Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Elder Dallin H. Oaks on spiritual preparedness

President Dallin H. Oaks (born August 12, 1932) served as president of BYU from 1971-1980.  He was then appointed as a justice of the Utah Supreme Court, and resigned when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1984. He became President of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles and also 1st Counselor in the First Presidency in January 2018.
"What if the day of His coming were tomorrow? If we knew that we would meet the Lord tomorrow—through our premature death or through His unexpected coming—what would we do today? What confessions would we make? What practices would we discontinue? What accounts would we settle? What forgivenesses would we extend? What testimonies would we bear?
"If we would do those things then, why not now? Why not seek peace while peace can be obtained? If our lamps of preparation are drawn down, let us start immediately to replenish them.
"We need to make both temporal and spiritual preparation for the events prophesied at the time of the Second Coming. And the preparation most likely to be neglected is the one less visible and more difficult—the spiritual. A 72-hour kit of temporal supplies may prove valuable for earthly challenges, but, as the foolish virgins learned to their sorrow, a 24-hour kit of spiritual preparation is of greater and more enduring value."
- Dallin H. Oaks, "Preparation for the Second Coming", General Conference April 2004
Click here to read the full talk

One way to focus attention on "the things that matter most" is to undertake the exercise Elder Oaks mentions: if I knew my mortal life would be over tomorrow, what would I do today? Would there be things I would want to change, to repair, to focus on, even for a single day? People to forgive, testimonies to bear? And of course, the obvious next question is, "Why not now?" We should be making earnest efforts to focus our energies in the best possible ways, regardless of how much time we have remaining.

The additional warning is that our spiritual preparation needs as much focus as our temporal preparation often receives:

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
April 9, 2015

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