Just because they may reject those truths today doesn’t mean they will reject them forever!
- Jesus Christ is not only the cornerstone of the church (Ephesians 2:20). He is also the foundation of our individual faith (Helaman 5:12). As I learn to trust Him more, my own spiritual strength will grow.
Today, I will strive to build my foundation on the Savior. I will remember that God continues to patiently work with each of us to help us build our lives on a solid foundation.