Do you have your reserve supply on hand? Here are two reasons you should…
- Because in today’s world, it just makes sense.
- A living prophet of God recommends it.
“We encourage you wherever you may live in the world to prepare for adversity by looking to the condition of your finances. We urge you to be modest in your expenditures; discipline yourselves in your purchases to avoid debt. Pay off debt as quickly as you can, and free yourselves from this bondage. Save a little money regularly to gradually build a financial reserve.”1
Are we prepared for the emergencies in our lives? Are our skills perfected? Do we live providently? Do we have our reserve supply on hand? Are we obedient to the commandments of God? Are we responsive to the teachings of prophets? Are we prepared to give of our substance to the poor, the needy? Are we square with the Lord?
We live in turbulent times. Often the future is unknown; therefore, it behooves us to prepare for uncertainties. When the time for decision arrives, the time for preparation is past.” Are We Prepared? by Thomas S. Monson, Ensign September 2014 (emphasis added)
How Close at Hand?
So, about that “reserve supply on hand,” how close at hand does it need to be? Within arms reach in your home? Or just around the corner at the bank?
Disaster victims know that in the event of natural disaster, when the power’s out ATM machines are down, banks are closed and credit cards won’t work. Cash is the only thing that speaks. And being separated from your money can trigger emotions ranging from annoyed to enraged, depending on how hungry you are at the moment you can’t get your money.
My aged Grandfather kept money hidden under his mattress and in #10 cans in the pantry in later years, but that all seemed just a little weird to me. He grew up in Germany during World War 1, came to America shortly after and witnessed enough bank failures and economic downturns to know what it was like to be deprived of the necessities of life. Thus the mattress trick.
Until Brett shared a report he found on CNN yesterday about our economy’s dependence on credit card merchandising, that kind of behavior still seemed backward, synical and frankly a bit paranoid. But imagine, if you will, that for even a few days you were unable to access your money via credit cards. No groceries, no gas, no Redbox (smirk), nada.
For the last 10 days I’ve been waiting for a new debit card to arrive in the mail and what an eyeopener it’s been to witness my own discomfort being unable to buy local goods on credit.
Myriad economic or even forces of nature that cause temporary bank closures, could be sticky for everyone involved
You had a “reserve supply on hand.”
What’s all the scuttlebutt about September 13th, 2015 anyway? It’s the last day of the Jewish Calendar year. This calendar has been in affect at least since the time of Moses and has held a key to understanding events, both blessings and judgements from God as they’ve played out for ancient Israel… and continue to play out in our day. (Fun fact: Joseph Smith was actually given the gold plates to translate on the Jewish Feast of Trumpets, September 22, 1827, which feast commemorates the final gathering of Israel in the last days. Read about it here in the Ensign Magazine, The Golden Plates and the Feast of Trumpets.)
The traditional Jewish lunar calendar ends somewhere from mid to end of September on our Gregorian Calendar. The last month is called “Alul” and the 29th of Alul is the Jewish New Years Eve. This year, Alul 29 falls on September 13th at Sunset. But what makes this particular Alul 29 significant above others is that 2015 is also the Sabbatical Year (7th year) laid out in Leviticus 25 when God’s people were to release their claim on the land and it’s abundance, to let the fields lie fallow to rest and “let fall” the fruit of anything that grew on its own for the poor and needy.
The last day of the Sabbatical year was the “day of release” in which all credits and debts were to be cancelled and all slaves and prisoners released from their debts or bondage. This was a type and forshadowing and regular cyclic reminder of the equality of man before God and a command actually to acknowledge Him as the source of all their blessings and the source of their freedom from bondage. Humans tend to get a little full of themselves when they prosper and figure their cunning is what prospers them. By leveling the playing field every 7 years ancient Israel might not forget. Coolest symbolism that we are all beggars before Him and yet heirs to all that He is and has by walking in his statutes.
