“Three Ways to Build a Strong Testimony,” Friend, May 2009, 2–3
In 1959, I met N. Eldon Tanner (1898–1982), who later would be a counselor to four Presidents of the Church. President Tanner was president of the Canada Calgary Stake. We discussed the cold Canadian winters, where temperatures can linger well below freezing and icy winds lower those temperatures even further.
I asked President Tanner why the roads in western Canada remained intact during such winters, showing little or no signs of cracking or breaking, while road surfaces in many areas where winters are less cold and less severe developed cracks and breaks and potholes.
Said he, “The answer is in the depth of the base of the paving materials. In order for them to remain strong and unbroken, it is necessary to go very deep with the foundation layers. When the foundations are not deep enough, the surfaces cannot withstand the extremes of weather.”
Challenges and difficulties can break us if our foundations of faith, our testimonies of truth, are not deeply embedded within us.
How can we gain and maintain the foundation needed to survive spiritually? May I offer three guidelines to help.
1. Prayer. When we remember that each of us is literally a spirit son or daughter of God, we will not find it difficult to approach Him in prayer. He knows us; He loves us; He wants what is best for us.
2. Scriptures. Spending time each day in scripture study will strengthen our foundations of faith and our testimonies of truth.
3. Service. There are others who need your help. In the Book of Mormon we read of noble King Benjamin. He declared: “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17).
We can fortify our foundations of faith, our testimonies of truth, so that we will not falter, we will not fail.