“Stand in Holy Places”

by Lyndie Jackson

Pocatello Temple Idaho Sagebrush by Mandy Jane Williams Art

As the year comes to a close, I have been reflecting on my resolve this year to avoid focusing on the things of this world, symbolically portrayed in some cases as ancient Babylon.

Speaking of Babylon, John gave us this counsel: “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues” (Revelation 18:4). Coming out of Babylon has been described in modern times as being in the world but not of the world.

Wilford Woodruff cautioned in one of his discourses, “By and by great Babylon will fall and there will be wailing, mourning and sore affliction in her midst. The sons of Zion have got to stand in holy places to be preserved in the midst of the judgments that will shortly overtake the world.”1

When we stand in holy places, we stand away from the evils in the world and are kept safe from the dangers that come from them. We strive to live in a higher, holier way and focus on what brings lasting happiness. After all, we know that “wickedness never was happiness” (Alma 41:10).

Today, we are called to separate from worldliness and embrace godliness. When we intentionally prioritize holy things, lift and serve others, and heed the words of God’s servants, we are strengthened to be in the world but not of it.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said, “No, we can’t do everything, but we can do something. And in answer to God’s call, the children of Israel are the ones to do it—not to flee Babylon this time but to attack it. Without being naive about it, we can live our religion so broadly and unfailingly that we find all kinds of opportunities to help families, bless neighbors, and protect others, including the rising generation.”2

What will you resolve to do to live your religion more fully? How will you separate yourself from Babylon this coming year?

As flawed as my attempts at living in a holier way are, I know that God rewards effort. He leads us on the true path to happiness, away from vanity, pride, envy and comparison, and right into His loving embrace where happiness never fades. Happy New Year!

Lyndie is working toward a degree in Public Relations at Brigham Young University. Originally from Idaho Falls, Idaho, she enjoys running, spending time with her husband and family, and reading. Lyndie served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Hermosillo, Mexico, where she developed a love for the Spanish language and the people there. She was drawn to the Wilford Woodruff Papers out of a desire to learn more about Church history and enjoys being part of the organization’s efforts to touch lives with Wilford Woodruff’s words.

  1. Discourse by Wilford Woodruff, January 12, 1873, p. 8, The Wilford Woodruff Papers, wilfordwoodruffpapers.org/discourse/1873-01-12.
  2. Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Call to Be Christlike,” Liahona, June 2014, ChurchofJesusChrist.org.