“At times there appears to be no light at the tunnel’s end, no dawn to break the night’s darkness. We feel surrounded by the pain of broken hearts, the disappointment of shattered dreams, and the despair of vanished hopes. We join in uttering the biblical plea, “Is there no balm in Gilead?” (Jeremiah 8:22). We are inclined to view our own personal misfortunes through the distorted prism of pessimism. We feel abandoned, heartbroken, alone.

Jesus Christ MormonHow can we build a foundation strong enough to withstand such vicissitudes of life? How can we maintain the faith and testimony which will be required, that we might experience the joy promised to the faithful? Constant, steady effort is necessary…

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May I offer three guidelines to help us in our quest.

First, fortify your foundation through prayer. “Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire, uttered or unexpressed” (“Prayer Is the Soul’s Sincere Desire,” Hymns, no. 145).

As we pray, let us really communicate with our Father in Heaven. It is easy to let our prayers become repetitious, expressing words with little or no thought behind them. When we remember that each of us is literally a spirit son or daughter of God, we will not find it difficult to approach Him in prayer. He knows us; He loves us; He wants what is best for us. Let us pray with sincerity and meaning, offering our thanks and asking for those things we feel we need. Let us listen for His answers, that we may recognize them when they come. As we do, we will be strengthened and blessed. We will come to know Him and His desires for our lives. By knowing Him, by trusting His will, our foundations of faith will be strengthened. If any one of us has been slow to hearken to the counsel to pray always, there is no finer hour to begin than now. William Cowper declared, “Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees” (in William Neil, comp., Concise Dictionary of Religious Quotations , 1974, 144).

…My second guideline: Let us study the scriptures and “meditate therein day and night,” as counseled by the Lord in the book of Joshua (1:8).

Spending time each day in scripture study will, without doubt, strengthen our foundations of faith and our testimonies of truth…

My third guideline for building a strong foundation of faith and testimony involves service.”

(Thomas S. Monson, “How Firm a Foundation,” Ensign, Nov 2006, 62, 67–6.)

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