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A Secure Foundation

W. Christopher Waddell
January 23, 2024 11:15 AM

"A challenge you will face as you continue on your life’s journey, will be to stay on high ground, which is where you are right now, with your standard firmly anchored, so the light which emanates from you can be seen, lighting the world around you, and blessing all with whom you associate. It is important for you to remember that THE foundation, to which you must anchor, allowing you to stand firmly on high ground, is Jesus Christ."
As the choir is taking their seats, I just wanted to than them for that number. I love the message, “Take Time to Be Holy.” As I was sitting there listening to the music and listening to the lyrics, I was thinking there is a whole another talk I could give but I won’t so choir, thank you very much for that message. To President and sister Kusch as well, thank you. And to all of you, it is wonderful to be with you.

Brothers and Sisters, it is a true privilege and an honor to be with you this morning for this Ensign College Devotional. I’m grateful that my sweetheart, Carol, can be here with me. I always love it when I have assignments that make it possible for her to join me, which isn’t always the case. We are fortunate that she is actually with me right now. We have a daughter that ais in labor right now ready to have a baby and so Carol is packed ready to head down to Orem where she is in the hospital and to help take care of some of the other children that she has.

Just a few weeks ago, during our recent Christmas holiday, in addition to the Saviors birth, Carol and I had another reason to rejoice, as we celebrated the 40th anniversary of our engagement, which happened on Christmas Eve 1983, when I proposed and she accepted, for which I’m eternally grateful that she was willing to take such a big chance and leap of faith! Later this year we’ll celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary, as we were sealed on July 7, 1984, in the Los Angeles, California temple.

There is a picture of us walking out of the temple. I have showed that before and had someone mention that they recognize Carol completely, that she has aged very gracefully. They couldn’t tell that that was me. I would have to agree with them. Our grandchildren would look at that and say, “Grandpa, what happened to your hair.”

Before going on any further, I would like to mention how grateful I am to be with President and sister Kusch and other who are here seated on the stand. It is wonderful to be with them. I also understand that they beat us to the Los Angeles temple by about ten years. They were also sealed in the Los Angeles temple before Carol and I were.

As I reflected on these significant events in my life going over these 40 years, one thing that stood out to me was how different the world is in 2024 vs. 1984. So much of what we take for granted in our day-to-day lives didn’t exist when Carol and I were married, with remarkable achievements in technology that we couldn’t have dreamed of 40 years ago that you take for granted. Cell phones, the internet, GPS, texting, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, Tumblr, TikTok, Reddit, Snapchat and, by the time this devotional ends, probably a few dozen more. It is remarkable what is taking place.

This is truly an exciting time to be alive, to be young with many more years ahead for you than for me. It boggles my mind what you might be sharing with your grandchildren in 2064, when I’m long gone!

As Ensign College students, you are blessed to study in a remarkable and energizing environment. You represent over 79 countries from all over the world, you speak dozens of languages and are part of a truly global experience. Many of you have made, and continue to make, great sacrifices to come to a new country, learn a new language and work long hours to obtain an education that will allow you to provide temporally for yourselves and your families. I congratulate you for your determination and I’m confident that the knowledge you gain in your studies will serve you well in future careers, wherever they may take you. I just learned as well from President Kusch that in addition to the more than 1,800 students here there are almost a total of 10,000 from all over the world remotely that are joining. It is a remarkable experience that you are part of.

Along with your bright futures, let me share just a brief word of caution…please keep in mind that we live in a day and age when we are truly inundated with an overemphasis of instant gratification and materialism, at the expense frequently anything that is of a spiritual nature. Elder Boyd K. Packer, in a meeting I attended with him many years ago taught that AFFLUENCE would be one of our greatest dangers and challenges. Elder M. Russell Ballard was even more specific. This is what he said. “We are living in a period of great prosperity that may, when history is written, prove to be more devastating to our souls as the effects of physical persecutions were upon the bodies of our pioneer ancestors.” [1] That is an interesting thought.

With these opportunities and cautions in mind, as I prepared for this devotional, pondering what I might share with you, I kept coming back to the significance of the name of this remarkable institution…ENSIGN College. I’ve been thinking what the name represents, and what that can mean for you.

