As a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints, we are expected to devote our time and efforts related to the work of inviting others to come unto Christ. We are not to spend time listening or watching things of the world, including the news; so when I heard about the earthquake and tsunami that occurred in Japan, I was amazed and devastated for them. My heart goes out to all those who are suffering from the pain of lost loved ones and possessions.
A member told me of an interesting account from an older gentleman who lived in Japan at the time of the disaster. He told of being in a small village where he lived, doing his daily tasks, when suddenly he heard the warning call of a tsunami siren. This call was to warn all who could hear it to immediately get to higher ground to protect themselves from oncoming waves that could potentially kill them. When this man heard the call, he immediately dropped everything he was doing and rushed to higher ground. There were not many that followed. As he got to a safe location, he could see as the rushing, towering wave engulfing the village, destroying all in its path.
I was hit hard when I heard this story. What would have happened if this man would have ignored the warning like so many others? What if he heard it and began to gather all of the worldly possessions that he thought he absolutely needed, taking up time that he didn't have? The results would have been the same as those who were not on the higher ground with him, he would have been swept away with everything else.
Believe it or not, this strongly relates to our own lives. There are many times when we hear the warning call of the Spirit telling us to "get to higher ground", to get to a safer spot, to stop what you are doing and leave. However, the spirit may not talk to us in the form of a loud siren. The Lord demonstrates this to His prophet Elijah in the Bible,
"And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice" 1 Kings 19:11-12.
The spirit of the Lord is described as a still small voice, one that pierces to the very center. When we hear these promptings, let us take example from this good Japanese man and heed the call. Do not stop and waiver on whether or not he call was legitimate or not, for there is not time. Do not linger with those worldly things that you think you can't live without. Heed the call and move. If not, who knows what disasters are awaiting to sweep you away. Our Heavenly Father loves us enough to send His spirit to warn us of upcoming dangers. Sometimes we may not understand why we are given a warning, but the Lord sees the big picture, we do not.
I testify that Jesus is the Christ. He runs His church today. I testify that if we heed the whisperings of the still small voice, we will be safe from many spiritual and physical dangers that lie in our paths. Let us all set a new goal to listen for His promptings and heed the call.