In the first section of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord speaks of “the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth,” and He foretells a time when “peace shall be taken from the earth” (Doctrine and Covenants 1:17, 35). But in the same chapter, He provides the following counsel: “Prepare ye, prepare ye for that which is to come, for the Lord is nigh” (Doctrine and Covenants 1:12).
In the most recent general conference, President Russell M. Nelson asked the question: “If preparation is our key to embracing this dispensation and our future with faith, how can we best prepare?” He urged us to prepare ourselves temporally, by storing food and water and ensuring that we have financial reserves. But he said, “I am even more concerned about your spiritual and emotional preparation.” To help with those two categories of preparation, he invited us to learn from the example of Captain Moroni (“Embrace the Future with Faith,” General Conference, October 2020).
President Nelson pointed out three things that Moroni did to prepare his people:
- He prepared “places of security.” Moroni had his people fortify their cities, first by surrounding each city with a “ridge of earth” (Alma 48:8, Alma 49:4), and subsequently by capping those ridges with “works of timbers,” “frames of pickets,” and towers (Alma 50:1-4). These preparations were a critical part of Moroni’s successful defense against the Lamanite invasion. Likewise, President Nelson taught, we can make our homes “places of security” and we can find refuge by participating in a stake of Zion, attending the temple, and inviting the companionship of the Holy Ghost into our lives.
- He prepared “the minds of the people to be faithful unto the Lord their God” (Alma 48:7). Moroni knew that physical preparation alone would not be enough to win the war. His people needed to be emotionally resilient and spiritually grounded. So he taught them the gospel, and his people “did humble themselves…insomuch that they were highly favored of the Lord” (Alma 48:19-20). President Nelson invited us to prepare our minds by exercising faith in God, keeping His commandments, and immersing ourselves in the Book of Mormon, which he called “our latter-day survival guide.”
- He never stopped preparing. In the nineteenth year of the reign of the judges, a large army of Lamanites invaded Moroni’s country. Bypassing the city of Ammonihah because it was too well fortified, they attacked the city of Noah. Moroni’s preparations paid off: more than a thousand Lamanites died before they abandoned their plan and retreated. On the other hand, not a single Nephite was killed (Alma 49:23). What did Moroni do after such a lopsided victory? He kept preparing. “And now it came to pass that Moroni did not stop making preparations for war, or to defend his people against the Lamanites” (Alma 50:1). President Nelson said, “The adversary never stops attacking. So, we can never stop preparing!… Please, keep going! Your vigilance in safeguarding your homes and instilling faith in the hearts of your loved ones will reap rewards for generations to come.”
Today, I will prepare myself and my family temporally, spiritually, and emotionally for the challenges that lie ahead. I will consider how to make our home more of a “place of security,” I will prepare my mind to be faithful to God, and I will not become complacent, even when things are going well.
This is a great commentary, Paul. President Nelson is invoking a sense of urgency to each aspect of our preparations for the Lord’s Second Coming
Thanks for the comment. I agree that there is an urgency in President Nelson’s talk. I particularly noted that we need to be prepared not just temporally, but also emotionally and spiritually. Have a great day and a happy 2021!