Going back a little bit in time, on July 26, 1847, their third day in the valley after a long trek across the plains, Brigham Young, with a few companions, climbed a tall hill not far from where we sit today which, they believed, would be an appropriate place to raise an ensign, or standard, to the nations. Heber C. Kimball was wearing a yellow bandana, which was taken off, tied to Willard Richards’s walking stick, and then waved in the air…a symbolic ensign to the nations. Therefore, Brigham Young then named the hill Ensign Peak.

Just as Brigham Young and his companions climbed Ensign Peak and made a stand, you are symbolically climbing the hill that is Ensign College. For many of you, like the pioneers who crossed the plains, it has not necessarily been an easy journey and has required great effort to bring you to this place…your “Ensign Peak.” You are now great examples to family, friends and associates, and with the temporal and spiritual knowledge that you gain, you are being prepared to be your own version of an ensign to the nations! A challenge you will face as you continue on your life’s journey, will be to stay on high ground, which is where you are right now, with your standard firmly anchored, so the light which emanates from you can be seen, lighting the world around you, and blessing all with whom you associate. It is important for you to remember that THE foundation, to which you must anchor, allowing you to stand firmly on high ground, is Jesus Christ.

As a Presiding Bishopric, we are currently very involved with a particular foundation; that of the Salt Lake Temple. In the Presiding Bishopric, we have the responsibility to not only build temples but to find the location for them, to design them, to construct them and to maintain them. That is one of the responsibilities of the Presiding Bishopric.

With regard to the Salt Lake Temple, as you know, work has been going on for quite some time and will likely continue for another couple of years. It’s a remarkable engineering feat (It is just amazing what they are able to do) that first required a strengthening of the foundation before any work on the temple itself could be done. So I’d like to now, take a few minutes, to show you a brief video that President Nelson shared in his October 2021 General Conference talk [2] , “The Temple and Your Spiritual Foundation” and, following the video, I’m going to share with you a few slides of the current work being done on the foundation of the temple. So now lets take a look at the video.

Let me show you a few slides right now before moving on with my remarks. Now this is a slide obviously looking down at the temple thirty five to forty feet below actual ground level that they had to dig down to firm up the foundation before they could do anything else. There was actually a question asked of the engineers about when is the most dangerous time, when will the temple be at the most risk during this construction process? They said it is actually at most risk before we begin the process because if something were to happen right now, if there was an earthquake, the temple would collapse. It would destroy everything and everyone inside. So this is look at it away a little bit.

Lets see the next slide.

You can see now some of the individuals who are working on it. Again, you can see that foundation that they are starting to try to shore up.

Next slide.

What you see there, those round forms, those are going to be what are called base isolators. Now what is going to happen is that there are, I believe there are 92 base isolators that will be under the temple and around it that will allow the temple, if there is an earthquake, to move three feet in any direction, side to side and up and down. It will happen as the whole temple is being put together and with steel beams throughout the whole temple, so that it will move as one piece and so nothing will happen to it.

Now next slide.

Again, you can see all the things that are going on around it so that you can see that it is all going to be buried so none of this will be seen. You will be walking on top of all of that.

The next slide.

You can see the size. You can see the people hanging on the side there and what is going on.

Next one.

That’s the inside of the temple down below us so again, inside and outside. There are 200,000 square feet of additional square feet that are built to the temple. The temple inself is about 90,000 square feet and there is an additional on the north side between north temple and the actual physical temple 200,000 square feet underground, three levels.

Next slide

Again, you can see the inside and you can see the size compared to the people.

Okay, next one. Okay, I think those are the slides for right now. It is just a remarkable thing that is taking place.

Well back to President Nelson. Following the video that he shared during his talk, he shared some thoughts regarding our own foundations and this is what he taught. He said, “..., it is now time that we each implement extraordinary measures—perhaps measures we have never taken before—to strengthen our personal spiritual foundations…” He continued, “My dear brothers and sisters, these are the latter days. If you and I are to withstand the forthcoming perils and pressures, it is imperative that we each have a firm spiritual foundation built upon the rock of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ”. [3]

Well this same truth is shared in a well-known passage from the Book of Mormon, where Helaman is teaching his sons, Nephi and Lehi. This is what we read in Helaman 5:12 which you have read many times. “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 ighty 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.” [4]

There are three words from this significant verse that I would like to review with you this morning. The three words are, “must”, “when” and “cannot”.

