24 Therefore, whoso heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, who built his house upon a rock—
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them not shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand—
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was the fall of it.
(3 Nephi 14:24-27)
At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, the Savior issues a warning: If his listeners will incorporate the principles He has taught into their daily lives, they will be prepared to face the storms of life. But if they ignore these principles or fail to act on them, they are building on an unstable foundation which will not support them effectively during hard times.
Matthew’s account of this parable is essentially identical to the version found in the Book of Mormon (Matthew 7:24-27). But when Luke relates the parable, he adds an interesting detail. The person who lives according to the Savior’s teachings “is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock” (Luke 6:48, italics added). I like the implications of the wise man digging deep. It took effort and self-discipline to ensure that his house was stable. At first, the two houses might have seemed to be nearly identical, and the foolish man’s house was probably built much more quickly. But when the storms came, the second house collapsed immediately, while the first house could not be shaken.
When the Salt Lake Temple was under construction, Brigham Young instructed the workers to remove and rebuild two tiers of granite blocks because the workers had been inserting chips of granite between the blocks to reduce the need for mortar. “Build not for today nor tomorrow,” he told them, “but for all eternity” (“Granite and Faith: The Story of the Salt Lake Temple,” mormonnewsroom.org).
Today, I will build on a firm foundation. I will do my best work, and I will base my decisions on true principles so that my output will be durable. I will dig deep and ensure that I am standing on a solid foundation so that I am prepared for the storms which will inevitably come.