By Becky Squire
Preparedness has been an important topic in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for many years. And even more recently, the state of the world (#coronavirus #earthquake #rioting #etc) has caused us all to evaluate our food storage, 72-hour-kits, and more! While the need for emergency preparedness is vital, our spiritual preparedness will prove to be even more valuable.
President Oaks said,
"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.”
While this is not an exclusive list, I believe these five things will help build your spiritual preparedness, no matter where you are on the covenant path.
President Monson said, "Prayer surely is the passport to spiritual power." If we expect to increase our spiritual preparedness, we can't do so without prayer. He goes on to say, "If any of us has been slow to hearken to the counsel to pray always, there is no finer hour to begin than now.”
If you aren't communing with God, start today. If you are, make your prayers more sincere. As we remember Him, He will remember us.
The next step to prayer is taking action. President Hinckley said, "Get on your knees and pray, then get on your feet and work." Prayer is the foundation to spiritual preparedness.
As you study the scriptures, pay attention to your thoughts and feelings. Those impressions may be the very things that your Heavenly Father wants you to learn. And as you apply what you've studied and learned, the more spiritually prepared you will become.
Consider how the stories and teachings you are reading apply to your life. For example, you could ask yourself, “What experiences have I had that are similar to what I am reading?” or “How can I follow the example of this person in the scriptures?”
President Monson said: “As we read and ponder the scriptures, we will experience the sweet whisperings of the Spirit to our souls. ... we can of a certainty know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. … As we take time to turn to the scriptures, our lives will be infinitely more blessed and our burdens will be made lighter.”
When we exercise faith in the Savior, we have nothing to fear. The scriptures tell us that “If Ye are prepared, ye shall not fear” (D&C 38:30).
Everything we are asked to do can seem daunting. How can we do it all in order to be spiritually prepared? Only the Savior can give us the power to make such changes. And as we exercise faith in Him, we can access that power.
Charity is one of the greatest preparations of all. Charity is the pure love of Christ that connects us to Him and gives us revelation of how to love as He loves. There is no other way.
One of the simplest messages for spiritual preparedness is to look for opportunities to teach the gospel. In teaching, we will understand and know for ourselves. When it finally means something to us, we will be more prepared than ever.
Follow the Prophets
It's important to remember that the prophets and apostles are the literal mouthpiece of the Lord. Spencer W. Kimball said, “we say it over and over and over and repeat over and over the scripture of the Lord where He says, ‘Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?'” (“Family Preparedness,” Ensign, May 1976, p.124)
How we feel about the Lord's prophets is important. In the Book of Mormon, the Savior warned that if the people listened to the prophets, they would be spared (3 Nephi 9:5-13). Killing the Lord's prophets was the primary reason for the destruction of more than a dozen cities. There is a lesson here about how the Savior feels about His prophets and apostles. And when we make a conscience decision to follow His prophets, our spiritual capacity will increase.
We have been warned by modern prophets that we will need our spiritual eyes to see and our spiritual ears to hear so we can be guided how to prepare, when to prepare and what to prepare. We need to be spiritually prepared through our trials and tribulations in order for us to be ready to meet the Savior at His coming.
Becky Squire is a writer and speaker. She has been published in several media outlets including the Ensign, LDS Living, and the Today Show. She's also the founding editor of Latter-Day Woman Magazine. Follow Becky Squire on Instagram