The Rubik’s Cube

As one of my goals for my list of 30 Things To Do Before I Turn 30, I learned how to solve a Rubik’s cube.  I can solve it in two and a half minutes. It’s not record-breaking, by any means, but I’m proud of myself. It sits on my piano, and when I have an extra two and a half minutes, I solve it.

Last year, we had a teenager living with a for a few months. He was fascinated by the Rubik’s cube and fiddled with it a lot. But he never wanted to solve it. He only wanted to mix it up for me. He would mix it up, pass it to me, and two and a half minutes later, it would be solved. I solved it every time, and every time he was blown away.

Often, he would take the Rubik’s cube back and mix it up again. “That one was easy. I’ll mix it more. You won’t solve this one.” Then he’d pass it to me, and I’d solve it, and he’d be surprised.

He spent a lot of time getting the Rubik’s cube it as mixed up as he could. But no matter how he scrambled it, I could always solve it. Because here’s the thing about Rubik’s cubes: they come with instructions!

When I opened up my first Rubik’s cube, I also opened up the instructions. The first step is to make a cross with the white blocks. And the instructions tell you how to do it. Move the left face clockwise, move the bottom face counterclockwise,” and so forth. Then you put the white corners into place. Then you solve the middle row just like it tells you. Rotate the front face clockwise, rotate the left face clockwise.” I continued along the instructions until it was solved. Then I practiced. Eventually, I had it memorized. And these instructions solve the Rubik’s cube every single time. It does not matter how scrambled it is. The instructions solve it. Form a white cross, put the white corners in place, solve the middle row, etc. etc. etc.

It’s the same way with our lives and the Atonement of our Savior. Sometimes we bring our sad and scrambled lives before His feet and sorrowfully say, “I messed it up, and it will never be solved.” And the Savior, in His all-knowing and all-powerful way, takes our lives in His hands and solves our problems. Every single time. Because during the Atonement, the Savior bought the instructions, He paid for them in blood, and it solves every problem every time. And it solves our weaknesses, our struggles, every single tear we cry, and more importantly, every single tear we hold in. Every single time.

While the Savior is the one who moves the final pieces into place, the first few steps are things we are asked to do on our own. But we were not sent to earth to struggle on our own in a puzzle that would be impossible to beat. We were sent with instructions. These instructions are found in the scriptures, from the words of our prophets and apostles, and in the personal revelations we’re all entitled to receive.

So often we navigate through life’s problems like a child turning a Rubik’s cube. The progress is slow, and putting one piece in place often means disrupting another. But the Rubik’s cube offers some interesting symbolism in its first step of forming a white cross. Step one in life: Look to the Savior.  Step two: Put the white corners in place. This talk by President Hinckley describes the four cornerstones of faith, or, as I like to think of it, the four corners of a Rubik’s cube. These cornerstones are Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith’s First Vision, The Book of Mormon, and the Restoration of the Priesthood. If we’re feeling scrambled in life, looking for and strengthening our testimonies in each of these areas is an essential step.

Another interesting note about Rubik’s cubes is that the center pieces on each face never move. If you have one, take a look. Move pieces around and see. The center pieces do not move. In our lives, we may feel like every piece is out of place, but no matter what we’ve done or how we’ve failed, some pieces will always remain. 1: We are children of our Heavenly Father. 2: He loves us. 3: He has provided a way for us to return home. And there are more! I encourage you to study and find the truths that the Lord wants you to always remember. 

In my experiences with a Rubik’s cube, I learned that it’s either solved, or it isn’t. Just how these instructions will solve even the most mixed up Rubik’s cube, they solve the simple problems too. Even if only one piece is out of place, the instructions remain the same. Form a white cross. Put the white corners in place. Solve the middle row.

In the moments where things are mostly right and we’re doing mostly good, but things still feel off, the solution is still to look for the Savior who is eagerly waiting to help us. He is there for twenty misplaced pieces, and He’s there for one. He’s there every time, and He’ll solve it every time.

Life came with instructions. Find them. Follow them. And when you’ve gone as far as you can go, turn your life over to the Savior who will solve the pieces where you fall short every single time.

And if you’re interested in learning to solve a Rubik’s cube, here are some instructions.

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