By Alexis Tanner Lane
At the end of the summer, our family went to Temple Square to walk around the grounds and to see the construction on the Salt Lake Temple. When we got the construction sight, we could see the exposed foundation which had been uncovered in preparation for structural and seismic upgrades. My mother-in-law reminded us of a story about the foundation of the temple when it was first being built by the early saints.
When the Salt Lake temple was first being built, the cornerstones placed were made out of firestone in 1853. Only 4 years later, word had traveled to Salt Lake that the United States Army was coming to Utah and could be potentially hostile. The saints buried the foundation to hide it from the army. When the army left and the threat was over, the foundation was uncovered to resume building. Brigham Young found that the firestone had been damaged and would not be sufficient to support the temple. He then instructed that a 16 foot granite foundation be constructed.
I’m sure it was incredibly frustrating to cover the foundation and pause the work of the temple. Then to uncover the foundation to find it damaged. But if that hadn’t happened, the granite may not have been placed and the foundation may not have held the weight of the temple.
Sometimes in our lives, we experience a Salt Lake Temple foundation moment. We can feel like it’s a setback, when it actually makes us stronger. There’s been a few times in my life when we’ve experienced something like this. One that stands out was when my husband went through a two year training program for a job. We had both felt that he needed to do this program and felt confident that this was going to be the career that God wanted him to do. However, he didn’t get the job. We were heartbroken and didn’t know what to do next. He then changed career paths, we moved across the country, went to MBA school, and got different jobs. Looking back, we’re grateful for this new path and it helped us know for sure that the other path was wrong for him and our family.
When we build a solid foundation, one that’s anchored in Christ, we can stand strong no matter what comes our way. We are reminded of this in Helaman 5:12 where it says, “...remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation...which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.”
We’ve all heard multiple times President Nelson’s quote from his talk Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives that says, “But in coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost.” Having the Holy Ghost as a part of our life is an important part of our foundation. As we strive to build our own strong foundations, we can be like the Salt Lake Temple and stand through the years through the trials that come our way.
Alexis Tanner is a mother of five, podcaster, and writer. She loves reading, family history work, taking her kids on adventures, and podcasting with her husband at the Parenting In Real Life Podcast. You can find Alexis on Instagram @alexistannerlane.