4 Ways to Create Spiritual Space
June 2024

“4 Ways to Create Spiritual Space,” Liahona, June 2024.

Young Adults

4 Ways to Create Spiritual Space

A non-proselyting policy in Jerusalem changed my perspective on creating spiritual space in my life.

young man looking at an open book, from which light is streaming

Illustrations by Ingrid Nancy Ochoa Villarreal

Several biblical sites are within walking distance from Hebrew University in Jerusalem where I’m currently living as a student. I can visit the temple steps where Jesus may have taught or the Garden Tomb where some feel that His body was laid before His Resurrection. Living in the Holy Land is a blessing, and I’m grateful for every day I get to spend in this amazing place. But being here as a member of His Church isn’t easy.

Because of the non-proselyting policy in Israel, I’m not allowed to share my faith. I didn’t realize how hard this would be until one of my friends asked me for a copy of the Book of Mormon and I couldn’t give him one. It can feel a bit lonely and isolating to be a disciple of Christ at times.

But I’m also learning some strong lessons here; I can still share the light and love of Jesus Christ with anybody, and I can connect with the Spirit.

Through Spiritual Conversations

Although my education program is very secular, almost all the other students in my classes are believing Christians. We often sit after class and share opinions and insights on the lessons. These conversations have allowed me space where I can bear testimony of Jesus Christ.

As we speak with one another, I’m often reminded of Matthew 18:20: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

Although I can’t actively share the gospel in these conversations, this experience has taught me how talking with fellow disciples about Christ can invite the Spirit into our relationships and keep Him at the center of all we do.

Through Keeping Covenants

I’ve realized that the only way I can really share the gospel of Jesus Christ here is through who I am. I can’t give people a Book of Mormon here, but I can pray with them, I can help them feel God’s love, and I can bear testimony that God does love them. As I simply strive to keep my covenants and follow the Lord’s commandments, I am testifying of my faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Whatever your circumstances are, consider the ways your example can be a light that guides others toward truth and shares the goodness of the Spirit.

young man holding a book, while a ball of light hovers in front of him

As Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles recently taught, “We become [Jesus Christ’s] disciples and represent Him well when we intentionally and incrementally take on ourselves the name of Jesus Christ through covenants.”

Through Focusing on Our Relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ

I can only feel the Spirit by first connecting with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ every day—to abide in Them so that I can “glorify [my] Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Sometimes we see the gospel as a formula that we plug things into to get certain results. But I’ve learned that the heart of the gospel is really our relationship with Heavenly Father and the Savior.

My process of connecting with Them doesn’t look any different here in the Holy Land. Even though I can visit the places where Jesus walked, I feel the Spirit most when I pray and study my scriptures and take time out of my day to spend quality time with Them—that’s how it’s been my whole life.

Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, former Young Women General President, taught: “There is power in making these holy habits less of a checklist and more of a witness. The process will be gradual but will grow with daily, active participation and purposeful experiences with Christ.”

Giving sincere effort to connect with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will help you make room for sacred moments in your life.

I promise that you’ll feel the difference.

Through Focusing on Simple Truths

Because I’m in unique circumstances where I can’t discuss the details of my faith, being in Jerusalem has taught me to not look “beyond the mark” (Jacob 4:14). I’ve learned to focus on the gospel’s simple truths: God loves all His children, Jesus Christ is my Savior, and President Russell M. Nelson is God’s prophet on the earth today.

This perspective has helped me keep my covenants and stay connected to the Spirit as I navigate the challenges of being a young adult in the Church, especially in a place with few members.

But I’ve found that no matter where I am, as long as I strive to create spiritual space in my life each day, my questions, problems, and worries are always resolved through hope in Heavenly Father and in my Savior, Jesus Christ.