When I need to turn my brain off and numb out, my favorite thing to do is to go on Facebook and watch videos of woodworkers on their lathe.
(Well, honestly, my favorite thing to do is watch Big Bang Theory clips, but it’s harder to make spiritual connections from that one.)
As I walk through this analogy, I want you to think about how the Savior works the same process with us.
These woodworkers start with an often abandoned piece of wood that has no real beauty of its own. It might be a burl that’s been cut off a tree or just another random part of a tree trunk that’s no longer standing.
They start with this very rough wood piece with thick bark and no real shape.
Sometimes before they put it on a lathe, they use a chainsaw or another tool to start shaping it into their desired finished shape. Sometimes the wood has rotten parts that have to be shaved off.
In this case, there may not be enough wood in some areas to obtain the desired shape. The woodturner will resin to fill in these spots.
Once it is attached to the lathe, they start using tools to even it out.
They typically start with tools that are stronger and can take off those really rough edges. As the wood begins to smooth out, they switch to more delicate tools for finer details.
As this happens, they gently create the shape of the finished bowl or vase.
Now, woodturners have to start working on the inside.
Usually, they will use a tool that bores a three or four-inch hole down the center. It takes out massive amounts of wood in just one turn. From there, the woodturner repeats the process of removing wood until the desired shape forms.
The skill required by woodturners to maintain a consistent thickness never ceases to amaze me.
Then comes my favorite parts.
The woodturner starts sanding this piece of wood on the lathe. He begins with rough sandpaper, and then gradually switches to finer grains until the bowl is smooth.
Then he uses mineral oil or other kinds of oil to shine the wood and enhance the beautiful grain that’s now showing through the piece of work.
Occasionally, I have even seen a woodturner use a small blow torch before polishing the finished piece to further enhance the grain’s contrast from the wood’s primary color.
What started as a rough and forgotten piece of wood has now turned into a beautiful vase or bowl that can be sold for hundreds of dollars.
The Savior does the same thing for us. We are those rough and rugged pieces of wood, and when we let the Savior work on us, we become beautiful, priceless works of art.