Updated: Sep 23, 2020
March 14, 2020
Pres Oaks said the following at a missionary meeting in Las Vegas last Saturday.
"This is not the end of the world but merely a test. A trial run for the Second Coming if you will - physically and spiritually. If you've been following the counsel from the prophet about ministering, emergency preparedness, and at-home Church, you have no need to fear you passed the test.”
This should tell us exactly how important the following list is:
Have you ministered?
Do you have emergency preparedness kits at home?
Are you observing at-home church to the best of your abilities?
In our church, we each have an assigned person or a few people that we have been called to be their ministering brothers or sisters. Sometimes we already know them and sometimes we don't. If you do not know your person, do not get discouraged! Many times I have to ask around at church or look them up on the LDS tools app. At the very least, there's usually an address or a phone number. Try them both. It may be uncomfortable at first if you're not a people person like me. Do your best, bring a treat - cookies never disappoint - to break the ice, smile and introduce yourself. One of the most important things is that you ask them with an honest heart if there is anything they are in need of or if they need help. If there's an event coming up such as General Conference, Relief Society night, Elders Quorum is getting together or a primary activity (if they have children, let them know! Don't let them fall between the gaps and check on them monthly to every couple months with a visit, phone call, send a letter or text.
If you have Ministered, keep it up! If you haven't prepared physically, what is your roadblock? Is it funds? There are many ways to have a decent 72-hour kit at home by being thrifty. Have you tried your local Deseret Industries? Most of the time you can buy good to great quality items depending on your area for a few dollars. The item donations that D.I. receives changes upon a daily basis. So check back often! Also, if you cannot afford food items, talk with your Bishop at your local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Often times, they can help you with a free food order through the Bishop Storehouse. If you do not qualify, I recommend buying a few extra on-sale goods a little each week. Each week I grocery shop only one day so as I'm choosing items from my list, I keep my eyes open for cans of food that are on sale. Other items to look out for would be items such as flour, sugar and salt. One of my favorite emergency food items is pancake mix! All it takes is the addition of water and you have a tasty meal.
Is your roadblock to physical preparedness the "I'll do it tomorrow" syndrome? Procrastination is very common. We all do it to some degree or another. To help get past this, take a small step today. I recommend creating a list. Make it simple at first and start with the basics. Why might that list look like? Well, it depends on how far you are. For beginners, I recommend something like this:
Bar of soap, washcloth
Toothbrush,floss,toothpaste in a plastic bag
Leatherman tool/scissors/nail clippers
2 Water bottles
2 energy bars
Extra shirt, pants, socks, underwear
Solar light or flashlight with extra batteries, matches
It's not a 72-hour kit, but this is a great start to a little "bug out bag" or what I like to call, a "day pack." A list is a great way to start. Many people have at least some extras of these items laying around their home, somewhere or take a trip to the Dollar Store. Get creative!
Check out my Physical Readiness Checklist for more ideas on what you can add to your day pack. Then eventually work up to a 72-hour kit.
As for Church at home, it can be as simple to complex as you'd like, based on your needs. A simple church at home may include an opening prayer, the Sacrament on a plate with a slice of bread and small cup of water, a lesson read out from the "Come, Follow Me" manual then close with a prayer. If you do not have a priesthood holder in your home to bless the Sacrament, call or text your ministering brother, Elders Quorum President or another brother you know. More often than not, they love to help and that's what they're there for. So please do not be afraid to ask.
It's not too late to do these things now so that you are better prepared in the future!
April 2020 Liahona
Pres. Nelson wrote an article, "The Future of the Church: Preparing the World for the Saviors Second Coming."
President Nelson says, "You and I get to participate in the ongoing Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ." What a marvelous time we live in today where we can finally start to see those early "labor" signs of the end times.
He puts emphasis on the fact that one of the long awaited doctrines of the church is the literal gathering of the Lost Ten Tribes. We get to participate in this!
In talking about the great work that is and will be he says, "A welding link is to be forged between the fathers and the children. In our time, a whole, complete, and perfect union of all dispensations, keys, and powers are to be welded together. For these sacred purposes, holy temples now dot the earth." We know temples allow us to be sealed together, however, in the last days starting with the New Jerusalem, the temples will be used for much more than they are now. We will see the restoration of the Law of Sacrifice and the Law of Consecration which are inseparable.
"The time is coming when those who do not obey the Lord will be separated from those who do. Our safest insurance is to continue to be worthy of admission to His holy house. The greatest gift you could give to the Lord is to keep yourself unspotted from the world, worthy to attend His holy house. His gift to you will be the peace and security of knowing that you are worthy to meet Him, whenever that time comes." This is huge. This is our Prophet revealing that the seal we get from having a Temple Recommend will be vital to making it through that Olive Press.
If we watch for the signs of the times so that we're ready, you will be blessed with the privilege of seeing these things come to pass, "He will govern from two world capitals: one in old Jerusalem and the other in the New Jerusalem “built upon the American continent”. From these centers He will direct the affairs of His Church and kingdom. Another temple will yet be built in Jerusalem. From that temple He shall reign forever as Lord of Lords. Water will issue from under the temple. Waters of the Dead Sea will be healed."
So what is the most important thing we should be doing right now to prepare? President Nelson talks about all the awful things that are happening around us. He says, "Why do we need such resilient faith? Because difficult days are ahead. Rarely in the future will it be easy or popular to be a faithful Latter-day Saint. Each of us will be tested. The Apostle Paul warned that in the latter days, those who diligently follow the Lord “shall suffer persecution”. That very persecution can either crush you into silent weakness or motivate you to be more exemplary and courageous in your daily lives."
In closing he exhorts us, his church to, "Do whatever it takes to strengthen your faith in Jesus Christ by increasing your understanding of the doctrine taught in His restored Church and by relentlessly seeking truth. Anchored in pure doctrine, you will be able to step forward with faith and dogged persistence and cheerfully do all that lies in your power to fulfill the purposes of the Lord."
President Nelson is truly a Prophet of God. In his wisdom of future events, here he is, giving us the answers we need in order to overcome the Olive Press. I wonder how many of the saints who read this article realized how often he sited signs and prophecies? How many of them understood what he was referring to? It is hard to obey the words of the Prophet if you do not understand.
If you do not understand the troubling times ahead for the Saints, or if you do not know what the Olive Press is, please seek this truth for yourself as President Nelson has instructed. I recommend reading about the Harvests - I explain the Olive Press briefly in the "What are the Harvests," then please watch our amazing presentations done by Jodi Stoddard and Dr. Brent Goddard in "Presentations."
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