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But deep down I've had lingering doubts and questions as to whether it really is going to "save us" in the end. Thoughts such as:
"How would we move it if we needed to anyway?"
"People are just going to rob and plunder the Mormon's aren't they?" (think Hotel Rwanda)
"Would the food really survive if there were a flood, tornado, tsunami? Famine, maybe, but other natural disasters?"
"All that really matters in the end is where my heart is, turned to God or not, so why is food storage so important?"
And yet in my studies this week things have changed for me. I can now say that I see more clearly how temporal preparedness does lead to less fear and assists with our spiritual preparedness.
Bruce R. McConkie has said, "A religion that cannot save a man temporally does not have power to save him spiritually. If we cannot care for our temporal needs in this world, how can we ever succeed in spiritual things in the world to come?"
"Our temporal preparation consists in using the good earth in the way the Lord designed and intended so as to supply all our just wants and needs."
So how do we prepare temporally?
We find some answers in 3 Nephi 1-7:
1. Food Storage. The Gadianton Robbers did not have food to sustain their fighting while the Saints had had plenty of supply for their people (3 Ne. 4:3-5, 19; 6:2)
2. Covenants. We are a covenant people. We believe in making covenants here on earth that will bind us to God for the eternities. Making covenants here on earth provides for both the spiritual and the temporal preparedness (3 Ne. 5:25) because it helps us to remember and to not forget the coming of our Lord.
3. Order. Order of laws and government and order in our homes is essential for temporal preparedness. "All things must be done in wisdom and in order (Mosiah 4:27; see also 3 Ne. 6:4-5).
4. Physical Gathering. Lachoneus was a righteous man who could not be frightened (3 Ne. 3:12) and so he gathered his people together in the center of the land (3:22-24). How are we gathered today? In stakes, wards, and homes (see Doctrine & Covenants 125:4; 101:21-23).
"We do not know when the calamities and troubles of the last days will fall upon any of us as individuals or upon bodies of the Saints. The Lord deliberately withholds from us the day and hour of his coming and of the tribulations which shall precede it—all as part of the testing and probationary experiences of mortality. He simply tells us to watch and be ready."
- - Elder Bruce R. McConkie - -