“Now, brethren, I want to make it clear that I am not prophesying, that I am not predicting years of famine in the future. But I am suggesting that the time has come to get our houses in order….That’s all I have to say about it, but I wish to say it with all the emphasis of which I am capable” (Ensign, November 1998, p. 53).
Our prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley, spoke these words nearly twenty years ago. During that time, the stock market was going great. Conditions in the United States seemed prosperous for many. It may have seemed a far stretch to hear the President of our church urge people to prepare for that which is to come.
Lives changed drastically during the Depression. But if you’d asked the people on the evening before the change, most perhaps would have scoffed at such turmoil. Those who lived before that time with a preparedness approach, though, were able to make adjustments and make it through. When one is prepared, fear scarcely flits through the mind during times that otherwise topple people’s ability to manage.
If one were to have taken a strong hold on President Hinckley’s words nearly a decade ago and worked with all his might – slowly but surely he would have built a reservoir of preparedness in his life that would be thriving by today.
Quick – it’s not too late to start, although the hours are stretching on. So how do we do this? The first steps are the easiest ones – yet the most integral. We start literally by getting up every day, kneeling in prayer, and petitioning the Lord for guidance. We also study the scriptures daily, for we know that the scriptures contained the living word of God. We also serve others, for it is when we serve others that the spirit grows within our heart.
These three steps form the . Promptings will begin to come that otherwise we might miss.
As those promptings come, we will begin to see life in a different light. Suddenly the flat screen TV purchase becomes less desirable. Oh, we may still want the thing, but it’s not so urgent or driving a “need.” Instead, we start noticing ads from the local grocery store along the lines of “10 for a $10” and we pick up a few of those items.
We start lining our shelves with rows of spaghetti sauce and feel a warm stroke of peace as we walk by the pantry, noticing the plump jars’ tidy little lines bringing a sense of security.
We actually start keeping our eyes open for recipes to use with whole foods, since whole foods are easier to store and last longer than canned items.
We begin exercising because as we’ve filled our lives with the spirit from reading our scriptures, praying, and serving, we start feeling better and actually want to be outdoors in the sun.
The entire process brings joy and a peace that is hard to define. So yes, maybe we didn’t start preparing nearly a decade ago when President Hinckley strongly urged church members to do so (if you did, kudos to you!). But we certainly can start today! In so doing, we too will feel the peace promised to those that are wise and preparing, even today.
For remember, “Preparedness is a lifestyle – not a one-time event.” Let’s do it now!