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5 lessons on how to become firm, steadfast and immovable, Elder Perkins teaches


One phrase, repeated at five pivotal moments in the Book of Mormon, can help create strong spiritual foundations, Elder Anthony D. Perkins taught in an Ensign College devotional on Tuesday, Feb. 8.

Elder Perkins, General Authority Seventy, and his wife, Sister Christine Perkins, spoke at the Assembly Hall on Temple Square.

While the challenges and “earthquakes of our day” are unique to this time, the lessons taught in the Book of Mormon “constitute necessary prophetic guidance for our day,” Elder Perkins said.

Elder Anthony D. Perkins, General Authority Seventy, and his wife, Sister Christine Perkins prior to speaking to students of Ensign College in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022.

Elder Anthony D. Perkins, General Authority Seventy, and his wife, Sister Christine Perkins prior to speaking to students of Ensign College in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022.

Credit: Screenshot from ChurchofJesusChrist.org

Firm foundation in Dallas

He recalled moving with his family to Dallas, Texas, and seeing the many advertisements for home foundation repair.

As his family prepared to purchase a home in the area, they learned about the unique characteristics of the clay soil most homes are built on. If not cared for properly, he said, the clay can change due to erosion and expansion and “the extra pressure can cause the foundation to crack.”

Ensuring water is consistently added to the clay will help it maintain its firmness, he said. And without that firm clay, “the house’s foundation could move.”

5 lessons to build strong foundations

Elder Perkins taught five lessons from the Book of Mormon that can help one build a firm spiritual foundation:

  1. When murmuring voices foster doubt, choose to know the dealings of God.
  2. When political forces disrupt unity, make and keep covenants with God.
  3. When social pressure mocks true doctrine, bear persecution with patience.
  4. When selective obedience is fashionable, believe the prophets.
  5. When economic prosperity distracts, be humble and penitent before God.

1. Choose to know the dealings of God

In her remarks prior to Elder Perkins speaking, Sister Perkins talked about the beginning of her personal testimony.

As a little girl, she said she asked her mom to read her the stories of Jesus to help her feel calm at night when she went to bed.

Sister Christine Perkins, wife of Elder Anthony D. Perkins, General Authority Seventy, speaks to students of Ensign College in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022.

Sister Christine Perkins, wife of Elder Anthony D. Perkins, General Authority Seventy, speaks to students of Ensign College in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022.

Credit: Ensign College

Later, as she got a job delivering newspapers, she recalled praying for Heavenly Father to keep her safe as she worked in the dark.

She testified, “I know the Spirit gives us answers we need because I’ve had it happen.”

Lehi followed the promptings of the Holy Ghost and taught his children to seek that same Spirit as a way to be “firm and steadfast, and immovable,” Elder Perkins taught.

He shared a video clip of President Russell M. Nelson from the October 2021 general conference where President Nelson said, “If you are not seeking the Lord through daily prayer and gospel study, you leave yourself vulnerable to philosophies that may be intriguing but are not true.”

2. Make and keep covenants with God

The process of combining the Mulekites and Nephites in the city of Zarahemla was a political challenge for King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon. Elder Perkins taught that part of their solution was entering into a righteous covenant.

Political division that causes spiritual discord requires faithfulness to covenants, Elder Perkins said.

“When political forces disrupt unity, how can your spiritual foundation stay firm?” he asked. “You can make and keep covenants with God.”

“Weekly sacrament meeting attendance and regular temple worship will bring the Holy Ghost into your life. And the fruits of the Spirit include love, joy and peace even in times of turmoil.”

Elder Anthony D. Perkins, General Authority Seventy, speaks to students of Ensign College in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022.

Elder Anthony D. Perkins, General Authority Seventy, speaks to students of Ensign College in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022.

Credit: Ensign College

Even when they couldn’t take their family inside the temple, Elder Perkins said he and his wife made it a point to stop at temples when on vacation with their family. This gave them the chance to teach the family about the Savior and covenants made in those temples, he said.

3. Bear persecution with patience

When Alma the Younger was appointed as chief judge, Nehor began teaching “false doctrine that felt good to many people,” Elder Perkins said.

The same challenge exists today.

“It mingles truth with falsehood,” he said. “Essentially, God loves His children — true doctrine, so He will save them all — false doctrine.”

He said this type of teaching is a “slippery path” toward believing there is no need for commandments, repentance, the Savior or His Church.

When societal norms distort truth and people mock those striving to live a righteous life, “be patient and keep living the two great commandments,” Elder Perkins said.

4. Believe the prophets

In the years prior to the Savior’s birth, Samuel the Lamanite preached repentance to the Nephites.

Elder Perkins said that part of Samuel’s preaching included teaching the people what a prophet was and did. He said Samuel also taught about false prophets who teach that “there is no iniquity” (Helaman 13:27).

The Lamanites, in contrast, are an example today of how to “believe the living prophets enough to trust them and to follow them,” Elder Perkins said.

Photos of the family of Elder Anthony D. Perkins, General Authority Seventy, shown as part of an Ensign College devotional in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022.

Photos of the family of Elder Anthony D. Perkins, General Authority Seventy, shown as part of an Ensign College devotional in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022.

Credit: Screenshot from ChurchofJesusChrist.org

5. Be humble and penitent before God

In what Elder Perkins referred to as “a crucial period in Book of Mormon history” prior to the Resurrected Savior’s visit to the Americas, society was flourishing.

Similar success has been seen in the last decade, he said.

In the time of the Nephites, their economic successes led to increased pride “because of their exceedingly great riches” (3 Nephi 6:10-14). Elder Perkins taught that this also brought about inequalities among the people and divisions in the Church.

That same pride and prosperity can be seen today. Humility, he said, is the antidote.

“Humble people will recognize that they are dependent upon the Lord for all the blessings in their life, both temporal and spiritual. Humble people will strive with all diligence to keep the commandments of God. Humble people will remain open to repenting and making positive changes, and the Lord will bless them.”

Elder Anthony D. Perkins, General Authority Seventy, speaks to students of Ensign College in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022.

Elder Anthony D. Perkins, General Authority Seventy, speaks to students of Ensign College in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022.

Credit: Ensign College

The Book of Mormon’s purpose

The Book of Mormon was written over a 1,000 year period, but was not for the benefit of the people who lived during that time, Elder Perkins said.

“The Book of Mormon was compiled because the historical circumstances of their day and their response to those circumstances would constitute necessary prophetic guidance for our day.”

He closed with the promise that using these lessons to build a foundation upon Jesus Christ means “you have no need to fear.”

“I witness of living prophets and apostles, who invite all to come unto Christ and find peace and enduring joy in Him. I pray that you will come follow Him, as well.”

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