I have a spectacular neighbor who is absolutely marvelous. She is a good mom and neighbor. She found out that Chris and I are 'Mormon' and now frequently asks questions about the church. I am doing my best to try to explain what she is asking about. I am sad that I feel like my explanations are always short of the full message.
Recently she asked about how Mormons are supposed to have a year supply of food on hand and indirectly about the Bishops store house. I said it was true, explained a little about fasting, the bishops store house and then about how the church has a program that uses member volunteer work to make its own food that we can share and use at very little cost. Our local product is Peanut butter, so I told her about our local peanut butter factory. And about the many apple orchards they had in Auburn where I grew up. The conversation moved on to other subjects but I was left wondering if I had done the topic justice.
Really, just our food storage program is a beautiful organization of love and charity. We spend all this time and effort to create a product for our people, but should a hurricane hit or disaster befall an area, we are instructed to liberally share that supply with our neighbors. Really, God wants us to have that supply to keep us, and those around us safe. He also tells us to stay out of debt for the same reasons, to keep our families safe and so that we will have the money, emotional stability, and energy to share and give to those around us. I recently read Henry B. Eyring's talk Oppertunities to do good and there he said: President Marion G. Romney said of welfare work, “You cannot give yourself poor in this work.” And then he quoted his mission president, Melvin J. Ballard, this way: “A person cannot give a crust to the Lord without receiving a loaf in return.” Chris and I were talking about what we might want to spend our surplus money on next year and we had some fun things, some necessary things we wanted to spend on and with what was extra we wanted to set aside for a rainy day fund.
I am really grateful that the church encourages deep saving and that it is such a practical, loving suggestion. It is something that our kids will never really know about, but should something happen it would keep us living without stress and worry. Our kids would not suffer or have to go without. What a blessing. I don't know that it would have occurred to us to have that fund unless the church had suggested it. But it is such an act of love to cushion our lives with protection from disaster of all kinds. I suppose it never would have occurred to me to see it that way until I was explaining some of the doctrinal foundations of food storage and the Bishops warehouse. Basically it is that God loves us, he wants us to be happy, safe, fed and clothed so he is giving us the step-by-step on how to do that. Should we fail, there are still programs he has already arranged to catch us again and to help us learn to do better. If that isn't love...