Prophetic Support for a Modern Campout
Would I Stay or Would I Go Now?
As a youth, I was often asked to consider if I had enough faith in God to leave my earthly possessions, pack up and go wherever God called me to go. From the comfort of the hypothetical easychair of course I say “YES”. But in reality, would I do it now?
I find it fascinating how often and repeatedly God called out those who heard his voice from among their fellow city dwellers, to head for the hills…or the wilderness. I have a big long list now, like 49 times he called His people out. Just ask me if you’re interested.
While the circumstances vary, the principles and reasons are consistent. Before His wrath descends upon the people, God calls out the righteous to a place of safety for strength, protection, and to spare their lives. Think about it, Noah and his family were spared while all others drowned in the flood, the Children of Israel fled from Egypt, Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt, saints fled Jerusalem and the emperor Titus in 70 AD. In the Book of Mormon, Lehi and family flee Jerusalem before the calamities foretold, Nephi flees from Laman and Lemuel, the people of Ammon flee the Lamanites, Mosiah and his people flee destruction (Omni 1:12). And Limhi’s people flee the wicked out the back pass (Mosiah 22:6-1).
In 1848, my great grandmother Louisa Barnes Pratt hastily sold the family farm in Nauvoo Illinois for a team, a wagon and supplies to make the westward trek to build yet again in Utah. She packed up her four young daughters while her husband Addison Pratt made his way back to the states from a mission to Tahiti. She recalled her sadness leaving the Mormon settlement in Nauvoo. “For days we walked and wept as we crossed the barren desert: thinking of the loved ones behind us, and of those who had gone before.”
Could it ever really happen again?
I’m 50. I’ve read through all the major books of scripture at least a half dozen times, but now I’m seeing themes I did not notice before. The biggest ‘aha’ for me is that another physical gathering out from among the wicked appears eminent, just as God has done through his prophets dozens of times before. Why have I believed that would never happen in this day? I dunno. I thought we were only gathering in heart and mind anymore. It’s not the first time I’ve been blinded by my own unbelief, and it may not be the last.
In the past I viewed emergency preps as applicable to a loss of income OR for natural disasters only. But coming to grips with the notion of “packing our provisions and tents, taking no other material possessions” just as Lehi and family did back in 600 BC sounded so unlikely and just a little wacko for modern times.
In my last post I mentioned that several church members have now published visions and dreams about a future gathering. Putting it all in a book may just be the modern way of standing on a street corner and shouting out your message to whomever will listen. Just so you have an idea, here is a brief summary of what these people saw:
A call comes from the President of the Church to the bishops and through the proper priesthood channels letting you know it is time to leave. Then, big semi trucks come in the early hours of the night to pick up food storage, bedding, and everything else we’ve been asked to prepare on LDS.org. After the food and supplies are loaded onto trucks, then families are told where to go to form tent cities, all over the country, but generally gathering in the Rocky Mountains.
Each area in the US travels differently, some leave in individual cars or meet and leave in groups, on tour busses, etc. Each of these church members saw that God loving people who were not members of the Church of Jesus Christ gathered with the saints for safety. That’s the general idea for how the gathering part goes. After some space of time, mother earth unleashes her testimony; the testimony of great commotion, upheavals in the land, thunderings, lightnings, earthquakes, waves of the ocean heaving themselves beyond their bounds, etc. You get the idea.
Understanding now that ALL of God’s children are invited to obtain the spirit of prophecy, both to discern truth and error AND to see and know of future events by the power of the Holy Spirit, (See Dreams and Visions in the Last Days), it is always wise to stay with the scriptures and teachings of the living prophets, teaching “the principles of my gospel, which are in the Bible and the Book of Mormon” (D&C 42:12), and “expounding the mysteries thereof out of the scriptures” (D&C 71:1, emphasis added). Here’s what living prophets who’ve been specifically ordained to that gift and responsibility, have been saying about the summary events just given. Make of it what you will.
Gathering Out of the Saints
Elder Oaks in the April 2004 General Conference encouraged all members of the Church throughout the world to “accelerate our own preparation and try to influence the preparation of those around us.”
