Tumbling Toilet Paper Towers

Suzanne Burnett
2 min readSep 17, 2022


My one-year-old has a favorite game: stacking toilet paper rolls.

Over and over and over he builds a tower and accidentally or purposely causes it to fall so he can laugh and stack it again. One time his structure will be perfectly straight and rise over his head. On another round, a single roll will be skewed to one side, causing the rest of the stack to lean to its death. But he seldom tires of this amusement, and what’s more, there are no fits, disappointment, or tears when his hard work tumbles to the floor. Grinning, he picks up the closest roll and starts again.

While watching this process, a quote by Elder Boyd K. Packer came to mind: “When you come to the temple…and kneel at the altar and be sealed, you can live an ordinary life and be an ordinary soul — struggling against temptation, failing and repenting, and failing again and repenting, but always determined to keep your covenants…Then the day will come when you will receive the benediction: ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord’ (Matthew 25:21).”

Looking at pictures of the day I was sealed to my sweetheart makes me smile. “Oh, those cute kids. They had no idea what was coming, “ I think to myself. “That’s probably a good thing!”

On that day, he and I set out to build our marriage and our family in a way that would please God. We’re very ordinary people, living ordinary lives — -lives full of tasks that can feel as futile and repetitious as stacking toilet paper rolls. But we are determined to keep our covenants with God the best we know how, individually and as a couple.

Why? What keeps an ordinary person motivated to keep stacking, keep going when their efforts continually crash down?

Faith. Faith in Jesus Christ, His Atonement and His Resurrection. This kind of faith gives purpose and accountability to our every choice, action, and thought.

As taught by Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “The assurance of resurrection gives us the strength and perspective to endure the mortal challenges faced by each of us and by those we love.”

“The assurance of resurrection also gives us a powerful incentive to keep the commandments of God during our mortal lives.”

So the next time life comes tumbling down to toe level, I hope this ordinary, covenant keeping lady remembers the toddling one-year-old who taught her to grin, reach for the closest toilet paper roll base, and start again.



Suzanne Burnett

Mother of twelve children and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shares spiritual insights learned through parenting and marriage.