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Why Don't We Prepare? PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 17 April 2008 12:47

©iStockphoto.com/Pamela Moore

Recently, we took our grandchildren to see the movie Horton Hears a Who. Truthfully, I was not looking forward to it because so many of the Dr. Seuss books have been ruined by the Big Screen. However, I have not stopped thinking about it since.

Horton is happily playing in his own world when all of a sudden he thinks he hears a call for help. Then again, he hears someone calling out. It is a faint, small voice. Those in his world always say to him, "If you can't see it or hear it or touch it, it doesn't exist.? Over and over again he is told, "If you can't see it or hear it or touch it, it doesn't exist. So don?t talk about it, or people will think you are crazy."

But Horton is not deterred. Even when his best friend fails to believe him, he stands by what he heard, and won't ? no, he can?t deny it.

Horton finally makes contact with the small voice, who is the mayor of the tiny town of Whoville, a small world of people who live on a small speck of dust in Horton?s world, that has been tossed into the atmosphere and is now unprotected. Horton must help them!

The mayor also realizes they are in grave danger, and warns the people of Whoville to prepare and seek shelter. The city council, like the citizens of Whoville, cannot see the danger, and tell the people, "Nothing bad has ever happened in Whoville, and nothing bad ever will."

It reminded me of the quote from president Ezra Taft Benson:

Too often we bask in our comfortable complacency and rationalize that the ravages of war, economic disaster, famine, and earthquake cannot happen here. Those who believe this are either not acquainted with the revelations of the Lord, or they do not believe them. Those who smugly think these calamities will not happen, that they somehow will be set aside because of the righteousness of the Saints, are deceived and will rue the day they harbored such a delusion.

The Lord has warned and forewarned us against a day of great tribulation and given us counsel, through His servants, on how we can be prepared for these difficult times. Have we heeded His counsel?

This quote has always haunted me: "Those who believe this are either not acquainted with the revelations of the Lord, or they do not believe them." We cannot claim to be unacquainted with the revelations of the Lord, so does that mean we just simply don't believe them?

I worry about the twenty- and thirty-somethings who live in nice homes and drive nice cars and dress their children in new clothes, but who claim they just don't have the money to prepare or who think they will just run to the store and buy what they need because they have a savings account.

Cash is not food, it is not clothing, it is not coal, it is not shelter; and we will get to the place where no matter how much cash we have, we cannot secure those things in the quantities which we may need ? All that you can be certain you will have is that which you produce. We must purge our hearts of the love of ease; we must put out from our lives the curse of idleness. God declared that mortal man should earn his bread by the sweat of his brow. That is the law of this world (In Conference Report, Apr. 1937, p. 26, quoted by A. Theodore Tuttle, Ensign, May 1978).

Should we worry about the single adults in the Church who feel that because they are not yet married they do not need to prepare? Should we worry for those who are more seasoned in age who have heard the Lord's warning for so long and now consider it outdated?

Several months ago I received a note from a reader who told me the quotes I used were all a few years old or older and therefore outdated. He went on to say that when he heard the prophet tell him at conference to get a 72-hour kit or prepare in other ways he would do it.

My question: How is that different than needing to be commanded in all things?

Why prepare? My question is why not?

Here are some excuses people use for not preparing for tomorrow. If you have found yourself using these excuses, maybe the time has come to sing a different tune.

  • ?I just don't have the money.?
    Who does? Have you purchased new clothes for the kids? New jewelry or clothing for yourselves? A new sofa? Taken a vacation? Gone to the movies or eaten out in the past month? Then you have the money.
    It was hearing this excuse over and over that prompted me to begin the Seven Steps program on my blog and also to discuss moneysaving tips each week. We do have the money. It is desire we lack.
    We can always borrow a movie from a friend and watch at home. We can eat a breakfast menu for dinner one night a week and take the money we save to purchase food storage and become prepared. I am not suggesting we incur debt to purchase food storage and generators ? only that we re-prioritize what we are already spending.

    And why not prepare? Do you realize that once you have a three-month supply of the foods you normally eat, you never have to purchase food at full price again! Everything goes on sale. Think about how much money you could save and how it could help you become totally self-reliant or debt free.
    Let?s read what President Spencer W. Kimball had to say on the subject:
      Let?s do these things because they are right, because they are satisfying, and because we are obedient to the counsels of the Lord. In this spirit we will be prepared for most eventualities, and the Lord will prosper and comfort us. (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball, Chapter 11: Provident Living: Applying Principles of Self-Reliance and Preparedness, From The Life of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 115).
  • ?I don't know how to cook with stored food.?
    If that?s your excuse, then it's time to learn a new skill. If you store a three-month supply of foods you normally eat and supplement with other storage foods to reach your one-year supply, you should have no trouble rotating your storage.
    I have had some people tell me they only eat fresh fruits and vegetables. If that is the case, maybe it is time to expand your menu, because in most places it is difficult to get enough fresh fruits and veggies year round to maintain your 4-5 servings a day. Be creative and ask a great cook you know to help you develop some recipes your family will enjoy.
    And why not include stored foods? Incorporating stored foods in your diet now will enable your body to get used to processing these foods. During an emergency you will have to eat stored foods, either your own or others. Wouldn't you rather have the foods you like? I for one really enjoy knowing I have brownie mix in my food storage, as well as beans and rice.
    You will also be eating a much more balanced diet now that your food storage is well rounded and you are making it a part of everyday cooking. No more preprocessed foods ? and, it really doesn't take that much longer to cook from scratch. With childhood obesity at an alarmingly high rate, doesn't it make sense to eat more balanced meals? Just think of the savings in medical costs. And think of the gift you are giving your children ? a healthy lifestyle.
    Another benefit of learning to use stored foods is less waste! No more throwing away foods that have spoiled while waiting to be consumed. I can't begin to imagine how much wheat, rice and dehydrated foods have been tossed in dumpsters.
    Even worse than throwing away food, is the risk of serving foods that may be unsafe because you have stored them too long.
    Of course, if we consume stored foods, they can spoil as well. If you have canned fruits and jams that have turned brown, throw them away! I recently heard of a friend's mom who has fruit that was canned before her oldest child was born ? and that child now has a child.
    What could possibly be wrong with having good foods stored, so when the missionaries or friends of your kids show up right at dinner time, all you have to do is run to the pantry and open a few more cans or packages and stretch that meal?
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