BETA

Ancient, modern admonition: `Stand you in the holy place'

At the October 1994 general conference, Elder Lance B. Wickman of the Seventy spoke of how the Savior, upon leaving the temple at Jerusalem for the last time, went to the Mount of Olives with His disciples.

"He then issued this portentous admonition to His disciples, ancient and modern: `Then you shall stand in the holy place; whoso readeth let him understand.' (Joseph Smith- Matt. 1:12; see also Matt. 24:15). Latter-day revelations provide understanding," Elder Wickman said. "They teach that in our day, amidst strife and catastrophe and pestilence, there are two kingdoms locked in grim struggle for the souls of men - Zion and Babylon. More than once they repeat the injunction to "stand in holy places" for a refuge from these storms of latter-day life. (D&C 45:32; see also D&C 87:8; 101:16-23.) Prominent among such holy places, and key to all the others, is the temple of the Lord.

"The words Zion and temple belong in the same sentence together. In August 1833, as Saints attempted against much persecution to establish a geographic Zion in Jackson County, Missouri, the Prophet Joseph Smith was counseled in revelation to build a house unto the Lord for the salvation of Zion.' (D&C 97:12.) The temple is the key to salvation, it said, because it is a place of thanksgiving, a place of instruction, and a place of understanding in all things. (See D&C 97:12-14.) Then comes this glorious promise:Yea, and my presence shall be there, for I will come into it, and all the pure in heart that shall come into it shall see God. . . . Therefore, . . . let Zion rejoice, for this is Zion - the pure in heart; therefore, let Zion rejoice, while all the wicked shall mourn.' (D&C 97:16, 21.)

"For Zion, the pure in heart, the temple holds the key that unlocks holy places - places of rejoicing - while those in Babylon's byways are condemned to mourn. . . ."