Elder H. Aldridge (Second Quorum of the Seventy) LDS Business College Devotional, February 8th, 2005
“We must both learn what these signs are and then identify them correctly when they occur. They can and will strengthen our faith in Christ and His prophets, if we know the scriptures. Just as in the days of Noah, a way is already prepared for the escape of the Lord’s elect Latter-Day Saints, if they are in tune with His prophets.”
Harold B. Lee Conference Report, April 1948
Thus, clearly, the Lord has placed the responsibility for directing the work of gathering in the hands of the leaders of the Church to whom he will reveal his will where and when such gatherings would take place in the future.
It would be well before the frightening events concerning the fulfillment of all God’s promises and predictions are upon us, that the Saints in every land prepare themselves and look forward to the instruction that shall come to them from the First Presidency of this Church as to where they shall be gathered and not be disturbed in their feelings until such instruction is given to them as it is revealed by the Lord to the proper authority.
Henry B. Eyring – Raise the Bar (BYU-Idaho Talk – January 2005)
“The giant earthquake, and the tsunami it sent crashing into the coasts around the Indian Ocean, is just the beginning and a part of what is to come, terrible as it was.
You remember the words from the Doctrine and Covenants which now seem so accurate: (he quotes D&C 88:88-91)
Fear shall come upon all people. But you and I know that the Lord has prepared places of safety to which he is eager to guide us….It will be our choice whether or not to move up or stay where we are. But the Lord will invite and guide us upward by the direction of the Holy Ghost….
I did not plan to speak to you about the hard times that are ahead and they are real, and they are coming….”
Joseph Smith – The teaching of the prophet Joseph Smith, Section 2, P.71
“…for without Zion, and a place of deliverance, we must fall; because the time is near when the sun will be darkened, and the moon turn to blood, and the stars fall from the heaven, and the earth reel to and fro.
Then, if this is the case, and if we are not sanctified and gathered to the places God has appointed, with all our former professions and our great love for the Bible, we must fall; we cannot stand; we cannot be saved; for God will gather out his saints from the Gentiles, and then comes desolation and destruction, and none can escape except the pure in heart who are gathered.”
Joseph Smith DHC 4:272
“In addition to all temporal blessings, there is no other way for the Saints to be saved in these last days, than by gathering….”
Book of Mormon Alma 26:5-7
And they shall be gathered into the garners, that they are not wasted.
Yea, they shall not be beaten down by the storm at the last day; yea, neither shall they be harrowed up by the whirlwinds; but when the storm cometh they shall be gathered together in their place, that the storm cannot penetrate to them; yea, neither shall they be driven with fierce winds whithersoever the enemy listeth to carry them.
But behold, they are in the hands of the Lord of the harvest, and they are his; and he will raise them up at the last day.
James E. Talmage, Conference Report, October 1921, p.188
“Great and grand as is this people, mighty as are the works that have been accomplished through the blessings of God through his servants in these days, there is too little real prayer among the Latter-day Saints, too many prayerless homes, and hence the spread of spiritual contagion among some of us. Thank the Lord not among many, relatively speaking. I have faith in my people, for I knew that they are the Lord’s people, and I am proud to be one of them; but when the cry shall come, as come it shall: “To your tents, O Israel,” for there are struggles ahead, the Lord knows where to find those who have been faithful.”
Brigham Young, Mosiah Hancock Autobiography, typescript, BYU-S, p.73
Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, Vol.9, p.154, June 19, 1862
This people know enough to be righteous, honest, pure, and virtuous; and those who will not practice that which they know to be good will become habituated to folly and vice, just in the same way that men became habituated to using tobacco, to stealing, drinking, and lying.
“When the time comes that the Lord says, “Arise and to your tents, O Israel;” then men be pure inside and out; they must be for God, or they will have no part in the blessings conferred upon the righteous.”
President Eyring, April 1997 General Conference, “Safety in Counsel”
President Eyring says this in his 1997 General Conference talk called “Safety in Counsel.”
The church has posted this talk 3 times in the Ensign.
Henry B, Eyring, “Safety in Counsel” June 2008 First Presidency Message
Henry B, Eyring, “Finding Safety in Counsel” November 2001 Ensign
Henry B, Eyring, “Finding Safety in Counsel” April 1997 General Conference
The talk starts out with the warnings of the prophets, standing on safe ground, having listening ears and reaching out to others. The very last paragraph of the talk says:
“We are blessed to live in a time when the priesthood keys are on the earth. We are blessed to know where to look and how to listen for the voice that will fulfill the promise of the Lord that He will gather us to safety. I pray that we will have humble hearts, that we will listen, that we will pray, and that we will wait for the deliverance of the Lord that is sure to come as we are faithful.”
