Most likely, you remember this talk of President Hinckley’s, it was just weeks after September 11th, 2001 and given in the Sunday morning session– the session where the prophet speaks to the world. We had a renewed hunger for prophetic counsel that fall and waited eagerly in our homes and halls for his comfort and guidance.
As always, President Hinckley spoke boldly and yet with grandfatherly intimacy. His words echoed our sorrows on the tragedies we’d witnessed and our trepidation of the war to come. And then he said this:
“I do not know what the future holds. I do not wish to sound negative, but I wish to remind you of the warnings of scripture and the teachings of the prophets which we have had constantly before us.
I cannot forget the great lesson of Pharaoh’s dream of the fat and lean kine and of the full and withered stalks of corn.”
You’ll recall Joseph’s interpretation of Pharoah’s dream– 7 years of prosperity in the land followed by 7 years of famine.
The Saturday following Conference I went to Costco with my husband. Not a single cart remained in the entrance, so we scavenged through the parking lot to find one of those large pallet wagons. As we entered the warehouse I caught my breath– every square foot was filled with families buying case after case of food storage. “Hmm,” my husband mused, “I guess a lot of people listened to the Prophet.”
Though it didn’t feel like it at the time, we WERE going through a time of prosperity. Pottery Barn and other home furnishing companies posted record profits as Americans turned to nesting and new technologies infused life into our economy(can you believe we didn’t have iPods back then?). My ward and stake(and yours too) pressed hard for everyone to gather their food storage.
Now, you’ll also recall last October– exactly seven years from President Hinckley’s talk– when the stock market suffered it’s largest fall since the Great Depression.
Seven years. To the day.
Now, like President Hinckley, I do not wish to sound negative. I have great confidence in our leaders and in our nation– but I’ll keep my food storage stocked.
And I wonder, as I reflect on President Hinckley’s words, if I take prophetic counsel a bit too casually. Unlike the bellowing doomsayers of the past, our prophets are gentle, kind, even avuncular in their manner. Perhaps I’ve regarded their words as friendly advice rather than divine instruction?
Today, I turned to President Monson’s Sunday Morning address from last October. What was his message for the world? What was his message for me? He spoke of the constancy of change, of inevitable heartache, but of Finding Joy in the Journey. And so, I’m reading his words with renewed interest. What can I remove from my life to create more family time? Which things matter most? Am I chasing too hard after elusive goals and neglecting the beauty of the here and now?
Please. Please, share your thoughts.