Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

We were supposed to go to Mary and Jay's and stay over there last night. We were really, really torn about it. We wanted to go so badly, but we had started to clean out our garage and we ended up on a roll with it and just wanted to continue purging. So we stayed home last night and purged... and purged. It felt really good. Mike got some shelving to put up in the garage so that we can get more organized. We still have some work to do... namely a run to the dump and a few runs to the D.I., but I think we are well on our way.

We got up early this morning (way too early) and headed out to Port Orchard for Memorial Day. I was excited to FINALLY see Mary and Jay's place. We unloaded some things there and then headed over to Manchester State Park to spend the day with family. We had a GREAT time today! We are so glad we went out there. It's a beautiful park... green everywhere and of course lots of water. We didn't anticipate how chilly it was going to be in the morning. When we got there, the kids didn't want to wear their hoodies, so Wonder Boy decided to use Ethan's... and this was the result:

The area still has a torpedo house on the property which was built in 1901. I found out from reading on the state park website that the torpedo house later was used as an officer's club, a barracks and a mess hall. They don't build 'em like they used to... nothing like good old brick and mortar to withstand the test of time. It was amazing to stand inside the mammoth structure. It had a fireplace in there and the original rail tracks are still in place. As the tracks exit the structure, they fade into the asphalt that covers the ground today. I stood there, imagining what it must have been like a hundred years ago when the place was busy and bustling with rail cars coming in and out. Only an empty shell stands today, but it is fun to imagine.

Here are some other random pictures:

Sierra found a caterpillar that was really cute. That girl is truly "one" with nature! The kids decided to host the caterpillar for awhile. They built a habitat for it and took care of it... all the way up until a mean old crow decided to swoop down and devour it for lunch! HMPH!

We also had fun down on the water. Even though it was cool, overcast, and at times drizzly, everyone had a great time!

Remember I said that Sierra is one with nature... well she found a large and really cool crab once the tide started receding. Oh, did I mention that it was ALIVE? She's so brave... she picked it up and carried it all the way back up to the picnic area. I would have been terrified that the thing would have clawed me!

Me, Mary, Beka and Cynthia enjoyed an awesome game of badminton. It was a ton of fun!

Eventually, we packed it all up. Some people left. I stayed behind with Mike, Ethan, Evan, Mary, Samantha, Sierra, Savana, and Loral. We all went on a hike around the area. We saw some amazing beauty as well as a historical gun battery from the turn of the century. And as we were hiking along, we could hear the seals out on the water, barking away. We had a great time exploring!

When we were all done, we headed back to Mary and Jay's house to hang out and play games. While there, Jay let me try out a 400mm lens he has. What fun! I only took a few pictures but this was my favorite:

We had such a great time today. It was so nice to be able to spend the day having fun with the family. We are so glad that we went out there and enjoyed the beauty of the day and the company!


So in a previous entry about gardening, I had mentioned that I am scared of planting from seeds. I always use starts for my garden. (Well, not totally true... one year I did have good luck with peas and beans, but I didn't thin them out enough and there was some definite overcrowding.)

Anyway... behind all our veggies, we planted a row of sunflowers. I couldn't find any starts so I just picked up a packet of seeds and thought we'd hope for the best. I figured it was a couple of bucks... if they didn't sprout, I wouldn't be too disappointed. Well... imagine my surprise when I looked out the bathroom window and saw the sunflower seedlings, popped through the soil!! I can't even begin to describe how excited I was! We succeeded! YAY! I think that even if they were to die at this point, I'd still be happy, just knowing I got them to sprout successfully. Supposedly, these are the variety that can grow to 10 feet tall and 2 feet across! I believe I planted them on or about the 13th, so the growth seen above took less than 2 weeks. I'm so happy!

Mike also added to the garden this week... he put in a strawberry plant, raspberry bush, and he put my basil plant in the ground. I'm excited for some yummy things in a few months. Here is how the garden is looking as of yesterday:

Friday, May 23, 2008

Tender Heart

My sweet Ethan... he has such a tender heart. He has so much love to give that he can hardly contain himself sometimes. He is always thinking of others and always wants to help out others any way he can. Today we shared a tender moment that left my heart a bit raw...

In yesterday's post, I mentioned a little girl moving out down the street. I said her name was Juliana. But I guess it's really Brianne. I don't know... one of the names is real, the other is obviously not. Apparently, from what Mike has determined (from our other neighbors), they have a tough life and their home is not the happiest. That makes me sad. I can't imagine my children living in an environment where they didn't have happiness or where they didn't feel safe and loved at all times. The thought makes me sick inside. Nevertheless, that is her life. Well, Ethan befriended her.

This is a big deal for Ethan. He has some social tendencies which make it difficult for him to sometimes interact with others. He doesn't always understand social "rules" and so others sometimes find him awkward or different. But he really liked this little girl and I think she liked our boys as well. Why on earth would he have to befriend the one person who is moving OUT of the neighborhood? Anyway... over the past couple of days, she has been outside a lot as her father has been moving everything out of the house. They have played tag, shot super soakers at each other, and just played. When she gave him a bit of attention, he latched on and she became "my best friend". He wanted to share everything with her and do things for her. It was sweet.

Well, today was moving day. I could pinpoint the exact moment when she left... for it was the same moment that he came into the house and I could hear him crying. I said, "What's wrong Ethan?" and he answered, "She's gone. She's just gone and I miss her. She was my best friend." And honestly, it took everything in me not to burst into tears for him. While I know and understand that this was a fleeting friendship (which lasted exactly two days!), I realized that to him, it was very real and very deep and he sincerely misses her. I understand that these are the types of experiences that mold who we are as human beings. But it hurts this mama's heart to see her baby hurting inside.

I hugged him for a long time while he sobbed and told him how much I loved him. I explained that that happens sometimes... friends move away... but we get to make new friends. He shook his head and said, "I'll get over this. I just want to go and put flowers on her driveway." SIGH... how sweet is that? He is SO sweet and so tender.

Thankfully, when you're six years old, chocolate chip cookies can fix a world of problems so we went into the kitchen and baked up a batch. They are really yummy! (I wish chocolate chip cookies could fix adult problems! But they do make a difference, if I do say so myself.) The boys had fun mixing dough and shaping the dough into balls... and of course devouring them, warm from the oven.

He got over himself pretty quickly and even added some humor to my afternoon. As we were placing dough balls onto cookie sheets, I kept rearranging the ones he'd put down so that we'd have neat, even rows. He finally looked at me, sighed, and said, "Mom, you're just not getting my artistic instincts!" :-) I love my sweet boy!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Today's random thoughts

I've tried to be a little more productive today. I have been working on the laundry (the pile doesn't seem to be diminishing in size, regardless of how many loads I continue to wash!) I also decided to take the empty diced ham cans I'd been saving and start making some buddy burners with them. I remember making these a hundred years ago when I was in the youth program. Even at that time, I was intrigued by them and have never forgotten their efficacy. Since we own stock in Kirkland Wipes, I usually have a box around. Sure enough, I had one flattened and ready to go into the recycle bin. I quickly rescued it and began taking it apart.

