18: Jesus Christ, the Sure Foundation

Preparing for an Eternal Marriage Teacher Manual, (2003), 68–69


Doctrinal Overview

In “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles state: “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ” (Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102; see also student manual, 83). Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught: “Anchor your life in Jesus Christ, your Redeemer. Make your Eternal Father and His Beloved Son the most important priority in your life—more important than life itself, more important than a beloved companion or children or anyone on earth. Make their will your central desire. Then all that you need for happiness will come to you” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1993, 43; or Ensign, May 1993, 34; see also student manual, 124). Jesus Christ is a sure foundation for our eternal relationships.

Jesus Christ

Principle

Jesus Christ is the only sure foundation for building eternal relationships.

Student Manual Readings

“Cultivating Divine Attributes,” Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin (130)

Statement in “How Does Our Love for God Influence Our Ability to Love Others?” Elder Russell M. Nelson (in “Love,” 157)

Suggestions for How to Teach

Group work. Invite students to turn to “Cultivating Divine Attributes,” by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (student manual, 130). Divide the class into three groups. Have the first group read the section on faith, the second the section on hope, and the third the section on charity. Have them discuss how cultivating their attribute can influence behavior in dating, courtship, and marriage. Invite a representative from each group to report their findings to the class. Testify that cultivating these attributes helps us prepare for eternal relationships.

Suggestions for How to Teach

Discussion. Relate the following event from Church history:

In 1853, six years after arriving in the Salt Lake Valley, the Church began building the Salt Lake Temple. Nine years into the project, in the summer of 1862, the foundation was complete. Then Church leaders performed an evaluation and concluded that the temple’s foundation stones would not be adequate to sustain the weight of the temple over time. President Brigham Young determined to replace the massive foundation. This would be no easy task, for the foundation was sixteen feet (five meters) deep and sixteen feet wide, and the temple dimensions were 186 by 99 feet (57 by 30 meters). In explaining his decision, President Young said that he expected this temple to stand through the Millennium. The Saints then set about to complete the task. (If available, you may want to show this event as portrayed in The Mountain of the Lord [item 53300]. This portion of the video is about three and a half minutes long.)

Salt Lake Temple

Ask:

  • Why do you need a strong foundation in life?

  • What weak foundations do people sometimes build on?

  • How can you build or rebuild a foundation?

  • Why are Jesus Christ and His gospel the only sure foundation?

  • How does the story apply to marriage?

  • Why are relationships that are built on Jesus Christ more likely to last into the eternities?

Scripture activity. Assign each student one of the following scriptures: Isaiah 28:16; Luke 6:47–49; Ephesians 2:19–22; Helaman 5:12; Doctrine and Covenants 18:2–5. Ask students to find what their assigned scripture teaches about foundations and to relate it to dating, courtship, and marriage. Discuss their findings.

Discussion. Read Matthew 7:24–27. Ask students to suggest examples of foundations of “rock” and “sand.” (For example, a rock foundation includes faith in Jesus Christ, being doers of the word, and following living prophets. Sand foundations include materialism, lust, pride, and desire for power.) Invite students to share examples of ways couples can build their dating, courtship, and marriage relationships on a rock foundation (see Dallin H. Oaks, in Conference Report, Apr. 1985, 101–5; or Ensign, May 1985, 80–83). (Examples might include trying to treat each other as you would like to be treated and committing to work toward eternal life; see also Gordon B. Hinckley, Cornerstones of a Happy Home [pamphlet, 1984]; or student manual, 128).

Conclusion

Invite students to read the statement by Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the subsection “How Does Our Love for God Influence Our Ability to Love Others?” (in “Love,” student manual, 157). Discuss Elder Nelson’s statement. Review the lesson principle for this lesson (see p. 68). Testify of the importance of building our lives and marriages on the foundation of Jesus Christ.