To give notice or caution. Prophets, leaders, and parents warn and teach others to be obedient to the Lord and his teachings.
- Jacob warned the people of Nephi against every kind of sin, Jacob 3:12
- The voice of warning is to all people, D&C 1:4
- Let your preaching be the warning voice, D&C 38:41
- This is a day of warning, D&C 63:58
- Every man who has been warned should warn his neighbour, D&C 88:81
- I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving you this word of wisdom, D&C 89:4
2 Nephi 1:9 Wherefore, I, Lehi, have obtained a promise, that inasmuch as those whom the Lord God shall bring out of the land of Jerusalem shall keep his commandments, they shall prosper upon the face of this land; and they shall be kept from all other nations, that they may possess this land unto themselves. And if it so be that they shall keep his commandments they shall be blessed upon the face of this land, and there shall be none to molest them, nor to take away the land of their inheritance; and they shall dwell safely forever.
Mosiah 1:7 And now, my sons, I would that ye should remember to search them diligently, that ye may profit thereby; and I would that ye should keep the commandments of God, that ye may prosper in the land according to the promises which the Lord made unto our fathers.
Alma 9:13 Behold, do ye not remember the words which he spake unto Lehi, saying that: Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper in the land? And again it is said that: Inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments ye shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord.
If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear D&C 38:30 I tell you these things because of your prayers; wherefore, treasure up wisdom in your bosoms, lest the wickedness of men reveal these things unto you by their wickedness, in a manner which shall speak in your ears with a voice louder than that which shall shake the earth; but if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.
Jacob 6:12 O be wise; what can I say more?
Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
Story 1 – Things Can Happen Why Emergency Preparation? When I was a bit younger and a little bit fitter, I served a few years as a volunteer fire fighter with the Magrath Fire Department. I didn't plan to actually volunteer. The then Mayor David Lowry asked me to sign up because they were looking for men that worked in town and I seemed to have a lot of free time between fixing computers. It was fun and exciting. We never knew just when the call would come, but were were told that it most likely could and would come. We were taught that we needed to be ready. So, every month at a specified time and place we met for discussion and training at the fire hall. We practiced and reviewed and prepared and maintained equipment. We took courses and tests. We cleaned the fire hall, shined up the trucks, and set out our fire coats, helmets and boots in our fire lockers for quick access. We learned how to safely drive the big trucks, how and where to best lay out the fire hoses, how to make proper connections to the hydrants, how to safely run the big water pumps, and how and where to set up the ladders.
We carried a radio with us back then and also listened for the big emergency siren mounted on top of a big tower next to the fire hall. Every day at high noon and 9:30pm at night the siren on the fire hall would sound a single practice warning blast. The farmers would then know it was time to head home for lunch and at night the kids knew they were late getting home for bed. If the siren sounded more than once, the firefighters were trained to make sure their radios were on and to get themselves to the fire hall as quickly as possible. Once the fire hall, to assemble needed equipment and to move the firetrucks out onto the driveway and to prepare to leave as a team for whatever emergency had arisen. Sometimes it was a fire, sometimes an car accident, and occasionally and thankfully sometimes just a false alarm. When the call did come, it was comforting to know that we had the right equipment and proper training.
If the practice siren did not ring at the expected time, we knew that a repairman had to be called in. If the radio was silent on a scheduled training night, it was time to check and make sure it was working or find out why it wasn't. In this volunteer vocation, being prepared was sometimes the difference between life and death. It was important.
My name is not just Brother Davies but also 'Roger'. As we often used that same word in our radio conversations, it had some potential to cause some communications confusion. I needed to listen carefully to make sure I knew who was being talked to (or talked about). A family story: Back then my youngest daughter Adrien was still young herself and I had been given a old backup radio scanner for use in my home. On that scanner, when set to the appropriate channels, you could hear what was being said back and forth but could not respond. 'Roger this' or 'Roger that' was often heard. My good wife reported back to me that during one typical evening of emergency training, little Adrien had overheard us talking back and forth on the scanner and had finally gone over and picked up the scanner and tried to talk directly into it .. “Dad, I hear you .. .. what do you want?”
