A comprehensive bibliography? A portfolio of LDS-owned companies? No, it’s a measure of food-storage activity by preparedness-minded Mormons, as revealed in a feature at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “The Mormon Index is a rising sign of troubled economy.”
The article profiles activity at a Bishop’s Storehouse and a cannery (now apparently termed a “family home storage center”). It quotes several individuals who work at the facility and testify to the importance of food storage, which is sort of like asking workers in the family history department whether geneaology is important. I wonder, does the average Mormon really derive a sense of temporal security from cans and boxes of food they’ll never use stacked up somewhere out in the garage? For more on the role of the disaster meme in Mormonism, see “If We Are Preparing, Shouldn’t We Still Fear?: Fear-Mongering in the LDS Preparedness Culture,” an article in the new LDS online journal Square Two.
The article does make reference to the temporary assistance role of the storehouse/cannery complex. Providing food and other necessities to Latter-day Saints who fall on hard times seems like a much more effective use of the huge investment in “temporal welfare” facilities undertaken over the years by the Church. As one person interviewed in the story notes, “It’s wonderful to have it when you need it.” So here’s a silver lining to the dark cloud of home preparedness: When the Mormon Index is rising, more people who need it are getting assistance.
And if, like me, you’re one of those who doesn’t feel sufficiently motivated to stock your shelves with sealed silver cans of grain, legumes, and an off-white powdery substance that bears some distant relation to milk, try humming this tune once or twice each day for a week or two and see if anything changes.
I see a bad moon a-rising.
I see trouble on the way.
I see earthquakes and lightnin’.
I see bad times today.