Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Common Sense Ideas Learned About Storage and Preparedness

This talk given by Tim Wolfe in 2003 should be a wake up call to many, I can only hope.

Common Sense Ideas Learned About Storage & Preparedness

There are two types of Crises we must prepare for.

One is a "short term" emergency, such as an earthquake, unemployment etc.

The "long term" crisis is the "judgment of God that will be poured out upon the nations". For this long-term crisis, we are commanded to obtain "at least a one year supply". The commandment was originally 7 years.

Don't believe in Myths - stick with fact and truth

Why are they important? People do not buy food because of these myths. True Story... We must first dispel the untruths so that the saints see clearly and can make better decisions.


"Missouri Myths"
"Won't be able to tell seasons apart" 
"We are a Faith-Promoting Rumor Church."

There are so many myths that float around in the Mormon culture and these myths sometimes get in the way of our getting prepared. We have all heard them so I will only remark on a few...

Myth - God won't let me or "this people" suffer. - Remember the story of the Jaradites. With a little less thought and less preparation, this people would have been crossing the great deep in total darkness. Think of it, a whole year in pitch-black darkness.

Myth - "Someone will warn me just before it happens" - Michael Harden President and CEO of Century Technology Services speaking at a recent meeting pointed out this belief that some people carry "Someone will warn me just before it happens" to escape the responsibility of direct action. 

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gave a talk to BYU Faculty "When will these things be" warning them that they will not be given special warning.

Myth - I need not be concerned; someone will feed my family, Neighbors, the Church, the government. - Or "the Bishop will gather in the food and share it out equally so I don't really need a food storage as long as someone has done this commandment"  NO! - forcible confiscation of personal property has never been part of the gospel. And there are some clear examples in Church history that drive the point home. Read about the Famine of 1856. The Lord would not allow it then. However, the brethren did encourage sharing. The problem comes in that most people do not store enough for themselves let alone storage to share. And when they share, it will go to a needy family member before ward members. This is the Lord's program even today. You can see the problem; you would need a lot of food stored before ward members would get some.  I have never seen anyone with this size of storage. 

Myth - I have to make it all better with all the suffering around me during a crisis - No you don't. This is between those people and the Lord. Maybe, this is their test. Maybe this is how the Lord is going to get their attention. 

You do have to make it as "good" as you can for your own family and those whom the Lord has given you stewardship. President Marion Romney explained, "The Lord claims the earth as his, that it is not yours and mine to own and manage independently of him. He further says that this responsibility "it must needs be done in mine own way." (D&C 104:15-16) 

Myth - The Lord will save us at the last Minute... - The Ensign reports in an article of lessons we should have learned in past trials in Oct. 2002, when the saints first planted their crops, a huge grasshopper plague threatened to destroy the crops and thus the saints would have starved the first winter. We all know the story of the seagulls. In 1850, Brigham Young began warning about a coming event and ordered the saints to store the extra grain from their harvests and not sell it. Nothing happened in 1853 and the harvest was fine, again came the warning in 1854. Again, nothing happened. Then it happened in late fall of 1855. Heber C. Kimball records in his journal that "only 3 out of every 10 families were following the order of the prophet". In 1855, Salt Lake Valley endured a 90% crop failure caused by a grasshopper plaque as told above but this time the seagulls did NOT come. The crops were destroyed. Still, the seagulls still did not come. Perhaps, the seagulls were not planned because the saints had been warned and were capable of managing this crisis on their own because of forewarning of a prophet. Perhaps we were just being taught not to take lightly the council of the Brethren. History bears this concept out.

God rained manna from heaven on all Israel. 6 days each week for 40 years. "Lest they perish for want of bread" but the manna ceased on the morrow after they ate of the parched corn of cannon. The Israelites were then required to supply their own food.

During 40 years in the harsh wilderness the clothes worn by all Israel "waxed not old and their shoes wear not out" but when they entered their promised land, then the Lord required them to provide their own wearing apparel.

