Okay… confession time! One of my families guilty pleasures is to watch “Doomsday Preppers” on the NatGeo channel. One reason we love to watch the show so much is because I have a cub scout. Now, if you know anything about the scouting program, they talk a lot, and I mean a lot, about being prepared. My little cub scout is always reminding us to be prepared, so we watch the “Preppers” and we learn a few things here and there about being prepared for various kinds of catastrophes. These people take every precaution. They educated themselves and learn new skills. They gather all of the needed supplies that they feel will be pertinent in their particular catastrophe. They prepare themselves a house that will allow them to feel safe in their time of need.
After one of the last episodes that we watched, my little cub scout asked “What do the scriptures tell us about being prepared, Mom?” I stared at him like I was a deer stuck in the headlights. I asked myself, “What do they say?” I scrambled in my mind for an answer that would hopefully satisfy his curiosity, “Little Cub, of course the Scriptures tell us to be prepared. There are all kinds of stories about being prepared and instruction about educating yourself and being faithful and being prepared for anytime that you are needed.” It seemed to satisfy his curiosity, but it didn’t satisfy mine. I really had never paid any attention to what the Scriptures say about being prepared. I had never done a study on it. And now I was the one not prepared. In an effort to be more prepared in case my little cub scout came back with more questions I began my preparations for that moment. I wanted to be able to give him a heartfelt answer to his questions, not just a blanket, “of course the Bible tells you so” type of thing.
So, I started with the dictionary. Webster’s dictionary says that Prepared means: To be made at an earlier time for later use, or Ready for something: in a suitable condition for some purpose or activity; willing to do something.
Now that I was armed with a definition of being prepared it was time to explore what that really meant. I was preparing myself. One of the first steps of preparedness is to educate. You start everything by taking steps. Proverbs 23:12 tells us “Apply thine heart unto instruction and thine ears to the words of knowledge”. We are encouraged to seek knowledge, to open our hearts and minds. This is how we are made ready for anything, how we are converted. Through heart filled, prayerful seeking of truth, we find knowledge and learn of the next steps that we must take to be prepared. There are several other instances where we are told to learn and to share our knowledge with others. So, just like in the “Preppers” show, the Scriptures teach us to educate ourselves and share our knowledge in our quest. We can learn from others.
Next we need to listen. We cannot learn from others unless we open our hearts, minds and ears. We need to listen to answers that are being delivered to our questions as we venture towards being prepared. As we pray the LORD answers our prayers. He reveals his plans for us. He lays guidance through the Holy Ghost upon our hearts. He plants seeds upon our minds. He calls to us and we must be ready to answer his call. Matthew 22:14 tells us that God calls us, but few are chosen. In Isaiah 65:12 the Lord tells us that we should bow down to be punished for not hearing his call, for not answering when he spoke and for not following what he commanded . So it appears that part of being prepared is being obedient.
Now, we know that the Bible is filled with verses about obedience, but one story and section of a verse stood out to me as I studied preparedness. It comes from the book of Haggai. The prophet was told by God to get the people to build a temple. And they didn’t listen. They built their homes and planted their crops and did their thing. Yet they weren’t happy. They were still thirsty. They were hungry. They needed more. They were poor. They did not do as they were told, and they did not receive the blessings of our Heavenly Father. Then they were instructed again by the LORD. “Go up to the Mountain, and bring wood, and build the house and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified in it.” Haggai 1:8
It appears to me that the greatest way to be prepared for anything and everything is through obedience to Heavenly Father. He wants us to keep the covenants we made when we were baptized. In other articles published we have explored verses where we learned that Heavenly Father wants us to be happy and successful and he has plans for us. We learned that he wants to provide for us. But he also wants us to be prepared. He wants us to worship him and keep our promise to him that we will love him and keep his commandments and then he can rain down blessings upon us.
Matthew 20:23 “And he saith unto them, ye Shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism with; but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is nor mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father” .
That is what I want to be prepared for. I want to be prepared to be in the sight of my heavenly father, because no unclean thing can enter into heaven. I want to be prepared to make that journey when I am called. And now I can tell my little cub scout what it means to be prepared and what the Scriptures tell us about preparedness, and maybe those people on that show aren’t quite as crazy as the show makes them out to be, after all, the world thought Noah was a few crayons short of a full box.
I leave my testimony with you, that as we prepare ourselves to be perfected in Christ, we will know the journey we are on. We will understand better the guidance of our father in heaven and his plans for us. I love you all and I pray that these words speak to you and help you in being prepared for anything. I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.