Lesson 27: Jesus Christ, Our Sure Foundation

Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood: Basic Manual for Priesthood Holders, Part B, (2000), 228–35


The purpose of this lesson is to help us make Jesus Christ the sure foundation of our lives.

Introduction

  • Display visual 27-a, “The Lord Jesus Christ.” Ask the class members to look at the picture and then close their eyes. Have them imagine they are in the presence of the Savior. Explain that the following account will help us better understand our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Elder Melvin J. Ballard once served as a missionary among the North American Indians. While on his mission he desired a witness that he was doing the Lord’s will. Upon asking the Lord for this confirmation, he said he had a dream in which he found himself in the temple, entering one of its rooms.

“As I entered the door,” Elder Ballard said, “I saw, seated on a raised platform, the most glorious Being my eyes have ever beheld or that I ever conceived existed in all the eternal worlds. As I approached to be introduced, he arose and stepped towards me with extended arms, and he smiled as he softly spoke my name. If I shall live to be a million years old, I shall never forget that smile. He took me into his arms and kissed me, pressed me to his bosom, and blessed me, until the marrow of my bones seemed to melt! When he had finished, I fell at his feet, and, as I bathed them with my tears and kisses, I saw the prints of the nails in the feet of the Redeemer of the world. The feeling that I had in the presence of him who hath all things in his hands, to have his love, his affection, and his blessing was such that if I ever can receive that of which I had but a foretaste, I would give all that I am, all that I ever hope to be, to feel what I then felt!” (quoted by Bryant S. Hinckley, in Sermons and Missionary Service of Melvin J. Ballard [1949], 156).

Our Need for a Savior

Before we came to earth, we lived with Heavenly Father. While we lived with Him, the plan of salvation was presented to us. We were so happy about this plan that we accepted it and shouted for joy. (See Job 38:1–7.)

The plan of salvation required us to leave Heavenly Father’s presence and come to earth as mortals. Here we would be separated physically from God and be given the freedom to choose for ourselves to obey or disobey His commandments. If we chose to commit sin, we would become unclean. This would mean that someone free of sin would have to pay the penalty for our sins and cleanse us, because no unclean person can enter into the kingdom of God (see 1 Nephi 15:34).

To help us return to His presence, Heavenly Father appointed a Savior to redeem us. This Redeemer is our eldest spirit brother, Jesus Christ, who volunteered to come to earth and be our Savior. In volunteering He said that the glory for our salvation would belong to our Father in Heaven. (See Abraham 3:27; Moses 4:2.) Lucifer, another spirit brother of ours, also desired to be our Savior. But he wanted to force us to be saved and wanted to retain the honor for himself. (See Moses 4:1.) Heavenly Father rejected his offer and foreordained Jesus to be our Savior (see 1 Peter 1:18–20). In doing so, our Father in Heaven preserved our agency.

Jesus Christ Is Our Sure Foundation

  • What is a sure foundation? (A strong, solid base that cannot be moved or destroyed)

A sure foundation will support whatever rests upon it. When we construct a building, for example, we are careful to make the foundation as strong as possible so the building will endure. In the same way, we must build our lives upon a sure foundation so that we can endure the trials in this life.

Our Savior, Jesus Christ, is the only sure foundation upon whom we can build our lives. The prophet Helaman said, “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, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you … , because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall” (Helaman 5:12).

Jesus is the sure foundation because He was foreordained by our Heavenly Father to be our Redeemer. Nephi said, “There is none other name given under heaven save it be this Jesus Christ, … whereby man can be saved” (2 Nephi 25:20). It is only through the Atonement of Jesus Christ that we can be forgiven of our sins and receive eternal life. We cannot do these things for ourselves. Only Jesus has this power.

Building upon Christ

We can build our lives upon the Sure Foundation, Jesus Christ, in the following ways:

  • Display a poster of the following list, or refer to the information on the chalkboard:

    How to Build upon Christ, the Sure Foundation

    1. 1.

      Seek the companionship of the Holy Ghost.

    2. 2.

      Partake of the sacrament.

    3. 3.

      Pray and fast.

    4. 4.

      Keep the commandments.

    5. 5.

      Study the scriptures.

    6. 6.

      Follow the living prophet.

    7. 7.

      Love and serve the Lord.

Seek the Companionship of the Holy Ghost

The Holy Ghost, or the Spirit of the Lord, gives us insight into the life and character of our Savior, for one of the purposes of the Holy Ghost is to testify of Christ (see John 15:26). In fact, it is only through the Holy Ghost that we can learn the deeper meaning of the Lord’s sacrifice for us. The Holy Ghost also blesses us to know and understand the truth of the scriptures and the inspired teachings of the living prophets.

