Rubik’s Life Lessons IV: You Can Always Be Solved

Lesson Four

No matter how mixed up you are, you can always be solved. That is the beauty of Christ’s Atonement. No stain is too deep to wash clean. No wound is too severe to heal. No soul too miserable to be comforted. Through Jesus Christ, the colors can always be matched up again.

In the Book of Mormon, we read of the wise counsel of a loving father to his two sons.

And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.(Helaman 5:12)

He tells his sons that if they build the foundation of their faith upon Jesus Christ, the devil will have no power over them to bring them down to misery. Helaman, the name of this father, also says that this will happen when the devil will send his storm upon us. It’s not a matter of if. We will face adversity and trials in this life. Our ‘cube’ is going to get mixed up time and time again, but by relying on Christ and standing upon the rock of His atoning sacrifice we will not be brought down into the crashing waves.

Jesus Christ is our Advocate with the Father. He is the Way to the Father, the Messenger for the Father, and He will plead for us when we stand before the judgment bar of God, if we have had faith on Him and used His atonement.

Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him—

Saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified;

Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life(Doctrine and Covenants 45:3-5)

If we repent and forsake our sins, our Heavenly Father will forgive us, and we will someday enter into His kingdom and live with Him again eternally. I know this to be true, and I know it’s only possible through our Savior Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter how mixed up you think you are. Come unto Him and you can be solved, you can be healed and forgiven.

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Rubik’s Life Lessons III: Sincerity of Heart

Lesson Three

Don’t allow the repentance process to become a memorized routine. This is, in a way, the opposite of Lesson One. Most often Satan would have us believe that changing is too difficult and therefore isn’t worth the attempt. Other times he tries to convince us that it is an easy process, and he lulls us into making it into something that can be done and over with in a very short period of time.

Since the day I learned how to solve a Rubik’s cube to the present day, I can’t count the number of times I’ve matched up all six colors. There were days when I probably solved it around fifty times in between walking from house to house. Thefirst fifty times I solved the puzzle it was a slow process. I had to keep looking at the cube and reminding myself of the correct twists. Now I can glance at it briefly and then look up at someone and have a conversation while my muscle memory performs the move.

This is not how repentance should become. Once we establish the method and have done it many times, it’s easy for us to slip into the habit of simply going through the process without any real sincerity or thought. I’m certainly guilty of this more than once. We must offer up ourselves, not by rote pattern, but out of an honest desire to love God and obey His commandments.

Thus we may see that the Lord is merciful unto all who will, in the sincerity of their hearts, call upon his holy name. (Heleman 3:27)

The Savior Himself had some things to say on the sincerity of our hearts.

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 7:21)

Every time we solve the cube, it must be a unique, individual experience. We must give our full attention to it and not just glance at it briefly while our muscle memory does the rest. We must be sincere. The Lord accepts nothing less.

 

 

Rubik’s Life Lessons II: Solving Takes Scrambling

Lesson Two

Even when you’re starting to become solved, you still have to get scrambled along the way. In order to place each piece of the cube where it needs to be, you need to twist some of the pieces out of place and then restore them to complete the move. Going through the repentance process, or any mode of change, will often require us to do this. Even after we’ve made some changes and see our colors matching up, we’ll still need to twist ourselves into some uncomfortable circumstances to continue making progress.

We will need to exercise patience and understand that we can’t just match up one side, then do another and anther until we finish the sixth side. In terms of the actual Rubik’s cube, it’s physically impossible. You can try, but eventually you’ll need to mix up the colors for a second in order to place other colors where they need to be.

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: (Romans 5:3-4)

We learn through these twists how to be patient in our repentance process. This patience helps us gain experience for future times when we’ll need to solve our Rubik’s cube again and again, and in turn this experience brings us hope that solving the cube is possible.

It’s not always fun. Before I understood a correct method, I would try and solve each side, one after another. Often I would get to the point where I knew I had to mix up a side already solved if I wanted to progress on another side. This is where I’d get stuck. I didn’t want to unscramble a side already solved. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to solve it again, or that I would just screw up the whole cube in general.

The end result of repentance is always a relief. There is no greater feeling than knowing that your Heavenly Father has forgiven you of sin(s). During repentance, however, it may not always be pleasant. It’s not meant to be fun. The feelings of guilt and shame are an inevitable consequence of mistakes, and they are something that must simply be experienced, but…

…My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? (Hebrews 12:5-7)

Being chastened, or rebuked, by God is not something He does because he wants us to feel terrible, or because He wants to bully us. God rebukes when we mess up because He loves us. He wants us to do better and He knows that sometimes a little tough love is in order.

I know that through the love of God and the grace of Christ, we can change. It might put us out of our comfort zone every now and then, but that’s just a necessary part of the process. A few twists and turns here and there and before you know it, your Rubik’s cube is solved!

Rubik’s Life Lessons I: Easier Than It Looks

So, not too long ago some other missionaries serving near me taught me how to solve a Rubik’s cube. They had a Rubik’s cube in their apartment and, in frustration, I would watch them solve it over and over again. It got to the point that I had to be able to do it too. I had always wanted to be able to solve those stupid little obnoxious boxes. So I made them teach me their method and in a few minutes I found myself with a solved Rubik’s cube in my hands.

Strangely enough, there are a lot of life lessons that can be learned from this ingenious little toy. And so, this is the beginning of a series of short lessons that I’ve learned (and am still trying to correctly apply) in my life. I hope you enjoy them.

Lesson One

We are going to liken a Rubik’s cube to repentance, and for the sake of the analogy, let’s say that the Rubik’s cube in this lesson is an extension of yourself. Your spirit, your soul, your conscience, whatever term you would like to use. We come into this life with our Rubik’s cube solved. It’s perfect, but as we grow older some twists are applied to the cube and eventually we find ourselves all scrambled up. The colors are no longer in the right places and now we see that we need to solve our cube.

If you’re like me, you’ve seen someone solve one of these toys and thought “How in the world do they do that?” It just seems impossible. At least to me it appeared to be a task I would never accomplish. That’s often how we feel about repentance, and about coming to God to ask for forgiveness and then going out into the world to be a better person. We may feel that we will simply never be solved. We will forever be scrambled up and never experience the joy of having all our colors where they need to be.

You know what I realized after I finally got the solving method down? I realized it was so easy. I’m not saying that I understand the ins and outs of solving a Rubik’s cube, but I know a method, I apply it, and I solve the puzzle. I was amazed at how simple it was to solve it. When I solve it in front of people, they often express frustration at how difficult it appears and how they can’t figure out how I do it. I just tell them that I know a really easy method and I use it.

The same goes for repentance and change. It seems daunting, like an infinitely high mountain that we simply can’t climb over, but that’s only Satan trying to tell us not to try. Our Savior Jesus Christ is there telling us that we can climb that mountain. We just need to rely on Him and press forward, using the correct method: repentance. We recognize our mistakes and weaknesses. We acknowledge them to God and confess them to Him. If we have wronged another, we confess our mistake to that individual. We ask for forgiveness from God, relying upon the Atonement of Jesus Christ and having faith in Him. We right our wrong. Give back what was stolen. Replace the lie with truth. Etc. Then we forsake the sin andstrive to never commit it again.

This is the method of change. It truly is simple, and that is the beauty of it. I know that repentance is a gift given to us from God, made possible through our Savior Jesus Christ. God wants us to change and put off the carnal man within us. He would not make the method too difficult to follow. It takes courage, faith, and perseverance, but it is simple and easier than we think if we rely on Christ.