When there was a famine in the land, at Elijah word, a certain barrel of meal did not waste and a certain cruse of oil did not fail. Until the Lord sent again rain upon the earth. And it is worthy on note as Jesus said, "although there were many widows in Israel, unto one only was Elijah sent"

Myth - I'm too old and it does not matter to me - Story of Brother Hatch. 93 years old and dieing of cancer with less than a month to live. He asked me to see what "holes" he had in his food storage program. I was unwilling because of his condition and I didn't want him to spend money on this. I told him the Lord spells out certain people whom the Lord expects the priesthood to look after if we are to continue to receive the blessings of the priesthood. He shook his bony finger at me and said "Brother Woolf; if I don't buy storage, my children will not buy storage, or their children. Sooner or later, this event will happen and my seed will be wiped from the face of the earth. And it will be my fault." His sons lived in different states so he had them come for a fathers blessing and arranged the wheat to be delivered at the same time. They were then asked to carry it down stairs and the message and lesson was well engrained. Now, learning and applying this principle, I have seen many Elderly Mothers and Fathers give food to their married sons and daughters instead of plastic toys.

Myth - "Ok, do it, get food storage, but don't go overboard. Just get a month or two" The world is on a kick right now of reliant living, if you don't believe it, just look up the fema website.. It does not take a rocket scientist to understand the wisdom of this doctrine right now. The Baptists teach up to 2 months, the Catholics teach 1 month, the Methodists teach up to 6 months, in fact, almost every religion in America is teaching people to have an emergency food storage at hand. but all have the same theme. Do not be a radical. Just store enough to last a week, at the most a month or so. A year is way overboard. I have even heard local church leaders on the local level take this stand. We are all worried if we don't fully understand some commandment, living it somehow degrades our intelligence and us. Some people must explain it to our minds before we can get behind it heart and sole. We quickly forget the lessons of the past. The Lord is the one who commanded the year's supply. In the past, news anchors such as Dan Rather told us it would be "OK to have just a couple of weeks of supplies". Whom are you following? Only part of the ward needs to do this commandment and that will carry the rest of the ward. Well.... first do the math.

When I show my food storage, people always say something like this "well, now I know where to come if trouble hits". Yes, that is my experience as well. And either way you answer that, you get yourself in trouble. If you answer "Sure, come on over", they feel you have just made some type of commitment to them that requires them to do nothing and they are covered in an emergency. If you say no, you have made an instant enemy and they will view you from that day on as an uncharitable person. During the questions and answer session at a ward in Logan not too long ago, I was hit with this question. "What do you say to people who say this to you?" I was fumbling for some inspiration to find something to say  because I really did not have a good answer for this and the Bishop raised his hand and asked if he might inject a thought or two. I was very relieved and invited him to speak. He taught me something. This is what he said, "I imagine that the people at the time of Noah said the same things. Perhaps it sounded something like this, "Noah is just a kook, but, if it goes wrong and this kook is right about the flood, that boat is big enough to carry us all." Little did they know what the Lord had in mind in saving the animals. Second, there must have been some that condemned Noah because he put animal life before human life. That must have been a real trial for Noah. He must have been called uncharitable, ungodly, and it's a good bet the people outside the ark did not view themselves as "disobedient" so they really made it hard on Noah. What these type of people fail to understand is that the test may not be to see if we are charitable but rather to see if we are obedient. Third and most important, like Abraham, Noah had to give his all and prove the Lord was more important to him than anyone else. Those were not strangers outside the ark dieing, those where sons and daughters, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Only, unlike Abraham who was spared his sacrifice at the last minute, Noah was required to go through with his."

Myth - When the bad times come, the "ward Family" will just combine the food and save us all anyway. - Has the church and the Lord told us to have a "Ward Storage" or have we been commanded to have a "Family Storage"? To assume that we can save the disobedient with our charity has two fallacies. One, it allows mercy to rob justice. The second flag that is thrown is that it gives the disobedient a false sense of security in that they assume they can be lax on the commandments because they feel that others will carry the slack of their disobedience. This has not been the practice of the gospel to this point so it is a big gamble to risk all on the idea things will change. If hard times come upon a family now, how is it handled? First the family, and then the government and last the church. Are members asked to give up all I.E.: their savings, children's mission accounts, mortgage their homes etc, to help the family in hard times? No! They are only asking to fast and the Bishop divides the monies raised by this once per month event. If he had to divide with 20+ families, each would not likely get they're needs covered.

Myth - The war is over... So we don't need this commandment right now - Hard to believe anyone would believe this, but this very month (04/06/03-04/25/03) I have had no fewer than eight Relief Society presidents call and cancel the talks I would have given to their wards or stakes. They all had this in common. "The war is ending and nothing has happened so we are going to go back to doing fun things like crafts." On a personal thought, I wonder if the brethren know how much trouble we are really in because we are really talking about values.

