Brigham Young University devotional: Developing sanctuaries of faith

Individuals need personal sanctuaries of faith to counter the current situations in the world said Jeff Ringer during BYU’s campus devotional Tuesday, May 25, in the de Jong Concert Hall on the university’s campus.

“In a time when we are swept up in a tidal wave of bad news, when the gloomy march of economic misery seems to engulf us all … let me suggest that we counter that tide by working to find our own personal sanctuaries in our faith, at our Church meetings, in the temple and in our relationships with family, friends and the Lord,” Brother Ringer said.

Finding sanctuary begins with understanding who a person is and what they believe, according to Brother Ringer.

“However frustrating outside critiques may be, the bigger obstacle to finding sanctuary is when we begin to misunderstand our own beliefs — when we allow our faith to be diminished and trivialized,” he said.

Brother Ringer, who is the director of BYU’s David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies, said Church should be a weekly place of sanctuary for each individual.

“At the heart of those three hours is the ordinance of the sacrament and the opportunity to renew our baptismal covenants,” he said, “[and] the opportunity to witness again to the Lord that we not only believe, but that we will do.”

In order to find sanctuary at Church meetings, with the challenges and assignments associated with weekly worship, an individual must focus on two things — themselves and others.

“We can all take practical steps to make sure that we are more prepared for Sabbath services, but we can also make an inner commitment to refocus and recommit to the core purpose of worship,” Brother Ringer said.

In addition to attending Church meetings, he spoke of the need for Church members everywhere to participate in temple worship. Despite long distances to travel and pediments in the way, many Church members around the world still make the time and effort to worship in the temple.

“I fear that for some of us, the convenience of a temple may have led to casualness about the temple,” he continued. “Let us all recommit to finding sanctuary in the temple, to treat it as a refuge from the daily grind. In the temple we find peace, we find truth, we find God.”

Brother Ringer spoke of the important lessons parents teach their children.

“Of all the lessons we try to teach our kids, there is one that we must get right — it is the lesson that they are loved,” he said. “Perhaps the greatest gift my parents ever gave me was the gift of never wondering if I was loved, never wondering if they were proud of me, never wondering where I fit in their hierarchy of priorities. … For each of us, home ought to be our daily sanctuary. …

“There is enough criticism at school and work for a child or spouse to face it at home too,” Brother Ringer said. “Outside of the home there is always someone smarter, prettier, more athletic or better educated. In the home, we should all feel loved, respected and accepted, knowing that among these people and in this place, we have our sanctuary.”

Most importantly, individuals must develop a personal sanctuary.

“Finding sanctuary in our faith, at our Church, in the temple and in our relationships may not help us pass the test we haven’t prepared for, find the perfect job, or save a wayward child or roommate,” he said. “But it does promise the peace that comes when each of us finds the ultimate sanctuary in a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior.”

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