Don’t Just Stand in Holy Places – Be a Holy Place

I Wonder When He Comes Again…

The children’s primary song waxes eloquent about the beautiful parts of the second coming, but as we grow to adulthood, it’s sometimes easier to only see the “bad” parts leading up to that event.

Among other things, There’s going to be:

  • Great weeping, despair, and fear. Men’s hearts will fail them. (D&C 29:15; 88:91. )
  • Famines, scourges, sickness, and desolation. (D&C 29:16; 45:31; 112:24)
  • Signs and wonders in the heavens and in the earth. (D&C 34:9; 45:40–42; 88:87.)
  • Wars and rumors of wars, and the whole earth will be in commotion. (D&C 45:26; 63:33)
  • The love of men will become cold, and iniquity will abound. (D&C 45:27)
  • Earthquakes, tempests, and great waves of the sea. Men will harden their hearts against God and fight each other. (D&C 45:33; 88:89–90.)

Doesn’t that sound like fun? Who doesn’t want to be around to witness all those “wonderful” things? (Please note the dripping sarcasm when I say that.)

I don’t wonder what the weather will be like when He comes again. I wonder when He comes again, will I be prepared?

How to Prepare

“How do you prepare for the Second Coming? Well, you just do not worry about it. You just live the kind of life that if the Second Coming were to be tomorrow you would be ready. Nobody knows when it is going to happen. … Our responsibility is to prepare ourselves, to live worthy of the association of the Savior, to deport ourselves in such a way that we would not be embarrassed if He were to come among us. That is a challenge in this day and age” (Gordon B. Hinckley in Church News, 2 Jan. 1999, 2).

Don’t worry about it. Check.

Okay, but really. How do you not worry about all the destruction and horrible things leading up to it? “Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come…” (D&C 87:8.)

What does it mean to stand in holy places?

Stand in Holy Places

We think of “standing in holy places” as going to the temple frequently, attending church meetings and regularly taking the sacrament, and it does mean all those things. But does that mean we are only expected to be prepared when we are in those places? What are some ways we can bring those holy places with us?

There’s another clue in D&C 101:22: “Behold, it is my will, that all they who call on my name, and worship me according to mine everlasting gospel, should gather together, and stand in holy places…”

What I get out of that is that we can’t stand in holy places by ourselves. It is necessary, and even requisite, that we stand with other people. The more like-minded people we surround ourselves with, the more we can strengthen and help each other. It’s universal math: light always overcomes darkness. Dark cannot multiply, only divide. Light adds to light and multiplies!

There’s another way to define holy places in D&C 60:7: “…For I am able to make you holy…”

When a Place Is More Than a Place

“We might first consider the word place as a physical environment or a geographic location. However, a place can be ‘a distinct condition, position, or state of mind. This means holy places can also include moments in time—moments when the Holy Ghost testifies to us, moments when we feel Heavenly Father’s love, or moments when we receive an answer to our prayers. Even more, I believe any time you have the courage to stand for what is right, especially in situations where no one else is willing to do so, you are creating a holy place.” (Ann M. Dibb, “Your Holy Places,” April 2014 General Conference.)

As we individually stand in holy places, develop and use our spiritual gifts, are repentant and encourage others around us to be repentant, our influence becomes more than a place where we receive holiness. We then carry our holiness with us, making every place we go a holy one because we are standing there. When we know who we are and whose side we are on, we create an atmosphere of peace that then positively impacts others’ environments.

In Moses 7:17, there’s a clue about that: “The fear of the Lord was upon all nations, so great was the glory of the Lord, which was upon his people. And the Lord blessed the land, and they were blessed upon the mountains, and upon the high places, and did flourish.”

In Enoch’s day, the people chose righteousness above all else to the point where the environment was affected positively. If mountains can be blessed and flourish, surely groups of people can be who stand together and choose righteousness. As we become holy, our surroundings are affected, as well as anyone who comes in contact with us.

Practice Makes Permanent

Does it sound daunting to talk about being holy? Becoming holy? Does it seem out of reach? Perhaps. But I assure you: it is not. Like any other skill we acquire throughout our lives, it just takes practice. And no, practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes permanent.” We become what we practice.

“Standing in holy places helps us to become holy, but that is an acquired virtue that takes practice. Practice listening to the Spirit and being obedient. Practice being reverent about sacred things. The Lord has told us to come unto Him and He can make us holy. Let Him envelop you in love and forgiveness and peace. Regardless of what is going on around you, you can practice creating an environment of your own, filled with the Spirit of the Lord.” (Sharon G. Larsen, “Standing in Holy Places,” April 2002 General Conference.)

Radiate Holiness

As we allow ourselves to be changed from the inside out by becoming shining beacons of holiness, those beams of light  affect others in our perimeters of influence.
“There is one responsibility which no man can evade; that responsibility is his personal influence. Man’s unconscious influence in the silent, subtle radiation of personality – the effect of his words and his actions on others.
“This radiation is tremendous…Every man has an atmosphere which is affecting every other man. He cannot escape for one moment from this radiation of his character, this constant weakening or strengthening of others. Man cannot evade the responsibility by merely saying it is an unconscious influence. Man can select the qualities he would permit to be radiated. He can cultivate sweetness, calmness trust, generosity, truth, justice, loyalty, nobility, and make them vitally active in his character. And by these qualities he will constantly affect the world.” (From an address by David O. McKay, to BYU on April 27, 1948. President McKay is not the originator of the text about influence. He quoted “Self Control: Its Kingship and Majesty,” William George Jordan, Flemming H. Revell, 1889, 1905, p. 70, 72. This little book was serialized in the Improvement Era. This quote was in Improvement Era, Vol. 12, #7, May 1909, pp. 542-545.)
Don’t just stand in holy places. Be a holy place.
Laura will be the first to tell you she’s not perfect. That’s why she loves the restored gospel, and loves the atonement.

About the Author:

Laura will be the first to tell you she’s not perfect. That’s why she loves the restored gospel, and loves the atonement.