2 Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thy habitations; spare not, lengthen thy cords and strengthen thy stakes;
3 For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left, and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.
(3 Nephi 22:2-3, Isaiah 54:2-3)
Isaiah’s counsel to the Israelites is to prepare for a dramatic expansion of their nation. “Enlarge the place of thy tent,” he says. “Lengthen thy cords and strengthen thy stakes.” Be ready for growth; don’t let it catch you off guard. Go ahead and create the additional space you will need now, in preparation for the great blessings to come. You will grow, He says, and the time to create the additional space is now, not when the growth catches you off guard.
Moroni used similar language in the final chapter of the Book of Mormon: “Put on thy beautiful garments, O daughter of Zion; and strengthen thy stakes and enlarge thy borders forever,… that the covenants of the Eternal Father which he hath made unto thee, O house of Israel, may be fulfilled” (Moroni 10:31).
In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a stake is an organizational unit consisting of a number of congregations in a defined geographical area. Through the prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord declared that each stake serves as a gathering place for members of the Church (D&C 101:20-21) and as “a defense, and a refuge from the storm” (D&C 115:6). No matter what challenges we might face, whether they be financial difficulties, health issues, relationship difficulties, or any other trials, members of the Church can have confidence that other members near them are willing and able and have the organizational structure to help them meet those challenges.
Today, I will “enlarge the place of [my] tent” and “lengthen [my] cords and strengthen [my] stakes.” I will prepare myself for increased opportunities to serve others, knowing that if I prepare myself, I allow Heavenly Father to fulfill His covenants with me. I will also be grateful to belong to a stake in the Church and for the comfort and confidence I derive from the defense and refuge that the Church’s organizational structure provides to me and to my family.