Holy places provide a spiritual refuge

In holy places and in sacred space Latter-day Saints find spiritual refuge, renewal, hope and peace, said Elder Dennis B. Neuenschwander.

"May each of us revere and respect the holy and sacred in our lives," he said. "May we teach our children, likewise. Let us all stand in holy and sacred places of spiritual peace."

Speaking Sunday morning, Elder Neuenschwander of the Presidency of the Seventy, said Church members' ability to recognize and reverence the holy above the profane and the sacred above the secular defines their spirituality.

"Amidst the bustle of the secular world, with its certain uncertainty, there must be places that offer spiritual refuge, renewal, hope and peace," he said. "There are indeed such places. They are both holy and sacred. They are places where we meet the divine and find the Spirit of the Lord."

Elder Neuenschwander said three times in the Doctrine and Covenants the Lord counsels His people to stand in holy places.

"Holy places have always been essential in the proper worship of God," he said. "For Latter-day Saints, such holy places include venues of historic significance, our homes, sacrament meetings and temples. Much of what we reverence, and what we teach our children to reverence as holy and sacred, is reflected in these places. The faith and reverence associated with them and the respect we have for what transpires or has transpired in them make them holy."

Great personal preparation, said Elder Neuenschwander, is required for members to receive the spiritual benefit of standing in holy places. "The words sacred and sacrifice come from the same root. One may not have the sacred without first sacrificing something for it. There can be no sacredness without personal sacrifice. Sacrifice sanctifies the sacred."

Deep and reverent feelings are aroused by sacred places across the earth relating to the history of the establishment of the Church, he continued. "These sacred places inspire our faith and give us encouragement to be true to that faith and to move forward, despite the challenges that may cross our path."

Homes, he added, are holy places filled with sacred space. "Though not always tranquil, our homes can be filled with the Spirit of the Lord. . . . The establishment of our homes as holy places reflects the depth of sacrifice we are willing to make for them."

Continuing, Elder Neuenschwander said sacrament meetings are really more than just meetings. "They are sacred moments in a holy place. . . . As we partake of the sacrament, we remember Him and express our willingness to take His name upon us and to keep His commandments."

Finally, he said, temples are among the most sacred of all places on the earth. "They stand as evidence of God's love to all of His children, past and present."