So… Elder Holbrook and I are attending this awesome institute class on Revelation every Friday with one of our equally awesome investigators, Russ. For the most part, we’ve just started, so we went over the first few chapters, which mostly cover John’s epistles to the seven churches. The Lord compliments each church on what they’re doing correctly, and then tells them what they’re doing wrong and how they will be blessed if they correct their erroneous ways.
The first little epistle is to the church in Ephesus. The Lord compliments them for their patience and diligence in their work, but also rebukes them.
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
The Lord tells them that they left their “first love”. So who is their first love? Jesus Christ. Although their works were good, they were performing their good works for the wrong reasons. They forgot Christ and their faith in Him wasn’t present. Faith and works go together. You cannot have one without the other.
Our teacher, the stake president, also told us about a study that was done among seminary students. The students were basically asked to write down what they believed someone must do in order to fully repent. A commonality existed among many of the students’ answers. That is, they often did not mention the need of Christ, or the need to have faith in Jesus Christ.
Faith in Christ is the foundation of everything we do. It is through faith we repent. It is through faith we have hope. It is through works that we show our faith.
Recall Helaman’s words in Helaman 5:12.
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 mighty 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.
Christ is our foundation. It is upon Him we build our faith and our testimonies. May we not forget this important fact.
I know Helaman’s words are true, that if we build our foundation upon Christ, we cannot fall.