There is also another pattern the Lord has followed in the scriptures. He usually gathers his people out during the Spring or the Fall and either around or on the holy days. All the holy days occur during the Spring (March – May) and during the Fall (Sept – Nov.) time. For example, the Israelites left Egypt on the night of passover which is during the springtime. They were also only given about a 72 hour time frame to escape. Keep in mind that general conference is in the Spring and in the Fall as well. And, the solstices and therefore blood moons within the universe always occur during this time too. Read more in my post BLOOD MOON RISING.
Where can I turn for peace?
Considering all the upheaval and chaos that’s foretold, I love these comforting words from President Howard W. Hunter,
“Knowing what we know, and living as we are supposed to live, there really is no place, no excuse, for pessimism and despair….
“I promise you in the name of the Lord whose servant I am that God will always protect and care for his people. We will have our difficulties the way every generation and people have had difficulties. But with the gospel of Jesus Christ, you have every hope and promise and reassurance. The Lord has power over his Saints and will always prepare places of peace, defense, and safety for his people. When we have faith in God we can hope for a better world-for us personally, and for all mankind.”
President Howard W. Hunter, “An Anchor to the Souls of Men,” Ensign, Oct. 1993, 70.
On September 12, 2010 in a Regional Conference in Provo involving over a half million members, Elder Holland gave a talk about the faith of the pioneers who were called by the prophet to move and settle new areas south of Salt Lake and other states. He spoke of 2 specific examples of early pioneers who were called by a prophet to move and settle into new areas outside of Salt Lake. He went through their tremendous struggles and difficulties that they had to endure. I attended this meeting and thought it odd that his talk was so focused on pioneer stories. I mean, this was September, not Pioneer Day in July. He said:
“The fundamental driving force in these stories is faith. Rock ribbed, furnace refined, event filled, spiritually girded faith that this is the truth…the very church and kingdom of God on earth. And, when you’re called, you go. Build your faith so you have a reservoir to call upon when tasks, challenges and demands come.”
Elder Packer in the same conference said that “Elder Holland and others talked about the pioneer days. They had the easy part. From now on it’s going to be different and it’s going to be rougher...when you think of the hole in the rock or rocky ridge, or the other places where the pioneers served. In many ways, their part was easier than our part is going to be.”
The speakers at this conference were Elder Packer, Elder Holland, Elder Snow and Sister Beck.
Shellie McDermott of nofearpreps.com shared, “I have been praying for some guidance on tent cities. My answer came as I was serving in Stake Relief Society. I was preparing to train several new Relief Society Presidencies and went to the LDS website to download some training videos. I attended these training sessions for Stake Relief Society Presidencies with Sister Julie Beck and was happy to see them available for us to use or for that matter any one on lds.org to view. But there was one video on Self Reliance that I hadn’t seen before.
I began playing it and was surprised to hear her talk about tents. The video is inspiring and gives you such hope for the hard times because the Lord is planning for us if we just do our little part (which seems to include every family having a tent).”
The video is no longer accessible online. But here is what Julie Beck said when she talked about tents.
“I have a sense and a feeling as we have watched some of these disasters in the world, that this is a time for us to learn and prepare from these experiences. Sister Thompson gave a testimony of that, and the preparation happens in our own homes. There are not enough tents in the world to furnish every person with a tent unless the members of the church have a tent in their own homes…a simple
thing like that. And then the storehouse is pressed down, heaped over and running over in our own homes. Some of you have student apartments, how prepared are you? If an earthquake or economic disaster happened, would you have enough water to drink for 24 hours? Would you be able to get by until help could come to you. Those are the kind of the things we need to be thinking about in our day and time, the Lord expects us to do our little part and then He can bring on the miracles and then we don’t need to fear.”…
Not only did the ten virgins have a requirement of oil in their lamps, the pioneers did as well. Joseph Smith told the saints of his time to store an 18 month supply of food and many listened while others did not. Brigham Young not only told them to store food but gave them a list of items that they were to have to prepare against the future.
