Thriving in the Storm

If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear. 1

So often, we think of preparedness in terms of food storage or standing in holy places. But today a friend forwarded a link to an article in the political journal, American Affairs. Natalie Gochnour’s article, “Utah’s Economic Exceptionalism,” picks up where Megan McArdle left off in her 2017 Bloomberg article “How Utah Keeps the American Dream Alive.”

Economic health is often assessed in terms of a monthly index produced by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, that combines four indicators of state economic health.

The economic index for the US and the vast majority of her states and territories has declined since the beginning of the COVID pandemic. For the US as a whole, the index has declined by 5.2 percent. Utah’s index has improved by 5.9 percent – notably the only US state to show an increase.

I’ve seen the cooperation and mutual care Ms. Gochnour describes on a smaller scale, within the family of my birth. I have eight siblings, and we have very different outlooks on life. Yet we share the hope that we will be family in the future, when we gather with our mother beyond the veil. This has caused us to work together in circumstances where other families have been torn apart. There is no index of thriving that measures the joy and peace our shared hope provides us, compared to peers who lack this shared hope. But in stressful circumstances affecting all of us, professionals exposed to a wide sample of families undergoing similar stress have commented on our mutual support and unity.

We can prepare by acquiring stores of food and supplies. We can also prepare by building trust and goodwill. By loving others as ourselves. By respecting one another and doing good to all.

Notes:

  1. D&C 38:30

#GiveThanks: The Miracle of the Flour

I’ve kind of hesitated to participate in the #givethanks challenge. Mostly because I hate doing whatever the crowd is doing, and I don’t want to be trite in my gratitude. I’ve been thinking about what I could share that’s not shallow.

In the early days of the pandemic and shut down, when the store shelves were really bare of everything, I was quite worried how to feed my family. With moving two years before, a broken foot, and then my husband and I both losing a parent in a short time period, I just had let our pantry and food storage get really low. Week after week there was no bread in our store and I was starting panic. With a food allergy kid anything that comes from a commercial bakery is going to be unsafe to eat. There are two kinds of commercially produced bread Kroger sells that my son can eat. I was also down to my very last bag of flour and half-jar of yeast, so even baking bread was going to be problematic.

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Come Follow Me: Ether 12-15

My blog post on Come Follow Me: Ether 12-15.


Excerpt:

Moroni begins his discourse on faith by telling us about Ether. Here, we see some important points regarding faith in Christ.  In reviewing them, we find:

First, he “could not be restrained because of the Spirit.” Other prophets have experienced such a power, such as Nephi and Abinadi. However, what seemed to be an occasional power for others seems to have been a continual and daily event for Ether. It may be due to the greater danger Ether found himself in, still it shows that God’s power can give great and constant power when the need arises.

Second, Ether “did cry from the morning, even until the going down of the sun,” showing his diligence in doing the Lord’s command. God could give Ether great power, because Ether didn’t waiver in his faith nor in his efforts. Ether knew that great destruction would come upon the people, and there was only one thing that could save them temporally and spiritually.  Declaring repentance and faith in Christ was the only solution to the pandemic of sin.

What does it mean that by “faith all things are fulfilled?” God has a plan….


https://joelsmonastery.blogspot.com/2020/11/come-follow-me-ether-12-15.html

Our dystopian present

One of the great things about the charter school that my kids go to is that they are reading the true classics of literature, and as they read these classics I get a chance to re-read them along with my kids.

My eighth grader is reading “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury. If you haven’t read that in a while, a quick reminder of the plot: it takes place in a dystopian future where people have stopped reading books and indeed hate books so much that they encourage firemen to burn all the books.

Bradbury wrote “Fahrenheit 451” in 1951, and he was alarmed by the new technology of the time, television. He describes a dystopian future where people watch videos on wall-sized screens (!), drive fast cars for thrills and therefore don’t have the attention span to sit and read a book. People are also offended at the things in books, which inevitably insult one group or another with their provocative plots. Later in life, Bradbury, a traditional conservative, lamented the spread of political correctness and cancel culture, which he said were signs that his book was coming true before his eyes.

Bradbury correctly perceived that this kind of society would create a vast void in peoples’ lives, and that suicide would increase as people saw their lives had no meaning. People would be so concerned about their own lives and buying the latest gadgets that they would stop having children and would mostly ignore the children they had. He predicted that young people would become more violent and strike out against society with nihilistic rage. But Bradbury pointed out that this would take place while society kept up appearances. For most people, life would apparently go on as normal. There would be elections, and people would go to work and perform their jobs and of course spend their time being entertained by the wall-sized video screens. And, eerily, Bradbury’s world takes place while there is a massive war being fought, a war that does not affect most of the populace’s everyday lives. Meanwhile, the news would never report the truth about the world around them, constantly inventing pleasant story lines to keep the populace happy.

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