I peeled off the outer paper (with the pictures and information on it) and got down to the corrugated part. Then I cut the strips to fit inside the can. Half the box was enough to fill two cans. Not bad. All I need to do now is melt some paraffin or old candles and fill it with wax. And then voila... buddy burners, all ready to go! The information I've looked at suggests that a burner made with a tuna can will burn an average of 2 hours. My cans are about twice the depth so I'm thinking I should get roughly double the burn time. Of course it'll also take more paraffin.

Rebekah stopped by today to drop off some clothes that got mixed up with her things when everyone went camping last weekend. She asked what I was doing so I explained it to her and told her I needed to get some paraffin. So we all went up to Wal-Mart together and searched high and low. Of the FOUR Wal-Mart employees we asked, two had never heard of paraffin wax. The other two had no clue where it was and lead us in two different (and very wrong) directions. Thankfully, we are resourceful and found it ourselves. It's only sold in 1-lb blocks. I just bought one. I'm not sure how much wax it will take to fill the cans. I'm thinking maybe half a pound. Either way, at less than $3 for a block, it's still a very cheap source of heat considering I already had the cans and the cardboard.

I think my next project will be to make some fire starters, using the corrugated cardboard, some cotton yarn, and the wax. They are good to keep around in emergencies. Oh, I also bought another 1500 kitchen matches today ($3 total) and will use the paraffin I got today to waterproof them. Then Mike gave me a great idea of using the Food Saver to seal them all up.

Anyway, after shopping, the five of us grabbed a bite to eat and then headed home. It was nice to get away for a bit.

The neighbors down the street are moving out. I have never gotten to know them. But today, the boys are outside playing with their little girl. After what Ethan shared with me today, I'm not upset that he didn't get to know her sooner. I asked him about her. He said, "Her name is Juliana Marie. She's 7 but she's turning 8 tomorrow. And she broke up with her boyfriend yesterday." HUH???? Her what?? BOYFRIEND??? What in the world is a 7-year-old doing with a boyfriend? UGH. I remember when I was 7... and to me boys were still icky and disgusting. I don't think I ever thought a boy was even cute until I was about 10 or 11. I'm still shaking my head... seven years old? Really?

Anyway... back to the grindstone. I'm off to cut up more cardboard and hopefully whittle away further at my ever growing mountain of laundry.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Book of Gomer

I LOVE this fictitious parable! I've read it several times. It certainly falls in line with all the thoughts about preparedness I've had going on lately!

The Book of Gomer
A Parable

Author Unknown

These are the generations of Gomer, son of Homer, son of Omer. And in the days of Gomer, Noah, the Prophet, went unto the people saying, "Prepare ye for the flood which is to come, yea, build yourselves a boat, that ye may not perish."

Now, Gomer was a member of the Church, and taught Sunday School and played ball, yea, even on the ward softball team. And Gomer's wife said unto him, "Come, let us build unto ourselves a boat as the Prophet Noah hath commanded, that we may not perish in the flood." But behold, Gomer saith unto his wife, "Worry not, dear wife, for if the flood comes the government will provide boats for us."

And Gomer did not build a boat. And Gomer's wife went unto Noah and she returned saying, "Behold, Honey, the Prophet saith unto us, "Build a boat, that we may preserve ourselves, for the government pays men not to grow trees, wherefore the government hath not the lumber to build for you a boat."

And Gomer answered saying, "Fear not, oh wife, for am I not the star pitcher on the ward softball team? Wherefore, the Church will provide for us a boat, that we will perish not."

And Gomer's wife went again unto Noah, and she returned unto Gomer, saying, "Behold, mine husband, the Prophet saith that the Church hath not enough lumber to build a boat for everyone, wherefore, mine husband, build for us a boat that we might not perish in the flood." And Gomer answered her saying, "Behold, if we build a boat, when the flood cometh, will not our neighbors overpower us and take from us our boat; wherefore, what doth it profit a man to build a boat?"

And Gomer's wife went again unto Noah and she returned, saying, "Behold, the Prophet saith, build unto yourselves a boat, and have faith, for if ye do the Lord's bidding, He will preserve your boat for you." But Gomer answered his wife, saying, "Behold, with this inflation, the price of wood has gone sky high, and if we wait awhile, perhaps the price will go down again. And then I will build for us a boat."

And Gomer's wife went again unto Noah, and she returned saying, "Thus saith the Prophet, build for yourselves a boat RIGHT NOW, for the price of wood will not go down, but will continue to go up. Wherefore, oh husband, build for us a boat, that we may perish not."

But Gomer answered his wife, saying, "Behold, for 120 years Noah hath told us to build a boat, to preserve us from the flood, but hath the flood come? Yea, I say, nay. Wherefore, perhaps the flood will not come for another hundred and twenty years.”

And Gomer's wife went again unto Noah and returned saying, "The Prophet saith, he knows it has been 120 years, but nevertheless, the flood will come, wherefore, build unto yourselves a boat."

And Gomer answered her saying, "Wherewith shall we get the money to build ourselves a boat, for are we not now making monthly payments on our snazzy new four horsepower chariot? Wherefore, when our payments end, perhaps we shall build ourselves a boat."

And Gomer's wife went again unto Noah and returned saying, "Behold, the Prophet saith that we should cut down on our recreation, and our vacations, and even give each other lumber for Christmas, that we might thereby get enough lumber to build a boat."

But Gomer saith unto her, "What a drag! Are we to cease enjoying life, just because we must build a boat?"

Wherefore, Gomer built not a boat. But behold, one day Gomer heard thunder in the sky, and he feared exceedingly and he ran, yea, even to the lumberyard to buy lumber. But behold, the lumber store was crowded with great multitudes, all seeking to buy lumber, and there was not enough lumber to be found for the multitudes.

And on the same day were all the fountains of the deep opened, and the windows of heaven were broken up, and the floods came - and behold, Gomer had no boat. And as the water rose above Gomer's waist, his wife saith unto him,

"Behold, Honey, I told thee so!"


Quoted items are used under the Fair Use Act for educational purposes. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

Preparedness - Part II

I will probably be writing lots about preparedness in the coming days because it’s a subject that is weighing quite heavily on my mind. I’ve had several recurring thoughts and felt the need to get them down on “paper” (or computer screen, as the case may be!)

As with other important things in life, I sometimes over analyze things and play them out to all sorts of varying scenarios. One of the things that has always plagued me is wondering what I would do if we all needed to rely on food storage and I was asked to share by neighbors or others. My first thoughts are always, “No! I worked hard to prepare my food storage and I have my own children to think about.” But then I feel sort of selfish and wonder if that’s really the Christlike thing to do. At the same time, I KNOW that most people do not store food. And most people know that LDS people are commanded to do it. So many people think we are freaks for “food hoarding”. But I wonder how freaky they’ll think we are when times are hard and their own children are starving. In recent times, even larger organizations such as FEMA and the Red Cross are advising the storage of non-perishable foods for survival. Although their suggestions are for “several days to a week”. I think that’s very foolish thinking. I think back to Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana. Even though we are a country of plenty and have federal organizations set up to deal with such disasters, many people died waiting for them show up because of the length of time it took them to arrive. And that was ONE SMALL AREA. If a disaster occurred on a wider scale, I shudder to think of how long one would have to wait for outside supplies to arrive.