The First word is “MUST”. In the verse, it reads, “It is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye MUST build your foundation”. The prophet, Helaman is clearly stating that there is no other option, other than anchoring ourselves securely to Jesus Christ, if we are to stand firm on our Ensign Peak. “Must” indicates that, however intriguing other possibilities may be, there are no alternatives that can provide the same type of sure foundation that Jesus Christ can provide. “Must” does not leave room for a comparable option.

In Mosiah, King Benjamin shared a similar message to his people as they were gathered around the temple and this is what he taught. He said, “I say unto you, that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent”. [5]

In the New Testament, after some “of his disciples…walked no more with him”, the Savior asked the Twelve if they would also go away. Peter clearly understood that there was no other option when he responded, “. . . to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” [6] So brothers and sisters, we must build our foundation on Jesus Christ. There is just too much at stake. Any other choice, any other foundation will ultimately fail us. The adversary would have us believe otherwise, that it doesn’t matter which foundation, if any, we build upon and that, in the end, they believe it will all work out the same. President Nelson recently addressed that consideration when he taught this. He said, “The baseless notion that we should ‘eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us’ is one of the most absurd lies in the universe.” [7] President Nelson was very clear on that. Choosing Jesus Christ as our foundation is a must, for both our mortal lives as well as our eternal lives.

The Second word from that passage in Helaman is “WHEN”. The passage says, “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.” The word “When” reminds us that the challenges of life are not optional. We knew before we chose to follow the Father’s plan that we would be “proved” in this life and we would be provided with opportunities to overcome challenges, temptations, and trials. This truth which I’d like to call the “principle of opposition,” is one of the great principles we learn in our study of the Book of Mormon.

At one point in Jacob chapter 5 in the allegory of the tame and wild olive trees, the Lord of the vineyard says to the servant, “And as they begin to grow,” speaking of the olive tree and the branches, “ye shall clear away the branches which bring forth bitter fruit, according to the strength of the good and the size thereof . . ..” And then he tells them, “. . ..and ye shall not clear away the bad thereof all at once, lest the roots thereof should be too strong for the graft, and the graft thereof shall perish, and I lose the trees of my vineyard.” [8]

Well in reality, I know very little about pruning olive trees but I would have assumed that the best thing to do would be to cut off all of the branches that are producing bitter fruit leaving the branches that produce the good fruit. However, as I pondered this passage, I had an impression that I then wrote down in my study journal, and this is what I actually wrote in my journal. I wrote, “I’d never noticed the principle of opposition in this allegory before but according to Zenos and Jacob, doing it my way would cause the roots to gain too much strength and would ruin the tree! We need opposition to grow. That is how we will be strengthened.” [9]

Challenges and trials are part of life and are allowed by a wise Father in Heaven. No one is immune. Trials we face help us develop the qualities and attributes that are required to live in the presence of our Father in Heaven. We find a very clear example of this principle in the challenge faced by the Jaredites that we read about in the book of Ether in the Book of Mormon.

Once they entered the barges they had built for their journey across the ocean, we are taught that “the Lord God caused that there should be a furious wind blow upon the face of the waters, towards the promised land; and thus they were tossed upon the waves of the sea before the wind.”

“And it came to pass that they were many times buried in the depths of the sea, because of the mountain waves which broke upon them, and also the great and terrible tempests which were caused by the fierceness of the wind.”

“And thus they were driven forth, three hundred and forty and four days upon the water.” [10]

In considering this passage, I would assume that, if given the choice, the Jaredites would have preferred NOT to have been buried “many times” in the depths of the sea, or to be caught in “great and terrible tempests”, or to have been blown by “furious winds”. However, it was actually due to all that they endured, the storms, the waves, the winds, that allowed them to arrive safely at their destination. This is why they reacted the way they did when they finally arrived after almost one full year at sea. This is what they say in the scriptures, “And they did land upon the shore of the promised land…and did shed tears of joy before the Lord, because of the multitude of his tender mercies over them.” [11]

Like the Jaredites, the key to our success is found in facing opposition with faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and his Atonement, not trying to avoid it because it will come. As the Savior taught, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” [12]

The Third word of the three that I wanted to share is, “CANNOT”. In the scripture it says, “…the rock upon which ye are built…is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build, they cannot fall.” I love this word “cannot.” It is so definitive. The scripture doesn’t say, “they may not fall”, or “they probably won’t fall”, or “they usually don’t fall” or “they hopefully won’t fall.” They CANNOT fall is a sure promise to those that choose to build on the foundation of Jesus Christ. It is true that because of the Savior’s victory over physical and spiritual death, every one of God’s children born into mortality has the sure promise of immortality. However, it is also true that the promise of exaltation and eternal life is sure, only for those who build on the foundation of Christ, binding themselves to Him by making and keeping sacred covenants. They are the ones that cannot fall. “Cannot fall” means that the promise found in Mosiah 2:41 is guaranteed for those that build on the foundation of Christ.

