Are your ears itching?
It has come up a lot recently to me that the apostles haven't talked very much recently about food storage or anything like that. I hear quite often that if "something big" was going to happen, the prophet would surely warn us so we would be prepared. I would like to turn your attention to parables in the scriptures. When parables are given, those who have ears to hear are the ones who get it. Those who take the story at face value think, "Well, that's a nice story." The amazing thing about parables? They can be understood and applied on many, many different levels. That is why the Savior himself used them a lot.
How big are your ears?
We have been given several parables in General Conference and Ensigns over the last several years and I would like to highlight just a few of them.
- In October 2013 General Conference Adrian Ochoa gave the talk "Look Up". He tells the story of being sent on an errand to get groceries on horses with his cousins. They had a "brilliant" idea to get down and play marbles. They were so absorbed in this entertainment that they didn't see the "signs of the times" with an amazing storm about to open up on them. With rain and hail, they escaped and found a family who took them in and dried them off. He said, "...we were only thinking of ourselves." He also said, "I always remind myself, "Don't forget to look up."
What could he be telling us? Here is the whole talk. https://www.lds.org/
- In October 2010 Patrick Kearon gave a parable of the scorpion. His parents had him many, many times to always wear shoes. They lived in the desert and there was always the threat that he could get stung by a scorpion at any time. He chose to ignore the council of his parents and decided to explore by half-heartedly putting on flip-flops. He was stung and had to be rushed to the hospital. He could have avoided all of the trauma, if he would have heeded the parental advice given to him.
How does this same principle apply to self-reliance? Here is the whole talk: https://www.lds.org/
general-conference/2010/10/ come-unto-me-with-full- purpose-of-heart-and-i-shall- heal-you?lang=eng
- In the September 2015 Ensign President Monson gave the First Presidency Message titled "Are We Prepared?" He shares a story of volunteers cleaning up weeds with weed eaters and fires around a church poultry project that housed 5000 chickens. While the service they were doing made the land look nice, it scared the chickens to an early molt and they stopped laying.
What in the world would that have to do with preparedness? Here is the whole article: https://www.lds.org/
Here is what I have gleaned from these words of wisdom:
- Entertainment (in all its forms) can be very distracting and keep us from doing what we know is necessary
- Be aware of the clouds, but finishing the work is a priority
- If we half-heartedly make preparations because we're more interested in other entertainment - we leave ourselves open for a painful ride
- Heed the advice our Heavenly Parent has given to us by old and new prophets
- If the apostles were able to give us a "service" and tell us everything that was going to happen and when, all the "chickens" in the church would panic and stop producing. In reality, it would be a great disservice to them.
We are told in the scriptures to watch for the signs of tribulation. It will be a great sifting time before Jesus actually returns. We have seen some of them already. We don't know the day or the hour when anything will happen, but we are supposed to watch. It has even been compared to a woman in labor. She doesn't know EXACTLY when the little baby will be "delivered", but as labor begins (I feel like we are at the braxton hix labor pains now) and as the time gets closer we'll know because it will intensify.
President Monson said in the Priesthood Session in April 2009,
"In the world today we face difficulties and challenges, some of which can seem truly daunting.
However, with God on our side we cannot fail. "
I think that is incredibly powerful. So, if you need to, get a q-tip and open your ears to hear what the prophets have taught. We will be so thankful that we opened our ears and chose to obey.