On October 17, 1989, Bishop Dean M. Davies of the Presiding Bishopric was driving to work in San Francisco, Calif., when an earthquake struck. The Loma Prieta earthquake left some 12,000 people homeless. In one area, homes had been built on a landfill made of sand, dirt, rubble and other materials that turned into a liquid-like mass during the earthquake and caused the buildings to collapse.
Bishop Davies, second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, cited Helaman 5:12, counsels on the importance of building lives on the sure foundation of Jesus Christ. He said that when a site is considered for a new temple, careful attention is given to the soils, geology, weather and natural calamities that take place in the area where it will be built to make sure it will stand firm.
He said Heavenly Father also has prepared plans, tools and resources "for our use so that we can build and frame our lives to be sure and unshaken."
Faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end are the blueprints that shape the supporting structure of a person's life, Bishop Davies said. The "specifications" that integrate and bind together this structure are prayer, reading the scriptures, partaking of the sacrament and receiving priesthood ordinances.
It is important to have balance in the applications of these specifications. He used the example of making concrete: all the ingredients are used in a precise amount to achieve maximum strength. "In like manner, if we do not provide for an appropriate balance in our lives ... we are at risk of being weakened in our spiritual structural strength."
Prayer is one of our most basic foundational blocks that should become as "natural as breathing and eating." Daily scriptures study is as necessary to the nourishing of our souls as food is to our body. The sacrament, if sincerely and humbly taken, strengthens our connection to our foundational rock, even Jesus Christ."
He testified that by "anchoring our lives to Jesus Christ and His Atonement … we will be strengthened; we will experience real personal growth and a lasting conversion; we will be better prepared to successfully withstand the storms and calamities of life; we will experience the joy and happiness promised; and we will have the confidence that our lives have been built upon a sure foundation: a foundation that will never fall."