That said… How do I balance the need to protect my own children with the desire to help others? Obviously, we’ve all been commanded to prepare. We’ve been told until the church leaders are blue in the face. In fact, I don’t know if anyone else seems to notice… but it seems to me that recently, the leaders have actually backed off on telling the church membership to prepare. We’ve been told for so long and for so many years. Is the Lord simply done talking about it? We’ve all had ample opportunity.

I recently read an article that helped allay my fears about making the above decision. I was reminded of two very important stories from the scriptures. The first occurred when Noah boarded the ark. The rains poured down for forty days and forty nights. I assume that it didn’t flood right away. I’m willing to bet it was a slow process. The rain fell and fell and the waters gathered and gathered. Surely people sought higher ground and protection. Surely people sought refuge aboard the ark. But did the Lord require Noah to share his space on the ark? Did Noah open the doors of the ark and take pity on the people he knew would surely die? The answer to both questions is no.

Another story that I was reminded of is the story of the ten virgins. In fact, this story more specifically relates to my concern about food storage. All ten virgins were well aware of what was coming. Yet only five prepared by bringing oil with them. When it was time to trim their lamps and meet the bridegroom, the five unprepared virgins begged the other five to share their oil. Did the five share? Did the bridegroom say, “Go ahead, share your oil so that everyone can come in”? No. In fact, the five with oil were very specific in stating that they would not share because then there wouldn’t be enough for everyone and that the other five would need to go and buy their own. They had been warned. They knew the time was coming and yet they chose not to prepare, much to their own detriment. No one felt sorry for them at the appointed hour. No one took pity on them and shared with them. They were turned away, plain and simple.

Isn’t preparedness much the same principle? We’ve been warned and warned and warned and warned. Somehow, we find ways of buying the things we want in life, but we never seem to get around to getting our food storage in order.

As people, we are the ten virgins. The bridegroom (the Lord) has warned us to trim our lamps and secure our oil (food storage and emergency supplies). Soon (I feel VERY soon), we will be called (we will face uncertainty that will require us to have prepared) and only some of us will be ready. The rest of us will be turned away. I have only the supplies necessary to take care of my own family. I don’t have the goods to keep others alive. By the same token, I can’t expect anyone else to provide for my family. That is my responsibility. And I must expect that if I beg others for something I had ample time to secure, I too will be turned away. What a cold day that will be when I must tell my hungry children that I have nothing to feed them because I failed to heed the Lord’s counsel.

On a more positive note, the First Presidency has said that almost anyone can get a year’s supply together with careful planning. It takes sacrifice, but isn’t it worth it? I find that as I prayerfully seek the Lord’s guidance in this matter, little ways are opened up. My mind is made clearer and I’m able to break things down and not feel so overwhelmed by it all.

Here are some ways that I am trying to prepare:

  • I’ve found a couple of online calculators which allow me to plug in some numbers (number of people in my family and how many months of storage I want). These calculators will then tell me approximately how much food I need to build a year’s supply. I then took that list and divided it up into 3-month increments. When I’m thinking about collecting a year’s supply, it’s much less overwhelming to look at it in smaller increments.
  • I’ve printed out these lists and plan on keeping one in each car so that I always have a handy list of essentials.
  • It is my intention to buy one or more items each time I go to the grocery store.
  • We’ve gotten pretty good at purchasing water each time we go to Costco.
  • Last year, I felt compelled to begin collecting more lighting needs. I was able to collect many candles. Also of note, matches are very, very inexpensive and whenever I think about it, I pick up a 250-count box of Blue Diamond Large Kitchen Matches.
  • Speaking of matches, my next goal is to pick up some paraffin wax or shellac and waterproof all the matches. I have looked online. It’s very easy to do and a wise use of time. Nothing like storing matches only to find that they won’t light after they’ve gotten wet or moist!
  • PETE bottles. I have tried to save PETE bottles in the past but have gotten pretty lazy about it. I need to do that again. They are wonderful for storing dried foods or even water. Plus, they are shatterproof and waterproof. Why throw them in the recycle when you can just use them again in your own home?

On another positive note, there are some recent studies out of (I think) the University of Utah which show that many, many more foods than previously thought have a shelf life of >25 years! Also, I recently viewed a video online about a man who opened up several buckets of food he had stored from the 80s and 90s… all of it was good because he had stored it properly.

If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Harrowing Work Weekend

Lately our birth center has attracted some disastrous circumstances. I'm not sure what it is. Did someone put a sign up outside the hospital that said, "Stop here if you are having an urgent and/or dangerous birth experience!"? It befuddles me... but I'm sure glad that it's OVER with. I worked Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights... all 12-hour shifts... and I was the nursery nurse on all three nights. This means that it is my job to attend all newborn deliveries and oversee the care of any sick infants.

Friday: The night started off okay. I surveyed the labor board and didn't really like what I saw. One woman was 42w4d gestation. That's a red flag. It means the placenta is on the older side and often begins to show signs of breakdown, which can result in a baby that doesn't fare so well. I never like to see a pregnancy that's gone longer than 42 weeks. In this patient's case, I was told that the OB's office actually sent the police out to her home because she'd missed the last few prenatal visits and wasn't answering phone calls. They were concerned something had happened to her. She was fine and they convinced her to come in to the hospital for an induction. Red flag #2. Induction agents are harsh. Combine them with an old placenta and it can spell disaster.

There was another woman who was 40+ weeks. She was progressing VERY slowly. Her fetal strip looked suspicious to all of us. Her baby's activity on the strip was pretty flat... a sign that the baby isn't tolerating the labor well. And there was a third woman, also in labor and doing just fine.

As the nursery nurse, this is daunting because I'm responsible for these babies the moment they emerge from the womb. When they don't tolerate labor, they often don't tolerate birth. The night clipped along and at one point, I thought I might escape the births. They seemed to be progressing slowly enough that I thought we might just be able to hold them off until the day shift arrived. Hahahaha... that'll teach me to think.

By 3:30am, the doc of the second patient decided we'd waited long enough and ordered a c-section. The woman was prepped and walked into the O.R. She was sitting on the table and the anesthesiologist was getting ready to put in the spinal. In the meantime, we all stood out in the station watching patient #1's fetal strip. All of a sudden, it looked REALLY bad and we all decided we didn't want to wait an hour to do something about it. So the poor patient who was in the operating room and ready to go was told she'd have to wait. She walked back to her room and patient #1 was brought in and an emergent c-section was done. It was emergent enough that they gave her a general for the birth. Thankfully, they handed me a vigorous baby who began crying when I stimulated him. Yay! That baby was born at 4:25am... woman #3 delivered at 5:25am, and woman #2 finally got her c-section at 6:15am! Talk about crazy.

I went home exhausted and collapsed into bed. The guys were all camping. The weather forecast was for hot weather and I didn't doubt it. When I walked out of the hospital at 7:30am, it was already 70 degrees. I closed myself up in my room with the portable a/c and drifted off to sleep. Unfortunately, I still woke up with a headache, though not as bad as it would have been without the a/c. One of the unique challenges about working the night shift is learning how to sleep during hot days. Darkness and quiet requires closing windows and blocking out light. But that also means sweltering heat. The a/c was heaven-sent.

