(This is a guest post by Shelly McDermott, an amazing woman with incredible preparation insight)
Many preppers are busily storing up for a future time when resources will be scarce, but is that enough to get us through long periods of hardship? Church leaders tell us there is something else equally important to your supplies – spiritual preparedness.
Here’s a quote from Elder Dallin H. Oaks:
“We are living in the prophesied time ‘when peace shall be taken from the earth’ (D&C 1:35,) when ‘all things shall be in commotion’ and ‘men’s hearts shall fail them’ (D&C 88:91.) There are many temporal causes of commotion, including wars and natural disasters, but an even greater cause of current ‘commotion’ is spiritual.
We need to make both temporal and spiritual preparation for the events prophesied at the time of the Second Coming. And the preparation most likely to be neglected is the one less visible and more difficult–the spiritual. A 72-hour kit of temporal supplies may prove valuable for earthly challenges, but, as the foolish virgins learned to their sorrow, a 24-hour kit of spiritual preparation is of greater and more enduring value”.
With all the chatter and physical prepping going on, a key element to surviving the chaos and calamities lies in the scriptures and modern day prophets. Physical preparedness and spiritual preparedness must go together.
Physical preparations should be an outward sign of obedience to your spiritual preparedness, otherwise we become just another a doomsday prepper with more ammo and food than humility and charity. When we arm ourselves temporally and not spiritually, we miss the mission of ushering in the Millennium.
President Spencer W. Kimball shares how spiritual preparedness is obtained:
“I believe that the Ten Virgins represent the people of the Church of Jesus Christ. . . They (five foolish) had the saving, exalting gospel, but it had not been made the center of their lives. They knew the way but gave only a small measure of loyalty and devotion.
“The foolish asked the others to share their oil, but spiritual preparedness cannot be shared in an instant. . . . This was not selfishness or unkindness. The kind of oil that is needed to illuminate the way and light up the darkness is not shareable. . . . In our lives the oil of preparedness is accumulated drop by drop in righteous living.”
** How can we prepare spiritually? **
1. Have consistent Family Home Evening and Family Council.
We learn from President Gordon B. Hinckley:
“We have built grain storage and storehouses and stocked them with the necessities of life in the event of a disaster. But the real storehouse is the family storeroom. In words of revelation the Lord has said, ‘Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing’ (D&C 109:8.)”
It is essential that we build close family relationships, forgive one another, serve one another and support one another. Under pressure from challenges we often do not show our best side, yet if we build up our families now we will fare much better in future challenges.
2. Stand in Holy Places.
It will be imperative that we can hear what the Lord needs to tell us during difficult times. We learn from Elder Dallin H. Oaks:
What are those “holy places”? Surely they include the temple and its covenants faithfully kept. Surely they include a home where children are treasured and parents are respected. Surely the holy places include our posts of duty assigned by priesthood authority, including missions and callings faithfully fulfilled in branches, wards, and stakes. Dallin H. Oaks
The Saints have been promised that we will gather as a people to endure the hardships together. It is imperative we are surrounding ourselves with activities that will allow us to hear the directive from the leadership when the call comes to gather.
Elder H. Aldridge Gillespie (Second Quorum of the Seventy) LDS Business College Devotional, February 8th, 2005
“We must both learn what these signs are and then identify them correctly when they occur. They can and will strengthen our faith in Christ and His prophets, if we know the scriptures.”
Just as in the days of Noah, a way is already prepared for the escape of the Lord’s elect Latter-Day Saints, if they are in tune with His prophets.”
3. Follow the prophet, get out of debt.
Not only are we given specific instructions as how to prepare, obedience to each of these commands gives us spiritual strength.
President Thomas S. Monson reminds us:
“Avoid the philosophy that yesterday’s luxuries have become today’s necessities. They aren’t necessities until we make them so. Many enter into long-term debt only to find that changes occur; people become ill or incapacitated, companies fail or downsize, jobs are lost, natural disasters befall us. For many reasons, payments on large amounts of debt can no longer be made. Our debt becomes as a Damocles sword hanging over our heads and threatening to destroy us.”
When we are in debt, it makes it harder to prepare for physical preparations, we lose our peace worrying about the payment of our debts. Debt robs us of self-discipline.
4. Increase our faith in Christ.
We are not to fear if we have been watching and preparing. We learn in D&C 6:34,36:
“Fear not little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail. . .Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.”
Our burdens seem light, our disappointments seem manageable, and our pain seems qualified when we have developed a personal relationship with the Savior and know where to find him and how to feel his love.
5. Increase our service to others.
Service changes people. It refines, purifies, gives a finer perspective, and brings out the best in each one of us. Righteous service is the expression of true charity, such as the Savior showed.
The duties of ushering in the Millennium will include gathering in many during the calamities and tribulations and caring for their physical and spiritual needs.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf spoke of the apostle Paul’s dramatic conversion and warned Latter-day Saints to not “spend their days waiting on the road to Damascus” but instead increase belief one step at a time, to hearken and heed, to serve others and to share the gospel.
“God loves you. He hears your prayers. He speaks to his children and offers comfort, peace and understanding to those who seek him and honor him by walking in his way,” he said, adding “Let us not wait too long on our road to Damascus; let us courageously move forward in faith, hope and charity, and we will be blessed to discover the light we are all seeking on the path of discipleship.”
We have been warned by modern prophets for a season now that we are preparing for Christ’s coming. We will need our spiritual eyes to see, we will need our spiritual ears to hear so we can be guided how to prepare, when to prepare and what to prepare to usher in the Millennium. We will need to be refined and spiritually prepared through the tribulation period in order for us to be ready to meet the Savior at his coming.
President Gordon B. Hinckley reminds us:
“The kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God on the earth will be combined together at Christ’s coming – and that time is not far distant. How I wish we could get the vision of this work, the genius of it, and realize the nearness of that great event. I am sure it would have a sobering effect upon us if we realized what is before us.”