THE WORD: Stand in holy places

Published 7:37 am Thursday, January 31, 2019

Recently as I walked on the High Bridge Trail on a beautiful, bluesky day, I found myself joyfully praying to my Heavenly Father in my heart, asking for guidance and help, pleading for blessings for dear family members and friends. A seemingly ordinary day on the trail became sacred time and sacred space.

There are many holy places mentioned in the scriptures: the Garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve communed with God; the mountain where Moses received instruction and commandments; the Garden of Gethsemane, sanctified by the suffering of the Savior. In teaching of the end times, Jesus taught us to “stand in the holy place” (Matthew 24:15).

As we prepare for the Second Coming of our Savior, we can all find holy places where we can stand. Ann M. Dibb taught that holy places “have incredible strengthening power.” Often ordinary places become sacred to us because of what we did or learned there.

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When I was a teenager, I had many questions as my faith grew. Once, I knelt in the woods and prayed, and a sweet feeling of peace came over me. I knew that I was a child of God, and that He loved me and wanted me to succeed. I remember keeping part of a tree branch I found that day for many years to commemorate my sacred experience there.

A university library became a sacred place as my sweetheart and I discussed marriage and decided to commit to spend our lives and eternity together. I read of a man who had a profoundly spiritual experience while hunting. He wrote that his “soul hungered,” and he remembered the things he had been taught in his youth by good parents. He communed with God and resolved to change his life.

Perhaps you have a sacred space where you first came to know the Lord, or where someone ministered to you, bringing the influence of the Holy Spirit. For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a temple is one of the holiest places on earth, a House of the Lord where we make sacred promises with God.

In April 2018, President Russell M. Nelson announced that a temple will be built in the Richmond area. All who desire to do so will have the opportunity to tour the temple prior to its dedication, and learn how the covenants made there lead us to Christ.

Our homes are the holiest places where we can stand. The quiet table, whereon is placed the wellworn and beloved holy scriptures, can be a holy place. The quiet corner, where we offer our secret prayers, can be a holy place. The room where we gather family members to teach, talk, rejoice and preach of Christ, can be a holy place.

May we each find holy places where we can stand, commune with God, and prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

BRENT ROBERTS is the Elders Quorum President in the Sandy River Branch, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and also Dean of Greenwood Library at Longwood University. He can be reached at