Sunday, October 25, 2009

Rabies-like Symptoms

I have a beef I need to get out of my system. I don't know why you all read the sludge lingering in my soul, but here is some more.

My issue today is food storage. My church has taught the importance of physical preparedness for nearly 100 years. It is not doctrine, per se, but is definitely a correct governing principle. When I say physical preparedness, I'm talking about emergency 72 hour kits (for in the case of evacuation from fire, storm, chemical spill, etc) and food storage. Basically, we are instructed on the importance of being ready for any disaster. We are taught to have the survival essentials for every member of our family for one full year (water, flour, salt, oil, etc) and every day food for at least three months (Mandarin oranges, ketchup, and baking cocoa type foods).

I am an absolute believer in the importance of these teachings. New Orleans would have been a different place after Hurricane Katrina if every member of the community had a backpack full of necessary items to sustain them for 72 hours. People evacuated from the recent California wildfires would testify to the usefulness of having something ready to grab when you are told you need to leave your home NOW.

As for the long-term storage, we have been university students for four years now. There are times when we are out of money. Out. But I still have something to feed my family. My storage is severely depleted after this long stint, which I think only proves it's necessity. There are many great reasons to have food stored, few of which are apocalyptic.

One consideration when building your storage, is the cost. Few people can afford to go out and buy a whole year's worth of food. Most of us just buy an extra canister of salt, a case of beans at the case lot sale, or spaghetti noodles when they go on sale. We bottle free fruit from the neighbor's tree and freeze produce when it is in-season and cheap. When I was a newly-wed, I had a very small amount of extra food, but I was doing all I could. It takes time and work to obtain a year's supply of food.

Now we come to my complaint: There are many, inside of my church and out (Mormons do not have a monopoly on kooks), who spend a great deal of money and time building up their Year's Supply. Once obtained, I have heard many say, "I have my Year's Supply, now I need to get a gun to protect it!"

Really? Is that the Christian thing to do? Your newly-wed neighbor has about a two-week supply. There is a transportation crisis and she runs out of food. She comes to you desperate for food. Are you going to brandish your gun screaming, "Get out, thief!!"?

The family across the street has been out of work for about nine months. After a forced quarantine, they soon run out of food. You're going sit on your porch stroking your rifle as you watch their children starve because you were wise enough to prepare . . . and they weren't?

There is a hurricane which forces the evacuation of an entire city just south of you. People, many of whom have a supply of food in their now flooded basements, come only with the clothes on their back. You are not going to feed them? Is that what Jesus would do?

I even know some who refuse to gather food because they would have to share. Huh?

Okay, I know the "realists" would argue that in the case of, say, a nuclear attack, gangs would erupt over night, track down those who have food and steal from under our noses. If that were the case, would your one gun be enough to protect that food supply against a mob? Doubt it.

This is not an anti-gun rant. I firmly support our right to own firearms so don't send me hate mail. This is also not an invitation to not make an effort to store your own food. Even if all of us who have food do share, we'd run out a lot faster if others didn't do their part.

I'm just saying, you had the faith to follow the counsel of the Prophet. You sacrificed in order to do it. Now, you're going to turn your back on the teachings of Jesus Christ and not share in the time of crisis? Don't forget, He's the one who fed 5000 from five loaves and two fishes.

And if there is a disaster and you don't have food? Come to my house. I don't have much, but what I have, I'll share. . . as long as you don't complain about what is served. 'Cause, Honey? I ain't got no patience for that! Ask my pods.


  1. We just had a lesson on this...stuff- self reliance. And it was made clear that we are asked to be self reliant so we can help others.

    I have enough wheat in my basement to feed the neighborhood. And I plan on doing just that...I am hoping someone will have a grinder...

    My body actually doesn't like wheat- but my family loves it of course- so I have all the rice and beans in the world-

    anyway- so yes. It is just smart to have food storage. Economically and for charitable reasons too. I love when there is a food drive and I can fill up a grocery bag without really seeing a dent in my food supply.

    Who knows we might be asked one day to combine all our food together and head east!!!

  2. One of my friends keeps pounds and pounds of fun size Snickers in her chest freezer as part of her food storage. She's pretty sure they'll be worth more than gold in any sort of wide spread disaster. :)

  3. Today when we talked about self-reliance, one of the YSAs said, if there's a problem, I'm coming to your house!!! :) I was so happy that she knew we had food & that she knew that we would share. Sometimes our stash is better than others but I think that I'm glad that I have something.

  4. Jarom and I have had this very discussion many times. He’s of the ‘we will need to protect what we have’ opinion and I’m of the ‘we can share what we have.’ I just chalked up to one of those agree to disagree discussions, until we went on the Pioneer Trek when we were Ma & Pa … remember that adventure?! Remember the first day got really hot (before we were sleeping the cold rain later that night). As Ma & Pa we were told to bring extra water for our ‘kids’ that may not bring enough. Well our family quickly needed that extra water as well as some of the other handcarts around us. Jarom and I brought a little more than what we were asked, so at first we shared, and then I heard Jarom very sweetly say “I’m sorry we can’t share anymore, I need to make sure that my family will have enough.” Which we barely did. If we were faced with a similar situation regarding our food storage, come some tragedy, I know that I will still have an urge to share, and I’m sure we would… I just hope I would have enough faith to ‘stretch’ what we do have. But, seeing Jarom that day made me realize that his perspective was not the greedy “what’s mine is mine” attitude but the protection and comfort of his family. Very good post :)