Stand Ye in Holy Places D&C 85-87
The scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants that counsels us to "stand ye in holy places and be not moved" is probably one of the most well known and often quoted verses. We see it quoted with pictures of temples, families in their home having family home evening, or sacrament meetings.
These are all physical locations that represent holy places, but as I was studying this week, and with some of the extra material that I read to go along with it, I started to think of standing in holy places a little differently than I have in the past.
Standing is not a passive activity
Putting myself in a place where it is possible to feel peace and have the Spirit with me doesn't mean it will automatically happen. "Standing by" is not the same as "standing up".
There have been a lot of times in my life where "going to church" ended after the three hour block and didn't begin again for a week. And I hate to admit it, but there was a time when General Conference weekend meant "a week off" and I actually treated it that way. I ordered church magazines because I felt like I "should" but didn't even read them.
I could go on, but I think you get the picture of lackluster worship and I would say in those days I was probably standing by a lot more than I should have been. I do better now, but there is still room for improvement.
Every prayer can't be answered
A few weeks ago I mentioned a new book I got called Making Sense of the Doctrine and Covenants by Steven C. Harper. In the book, Brother Harper quoted some words from Abraham Lincoln about the civil war that I found really interesting:
...in the present civil war it is quite possible that God's purpose is something quite different from the purpose of either party--and yet the human instrumentality, working just as they do, are of the best adaptation to effect his purpose.
And he realized that both sides were praying to the same God, each asking for help against their opponent. The prayers of both could not be answered. The Lord has His own purposes.
Stand Ye in Holy Places
Standing in holy places means a lot more than I imagined that it does. It means the Lord wants me to take action. Being in a holy place is much more mental than physical.
Studying scriptures, praying continually, keeping the sabbath day holy, and being prepared to defend His kingdom when called upon to do so. It's about having faith strong enough to withstand the coming tide of calamity that will proceed the Second Coming.
Section 87 really lays it out there, and it isn't going to be a time for the faint of heart. I think it will require a lot of effort to make sure I am standing firm.
Rather than always inviting the Lord to be on my side, I need to make sure I am standing on His side.