The other day, I got a big stinkin splinter in the bottom of my foot from the wood floors in our house! I was in a hurry, which is why I was running around in the first place, so I just reached down and plucked out the part I could easily feel. Assuming the problem was solved, I continued in my haste and forgot about it. The next morning, however, I remembered the incident with clarity, when I awoke with a throbbing foot! At first, I still tried to ignore the issue, but eventually I investigated and discovered that the tip of the splinter, buried deep beneath the surface and out of sight, had broken off from the larger piece which I had haphazardly removed. This smaller, deeper portion of the splinter turned out to be much more difficult and time consuming to remove. It required the help of Sister Lowe, tweezers, ice cubes, a needle, and about 30 minutes.
How often do we ignore the deeper, more personal trials in our lives, just like this little splinter? We often work to cure our outward weaknesses; infirmities that are visible to others. If we try really hard, we might even be able to hide the truth from ourselves. But the pain of our innermost trials can only be healed by specific, determined, and sometimes lengthy measures. Sometimes it requires special tools, such as counseling or medical attention. It often means accepting the support of close friends and loved ones. And it always requires the help of our Savior, and His Atonement.
Only when we address the root of our suffering, and take the time and effort necessary to remove the very tip of the splinter, can our souls begin to heal. Such healing can be uncomfortable as we are truly honest with ourselves, our Heavenly Father, and those around us. But it will be worth it when we know, without a doubt, that we have been made whole through the sacrifice of Him who loves us.