“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. 
Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

~ Marie Curie

Many of you know that is my favorite quote. The Lord told us “And all things shall be in commotion; and surely, men’s hearts shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all people. (D&C 88:91)  BUT “I tell you these things because of your prayers; wherefore, treasure up wisdom in your bosoms, lest the wickedness of men reveal these things unto you by their wickedness, in a manner which shall speak in your ears with a voice louder than that which shall shake the earth; but if ye are prepared ye shall not fear. (D&C 38:30)

We are seeing commotion in the world in ways we have hoped and prayed would never again come to pass. We have been warned they would, however, we were also warned by every prophet in this dispensation to prepare temporally for this time. The scripture promising freedom from fear also counsels us to treasure up wisdom. By definition wisdom is the body of knowledge and principles that develops within a specified society or period, the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment.

How can we develop wisdom with self-reliance as our goal? How can we develop the principles of self-reliance?

Let’s begin with knowledge. This week I was asked at church by several people how to prepare in light of world events in Ukraine, rising gas prices, rising food prices, drought, etc. etc. Here is some of what you need to know to be knowledgeable in these areas.

War in Ukraine

  • Ukraine is the third largest exporter of agricultural goods to the EU behind the United States and Brazil. They are first in the world for the growing of sunflower seeds (think sunflower oil) and sixth in the production of corn and barley. Conflict there will affect food prices in a major way in Europe and a more minor way in the United States, but it will have an effect. Ukraine also produces and sells wheat to many impoverished countries such as, Indonesia ($664.5m), Bangladesh ($418.6m), Turkey ($207.4m), Tunisia ($195.5m) and Lebanon ($148.49m) which depend on the grain for survival.
  • We also need to remember the Ukrainian farmers may not be able to plant or harvest while under attack meaning shortages for their own population creating the need for aid from other producing countries thus increasing demand and raising prices for everyone.
  • Countries are imposing sanctions on Russian oil. Much of Europe is dependent on Russian oil creating a shortage of oil. Prices will rise around the globe as demand increases.
  • Russia has taken down internet access in Ukraine and in Russia.

Rising Gas Prices

  • As of a year ago, our dependence on foreign oil has increased with the shutdown of pipelines and drilling in the United States.
  • Demand for oil has increased worldwide as more countries are lifted out of poverty status and more people are able to afford cars and appliances for heating their homes.
  • The price of crude oil has increased 70% in a year.

Rising Food Prices and Drought

  • Growing populations and longer life spans increase the demand for food.
  • Severe or extreme drought conditions exist in the western and southwestern United states, much of Europe, Australia, eastern Africa, Russia, and western South America. Trees are dying meaning losses for years to come, and many fields are going unplanted. At Totallyready.com this week we published the latest crop to fall victim to the drought, canola.

The next part of the definition of wisdom is a body of principles. What are principles? Principles: a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior.

We turn to the scriptures once again. What principle do we learn from the ten virgins? As I have thought about this parable, I understand the importance of spiritual preparation but it was temporal preparation that they lacked. We do not know how spiritually prepared the foolish virgins may have been but we do know they took no thought for temporal preparation.

What about Noah? He was prepared spiritually as we know he listened and followed all the Lord told him to do. That was not enough. Imagine the outcome if he had not prepared temporally to provide food, water, and shelter for all the animals and for his family. Think of the variety of foods and accommodations needed.

Then there is Lehi who took his family into the wilderness where he prepared for his journey to the land of promise. He was spiritually prepared to follow but he also needed to prepare temporally. He built vessels, had to provide light in those ships, needed to hunt to provide food and clothing for the journey.

What then is the fundamental truth we learn? We must prepare every needful thing. Spiritual preparedness is essential but temporal preparedness is crucial to a journey without fear.

How do we prepare for wars and rumors of wars? We gain knowledge and practice the principles we know to be true. We learn of the threats and then we learn how to carefully, economically and systematically prepare.

What did I tell those who asked what they should be doing now?

#1. Get your food storage. If you have not started, begin now. If you have some food storage, seriously examine what you have and what you lack. Remember you should have food in all food groups. If you need help visit Totallyready.com each Wednesday for a weekly challenge. It is also important to include foods that do not need to be cooked just in case your challenge is a power outage or evacuation.

#2. Have cash on hand. We have been counseled for many years by church leaders to have three months of household expenses on hand. With threats to the banking system and the increase in cyber-attacks by Russian hackers and the Russian government now is the time to have cash on hand at home. If systems are hacked you may not be able to get cash from ATM machines or to use credit cards for purchases.

#3. Create an emergency binder now. A power outage or hacking may prevent accessing information when needed. Copy information such as preparing for and surviving power outages, evacuations, natural disaster most likely in your area, how to use items in your storage in unusual ways, direction for skills you may need such as constructing a heater from clay pots or new paint cans. Last year we witnessed a power outage and severe freezing in Texas. Think how valuable a binder would have been outlining ways to keep warm or cook with power or water, many lost their water supply due to frozen pipes. As a footnote, it took months in some areas for water to be restored due to the inability to purchase parts and the lack of sufficient plumbers.

To summarize:

Gain Knowledge: Learn from reliable sources how to prepare for emergencies. Learn what disasters are possible in your area. Learn how world events can and will affect your family.

Reexamine your principles, your core beliefs: What has God told you thru the scriptures and modern day prophets. Just as any parent’s warnings, warnings from our Heavenly Father are meant to help His children thrive. Have you accepted this loving warning and acted upon it?

Finally: Increase your efforts to accumulate food storage which includes all food groups. Assemble an emergency binder. Accumulate a cash stash.

“May God bless us to be prepared for the days which lie ahead, which may be the most severe yet.” Ezra Taft Benson

“In whatever we do, we should not decide nor act out of a spirit of fear. Truly, “God hath not given us the spirit of fear” (2 Timothy 1:7).  The Lord has taught that discouragement and fear are tools of the adversary. The Lord’s answer to hard times is to go forward with faith.       “ (Do We Trust Him? Hard Is Good Elder Stanley G. Ellis)     

Take a moment to watch this testimony of the importance of food storage from a member of the church in Ukraine. https://www.ldsliving.com/latter-day-saint-in-ukraine-shares-food-storage-with-neighbors/s/10454

Copy articles for your emergency binder at Totallyready.com or from the archives here at Meridian. You can also purchase Carolyn’s 240 page emergency binder, Totally Ready Binder – Tips & Tricks for Now & When Disaster Strikes at Totallyready.com