Saturday, March 14, 2015

Why I Believe Spiritual Preparedness Matters Most

Elder Oaks said: 

"A 72-hour kit of temporal supplies may prove valuable for earthly challenges..."

"But...a 24-hour kit of spiritual preparation is of greater and more enduring value." -- Elder Oaks, from the quote below. 

“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”   
(Elder Dallin H. Oaks,“Preparation for the Second Coming,” Ensign, May 2004).

“This preparation must consist of more than just casual membership in the Church. You must learn to be guided by personal revelation and the counsel of the living prophet so you will not be deceived” (Ezra Taft Benson, “Prepare Yourselves for the Great Day of the Lord,” BYU Devotional, April 14, 1981).

Sister Julie Beck said, “The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life” (“And upon the Handmaids in Those Days Will I Pour Out My Spirit,” Ensign, May 2010). She also said, “With [personal revelation] we cannot fail; without it we cannot succeed” (“Relief Society History: A Look at the Lord’s Vision for His Daughters,” Ensign, Sept. 2011).

No matter how much wheat you store, wheat will not prepare you for meeting your Savior. Your spirit must be prepared for that. Your spirit must also be prepared to keep the faith when times are hard, when the prophet and the Spirit may tell us to do things that take great faith and courage and sacrifice.  

Think about the parable of five wise and five foolish virgins (See Matt 25:1-13).  Does it look possible to share oil from a lamp like the one pictured above, which is they kind they used during Christ's time? It's possible to share food storage or blankets. But it's not possible to share obedience, faith, courage to follow the prophet even when it's hard, spiritual resilience, the ability to qualify for, receive and act on personal revelation. Those are all aspects of spiritual preparation and we cannot give that to another person. Each of us must accumulate the oil in our lamps drop by drop. 

Here is what President Spencer W. Kimball said about that. 

“Attendance at sacrament meetings adds oil to our lamps, drop by drop over the years. Fasting, family prayer, home teaching, control of bodily appetites, preaching the gospel, studying the scriptures—each act of dedication and obedience is a drop added to our store. Deeds of kindness, payment of offerings and tithes, chaste thoughts and actions, marriage in the covenant for eternity—these, too, contribute importantly to the oil with which we can at midnight refuel our exhausted lamps.” (President Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle [1972] p. 256.)

Only God knows your family’s exact circumstances – your finances, space, food allergies, health issues, and what your family will experience in the events ahead. So praying to know specifics and getting personal revelation is important. 

Another important thing to ask and receive personal revelation about your role in the days ahead. How does He want you to serve and contribute? My friend asked the Lord this and her answer was that she would be helping with births. She has had home births before and is good friends with her midwife, so her plan was to meet with the midwife to start job shadowing her and start gathering supplies. I was touched by her willingness to prepare ahead for how the Lord wanted her to contribute. I have prayed and received some direction as well, and it has affected how I am preparing. 

Do you believe He will help you find the time, money, space, energy, and knowledge you need to become prepared? What do you feel God wants you to be praying for as far as preparedness?  What do you feel like He wants you to know and do now? 

Feel free to leave a comment below with your thoughts about spiritual and temporal preparedness. 

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