With the recent corona virus pandemic that has already infected thousands of individuals and affected families, communities, and nations across the world, some of us might be wondering if we’re going to survive this crisis. It is uncertain when the spread of the corona virus will slow down, as confirmed cases continue to rise exponentially. But we can be certain that God is aware of us and He has long been preparing us to cope with this unique challenge.
At the beginning of 2019, the Church introduced the new home-centered, church-supported approach to gospel learning. This new approach has been designed to strengthen family relationships and testimonies and help make the home a place of reverent learning about the Lord Jesus Christ and His gospel.
Looking back when it was first introduced, it seemed hard to accomplish but we have seen families make adjustments for their homes to be more conducive to gospel learning, noticed individuals become more careful with the language they use at home, felt stronger family bonds, and seen our homes become places of greater reverence, worship, and refuge.
A little over a year after this new approach was introduced, we have been counseled to do Sunday worship at home because of the corona virus pandemic. Coincidence? The answer is a resounding no. As Elder Neal A. Maxwell emphasized, “coincidence is not an appropriate word to describe the workings of an omniscient God. He does not do things by ‘coincidence’ but … by ‘divine design.’” The Lord has instructed our living prophet to implement these changes to prepare us for this trying time.
We have also been counseled to store food that will sustain us for 3 days up to a year. In the Old Testament, Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream to mean they needed to store food to prepare for the famine. We, too, have been counseled to make preparations for critical times in our lives such as natural disasters, unemployment, pandemic, and other unexpected circumstances.
There have been community quarantines and/or city lock downs in many cities around the world. This could mean a decrease in food supply and other goods necessary for survival. This is a time when food storage has become very beneficial, not only to us and our families, but also to those people whom God will put in our paths to feed and succor.
There will no doubt be many opportunities to extend a hand and become a blessing to others—widowers, those who do not have priesthood holders at home, those living in a part-member family, or even a stranger that we might be prompted to assist in any way.
As we face this pandemic, we can be comforted that the Lord is in the details of our lives. He knows our circumstances and needs. He hears our silent petitions. He can feel our fears. Through President Nelson, He wants to assure us that this crisis “will pass in due time.” He has promised to sustain us and provide the spiritual nourishment, peace, hope, and light to each of us who will continue to seek and hear Him.