On Friday I went to seminary class, and we talked about the Restoration. Our seminary teacher brought up the Sacred Grove, and asked us all to think about it. He brought up the fact that the Sacred Grove was the place where Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ showed themselves to Joseph Smith during the first vision. He then told us all to think of a place where we can feel the Holy Ghost, where we go when we want to be alone with God. My first thought was my bedroom, but my room is often messy, and that doesn't allow myself to focus very well.
So when I thought of my holy place, my "personal Sacred Grove," I thought of all the times I had been to the mountains, and just had time to sit and think. Whenever I do that, my thoughts wander to God and the gospel. The mountains are my holy place.
That day in seminary, we read Moroni chapter 10 of the Book of Mormon, and Moroni's promise found in verses 4 and 5. The promise challenges us to, after we read the scriptures, pray to God and ask if the things they say are true. My seminary teacher challenged my class to go to our holy place and pray. I was immediately sad, not knowing the next time I would be able to travel to the mountains and have a moment to just sit and think.
What I'd forgotten was that I was going to youth conference later that day, almost as soon as I got home from school. I quickly packed up all of the things I would need for this overnight trip, then ran over to our church meeting house and loaded my bags into the trailer waiting for us. We drove up the canyon, and I realized that I was being brought to my holy place after all.
During those two days and one night I was at youth conference with all my ward friends around me, I had a blast. We played hard, danced, hiked, and just had a stellar time. But when I had a minute to myself, I could feel God's love for me. I knew He cared about me individually, and that He wanted the best for me. It made me want to do better than I was doing.
That's what God's love does: it fills us with the knowledge of how much He cares, and makes us want to do better. Those days during youth conference, I didn't do Moroni's challenge. I didn't need to. Heavenly Father had already borne witness to me that the Book of Mormon was true. The reason I feel so blessed for having ended up in my sacred place after all is because it still strengthened my testimony. I'm so glad that I was able to go to my holy place and know that God was watching over me, helping me along, and blessing my life. I love Heavenly Father, and know that He is looking out for me always. He has my best interest at heart, and will always love me, no matter what. And that's the part of my testimony that was strengthened in my holy place.