The Stone which the builders rejected

אֶבֶן מָאֲס֣וּ הַבּוֹנִ֑ים הָ֝יְתָ֗ה לְרֹ֣אשׁ פִּנָּֽה
Psalm 118:22

As it is recorded, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the LORD’s work. We consider it amazing!” (Psalm 118:22–23). One of the earliest layers of meaning for this psalm refers to the anointing of King David. He was passed over in favor of his brothers for the kingship, but Samuel brought forth the boy who was never considered, and established him as the King (1 Sam 16:6–13). Another layer of meaning expands to all of Israel, a weak nation dwarfed by surrounding empires. Yet, God chose Israel out of all of them to be glorified with the Torah. Furthermore, another layer of interpretation in the New Testament and the Book of Mormon refocuses this on the crucified Jesus (Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:10-11, Luke 20:17, Acts 4:11, Ephesians 2:20-22; 1 Peter 2:4-8, Jacob 4:15), whom the “experts” of the time rejected, yet God vindicated and to whom God gave the name that is above every other name.

We have heard these words many times: “The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone” (Psalm 118:22).  Very few people stop to ask the questions of who the builders were, and why the stone was discarded! Well, the builders were the “experts” and the “leaders.” They were the ones in charge. They were the ones with power and authority. They had the ability to draw the lines wherever they wanted. And what about the stone? In the judgment of the builders, the stone didn’t fit. There was something “wrong” with it. Either it wasn’t the right shape to fit their hole, or it didn’t match the rest of the stones in color or texture. It didn’t fit their plan. They cast aside this stone because it contradicted their expectations. However, this queer stone was elevated to be the cornerstone, and this was explicitly the Lord’s doing! (Psalm 118:23). Putting this together, we see that the experts were wrong. The builders thought something didn’t fit, but God said that it should adorn the building anyway. This is what God is doing for queer people. The world says we don’t fit, that there’s something wrong with us, and we don’t fit the world’s plan. But, we fit Heavenly Father’s plan! And just like the stone, God is raising us up to a profound place, to be the spicy glory of the whole Church. By raising up the stone that was “weak,” God celebrates diversity, and so should we.

Latter-day revelation also builds upon this imagery.  Saints have always been a queer people, not really fitting in.  We are out of place in terms of the world’s standards.  We are “weak things” from their perspective.  Like the stone rejected by the builders, we were rejected by the people in power in Missouri in 1838.  We were oppressed by persecution and hate crimes, just for not fitting in.  That makes us literally “queer” people. As a comfort and consolation, the Lord by way of revelation in 1841 reminded the Saints that we are a cornerstone of Zion (D&C 124:2, 23, 131). No matter how we have been rejected by the world, we are elevated by God with our difference intact.  This is another way modern revelation gives hope for the vindication of LGBT individuals.

“Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant Joseph Smith, I am well pleased with your offering and acknowledgments, which you have made; for unto this end have I raised you up, that I might show forth my wisdom through the weak things of the earth. Your prayers are acceptable before me; and in answer to them I say unto you, that you are now called immediately to make a solemn proclamation of my gospel, and of this stake which I have planted to be a cornerstone of Zion, which shall be polished with the refinement which is after the similitude of a palace.” (D&C 124:1-2, italics added)

[For an analysis of the temple architecture as an “inside-out” closet, see here.  For a defense of entryway as the holiest part of the temple, see here.]

3 thoughts on “The Stone which the builders rejected

  1. Pingback: Seer stones as tools of the disempowered | Latter-day Thinking

  2. Pingback: The Temple as an “Inside-Out” Closet | Latter-day Thinking

  3. Pingback: The Threshold as the Holiest Location of the Temple | Latter-day Thinking

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