Typhoon!


It happened in September, the end of summer. Typhoon number 13 was coming toward the Japanese islands, and radio and television announcers were reporting that it would possibly land near where I lived. I remembered what happened two years earlier when another typhoon hit Japan. Trees outside were buffeted terribly, and the strong wind crashed against my windows. It was terrifying. Now here we were again. The radio warned that this typhoon was just as strong as that earlier one.

I held my young child in my arms, put a helmet on my head, and started collecting our emergency bags. We had prepared the bags a long time ago, but they had been stored in several different places. Expecting the typhoon to hit about 3:00 A.M., I spent the whole day locating, then rechecking, the contents of the bags.

I went to a department store to buy medicine that I did not have in my bag, and I also put our family history and other records in it. In case the running water stopped, I filled the bathtub with water. I prepared everything I could think of, then waited nervously for my husband to come home.

Sensing my fear, my three-year-old daughter said, “I will pray to Heavenly Father for you,” and she prayed. As I listened to her prayer, a peaceful feeling came over me, and I felt assured that the Lord would protect us. When my husband arrived, I finally felt prepared physically and emotionally.

Time passed, and midnight drew close. I put our helmets, shoes, and emergency bags where I could grab them quickly, and we went to bed.

Luckily, the typhoon passed by without causing much damage. When I awoke in the morning, I gave thanks to God. I had been completely prepared because I had heard on the radio and television that a strong typhoon was coming, and I took action.

The experience has caused me to reflect on the Lord’s second coming. At the last day, radio announcers will not give a warning and say, “Jesus Christ is coming today. Please be ready.” If we knew when the Lord would come, what would we do? We would spend the time wisely. We would work on our family history, share the gospel with our nonmember friends, go to the temple more often, and store food. We would do everything we could to be prepared.

However, no one knows when the Lord will come. Only our Heavenly Father knows—and he hasn’t told us. The Lord will come as a thief enters a house, unexpectedly. The Bible tells us, “But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matt. 24:43–44).

Although we don’t know the day of Christ’s coming, we do see many of the signs today that prophets foretold would precede his arrival. If we are prepared, we will not fear when that great day comes. I want to spend my limited time wisely and be like the five wise virgins, who were ready in every way to welcome the Bridegroom (see Matt. 25:1–13).

[illustration] Illustrated by Dilleen Marsh