The instruction to “stand ye in holy places, and be not moved,” is found is three separate sections of the Doctrine and Covenants — which indicates the instruction’s important, said Sister Ann M. Dibb, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency. She said as she has pondered this instruction, she has wondered what are these “holy places” Heavenly Father was referring to.
She spoke during the General Young Women Meeting in the Conference Center, Saturday evening.
She Dibb said that while a holy place can be a physical environment or a geographical location, like a temple, church building or a home, it can also be “a distinct condition, position or state of mind.”
“This means holy places can also include moments in time,” said Sister Dibb, “moments when the Holy Ghost testifies to us, moments when we feel Heavenly Father’s love, or moments when we receive an answer to our prayers. Even more, I believe any time you have the courage to stand for what is right … you are creating a holy place.”
Sister Dibb spoke of three times in Joseph Smith’s life where a normally insignificant location became a holy place. The first is the woods where he went to pray. His prayer was answered and those simple woods became what Latter-day Saints today call the Sacred Grove.
Young women also find holy places in nature when they attend Young Women camp, said Sister Dibb. She spoke of a young woman who at first just wanted to have fun with her friends, but later discovered the Spirit she had felt had turned the woods where she camped into a holy place.
Another holy place in Joseph Smith’s life was his bedroom where he again prayed “with faith, humility and need” and was visited by Angel Moroni.
A Mormon Message for Youth recently featured a young woman from El Salvador, Ingrid Delgado who, Sister Dibb said, had made her bedroom a holy place as well, because there she studied her scriptures, felt the Spirit and received answers to her prayers.
Yet another holy place in Joseph Smith’s life was the Liberty Jail. Sister Dibb quoted Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve who called the jail a “prison-temple” because of the sacred experiences the Prophet had there.
“Some of you young women may be experiencing your own Liberty Jail,” Sister Dibb said, “a place where you face humiliation, a place where you feel no loving kindness, a place where you are mocked, bullied, or even physically harmed. … Just like the Prophet Joseph Smith, you can create and stand in ‘holy places’ even in the hardest times you have ever experienced.”
She spoke of a young woman who found refuge from a difficult high school experience in the band room where she always received encouragement, love and kindness.
Sister Dibb shared nine responses from young women who had told her of their own personal holy places. These included reading their patriarchal blessings, walking out of a bad party, taking the sacrament and sharing their testimonies with a friend. She also shared one of her holy places:
“Once, I was feeling overwhelmed, fearful and completely alone. Silently, I prayed, ‘Heavenly Father, I do not know how to do this. Please, please, help me!’ Soon, an individual unexpectedly came forward, placed a hand on my shoulder, and offered sincere, encouraging words. In that moment, I felt peace. I felt acknowledged. Everything had changed.”
Sister Dibb said she knew thousands of young women in the Church were standing in holy places.
“These places are providing you with protection, strength, and peace in unsettling times. Your testimonies are becoming stronger because you are standing for truth and righteousness in glorious ways.”