I woke up Saturday afternoon, resolved that that night would be better than the night before. Hahahaha... I had no idea how wrong I was. Once again, the night started off okay. We had a couple of people in labor and they were doing okay. Around 2am, a woman came in complaining of cramping. This was her 5th pregnancy, she was 29 weeks gestation, and carrying twins. We often get women in premature labor. We can typically give them medications to stop the labor and then we can either keep them for observation or send them home on bedrest. This woman was concerned because with her other babies, her labors were only a couple of hours long.

She was checked by the nurse and found to be 2cm dilated. That isn't good when you are only 29 weeks. You should be closed up tight. So she was immediately given medications, an IV fluid bolus, and started on a magnesium drip. We also made immediate arrangements for her to transferred to another hospital... one with level III NICU capability. The transport team had been called and they were en route. A few minutes later, the nurse pokes her head out the door and yells to the OB, "PLEASE come and check her again. She says she feels pushy pressure." Despite all the medications, she had dilated another 2cm and was now 4 cm. At that point, the doc had no choice but to call off the transport. She would not be stable enough to move. It was at that point that I had to get ready for a twin delivery... nearly 3 months early. I knew I'd be dealing with VERY tiny babies who would need a LOT of support at birth.

I phoned the neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP) and said, "Sorry to wake you up. I need stat assistance for a 29-week twin delivery." The NNP on call was very nice, asked me to set up all necessary equipment and that she was on her way. She arrived a half hour later and we continued to set up. We set up two warmers in the nursery and two warmers in the operating room. We had ambu bags with preemie masks on them, intubation equipment, and line kits ready. The patient was taken to the O.R. for the delivery. We usually deliver twins in the O.R. because often the first baby will come out head first, but the second baby is breech. If that is the case, they often have to do a c-section to get the second baby out. In the middle of getting all this ready, another woman walked in, pregnant with her 3 baby and contracting every 5 minutes! The poor mother was in terrible pain and finally, out came baby #1... a little girl who came out crying. Crying is a very good sign. She was all of 860 grams... 1lb 14oz. She was darling. She tried so hard, bless her heart. But at 4 minutes of age, we opted to intubate her because she was just working too hard to breathe.

We waited and waited and waited for baby #2. She was breech. The OB asked the NNP if she thought it would be okay to deliver breech. I thought it was cool that he'd ask her first. Between the two of them, they decided a c-section was best in order to ensure the best possible outcome for the second baby. The mother was put under general anesthesia and they delivered baby #2 quickly. She was 1160 grams... 2lb 90z. She was floppy and not making any efforts whatsoever to breathe or move, so she was intubated right away. Once we had both girls in the nursery, the place was BUZZING with people. The transport team had arrived for the babies (each baby had at their service a transport RN, EMT, and RT... so six total). They took over care and I helped out where needed and acted as gopher. I got to assist with umbilical line placement and other things. It was an amazing learning experience.

The parents of these babies were so sweet and amazingly grateful for all the help and care. They spoke very little English, but enough to constantly tell us over and over through it all, "Thank you so much for your help." They were scared and they were warned that their little girls might not live or might have complications. We got the girls safely transferred to Tacoma General hospital. I called last night to get an update on them was thrilled to hear that hey had both been extubated and were now on CPAP! YAY!

I left work about 2 hours late yesterday morning. The girls left at 6:30am and then I had the daunting task of charting on both of them as well as doing the hospital charges. It took awhile. Once again, I came home and collapsed, exhausted both physically and mentally. When I woke up, Mike and the boys were gone. They came and saw me at the beginning of my work shift. I was so happy to see them and it really made my night!

I was stuck in the nursery ALL night last night. I had a sick baby. Unfortunately, his mother uses illegal drugs. He was born at home after a quick labor and wasn't looking so good. I had him on a warmer with IV fluids going, a monitor on, a saturation probe on, and a radiant warmer probe on. He was snowed from all the drugs the mother took. It really broke my heart. I watched him SLOWLY wean off the drug overdose over my 12 hour shift. He was finally looking better by the time my shift was over. My replacement was a bit late and no sooner did she come in, she was called away to a delivery. So I had to stay with the baby in the nursery. She came back quickly and said she'd found someone else to attend the delivery. And as I am getting ready to walk out, they called a code on that mother! UGH! Thankfully, things were okay and I was able to leave finally.

I just wanted to add in here... how much I felt the Holy Ghost with me over the weekend. Whenever I attend ANY delivery, regardless of the circumstances, i always say a prayer and ask for assistance from the Holy Spirit... and I have never been denied that. It was a special gift I am so grateful to have. The events of the weekend could have been FAR worse. We could have had very bad outcomes for some of these babies. But they were all just fine! I am so thankful!

What a WEEKEND! I'm TIRED! More importantly, I'm happy to have the next four nights off and happy to be able to have a three-day weekend coming up for Memorial Day!

First Campout

This past weekend was by far the nicest that Washington has seen this year. Unfortunately, it also coincided with a 3-night stretch of 12-hour shifts at work for me! The family went on an overnight camping trip out to Millersylvania. It was the first camp out of the year. I admit it, I'm a tad jealous. Oh well, that's the way life rolls. I'm hoping to be able to go camping at some point this summer. The good news is that I FINALLY have every other weekend off (first time in over 6 years!) Anyway... here are some pictures from the camp out, courtesy of our brother-in-law, Jay Drowns. Thanks Jay... LOVE the pictures!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Utah Vacation - Part V - Wednesday

Back to our Utah adventure! I had already blogged Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. We now come to Wednesday!

Once again, we set our alarms and got up early so that we could get as much accomplished as possible. Monday we went north, Tuesday we stayed in the city, and Wednesday the plan was to go south. We could not have planned things better. Whereas Tuesday was sunny, warm, and gorgeous (perfect for taking pictures and walking around temple square), Wednesday was cool, overcast, and rainy. In fact, by the afternoon on our way back, it began to rain really hard. There wasn't much to take pictures of on Wednesday, so it was a great day for rain. (Lynne and Rudy weren't so lucky... it was barbecue day for them... the rain was a major bummer for them!)

We had breakfast and then headed over to pick up my mom. Our first stop on the trip south was the Jordan River temple! I was surprised at just how packed the temple was on a Wednesday morning. What a testimony to the faithfulness of the saints in that area. Seeing how crowded it was, it came as no surprise that South Jordan, Utah will soon become the first city in the world to have two temples on its land once the Oquirrh Mountain temple is constructed.

After seeing the Jordan River temple, we continued south and stopped in Lehi at my mom's request. She wanted to stop at the Lehi Roller Mills store and pick up some of their famous mixes. They have so many mixes for all sorts of breads and cookies. The place smelled wonderful. It was very tempting to purchase one of everything but once again, the thing that saved me was knowing that we had limited room in the suitcases. In fact, we ended up buying another bag prior to leaving just to hold all the things we got. I was disciplined... I wasn't going to buy any. But my mom was sweet and bought me a chocolate chip cookie mix. I was sold on it after tasting the freshly baked sample cookies they had. They're very smart. I can admit my weakness... I got sucked in by the fresh baked goodness! I haven't made my mix yet. I'm saving it for a rainy day when we're stuck inside!

