Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Why do we store food?

Recently, I represented a client in a jury trial. It was a dispute about the amount of inheritance in an estate. In an attempt to discredit my client with the jury, the opposing witnesses testified that my client was acting very strangely, including storing rice in a large quantity. In fact, she had almost 60 pounds of rice and she was obviously, from this fact alone, mentally unstable. At the time, I wondered what the witnesses would think if they knew about the thousands of pounds of wheat stored in basements and storage areas all over the country.

The testimony did raise some concerns, some people not only do not store food, they think storing food is crazy. Why then do we store food? I think the Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said it well:

"Our Heavenly Father created this beautiful earth, with all its abundance, for our benefit and use. His purpose is to provide for our needs as we walk in faith and obedience. He has lovingly commanded us to “prepare every needful thing” (see D&C 109:8) so that, should adversity come, we can care for ourselves and our neighbors and support bishops as they care for others.

We encourage members world-wide to prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings."

We can never tell what might happen to us or our families. Recent labor statistics indicate that "
Unemployment rates were higher in October than a year earlier in 361 of the 369 metropolitan areas and lower in 8 areas. Among the 310 metropolitan areas for which nonfarm payroll data were available, 125 metropolitan areas reported over-the-year employment gains, 169 reported losses, and 16 had no change." See the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS goes on to state: "Nonfarm payroll employment fell by 240,000 in October. Job losses over the last 3 months totaled 651,000. In October, the unemployment rate rose from 6.1 to 6.5 percent, and the number of unemployed persons increased to 10.1 million." To show the trend, the BLS states: "Among the unemployed, the number of persons who lost their job and did not expect to be recalled to work rose by 615,000 to 4.4 million in October. Over the past 12 months, the size of this group has increased by 1.7 million."

To put these figures into some kind of perspective there are more people out of work than the live in New York City. See

It is likely that some, if not most, of these people were surprised to lose their jobs. How long could you and your family survive without an income? How fast would you run out of food? What would you do for housing? What would you do to pay for your car? Your boat? Your ATVs? This is the purpose the Lord had in mind when he told his Prophets to warn us to stay out of debt and to have food storage.

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