As we witness and experience the turmoil of world events such as civil unrest, famines, wars, pandemics, climate changes, and spiritual challenges, our homes need to be immovable refuges from all storms. At the April 2021 general conference priesthood session of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Russell M. Nelson taught this eternal truth: “Have you ever wondered why the Lord wants us to make our homes the center of gospel learning and gospel living? It is not just to prepare us for, and help us through, a pandemic. Present restrictions on gathering will eventually end. However, your commitment to make your home your primary sanctuary of faith should never end. As faith and holiness decrease in this fallen world, your need for holy places will increase. I urge you to continue to make your home a truly holy place ‘and be not moved’ (Doctrine and Covenants 87:8) from that essential goal” (“What We Are Learning and Will Never Forget,” Liahona, May 2021, 79).
One of the “Ideas for Family Scripture Study and Home Evening” in the August 2-8 Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Doctrine and Covenants 2021, 135 suggests: “Invite family members to design a home for someone who loves the Savior. This may lead to ideas about how to ‘redesign’ your home to make it a place of peace amid the spiritual danger in the world.” So, what are ways for us to “redesign” our homes as holy places?
Our Redesign Ideas
Initially, we brainstormed seven ways to show and increase our love of Jesus Christ:
Display and discuss a portrait of the Savior that touches our minds and hearts. The photos of Jesus available on Gospel Media and in the Come, Follow Me resources are awe-inspiring.
Choose spaces and take time daily to study the standard works of scripture: the Bible, the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price. Now that the scriptures are accessible on www.ChurchofJesusChrist.org, it is so easy to access them and utilize a wide variety of the Church’s Study Helps.
Pray often to Heavenly Father in Christ’s name (see John 16:23-24). We trust that if we are humble, the Lord “shall lead [us] by the hand, and give [us] answer to [our] prayers” (Doctrine and Covenants 112:10).
Seek more opportunities to hear and sing sacred songs, such as: “Love at Home” and “Home Can Be a Heaven on Earth” (Hymns, nos. 294, 298) or “Where Love Is” and “The Wise Man and the Foolish Man” (Children’s Songbook, 138-139, 281).
Select one or more special areas in or around the home for family scripture councils, home evenings, and gatherings with family and friends.
Encourage family members to gain new talents (see Matthew 25:15-30). This can build personal confidence and help us lovingly minister to our neighbors (see Matthew 22:39; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27).
7. Dedicate our home to the Lord. The General Handbook: Serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 18.15.1-2, ChurchofJesusChrist.org clarifies: “Homes do not need to be owned or free of debt to be dedicated … If there is not a Melchizedek Priesthood holder in the home: a family may invite a close friend, relative, or ministering brother who holds the Melchizedek Priesthood to dedicate the home … A family might gather and offer a prayer as guided by the Spirit.” We dedicated our home years ago while raising our children, and it has set a tone for us to interact in ways that the Spirit of the Lord can dwell in our home.
The key aims for our design ideas strive to find daily opportunities to keep our sacramental covenants to “always have his Spirit to be [us]” (Doctrine and Covenants 20:77) as we “do always remember him” (Doctrine and Covenants 20:79).
Building Our Faith in Jesus Christ
In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus concludes with this counsel: “Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock” (Matthew 7:24-27). To build a home that can endure any tempests we may face in this life, we need to strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ—He is the Rock of our salvation.
During his Sunday morning address, President Nelson offered five suggestions for building our faith on an immovable and unwavering rock of eternal truth: “study, …believe in Jesus Christ, …act in faith, …partake of sacred ordinances, …and ask [our] Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, for help.” If we will follow these prescribed steps, he promises: “Faith in Jesus Christ is the greatest power available to us in this life … Your growing faith in Him will move mountains—not the mountains of rock that beautify the earth but the mountains of misery in your lives. Your flourishing faith will help you turn challenges into unparalleled growth and opportunity” (“Christ Is Risen; Faith in Him Will Move Mountains,” Liahona, May 2021, 103-104).
Strengthening our faith in Jesus can guide us no matter what adversity we face. Even if we were to become homeless like Abraham and the children of Israel or the early pioneers in the days of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, the Holy Spirit can inspire our footsteps to find sites where we can build homes dedicated to God.
Faith in Christ can help us live with hope in this world. Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf explains: “When we feel insignificant, cast off, and forgotten, we learn that we may be assured that God has not forgotten us—in fact, that He offers to all His children something unimaginable: to become ‘heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ’ (Romans 8:17; see also Doctrine and Covenants 84:38)” (“God among Us,” Liahona, May 2021, 8).
Seeking Our Eternal Homes
One key discovery we made in pondering these ideas is that homes will continue in heaven. On the eve of his Crucifixion, Jesus comforted His Apostles with this promise: “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2). By preparing our earthly homes as holy places, we are preparing to dwell eternally in glorified mansions prepared for us to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.