There is a lot on my mind since the April 2019 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I felt through the whole conference that we are being warned to strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ now, as there is not much time left. One of the things that hit me was when Elder Ronald A. Rasband told us to build a fortress of spirituality. He talked about making our homes a fortress.
I have always felt safe and comfortable in my home. It is where I go when the whole world seems against me. When nothing seems right with the world, I know that in my home I will find comfort and love. That doesn’t mean that we haven’t had arguments through the years, or that everything is always peachy keen. It means that we love each other enough to withstand the hardest days.
However, I have never really thought about our home being a fortress against the adversary, or a fortress from the world. Maybe that has something to do with living in “the hood,” or maybe it’s simply because I’ve never really understood the significance of protecting us from the outside world. We are to live in the world and not of the world, and that’s what our family has always tried to do. We can’t live in the world without interacting with many people who don’t hold the same standards we do. Our home, however, really should be that fortress against all those things we deal with outside our home. Coming home should be a little piece of heaven that nothing that is evil or not up to our standards should be able to penetrate.
I don’t know that we have always been successful in making our home that kind of a fortress, and after hearing Elder Rasband speak, I want to do better. I want to reinforce the walls of our fortress and shore up the weak places.
Satan knows his days are numbered and that time is growing shorter. As crafty and cunning as he is, he will not win. However, his battle for each one of our souls rages on.
For our safety, we must build a fortress of spirituality and protection for our very souls, a fortress that will not be penetrated by the evil one (Elder Ronald A. Rasband, “Build a Fortress of Spirituality and Protection,” April 2019 General Conference).
Living in the lasts days presents a lot of challenges. Honesty and integrity are principles that have been ignored and trampled upon in recent years. The pure and honest in heart are still with us, but are often overshadowed by the voices and actions of those who have no desire to develop such character traits.
Vile language is spoken by many around us, including little children on the playgrounds in elementary schools. It is sometimes brought into our homes by neighbors and through media, even when we practice due diligence to screen it out. It feels like we are always one step behind in our efforts to keep violent pictures and crude language from violating our homes.
I can’t go more than a few blocks from my house without seeing billboards offering to deliver marijuana to my home. There is a marijuana-growing warehouse less than half a mile from my home. There is a marijuana dispensary a half mile away from the other side of my home. If I open my kitchen window on any given evening, marijuana smoke enters the house.
Recently, my daughter who lives in a different state broke her ankle in three places. Several people have offered to go get her marijuana for her recovery. A few years ago, I broke both my ankles. While recovering, I developed pancreatitis and had my gallbladder removed. I did not need marijuana to recover from any of that. Yet, even among our own people, this seems to be not only accepted, but the norm. I’m not here to debate the benefits of medical marijuana, as I know there are sometimes when it is beneficial to people. I do, however, find it interesting that we are so fast to jump on the bandwagon for something that is obviously not good for us, and still illegal. Federal law trumps state law, and we are supposed to be living the laws of the land.
We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law. (Article of Faith, 12)
As we study the scriptures and pray with our families, we will be guided to shore up the weak places in our own fortresses. We will be guided to live our lives in a manner that will bring peace, comfort, spirituality, and maybe even a little piece of heaven into our homes. Our faith will be strengthened in such a way that nothing can penetrate our fortress. Our families will be able to return home at the end of the day and find a place of respite from the world. We won’t have to worry about the bullies and the crudeness of the world because our homes will be Zion. Our children will feel love from their parents, siblings, extended family, and from their Heavenly Father. We will be enlightened with personal revelation for ourselves and our loved ones. The Savior will make our burdens light upon our shoulders. All it takes is a little faith to build our fortress.
Tudie Rose is a mother of four and grandmother of ten in Sacramento, California. You can find her on Twitter as @TudieRose. She blogs as Tudie Rose at http://potrackrose.wordpress.com. She has written articles for Familius. You will find a Tudie Rose essay in Lessons from My Parents, Michele Robbins, Familius 2013, at http://www.familius.com/lessons-from-my-parents.