Physical and Spiritual Preparation

Church Educational System

It is easy to see Satan’s imprint in Giddianhi’s words (3 Nephi 3:1–10) as he used flattery (verse 2), feigned concern (verse 5), and made false promises (verses 7–8) to accomplish his evil designs. How like the devil’s promises were Giddianhi’s promises of freedom when all he had to offer was bondage and a promise to share possessions that were not even his to share (see verse 7).

Lachoneus straightway turned his attention to his people. He knew they needed to be physically and spiritually prepared for the imminent attack of Giddianhi’s robbers. He had his people build strong fortifications (verse 14) and gather their animals and families (verse 13) into one place—the land of Zarahemla (verses 22–23). He had them make weapons and armor (verse 26) and gather a seven-year supply of provisions (3 Nephi 4:4). Lachoneus instructed his people to leave the deserted land “desolate” so the robbers would not be able to forage for food (verses 3–4).

Most importantly, Lachoneus had his people prepare spiritually. He reminded them of the safety of repentance (3 Nephi 3:15). His people repented and prayed mightily unto the Lord (verse 25; 4:8). Thus they wisely prepared themselves both physically and spiritually for the imminent attack of their enemies.

We have been asked to prepare physically and spiritually in our day for imminent calamities. Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught what we should do to prepare for the events that precede the Savior’s coming:

“What if the day of His coming were tomorrow? If we knew that we would meet the Lord tomorrow—through our premature death or 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. …
“Are we following the Lord’s command, ‘Stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly’? (D&C 87:8). What are those ‘holy places’? Surely they include the temple and its covenants faithfully kept. Surely they include a home where children are treasured and parents are respected. Surely the holy places include our posts of duty assigned by priesthood authority, including missions and callings faithfully fulfilled in branches, wards, and stakes” (in Conference Report, Apr. 2004, 7–8; or Ensign, May 2004, 9–10).

Book of Mormon Student Manual (2009 Edition)