As I have been reflecting on President Nelson’s challenge to give thanks each day, I began thinking how the pandemic has made me grateful. My family has been safe and healthy. 

We have technology and the ability it has given all of us to stay connected to our family, church family and friends far and near. And, as I consider my emergency preparations, I realize how much I have to been blessed.

We are fortunate that prophets of old and modern-day prophets, have all warned us of impending disasters and challenges. They have warned of famines and plagues and we have just experienced both. In the United States and other industrialized countries, we have experienced shortages but, in many places there has been little food as supply chains have been interrupted and corrupt governments have failed to distribute food. A plague, indeed.

I am thankful to live in a country where I have the freedom to prepare for disasters of all kinds. In many countries the government controls the food supply and in others storing food is illegal. I am thankful for sisters around the globe who do their best to prepare even under terrible circumstances.

I am grateful for a grandfather who planted a garden and canned. He learned to can from his mother and spent hours with her canning and building their relationship. When I joined the church and observed so many bottles on shelves and families canning, I continued that legacy and have been forever grateful to those who helped me learn the skills.

I am thankful for children who helped plant gardens, glean fruits from orchards and fields and peeled and cut fruit for canning and jam. Those efforts provided food during economic downturns, family job loss and other challenges. I understand my children did not love the work but I loved the time together and the peace it provided. There were health benefits of home preserved foods and in the times ahead we might need to rely not only on the food but each other.

My parents and grandparents taught me about the Great Depression and World War II. I heard stories of neighbors digging up front lawns to plant vegetable gardens and ration coupon books which allowed you to purchase foods but in limited quantities. Sugar, coffee, meat, fish, butter, eggs, and cheese were the main foods rationed during The Great Depression. When your coupons were gone you could buy no more. Over the past nine months we have not had to rely on coupon books but we have been limited by availability to the amount of certain foods we could purchase, such as flour, eggs, meats, bread and more.

Thankfully my parents always had food on the shelves in the basement, just in case. They had learned as little children the importance of a pantry and planned for extras.

After joining  the church and hearing about the counsel to store food I was excited to begin. I am grateful for a fiancé who supported me as I took all our change each night and saved it for food storage shopping at the end of each week. By the time we were married we had a trunk full of food…pasta, rice, canned goods, even mayonnaise and catsup. It was a humble start but a start.

I am thankful for the opportunity I have had to learn from you, those on my Facebook page and others as I teach classes. It is difficult to speak with those who have lost homes and/or possessions following a disaster but I have learned so much from their real-life experiences. Lists from agencies and on the internet are fine but learning from survivors is priceless. Thank you to those who have taken the time to answer my questions enabling me to share really meaningful information.

A way will be provided to reach a righteous goal.  “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” (1 Nephi 3:7)

I am thankful for Zoom calls that have made it possible to communicate with more people than ever before. This past week I had the opportunity to speak to a relief society group in Texas from my home in California. It was exciting. We can all do the same and share what we have learned about the importance of preparing. We can share on Facebook and MEWE or other platforms. We can Zoom with family and friends.

This Thanksgiving, share what you have learned with your circle of friends and family. As you follow President Nelson’s challenge to share gratitude share what preparations you are thankful for #GiveThanks.

Now is the time to help others before we are again locked down or faced with an even greater trial. At the onset of the pandemic, we watched the panic as toilet paper was nowhere to be found, store shelves were emptied in hours, and basic necessities were in short supply. We know many were not prepared.

“We are confronted today with a great variety of serious economic and social conditions. But facing periods of economic stress, even deprivation, is not new to us as a Church. Throughout their history, the Saints have more than once faced such trials. As a result, the Lord from the early days of the Church has guided his leaders to see clearly certain correct principles. We feel compelled to reaffirm these basic principles of temporal salvation.

It has also been my intention to encourage all Latter-day Saints to review again their personal and family preparedness and to implement immediately the principles and practices that will ensure their self-sufficiency. If we will discuss these truths in our family councils and make a plan to do all in our power to live these principles, we shall all enjoy the promise of the Lord, “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” (D&C 38:30.) Marion G. Romney “Principles of Temporal Salvation”

For answers to your preparedness questions please join Carolyn at Facebook.com/Totallyready or email  [email protected].