Build on Foundation of Christ to Resist Sin, Seventy Teaches
Contributed By Marianne Holman Prescott, Church News staff writer
- As we act on our faith, we are repenting.
- As we stand upon a foundation of Christ, we are more able to notice and withstand Satan’s influences.
- If we sin, the Atonement makes it possible to repent and be forgiven.
“Just as Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone of the Church, we should allow Him to become the chief cornerstone of our lives.” —Elder Weatherford T. Clayton of the Seventy
“If we build our foundation upon our Savior, we cannot fall, regardless of what Satan throws at us,” said Elder Weatherford T. Clayton, General Authority Seventy, during a campus devotional at Brigham Young University March 14.
Thousands of students gathered for the devotional, held in the Marriott Center on the BYU campus, and listened as Elder Clayton spoke about building a house that won’t fall because it is built upon the “rock of our Redeemer.”
“Just as Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone of the Church, we should allow Him to become the chief cornerstone of our lives,” he said. “We too must build our foundation on the teachings of the Savior and His apostles and prophets. And just as the household of God grows ‘unto an holy temple in the Lord,’ we too can become more holy. What can be better than that?”
Elder Clayton shared ways an individual is able to “come to Him.”
“It begins with faith in Christ, and central to true faith is action,” he said.
When a person has faith in Jesus Christ, he or she wants to act according to that faith, with “real intent.” Using the examples of attending church each Sunday and paying tithes and offerings, Elder Clayton spoke of a few ways a person acts according to his or her faith.
“If we have true faith in our Redeemer, we do something about it because we have real intent,” he said. “And every time we act according to our faith in Him, we follow Him by hearing and ‘doing’ His words. As we act with faith in Him, the Lord confirms our faith by blessing us with peace, answers to prayer, direction, comfort, and joy. And so our foundation becomes stronger, wider, and deeper.”
As people act, they are repenting, Elder Clayton said.
“In the New Testament repentance comes from the word meta and noeó, which means ‘to change one’s mind or purpose.’ Isn’t that interesting?” he asked. “Every time we turn more to Christ, we are repenting—we are following Him.”
Whether it is turning to Heavenly Father through prayer, reading scriptures, or making changes for the better, a person is repenting.
“When we do things that make us better, kinder, gentler, more sensitive and spiritual, more virtuous and true, we are repenting,” he said. “When we choose the better path, we are repenting. Though we all repent of things in our lives that are sinful, most of our repenting comes from hearing His words and doing them, from turning to Him. This builds our foundation, and we want that foundation to be as big and as wide and as deep and sturdy as possible.”
It is through exercising faith in the Savior and repenting every day that followers of Christ prepare themselves for receiving ordinances such as baptism and confirmation.
“After receiving these first two ordinances, we have the privilege of living what Nephi calls ‘after the manner of happiness,’ growing our faith, repenting each day, receiving the priesthood, studying the scriptures, praying with real intent, inviting others to come unto Christ, obtaining all the ordinances of the temple available to us, marrying and having a family, searching out our ancestors and performing ordinances for them, having many, many friends, and much, much more.”
As a person stands upon a foundation built upon Christ, he or she is more able to notice the influences of Satan around him or her.
“We will all face challenges,” Elder Clayton said. “The scripture doesn’t say ‘if’ we will feel Satan’s storms but ‘when.’ Look around you. They are here now. We see wars and rumors of wars; love of money and appearance; immorality; pornography; infidelity; drug, alcohol, and social media addiction; attacks on religious freedom; attacks on the nature of marriage; and even attacks on the Savior Himself.”
But just as the people of Alma in the Book of Mormon were able to “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” (Mosiah 18:9), so can men and women today.
“When we stand upon our foundation with the Savior and His Apostles, we can see more clearly what is true and what is not,” he said. “With the clear and magnificent light of the Savior aided by the powerful influence of the Holy Ghost, we can detect the temptations of clever Satan in his efforts to weaken our faith.”
Taking a minute to “speak soberly,” Elder Clayton warned of the “mists of darkness” that come as a person steps off the strong foundation of Christ. Confusion, the desire to hide actions from others, becoming casual in covenants, and becoming quick to anger and find fault with others are all part of Satan’s mighty storm, the leader taught.
“Should this ever happen to you, repent and get back onto your foundation,” he said. “Start building your house again. Regardless of where you find yourself off your foundation, you can come back. The Savior’s Atonement is real, and through Him, we have power to resist any of Satan’s temptations and be forgiven for our sins.”
Elder Clayton taught that building a strong foundation goes beyond an individual’s life—a strong foundation blesses families and loved ones.
“We who have come to know the goodness of God and His blessings must build a foundation big enough and broad enough and sturdy enough to bless our marriage and to raise our children,” he said. “We protect them from the fiery darts of Satan by teaching them from their youth to build their foundations upon the rock. We must help them find faith in Christ, repent, and obtain every ordinance. It is our privilege and responsibility to teach and help raise a sin-resistant generation.”