This is commentary based on the scripture study programStand Ye in Holy Places (Doctrine and Covenants 87:8). You can download the entire scripture study program here.
“Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly, saith the Lord. Amen.” – Doctrine and Covenants 87:8
In Doctrine and Covenants 87:8, not only are we taught to stand in Holy Places, but we are told to be not moved. Obviously, this can’t be taken literally, yet it is truly a commandment from God. We need to be steadfast as we stand in Holy Places. Wavering will not help us to complete the charge given to us by God.
In order to get a better understanding of how not to be moved, we will study four groups of people listed in Lehi’s dream).
Group One – Those Who Never Stand in a Holy Place
Lehi tells us about this first group:
And it came to pass that I saw them, but they would not come unto me and partake of the fruit. – 1 Nephi 8:18
This first group of people see the prophet and the fruit of the tree of life, but they have no interest. They do not heed the teachings of the prophet. They refuse to follow him and partake. They never find themselves in a holy place.
Group Two – Those Who Wander Off
Lehi tells of the second group:
“And I saw numberless concourses of people, many of whom were pressing forward, that they might obtain the path which led unto the tree by which I stood.
And it came to pass that they did come forth, and commence in the path which led to the tree.
And it came to pass that there arose a mist of darkness; yea, even an exceedingly great mist of darkness, insomuch that they who had commenced in the path did lose their way, that they wandered off and were lost.” – 1 Nephi 8:21-23
This group of people wanted to obtain the path that led to the tree of life. They desired to be in Holy places, and they commenced on this path. Yet, when difficulty arose, they lost their confidence and even lost their ways.
As we go through our lives, there are times when we must endure difficulties. We need to choose to stand in Holy Places and be not moved. If we waver, even a little bit, then we risk wandering off – to the point where we are lost forever.
Though this group of people weren’t openly rebellious, they still didn’t get to their final goal. We can learn from their example. We must be steadfast in our commitment to standing in Holy Places. Obviously this doesn’t mean that we must stand in the temple all day long, but we can be steadfast in our commitment in being the kind of person who is Holy and worthy of the companionship of the Spirit.
Group Three – Those Who Became Ashamed
” And it came to pass that I beheld others pressing forward, and they came forth and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press forward through the mist of darkness, clinging to the rod of iron, even until they did come forth and partake of the fruit of the tree.
And after they had partaken of the fruit of the tree they did cast their eyes about as if they were ashamed.
And I also cast my eyes round about, and beheld, on the other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building; and it stood as it were in the air, high above the earth.
And it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit.
And after they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost.” – 1 Nephi 8:24-28
Of all of the groups that Lehi tells of, I feel like this one is the most unfortunate.
This group of people held to the rod, pressed forward through the mists of darkness, partook of the fruit of the tree, then looked around…they noticed the people in the great and spacious building – those who chose not to partake – and they were ashamed.
Their shame reached a fever pitch, and this group of people decided to leave the tree of life in search for empty pleasure and false happiness.
As far as standing fast goes, we can learn from their example. Even when we have obtained a testimony, we will still be tempted. We will still see the “fun” that others seem to have while we live simple, obedient lives. Even after tasting the fruit that is sweeter above all fruits, we will still be mocked and tempted. If we choose to “be not moved,” then we will be able to endure these trials. We will inherit blessings from the Father and abide the day of His coming.
It isn’t enough to work hard, cling to the rod, and partake of the Fruit. We need, also, to be steadfast after we have partaken, too.
Group Four – The Successful Partakers of the Fruit
Lehi teaches us about the final group:
But, to be short in writing, behold, he saw other multitudes pressing forward; and they came and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press their way forward, continually holding fast to the rod of iron, until they came forth and fell down and partook of the fruit of the tree.” – 1 Nephi 8:30
Finally, we learn of this last group who not only made it to the tree of life but never wavered after, either.
This group stood their ground throughout – they weren’t discouraged in mists of darkness nor were they ashamed by the calls of the people in the great and spacious building. They kept their eyes of faith focused on the fruit of the tree of life. Once they partook, they understood the joy and the source of that joy.
In our lives, we can be like this group by working hard to stay close to the Lord depsite external difficulties. We can “be not moved” from our holy places by nurturing our testimonies rather than listening to the deafening cries of the world.
What do you do to be like this fourth group of people – and persevere? How do you strive to be not moved?