The beach is a wonderful place to rest and relax. The soft warm sand squishes between your toes and gives way as you saunter along the shore. It slides and makes way as you burrow your bottom into its supple surface under the shade of your beach umbrella. And it drips, drips, drips, one drop at a time as you let a wet handful sift through your fingertips to create a tall sandcastle turrets. Sandy beaches are great places to walk, build castles, and lie on as you bask in the summer sun.
Sand however has its limitations. Today my daughter and I tried riding our bikes on the beach. As we did our tires sunk into the sand leading us to change our gears and try again. What appeared to be firm and secure ground merely gave way under the weight of our tires, causing us to loose our balance and fall. As I turned we to leave the beach we noticed several tire marks where a car had foolishly tried to do the same. Unfortunately, for him, it appeared that he had to be dug out.. Also, as we rode our bikes, (on the hard pavement of the street) we noticed that all of the homes along the shoreline are built , not upon a sandy foundation, but rather upon fifteen-foot pilings that have been driven deep below the surface sand.
Sand shifts. In the sun’s heat, the wind’s whistle, and the wave’s wash, sand shifts.
Helaman taught his sons about the need to recognize life’s shifting sands. He counseled them to place their faith in eternal truths that “fade not away” or shift with the crowd’s whim. What are the sands of life that appear to be safe, but when you walk on them they lose their ground? They bring moments of fun but fail to live up to eternal laws. There are many ways that we can relax and enjoy ourselves, but we need to be careful not to build our life’s hopes and dreams on sands that shift .
Helaman taught his sons that eternal lasting rewards are found in the redeeming love our Savior Jesus Christ. He taught his sons the need to “remember, remember “ and to build upon the rock of our redeemer Jesus Christ.
How do we determine if the earthly pleasures we find so enticing are shifting sands or treasures in heaven? How do we know what is real? Real may not be something we touch. Real may in reality be something that touches us and leads us to the “precious gift of eternal life”.
Vs 8 lay up for yourselves a treasure in heaven – treasures in heaven do not shift, change, or go the way of the earth. They are eternal, lasting, and sure. The elements of life do not change them. They do not fade. When we rely on Jesus Christ's atonement, we lay up treasures in heaven.
vs 8 Precious gift of eternal life – We are taught that God’s work and glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. (Moses 1:39) His purpose of sending his son was to give us hope that we might strive for eternal life… truths that matter, truths that last.. truths that touch us and change us for the better.
Vs 9 O remember, remember, my sons, the words – words are important part of striving to gain eternal life. Words spoken by King Benjamin, and various other prophets speak of truths that will teach us how we can find and uncover the gift of eternal life within us.
Vs 9 no other way nor means – Jesus Christ is the only way we can have immortality. His atonement is the only way we can be saved not in our sins, but rather from our sins. (vs 10)
Vs 11 Why Jesus? Because God gave Jesus Christ power to redeem us from our sins… if we will repent.
Vs 11 How? He sent angles to tell us about repentance and its conditions. He sent angels to help us understand how the Redeemer Jesus Christ has power to bring salvation to our souls.
Vs 12 your foundation – Foundations support homes, buildings, and all things that are built. As we walked Folly Beach this morning, I noticed that Phase I of the restoration project for the Morris Island Lighthouse was completed. A small ship-worm had eaten through all of the foundation timbers and the lighthouse had begun to gradually settle toward the ocean (floor). A few million dollars of restoration has corrected this problem and the lighthouse now stands erect on a foundation of concrete footings. It will stand for many years to come as a guardian to the Carolina coastal waters. It is amazing to me that the foundation of such a mighty lighthouse that has protected thousands of ships from destruction did not face destruction because of the pelting waves, or gusting winds, but rather from a small mollusk worm that, like termites ate away until the timbers resembled tattered lace.
Vs 12 Rock upon which ye are built – Lighthouses that are built upon rocks stand for eons of time. Rocks do not allow infestations. Rocks do not shift like sand, or face infestation like timber. The oldest working lighthouse in the world was built upon a foundation of rock. It stands today in Spain as a national monument and reminder to the strength of rock foundations.
A foundation wheron if men build they cannot fall – Sand is not a foundation to build on as it shifts. But truths that stand firm in the face of trial, persecution, fads, and the whims of man will be as a rock. They will be as a lighthouse to you as you seek to gather your eternal treasures to take back to heaven. These truths come from our Savior Jesus Christ.
Vs 13 Helaman taught to his sons; We need to teach one another. Teach our children, our sons and our daughters. We need to love them so that they will listen and learn from our examples.
Vs 13 which are not written, and which are written – There is a great power in words. Words spoken with sincere sink deep into our hearts and help us make decisions from day to day. But sometimes its not our words, its what we do. We need to teach.. do what I do… and what I say.
14 And they did remember his words- Helaman’s sons remembered what he taught. Why? Because he was a man of his word. I noticed that while he was alive there were years of peace and prosperity, but soon after his death contention again began to enter the land. Why? I think that a strong leader who knows good from evil and can sway people.. not just by his words but by his actions.. by what is not written.. by the way he loved his sons, the way he loved his family. The way he treated others and loved his people more than the earthly possessions that like “shifting sands” lose their value once our eyes are closed to our earthly life.