Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Warning: Prophecy and Today's Economy

I'm no doomsayer, but let me just say, "Doom. DOOM!"

Okay, I'm kidding - but my topic today is a serious one: preparation for the tough times ahead.

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, members are assigned to give talks in sacrament meeting. In a sacrament meeting talk today, the brother speaking brought up an interesting point - a connection I hadn't noticed before.

He mentioned the October 2001 General Conference, wherein President Gordon B. Hinckley (the prophet at that time) spoke of the condition of the world, an especially apt and poignant message given about three weeks following the September 11th attacks on America.

In this talk, the prophet said, "I cannot forget the great lesson of Pharaoh’s dream of the fat and lean kine and of the full and withered stalks of corn." The scriptural lesson to which he referred is here. The full text of his General Conference talk is here.

One thing I've noticed is that often the prophecies in the scriptures are cyclical in nature - they foretell of events that occur in biblical times, yet those events are often precursors to similar events that are to occur later in the "end times." In this case, Pharaoh's dream was nigh at hand for him - yet I believe a similar event is again nigh.

Here's the interesting thing: here we are SEVEN years (almost exactly) after President Hinckley's talk, and we've enjoyed a period of prosperity, and now we are seeing the economy taking a turn toward those prophesied seven years of famine.

And, I believe, we should be following the admonitions we've received to do as Pharaoh did: stock up for the lean times. (Those links contain solid, practical advice on how best to ready yourself.)

We've been counseled that "if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear." I know that my own house is not nearly in as much order as I would like it to be, but I am also aware of my many blessings and I'm grateful for them. In an effort to ready ourselves, we're looking for ways to consolidate our debt so we can pay it off and be in a better financial position.

I just know that all the prophecies are true, and will indeed come to pass, as we've been warned over and over again. (As with most lessons, it seems to take many repetitions for us to finally learn.)

It's time to start heeding the warnings - not to freak out all Y2K-style - but to really get it together and consider our circumstances, and ask ourselves if we are prepared for lean times.

Joseph told Pharaoh that the seven years would be so bad that people wouldn't even remember how good they had had it before. Let's appreciate how good we have it now, and also prepare for the hard times, so that we aren't so bad off we can't even remember what it's like to be comfortable.

As President Harold B. Lee said, "The Gospel is intended to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable."

If you're feeling a little "itchy" feeling in your gut, maybe it would behoove you to assess your current level of preparation for the times that are surely ahead, and then take appropriate action to ensure your future well being.

"Every man who has been warned [should] warn his neighbor."

Consider yourself warned.

[UPDATE: This 1980 talk by President Benson is entirely applicable today, and worth a read.]

No comments:

My Family

My Family
THIS is what it's all about. (July 2013)

Nikon FX-Format