Build it: Excited about our new adventure of building our log home. we watched as skilled workmen with heavy equipment carved up the mountainside and excavated our foundation. Then one day, everything, and I mean everything came to a halt! The last bucket of dirt from the southeast corner was a dreaded clay know as bentonite.
The potential for future erosion, sliding and foundation weakness was apparent. And of course, the excavator was not about the take responsibility or liability for any problems down the road, so we called in an engineer. A very expensive engineer, who took weeks to evaluate and calculate and provide us with a structurally sound plan for our foundation. The excavators and concrete craftsmen were given very specific instructions which they followed carefully and thoroughly. Additional drains were placed, and our foundation was shored up with extra and larger rebar in the footings. Throughout our build, we heard horrifying stories of foundations collapsing, cracking, and shifting. $40,000 unexpected dollars later, we are grateful that we saw the bentonite and took extra care to ensure a strong, solid foundation.
Test it: In the past few years, I have done a bit of research, following up on news stories about single homes, left standing after devastating tornados, hurricanes, or earthquakes. In 2008 Hurricane Ike devastated hundreds of beach homes in Gilchrist, Texas. Several remarkable photos show one surviving house in the midst of total destruction. In 2018 a similar miraculous instance of one home, known as the Sand Palace, remained standing among ruins left in the wake of a Mexico Beach Hurricane. Investigations reveal that in each case, the home builder exceeded what was required by local building codes. Securing their foundations deeper into the bedrock.
Fortify it: In 1857, anticipating the arrival of the US Army to Utah, the LDS temple foundation in Salt Lake City was covered. When the army left, the foundation, made of sandstone, was uncovered to reveal defects, cracks, weakened mortar.
In 1862 LDS President Brigham Young announced that the inadequate foundation would be removed and replaced with granite and footings 16 feet thick!
Fast forward to 2019, renovations and fortifications to the Salt Lake Temple are underway still today. Once again, drawing analogies to my life, I realize that though I believe I have solid and strong foundation, I always need to review, strengthen and fortify.
I often think of my own building experience and these incredible stories and sometimes wonder about the strength of my personal foundation. I’m I strong enough to withstand the storms of life that may come? Are my core beliefs anchored deeply enough to weather unexpected events, challenges and hardships that may rock my foundation? My challenge to you today is to recognize the volatile and turbulent times in which we live and do whatever is necessary to ensure that your personal foundation is deeply rooted, strong and resilient.