Partake of the Sacrament

We help keep the Holy Ghost with us following our baptism and confirmation by worthily partaking of the sacrament (see D&C 20:77, 79).

  • What should we think about as we partake of the sacrament?

Pray and Fast

Praying and fasting can help us draw close to the Lord, feel His love through the power of the Holy Ghost, and find comfort and peace of mind.

One woman related how she came to know Heavenly Father and the Savior better through prayer. One day she was called home from work and told that her son had drowned. The shock was overpowering. In her agony she cried, “My Lord, my God, why?” Clear, immediate, and kind, the answer came as an impression to her mind: “I need him.”

In the days that followed, she received wonderful comfort. “As I poured my heart out in prayer to my Father,” she said, “he heard me and in his own way and in his own time answered those prayers. …

“This trial could have driven me far from my Father in heaven. … Instead, I am nearer to my Creator now than I have ever been, and he has blessed me with knowledge and a testimony” (Anita L. Hughes, “Why Did You Take My Son?” Ensign, July 1978, 66).

Keep the Commandments

The scriptures say that only those who keep Christ’s commandments truly know Him (see 1 John 2:3). As we keep His commandments, we gradually become more like Him, until we are admitted fully into His presence (see Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. [1954–56], 2:7).

  • Have the assigned class member give his three- to five-minute report on Mosiah 4 and Mosiah 5. Make sure these points are discussed: Because of King Benjamin’s words, his people felt the Holy Ghost, or the Spirit of God, and promised to keep God’s commandments. Among the commandments King Benjamin counseled them to keep were to remember God’s greatness; to humble themselves; to pray daily; not to injure one another; to teach their children to love each other; to give their goods to the poor; and to be pure in thought, word, and deed. As the people did these things, they became more like the Savior. We can become more like the Savior by doing these same things.

Alma tells us that when we live more like the Savior, we receive “his image in [our] countenances” (Alma 5:14; see also verse Alma 5:19). This means, in part, that we are filled with the love of God and feel compassion for others. It means that we want to keep our covenants with the Lord and be worthy to bear His name.

Study the Scriptures

The scriptures tell us of the Savior’s life, doctrines, and teachings. “Search the scriptures,” the Lord commanded; “they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39). In them we see how the Savior dealt with those on earth and how we should deal with each other.

The scriptures teach us the gospel. The Lord said that if we build our lives upon the gospel, He will hold us guiltless before the Father at the Judgment Day (see 3 Nephi 27:13–16), the gates of hell shall not prevail against us (see 3 Nephi 11:39), and we can eventually be sanctified and lifted up at the last day (see 3 Nephi 27:17–22). Building our lives on the gospel of Christ means having faith in the Lord, repenting of our sins, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.

  • Invite a few class members to share how studying the scriptures has helped them know the Savior.

Follow the Living Prophet

  • How will following the living prophet help us build upon Christ?

The President of the Church is the mouthpiece of God on earth. As such, he reveals the will of God for us today. Therefore, when we follow the inspired counsel of the prophet, we are following God and obeying His will. As we obey and gain experience, we develop faith in the Lord. This faith acts as an “anchor” to our souls and motivates us to do good works (see Ether 12:4). By it we find goodness and become worthy sons of God (see Moroni 7:25–26).

Love and Serve the Lord

King Benjamin told his people, “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17). To love and serve others is to love and serve the Lord. And when we love and serve the Savior, we learn to feel as He feels and think as He thinks: “For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?” (Mosiah 5:13).

The Blessings of Making Jesus Christ Our Sure Foundation

We are promised that when our lives are founded upon the rock of Christ, the sure foundation, we will be able to live forever with Him and Heavenly Father again, receiving all they have for us. The Savior has promised us:

“He that receiveth me receiveth my Father;

“And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him” (D&C 84:37–38).

  • What other blessings might we receive when we make Jesus Christ our sure foundation?

Conclusion

  • Share your testimony of Jesus as your Redeemer and Savior. If time permits, invite other class members to share their testimonies.

Challenge

Commit yourself as a priesthood holder to know the Savior and become more like Him. Choose a quality of the Lord you would like to perfect in your own life. Begin now to perfect this quality.

Teacher Preparation

Before presenting this lesson:

  1. 1.

    Review Gospel Principles chapters 3, “Jesus Christ, Our Chosen Leader and Savior,” and 11 “The Life of Christ.”

  2. 2.

    Prepare the poster suggested in the lesson, or write the information on the chalkboard.

  3. 3.

    Be prepared to bear your testimony of Jesus as your Redeemer and Savior.

  4. 4.

    Assign a class member in advance to give a three- to five-minute report on Mosiah 4 and 5. Make sure he discusses what King Benjamin asked his people to do and how his people reacted to his message.

  5. 5.

    Assign class members to present any stories, scriptures, or quotations you wish.