After the earthquake in Salt Lake City a few days ago, my 5-year-old son, who had just read the story of Chicken Little, was listening to his siblings talk about preparing for a future earthquake. One of them also mentioned that the angel Moroni’s trumpet had fallen from the statue on the Salt Lake City Temple.
One of his older sisters had become very worried and gone into our food storage filling up two of her backpacks with cans of food and had a suitcase of clothing at the ready by the foot of her bed.
Sensing her mood, my boy started running around yelling, “the sky is falling! The sky is falling!” His sister was not amused.
It is hard to not have the spirit of fear during crises, but “God hath not given us the spirit of fear.” He has, however, encouraged us to be prepared for these crises.
Perhaps one benefit of the upheaval caused by COVID-19 and the recent earthquake in Utah is that the members of The Church of Jesus Christ are learning how to prepare for future disasters. We are coming to realize the importance of having a year’s supply of food and are also discovering the importance of having stores of items that we may not have thought were as important, such as toilet paper.
For many years, latter-day prophets have been counseling the saints to be prepared for natural disasters. Natural disasters, famines, and pestilences will only increase in number as the Second Coming draws closer. The faithful will understand the increasing calamities to be signs that the Savior will soon return to reign on the earth and will be prepared for those temporal calamities.
While there are many temporal and logistical lessons to be learned during these trying times, we should also understand the importance of being spiritually ready. As Dallin H. Oaks has said, “We need to make … spiritual preparation for the events prophesied at the time of the Second Coming.”
Christ Laments the Lack of Preparedness of the Saints
The Lord told the saints to be prepared, but as the parable of the ten virgins shows, only half of the members of Christ’s church were ready at his Second Coming.
“How oft have I called upon you by the mouth of my servants, and by the ministering of angels, and by mine own voice, and by the voice of thunderings, and by the voice of lightnings, and by the voice of tempests, and by the voice of earthquakes, and great hailstorms, and by the voice of famines and pestilences of every kind, … and would have saved you with an everlasting salvation, but ye would not!” D&C 43:23-25.
David B. Haight said, “While we are powerless to alter the fact of the Second Coming and unable to know its exact time, we can accelerate our own preparation and try to influence the preparation of those around us.”
We need to make … spiritual preparation for the events prophesied.
“And after your testimony cometh wrath and indignation upon the people.
“For after your testimony cometh the testimony of earthquakes. …
“And all things shall be in commotion; and surely, men’s hearts shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all people.
“And angels shall fly through the midst of heaven, crying with a loud voice, sounding the trump of God, saying: Prepare ye, prepare ye, O inhabitants of the earth; for the judgment of our God is come. Behold, and lo, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him” (D&C 88:88–92).
Hopefully we can take these warnings to heart and prepare better, both temporally and spiritually, for the calamities which will come with increasing frequency before the Second Coming.