One of the scriptures most frequently referenced in general conference is Helaman 5:12:
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.
This verse has been referenced 46 times in the last 20 years. Here are ten principles church leaders have taught using this passage:
- Jesus Christ offers refuge from every storm we face. “No matter what kind of storm is battering us—regardless of whether there is a solution to it or whether there is an end in sight—there is only one refuge, and it is the same for all types of storms. This single refuge provided by our Heavenly Father is our Lord Jesus Christ and His Atonement” (Ricardo P. Gimenez, “Finding Refuge from the Storms of Life,” General Conference, April 2020).
- Personal revelation can help us endure difficult times. “Our lives need to be rooted upon the rock of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, which might help us individually and as families to have our own spiritual impressions engraved in our hearts, helping us to endure in our faith” (Ulisses Soares, “How Can I Understand?” April 2019).
- Our children face significant challenges and need our support. “There are children who struggle to stand ‘steadfast and immovable’ and whose delicate minds are being wounded. They are being attacked on every side by ‘the fiery darts of the adversary’ and are in need of reinforcement and support” (Joy D. Jones, “A Sin-Resistant Generation,” General Conference, April 2017).
- God’s laws do not change and therefore provide a reliable foundation for our lives. “In a shame culture…there are no permanent standards, just the shifting judgment of the crowd…. Contrasted to this is “the rock of our Redeemer,” a stable and permanent foundation of justice and virtue. How much better it is to have the unchanging law of God by which we may act to choose our destiny rather than being hostage to the unpredictable rules and wrath of the social media mob” (D. Todd Christofferson, “The Voice of Warning,” General Conference, April 2017).
- The Atonement of Jesus Christ helps us overcome our unique challenges. “When we learn how to apply the doctrine of Christ to our individual circumstances, our love for our Savior grows. And we recognize ‘that regardless of perceived differences, all of us are in need of the same infinite Atonement.” We realize that He is our foundation—“the rock of our Redeemer, … a sure foundation … whereon if [we] build [we] cannot fall’” (Carole M. Stephens, “The Master Healer,” General Conference, October 2016).
- Priesthood ordinances enable us to build on the foundation of Jesus Christ. “Ordinances and covenants are the building blocks we use to construct our lives upon the foundation of Christ and His Atonement. We are connected securely to and with the Savior as we worthily receive ordinances and enter into covenants, faithfully remember and honor those sacred commitments, and do our best to live in accordance with the obligations we have accepted. And that bond is the source of spiritual strength and stability in all of the seasons of our lives” (David A. Bednar, “Therefore They Hushed Their Fears,” General Conference, April 2015).
- The words of the prophets teach us how to build on the foundation of Christ. “When we heed the words of the prophets, we build our homes and our lives upon an eternally sure foundation, ‘the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God'” (Carol F. McConkie, “Live According to the Words of the Prophets,” General Conference, October 2014).
- Our words can have a positive influence on others, especially our children. “Everyone within the sound of my voice has the power to increase a child’s confidence in himself or herself and to increase a child’s faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ through the words they speak. In Helaman chapter 5 we read, ‘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.’ These were the words Helaman taught his sons. And we read on: ‘And they did remember his words; and … they went forth … to teach the word of God among all the people’ (Rosemary M. Wixom, “The Words We Speak,” General Conference, April 2013).
- Remembering is a key to maintaining our discipleship over time. “Helaman taught Nephi and Lehi to remember—to remember that it was upon the rock of Christ that they had to build their foundation so the devil would have no power over them. We must do the same. Remembering God helps us to feel and live” (Walter F. González, “Learning with Our Hearts,” General Conference, October 2012).
- When we understand gospel principles, we know how to receive help from God in difficult times. “Even firm foundations cannot prevent life’s problems. Wayward children cause parents to grieve. Some broken families don’t get fixed. Gender disorientation is poorly understood. Married couples, for whatever reason, may not be blessed with children. Even in our day, ‘the guilty and the wicked go unpunished because of their money.’ Some things just don’t seem fair. With strong underpinnings, however, we are better able to reach upward for help, even when faced with questions without easy answers” (Russell M. Nelson,” “How Firm Our Foundation,” General Conference, April 2002)
Today, I will remember the importance of building my foundation on the rock of my Redeemer, Jesus Christ. I will remember that this foundation can help me to endure and overcome every challenge I face. I will also remember that I can help others, including my children, to build their foundations on Christ.