There may be not lifeguard hired at the beach to protect those in the water because God has told his saints to not be at the beach.

In other words, there may have no manna from heaven planned because it is not needed. The saints have a 1-year supply of food.

We find safety in council. In a talk by Henry B. Eyring, (Because He First Loved Us, Deseret Book, 2002 (from a talk given at general conference, 5 April 1997)

"There seems to be no end to the Savior's desire to lead us to safety." "When tensions ran high in northern Missouri in the fall of 1838, the Prophet Joseph Smith called for all the Saints to gather at Far West for protection. Many were on isolated farms or in scattered settlements. He specifically counseled Jacob Haun, founder of a small settlement called Haun's Mill. A record of that time includes this: "Brother Joseph had sent work by Haun, who owned the mill, to inform the brethren who were living there to leave and come to Far West, but Mr. Haun did not deliver the message." Later, the Prophet Joseph recorded in his history: Up to this day God had given me wisdom to save the people who took counsel. None had ever been killed who (had abided) by my counsel." In our own time, we have been warned with counsel of where to find safety from sin and from sorrow. One of the keys to recognizing those warnings is that they are repeated. For instance, more than once in general conference, you have heard our prophet say that he would quote a preceding prophet and would therefore be a second witness and sometimes even a third. When a prophet speaks, those with little faith may think that they hear only a wise man giving good advice. Then if his counsel seems comfortable and reasonable, squaring with what they want to do they take it. If it does not, they consider it either faulty advice or they see their circumstances as justifying their being an exception to the counsel." Another fallacy is to believe that the choice to accept or not accept the counsel of prophets is no more than deciding whether to accept good advice and gain its benefits or to stay where we are. But the choice not to take prophetic counsel changes the very ground upon which we stand. It becomes more dangerous. The failure to take prophetic counsel lessens our power to take inspired counsel in the future. The best time to have decided to help Noah build the ark was the first time he asked. Each time he asked after that, each failure to respond would have lessened sensitivity to the Spirit. And so each time his request would have seemed more foolish, until the rain came. And then it was too late.

The Savior holds responsible those to whom He delegates priesthood keys. With those keys comes the power to give counsel that will show us the way to safety. Those with keys are responsible to warn even when their counsel might not be followed. That is one of the ways by which the Lord makes a stake a place of safety."

That blessing generally requires the faith to follow counsel when it is hard to do or unclear as to why we should follow the counsel. An example from Church history is that of Reddrick Newton Allred. He was one of the rescue party sent out by Brigham Young to bring in the Willie and Martin Handcard Companies. When a terrible storm struck Captain Grant, captain of the rescue party, they were forced to leave some of the wagons by the Sweetwater River as he pressed ahead to find the handcart companies. With the blizzards howling and the weather becoming life threatening, two of the men left behind at the Sweetwater decided that it was foolish to stay. They thought that either the handcart companies had wintered over somewhere or had perished. They decided to return to the Salt Lake Valley and tried to persuade everyone else to do the same. Reddrick Allred refused to budge. Brigham had sent them out and his priesthood leader had told him to wait there. The others took several wagons, all filled with needed supplies, and started back. Even more tragic, each wagon they met coming out from Salt Lake they turned back as well. They turned back seventy-seven (77) wagons, returning all the way to Little Mountain, where President Young learned what was happening and turned them around again.

Every ward and stake I have ever spoken at has a few people who have planted their heals into the ground and will not buy food storage no matter what, but what I find interesting is that they can not do it quietly. They must get as many people to follow them as possible. They must "turn around as many wagons" as they can so they feel like "we are all in the same boat". If we could just ignore them and just follow the brethren...


The following is from Government NOT the Church. Interesting.. Just a couple of days of food. Don't go overboard and become a "kook"

If you have any doubt in this thought, re-read lesson 44 from the 2001 priesthood manual "Teaching of the Presidents of the Church" Joseph F. Smith.

To rely on any of these Myths to take care of our family if crisis strikes, is an ostrich' s prescription for disaster. You will be disappointed and maybe offended. Maybe deeply offended.

there are so many myths... but the bottom line is don't believe in Myths.

Talk given by Tim Wolff in 2003

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