As the world continues to seethe from waves of destruction and discord, disciples of Jesus Christ look forward to the signs of His Second Coming. Though we will never know the exact hour of His triumphant return, it is clear the time to prepare is now. This can be an overwhelming and daunting task! What can we do to refine our lives and face the challenges ahead? These five principles are at the core of our preparations and will help us come closer to Jesus Christ.
Throughout the years, Church leaders have reminded us to be financially and physically prepared for a wide variety of circumstances. This might include building up your food storage, getting out of debt, learning life-saving skills, and preparing for the natural disasters most likely to hit your area. In the October 2020 General Conference, Bishop Waddell said, “From the beginning of time, the Lord has provided direction to help His people prepare spiritually and temporally, against the calamities that He knows will come as part of this mortal experience.” Here are a few ideas on how you can begin or renew your emergency preparedness journey:
- Buy one or two extra goods at the grocery store when you go shopping to help build up your food storage.
- Learn a food storage skill, such as canning fruits and vegetables, grinding and baking with grains, dehydrating foods, or waxing cheese.
- Learn survival skills, such as tying knots, building fires, dressing wounds, or CPR.
- Create a safety plan as a family for fires and earthquakes, such as how to respond and where you will go.
- Ensure your 72-hour kits are up to date and include the latest information you’ll need.
- Pray to know what is most important for you and your family to do.
Consecrating Our Time
In today’s busy world, it can be difficult to create time to connect with God. It requires sacrifice and hard work. However, there is no better way to get to know someone than to spend quality time with them and that includes with God and Jesus Christ. Can we make more time in our days for spiritual connection? Even if it is just a few extra minutes, we can! Whether it’s listening to the scriptures while we go about our normal day or shutting down our phones when they’re not absolutely necessary, there are many ways we can find more time for God.
Increased Family History Work
Elder D. Todd Christofferson said of preparing for the Lord’s return, “What can we do to prepare now for that day? We can prepare ourselves as a people; we can gather the Lord’s covenant people; and we can help redeem the promise of salvation ‘made to the fathers,’ our ancestors. All of this must occur in some substantial measure before the Lord comes again.”
We can invite the spirit of God more fully into our lives and offer needed saving ordinances to our ancestors by participating in family history work. With so many temples closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no greater time. There is also no greater need for us to expand the blessings of the temple outside of the physical temple walls. Elder Dale G. Renlund shared some of the promises of the Lord for those who do their family history work, including increased understanding of the Savior, the ability and motivation to learn and repent, an abundance of joy, and a greater measure of the Holy Ghost in our lives.
We can help gather Israel on both sides of the veil when we do family history work.
Share the Gospel on Social Media
Thanks to technology, we have greater reach and access to our friends, families, and neighbors. We should all strive to spread the gospel and social media is the easiest way to start. Share quotes from your favorite Church leaders after General Conference. Post pictures of your ward activities. Invite others to tune into broadcasts. Use the hashtags encouraged by the Church for such events. Follow Church leaders on their social media pages. Follow your local missionaries and share the great content they are making.
Living the gospel is such a natural part of our lives. Don’t be afraid to share it with others.
Rid Ourselves of Contention
The October 2020 General Conference made it abundantly clear that if we are not one, we are not the Lord’s. Sister Sharon Eubank said, “Unity doesn’t magically happen; it takes work. It’s messy, sometimes it’s uncomfortable, and it happens gradually when we clear away the bad as fast as the good can grow. We are never alone in our efforts to create unity.” As we continue to face sensitive issues and topics, we should strive to do everything within our power to avoid contention. Do not engage in potentially contentious situations if what you have to say does not uplift, declare God’s truth (not your own), or inspire others to act for good. Pray to recognize the divinity in all of God’s children. Rid yourself of judgmental thoughts and habits.
As we work together and seek inspiration from God, we will become a more Zion people and prepare ourselves to welcome Jesus Christ to the Earth once more.