Three to four months ago my life changed. Well, technically…my life along with my wife’s life changed. And actually, that change began about five to six months ago. Oh, the “change” I am referring to is in regards to a change of focus in emergency preparedness.
I am sure you would like to know what that change is and why am I talking about it this morning. I don’t blame you. First off, I normally write my posts/articles days, sometimes weeks, in advance. I edit them periodically right up to the day before they post. Rarely do I write and post an article the same day. Today is one of those days that I do…it is 3:30am.
Last Friday morning my wife and I hooked up our flatbed trailer and headed to our property. We chuckle when we refer to it as “The Ranch”, it’s only 40 acres, a tiny ranch, if a ranch at all. But, it is our little spot of paradise that we love. On the trailer were roof trusses, two walls, and our floor trusses. Yeah, I’ve been building our cabin in the garage for the last week and a half. We returned home late Sunday night after a long weekend of hard work setting the foundation.
The timing and agenda of the trip didn’t give us any time to listen to or attend any church meetings over the weekend. I regretted that but felt reassured because I knew we could watch the recordings once we returned home. What I wasn’t prepared for was the reaction of many people to a particular message during church services on Sunday. That is the primary point of this article.
Let me back-up and explain…yesterday I visited a website that is very popular with members of my church that are preppers. The website is a paid site, full of current event articles, spiritual discussions, preparedness info, and the occasional heated debate in regards to just about anything you can imagine. But, yesterday was a little different.
One of the talks in church on Sunday had a small, couple sentence, mention of preparedness. The individual speaking was a national leader in our church and well-respected. What exactly he said doesn’t really matter, the member reaction does. And the reaction ranged from people making a life change, to others entrenching themselves in the own preparedness self-direction. The sheer volume of the discussion was what amazed me. Well, that along with some folks whom I thought were rock solid in their preparedness beliefs showing signs of self-doubt. Then the personal interpretation started, that was another whole avalanche of bantering, reassurance, division, and attempts to find a new reality. I couldn’t truly understand why all the activity surrounding this two-sentence reference in an otherwise long talk. Then it hit me…
Almost all the folks on the website I am talking about are really good people. They are Christians, they are solid family people, they are good neighbors, great friends, and all-round decent individuals. True, there are some who are there for less-than honorable purposes and a few to get gain on the backs of others, but they are few. What there is are few, very few, emergency preparedness professionals that frequent the website. And then there are some that -how should I say this- put a lot of emphasis on dreams and visions. In my opinion that leads them and those that believe them towards life’s quicksand rather easily. Let me explain…
I have been in emergency services in one form or another for over 30 years now. I have served for years on national-level incident management teams, taken thousands and thousands of hours of relevant training, and actually responded to thousands of emergencies, disasters, and even a few grid-down events. All of that gives me a foundation in the hands-on reality of understanding and dealing with emergency preparedness.
Will the world as we know it end? Of course it will. Will Christ come again? Of course He will. Will there be an end-of-times as referenced in the Book of Revelations? Of course there will. Is that what drives my emergency preparedness? Of course not!
Will what I advocate as emergency preparedness ideas, plans, thoughts, and issues handle the end of the world, Christ’s second coming, and Biblical end-times? I think so in many regards. Of course those events are far more complicated and will entail much more than simply temporal emergency preparedness, but the presented information that I present is solid. But, I don’t base my emergency preparedness presentations on those Biblical events, or people’s dreams and visions.
Let me review for just a minute…there are three basic categories of events to prepare for:
- Vehicle Accident
- Heart Attack
- Job Loss/Retirement
- Utility Outage
- House Fire
- Transportation Stoppage
- Financial or Stock Market Collapse
- War or EMP Attack
- Martial Law
Could you add more to the list above? Sure you can but this a basic overview list that I think adequately and appropriately represents what I try to convey in my articles.
Here are some succinct thoughts:
- All my emergency preparedness focuses on preparing for what is on this list, almost all of which I’ve already seen in my lifetime.
- A person could easily call these “life events” and be perfectly within the realm of reality.
- None of it is based on dreams, visions, or Biblical end-times.
- None of it is surrounded by a time-frame.
- All my related emergency preparedness articles/advice builds upon these events and no preparedness article/advice is frivolous in nature.
- I’ve never advocated going into debt to acquire emergency preparedness items.
- I’ve never encouraged obsessiveness in the emergency preparedness arena.
- I’ve not set dates for events to occur.
- I’ve not advocated behavior that would seem “strange” or unchristian.
So, where am I going with all of this?
If you have based your emergency preparedness on solid principles there is no need to panic, express self-doubt, or even heatedly debate with other people who are also into emergency preparedness. If you haven’t built your emergency preparedness on the correct principles then the solution is simple…change what you are doing. And that change is easy.
For my fellow LDS members…
“We do live in turbulent times. Often the future is unknown; therefore, it behooves us to prepare for uncertainties.”
President Thomas S. Monson (“If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear,” Oct. 2004 general conference)
Members of the Church have been counseled for many years to be prepared for adversity. Preparation, both spiritual and temporal, can dispel fear (see D&C 38:30)
L. Tom Perry taught, “The need for preparation is abundantly clear. The great blessing of being prepared gives us freedom from fear” (“If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear,” Oct. 1995 general conference).
With the guidance of Church leaders, individuals and families should prepare to be self-reliant in times of personal and widespread tragedy.
Notice that there is general guidance in what we should do, there is little specifics in the way of lists, skills, training, or exactness in preparing. But, the admonition is clear in what we should be doing…all that we can. But, here is the key…not to become obsessive in this one aspect of our church/religious life or our life in general.
For all, not just my fellow LDS, balance is so vitally important to a healthy life…mental, spiritual, and physical. All aspects of our lives need attention. Decades ago I participated in a meeting that helped me develop this…
For all my website visitors please take the time to truly review, ponder, and think about the “wheels” above. View them as an old fashion wagon wheel for a moment. If one wheel spoke is missing the wheel will soon break and the wagon will become mired down. If one wheel spoke is too long the wagon ride will be very bumpy, till again, the wheel will break and the wagon stalled where it stands. For a smooth ride all wheel spokes must be even, the rim firmly attached, and the hub properly maintained.
We live in interesting times…yes, I say fairly uncertain times that will get worse. Our emergency preparedness will greatly help us in the weeks, months, and years ahead. But, don’t fear, don’t panic, don’t become obsessive, stay grounded in what you know to be true. Don’t let others lead you into paths that break your wheel spokes, don’t allow your spokes to become too short, or overly long.
Especially don’t rely on someone’s dreams or visions to guide you in your life or prepping. Don’t let someone’s gospel opinions be your guiding light…or change your mind from that which you know is true. Let the scriptures be in your heart, let those with proper authority be your spiritual leaders, don’t stray down paths that are not part of the simple gospel of Jesus Christ.
And when it comes to emergency preparedness…prepare! But, do so with commonsense, balance, and don’t get sucked into areas that are not appropriate.
What I haven’t talked about in this article is how my wife’s and my life has changed. And I will not get into that today because I don’t want to detract from what I have already written. In a day or two I will share. In the meantime…I love ya’ll! I mean that. I hope you know that.
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