It’s probably as much a result of the current state of affairs world-wide, but I’ve been feeling the need to prepare myself and my family for some time now. This preparation comes in many different parts, but two of them are most prevalent in my mind: Spiritual and Temporal preparation.
I’ve often said that if you sit back and listen to the quiet moments, you can hear the hand of God moving across the earth. But it’s getting harder to hear. By no means is God diminishing or playing less of a role in our lives. Rather, we find ourselves increasingly in places and situations where God will not follow, and it is our responsibility to avoid those. If we would seek the presence of the Divine, we must make ourselves available to Him, not the other way around.
The scriptures often state: “Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.” It’s always been important to be clean before God, but it seems more so now. I’ve often heard, as I’m sure you have, the idea that God will not hold us from His glories because of “minor” transgressions like telling a lie or stealing a candy bar. What a sad and disappointing lie that is. The scriptures clearly state that God cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance. The Ancient Jews made the same mistake of categorizing sins as major and minor, and they were severely denounced by Christ for it. While it may be true that some sins are easier to repent of than others, it is also true that any sin will render us unclean and unworthy of the eternal glories. Shouldn’t this make the Atonement of Christ so much more meaningful and important to you?
On a final note, NoSurfGirl is embarking on a bold venture with her blog. She’s posting what I hope to be a long series on the troubles of pornography. Perhaps there is no other topic more vital to our spiritual preparation than that.
To be ready for what lies ahead, we must be spiritual prepared.
The Church has long instructed us to gather and store provisions. We have begun in a limited fashion and could currently survive about 2 months without needing to purchase food. It certainly wouldn’t be pleasant, but it is possible.
For Family Home Evening this week, we listed all the items we would want in 72-hour emergency kits. Last night, we purchased them. Later on, I’ll post what we put in our kits and any advice we have. It’s hard and not cheap, but we are closer to being ready now than we ever were before.
As part of our temporal preparation, we are trying to teach Katherine about saving and being prepared. She has three little jars for her money: Spending (50%), Savings (40%), and Tithing (10%). Each week, she gets two to three 10 cent jobs. We get 10 pennies, lay them in front of her, and tell her that she can have them if she will do a job. Most jobs are fairly simple such as putting the dishes in the dish rack after mommy or daddy washes them, sweeping the floor, or even watering our two flower pots. When she completes the task, we give her the money and help her put the appropriate amounts in each jar. On Sunday, we help her write her tithing slip, put the money in an envelope, and give it to a member of the bishopric. The first time, she took the money back from the bishopric twice before finally letting it go. But she is learning, and it’s a treat to watch her money grow.
Katherine has taught me more about temporal preparation than any other person. At her age, she has a straight forward approach, and she just does it. She saves money because that’s what she was taught, and she’ll do it until someone makes the mistake of teaching her to spend it instead. This morning, she joined me (as she usual does) for my pre-dawn activities. Last night, we bought her a little Dora backpack for her 72-hour kit (she has a larger one that I’ll probably carry), and she kept asking me for strawberries. On a Dora the Explorer show a few days earlier, she had seen Dora pick and store strawberries in her backpack for a picnic. We didn’t have any strawberries, so being Mr. Fix It, I grabbed the lightest foods I could and offered them to her: a box of chocolate pudding, a can of Vienna Sausages, and a tube of Ritz Crackers. Surely not the best picnic ever, but it’d work.
As she happily marched away to wake up mommy and show her the backpack, the thought occurred to me that should the day ever come (it came for millions in Myanmar and China just last week), many people will leave their homes with much less in their backpacks. The difference for the majority of those people will be the choices they make today. Will your backpack have pudding, crackers, and sausages? Will it have the first five cans you grabbed off the shelf as you ran out the door? Will it be weighed down by spiritual unpreparedness? Where will you go? What will you do? Who will you turn to?
When the day comes, what’s going to be in your backpack?
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