Friday, August 13, 2010
Our topic for strengthening the family on this Saturday is to practice personal and family preparedness. When individuals and families are prepared to meet their own needs, they put themselves in a position to help others. We do not have to wait until we are fully self-reliant in order to help and serve other people. President Marion G. Romney taught: "Without self-reliance one cannot exercise these innate desires to serve. How can we give if there is nothing there? Food for the hungry cannot come from empty shelves. Money to assist the needy cannot come from an empty purse. Support and understanding cannot come from the emotionally starved. Teaching cannot come from the unlearned. And most important of all, spiritual guidance cannot come from the spiritually weak" (Ensign, November 1982, 93). The Lord revealed in Doctrine and Covenants 29:34 "All things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal." Even though the following principles will help us temporally, the end result will be spiritual strength. There are six areas where we should become self-reliant. Those six areas are: literacy and education; career development; financial and resource management; home production and storage; physical health; social-emotional and spiritual strength. Let me expand on the areas individually. 1) Literacy and Education. Each person, to the extent of his or her ability, should be able to read, write, and do basic mathematics. Parents can teach these skills and habits to family members. Parents and children alike can take advantage of educational opportunities. Regular study of the scriptures and reading other good books will increase literacy. 2) Career Development. Each young person should receive counsel to help select a suitable vocation. Talents and skills should be evaluated when selecting a career. All should obtain appropriate training in order to become proficient. 3) Financial and Resource Management. Each individual should establish financial goals, pay tithes and offerings, avoid debt, pay obligations, use resources wisely, and save during times of plenty for use during times of need. 4) Home Production and Storage. Each individual and family should produce as much as possible by sewing, gardening, and making household items. Each individual and family should learn techniques for home canning, freezing, and drying of foods and store a one-year supply of food, clothing, and if possible, fuel. 5) Physical Health. Each individual should use wisdom and practice sound principals of nutrition, physical fitness, accident prevention, weight control, immunization, sanitation, mother and child health, dental health, and medical care. Each individual is responsible to maintain a healthy and clean environment and to acquire appropriate skills in first aid, home nursing, and food selection and preparation. 6) Social-emotional and Spiritual Strength. Each individual should build spiritual strength to meet life's challenges with confidence and stability. This is accomplished by learning to love God and to communicate with Him in personal prayer, by loving and serving others, and by loving and respecting him or herself by righteous living and self-mastery. Social-emotional and spiritual strength increases through living the gospel of Jesus Christ. Bishop H. Burke Peterson said, "When we speak of [personal and] family preparedness, we should speak of foreseen, anticipated, almost expected needs which can be met through wise preparation. Even true emergencies can be modified by good planning" ("the Family in Welfare Service," Welfare Services Meeting, April 1975, p. 4). As individuals and families practice personal and family preparedness principles, families become stronger and thus strengthen our nation.