The adult human body has 206 bones that make up its skeleton. The purpose of our bones is to provide the internal structure of the body and act like a framework upon which our muscles and tendons attach. They also act as a protective (rib) cage for the internal organs, such as our heart, and lungs. Without this sturdy framework, we would all look like gooey piles of fluff on the floor.
Another function of the bones is that they can act as a lever to aid the muscles in their designed movements. For instance, when Riley does his superman pose in front of the mirror, his biceps muscle tightens and contracts, pulling his radial tuberosity (forearm) up toward the origin of the muscle on the scapula. This creates a massive (or barely visible) bulge and provides strength and function to the arm itself. In this case, this muscle is designed to give the body the ability to “lift”.
So what can our skeletons teach us?
In a gospel sense, our bones represent our personal testimony. It provides a framework by which we live. It lifts us, guides our movements, gives us our appearance, and protects our heart from outside pressures and influences.
We can even take another step outward and look at this analogy in a broader sense. For a community or a society, we can compare this skeletal framework to the gospel itself. Without it, we are really just fluff puddles. There is nothing to hold us up, give us strength, or protect us.
The scriptures usually only mention bones as the ground decorations leftover after bloody wars, but if we look, we can find a different comparison.
“For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.” -Ephesians 5:30
So, we are members of His body, and of His bones. Part of our purpose here in this life is to provide strength, protection, and leverage by which “lifting” can be accomplished. Just as Riley’s biceps contract and lift against a solid framework, we too, as “members of His Body and of His bones” provide the solid framework through which the Lord lifts others. When we are where we are supposed to be, and provide adequate strength, the Lord will “lift” through us.
An interesting fact is that when our bones are consistently tested or stressed, as they are when we exercise, work, run, or lift weights, they become stronger. Its not just our muscles that benefit. When we fail to push them, they atrophy, or become weaker, just as muscles do.
Bones can break, but they also have the ability to heal themselves with time, and often when they do so, with proper repair and treatment, they return to be just as strong as the original bone.
Sometimes our testimonies break, or feel weak, or get battered and bruised. No one gets through life without a bruise, or a break. But, spiritually speaking, if we “seek proper treatment” to heal them, they can, just as actual bone, become strong again.
This is also true with our testimonies, and in our ability to act as true members of His body. If we do not spend time working out our spiritual muscles, as Riley has previously explained, we become more like the 97 year old lady with osteoporosis, that eventually falls, and breaks a hip, arm, ribs, or head.
Lets all exercise, and make sure we have bones or testimonies that provide us adequate strength when we need them, and that we can also become that strong framework that the Lord uses when He needs to “lift” others.