6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath; for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment; and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner. But my salvation shall be forever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.
(2 Nephi 8:6)
As I’ve pondered the characteristics of God this week, I’ve thought a lot about our cognitive limitations. We don’t deal well with very large or very small numbers. People play the lottery because they overestimate the probability that they will win. People fail to prepare for emergencies because they underestimate the likelihood that those emergencies will occur. We tend to act as though some things are permanent, such as our job or our home, even though we know they won’t last forever. Why? Because we have to spend our limited time and energy on things that are less permanent. When one of those pseudo-permanent things fails, we feel unstable or even disoriented. We feel like the carpet has been pulled out from under us, and we only regain our stability when we can find a new “permanent” foundation to stand on.
As Isaiah points out, even the most durable things in our mortal experience are doomed to fail eventually. We take for granted the air we breath, the stars in the sky, and the solid ground beneath our feet. But these things are not permanent either, any more than our jobs or our homes. What is permanent? Our Heavenly Father. If we place our faith in Him and build our foundation on His gospel, then we can maintain our stability even when the world around us is in commotion. (See Luke 21:9.)
Today I will remember the eternal nature of God. I will remember that He is more permanent than the most permanent things in my mortal experience. I will build my foundation on His gospel, knowing that it will never fail.