General Conference Book Club – Week 19
President Thomas S. Monson
“Stand in Holy Places”

I read this talk because it was on the schedule for the Relief Society lesson in our ward.  I don’t know what the focus was on, because in Primary we talked about how we chose to follow Jesus before we were born, but I know what I got out of it.

From the title, I was expecting the talk to be about the importance of temples, yet it really wasn’t at all.  Instead it was on the importance of personal prayer and inspiration.  We live in a very wicked world, and it’s not getting any better as a whole.  However, it is totally possible to feel peace and righteousness.  I loved President Monson’s stories that he used as examples of how that works.  I appreciated his challenge to learn how to communicate with our Heavenly Father.  I’m grateful for a prophet who lives what he preaches.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

“Although the world has changed, the laws of God remain constant.  They have not changed; they will not change.  The Ten Commandments are just that – commandments.  They are not suggestions.”

“As a means of being in the world but not being of the world, it is necessary that we communicate with our Heavenly Father through prayer.  He wants us to do so; He’ll answer our prayers.”

“Not a day has gone by that I have not communicated with my Father in Heaven through prayer.  It is a relationship I cherish – one I would literally be lost without.  If you do not now have such a relationship with your Father in Heaven, I urge you to work toward that goal.  As you do so, you will be entitled to His inspiration and guidance in your life – necessities for each of us if we are to survive spiritually during our sojourn here on earth.  Such inspiration and guidance are gifts He freely gives if we but seek them.  What treasures they are!”

“There is nothing which can bring more joy into our lives or more peace to our souls than the Spirit which can come to us as we follow the Savior and keep the commandments.”

That last quote reminded me of one of my favorite scriptures – Isaiah 32:17 – “And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever.”  What a beautiful promise!

Finally, one of the lessons that I do remember (at least the preparing part if not the giving part) from teaching seminary was the one on D&C 87, where we’re taught of the importance of standing in holy places.  President Harold B. Lee wrote a whole book on the subject, but it was summarized in this statement “A holy place is any place where a man enjoys the Spirit.”  (You can find the current seminary lesson here.) I remember the responsibility I felt to help the teenagers understand that even while walking down the hallways of the high school they could “stand in holy places,” as long as they were worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost.  Even several years later, I try to remember that concept on a daily basis myself.