Seek the companionship of the Holy Ghost
The Lord has promised that we do not need to fear if we are prepared. We have been taught that it is a good idea to store food and sometimes fuel in the event that we experience financial adversity. We have also been admonished to have a savings account for emergencies. The act of putting aside goods for later, takes planning and budgeting, but most of us are actively engaged in this effort for the benefit of ourselves and our loved ones. There is, however, another part of being prepared that is often neglected. It is the aspect of spiritual preparedness. As with preparing temporally, some of us feel confident and we have been preparing for a long time, but some of us would like to know where to begin. Some sisters wonder how to be sure they have enough and others want to know how to store it safely. Some want more variety and new ideas. As we go forward this year in Relief Society, we hope to lay out a plan for spiritual preparedness that will address your concerns, but will also be easy to follow and customize for each of our sisters’ individual needs.
First, let’s discuss where to begin by looking at the parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25. We know that all ten of the virgins wanted to meet the bridegroom because they all took their lamps and went to wait for Him. The virgins had a while to wait, but finally the cry came to go and meet him. Five of the virgins were prepared but five had no oil in their lamps and had to go and get oil from the seller. When they came back the door to the marriage had been shut. The virgins cried, “Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.” We don’t know why the virgins didn’t have oil when is was needed but we can imagine their disappointment at missing the marriage, especially after waiting for so long.
This story explains the starting place for us to begin preparing spiritually. The ten virgins represent the church. The oil in the lamps symbolizes our conversion and the bridegroom is the Savior. Working out our own conversion to the gospel so that we can be prepared for adversity is what the Lord expects of us as we go forward in his church. How, then, do we become converted?
Conversion is the manifestation of the Holy Ghost that testifies to us and makes it possible for us to know the truth. The bible dictionary explains that complete conversion comes after many trials and much testing. Therefore we must live so that we can store up enough spiritual strength and spiritual experience that we do not run out as we wait for the Savior to come again.
Spiritual Preparation ideas for May:
1. Live in a way that the Holy Ghost can be with you.
2. Pray for spiritual experiences
3. Plan activities to invite feelings from the Holy Ghost. (ie. Attend the temple, work on family history, help someone in need)