We all want to feel safe and protected. We all need a place we can go to retreat from the world. I’ve been thinking a lot about what President Russell M. Nelson said about places of security to the women of the Church in the Women’s Session of the October 2020 General Conference.
[A]s turmoil rages around us, we need to create places where we are safe, both physically and spiritually. When your home becomes a personal sanctuary of faith—where the Spirit resides—your home becomes the first line of defense. … [A] place of security is anywhere you can feel the presence of the Holy Ghost and be guided by Him. … I invite you, my dear sisters, to create a home that is a place of security. And I renew my invitation for you to increase your understanding of priesthood power and of temple covenants and blessings. Having places of security to which you can retreat will help you embrace the future with faith (President Russell M. Nelson, “Embrace the Future with Faith,” Oct. 2020 General Conference).
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t struggle from time to time to keep their home a peaceful place. I remember being a busy mom when my kids were growing up. Sibling rivalry and outside influences made me feel more like a referee than a partner with my husband and Heavenly Father in creating an eternal family in a place of security. Our home was chaotic and loud. Having said that, it was also a place of love. I tried to make our home a place where everyone’s opinion mattered, everyone felt comfortable in his/her own skin, and everyone knew he/she had a voice. I tried to make our home a refuge from the outside world. It may not have been a quiet refuge, nor the most organized place, but it was a refuge and place of security nonetheless. I hope our children felt that our home was their retreat. I hope they felt loved. I hope they felt protected. I hope they felt secure.
We are in a different phase of our lives now. Our children are grown and are learning to build their own sanctuaries of peace and security. Now our home is quiet—especially when we take out our hearing aids. Our sanctuary is very different than it was in years past. That doesn’t mean that there are not daily struggles to keep our home that peaceful retreat from the world. Today, making our home a sanctuary and place of security means taking care of each other’s physical needs. It’s the little things that make us feel safe from the world. Night lights, organized medical supplies, kicking the dog toys to the side of the room so they are not a trip-and-fall hazard, making sure there is no lingering shampoo residue in the bottom of the bathtub for someone to slip on, and even organizing the refrigerator so most used items are on the edge of the top shelf for easy reach—are all things that make us feel safe, secure, and loved.
Sanctuaries are built in different ways; each architect has a different style. Individuality is a gift from Heavenly Father. The result, however, is always the same. The home that is the sanctuary is a place of security and love.
President Nelson reminded us that we needed to prepare our minds to be faithful to God and to strengthen our foundations. He renewed his earlier invitation to gain an understanding of priesthood power. Making our homes a place of security will allow us that needed sanctuary to strengthen our foundations. A place of security gives us spiritual energy to study priesthood power and the wondrous miracle that is God’s plan for us.
We tend to compare our place of security, our homes, our lives with others. That can be counterproductive. Heavenly Father created us all in His image, but with very individual personalities, traits, gifts, circumstances, and challenges. There is an eternal plan for us collectively, but there is also an individual plan for each one of us. My life doesn’t look like yours—my place of security does not look like yours. What your place of security looks like doesn’t matter; you are the architect. Go and build.
Heavenly Father wants us to feel safe, secure, and loved. He wants us to make our homes a place to progress. He wants us to take advantage of the Holy Ghost, which requires a place of refuge—a place of security.
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.