Once upon a time there were three little pigs and the time came for them to leave home and seek their fortunes.The first little pig built his house out of straw because it was the easiest thing to do. He was finished very quickly, and skipped along to his brothers place to see if they could dance and play together. The second little pig had been builing his house out of sticks, so he quickly finished up and ran off with his younger brother. They came upon their older sister Piglette, and she was busy slabbing mortar, and putting toegethr a house of bricks. Her two brothers laughed at her, and invited her out to play. Her parents had warned her that there was a big bad wolf on the loose, and she knew she couldnt take chances, so she continued to lay the brick.
One night the big bad wolf, who dearly loved to eat fat little piggies, came along and saw the first little pig in his house of straw. He said "Let me in, Let me in, little pig or I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house in!"
"Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin", said the little pig.
But the wolf is strong, and of course he blew the house in and ate the first little pig.
The wolf then came to the house of sticks saying "Let me in ,Let me in little pig or I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house in"
"Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin", said the little pig. But the wolf blew that house in too, and ate the second little pig.
The wolf then came to the house of bricks.
" Let me in , let me in" cried the wolf
"Or I'll huff and I'll puff till I blow your house in"
"Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin" said little Piglette.
Well, the wolf huffed and puffed but he could not blow down that brick house.
But the wolf was a sly old wolf, so he covered himself in pig skin and kocked again. Somehow he was able to deceive Piglette, and slowly became her friend. Eventually Piglette let him in. Their friendship blossomed into romance and they were married.
Piglette slowly began to realise that something was wrong, and eventually knew that she was going to have to leave her home. She packed her bags and took her family and ran away as fast as her fat squishy legs would take her. She went back to stay with Mama and Papa pig, living with them while beginning construction on her second house of brick. She bought the strongest brick, and she began to put the pieces of her new home together.
Shortly after moving in to her humble abode, the wolf came a knocking again. When she refused to let him in he climbed up on the roof to look for a way into the brick house.
Piglette saw the wolf climb up on the roof and lit a roaring fire in the fireplace and placed on it a large kettle of water.When the wolf finally found the hole in the chimney he crawled down and KERSPLASH right into that kettle of water. However, this was not the end of her troubles with the big bad wolf.
You see, there is a story behind the story.
That Wolf is Satan, and Satan does not just dissapear because of a few obstacles. He will never stop his attack against the sons and daughters of God.
When we build our houses, we begin by breaking the ground, turning the soil. Taking our broken and humble hearts to the Lord. Then, brick by brick, with slabs of mortar we build our fortress. I build MY fortress. But the wolf is sneaky, and I cannot rely on my actions alone, but on the voice of the spirit, to tell me when the wolf is sneaking over the roof so I can leave a pot of boiling water over the fire, or to tell me when the pig at the door is really the wolf in disguise.
And when the wolf came knocking at the brother pigs' houses, all they did was yell at him to go away, They said that THEY would not let him in. Well they dont need to, he is strongand cunning enough to find a way in himself. They inadvertantly allowed this to happen easier by building a weak house. Establishing their testimonies perhaps based on a few principals of the gospel. Perhaps their faith was built on the reality of Chiasmus in the book of mormon, or the tingly feeling they had during a prayer, or watching one person be healed. They, like Laman and Lemuel, believed for a moment. But when the questions came, they could not stand strong. When the the rains came down and the floods came up, their house was built on sand alone.
What are the bricks? They are the small things. Testimonies are not built by grandiose miracles, seeing angels and watching water turn to wine. We know that Laman and Lemuel were not converted by the huge miracles they witnessed. A real fortress of testimony comes by living the small things. Reading your scriptures, saying your prayers, getting answers, it is a slow upward climb. Small bricks of light, placed monotonosly on top of the other to create a shining citadel of Light. Our testimonies are also not usually torn down in a huge way, but by forgetting those important things. Using sticks and stra instead of bricks, reading every now and then, only going to church but not really listening. D did not leave the church because he read something some day that proved it was wrong. He left slowly. He stopped reading his scriptures because he felt guilty, he stopped praying because he didnt know what to say. He stopped going to church because it became boring to him. Each of these things happened months before the other. He eventually began wishing the church was not true so that he could feel better about himself. In fact he said that, directly. It is odd now to hear his side of the story, his new story. He claims he has found truth, and says it is his duty to share. Only it was three years ago last November that he was crying over his brother leaving the church and wishing he had the ability to share his light and testimony. He wanted to be Nephi, but he did not pick up the sword.
We each get to decide each day what we will do with our lives and our testimonies. My friend Asha has had concerns about her faith, but she prays and studies and searches in good places, and she will find the Light. In fact, she already has. Just this week I had a moment where I doubted, and she was there to bear me her testimony and lift me up. She said part of faith is being okay knowing that we cannot ever really know. We have this false sense feeling we have to completley KNOW everything, but that is not faith. Even Bob Wight, a former member of the seventy, told me that having questions is good and healthy, and we must search out the answers. I had never been told this before (that I can remember), and the first time I doubted I was serisouly afraid. Terrified. But I cannot really have faith, unless I have doubted. There cannot be light if there is no darkness, there would not be joy if there was no pain. I have seen the dark, and I know where the Light is. I have felt the aching pains, and I get to experience the tremendous joy.
And I am building my shining Citadel, brick of light, by brick of light. Hey, Im not perfect. I make mistakes, but the testimony is there, and it is becoming a fortress of Christ.