Next on our stop was the Mount Timpanogos temple in American Fork. It was the fifth of six temples we would see on our vacation. I loved the quiet neighborhood that the Mt. Timp temple was located in. It's a beautiful temple. The glass was so beautiful. It was colorful and quite unique to any other temple I've seen (not that I've seen many!) Once again, because of the rain, we didn't really walk around. But I can say that I"ve seen it and photographed it! It really was a highlight for me to be able to see so many temples on this trip. It reaffirmed my desire to get busy and get to the temple more often.

We continued on our journey south and stopped in Orem next. Mike stopped in the Missionary Mall store and picked up a tie and something else (I think socks maybe?) for Elder McKell from our home ward. He is currently in the MTC but soon headed to Mexico. What a treat... we found out that the store would deliver the items to Elder McKell THAT day! Yay! While he was there doing that, my mom and Ethan and I headed over to the Desert Book store in the same shopping complex. WOW... it was so fun! It's the nicest LDS bookstore I've ever been in. I found a few treasures there that I just had to have. In the meantime, Ethan decided to have a meltdown... a really, really bad one, unlike I've seen in a very long time. Not sure what the trouble was, but it was bad enough that I had to hand all my stuff to my mom and walk him out to the car. He screamed all the way out to the car. My mom (naughty girl) ended up buying my things for me, even though I had sent Mike in to do it for me! Thank you mom!

One of the best treasures I found in the store was a book called "I Walked To Zion". There are MANY books on the market about the pioneers and handcart companies. But what makes this book different is the fact that it is told from the perspective of children. Every few pages, there is a different story, told by a different traveler. All the featured authors were children or young teenagers at the time they crossed the plains or the ocean. It is so neat to read about the experiences from their point of view. Many of the authors ended up becoming famous, including one child who grew up to become the prophet!

I digress... Mike also visited the distribution center there. He was picked up some different garments while he was there. Then Mike and I walked over to the Emergency Essentials store. It was fun to see an actual store. I've seen their website and catalog a hundred times, but never the actual store. It gave us some good ideas (and fueled my preparedness bug!) We also went into a toy store and picked up a couple of plastic mugs for the kids. The mugs had their names on them... one said Ethan and one said Evan. Evan can recognize (and spell!) his name now and when he saw the mug he said, "Hey, that's my name!"

From the Orem mall, we headed into Provo. My mom and I got lunch at the Gandolfo's deli there in town. Very good sandwiches! Mike and the boys ate somewhere else. Then we drove up through the campus. That was a fun experience. It sort of made me regret that I never got to go to school there. But I did enjoy my experience at BYU-Hawaii immensely.

Next we drove up past the MTC. Mike had a lot of fun reminiscing about his days there. It was neat to see the throngs of families outside taking pictures with their newly called missionaries. I hope someday I have the honor of standing there with my sons! It was so strange to think that even as we drove by, there were two missionaries inside from our home ward! One is going to Mexico and the other to Germany. This coming Saturday, a sister from our ward (actually our R.S. president) is having an open house for her son who is returning from the Philippines.

Finally, we made it to the sixth temple on our vacation... the Provo temple! It was fun to see a temple alive and buzzing with so many young college students. It reminded me of my days at BYU-Hawaii when we'd walk over to the La'ie temple whenever we felt like it. Although I was not endowed at the time and couldn't just go in whenever I wanted to, I really enjoyed the spirit of the temple grounds and when I was going through a particularly rough time, I could always find peace and comfort just by sitting outside.

The boys really enjoyed being on the grounds there. By the time we got to the Provo temple, Ethan had become quite adept at finding the angel Moroni on each temple. He also enjoyed the many fountains we were able to see at so many of the temples.

We drove through campus over to The Creamery for some really good ice cream. It was interesting watching the people there. There was no doubt in my mind that we were in an LDS college town! If someone had blindfolded me and put me in that store, I would have known it was a LDS college town anyway. At one table sat a couple who didn't look older than 19 or 20. The mother held a newborn in her arms as they ate their ice cream. The girls behind the counter had nametags on that boasted their hometowns. And one young mother walked in with two small children. When the cook behind the counter saw them, he came out and hugged them as they shouted, "Daddy!" Too cute. We enjoyed some really delicious ice cream there and then headed out.

On our way back to Salt Lake, we stopped in draper. There were signs along the freeway that excitedly exclaimed "Draper Outlet Mall!" Boy were we disappointed. It was the most awful mall I've ever been in. Many of the stores had a bunch of dust-collecting junk in them! In the distance, we saw the Draper temple construction site, but when we tried to actually find it we got turned around. Oh well, we saw it from afar! We finally made it back to Lynne and Rudy's house in time for the big barbecue. Poor Lynne... she was stressing hard. It was POURING rain and when I saw her she was near tears as she said, "It doesn't matter. Nobody's coming anyway." Poor thing. Boy was she wrong... over the next couple of hours, the house filled to the brim with people! She thought there was too much food. Almost all of it was eaten. It was such a nice get together. I got to meet a ton of new people. Mike left me there and took the boys to the nickel arcade to work out some bugs. It was nice to be able to socialize and not worry that they were getting into things!

Jeff flew in that night and it was fun to see him again! But cuter than that was seeing Maggie with her dad again! It was so cute... she had the 7th marked on the calendar as the day her dad was coming. Each day we'd ask her when her dad was coming and she'd joyfully point to the 7th on the calendar! We also got to see Sina that night. She had driven up from AZ with a couple of friends. It had been so long since I'd seen her.

After the barbecue, Mike and I took the kids to meet up with someone from Mike's past. Her name is Anne and he has known her since he was a kid. She was a very, very close friend of his parents. He's told me many stories over the years about her and her family. She lives in Payson and we were actually going to try and visit her while we were down south. But when we called, she said that she was working in Salt Lake! She was finishing up work at 8pm and we decided to meet at the Costco parking lot. It was my first time meeting her and she struck me as a very sweet person. We talked for a long time while our boys ran around the then-empty parking lot. We talked about a lot of things and I got along really nicely with her. She is also a nurse and she's into a lot of natural things like I am. We finally said our goodbyes and said we'd try to get together once more before we left.

We took the boys swimming that night and intended to sleep in the next morning! I'll be back tomorrow to talk about Thursday... wedding day! What a beautiful, beautiful experience that was!!


I have been thinking a LOT about preparedness lately. I feel very, VERY prompted to get moving faster on our food storage and emergency essentials. Yesterday, I re-read an article by Roger K. Young that I read a few years ago. It's titled "Repeat of Haun's Mill". It is very well written and definitely motivates me to press forward and and get this done. We have a lot of wheat and beans and some rice... but we need to stock up on many other essentials. I wanted to include that article here in case I couldn't remember where to find it in the future.

I went online and recalculated what we would need and the quantities. It's a daunting list, but if we work at it diligently (as promised by the First Presidency), I know we can get it together. I am planning on keeping a copy of each list in each of our vehicles so that whenever either of us are at the store, we can pick up at least one or two items on the list.

