Jacob 6:11 O then, my beloved brethren, repent ye, and enter in at the strait gate, and continue in the way which is narrow, until ye shall obtain eternal life. 12 O be wise; what can I say more?
We live in a world of uncertainty. Unexpected events may occur at any moment. Recently while on vacation I came across an 'opoly' for sale at a gift shop. An 'opoly' is a version of the board game Monopoly. This one was called Ocean-opoly and featured sea creature tokens and name places. I already own a version called Possum-opoly – based on TV characters from one of my favorite shows; the Red Green show. Were I to make a version of this game, it would be called Life-opoly. In Life-opoly you circle the board visiting places like work, home, school, church and activities like FHE, Scriptures, Prayer, Home Teaching. A major feature of the 'opoly' is the random nature of the play – roll the dice to see where you land. The space you land on may require you to spend money, move forward or backward, or draw a Random Chance card and deal with that new situation. Just like the real world.
- Hurricane Irene is approaching your home in NYC. Your house is near the ocean. Roll dice to determine how much damage will occur and go to Pennsylvania for 2 turns. p.s. Make sure to study because your Dental Exam is still scheduled for next Tuesday. (Ali-Jo and Justice).
- Your hotel rooms have been robbed while you were out to dinner. Lose all your cash and property except for what you are carrying with you. Go back 3 spaces. Have a nice vacation! (Lance/DeNai Roger/Shauna/Adrien)
- Your passports have been stolen while visiting a third world vacation resort. Spend 5 days rescheduling and filling out forms. Lose 2 turns and the rest of your money (Bonaire).
- Your vehicle breaks down while travelling back from a family reunion. Wait 1 turn and possibly spend $500 to repair it. (Grandma O).
- You have fallen off a ladder and hit your head while fixing a door in the garage. Retire from the game. Your family must pay the funeral expenses. (Harold S.)
Mosiah 4:27 And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order. .. 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.
When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed. When you are discouraged thinking all is lost. Count your blessings. Name them one by one. And it will surprise you what the Lord has done. When Life seems big and overwhelming, I find it comforting to think: this is just one big game .. Life-opoly. It is not everything. It is not the end. There is no single winner or loser - except those who give up or choose not to play. In Life-opoly you win by how you play and who you help, not by how much you have at the end. When a problem arises, don't get mad. Learn to laugh. Comfort and help each other. Oops – had to draw another random chance card. What am I to learn from this? See the big picture.
Prepare for potential problems. The Lord through his prophets have counselled us to be prepared. We are to prepare spiritually – studying scriptures daily, praying, attending meetings, doing good works. We are to prepare financially – learning a trade, working, paying an honest tithe, saving for emergencies and staying out of unnecessary debt. We are to prepare temporally – growing a garden, storing food and water, using what we are blessed with prudently to bless our families and those around us.
The Lord has said, “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear” (D&C 38:30). President Hinkley (Ensign Oct 2005 If Ye are Prepared) says:
“We can so live that we can call upon the Lord for His protection and guidance. This is a first priority. We cannot expect His help if we are unwilling to keep His commandments. We in this Church have evidence enough of the penalties of disobedience in the examples of both the Jaredite and the Nephite nations. Each went from glory to utter destruction because of wickedness.
We know, of course, that the rain falls on the just as well as the unjust (see Matt. 5:45). But even though the just die they are not lost, but are saved through the Atonement of the Redeemer. Paul wrote to the Romans, “For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord” (Rom. 14:8).
We can heed warnings. We have been told that many had been given concerning the vulnerability of New Orleans. We are told by seismologists that the Salt Lake Valley is a potential earthquake zone. This is the primary reason that we are extensively renovating the Tabernacle on Temple Square. This historic and remarkable building must be made to withstand the shaking of the earth.
We have built grain storage and storehouses and stocked them with the necessities of life in the event of a disaster. But the best storehouse is the family storeroom. In words of revelation the Lord has said, “Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing” (D&C 109:8).
Our people for three-quarters of a century have been counseled and encouraged to make such preparation as will assure survival should a calamity come.
We can set aside some water, basic food, medicine, and clothing to keep us warm. We ought to have a little money laid aside in case of a rainy day.”
The little miracles. God knows now what needs we will have and is taking steps to help us. We do not always understand the why until after the need is met. Why a garden, a rainy day savings account, a food storage? Who will need my help? What can I do?
Our little group was blessed to be able to return only 2 days later than planned despite having lost 5 out of 9 passports and other ID along with other items – cameras, computers and cash. Despite the fact we were in a foreign third world country, 1) I happened to be carrying both my own and my good wife's Driver License with me in my own wallet, a rare occurrence. 2) The office we were directed to only had 5 emergency travel documents available, just enough for our need. 3) The credit card I kept with me had a large enough limit to allow us to stay the extra 2 days in Curacao, pay for food and the new airline tickets back home, the card I usually carry was 'lost' the day before we left and had to be reissued. 4) we were all safely out at the restaurant at the time of the robbery.
Hymn 128: I will not doubt, I will not fear; God's love and strength are always near. His promised gift helps me to find an inner strength and peace of mind. I give the Father willing, my trust, my prayers, humility. His spirit guides; his love assures that fear departs when faith endures.