Q&A: Questions and Answers


Answers are intended for help and perspective, not as pronouncements of Church doctrine.

A lot of my friends are worried about the year 2000. Some of them think it will be the end of the world. What have Church leaders said on the subject? Should I be worried?

New Era

  • Prepare for a long, full life.

  • Spiritual preparation is vitally important at all times, but temporal preparation is important too.

  • Follow the counsel of the prophet to prepare for all kinds of emergencies and disasters.

  • No one knows the day or the hour of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. It is something to look forward to and not to fear.

  • Rely on the Lord and be unafraid.

Almost 11 years ago, Elder Boyd K. Packer delivered a talk in general conference, aimed especially at the young men and women. At that time very few people had even heard the term Y2K, but the feeling that the world could end was just as much a concern then as it is now. “Everything that I have learned from the revelations and from life convinces me that there is time and to spare for you to carefully prepare for a long life. … If an earlier end should happen to come to one, that is more reason to do things right” (Ensign, May 1989, 59).

This statement from President Packer should be reassuring if you are concerned because you have friends who are fearful that this is the year the Savior will come again.

In Doctrine and Covenants 49:7 [D&C 49:7] we read that no one knows for sure when the Savior will come again. “No man knoweth, neither the angels in heaven, nor shall they know until he comes.”

Take some reassurance from the counsel of President Packer and others. It’s not all that important to know when the Second Coming will be. What’s important is that you should be getting ready for it. Remember, “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear” (D&C 38:30).

Being spiritually prepared is vital at all times. But temporal preparation is important, too. Your parents may have taken this year as an opportunity to increase the family’s store of food, water, and other emergency supplies. Or perhaps there haven’t been any special preparations at your house, and you’re wondering if something terrible might happen that you won’t be ready for.

It should be reassuring to remember that despite the Y2K publicity, these kinds of preparations are business as usual for Latter-day Saints. Since the very earliest days of the Church, members have been counseled to prepare for emergencies and disasters. This kind of preparation prevents panic in the face of any possible problems. Today families are counseled to store food and water, plant a garden, and have their finances in order.

In April 1999 general conference President James E. Faust said, “Many people are obsessed with the Y2K problem and worry about the date coming up right because of the way computers measure time. … While some glitches may occur, I am optimistic that no great catastrophic computer breakdown will disrupt society as we move into the next century” (Ensign, May 1999, 17, 18).

Prophets, ancient and modern, have told us that once we are prepared, we should rely on the Lord and be unafraid of what will happen next. Noah, Moses, Lehi, and Samuel the Lamanite pleaded with their people to change their ways. Those few who did were spared, those who didn’t, faced the consequences. Things are the same today. When we listen to and follow the prophet’s advice, we not only have reason to be unafraid of the future, but we can actually look forward to what will happen next.

Readers

As members of the Church,we have always been told to prepare for disasters. You never know when something will happen, but I know that by having food storage and other things as we have been told, the Lord will prepare a way for us to be safe.

Katie Grover, 16 Clayton, California

I don’t think there’s a need to be worried. The prophet has told us that as long as we’re prepared—spiritually and physically—we have no reason to fear. The end of the world should be looked at with a feeling of happiness because it signals the return of the Savior.

Mark Broadbent, 15 Tucson, Arizona

If we are truly striving to do what’s right in our lives, the Lord will bless us with peace and comfort, even though most of the people around us feel worried.

Tirza Grasteit, 14 Fallon, Nevada

I think of the year 2000 as a good thing. We are getting closer to the Second Coming. As long as you stay strong in the Church, have faith, and obey the commandments, I’m sure you have nothing to worry about.

Chelsie Raiche, 14 Warman, Saskatchewan, Canada

We don’t know when Jesus Christ will come again. All we know is that His coming is at hand and that we must always be prepared and ready for when that wonderful time comes.

Billie Winter, 16 Lander, Wyoming

[photo] Photography by Lana Leishman, posed by model

[illustration] In preparation for the Saints’ first winter out west, Brigham Young had the Saints begin planting crops a day or two after they arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. The same principle of preparation applies to us today. If we’re prepared for the Second Coming, we can look forward to it instead of fearing it. (Detail from painting First Plowing by VaLoy Eaton.)