“Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” (1 Chr. 16:29).
The gospel teaches us to follow the Savior, “the Holy One of Israel,” and to strive to become more like him (2 Ne. 25:29). Indeed, the prayerlike hymn “More Holiness Give Me,” which we have focused on this year, begins and ends with our plea for “more holiness” (Hymns, 1985, no. 131).
Holiness is a divine gift made possible by the Savior’s atonement. As we keep the covenants we make with the Lord and repent of our sins, his atonement enables the Holy Spirit to enter our lives. That sacred, holy influence witnesses that our sins have been remitted and separates us from worldliness (see Mosiah 4:1–3).
On our part, becoming holy requires repentance, self-control, and sacrifice. It requires continuing, consecrated effort and is achieved one thought and one act at a time. It requires a faith in Christ so pervasive that our lives begin to reflect his.
President Gordon B. Hinckley was once asked, “What is the symbol of your religion?” He replied, “[Christ] told us what that symbol should be when He said: ‘If ye love me, keep my commandments’ (John 14:15). … Our lives must become a symbol of meaningful expression, the symbol of our declaration of our testimony of the living Christ, the Eternal Son of the living God” (Ensign, Apr. 1994, p. 5).
Church members worldwide are striving to live Christlike lives. One is a quiet, elderly sister named Dolly Ndholovu. Dolly joined the Church in Soweto, South Africa, in 1984 and has served faithfully in callings ever since. She has also opened her home to dozens of orphans, rearing many along with her own children.
When her son graduated from college, Dolly had a garage built at the side of her home for his car. But the garage ended up serving a different purpose. During the 1980s, Soweto had no chapel, and people found it difficult to travel to Johannesburg for baptisms. So, with approval from priesthood leaders, Dolly and her son built a font in the garage. Many members of the branch were baptized there. Dolly says that she and her son were happy to use the garage for that purpose. “We felt we were giving at least a little to our Father’s work.”
Today, Dolly serves as a temple worker in the Johannesburg South Africa Temple. Her daily expressions of faith and love have blessed the lives of many—and have allowed the Lord to bless her as well.
The Lord said that his disciples shall “stand in holy places, and shall not be moved” (D&C 45:32). Sacred places include the temple, but extend to other places as well. President Boyd K. Packer has said that “the chapel, the stake house, and the temple are sacred as they contribute to the building of the most sacred institution in the Church—the home—and to the blessing of the most sacred relationships in the Church, the family” (That All May Be Edified, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982, pp. 234–35).
If we want the sacred influence of the Holy Ghost in our homes, we must make them, like the temple, houses of prayer, fasting, faith, learning, glory, and order (see D&C 88:119). Although we may struggle with imperfections, we can center our homes and hearts on Christ. We can reach out to others in kindness, nourish our spirits, and fill our lives with an awareness of God—thus becoming “more, Savior, like thee.”
In what ways is holiness its own reward?
How can we make our homes holy places?