In my readings for my Book of Mormon class and my class on the Doctrine and Covenants, I’ve come across a lot of things this week that I really want to share. The past week has been really enlightening to me, but I never seemed to be able to find the words to convey all that I was thinking and feeling.
Yesterday morning, I read Helaman 5 as I was eating breakfast and hanging out with my roommates before getting ready for class. The twelfth verse is one which is shared commonly in the church:
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.
Many Christian churches emphasize the importance of accepting Christ in our lives. I am not familiar enough to know which specifically instruct to build upon Him as our foundation, but this is a doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for which I am increasingly grateful. I have grown to love this verse of scripture as, throughout my life, I have seen the storms of the devil brewing and beating upon me, and others that I care about. I know that the powers of darkness are real, though fortunately I have only had to endure a taste. I also know, though, that Christ is real. He is my living Savior, and is the most stable foundation for my life.
In the margins next to this verse there is written in quotation marks the words “Trust me. Give me a chance. I’ll be there for you.” These words are the result of a lesson I heard in Sunday School or possibly at EFY one year. I don’t recall if Helaman 5:12 was the central theme of the discussion, or merely a single point. I do recall, though, thinking about this verse in a new way. Whatever the discussion was, that quote or perspective made the scripture so much more powerful to me. I thought of Christ in his perfect, unchanging, Eternal steadiness, and His endless love for me, and for all of us. I also thought about my parents, my siblings, and my friends. I thought about how I feel when I see someone struggling and I want so much to help them–to provide stability and security for them in their life. Then, putting things in perspective, I thought about Christ and the vastness of His love compared to mine. If I can have such a strong desire to help and support people with even the small amount of love I feel, I cannot even imagine how much Christ must want to support and help me. He is always there, if I just accept and build my foundation upon Him.
Building my foundation upon Christ is a source of power. It gives the strength necessary to withstand the storm of the adversary.
I also read D&C 20 today. Though I have referenced many verses in the section before, and even read it completely when in seminary, I was struck by a number of powerful insights as I read. The first thing that really struck me was in verse 10. In discussing the Book of Mormon it says:
Which was given by inspiration, and is confirmed to others by the ministering of angels, and is declared unto the world by them–
This verse gives such an amazing testimony to the divinity of the Book of Mormon. I have read the Book of Mormon and prayed to know if it’s true, and I have gained a testimony that it is indeed divine scripture. Verse 14 continues:
And those who receive it in faith, and work righteousness, shall receive a crown of eternal life;
Though I am still a student of this Gospel, I have found that the more I learn and study it, the more I love it. Gospel principles like these, though seemingly very simple, have so much power. There are so many deep doctrines which I do not understand, and may never understand in this life, that consume my interest and testify of our Heavenly Father’s hand in all things. And yet even in the “simple” doctrines like faith and obedience, there are powerful promises.
I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that through obedience to the principles we learn from it, as well as from other scripture and the guidance of living and modern-day prophets, we are able to grown closer to our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ. I know that obedience to the commandments of God is the only source of true joy in our lives. I am so grateful to have been blessed with the knowledge of this Gospel, and the path that our Heavenly Father has provided for each and every one of His children to return to Him. I know that through studying the scriptures, and trusting in Christ as my foundation, I will have the strength to continue along that path, and become the person that the Lord wants me to be.