Are Standing On Holy Ground
It's time to take off our shoes.
My home is on holy ground. My Patriarchal Blessing states,
"The Lord is pleased with the efforts you have put forth to have a good home. Your home, Janice, is the most holy place on earth for you. It is your sanctum sanctorum, the holy of holies. Guard your home against all intrusions. Do not permit anything of any description to enter into your home and cause any friction between you and your companion."
I was surprised to read that. I thought the church was this holy of holies. But I discovered it isnt. Its full of struggling people like myself, subject to whatever is allowed to enter its portals. My home on the other hand, is subject to what my companion and I let enter. We have the power to shut out all unholiness by our actions, and thereby be privileged with the continual presence of the Holy Spirit of God. It was prophesied over our home that the Spirit of God would reside there, and people coming into it would feel His Presence. Weve been told by people that they returned just to feel this peace in our home.
As I was going into my bedroom closet to pray as usual one day several years ago, the Spirit told me to remove my shoes, that I was on holy ground, made so by my tears and prayers for His people. It surprised me. I obeyed.
Recently my companion was studying in preparation for a sermon he was soon to deliver. He was troubled over the attitude of the people who felt justified in withholding their tithing from the church because it is in such disarray. He read in the Doctrine and Covenants that by paying our tithes and offerings, we sanctify the land and it becomes holy ground for the building of Zion. If we do not, it is not a land of Zion for us. That says to me that those who refuse to obey this law will be removed from it, for Zion is promised to become a reality by Gods decree. It has been made holy by 168 years of tears, prayers, dedication and sacrifice of lives, some by giving their own blood.
At World Conference, 1996, a youth group sang "We Are Standing on Holy Ground." That line was repeated over and over, and it pricked me for some reason. A week later, the following thoughts came to me. We ARE standing on holy ground, and when the Master comes, if we are not wholly (holy) living our lives for Him, we will be removed to make place for those who are prepared in their hearts to "stand on holy ground."
God told Moses to take off his shoes for he was standing on holy ground, and Moses removed his shoes.
'Twas A Sheep
Twas a sheep, not a lamb, that went
FOUR CLOUDS OVER ZION
By Ray Huggett
Oak Grove Congregation October 17, 1971
[This sermon has been known through the years as the "Four" clouds over Zion. However, reading it brings out clearly that the title of four clouds is inaccurate. Listed below in the sermon are seven reasons (and he said there were more but time limited his continuation) for the existence of the darkness shrouding the building of the city.
1) Not Observing The Sabbath 2) Lack of understanding the true concept of stewardship 3) Broken marriage vows - lack of honoring the sanctity of marriage 4) Breaking of the Word of Wisdom 5) Lack of communion with the Christ and commitment to Jesus' cause 6) Not worship with full purpose of heart - only surface worship 7) Failing to teach our children of their responsibility to Christ]
"I spent one whole day in fasting and prayer up in the mountains there by myself out in the woods. I took my three books with me that morning. I took time to build kind of a rock alter that I laid them on as I studied, meditated and prayed, and I began to sense some things about the Kingdom of God. I had to come down that night, and preached on the principles--the principles of the Gospel. They asked me to preach on that and I did. But I preached on the principles of life, for a new depth and appreciation came to me on those principles on that occasion.
I felt a great endowment of the Spirit of God, and the next morning we had a wonderful prayer meeting. One of our apostles was present presiding over that prayer service, and I was aware of what was taking place. I felt the movement of the Spirit of God among his people. I saw the apostle before me, but then I had a strange experience, because it seemed as though the end of that tabernacle was just rolled back. I looked right past the apostle, although I was much aware of his being there, and I saw out into endless space. I saw beyond the scope of vision of the eye. I saw into the bosom of eternity. And I marveled that God could part the mantle of his vail and permit an individual such as myself to catch a glimpse for a few fleeting seconds of that which is beyond time.
