Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Family Preparedness

June 20th, 2017 by G.

Reading an old Welfare session of General Conference is an interesting experience. It’s very temporal and in a petit bourgeois way. Class instincts you didn’t even know you had rebel.

So it was a relief to see a talk by Spencer W. Kimball about “Family Preparedness.” At last, something about strengthening the family, instead of about food storage!

But no, the talk was all about food storage.

Obedience to the prophets, and food storage.

We encourage families to have on hand this year’s supply; and we say it over and over and over and repeat over and over the scripture of the Lord where He says, “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” How empty it is as they put their spirituality, so-called, into action and call him by his important names, but fail to do the things which he says.

Living lives of creating beauty and order, and food storage/

Keep in good repair and beautify your homes, your yards, farms, and businesses. Repair the fences. Clean up and paint where needed. Keep your lawns and your gardens well-groomed. Whatever your circumstance, let your premises reflect orderliness, beauty, and happiness. Plan well and carry out your plan in an orderly and systematic manner.

Raising good children, and food storage.

What President Romney has just said is basic. Children should learn to work. Parents should not spend their nights and days trying to find something to interest their children. They should find something to occupy them and get them busy doing something that is worthwhile.

I begin to suspect that it was all one message.

I wonder what messages the prophets give these days where we think, “if only they would stop talking about X, and get to the good parts?”

Other Posts from the Welfare session of the April 1976 General Conference

Comments (7)
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June 20th, 2017 07:12:41

Sean Cory
June 20, 2017

I suspect the leadership is constantly harping on these basic things because a large number (wouldn’t surprise me at all if it is the majority) of the membership does not follow (and has never done so) the counsel given or does so in a half-hearted manner. Deep thoughts and the finer points of Mormon theology are not often mentioned because so few of the members evince anything other than a shallow understanding of the basics. The Brethren keep bringing up the dangers of pornography, sexual immorality, the need of daily prayer and scripture study FHE, etc. because many in their audience have steadfastly ignored them and the instances of this willful ignorance are only increasing as the influences of world inundate everything.

June 20, 2017

I like your point though, that it’s not JUST a matter of “we can’t have the deeper stuff because we aren’t doing the basics.” (Though that’s likely got truth to it too.) But–our idea of what IS the deeper stuff might not even be right. “It’s all one message.” And the “mundane” and the sacred are much more mingled than we think. I’ve been groping toward an understanding of this for a long time. Still reaching for it.

[…] Family Preparedness G […]

June 20, 2017

I think food storage is the kindergarten lesson about managing the resources of creation… galaxies, stars, solar systems, planets.

Whether its hard red winter wheat, or a can of beans, a nebula, or a star, or a planet, each has a usable shelf life, and needs to be made/acquired (if the Big Bang theory is true, then God made everything from scratch) in the proper proportions, and then _used_ in the right proportions. Or, at worst, it goes into some form of recycling, like a compost heap.

It’s easy to go out and buy X cans of fruit, vegetables, and meat. But getting them in the right proportion to each other, staggering the expiration dates, (canned meat and fruit lasts longer than vegetables) _using/consuming/rotating_ them in non-emergency times at the right pace (so you get a decent mix of eating fresh foods, but not too much canned) is an exercise in math, logistics, and book-keeping.

I just donated to a food pantry, a bunch of canned veg that expire in 5 months. And I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. If I make donations anyway, I suppose that’s a good thing. I got to keep the cans on hand as “insurance” for 18 to 24 months, so in effect they were “used” by me.

I think it’s good insurance. If I have a 365 day supply for me, that means that in an emergency, I could feed me and 364 other people for a day. Or, all the people in my apartment complex for 1.5 days. (Though my storage is not all cans.)

I also built up, and replenish, the supply by shopping the sales, so whether I consume it, or donate it, the money goes further and does more good.

A few million Mormons, each with a year’s supply of food, equates to many huge storehouses of strategic food reserves, in case of crop failure or other disaster. (Both US and worldwide reserves of grain have been shrinking.)

The most likely problems are not a _total_ lack of food. Of all possible scenarios, one where you eat _only_ from food supply for more than a week (such as a local winter storm), is very remote. The more probable scenario is that the national food production/importation dips to where there is enough food for most, but not for all. You don’t have to have complete absence for an emergency.

Regional flooding, Yellowstone super-volcano, ISIS or NK touching off a dirty bomb or EMP satellite in/over Nebraska, New Madrid fault earthquake, Ogalalla aquifer shrinking further, Central and South America cutting off food exports to us, acceleration of bee colony collapse. All those are non-zero probabilities.

And by keeping “reserves” at local levels, transportation failures can be somewhat alleviated. (A New Madrid Fault earthquake would wipe out all bridges in this region, essentially closing all non-local roads, requiring food to be transferred to/from off-road vehicles, until bridges were rebuilt.)

June 20, 2017

I love how we as Mormons approach the law of stewardship as both a spiritual and temporal law.
In my own family self-reliance is a way of life, connected with using our resources well and not wasting anything. It’s an unspoken assumption in our household that everything we have is all God’s anyway, so we’d better take good care of it!
Since we’re willing to use food that’s slightly out of date or not quite prime, we often find ourselves giving food away to those who need it more, because we have too much to handle ourselves. It’s interesting how, when you assume that waste is sinful, you tend to waste much less. Also to share more, because you’d rather see things used than go to waste.
I’m . . . not sure where I was going with this, but I agree with Bookslinger that food storage could be considered a lesson in managing resources – and if you take God seriously when he says we’re all stewards, then how well we’ve managed those resources (whatever they may be, since there are MANY different kinds of resources) is probably more important than we comprehend at the moment.
Totally aside from all the more serious reasons for food storage, it’s a wonderful moment when you can look in your pantry and think, “I could make something amazingly delicious just from ingredients that I’ve traded for or made or grown myself.” There is definitely a reason that God wants us to live by the sweat of our brow – we appreciate what we have much more when we know how much work it took to make it.
Bonus: since we grow what we store ourselves, I think we have a much better understanding of many of the Lord’s parables about good soil and seeds, wheat and tares, and vineyards. They take on new meaning when you’ve experienced them firsthand.

[…] Family Preparedness by G […]

June 25, 2017

One thing I have recently been pondering, I wonder if we have the wrong reason in mind, when we do food storage. The popular idea is that we will have some great famine, and we will only survive because we have food to eat. Pres. Benson famously said, that it will be a necessary for us to have our food storage as it was for Noah to board the ark.

But while famines are prophesied, this has not been given as the singular reason, as far as I know.

I am going to suggest an alternative. Not long ago, I posted about the late Bronze Age collapse, which seems oddly similar to our own time. This collapse was so complete, it sent the world into several hundred years of dark ages. Many, many great civilizations were utterly destroyed.

I expect that things are going to start collapsing around us at some point. Now, some survivalists like to stockpile guns and ammo. But I think the Lord has a better plan. He wants us to not only stockpile food, but also understand how to grow and eat food from our gardens, how to preserve it, how to maintain a years supply, and in general how to be Self-Reliant.

As important as that stored food will be, to our families, and our neighbors in a famine, I wonder if the knowledge we have about preserving and preparing food will be even more essential during a collapse, especially for our neighbors and community.

It has been prophesied about us saving the Constitution. Perhaps that does not go far enough. Perhaps we will save Civilization as well, because we know how to grow and preserve food.

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