An unshakable foundation of faith is built by loving as the Savior loved and serving for Him. Such faith in Christ leads one to acts of charity that yield hope.
That was the message shared by President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency, during his Saturday morning address.
He noted that many in the Church were passing through physical, mental and emotional trials. The Lord Himself suffered unimaginable trials more terrible than one can imagine as He atoned for the sins of the world, President Eyring reminded the congregation.
"You and I have faith that the way to rise through and above trials is to believe that there is a 'balm of Gilead,' and that the Lord has promised: 'I will not ... forsake thee.' That is what President Thomas S. Monson has taught us to help us, and those we serve, in what seem lonely and overwhelming trials," he said.
President Eyring said that as a young man he worked with a contractor building footings and foundations for new houses. It was hard work that demanded patience while the footing cement cured. Metal bars were added to strengthen the finished foundation.
"In a similar way, the ground must be carefully prepared for our foundation of faith to withstand the storms that will come into every life," he said. "That solid basis for a foundation of faith is personal integrity."
Choosing the right, he added, creates the solid ground under one's faith. "Those choices, hundreds in most days, prepare the solid ground on which our edifice of faith is built. The metal framework around which the substance of our faith is poured is the gospel of Jesus Christ, with all its covenants, ordinances and principles."
As with the curing of cement, it is vital that faith be adequately cured.
"The curing does not come automatically through the passage of time, but it does take time. Getting older does not do it alone. It is serving God and others persistently with full heart and soul that turns testimony of truth into unbreakable spiritual strength."
President Eyring then spoke to those who are in the midst of hard trials and might feel their faith is fading under the onslaught of trouble. Trouble itself, he said, can be a way to strengthen and finally gain unshakable faith.
The Church leader remembered once visiting with a woman who had forgiven a person who had wronged her for years. He asked her why she had chosen to forgive and forget after enduring years of spiteful abuse. The woman replied that it was the hardest thing she had ever done — but she knew it had to be done. "Her faith that the Savior would forgive her if she forgave others prepared her with a feeling of peace and hope as she faced death just months after she had forgiven her unrepentant adversary."
The faith to endure future hard trials will also be built — without noticing at the time — by acting on the pure love of Christ, serving and forgiving as the Savior would have done, he said.
"It is never too late to strengthen the foundation of faith," he added. "There is always time. With faith in the Savior you can repent and plead for forgiveness. There is someone you can forgive. There is someone you can thank. There is someone you can serve and lift. You can do it wherever you are and however alone and deserted you may feel."
Continuing, President Eyring said he could not promise an end to one's adversity — or that one's trial will seem to be only for a moment. By definition, the trials of life seem "to make clocks slow down and then almost to stop."
"There are reasons for that," he added. "Knowing those reasons don't give much comfort but they can give you a feeling of patience. They come from this one fact. In their perfect love for you, Heavenly Father and the Savior want you fitted to be with them to live in families forever. Only those washed perfectly clean and changed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ can be there."
If one has faith in Christ, the hardest (as well as the easiest times in life) can be a blessing," President Eyring declared.
"In all conditions, we can choose the right with the guidance of the Spirt. We have the gospel of Jesus Christ to shape and guide our lives if we choose it. And with prophets revealing to us our place in the plan of salvation, we can live with perfect hope and a feeling of peace. We never need to feel that we are alone or unloved in the Lord's service, because we never are.
"We can feel the love of God. The Savior has promised angels on our left and our right, to bear us up. He always keeps His word."