As I looked at the “Ideas for Personal Scripture Study” in the April 26-May 2 Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 the scripture that stood out to me most was “my disciples shall stand in holy places” (Doctrine and Covenants 45:32). One reason the Saviour and His prophets teach us about the signs of the Second Coming is to help us prepare. Knowing that Jesus Christ is my Advocate and that He is pleading for me also helps me to have that desire to stand in holy places.
During this past year of trials and tumult with the pandemic, I can honestly say, that I have had peace in my life even though I haven’t been able to attend a temple for a long time, or even go with my family to an actual Church meetinghouse in months.
I have, however, been able to spend a great deal more time in my home than I have in the past. Despite not always being super clean or the arguments that sometimes arise in our family, my home truly has become a holy place for me. As Sister Sharon. G. Larson, Second Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, has said: “A holy place is where we feel safe, secure, loved, and comforted. That’s how it was in our heavenly home” (“Standing in Holy Places,” Ensign, May, 2002).
To prepare for the Lord’s Second Coming, we need to stand in holy places and take the Holy Spirit for our guide. Where do we find these Holy Places? How do we take the Spirit to be our guide? These are two wonderful questions.
“We Can Make Any Place Holy”
First, where do we find these holy places? Elder Kevin J. Worthen, Area Seventy, said, “Regular church and temple attendance will bring great power in your lives—power you will need to face both the everyday and the extraordinary challenges you will encounter. But in today’s world, more will be expected of you than to just stand in holy places. My plea is not just that you stand in holy places but that you make holy the places in which you stand … We can make any place holy—not just our temples and chapels but also our homes, our workplaces, and our locker rooms. We have the ability, like the good Samaritan, to change the areas in which we stand from haunted places to holy places” (“Holy Places,” Brigham Young University Speeches [Jan. 20, 2015]).
Any place that we are in can potentially be a holy place for us. How do we make it so? Keep our scriptures handy and available in all of our places. This is a lot easier with our Gospel Library app available on our devices. Hanging a picture in our locker or on our car visor or even selecting a picture of Jesus as background on our phone are strategies that can help us to see glimpses of the Saviour anytime and anywhere. I love when I get a notification and the Saviour pops up on my phone.
Guided by the Spirit
Second how do we take the Spirit to be our Guide? Elder Worthen continues: “The daily practice of serious study of the scriptures and sincere prayer keeps the Saviour enough in our minds and the Spirit enough in our lives … This does not mean you won’t have challenges or questions. You will. But daily scripture study and daily prayer will keep you on the path—will keep you aligned with the Saviour and our Father in Heaven—to such a degree that you will find, over time, you are a better person, one more able to not only stand in holy places but also make holy the places in which you stand” (“Holy Places”).
Christ Is in Control
Another way that we can stand in holy places is to study the counsel of inspired Church leaders. They can comfort and help us understand latter-day events. After reviewing the frequency and intensity of earthquakes, devastating volcanic eruptions, and threats of increasing political unrest, warfare, and economic chaos, Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles concluded: 'The Lord is in control... He has given us adequate instruction that, if followed, will see us safely through any crisis. …Therefore, today we must be careful to not overreact, nor should we be caught up in extreme preparations; but what we must do is keep the commandments of God and never lose hope' (“The Joy of Hope Fulfilled,” Ensign, Nov. 1992).
Knowing the Lord is in control brings peace to my mind and reminds me that my sight is limited by time and what I know. But the Lord knows all, and because He knows all, if I put my trust in Him, I will be guided and directed to those holy places where He needs me to be and where the Spirit can reach out and teach me what I need to be taught.