When I was a very young child, my family lived in British Columbia, Canada on a mostly self sustaining farm. Almost everything we ate came from what we grew or raised. The milk we drank came warm from the cow named Molly. My mom turned it into homemade yogurt, butter and ice cream. The eggs from our chickens went into all kinds of different things.
I have strong memories of exactly how sausage is made. They raised the cows and pigs that turned into the bacon, ham and roast. Butchering it all on the kitchen table after being slaughtered outside. And usually, after anything to do with meat preparation for a week or more I’d suddenly be a vegetarian.
The farm we lived on was 160 acres surrounded by untamed forrest.
It required hours of manual labour and months of hard work. But it provided such a wide variety of foodstuffs.
At one point, my dad was out of work for three months. They had no money. My parents had to call and explain why they couldn’t pay their bills.
Even in those circumstances, we ate like kings. My parents felt guilty that we were eating so good when they couldn’t pay their bills. But the deep freezers were full. The well-house, a small building that provided the warmth to keep the water well from the ground from freezing, was full of home canned food and storage vegetables.
Recently I found this amazing quote from Russell M Nelson:
Future trials could result from an accident, a natural disaster, or an unexpected personal heartache. How can we endure such trials? The Lord has told us that “if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” Of course, we can store our own reserves of food, water, and savings. But equally crucial is our need to fill our personal spiritual storehouses with faith, truth, and testimony.”Russell M. Nelson – “Opening Message”
My parents put in the work ahead to prepare for times when my dad didn’t have an outside job. They had learned the skills they needed and positioned themselves for when a storm came so they would be okay.
I want a personal spiritual storehouse the prophet mentioned. And I want my children to have one too. There are simple things that can help us fill up our own personal storehouses. Brick by brick, adding to the frame of a testimony that can keep us rooted when the storms of life blow.
After praying about what adds to my own personal spiritual storehouse I came up with a list of things that I know I need to do to be prepared.
1. Keep the Sabbath Day Holy.
Church attendance is as vital to a disciple as a transfusion of healthy blood to a sick man.”Dwight L. Moody
Yes, right now church looks different. But we have the opportunity to still practice our religion on Sundays. If you have access to a Priesthood holder like I do, then you are able to get the Sacrament in your home. It has been a soul stirring experience to watch my sons prepare and pass the sacrament to their sisters and parents. Something I will never forget. If you don’t have access to the Sacrament, there are still ways to keep the Sabbath Day holy.
2. Study Scriptures.
When we read the scriptures we are hearing the voice of the Saviour. He is not absent from our lives. He is actively positioned in the verses of these holy books.”Cheryl C. Lant – “My Soul Delighteth in the Scriptures”
Especially lately, I have found so much solace in searching and pondering the words in the Scriptures. When I feel overwhelmed with the storms of life pushing in on my mental and emotional health, I find peace, comfort and strength in the words of Christ. God blesses me every time I put any effort into studying His words.
Prayer is your personal Key to heaven.”Boyd K. Packer – “Prayer and Promptings”
I struggle to hold still. Even physically sometimes. And I realized lately that I need to do better on physically holding still for my entire prayer. It’s funny that is a thing for me at 42. But it is. So I have recently started doing 4 deep breaths before I pray. Releasing energy and stilling myself with slow deep breaths so that I can hear and speak to God. It has made a huge difference in my prayers and I’m loving this small prompting to improve my daily prayers with God.
I have had too many experiences with prayer in my life to ever doubt that God is there listening, waiting to talk to me. There is great peace and strength to be found when I stop, hold still and listen when I pray.
By our good works we magnify what is mighty in us all, one step at a time, one day at a time, all the time.”Elaine L. Jack – “Walk With Me.”
My mother has always been a great example to me of the gift of service. Helping other people just makes her happy. And I grew up seeing that and learning of it at a young age. She often would share what she had made herself because that is what she had to give.
When we add any of our own personal sacrifice to our service it helps sanctify whatever we have done.
5. Listen to the Holy Ghost.
Learning to discern the teachings of the Spirit is an important part of helping faith become a reality.”Janette Hales Beckham – “Making Faith a Reality.”
There is a great emphasis lately from the prophet encouraging us to learn how we Hear Him. I recently realized that for me personally, God gives me small assignments to do. That is one of the best ways I hear him. Doing something like writing this article or preparing a talk for our home Sacrament meetings allow me opportunities to be still and hear Him. God gives me work and in that work I find Him.
6. Temple + Covenants
I promise you that, with increased attendance in the temples of our God, you shall receive increased personal revelation to bless your life as you bless those who have died.”Ezra Taft Benson – “The Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants.”
I miss the temple deeply. So much. It’s one of the biggest things I find myself wishing we could do right now. Even though they are temporarily closed, we can still access the blessings because of the covenants we have already made there. Holding fast to those covenants we made previously will help us in this current time of temple closure. It has made me very thankful for every moment I have spent in the temple.
It takes exactly as long to repent as it takes you to say ‘I’ll change’ and mean it.”Jeffrey R. Holland – “How to Change.”
Daily repentance reminds us again and again of our deep need for a Saviour. In the process of coming to the Lord and asking for forgiveness, our testimonies are strengthen. Our resolve to be better is strengthened. It can be a joyful process that reminds us of all that Jesus Christ has given us through his eternal gift of the Atonement and Resurrection.
8. Follow the Prophet
There is safety in following the word of the Lord through His prophets.”Carole M. Stephens – “If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments.”
I have found such great peace in listening to the words of President Nelson. I feel drawn to anything he has to say like a parched plant waiting for water. I know that he is a prophet of God and he is who we need to watch. Following him will bring faith, testimony and trust into our own personal lives.
9. Come Follow Me.
The prophet has repeatedly told us that if we use the Come Follow Me program in our homes, that our families lives will change. We will have protection for our spiritual selves. Through learning the doctrine in a personal way with our families, we strengthen our bonds to each other and to God.
Each of these things is a small act. And those small acts together, repeated throughout times of trail and times of ease will form and strengthen our own personal spiritual storehouses. It will bring peace and comfort and trust because it will be deepening our personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In Him, we will be able to withstand anything that may come our way.
I made a family home evening kit that you can download and use to teach this list to your family if you’d like too. It’s available here for free. I hope it helps you in your homes.