00651_000_003This psalm teaches us what it means to stand in holy places.
“Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in his holy place?
“He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.”
Hill of the Lord
The hill of the Lord represents higher spiritual ground, which brings us closer to God. A hill or mountain also often symbolizes the temple (see, for instance, Isaiah 2:2).
When you climb a hill for the first time, it may seem difficult, but if you climb the hill regularly, you become stronger and better able to handle the climb. How is this like increasing your spirituality or going to the temple? What are you doing to strengthen yourself to “ascend into the hill of the Lord”? Read For the Strength of Youth for ideas.
Ascend—to climb up
“As we recall the commandment to stand in holy places, we should remember that beyond the temple, the most sacred and holy places in all the world should be our own dwelling places. Our homes should be committed and dedicated only to holy purposes. In our homes all of the security, the strengthening love, and the sympathetic understanding that we all so desperately need should be found.” President James E. Faust 1920–2007, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, “Who Shall Ascend into the Hill of the Lord?” Ensign, Aug. 2001, 5.
Having a pure heart means having virtuous thoughts and righteous intentions.
Having clean hands means living righteously and repenting when we have sinned (see Isaiah 1:18). For a poster on this topic, see the January 1993 New Era,
“There is no substitute under the heavens for the man or woman, the boy or girl who is honest. No false words besmirch his or her reputation. No act of duplicity colors his or her conscience. He or she can walk with head high, standing above the crowd of lesser folk who constantly indulge in lying, cheating, and who excuse themselves with statements that a little lying hurts no one. It does hurt, because small lying leads to large lying, and the prisons of the nation are the best proof of that fact.” President Gordon B. Hinckley, “Great Shall Be the Peace of Thy Children,” Ensign, Nov. 2000, 52.
The Hebrew word that the word vanity is translated from literally means “vapor” or “breath,” implying something that has no substance or permanence, such as the worship of idols or worldly things.
Editor’s note: This page is not meant to be a comprehensive explanation of the selected scripture verse, only a starting point for your own study.