Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Building a Sure Foundation

In elaborating on the allegory of the good Shepherd for His disciples, Jesus likened Himself to the door into the enclosure where the shepherds kept the sheep. He said, "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture" (John 10:9). With this metaphor, Jesus taught His disciples that it is only through Him and His Atonement that they or anyone else could receive the greatest blessing that God, our Heavenly Father, has to give--life with Him through eternity. At the last supper, Jesus taught this doctrine again when He said to Thomas, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

Peter testified of the paramount importance of Christ in our lives when, after healing a lame man at the temple, he declared to the Sadducees and Jewish rulers, “There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). King Benjamin succinctly taught the same doctrine: "There shall be no other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent" (Mosiah 3:17). Likewise Paul said, "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh..." (Hebrews 10:19-20). It’s clear it is only through Christ that I have hope of returning to live with our Heavenly Father.

Because Christ is the only way back to Heavenly Father and Eternal Life, Helaman counseled his sons, Nephi and Lehi, to, “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 love the imagery of building our foundation on the rock of Jesus Christ to help us weather the storms of life. I once worked on the 56th floor of the 57 story Key Tower in downtown Cleveland. When the winds blew off Lake Erie, the building would creak and sway but thankfully it never toppled to the ground. I’m grateful that the contractors dug deep into the earth and poured the buildings foundation on bedrock so that it would bear the weight of the building and keep it secure against all the elements. Similarly I must build the foundation of my life on the rock of our Savior in order to weather the storms and floods of life.

I have asked myself the question: "But how do I build my foundation on the rock of Jesus Christ our Redeemer?” The Savior provided the answer, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.” (Luke 6: 46-49, emphasis added)

In answer to my question, it's clear that I need to: 
  • Come to Christ. I must seek Him, have faith in Him, trust Him, and come to truly know Him (John 17:3).
  •  Hear His words. I won't hear His voice if I don't put forth the effort to listen to His words. How can I listen? I hear His voice as I read and ponder the scriptures, study the   teachings of His prophets and apostles, and listen to the whisperings of the Spirit.
  •  Live what His words teach me. Listening and study will only make a difference in my life if I am willing to humbly submit my will to His and do what He asks me to do.
By following these practices and building my foundation on the rock of Christ, I can:
  • Be forgiven of my sins when I repent;
  •  Receive Christ's grace, which can change my heart and enable me to become someone I can't through my own efforts;
  • Be succored, aided, and supported by Christ in times of trial and need. 

I want these blessings for me and my family. I know that as I build my foundation on the rock of Jesus Christ, I can receive these blessings and one day inherit the greatest of all the gifts of God--Eternal Life (Doctrine and Covenants 14:7).

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