All of this sabbatizing (Hebrew for “rest, release, or let fall”) was part of the Mosaic Sabbath Law written in Stone by the finger of God on Sinai with a promise that they’d be given rain in due season, land would yield increase, and they’d dwell in their land safely.” (Leviticus 26:22-12) But when the children of Israel stopped honoring the statues and laws of God, this “day of release” came back to bite them…to the same degree to which they “set at naught the counsels of God”. Isaiah prophesied and Jeremiah seconded it that as Gods people refused to grant this “release” of their claim to their own wealth and glory, the Sabbath year or day of release would let fall or release their claim on the land and its blessings. Pretty straightforward and hard to misinterpret, right?
Ancient Israel was removed from the land for the same length of time they had refused to honor the statutes of God and their once abundant land lay desolate 70 years “until the earth had enjoyed her Sabbaths” (Leviticus 26:32-35) Read my post, How Serious is God about the Sabbath Law? here.
Elder Quentin L. Cook presented an amazing talk in October General Conference 2013 called, “Lamentations of Jeremiah: Beware of Bondage” which enumerates similarities between our day and his. Read Elder Cook’s talk here.
The point of this post is that Sunday September 13th, 2015 is the day of “letting fall all credits and debts”. Anciently, to a people so tied to the soil this showed up in the form of famine or pestilence that affected agricultural yield. Depending on the diligence and heed… or not… judgement eventually physically removed the people from the land by neighboring Assyria (Babylonian captivity). Today God’s children are not as closely tied to the land…although we do tend to eat several times a day. But the agricultural terms of the ancients still apply to our modern financial realm. We invest “seed money” in business or the stock market and profits and losses affect our bottom line or “yield,” right? Rather than a packed root cellar, it’s our bank accounts, houses and pricey toys that proclaim financial success.
The Record Speaks
What’s downright freaky about this is to take a look at history and notice that with incredible precision, US stocks have majorly corrected in this seventh year, particularly the last week of the Sabbath year (Shemitah in Hebrew), and especially on Alul 29, the day of “letting fall” or “release”.
7 years back from September 13th 2015 (via the Jewish calendar) was September 29th, 2008, the largest single day drop in the last 100 years. It marked the beginning of the “Great Recession” we’re currently in. And exactly 7 years prior to that was September 17th, 2001 (Alul 29), the day Wall Street reopened after a week of closure due to the terrorist attacks of September 11th. In fact all 5 of the biggest single day drops occurred on Alul 29 in the 7th (Shemitah) year. Interesting…
Golden Age of America to the “Last Days”
If the correlation is real, what have we done as a people to deserve this financial “release” or “letting fall” of our yields? What’s going on with America since the Golden Age when the US rose to world power and became the “leader of nations”?
From the time Jamestown Virginia was settled for the purpose of worshipping almighty God without persecution, this budding new nation witnessed innumerable miracles that saved America from extinction or demise. From the “starving time” at Jamestown through the Colonial Era and Revolutionary War God showed this dedicated people that He would be their God. How does a peasant army with no funding take on the greatest naval and military power in the world? With a little help from God, that’s how. 3 massive empires had to fall in order for the US to enter the worlds stage as a leader. World War 1 wrapped that up. And World War II, the Battle at Midway… say what? When the odds were stacked against us, and there have been many times when America could have and should have failed, did God intervene to save our skins? Yep, He did.
The United States of America unquestionably prospered by the hand of God. Why now are we plagued with terror? Why the shift? How now, have we experienced so many of the same unfortunate circumstances that ancient Israel had prophesied by Isaiah and witnessed by Jeremiah?
I’ve been pouring over Leviticus, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Lamentations for the last month and all have a message for our day. Some awesome correlations in those biblical books that may wake you up as they have me are… Namely, a breech occurs at the hands of the armies of Ephraim and Syria (Isaiah 7), but God says that complete overthrow “shall not come to pass”, not yet at least. We had a breech in our national security at the hands of Syrias spiritual grandchildren a few years back, and now we check our socks for holes before hopping aboard any commercial flight (wink).
