Years ago a farmer owned land along the Atlantic seacoast. He constantly advertised for hired hands. Most people were reluctant to work on farms along the Atlantic. They dreaded the awful storms that raged across the Atlantic, wreaking havoc on the buildings and crops.
As the farmer interviewed applicants for the job, he received a steady stream of refusals. Finally, a short, thin man, well past middle age, approached the farmer.
'Are you a good farm hand?' the farmer asked him.
'Well, I can sleep when the wind blows,' answered the little man.
Although puzzled by this answer, the farmer, desperate for help, hired him.
The little man worked well around the farm, busy from dawn to dusk, and the farmer felt satisfied with the man's work. Then one night the wind howled loudly in from offshore.
Jumping out of bed, the farmer grabbed a lantern and rushed next door to the hired hand's sleeping quarters.
He shook the little man and yelled, 'Get up! A storm is coming! Tie things down before they blow away!'
The little man rolled over in bed and said firmly, 'No sir. I told you, I can sleep when the wind blows.'
Enraged by the response, the farmer was tempted to fire him on the spot.
Instead, he hurried outside to prepare for the storm. To his amazement, he discovered that all of the haystacks had been covered with tarpaulins. The cows were in the barn, the chickens were in the coops, and the doors were barred. The shutters were tightly secured.
Everything was tied down. Nothing could blow away.
The farmer then understood what his hired hand meant, so he returned to his bed to also sleep while the wind blew. 1
Can you sleep when the wind blows? Perhaps all of us at times would like to withdraw and isolate ourselves from the storms of life and from the fiery darts of Satan. We are living in a world where Satan is becoming more and more bold. The Lord said,
“I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” 2
How can we be in the world but not of the world?
We read from many reports that the ills of our society today have their source in the breakdown of the family. If Satan can weaken or destroy loving relationships among members of families, he can cause more misery and more unhappiness for more people than he could in any other way.
The place to cure most of the ills of society is in the homes of the people. Spiritually building our homes into fortresses of righteousness for protection from the evil influences of the world takes constant labor and diligence. The scripture that came to my mind is Helaman’s counsel to his sons:
“And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.”3
Brothers and sisters, we can make each of our homes a house of faith by believing in the goodness of God and believing that by living gospel principles we can live in spiritual peace and security despite any earthly trials. We need to have the faith to be obedient, to keep trying, and to nurture a positive outlook.
In the April 2019 General Conference, Elder David A. Bednar said: 4
“Making our homes sanctuaries wherein we can “stand in holy places” is essential in these latter days. And as important as home-centered and Church-supported learning is for our spiritual strength and protection today, it will be even more vital in the future.”Elder David A Bednar, Prepared to Obtain Every Needful Thing,” Ensign, May 2019
During the COVID-19 pandemic we all had to quarantine ourselves at home. I heard a brother from our ward say that he never understood how his home could be a holy place until this happened. When we can neither worship in church meetings nor in the temple, we can worship and feel safe in our homes if we follow the instructions of our church leaders to make our home a sanctuary of faith.
Let us continue to do this for our children so they can grow up in homes filled with the joy and peace of the gospel and continually experience the guiding influence and presence of the Holy Ghost. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.