Thursday, February 7, 2019

Elder LeGrand Richards on laying a solid foundation

Elder LeGrand Richards (1886-1983) served as the Presiding Bishop of the Church from 1938-1952, when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles.  He died in 1983 at age 96.
"Today I thought I would like to say a few words about the kind of a foundation we have for our faith, and what we live for, and what our aims and our ambitions really are. I think of the time the beautiful temple here on this block was erected, over a hundred years ago. When the foundation was being laid, we are told that it was sixteen feet wide, and at one time President Brigham Young came and saw the workmen throwing in chipped granite. He made them take it out and put in those great granite blocks with this explanation: 'We are building this temple to stand through the millennium.' Isn’t that a good thought? Each one of us ought to want to build our lives and help our families to build their lives so that we can stand through the millennium....
"The kind of foundation upon which we build our lives is just as important for our eternal happiness as is the kind of a foundation upon which they built that holy temple that it might stand through the millennium."
- LeGrand Richards, "Laying a Foundation for the Millennium," General Conference October 1971
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

Elder Richards loved to teach from the scriptures, and loved stories and analogies—often from his own missionary experiences. He was one of the leaders who spanned the early part of the dispensation; when he was born, the Salt Lake temple had not yet been dedicated, and so in a way he had a personal connection to that building and to this story of its construction:

So the importance of a firm and solid foundation can't be understated, when you are planning on building a long-lasting structure. That was critical for the temple; it is even more critical for our lives and our futures, and for our families. We should think carefully about what kinds of foundational principles are in place that we depend on in our lives. Those underlying beliefs and practices become more and more critical as the years go by.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2019)

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