Another correlation is God’s promise to “appoint over you terror”. (Leviticus 26:13-16) We know how that feels, don’t we. Elder Neal Anderson reported last month at Education Week that terrorist attacks worldwide have increased 35% in the last year. Watch Elder Andersons address “Compensatory Spiritual Power For the Righteous” Here
Their “high places” were made low. Yep, for about a 75 year running streak the US boasted the tallest buildings in the world beginning with the Chrysler building in 1928 and ending when the trade towers fell on 9-11, 2001.
Many details of the rebuilding of One World Trade Center at ground Zero compose an eerie re-enactment of the reaction of ancient Israel to the terror that leveled their tall towers. Isaiah 9:9-10 reads that in pride and arrogance of heart the people vowed “the bricks have fallen, but we will rebuild with hewn stone, the sycamores have been cut down, but we will change them into cedars”. When Obama signed the Ground Zero building at its ribbon cutting in 2013, he inscribed on it’s outer wall this vow. “We Remember, We rebuild, We come back stronger!” Are these the words of the humble or the meek? Read Obama fulfills Isaiah 9:10 Prophecy
And hey, there was even a lonely aged sycamore tree that once towered over street traffic at twin towers plaza that was uprooted on 9-11. You can guess what’s been planted in its place… (Doo, doo, doo, doo…close encounters themesong.)
Rabbi Johnathan Kahn, a Christian Jew in his nonfiction book, Mystery of the Shemitah touches on a handful of correlations with ancient Israel and modern America. I listened to the audio book on my last drive to Utah. Awesome information on so many levels. It will get you interested in Isaiah if you’re not already.
A few others not mentioned in his book are, “If my people will refuse the gentler waters of Shiloah that go softly…behold the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many…and he shall come up over all his channels and go over all his banks.” (Isaiah 8:6) Our newlywed daughter Megan and hubby Scott experienced flooding in Texas that was fatal to many in June. Far more dramatic are recent Tsunamis and Typhoons which bring widespread death and destruction. No question, these signs are presenting.
Two other similarities to our day from Leviticus and Isaiah that make me stop and stare are unlawful sexual relations and the sacrificing of children on the alters of Baal and in the fires of the Molech (Leviticus 18:20-22 and Isaiah 57:5). Perhaps thousands of Israelite children were sacrificed to pagan gods. But in our day, since 1973 (Roe vs. Wade) it is estimated that in the US more than 50 million unborn children have been sacrificed on the alters of lifestyle and convenience. (wave of nausea). And last weeks announcement from Pope Francis that Catholics no longer need the approval of their priest to have an abortion and avoid excommunication, is not a favorable sign either. Pope Francis Abortion Absolution
Last one, in Leviticus 18:22, God forbids acting out same gender relations, calling it an abomination. Then Isaiah observes in his day and prophesies for our day that when our sins be as Sodom, we are ripe for destruction. In Isaiah’s words, “they declare (also translated as ‘parade’) their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.” (Isaiah 3:9) Whatever other sins of Sodom he may be referring to, practicing same gender relations was among them. And while people I dearly love have embraced this idealogy, I cannot discredit the words of Isaiah. There could be a whole lotta ugly ahead.
What I’m trying to say is that God is real. His promises are sure. I’m not saying He has to bring down judgement in September, or that He will this Shemitah. I’m just saying that if it rolls as He’s arranged it in the past, we could see economic setback anytime now that we’ll remember for some time to come.
Follow the prophet, and your own common sense. Don’t wait. Do what it takes to have a “reserve supply on hand.”*
*disclaimer: President Monson has not, to my knowledge said that concerning our finances our “reserve supply” should be cash in our home somewhere. That is my own interpretation of what it means to have a supply “on hand,” based on the information above. Definitely don’t want to put words into a Prophets mouth. Be prayerful about how God wants you to interpret his counsel given through living prophets. You’ll know the truth by how it feels. 😉