I used to have a pretty snotty attitude about certain things like powdered milk. I won't even drink regular store milk because I think it's unhealthy. So why on earth would I store the powdered stuff (which I think is worse than the stuff in the fridge section of the store)? As I've been reading and pondering and praying, I have felt chastised. The thought came to me... If food supplies were nowhere to be found and my children were hungry, I'm sure I would be glad to feed them a meal of popped wheat and powdered milk. I highly doubt I'd turn my nose at powdered milk. There is a reason why the First Presidency has asked us to store certain items. It is not for me to question. It is only for me to be obedient. So I am changing my attitude and I look forward to storing the things that I know will keep us alive.

Here is the article, which can be found by clicking here:


We all know the tragic story of Haun’s mill.

Joseph Smith had counseled all of the Church members living around Far West to drop everything and come into Far West for safety. It wasn’t a was simply a request and counsel. Almost all the members of the Church immediately followed the counsel of the prophet. However, brother Jacob Haun, upon hearing this counsel, came and argued with the Prophet about the counsel at least 3 times during one day. Brother Haun’s point was that he did not see the reason for it and he felt that he and his people could defend themselves if necessary. According to John Lee who was present for the conversations, on 26 October 1838 The Prophet said,
"Move in, by all means, if you wish to save your lives." Haun replied that if the settlers left their homes all of their property would be lost and the Gentiles would burn their houses and other buildings. Joseph replied, “You had better lose your property than your lives, but there is no danger of losing either if you will do as you are commanded."

Again, brother Haun thought he and his neighbors could protect and defend themselves, and Smith finally gave them permission to remain, and is recorded as saying;
“they would consider him a tyrant if he forced them to leave and abandon their property and come to Far West.”

Years later, on 8 June 1867 John Lee reaffirmed in his diary that;
"Jos. permitted Haun to gather the Brethren and defend their Mill but stated at the same time that they would be massacred & sure enough it was done."1

Four years later after the incident Joseph himself recounted:
“Up to this day God had given me wisdom to save the people who took Council. None had ever been killed who abode by my Council. At Haun’s Mill the brethren went contrary to my Council; if they had not, their lives would have been spared.”2

The lesson here for us to learn from is that brother Haun, the righteous local leader of a group of good saints...felt he knew better than to obey all of the counsel of the living prophet. After all, Joseph hadn’t made it an enforced commandment...he phrased it as counsel and advice. In fact, it is important to note that Joseph REFUSED to make it a COMMANDMENT and force the people to gather, even though he knew it would save their lives. Many of the good and righteous people who trusted in their own wisdom and their local leader and refused to give full heed to the words of the prophet, sadly, paid the terrible price four days later. That they were good people who were righteous and had great faith is not disputed as some of them performed miracles later even in the very day of their distress. But it was to help alleviate some of the suffering their disobedient actions had brought down upon them. The problem was they thought it was a little more important to try and save their material positions in the world, than to obey the suggestions of a living prophet. This brings up another point of discussion.


Does personal spiritual righteousness and gospel zeal guarantee the temporal protection of the Lord and excuse an individual from obeying counsel of the Prophets and Apostles?

On the face of it the answer would seem obvious...absolutely not. We must obey all of the counsel of the Lord’s anointed...all of the time. We can’t pick and choose without facing the resulting consequences. But throughout history and even today many of the saints and their local leaders believe, work under and teach this false doctrine in an important aspect of their lives.

Let me rephrase this question in another way. Can a member or a leader be trying so hard in so many areas and be doing a tremendous amount of good while yet at the same time ignore counsel given again and again by prophets...and then suffer terrible consequences because of his lack of obedience in something very small he personally did not see the benefit of?

The answer is of course...yes. Let me use one more famous historical example of this very issue. The Martin and Willey handcart experience is again, like Haun’s mill, a story of a group of good, righteous individuals and their local leaders ignoring counsel from Prophets and Apostles and suffering the consequences. They specifically, and falsely, applied the idea that their personal righteousness would protect them in their disregard for following the counsel of the Apostles. In fact they actually used as an excuse their gospel enthusiasm, zeal, faith and obedience as some of the primary reasons in their arguments to disobey the advice of the brethren.3 After all, it wasn’t a commandment that was was just counsel. Again, history proved them to be tragically wrong.
“The decision to send out the Willie and Martin companies so late in the season was extremely reckless and based upon false doctrine. That decision cost the lives of nearly one-fourth of the entire group; about 220 people died before the rescue party sent by President Young could reach them.” 4

Of course we have the story of those who survived the Willie and Martin experience who drew closer to the Lord. But, according to Brigham Young, it wasn’t what the Lord wanted:
“In mid-November President Brigham Young angrily reproved those who had authorized the late start or who had not ordered the several parties back to Florence when they still had the opportunity, charging "ignorance," "mismanagement," and "misconduct." Though terrible, the suffering could have been far worse. Had the rescue effort not been launched immediately—well before the storm struck—the handcart companies would probably have been totally destroyed.”5


Are too many of us as members and local leaders setting ourselves up for another Haun’s Mill and Willie and Martin handcart disaster...only on a tremendously much larger scale?

I can’t tell you how many times I have talked with people who are wonderful, faithful members of the Church, some even who are ward and stake leaders, who don’t have enough food storage to last more than a week or so. Often this is because they have been well blessed in material possessions and income. In our discussions about how the counsel for food storage has been repeated by every prophet for over 60 years they commonly respond that with all of the other issues that they are dealing with, it just isn’t very high on the priority list. Temple work, family history, missionary work are all much more important than food storage. However, some explain that if the Prophet made it a commandment, like they did with the Word of Wisdom by including it on the temple recommend interview, instead of just counsel, then they would move it up on the priority list.

These people, and I am convinced they represent a very large portion of the membership of the Church, believe the very same false doctrines as did the members of the two ill fated groups mentioned above. First, they falsely believe that their personal righteousness will save them. After all, they are busy going to the temple, fulfilling Church callings, sending missionaries out, etc. in other words...doing the works of the righteous. Surely, the Lord will be merciful to them and take care of them despite their lack of attention to this small item. They discount what president Benson taught on this point:
“Should the Lord decide at this time to cleanse the Church—and the need for that cleansing seems to be increasing—a famine in this land of one year's duration could wipe out a large percentage of slothful members, including some ward and stake officers. Yet we cannot say we have not been warned.”6

Additionally, they commonly believe and have heard it actually taught over the pulpit by others that those terrible things that have been prophesied won’t happen to the righteous and so they need not prepare for them. Many prophets, including President Lee and President Kimball addressed this terribly false notion, but President Benson said it best in his “Rue The Day” statement:
“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?7

It is hard for me to understand why or how so many good and wonderful people can discount what the prophets have said, again, and again, and again, and again concerning what will suddenly happen to the world in the future. President Benson said:

“The revelation to produce and store food may be as essential to our temporal welfare today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah.”8

It is important to note that the people who didn’t get on the ark, suffered and died by the very calamity that for 300 years had been prophesied would come upon them. People, including members of the Church, have always had a habit of believing that things won’t change drastically, or that terrible things could happen to them. It is a part of human nature.

