By Alexis Tanner
With all that has happened in the world over the last few years, it seems like we should have much to fear. As natural disasters become more common, viruses cover the world, there’s political unrest, among so many other things, sometimes it can be hard to be optimistic about the future. But in the recent October General Conference, President Russell M. Nelson reminded us “if [we] are prepared [we] shall not fear.”
In his talk “The Temple and Your Spiritual Foundation,” President Nelson spoke about the reconstruction of the Salt Lake Temple and how impressive the foundation of the temple was with the tools and resources the early saints had. With time, the foundation has weakened and is in need of repair. With the new technology and engineering of modern times, they are creating a stronger foundation that will allow the temple to stand through the Millenium. As he compared the strong foundation of the temple with our spiritual foundations, President Nelson shared three ways that we can build our own strong foundations.
On the day of the groundbreaking of the Salt Lake Temple in February 1853, there are journal entries from the saints who were there. In the winter weather, one man had only thin Scottish-plaid pants, a calico shirt and a straw hat to wear. He said, "These were all the clothes I had. It was go that way or stay home.” He was not alone in his poverty or his sacrifice.
As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we too must sacrifice to get to the temple to make covenants with the Lord. Whether that’s time, money, or distance, as we make an effort to get to the temple, we can strengthen our spiritual foundations. President Nelson encouraged those who cannot attend the temple in this season of their life to rehearse the covenants they’ve made in their minds. And if you don’t love going to the temple, to go more often.
Christ Centered Lives
One of my favorite quotes from President Nelson’s talk is when he said, “The Lord has declared that despite today’s unprecedented challenges, those who build their foundations upon Jesus Christ, and have learned how to draw upon His power, need not succumb to the unique anxieties of this era.” I think that’s one of the reasons President Nelson has emphasized that we need to learn how we hear Christ. I think it’s also one of the reasons he wants us to attend the temple as often as we can. The temple teachings are centered on Christ and help us better understand Him. When we make covenants in the temple, we are endowed with His power and can use it to strengthen ourselves and others.
A Strong Testimony
As we attend the temple and build Christ-centered lives, our testimonies will be strengthened so 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” (Helaman 5:12). In April 2009, President Thomas S. Monson gave a talk called “Three Ways to Build a Strong Testimony.” His three ways were daily prayer, daily scripture study, and serving others.
As we attend the temple, center our lives on Christ, and build a strong testimony, we can also build a strong spiritual foundation so when we are bombarded with the hard things in life, we can stand firm.