It says, “I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.” [13]

You’ve probably already learned in your lives that there aren’t many things that are guaranteed in life, but if you could choose a major, or even a class, that could guarantee, with no exceptions, that you would land your dream job, at your dream salary, with your dream business or work schedule, to live in your dream home, with your dream wife or husband or children…wouldn’t you sign up and do everything possible to take that path? Well, that guarantee exists. When we choose to build on the foundation of Jesus Christ, the path that He has prepared for us, we are guaranteed our dream life…eternal life, the life that God lives, and that guarantee is forever. Remember in Doctrine and Covenants it says, “And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.” [14]

Well you are now at a stage in life where your choices will have long-term, even eternal consequences. Therefore, as you move forward to complete your education, as you plan your career and your life’s work, please give careful thought as to how you will best balance those careers, family responsibilities, church responsibilities and callings, all of which will impact the type of foundation you will build upon in order to stay on high ground…your ensign to the world. As you ponder and consider the type of life you will lead, keep in mind the counsel given in Colossians in the New Testament, “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” [15]

In Charles Dickens’ literary masterpiece, A Tale of Two Cities, published in 1859, you probably have heard the way this book begins with the phrase, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…” [16] As he described such contrasting circumstances, he could just as easily have been speaking about January 2024. Today, on one side, we have what might be the “worst of times” …

· Never has the influence of Satan been stronger, trying to blur our vision of the clear lines drawn between good and evil.

· Never has the spacious building in Lehi’s vision of the tree of life, which we are studying right now in Come Follow Me, never have those issues in life which represents the pride of the world, been more crowded with misguided, mocking inhabitants, and….

· Never have the mists of darkness, the temptations of Satan, been thicker and more forbidding.

However, on the positive side, “the best of times ….

· Never has the path that leads to the tree of life been more clearly marked, and…

· Never has the rod of iron, the word of God, as given through scriptures and by living Prophets and Apostles, been more easily available and easily gripped on the path to the tree of life, allowing us to draw near to Him and making it possible to establish a “sure foundation”, built “upon the rock of our redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God.” [17]

Brothers and Sisters, I’ll start my close by mentioning three tools that the Lord has provided to help us draw near to the Savior, and to learn of Him, as we strive to establish that sure foundation for our lives and your Ensign.

1) We learn of Him in the Temple.

Anciently, mountains were used as proxies for temples where they did not exist and where instructions were given. Moses and the Brother of Jared were beneficiaries of this type of instruction, as well as Nephi, who climbed the mountain before building a ship that would carry his family to the promised land.

As Nephi, we are taught “great things” in the temple, where Jesus Christ is spiritually and symbolically manifest—where we “hear his voice”, where we learn from him and how to be more like him.

President Nelson taught, “The temple lies at the center of strengthening our faith and spiritual fortitude because the Savior and His doctrine are the very heart of the temple. Everything taught in the temple, through instruction and through the Spirit, increases our understanding of Jesus Christ. His essential ordinances bind us to Him through sacred priesthood covenants. Then, as we keep our covenants, He endows us with His healing, strengthening power. And oh, how we will need His power in the days ahead.” [18]

He then continued, “Please believe me when I say that when your spiritual foundation is built solidly upon Jesus Christ, you have no need to fear. As you are true to your covenants made in the temple, you will be strengthened by His power. Then, when spiritual earthquakes occur, you will be able to stand strong because your spiritual foundation is solid and immovable”.

2) We draw near to Him through the scriptures:

In the Doctrine & Covenants, in section 18, we read this, “These words are not of men nor of man, but of me; … For it is my voice which speaketh them unto you; for they are given by my Spirit unto you…. Wherefore, you can testify that you have heard my voice, and know my words.” [19]

As you know, we are constantly counseled by the Brethren to study the scriptures on a regular basis. They bring the spirit into our home, and they provide guidance and direction for our lives. This is especially true of our study of the Book of Mormon which, as I just mentioned, is the 2024 focus of Come, Follow Me.  This is what President Nelson shared regarding our study of the Book of Mormon and its impact in our lives.