So, how could this apply to our lives? Yours and mine. Yes, we live in spiritually dangerous times. We need workers in the gospel to put their shoulders to the wheel. We are called every week to meet together here for training and preparation and then we go out and rescue those in trouble. We understand and generally apply this well on spiritual level, but what about just being physically prepared? If something did happen – job loss, disaster .. fire, flood, or famine, an accident, an illness. What would you do? If if happened to your family member or to a neighbour, what would you be prepared to do to help?
Story 2 – Get Ready What have we been told by the church leaders? Do we have a garden, vegetable seeds, an actual supply of food that our family will eat, an emergency savings fund, a wood stove .. wood? Oops, I have a garden, but I keep it out in the back yard .. under the grass? So you know I need to repent as well, in some areas. Winter is coming.
I find it interesting that we are often told what needs to be done, but not exactly how to do it. We need to follow the spirit to learn what to do. Study it out in our own minds and then ask if it is right or wrong. We then proceed with best intentions until we succeed or need to find a better way.
For example. When the Brother of Jared was leading his people out of danger to a new promised land. He was given some direction (ie. head north) ..
Ether 1:41 Go to and gather together thy flocks, both male and female, of every kind; and also of the seed of the earth of every kind; and thy families; and also Jared thy brother and his family; and also thy friends and their families, and the friends of Jared and their families. 42 And when thou hast done this thou shalt go at the head of them down into the valley which is northward. And there will I meet thee, and I will go before thee into a land which is choice above all the lands of the earth.
.. but not specifics in all things.
Ether 2:18 And it came to pass that the brother of Jared cried unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, I have performed the work which thou hast commanded me, and I have made the barges according as thou hast directed me. 19 And behold, O Lord, in them there is no light; whither shall we steer? And also we shall perish, for in them we cannot breathe, save it is the air which is in them; therefore we shall perish.
.. in answer to Brother Jared's Brother's concerns of How to Steer, and getting Air to Breath, and Light to See, the Lord said he would steer, told them how to make air holes, and then asked:
Ether 2:25 .. Therefore what will ye that I should prepare for you that ye may have light when ye are swallowed up in the depths of the sea?
The Lord lets us learn by doing. As parents we must learn from him. Teach the principles by word and by deed, and then let our students, our children, think and succeed and learn on their own.
Story 3 – Prosper Summary – Be Wise
If ye are prepared .. and keep the commandments .. you will be blessed (prosper).
Heavenly Father is the master teacher. He starts teaching us long before we are going to need the lesson and moves us to where we need to be. Noah was given 900 years to prepare the ark. Pharaoh and Joseph was warned to prepare in 7 years of plenty before having to live through 7 years of famine – saving many of their family from starvation. Lehi was instructed to move his family to the wilderness both to save his life immediately but also to save his family from destruction, along with the city of Jerusalem, in the longer term.
A friend in Northern Alberta once recounted to me having a FHE lesson out on the roof of his garage. They all crawled out of the window and onto the roof to have their lesson. His wise father was teaching on following the spirit and how it might have felt to be Lehi when he was asked to move his family out of their comfortable home out into the wilderness. He recounted seeing the looks of the neighbours and wondering what they might have been thinking about them. It doesn't much matter what others think. Like the prophet Nephi, we need to 'go and do the things that the Lord has commanded'.
Build a food storage. Plant a garden. Learn how to store it. How to use it. These warning instructions should be very familiar by now.
Get out of debt. Save for a rainy day. These teachings can help protect us now and in the future.
They apply spiritually as well as physically.
SOS – Save our Souls! What is a soul? Without the spirit, the body is just dust. Without the body, the spirit cannot progress. Your soul is your physical body joined with your eternal spirit. You can be 'saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel' in all ways: both physically and temporally as well as mentally and spiritually. Follow the prophet and live.
As Jacob would say: O be wise; what can I say more? (Jacob 6:12)
Jacob 4:8 Behold, great and marvelous are the works of the Lord. How unsearchable are the depths of the mysteries of him; and it is impossible that man should find out all his ways. And no man knoweth of his ways save it be revealed unto him; wherefore, brethren, despise not the revelations of God.
Jacob 4:10 Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works.
I leave the final words to King Benjamin ..
Mosiah 4:29 And finally, I cannot tell you all the things whereby ye may commit sin (ie not listen and prepare); for there are divers ways and means, even so many that I cannot number them.
Mosiah 4:30 But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not.