Bad Men and Food Storage

January 24, 2009 | 21 comments
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On the sweetness of Mormon life.

Protecting food storage from bad people has been a recent theme around here, whether through AK-47s or through neighborliness.  Along those lines, I’m posting a message that one of my sisters sent to the family.

One of my favorite funny things from the children was hearing Adam explain the need to food storage to Rosie [the middle child].   I’m not sure if I already put it on the family website or not.   It goes like this:

Adam: Where do we get our food from?

Long pause.   Finally Emma [the older child] ventures a guess (well trained by her grandma):   Walmart?

Rosie, instantly convinced that if Emma says it it must be right, and also not wanting to show ignorance, immediately yells: Walmart!

Adam: True, true.   Put where would we get our food if Walmart closed its doors?

Rosie: We would open the doors and get all of the food.

Adam: Yes, looting is a recognized expedient during times of financial unrest and collapse, but what if other people had already taken all the food?

Rosie: We would make the bad people sit in a corner and get all the food.

At this point, Adam decided (wisely I think) to change teaching tactics.

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21 Responses to Bad Men and Food Storage

  1. Michelle Glauser on January 24, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Yeah, my uncle always says he’s keeping a rifle with his food storage so people won’t try to take it from him. I wonder how Christ-like that is, but then again I wonder if it’s important to be neighborly when your own kids will starve.

  2. Rob Perkins on January 24, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    I may keep the rifle, but I’m almost completely convinced that if we have a disaster around here, the first right thing to do is to go to every immediate neighbor with loaves of bread or an invitation to a “stone soup” gathering. No better way to dispel questions about my Christianity, than to act like Jesus says.

  3. queuno on January 24, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    I am of the opinion that if there is a cataclysmic disaster requiring large-scale use of family food storage, the stakes and wards will ask everyone to bring their food into a common area and dole it out as necessary. Remember, bishops and stake presidents are specifically told that they are responsible for the welfare of everyone in their boundaries, member or not, faithful or not.

    Sell your bullets and put aside more butter. :)

  4. Bookslinger on January 24, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    There’s a time to be an anti-Lehi-Nephi, and there’s a time to be a Captain Moroni.

  5. queuno on January 24, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    Fortunately, we’ll probably get counsel from our leaders as to which type we’ll be, and we won’t have to make that call ourselves…

  6. Ellis on January 24, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    I remember an area conference at the height of the survivalist movement. One of the authorities, I hesitate to say who because I can’t be certain, said that if someone should come wanting food we would share it with them.

    We used to store extra salt so we would have something to bargain with should the need arise. Salt and water those are things no one can do without. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

  7. Alison Moore Smith on January 24, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    I’m not sure which is funnier. Adam’s response of, “Yes, looting is a recognized expedient during times of financial unrest and collapse…” or that their is an “AK-47″ tag on the post.

    Remember, bishops and stake presidents are specifically told that they are responsible for the welfare of everyone in their boundaries, member or not, faithful or not.

    Then I’m going to tell my bishop to make sure he has enough in his basement for those who aren’t stockpiling. That and keep praying that my husband isn’t called as the bishop.

  8. ed42 on January 25, 2009 at 12:34 am

    “Fortunately, we’ll probably get counsel from our leaders as to which type we’ll be, and we won’t have to make that call ourselves…”

    I sure hope that was satire, if each of us are not worthy/ready to receive His word ourselves, how can we claim to be His children?

  9. jay s on January 25, 2009 at 12:34 am

    I have to admit, this comment is timely for me, having just finished Devil’s Gate, which Ardis Parshall consulted on.

    I don’t completely buy all the arguments, but a review of the account of the handcart companies reveals that not all the saints were so saintly. And what would I do, if I faced a situation like that, or this situation with shortages. Would I turn away a ward member?

  10. Eric Boysen on January 25, 2009 at 1:57 am

    I figure my armed neighbor will take one look at all the wheat and walk away in disgust muttering something like: “I thought you had food, not bird seed. I’m going to go shoot something and make a hamburger.”