He said, “The Book of Mormon provides the fullest and most authoritative understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ to be found anywhere…The full power of the gospel of Jesus Christ is contained in the Book of Mormon. Period…. My dear brothers and sisters, I promise that as you prayerfully study the Book of Mormon every day, you will make better decisions—every day. I promise that as you ponder what you study, the windows of heaven will open, and you will receive answers to your own questions and direction for your own life.” [20]

Just before continuing on another thought regarding the Book of Mormon, we were in a meeting with President Holland and he was commenting on the study of the scriptures and he was commenting on Come, Follow Me, he commented that he reads whatever Come, Follow Me may be, every year he reads the Book of Mormon. Every year he begins with a brand new copy of the Book of Mormon. He doesn’t use the old scripture. He uses a new copy of the Book of Mormon every year that he studies along with whatever else we may be studying with Come, Follow Me. The Book of Mormon, as you already know, is the keystone of our religion and a testimony of the Book of Mormon is essential for conversion. Keep the Book of Mormon as part of your daily study.

3) We hear His voice as we listen to modern Prophets/Apostles:

We don’t have time to review every message delivered by those we sustain as Prophets, Seers and Revelators, but I’ll list just a few titles of talks given by President Nelson and, I would guess, some of these will cause you to nod your head and smile because you recall some of these remarkable messages. So amongst others,

· Think Celestial! [21]

· Let God Prevail [22]

· I have referred to already, The Temple and your Spiritual Foundation [23]

· Another is, The Power of Spiritual Momentum [24]

· He taught, Make Time for the Lord [25]

· And another talk, Hear Him [26]

The Doctrine & Covenants also states, “whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.” [27] While in 3rd Nephi, we receive a warning about what happens when we don’t listen to apostles and prophets. The scripture in 3rd Nephi, 28, says, “And wo be unto him that will not hearken unto the words of Jesus, and also to them whom he hath chosen and sent among them; for whoso receiveth not the words of Jesus and the words of those whom he hath sent receiveth not him; and therefore he will not receive them at the last day.” [28]

Our dear Prophet, President Nelson, as you know, speaks for the Lord as his mouthpiece. We sustain him as THE Prophet, Seer and Revelator, while also sustaining the other members of the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles as Prophets, Seers and Revelators.

Just a comment regarding President Nelson. As a presiding bishopric, we have an opportunity to meet with the first presidency twice a week, at least twice a week, always every Tuesday, so today we will be with them, and always every Friday. The Tuesday meetings are a bit shorter. The Friday meetings can last anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours. In those meetings, because we are with them on a frequent basis over these years, we have watched them as they have aged. President Nelson, he doesn’t like to say he is 99, he likes to say he is in his 100th year. Well, obviously we can see the effects of age but there has been no effect, none, on their minds, not on President Nelson, not on President Oaks, not on President Eyring. It is a remarkable thing to see how the Lord has blessed and sustained them. As their physical bodies deteriorate, their minds have stayed as sharp as ever. We are so blessed to be instructed every April and October in General Conference by them and the members of the Quorum of the Twelve.

I strongly encourage you, every six months, to thoroughly review the talks given by the First Presidency and the Twelve. Between every conference, continue to study and as you do so, prayerfully seek direction from the spirit as to which items of instruction are most important to you at this time and do all that you can to implement that counsel.

Now it is true that no everything mentioned or taught in General Conference applies to each of us equally. It is also true that there is something in every General Conference that applies to us, that the Lord has for us.

You should view General Conference weekends as the most important weekends of the year and do all that you can to never miss them. I know there are some members of the church that may say, “Well it is the weekend for a vacation. We can travel because we don’t have church.” That’s sad when that takes place because they miss the most important opportunity to be taught by prophets, seers and revelators.

Remember, Prophets do not stand between us and the Savior, they stand next to us, pointing us to the Savior. Therefore, we need to pay attention to what they are saying.

As I close, I’m reminded of a comment that I recently heard, and just love, but I can’t recall where I heard it, so I don’t claim ownership! Apparently, a new little boy in a Ward Primary, and he was asked a question by his teacher at primary. He remained quiet. He didn’t know exactly how to respond. To help him out, the little girl next to him leaned over and whispered, “just say Jesus, the answer is always Jesus.”