I saw a ray of light around which all things centered, so bright you couldn't look up at it directly. And I wondered, 'What is this?' And I saw people too, multitudes of people. It looked like numberless, countless numbers of people, gathering--[they] just seemed to be drawn toward this light. And even as these questions formed in my mind it was as though someone spoke into my inner ear and said, 'These are the holy men of all ages, gathering before the Throne of Grace.' Oh, I've read about the fact that God is beyond time. I even read in the scriptures that He knew the past, the present, the future all together. I had never known it this way before. I didn't know I could even see it, and could see the fact that all those men who had already passed on--those men who were present--and I sensed their presence, and those who were yet unborn could all be related at one time to God. And this great company of the faithful were united in their purpose preparing for the great culmination of God's marvelous and mysterious act, the great consummation of Zion.
Well, I marveled at this experience and I saw, too, the outline of what I perceived to be the Holy City. And you know, it was shrouded with clouds and I knew it must be a beautiful city, and I felt what a shame to think these dark depressing clouds hang over and occlude most of it out so it's obscure to the vision, and I wondered what it meant.
And you know, I was told some things, and these clouds seemed like such little things that I was really surprised that we hadn't removed them long ago. But I was told that these clouds have to do with the way we teach our children regarding such simple things as keeping the Sabbath, to keep it holy, and that our children grow up and really never understand that Sunday is the Lord's day. That it is the day that commemorates the coming forth of our Lord from the tomb. It's not our day at all. It's HIS DAY. That our bodies need to be refreshed, replenished. We need to be restored spiritually. We need to be related to his glorious coming forth on that day. That it's not just another day of work or recreation, but it's a day when we need to have communion with God. And I was surprised that such a little thing could sometimes stand in the way of the great culmination of Zion.
And I was told that our concept of stewardship has often been narrowed to a mere mosaic approach to finances. Just an accounting of money instead of the joyous accounting for the totality of life and for the relating of our life to his Kingdom's purpose and our commitment fully, of which the finances is but one expression of that commitment.
And so our children sometimes grow up not knowing what it is to be a steward under God in the world in which we live, but only think about giving money or filling out papers.
And somehow we've failed to teach our children about the sanctity of marriage and its true purpose. And our children grow up thinking, well, if this doesn't work, we'll try another one. And somehow they don't seem to understand or to appreciate that marriage in the truest sense is a sacramental relationship. It's where God enters into a covenant between two people and where they can give themselves fully and wholly and express themselves without remorse of conscience and guilt, and feelings of fear, and can have a union that's joyful, that sustains, that's complimentary opposites one to another, that fulfills and gives joy and happiness and hope and those things which give strength to each individual who takes part in a true marriage.
Sometimes we haven't taught our children how to preserve themselves for this experience so they don't have to look back with remorse and sorrow and broken hearts upon their experimentation of an earlier day. And such things as not teaching our children these principles have indeed detracted from the culmination of the Zionic expression.
Sometimes we've not become true disciples because we've lacked discipline of mind and body, and we've been controlled by physical appetites rather than preserving this temple of God, holy and sacred and committing it to his expression. These things were impressed upon me as well.
And it was impressed upon me that sometimes we accept the standards of morality which the world expresses and we have not been true to our covenant relationship regarding that communion which we promised to have with Christ and commitment to His cause, but instead have sometimes compromised these principles and accepted those things which are not of His Kingdom.
Then, too, I was told that we have failed to worship with a full heart, but have held reservations which have limited our spiritual insights and withheld from us the blessings of His Kingdom, the spiritual blessings which are so necessary and which do come to those who have faith in Him and who will make that kind of preparation which brings them into being.
And then, too, we sometimes fail to teach our children the fact that they must be dedicated. We must remind them occasionally what happened when we blessed them or had them blessed by the elders in the church. How we were presenting them to God, how we were accepting responsibility to bring them up in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord, and to bring them into communion with God which is our responsibility for which we shall be held accountable. And we have not taught them that in due time they should make a covenant of sacrifice, that their covenant by sacrifice will be drawn together in the great Zionic relationship.
So one thing after another came before my vision and my understanding that day which gave me insight into the truthfulness of this great cause of the kingdom and which shall surely be fulfilled in our time. There are other things I'd like to tell you, insights that I received, but I see my time is slipping away."
(Originally taken from a tape)
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