We all know that we are living in troubled times, and I suppose that we can all expect to be troubled economically. So how do we protect ourselves and our families in troubled times?
A speaker in our church today gave us some simple principles and counsel to survive tough times and to prepare for future difficulties. To protect him, I'll just call him Josh.
Josh told us that there are two principles we need to hold firm: 1) Seek the kingdom of God FIRST and 2) Keep the commandments of God.
Josh then quoted N. Eldon Tanner as giving the following counsel: 1) Pay an honest tithe and a generous fast offering; 2) Live on less than you earn; 3) Develop and live within a budget; 4) Teach financial responsibility to family members; 5) Show integrity by being honest in all your financial affairs.
Other counsel from Josh includes the following guidelines for making a budget: 50% basic operating needs, 30% housing, 10% emergency needs, 10% wise investments and home storage. He also counseled us to have a six-month cash reserve to carry us over difficult periods.
This is all good counsel. I'd like to add some ideas that I've gleaned through the years.
1. Examine your life to be sure you have done all that you can do to be worthy of God's help and prepare your heart to be worthy of receiving more help from God.
2. Search for the lesson that God wants you to learn from your current circumstances.
3. Remember that God has a plan for each of us, tailored specifically for each person, to polish and perfect us.
4. Look for someone else to help who may be in a worse situation that you are. This helps your circumstances to look better.
5. For those who are searching for work or attempting to upgrade their jobs, try doubling the amount paid for fast offerings.
6. I recently read some advice from our city telling our residents that we should all have enough food and supplies in our homes to meet the needs of our family members for five to seven days in case of an earthquake, etc. because it could take rescuers that long to reach everyone. I've also heard counsel that we should have enough food in our homes for family member for at least a month.
It is a common fact that families are the basic units of society. If the families in a community are strong, then the community is strong. When communities are strong, then the state is strong. When states are strong, then the nation is strong. It all begins with families. What can you do to help your family to grow stronger?