Sunday, April 21, 2013

Conference Review - A Sure Foundation

Today I am studying Bishop Dean Davies talk, A Sure Foundation.

My first thought is that, "The foolish man built his house upon a trash heap..." doesn't have the same ring as "house upon the sand."  Then it dawned on my that foolish men in my day really are building their "houses" upon "trash."

I'm serious!

Trashy TV... trashy movies... trash music... trashy ideals... trashy philosophies... trash celebrities...

People have "hitched their wagon" to all kinds of fads, beliefs, and ideals that will never, and can never, keep them safe when life begins to rock.

The only real safety is found in building a SURE foundation, a foundation of faith in Jesus Christ.

“And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall” (Helaman 5:12).

I can think of a couple of examples of a sure foundation that have effectively taught me how to anchor my life to the Savior.

I grew up in Central Oregon.  The soil there is sandy and loose.  Plants have a hard time growing there.  Water quickly seeps through the sandy dirt and is dry in a matter of minutes.  Most of the vegetation that surrounded my childhood house included juniper trees and sage brush... and rocks.  We liked to joke that we could grow lava rocks.  In the field of sage brush beside my house was a lone ponderosa tree.  In this environment, where things struggle to grow, this strong, tall tree was a favorite place to play.  We would climb high and observe the vastness around us.  The wind would blow and the tree would sway.  We felt safe.  The roots of the tree went deep into the lave bedrock and anchored that tree to the earth.  

Eventually, my family even built a lovely log house out of ponderosa trees.  It too, was anchored to the bedrock.  As my parents began this home for our family, they blasted into the love fields to anchor the foundation of the house to the best surface.  That foundation needed to be strong in order to hold the massive weight of the house that eventually would sit atop it.

Years later, my husband and I added onto our home.  My parents came to help.  My dad brought his tractor and dug down to the bedrock   He helped us pour footings anchored to the earth to support the addition to our home.

All three of these examples of a solid foundation reflect anchoring my testimony to "The Rock," to the Savior.

I grew up when Bend Oregon didn't have many LDS youth.  I was often a lone tree in a field of sage brush.  In order to survive with my testimony intact I had to send my roots down deep into gospel truths.  There were not many kids my age.  At most, there were 3 students in my seminary class.  I was often alone in my YW classes.  I was the only active youth in my graduation class.  I learned that I had to take my tiny amount of faith and send it deep into the gospel.

I was the oldest child in my family.  My parents tried to have FHE.  I remember when my mom got on a kick of writing journals.  My family went to church every week.  My mom taught seminary and taught me to love the scriptures.  Like my childhood home, I learned to build a strong foundation, a foundation able to withstand heavy loads.  So glad I learned to build a strong foundation.  Some loads I have had to carry would have crushed me without it.

Now I have the opportunity to teach my own kids about foundations.

I can teach them about The Plan.

"The plan is the plan of salvation, the great plan of happiness. The plan lays out for us a clear picture and understanding of the beginning and the end and the essential steps, including ordinances, which are necessary for each of Father’s children to be able to return to His presence and dwell with Him forever."

I can teach them of the materials they can use to make a strong foundation.

"Faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end are part of the “blueprints” of life. They help to form the appropriate building blocks that will anchor our lives to the Atonement of Christ. These shape and frame the supporting structure of a person’s life. Then, just as temple plans have specifications that give detailed instructions about how to form and integrate essential components, praying, reading the scriptures, partaking of the sacrament, and receiving essential priesthood ordinances become the “specifications” that help integrate and bind together the structure of life."

I really liked Bishop Davies' comments on finding balance:

"Balance in the application of these specifications is vital. For example, in the process of making concrete, precise amounts of sand, gravel, cement, and water are used in order to achieve maximum strength. An incorrect amount or exclusion of any portion of these elements would make the concrete weak and not able to perform its important function.

In like manner, if we do not provide for an appropriate balance in our lives of daily personal prayer and feasting from the scriptures, weekly strengthening from partaking of the sacrament, and frequent participation in priesthood ordinances such as temple ordinances, we too are at risk of being weakened in our spiritual structural strength."

He focused on prayer, scripture study, and partaking of the sacrament as families.

I need to work on these building blocks more in my own family.

The thought that came to me is that a foundation must be inspected and cared for. A foundation cannot be ignored once it have been build.  If so, it may need repairs later.  Although it can be done, repairing a foundation is a difficult job.  It takes far more work than investing in daily inspections and upkeep.

Next week: Elaine Dalton's talk, We Are Daughters of Our Heavenly Father.


  1. "[I]f God loves us enough to send us prophets, then we need to love Him enough to follow them. Following the prophets will help protect us against the storms of life and lead us to Christ."
    "...the scriptures, the living prophets, and the Holy Ghost all testify of Christ. They will help us build on “a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.”

    I, too, grew up in a place where LDS numbers were few (Bemidji, MN)and then was "the new girl" mid 8th grade year... Despite bullying from a pack of girls that lasted from age 11-14, I ran to the source of light... for many of my pre-teen to early teen years, the Savior was my only friend. He was/is my foundation. Thanks for sharing. ♥ ya!

  2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on your sure foundation Wendy! You were blessed to have goodly parents that loved and lived the gospel. My parents were not active. Thank God for my grandparents, especially my grandmother that lived in Laie. Thank God that we lived in Laie!