When Nephi and his people “had prepared all things,” including “much fruit and meat from the wilderness, and honey in abundance,” and other provisions, they boarded the ship they had built to travel across the ocean (1 Nephi 18:6).
The brother of Jared and his people did the same before embarking on their journey:
When they had prepared all manner of food, that thereby they might subsist upon the water, and also food for their flocks and herds, and whatsoever beast or animal or fowl that they should carry with them—and it came to pass that when they had done all these things they got aboard of their vessels or barges, and set forth into the sea, commending themselves unto the Lord their God.Ether 6:4
They could have simply commended themselves to the Lord their God without any advance preparation, but that would have been foolish and negligent. They faced plenty of uncertainty and needed God’s blessings even after all that they could do to prepare.
The Nephites in the time of Jarom fought with confidence against their enemies because they were prepared with appropriate weapons: arrows, quivers, darts, and javelins (Jarom 1:8). Captain Moroni’s preparations, including armor and well-designed fortresses, gave his armies the advantage over their enemies. (See Alma 43:15-22, Alma 49:8-20.)
The Book of Mormon also teaches the importance of spiritual preparation. Alma asked the people of Zarahemla, “Are ye stripped of pride?” If not, he said, “Ye are not prepared to meet God.” And he added, “Ye must prepare quickly; for the kingdom of heaven is soon at hand.” He added further that we must overcome envy and treat one another with respect in order to be prepared (Alma 5:28-31).
In January 1831, the Lord told members of the church that difficult days were ahead. The wickedness of men, He said, would “shake the earth.” But, He added, “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear” (Doctrine and Covenants 38:30).
I’ve been thinking today about that principle. At work, the application is clear. I need to look ahead, to anticipate upcoming meetings and deadlines. I need to think about the expectations of my stakeholders and what I need to do today in order to meet those expectations when the time comes. Waiting until shortly before the meeting is a recipe for anxiety. Thinking ahead and preparing early builds my confidence and allows me to manage expectations appropriately.
President Russell M. Nelson has counseled us not only to store food, water, and savings, but also to “fill our spiritual storehouses with faith, truth, and testimony.” He said:
Our ultimate quest in life is to prepare to meet our Maker. We do this by striving daily to become more like our Savior, Jesus Christ. And we do that as we repent daily and receive His cleansing, healing, and strengthening power. Then we can feel enduring peace and joy, even during turbulent times.“Opening Message,” General Conference, April 2020
Today, I will prepare, both temporally and spiritually. I will anticipate upcoming events and do the work today which will help me be confident and successful tomorrow. Above all, I will ponder my readiness to stand in the presence of God, knowing that the time to prepare for that most important meeting is now.