In February 2010, President Thomas S. Monson prepared an article for the Church on being spiritually prepared. It was a collection of his comments on the subject, and can be found here. At six or so paragraphs, it’s a quick read.
The Hawaiian Tsunami
In February 2010, Chile experienced an 8.8 earthquake. This earthquake left incredible devastation and caused tsunami warnings to go up all around the Pacific (including in my old stomping grounds, Hawaii). This warning for Hawaii was taken very seriously, but luckily the tsunami turned out to be relatively inconsequential (for some video, see here).
In 1960, though, the islands were not so lucky. Another Chilean earthquake created a similar tsunami that caused great damage and killed 61 people in Hilo, Hawaii. These deaths are alleged to have been caused by a failure to heed warnings and get to safer ground.
Come Unto Higher Ground
The Lord has offered warnings to each of us to “get to higher ground.” President Monson says,
“As I [have] turned to the scriptures for inspiration, a particular word [has] stood out time and time again. The word [is] ‘come.’ The Lord said, ‘Come unto me.’ He said, ‘Come learn of me.’ He also said, ‘Come, follow me’… My plea is that we would come to the Lord.”
That word, so often repeated by the Savior, suggests to me an invitation to leave where we are at in favor of joining the Lord where he is at. Much like tsunami warnings, which invite us to leave the lower shores and find safety in higher areas, the Lord asks us to come join him on spiritually higher ground.
The Dangers of Ignoring the Invitaiton
Those unfortunate people in Hawaii who ignored the tsumani warnings lost their lives as a result of their inaction. What is at risk spiritually for those of us who do not heed the Savior’s call to come unto him? There may be many appropriate examples, but President Monson brings up one that relates to spiritual death in a very real way. He says,
“If we do not have a deep foundation of faith and a solid testimony of truth, we may have difficulty withstanding the harsh storms and icy winds of adversity which inevitably come to each of us.
“Mortality is a period of testing, a time to prove ourselves worthy to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. In order for us to be tested, we must face challenges and difficulties. These can break us, and the surface of our souls may crack and crumble—that is, if our foundations of faith, our testimonies of truth are not deeply embedded within us.”
We are all going to face difficulties in life, even occasionally tsunamis, if you will. Some may be minor, and others will be devastating. If we fail to come unto Christ and join him on higher ground, those waves can kill us spiritually.
But the glorious news of the gospel is that as long as we have a “deep foundation” and a “solid testimony,” both of which come from joining Christ on the high ground, we will we able to weather every tsunami that comes our way. Let us listen carefully to the words of the scriptures and modern day prophets for the ways in which Christ invites us to come unto him, make those changes, and move to higher ground.