Saturday, March 7, 2009

June 1976 Talk

 (This is a talk I gave in church, June 1976) Many writers have written fascinating, but grim accounts of the future. In 1940, George Orwell wrote a book called 1984. In it, he imagined a life where not only personal actions, but thoughts were subject to rigid control under an iron dictatorship supported by advanced science and technology. One of the prevailing themes of future fiction is food shortages…Indeed, who needs fiction? You only need to look back in history to the Saints in Winter Quarters where there was hardship and insufficient and improper food. “Black leg” or scurvy was rampant and devastating. Potatoes from Missouri and horseradish found near an abandoned fort saved many.
There are many accounts in both the Bible and Book of Mormon about times of famine and how the Lord warned and provided ways for the obedient to survive. There are countless nightmare possibilities concerned with food supply—strikes, civil disorder, shortages, crop failure.
Long before 1984,  our own nightmare could come. Imagine yourself having a bad dream. You are in a market with your empty basket and grocery list. A sick feeling comes over you as you look down the aisles at the nearly empty shelves. Some things are still left, but not what you need. No loaf of bread or bottle of milk. You have 5 children to feed and are overcome with panic. Up here in a rural area, perhaps we are not as fearful as many in the city. A lot of us have cows, goats, chickens, large gardens. Some have dairy farms. We should not be complacent.
Continuing the nightmare—there is no gas. People are walking or riding bicycles. Your husband is out of work, stores are closing, schools have shut down. People pack their belongings and walk up canyons to rural areas, hoping to find produce and food. Many cannot even find sturdy shoes to walk in. Your cupboards are becoming empty. You didn’t plant a garden this year or put up any food—too busy for such messes. Your mind now flashes constantly from one worry to another. Winter will be coming soon. No fuel or wood for the fireplace. You worry about the children becoming sick and not being able to get medicine. Depressing visions of Thanksgiving and Christmas cloud your mind. The children won’t be visiting their grandparents this year. You think of past holidays, happy times and delicious and plentiful dinners. You stand in a trance, not being able to think. Vaguely, you remember being warned. Why didn’t you listen and obey? You feel like you are in a deep dark hole with no way out.
What a relief it would be to awaken from this bad dream. But, don’t feel too relieved. This nightmare may arrive for some. There are many emergencies besides famine for which supplies come in handy—unemployment, sickness, strikes.
For most of us, there is still time!
Take a lesson from the hen. All the clucking in the world won’t provide; it’s the scratching that does. Clucking might tell everyone we’ve laid an egg, but the scratching feeds the chicks.
What better insurance could we have than a rotated year’s supply? It would be worth more than a large bank account. History shows us excellent reasons for storage. ... In our last conference, Pres. Kimball reaffirmed counsel and encouraged us over and over to be prepared with our year’s supply and to learn to produce our own necessities. He emphasized sewing, handcrafts, keeping our yards and homes in order and cleaned up. Avoid debt. He repeated the scripture many times, “Why call me Lord, Lord and do not the things which I say.” The Lord will provide, but in His own way.
Brother Featherstone’s talk was the cornerstone that really got to the specific details. We have No need to fear if we are prepared! ...Raise animals if possible, plant gardens and fruit trees. Involve your children in assigned tasks. Eat as much as you can fresh, and preserve the surplus.
The Lord will make it possible for every family to have your year’s supply by April, 1977 if you make your commitment. Do everything possible and miracles will happen. We will prove by our actions and willingness to obey, serve and love.
Many times we hear those around us speak discouragingly. “What about my neighbors who don’t obey counsel? Do I have to share with them? Indeed what would Jesus do?
Or what about those who fear plundering and stealing. Don’t give this one more idle thought. If we have obeyed, do you suppose that He would abandon us? Example: Idaho flood.
Now we are convinced. What should we do?
1. Take inventory.
2. Decide what is needed to bring up to year’s supply.  ...
3. Prepare a plan. Make a goal. April, 1977.
4. Get basics first. Buy from your monthly food allowance.
5. Then consider things besides the basics—such as drinking water, vitamins, clothing, sewing items, supplementary cooking units, first aid supplies, cleaning supplies, bedding, baby items, vegetable seeds.

Now you are committed, you have a plan and a goal. Now all you need is money to make it happen and there isn’t enough to go around.
1. Cut Christmas Expenses by at least 50%. Buy storage items for each other. Wheat grinder, wheat. Sleeping bags.
2. If you desire new clothes, don’t buy them. Make your wardrobe last longer.
3. Cut recreation by at least 50%. Do things that don’t require money. As a family, decide NOT to go on a vacation until you have your year’s supply.
4. If you don’t have your supply, but have luxury items such as boats, campers, snowmobiles, sell or trade them.
5. Watch for advertised specials in stores. Buy cases or in bulk when prices are good.
6. Get protein from less expensive sources than meat. Cut out store bought goodies like candy, cookies, ice cream, magazines, soda pop, etc. Set the saved money aside and buy storage items.

Now you have your basics and are working on additional items. Remember to rotate canned goods and other items. Learn to make sprouts. Have cracked wheat cereal or whole wheat. Get a grinder and use whole wheat flour in your cooking. Learn how to use your storage. There are many books available on this subject. Gain a knowledge of edible wild plants. How about stinging nettle and dandelion root beer? Burdock chowder? Purslane Pickles? Sunflower cake?
We are told that God will open doors and use ways and means we would never suppose to help us if we truly want to get our supply.