A prerequisite was placed on the first group of pioneers that left with Brigham Young. They had to have all the items on the list that he gave them and their 18 months food supply before they could join the company. An Ensign article in October 2001, Sturdy Shoes and a Waterproof Tent tells the story, along with many other lessons we can learn from church history.
“Members in Utah suffered through a harsh famine in early 1856 caused by a drought, grasshopper plague, and severe winter. From April to October 1855 no rains fell. Grasshoppers cleaned county after county of grain and fruit. Dry forests burned that fall. Deep winter snows and cold killed thousands of cattle. By January 1856 the pioneers faced starvation. Their efforts to survive suggest lessons about food storage, food shortages, and food rationing.” read the article here
Cleon Skousen in his book, “Cleansing of America,”p.5 says:
“This last phrase, ‘I will bring the fullness of my gospel from among them,’ has always meant removing God’s people and especially the missionaries from among them. Once God has gathered out his people from the midst of the wicked, God’s cleansing will be imminent.”
There are many indicators throughout Isaiah that tell the story of the time of trouble, and time of destruction — and of the exodus that takes place just before the destruction. The essence of this teaching is that the Lord is bound to protect His people who have kept their covenants — thus He will lead them out on an exodus, just before the destruction.
Isaiah is very impressed with what happened to King Hezekiah — and he structures his entire book around this central idea. In Isaiah 37, the Assyrians surround Jerusalem with their armies and threaten to destroy the city. Isaiah tells righteous King Hezekiah not to worry. During the night, an angel kills all 185,000 soldiers. The reason: the people have fulfilled the terms of the Davidic covenant, and the Lord was bound to protect them. Isaiah included this story in his book to show that the Lord really will save his covenant people, by leading them out on an Exodus prior to the destruction as he has so many times before.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, April 2011 General Conference, “An Ensign to the Nations” pg. 113 May Ensign
In the 2011 spring conference President Holland in the Sunday afternoon session said:
“Brothers and sisters, in general conference we offer our testimonies in conjunction with other testimonies that will come, because one way or another God will have his voice heard. “I sent you out to testify and warn the people,” the Lord has said to his prophets.
“And after your testimony cometh the testimony of earthquakes,….of thundering,….lightnings, and….tempests, and the voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds…”
“And angels shall…[cry] with a loud voice, sounding the trump of God.”
Now, these mortal angels come to this pulpit have, each in his or her own way, sounded “the trump of God.” Every sermon given is always, by definition, both a testimony of love and a warning, even as nature herself will testify with love and a warning in the last days.”
Remember when President Gordon B. Hinckley said in October Conference 1998, “It is time to get our houses in order….” “There is a portent of stormy weather ahead to which we had better give heed”?
PORTENT STORM= a sign or warning that something, especially something momentous or calamitous, is about to happen.
President Benson in his General Conference Report in October 1987 said “I ask you earnestly, have you provided for your family a year’s supply of food, clothing, and where possible fuel? The revelation to produce and store food may be as essential to our temporal welfare today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah.”
Yet, that was 30 years ago. So what about now? President Thomas S. Monson in the September 2014 Ensign, First Presidency Message asked,
“Are we prepared for the emergencies in our lives? Are our skills perfected? Do we live providently? Do we have our reserve supply on hand? Are we responsive to the teachings of the prophets? Are we prepared to give of our substance to the poor, the needy? Are we square with the Lord? We live in turbulent times. Often the future is unknown; therefore, it behooves us to prepare for uncertainties. When the time for decision arrives, the time for preparation is past.”
A Time for Decision?
He could’ve said, “When the time of tribulation or catastrophe arrives… your prepping days are over.” Instead, he may be alluding to a future moment of decision wherein preparation is no more.
Are you prepared?
And will you go?
So, I’m awake now, and accelerating our preps. I think we’ve still got time, but we gotta hustle our bustle like we’re late for work.
If you’ve read my last two posts then you’ve seen what I saw.
Maybe you feel what I’ve felt.
Now, make of it what you will.
Thank you for sharing comments below so others can benefit.
See LDS.ORG/Emergency Preparedness for prep recommendations from the presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints. Many of the fabulous quotes here came from this site. http://www.nofearpreps.com/ I recommend going there too to see how well you are set up in your preparations.