President Nelson shared a similar truth when he taught, “Whatever questions or problems you have, the answer is always found in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.” He continued, “Learn more about His Atonement, His love, His mercy, His doctrine, and His restored gospel of healing and progression. Turn to Him! Follow Him!” [29]

And may I add, build your foundation on the rock of Jesus Christ. Establish your ENSIGN brothers and sisters. Let your light shine and be seen. Remember the words “must”, “when” and “cannot”. Remember to turn to the temple, to turn to the scriptures, to listen to the Prophets, Seers and Revelators and that Lord has provides for us.

I testify to you that this work is true. That we are led by living prophets, seers and revelators. That Joseph Smith in reality had a vision. That he saw God the Father and His son, Jesus Christ. That through that vision, the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was begun. That the Book of Mormon that we have today was not written by Joseph Smith. I testify that it is the keystone of our religion because it was translated by Joseph Smith. We don’t know exactly or what tools or in what form the Lord inspired him to help him to translate, but I testify that he did translate those plates and that we have the Book of Mormon today, another testament of Jesus Christ. A testimony of the Book of Mormon is essential for our conversion.

I testify that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints which was formally formed just weeks after the Book of Mormon was published and printed. That the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is God’s kingdom on earth. I am grateful to know that these things are true. I am grateful for the privilege of having my own testimony of these things and know that many of you do and that some of you are seeking those testimonies and I testify that as you do put forth that effort that you will know. I am grateful for this knowledge and for the privilege of being with you and share this testimony with you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

[1] Ballard, M. Russell. (2002, March). The Law of Sacrifice. Liahona. Originally from an address given to Church Educational System educators at Brigham Young University on 13 August 1996.
[2] Nelson, Russell M. (2021, October). The Temple and Your Spiritual Foundation [Video]. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
[3] Nelson, Russell M. (2021, October). The Temple and Your Spiritual Foundation. October 2021 general conference. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
[4] Helaman 5:12
[5] Mosiah 3:17
[6] John 6:66-69
[7] Nelson, Russell M. (2023, October). Think Celestial! October 2023 general conference. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
[8] Jacob 5:65
[9] Waddell, W. Christopher. Personal Journal.
[10] Ether 6:5-6
[11] Ether 6:11-12
[12] John 16:33
[13] Mosiah 2:41
[14] Doctrine & Covenants 14:7
[15] Colossians 3:2
[16] Dickens, Charles. (2012). A Tale of Two Cities. Penguin Classics.
[17] Helaman 5:12
[18] Nelson, Russell M. (2021, October). The Temple and Your Spiritual Foundation. October 2021 general conference. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
[19] Doctrine & Covenants 18:34-36
[20] Nelson, Russell M. (2017, October). The Book of Mormon: What Would Your Life Be Like without It? October 2017 general conference. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
[21] Nelson, Russell M. (2023, October). Think Celestial! October 2023 general conference. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
[22] Nelson, Russell M. (2020, October). Let God Prevail. October 2020 general conference. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
[23] Nelson, Russell M. (2021, October). The Temple and Your Spiritual Foundation. October 2021 general conference. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
[24] Nelson, Russell M. (2022, April). The Power of Spiritual Momentum. April 2022 general conference. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
[25] Nelson, Russell M. (2021, October). Make Time for the Lord. October 2021 general conference. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
[26] Nelson, Russell M. (2020, April). Hear Him. April 2020 general conference. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
[27] Doctrine & Covenants 1:38
[28] 3 Nephi 28:34
[29] Nelson, Russell M. (2023, April). The Answer Is Always Jesus Christ. April 2023 general conference. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

About the Speaker

W. Christopher Waddell

Bishop W. Christopher Waddell was named First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on October 3, 2020.
Bishop Waddell was named a General Authority Seventy on April 2, 2011, and served in that capacity until his call as Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric in October 2015.

Bishop Waddell received a bachelor’s degree in 1984 from San Diego State University. Beginning in 1984 he worked with Merrill Lynch in several positions, including first vice president of investments.

Bishop Waddell has served in numerous Church callings, including full-time missionary in Spain, bishop, high councilor, counselor in a mission presidency, stake president, president of the Spain Barcelona Mission, and Area Seventy.

Wayne Christopher Waddell was born in Los Angeles, California, on June 28, 1959. He married Carol Stansel in July 1984. They are the parents of four children.
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