However, the scriptures are very clear that these terrible cataclysmic events, some perhaps 20-30 years prior to the actual return of the Savior in power and great glory, will come suddenly upon the heart of the Church, and then be poured out upon the rest of the world.

“Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord.
“And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord; “First among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord.”9

It is noteworthy that President Hinckley quoted from this scripture in his famous Sunday morning talk given in General conference following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack and subsequent beginning of the war in Iraq.

Additionally, this scripture was supposed to have been discussed in great detail recently throughout the Church as it was contained in the Priesthood/Relief Society manuals when we studied Joseph F. Smith. A few quotes from that lesson:

“The many eruptions, earthquakes and tidal waves which have occurred...are signs which the Savior declared would foreshadow his second coming, although he said his advent should be as thief in the night...The wise and prudent will heed the warning and prepare themselves that they be not taken unawares.”

“I...testify, that [the Latter-Day Saints]...will be the first to fall beneath the judgments of the Almighty, for his judgments will begin at his own house.”10

Wilford Woodruff commented that he believed that the dreadful calamities described in the second half of the third Chapter of Isaiah is a direct description of some of the aftermath of this and other unpleasant prophetic fulfillments specifically upon the Church members because of their participation in the fashions of Babylon which showed where their hearts really were:

“There are some prophecies pertaining to these latter days that are unpleasant to contemplate. President Young has been calling upon the daughters of Zion day after day, now, for years, to lay aside these Babylonish fashions. I have been reading the third chapter of Isaiah, and I have been hoping, all the days of my ministry, that the sayings contained in that chapter would never apply to the daughters of Zion in our day; but I believe they will, and inasmuch as they will not listen to President Young and to the prophets, apostles and elders of Israel with regard to throwing off these nonsensical things, I hope they will hasten the lengthening out of their skirts and drag them in the streets; that they will increase their round tires like the moon, increase their hoops, and their headbands, increase their Grecian bends at once and carry it out until they get through with it, so that we can turn to the Lord as a people. Some of the daughters of Zion do not seem willing to forsake the fashions of Babylon. I to such would say hasten it, and let the woe that is threatened on this account come, that we may get through with it, then we can go on and build up the Zion of God on the earth.”11

Imagine what he would say if he saw the fashions of today that include the nose rings, the leg ornaments, the tinkling ornaments about the feet that were not present during his day, but are now very prevalent in ours, even among many of our members?


I believe that every prophet over the last 60 years has talked about having the Church members get a bare minimum of at least a one year’s supply of basic food items. Though it is not addressed directly in every conference, it is published in a tremendous amount of Church literature, pamphlets, Church handbook of instructions, monthly messages for home teachers and visiting teachers, instruction manuals, etc.

Again, after 9/11, in the following October General Conference, President Hinckley talked about food storage.

“We cannot provide against every contingency. But we can provide against many contingencies. Let the present situation remind us that this we should do. As we have been continuously counseled for more than 60 years, let us have some food set aside that would sustain us for a time in case of need. But let us not panic nor go to extremes. Let us be prudent in every respect.”12

Three months later, the First Presidency then took the unprecedented step of issuing a special letter (January 20, 2002) clarifying his remarks so that there would be no mis-understanding, asking that food storage preparation, specifically concerning having minimally a one year supply for every member in the world where ever possible, be taught in every branch, ward, district and stake in the Church. In it, for the first time, it outlined the minimum of basic food items to be included in such storage. Unfortunately, it is estimated that 25% of the membership in North America, still have never even heard of the letter because it was not taught to them by their local leaders. Quoting from the letter (underlining is mine):

“Priesthood and Relief Society leaders should teach the importance of home storage and securing a financial reserve. These principles may be taught in ward councils or on a fifth Sunday in priesthood and Relief Society meetings.

“Church members can begin their home storage by storing the basic foods that would be required to keep them alive if they did not have anything else to eat. Depending on where members live, those basics might include water, wheat or other grains, legumes, salt, honey or sugar, powdered milk, and cooking oil. … When members have stored enough of these essentials to meet the needs of their family for one year, they may decide to add other items that they are accustomed to using day to day.

“Some members do not have the money or space for such storage, and some are prohibited by law from storing a year’s supply of food. These members should store as much as their circumstances allow. Families who do not have the resources to acquire a year’s supply can begin their storage by obtaining supplies to last for a few months. Members should be prudent and not panic or go to extremes in this effort. Through careful planning, most Church members can, over time, establish both a financial reserve and a year’s supply of essentials.”13

Following this, the Church made a major change at the Bishops storehouses, creating monthly survival food storage boxes for one person at tremendously low prices. A person could purchase 12 of these boxes and have a years supply of food storage...allowing the step by step completion of President Hinckley’s counsel by almost any member.

The preparedness message was also echoed by other Church leaders as well. In a Jan 31, 2002 letter by President Packer, acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve, to General Authorities, Area Authority Seventies, Stake, Mission and District Presidents part of the emphasis for 2002 stake conference training was "please instruct members of the importance of reducing debt, living within their means, and storing food and other essentials that enable them to remain self-reliant in times of need."

A year later to re-emphasize the importance of obtaining a years supply of food storage, it was the main topic for the visiting teaching message for January 2003, “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear.”

And so we get to the heart of the matter:


Is there a chance that because of their lack of attention in this one small area...that they and their trusting members might one day in the future suffer terrible consequences such as watching their families and friends slowly starve to death? President Kimball said:

“How often do Church members arise early in the morning to do the will of
the Lord?... How often do we say, "Yes, I will obey the commandment to store food and to help others, but just now I have neither the time nor the money to spare; I will obey later"? Oh, foolish people! While we procrastinate, the harvest will be over and we will not be saved. Now is the time to follow Abraham's example; now is the time to repent; now is the time for prompt obedience to God's will.”14

It is important to note that many of the prophets, including President Kimball in the preceding quote, call it THE COMMANDMENT to store food.

As one reads the scriptures, the talks, the manuals and all that has been said upon the subject, it isn’t a matter of IF the famine comes, it is a matter of only WHEN the famine comes. President Benson stated:

“Not only should we have strong spiritual homes, but we should have strong temporal homes. We should avoid bondage by getting out of debt as soon as we can, pay as we go, and live within our incomes. There is wisdom in having on hand a year's supply of food, clothing, fuel (if possible), and in being prepared to defend our families and our possessions and to take care of ourselves. I believe a man should prepare for the worst while working for the best. Some people prepare and don't work, while others work but don't prepare. Both are needed if we would be of maximum service to our God, our family, and our country.”

“We must do more to get our people prepared for the difficult days we face in the future. Our major concern should be their spiritual preparation so they will respond with faith and not fear. "If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear" (D&C 38:21). Our next concern should be for their temporal preparation. When the economies of nations fail, when famine and other disasters prevent people from buying food in stores, the Saints must be prepared to handle these emergencies. This is a matter of concern for area, region, and stake councils.”15

What do we do after we have a basic year’s supply of food for ourselves and our family? Simply, we have been counseled to think about going beyond just the basics of food and extend the principle to clothing, fuel, seeds, tools, shelters (tents) and other items necessary to sustain ourselves and our families for a year.

