Build upon a firm foundation

5 Principles of a Firm Foundation

Build a Firm Foundation in your life through prayer, scripture study, and family home evening.



Ask someone to read or repeat from memory (scripture mastery) 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.”

As a family, discuss the gulf of misery and endless wo and things that represent the devil’s mighty storms.

In literal terms, “the gulf of misery” describes the separation of the wicked from those that seek the atonement of Jesus Christ (see 1 Nephi 15:28-30). These terms can also describe temporary feelings in this life such as:

  • Sorrow for our own sins.
  • Inability to forgive someone else’s actions.
  • Inability to understand God’s will during difficult life situations.

Some other descriptions of the devil’s mighty storms can include sin, temptation, trials, pride, being or feeling harmed by other people’s choices, or spiritual inactivity.

Read President Monson’s warning about building a firm foundation.

If we do not have a deep foundation of faith and a solid testimony of truth, we may have difficulty withstanding the harsh storms and icy winds of adversity which inevitably come to each of us.

How do we build a firm foundation?

We begin building a firm foundation on an personal level. If we are not strong individuals, we will not be strong friends, strong spouses, strong parents, strong home and visiting teachers, strong in our callings, or strong employees. We must focus on our lives first, and all other activities will build upon a firm foundation.

There are 5 core foundation building principles often heard from local leaders and general authorities. As we head their council and apply them to our personal and family life, we will be blessed.

  1. Daily Personal Prayer
  2. Daily Personal Scripture Study
  3. Daily Family Prayer
  4. Daily Family Scripture Study
  5. Weekly Family Home Evening / Family Night Activity

Growth in our life occurs line upon line and precept upon precept. Remember, we are building a foundation. This takes time and consistent effort.

If you are not doing these things, make a plan and start. If you are already doing them, review your efforts from time to time to see if there is something you can improve.

When I started working on these principles it took many months, and in some cases years, before missing a daily activity was an exception instead of the norm. The resulted effort has strengthened my testimony in Christ and in Heavenly Father’s love for me. Additionally, I know I am happier and a better husband, father, priesthood holder, and employee.

Activity ideas:

  • Have a family council and discuss foundation building principles. Decide on a plan to improve efforts in these areas.
  • During family scripture study, look for scriptures emphasizing foundation building principles and mark them in your scriptures. Start by reading Helaman 3:29-30
  • As a family, memorize Helaman 5:12. This powerful scripture has helped us remain strong during difficult times. It will probably take more than one day. Recite it during family home evening and/or family scripture study and eventually everyone will know it. Give a prize after completing the challenge. Our family memorized this scripture when our youngest daughter was 4 years old. The scripture comes up in our family scripture study and family home evening several times and she still knows it from memory 4 years later. Everyone’s ears perk up when it is heard in sacrament meeting talks or during general conference.

Have you found important principles from Helaman 5:12? Or found scripture references for foundation building principles? Share your testimony in the comments section.

Share your ideas or how you used ours