John Mateara: Prepare for times of scarcity

Friday August 14, 2020 Written by John Mateara, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Published in Church Talk
In Otara, south Auckland, a woman stocks up for groceries for her family for this week’s new lockdown. JASON DORDAY / STUFF 20081220 In Otara, south Auckland, a woman stocks up for groceries for her family for this week’s new lockdown. JASON DORDAY / STUFF 20081220

OPINION: Can we cope if the economic downturn worsens? The Bible urges us to be prepared.

During these challenging times it is important that we do the best we can to prepare for times of uncertainty and scarcity.

At the moment we seem to have adequate supplies coming in to the country to sustain our needs. The question is, will it remain so? Will our borders continue to be accessible? Can we cope if the economic down turn we are currently experiencing continues on its downward trend?

The scriptures invite us to watch and be ready and prepare ourselves against the calamities of our day. Let us be aware of what is happening in the world around us and even within our borders so we can ready ourselves and prepare every needful thing.

“Be prepared, and prepare yourself, you and all your companions that are assembled about you…”  (Ezekiel 38:7)

In the book of Genesis, Bible history tells of a prolonged famine in Egypt and the surrounding lands. The famine lasted seven years and was so severe that people had nothing to eat.

However Joseph of Egypt had initiated a plan to collect extra grain from previous good years and store it away. When the famine was at its peak there was enough grain for the people of Egypt and for the people from the neighbouring countries who travelled to Egypt to buy food.

From the book of Matthew in the bible we learn of the five wise virgins who had trimmed their lamps and had sufficient oil to keep their lamps burning to await the arrival of the Bridegroom.

However the five unwise virgins did not have enough oil in their lamps. While they went their way to get more oil the Bridegroom arrived so when the unwise virgins returned, the door to the reception was closed.

In light of these unprecedented times in which we live, I extend an invitation to all, that we organise ourselves and prepare every needful thing. Let us follow Joseph of Egypt’s example and prepare ourselves for times of famine, and like the wise virgins ensure that our lamps are trimmed and we have sufficient oil.

One favoured passage of mine comes from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants: “Organise yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.”

We can organise ourselves and prepare every needful thing … this might include; having a welfare storage of food and commodities, drinking water, medication, petrol, diesel, available savings, credit on our power and phone accounts, freedom from the bondage of debt, planting of our home gardens, raise some livestock, learn how to fish or gather seafood, more regular personal and family prayers, consistent building of our faith and trust in God.

As we prepare every needful thing during these challenging times let us remember just to do what we can while we still can.

As we prepare we can seek for the guidance of a loving Heavenly Father. He will strengthen us and help us to overcome our fears and endure our challenges in the days ahead. God loves us.

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee.” (Isaiah 41:10)

“Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you.” (Doctrine & Covenants 68:6)

Leave a comment