Stand in Holy Places by Christy Spencer

Christy is a Young Women Youth Leader in the Poplar Grove area

Most of my blogs are written by me, today I make an exception because of the impressive talk that I heard at a Church yesterday March 24, 2013 by Christy Spencer who is a Young Women youth leader at a local Church. So many youth scoff at religion and Christy points out some very important principles.


From the beginning of history, there are records of holy places. The alter where Adam made sacrifices to the Lord, the portable temple that Moses and the Israelites used while they traveled in the wilderness, the temple of Solomon, the temple of Zerubbabel, and the temple of Herod, where Christ was often found.

After the death of Christ and his apostles, there were no temples for centuries. With the restoration of the Gospel, God commanded that temples again be built up. In these buildings He endows us with power, we make sacred covenants and learn sacred truths that will help us return to live with God again. Just the beauty of these buildings causes non-believers to stop and marvel, consider higher, nobler thoughts, and at least ask the question “What is that all about?”

I remember when I was a little girl and my parents would go to the temple each month. Though I didn’t understand what they did there, I remember the feeling they brought home with them. I was excited for them to be in this big, mysterious, lovely place. So excited in fact, that I could never sleep while they were gone. I’d lay there in bed, kicking my feet, turning my pillow every which way trying to find the cool spot, and sitting up every time I heard a sound that might be them coming home.

Finally after what seemed like hours, my mom would come into my room and hug me. I still remember the special temple smell that clung to her clothes. She only smelled like that when she came home from the temple. Oh, and she seemed SO BEAUTIFUL when she came home. She was never upset that I wasn’t asleep. She would just hold me, and tell me about how she had just had such a special experience in the House of the Lord. Then, and only then, could I calm down and fall asleep.

I must have been about 4 years old when my primary group went to the grounds of the Provo temple. I remember being told not to be quiet, but to be reverent there. Flowers were blooming, the water fountain sparkled, and the building itself seemed SO… strong. I asked my teacher if I could touch it. As I put my little hand on the cold stone, I KNEW this was GOD’s HOUSE. I felt that same feeling as when my mom held me when she came home.

Your own memories of the temple are probably quite different than mine. But I would guess that they are mostly associated with similar feelings. Peace, happiness, awe and reverence, family, and a reminder of the reality of God.

The theme for the youth this year is “Stand in Holy Places and Be Not Moved” (Doctrine and Covenants 87:8). Though our ultimate goal is for each of the youth (and all of us) to make and keep covenants in the temple, this theme is not telling us to move to the temple or stay there 24/7. It is telling us to take that “temple feeling” wherever we go.

The Mesa Arizona temple, unlike most others, is not in the best part of town. The majestic and meticulous gardens are a stark contrast to the blighted neighborhood, with dilapidated houses and graffiti covered walls nearby.

This is much like our righteous youth of our ward. In school they are surrounded by peers who destroy their bodies with tattoos, piercings, immodest clothing, marijuana, hookah pipes, coffee, swearing and vulgar music. Our righteous youth of the 25th ward stand out like the Mesa temple.

They, like the temple, are not made less by their environment. They are kind, they listen to promptings from the Holy Ghost, they befriend the lonely, they pray to God. They participate in seminary, service projects, sports, Scouts, Personal Progress. When we attend the temple, the workers often comment on the sheer size of our group and how impressive it is to have so many righteous youth.

I believe our youth have indeed embraced the theme to Stand in Holy Places, and be not moved. They understand that it’s not just attending the temple, but like the Israelite’s traveling temple, or like my mother’s late night hugs, they bring the “temple feeling” to others who wander in the wilderness, or who stay awake with anxiousness. Our youth ‘Stand in Holy Places’ as they bare their testimonies, share scriptures, stop gossip, and treat others with kindness instead of criticism.

If the gardeners of the temple grounds stopped weeding, how long would it take before it became overgrown? If they weren’t constantly planting new flowers every season, how long would it be before the garden became plain? If a recommend weren’t required at the door, how long would it be before enemies of the Church came inside and started to destroy it?

This again, is a symbol for our lives. We must be vigilant to remove the weeds that pop up in our hearts. We must constantly plant new things (thoughts, words and actions) that are beautiful and bring happiness to others. We must have a vigilant guard that doesn’t let anything into our minds, hearts, and homes that is unworthy. But just like the temple can’t care for itself, we cannot be pure without the atonement of Jesus Christ.

I know that as each of us model our lives after the temple, we will find ourselves standing in the Holiest place of all as we return to our Heavenly Father, confident in our worthiness to be there, because we have become LIKE Him. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Families are sealed together forever

Couples make sacred covenants to God and to each other in Temples.

Temples are sacred places on earth where ordinances for the living and for the dead may be done.

Christy points out that by deciding to stay away from certain behaviors such as smoking pot or getting drunk the youth of today can avoid some of the pitfalls that make life even harder. Many kids and adults just laugh and say "Don't Judge me" or they say "Do you think you are better than me because you don't drink?"

These attitudes pop up partially from the guilt that they feel and also from kids or adults that really do have a self righteous behavior.

By having goals in our lives and staying on a good track avoiding premarital sex, drugs and other things such as tattoos we avoid many of the problems that come with those actions.

Kids that don't have sex before marriage don't get pregnant or have to pay child support. Kids that don't get tattoos have a better shot at getting additional jobs that they might not otherwise get. Most of the time later in life people wish they did not get those marking on their bodies. I have talked to many people that would like to get them removed now years later.

Kids that are not addicted to drugs or other substances are more healthy. So it is not that the kids going to church are better than the other kids that don't, it is not that they walk around with a holier than thou attitude but it comes down to what will help the children become more responsible adults and avoid many of the problems that many youth go through. Two thumbs up for all the volunteer time that Christy puts in with the youth. She has taken the time to learn all of the names and to get to know the youth in the area. Christy, God bless you in your efforts to bless the lives of young people with your selfless service.

Larry Love