  11. Floyd the Wonderdog on January 25, 2009 at 7:23 am

    The water main in my neightborhood broke. Our kids went door-to-door with a wagon filled with jugs of water. If there’s no longer food, we plan on doing the same thing.

    What bothers me is the ward members who say that if there is a shortage, they plan on coming to my house with a gun and take my food by force. Ask and I’ll give freely, demand and be damned. Guess I better get more ammo.

  12. Bookslinger on January 25, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    I used to live an in apartment complex with bad water mains, and they regularly (about 3 or 4 times a year) had to turn off the water without notice.

    A couple once moved in across the landing from me, and as a welcome gift, I gave them a couple of 2-liter bottles filled with water. I explained the water problem. The lady looked askance at me as if I were a kook, but being the genteel person she was, she accepted them.

    A few months later, after one of the water outages, as we crossed paths in the parking lot, she thanked me for the water with a big smile.

    “Canteen Boy” eventually becomes the hero.

  13. California Roland on January 25, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    I wonder how many cans of wheat you can get for the price of that AK-47?

  14. The other Bro Jones on January 25, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    If someone comes and takes my wheat by force I think he will be back the next day for a grinder, and the day after looking for a bread recipe.

  15. Rameumptom on January 26, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    I have a two year supply, so I can share one with others. Of course, I’d like to think that I’d do it as Joseph of Egypt did: not give handouts, but have others barter for what they need.

    Someone need some food? Then they can work my garden for me!

  16. Kent G. Budge on January 26, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    “if each of us are not worthy/ready to receive His word ourselves, how can we claim to be His children?”

    If each of us is worthy and ready to receive His word ourselves, how can we take the concept of a hierarchical priesthood seriously?

  17. dan r on January 27, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    If there is a disaster big enough that forces people to steal food from you, there is a big chance that we at that time will be asked to live up to our covenants and give it ALL up to the Church anyway so it can be properly distributed for the good of all. We’ve been taught to have a food storage not just for ourselves, but when the time comes, for others. (Just like tithes and fast offerings….completely selfless). Anybody heard of the law of consecration?

  18. Jeremy Gayed on January 28, 2009 at 12:14 am

    I’ve always admired the survivalist aspects to Mormon belief. Historically, it makes sense, and it’s a fantastic idea pragmatically. But from whence does it come as a matter of doctrine? As a non-Mormon, I’ve always been wondered.

  19. Barry on January 28, 2009 at 3:55 am

    Starvation is awful but damnation is worse. I’d rather share food with those who seek it than kill them in defense of my “hoard of wheat”. I assume I’d feel really stupid in the after life knowing that I had killed for fear of hunger.

  20. Adam Greenwood on January 28, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    JG,

    The simple answer is that Mormons believe in modern prophets and the prophets tell us to store food. There’s really not a lot of theological argument behind it (no meditation on how it brings us to Christ or anything); when I’ve heard the prophets and apostles discuss it mostly all they’ve said is (1) we’re commanded to do it, (2) its a good idea for various temporal reasons, and (3) we’ll be blessed if we obey.
    Sometimes you’ll get citations to, e.g., Joseph’s seven fat years and seven lean years, but more as an analogy than as a justification.

    We do preach self-reliance as a virtue and food storage and other things like that are taught as part of the virtue of self-reliance. Why self-reliance would be a virtue is interesting, not something that I’ve seen anybody devote a lot of thought too.

    Also, Mormonism has always had a pragmatic, temporally-oriented streak. Brigham Young used to give sermons on good farming, for instance, and I’ve heard plenty of modern sermons from local preachers all the way up to the Mormon prophets and apostles that mainly consisted of budgeting and financial advice (plenty on grace and Christ too, but the point is that the more ‘worldly’ topics are seen as just as spiritual and religious). I speculate this is partly because Mormonism in many ways comes out of the radical Puritan tradition where chruch services were meant to convey information more than be liturgical. I speculate this is also become Mormonism collapses a lot of the distance between God and men, so planning and working and investing are seen as more holy.

  21. Amy on January 28, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    I used to think no one would attack you for your food storage…then I read where people trampled a man to death on Black Friday at Wal Mart just to get an xbox. It’s not looking good…

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