“Standing on Higher Ground,” New Era, Jan. 2013, 6
The 2013 Mutual theme is taken from Doctrine and Covenants 87:8: “Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come.” The question I hope every young man will ponder throughout this coming year is, Am I standing in holy places?
As I have met with valiant young men all around the world, I have witnessed firsthand how thousands of you are doing this already in so many ways. You stand in the holiest of places each time you enter the temple to perform baptisms for the dead. I encourage you to take every opportunity available to enter the temple and to always be worthy to do so.
Each day as you fulfill your duty to God, you stand in holy places and are in a position to lift others. You stand in holy places as you prepare, bless, and pass the sacrament each Sunday. You stand in holy places as you share the gospel and when you act as a standing minister—one who is always able, willing, and worthy to serve and strengthen others.
As an Aaronic Priesthood holder, you have been given the charge to warn, expound, exhort, teach, and invite all to come unto Christ (see D&C 20:59). President Harold B. Lee (1899–1973) said: “You cannot lift another soul until you are standing on higher ground than he is. … You cannot light a fire in another soul unless it is burning in your own soul.”1 Young men, this means you should continually work to strengthen your testimony and always be willing to share it.
You have a sacred responsibility to be an instrument in the Lord’s hands. As you pray and study the scriptures, strive to keep the commandments, and listen to the promptings of the Spirit, you will find yourself on higher ground. As a consequence, wherever you are can become a holy place. Then, when situations arise, you will have the strength, courage, and the ability to help lift others. You will have the power and protection the Lord promises those who stand in holy places.
I love what President Thomas S. Monson said about these promises when he assured us that as we draw near to the Lord, “we will feel His Spirit in our lives, providing us the desire and the courage to stand strong and firm in righteousness—to ‘stand … in holy places, and be not moved’ (D&C 87:8).
“As the winds of change swirl around us and the moral fiber of society continues to disintegrate before our very eyes, may we remember the Lord’s precious promise to those who trust in Him: ‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee’ (Isaiah 41:10).”2