It’s not hard for me to relate to this verse today. As I think about the people who have been affected by two major hurricanes in the past few weeks–Harvey and Irma–I am grateful for a warm, dry, safe place to live, and my prayers are with the people who have been displaced by both storms, and who in some cases have no home today.
When Isaiah talked about “a place of refuge, and a covert from storm and from rain,” I think he was talking about a different kind of storm: the emotional and spiritual storms we experience each day. As Richard G. Scott observed, “Deep inside each of us is a need to have a place of refuge where peace and serenity prevail, a place where we can reset, regroup, and reenergize to prepare for future pressures. The ideal place for that peace is within the walls of our own homes” (“For Peace at Home,” General Conference, April 2013).
Many years ago, President Thomas S. Monson gave a talk in which he described four characteristics of such a peaceful home. A happy home, he taught us, has the following characteristics:
- “A pattern of prayer”
- “A library of learning”
- “A legacy of love”
- “A treasury of testimony”
He reminded us that a home like this doesn’t happen automatically:
Slowly but surely we face the truth: We are responsible for the home we build. We must build wisely, for eternity is not a short voyage. There will be calm and wind, sunlight and shadows, joy and sorrow. But if we really try, our home can be a bit of heaven here on earth (“Hallmarks of a Happy Home” (General Conference, October 1988).
Today, I will consider what I can do to help my home become like the tabernacle described by Isaiah. I will remember that I must take responsibility to build a home with the characteristics defined by President Monson–prayer, learning, love, and testimony–in order to ensure that all family members can feel peace and serenity in our home and can have a place to be protected from the storms that rage around us.