"Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved." D&C 87:8
Sometimes I forget to stand in holy places because I'm distracted or distressed or altogether disengaged. And sometimes I go so long without standing in holy places that I forget what it feels like. But this week I remembered.
The first remembrance happened on Monday while watching YouTube videos in my crusty sweats with a bowl of one dollar ramen on my lap. (No one said holiness was glamorous.) I was searching the internet for art history videos when I discovered YouTube stations by two of my favorite museums: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Tate. Both stations featured videos of children walking through museum galleries, staring at paintings, sharing their unfiltered perceptions, and generally being awesome around art. As I watched the videos, my arms chilled, my heart thumped, and I cried. I am overjoyed, over the moon, overcome with emotion when I engage with children in art museums. This is one of my life's callings and one of my holy places, of this I am certain.
On Wednesday, I remembered again when I visited Encircle, the new LGBTQ safe house located right across the street from the Provo City Center temple. The founders of Encircle converted a gorgeous old victorian home into a three-story haven for LGBTQ families looking for community and comfort. As I spoke with one of the staff members about the volunteer responsibilities I would be undertaking, our conversation led to the needs of LGBTQ youth in Utah County. While we talked, I noticed the temple's spires peeking through the paned windows in the living room, and I cried. I cried with joy in remembering another of my holy places was serving alongside those most vulnerable in our Mormon congregations.
I know working in museum education and serving with the LGBTQ community are my holy places not simply because they move me emotionally but because when I'm in these environments I feel more grounded and more spacious. My feet are rooted in the earth while my arms happily reach for the heavens; I become a tree, honoring self in my rootedness and God in my reaching.
I believe God's will is for each of us to seek our personal holy places and pursue them with passion and prayer as our divine navigators. Life bestows the best blessings when we sit in those sanctified spaces and let our hearts sing out. And once we find our holy places, may we be not moved from them as in this edified effort we fulfill the measure of our blessed creation.