There is one disaster we can guard against, working each day to insure it never occurs. The disaster I am speaking of is a spiritual disaster.
Being spiritually prepared is just as important, if not more important, than being physically prepared. After a disaster occurs, we often want to run out and buy things we need to be prepared. But to prepare spiritually against life's winds and ravages, it takes time and effort.
Picture a sign on our church building that reads:
“Spiritual Fuel Available—No Rationing—No Stamps—No Quotas—Come and Prepare.” We may automatically think of the New Testament parable of the Ten Virgins. 10 were invited to the wedding ceremony; 5 were prepared with extra oil for their lamps, 5 were not. Referring to those who were not ready, Marvin J. Ashton (a former member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles) said, "Today thousands of us are in a similar position. Through lack of patience and confidence, preparation has ceased. Others have lulled themselves to sleep to a complacency with the rationalization that midnight will never come. The responsibility for having oil in our personal lamps is an individual requirement and opportunity. The oil of spiritual preparedness cannot be shared. The wise were not unkind or selfish when they refused oil to the foolish in the moment of truth. The kind of oil needed by all of us to light up the darkness and illuminate the way is not shareable. The oil could have been purchased at the market in the parable, but in our lives it is accumulated by righteous living, a drop at a time" (Conference Address April 1974).
President Eyring tells us how to spiritually prepare ourselves to meet "The great test of life [which] is to see whether we will hearken to and obey God’s commands in the midst of the storms of life." He continues, "What we will need in our day of testing is a spiritual preparation. It is to have developed faith in Jesus Christ so powerful that we can pass the test of life upon which everything for us in eternity depends." President Eyring also gives us four specific ways to develop this necessary faith: "One is the command to feast upon the word of God. A second is to pray always. A third is the commandment to be a full-tithe payer. And the fourth is to escape from sin and its terrible effects. Each takes faith to start and then to persevere. And all can strengthen your capacity to know and obey the Lord’s commands" (Conference Address October 2005)
I encourage you to follow these four steps and practice them over and over to fill our oil lamps. This faith and preparation is essential to our salvation and avoiding spiritual disasters in our lives.
Sister Beck, former Relief Society General President shares that this personal spiritual preparedness helps lead to the ability to receive personal revelation, shared so eloquently in this Mormon Message.
Make your own Spiritual Preparedness a priority, to see you through winds that may come and to avoid a personal spiritual disaster. It is worth it.