“A man should not only be prepared to protect himself physically, but he should also have on hand sufficient supplies to sustain himself and his family in an emergency. For many years the leaders of the Mormon Church have recommended, with instructions, that every family have on hand at least a year's supply of basic food, clothing, fuel (where possible), and provisions for shelter. This has been most helpful to families suffering temporary reverses. It can and will be useful in many circumstances in the days ahead. We also need to get out of financial bondage, to be debt-free.”16

Some believe falsely that when things get bad...the Church has stored enough for all of the members. The Church leadership has been very clear on this issue:

“Our bishop’s storehouses are not intended to stock enough commodities to care for all the members of the Church. Storehouses are only established to care for the poor and the needy. For this reason, members of the Church have been instructed to personally store a year's supply of food, clothing, and, where possible, fuel. By following this counsel, most members will be prepared and able to care for themselves and their family members, and be able to share with others as may be needed.” 17

Finally, in summary:

“You do not need to go into debt to obtain a year's supply. Plan to build up your food supply just as you would a savings account. Save a little for storage each paycheck. Can or bottle fruit and vegetables from your gardens and orchards. Learn how to preserve food through drying and possibly freezing. Make your storage a part of your budget. Store seeds and have sufficient tools on hand to do the job. If you are saving and planning for a second car or a television set or some item which merely adds to your comfort or pleasure, you may need to change your priorities. We urge you to do this prayerfully and do it now. I speak with a feeling of great urgency.”18

"When we really get into hard times," said President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., "where food is scarce or there is none at all, and so with clothing and shelter, money may be no good for there may be nothing to buy, and you cannot eat money, you cannot get enough of it together to burn to keep warm, and you cannot wear it."19

“For more than a hundred years, Church leaders have taught the members to store grain and other essentials that would sustain life in times of drought or famine. The current guidelines for home storage are intended to apply internationally. They include having a supply of food, clothing, and, where possible, the fuel necessary to sustain life for one year. Church guidance states, "We have never laid down an exact formula for what anybody should store. Perhaps if we think not in terms of a year's supply of what we ordinarily would use, and think more in terms of what it would take to keep us alive in case we didn't have anything else to eat, that last would be very easy to put in storage for a year".”20

President Joseph Fielding Smith said:

“The distress and perplexity, bloodshed and terror, selfish ambition of despotic rulers, such as the world has never before seen, all indicate that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is very near, even at our doors. We have been warned by the prophets from the beginning of time. They have declared, by revelation from the Lord, that in this present day, confusion, bloodshed, misery, plague, famine, earthquake, and other calamities, would cover the face of the earth. The Lord told his disciples of these dreadful scenes and said men's hearts would fail them because of these things coming upon the earth. . . .”21

“President Wilford Woodruff and the Prophet Joseph Smith declare that it was their duty and should be the duty of every righteous man to raise the warning voice and proclaim the fact that these calamities are at our doors, and I have been condemned because I have done that. I heard one good man say, "There are too many good things to think about without talking about these troubles, these plagues, or worrying about the coming of the Lord." Here is what the Lord says in Section 45 of the Doctrine and Covenants, verses 39 to 43.

"And it shall come to pass that he that feareth me shall be looking forth for the great day of the Lord to come, even for the signs of the coming of the Son of Man.
"And they shall see signs and wonders, for they shall be shown forth in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath.
"And they shall behold blood, and fire, and vapors of smoke.”

“Now, when the Lord says that, don't you think I am justified in raising my voice and do you think I am doing wrong when I am...watching the signs of the times and these calamities and troubles that are coming? Am I doing wrong? And yet one good brother said that. Too many things to do. We haven't time to worry about the coming of Christ. I hope he is here. Now, here is something from President Brigham Young.

"Do you think there is calamity abroad now among the people?…All we have yet heard and all we have experienced is scarcely a preface to the sermon that is going to be preached. When the testimony of the Elders ceases to be given, and the Lord says to them, 'come home; I will now preach My own sermons to the nations of the earth,' all you now know can scarcely be called a preface to the sermon that will be preached with fire and sword, tempests, earthquakes, hail, rain, thunders, and lightnings and fearful destruction. What matters the destruction of a few railway cars? You will hear of magnificent cities, now idolized by the people, sinking in the earth, entombing the inhabitants. The sea will heave itself beyond its bounds, engulfing mighty cities. Famine will spread over the nations, and nation will rise up against nation, kingdom against kingdom, and states against states, in our own country and in foreign lands; and they will destroy each other, caring not for the blood and lives of their neighbors, of their families, or for their own lives. They will be like the Jaredites who preceded the Nephites upon this continent, and will destroy each other to the last man, through the anger that the devil will place in their hearts, because they have rejected the words of life and are given over to Satan to do whatever he listeth to do with them. You may think that the little you hear of now is grievous; yet the faithful of God's people will see days that will cause them to close their eyes because of the sorrow that will come upon the wicked nations. The hearts of the faithful will be filled with pain and anguish for them."

“Why is the Lord angry? Why are all these things coming upon the world?
President Young said in this article that I read and the Lord says in the revelations I have read to you, it is because they have turned away from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, because they have rebelled against God, and because they have refused to hear the testimony of those who have been sent to preach the Gospel to them. That is why. They have rejected the message. The nations are full of iniquity.

“Now, there is our danger. We must not forsake God. If we are not on His side, you may be sure He is not going to be on our side. He will leave us to ourselves. Now, these calamities are here. They are upon us. The whole world is in commotion. I have had to leave unsaid about two-thirds of what I have prepared to say, but next week, which will be the concluding talk, I am going to turn to these Scriptures and show you what the old prophets have said in regard to our day. I have told you now what the Lord said and what the prophets of our own day have said. I have shown you the fulfillment of the prediction by President Wilford Woodruff, that the angels are sent forth to reap the earth. They are on that mission. This I have presented to you tonight, and we will get the other things next time.”22

“if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.”23

1 Regional Studies, Missouri, Benson—Haun's Mill, p.107
2Ehat & Cook, Words, Manuscript History of the Church: 29 August 1842 (Monday Morning), p.127–129
3 See B. H. Roberts, Comprehensive History of the Church, Vol.4, Ch.98, p.91
4Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol.2, HANDCART COMPANIES
6Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.265
7Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.706
8 (CR October 1980, Ensign 10 [November 1980]: 33.) Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.266
9 D&C 112:24-26
10 President Joseph F. Smith quotes from Lesson 44 Preparing For The Second Coming of Christ, page 393
11The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, p.226 - p.227
12 Oct 6, 2002 Sunday morning Session, President Hinckley
13Jan 20, 2002 First Presidency Letter
14The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.174
15 Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.264
16 President Benson, God, Family, Country, p. 331.)
17Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.263-264, 267
18 President Benson, CR October 1980, Ensign 10 [November 1980]: 33.)
19Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.268
20Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol.2, EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
21Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.3, p.19
22 Joseph Fielding Smith, The Signs of the Times, p.124-137
23D&C 38:30