Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The time to prepare for a layoff is before it happens

This week the news has been filled with gloomy predictions regarding employment. Major companies announced the lay off or laid off over 40,000 additional employees. Unemployment in the U.S. rose to 7.2 percent in December of 2008.

The time to prepare for a layoff is long before it happens. One of my friends confided in me that they will lose their home in a couple of months due to a layoff. But if you have no contingency plan in place, this could be a natural consequence. It is difficult in these times not to take an "I told you so" attitude but my heart goes out to those suffering, even if it is from their own choices. I feel so bad for those who are out of work and for their families.

President Gordon B. Hinckley, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints lifted a warning voice back in 1998. You can watch and listen as a prophet of God gives advice on the coming hard times, more than ten years ago.

President Hinckley said, speaking of his counselor, James Faust;

President Faust would not tell you this himself. Perhaps I can tell it, and he can take it out on me afterward. He had a mortgage on his home drawing 4 percent interest. Many people would have told him he was foolish to pay off that mortgage when it carried so low a rate of interest. But the first opportunity he had to acquire some means, he and his wife determined they would pay off their mortgage. He has been free of debt since that day. That’s why he wears a smile on his face, and that’s why he whistles while he works.

I urge you, brethren, to look to the condition of your finances. I urge you to be modest in your expenditures; discipline yourselves in your purchases to avoid debt to the extent possible. Pay off debt as quickly as you can, and free yourselves from bondage.

If you had given heed to President Hinckley's warning more than ten years would have passed and possibly, you would have freed yourself from the bondage of a mortgage. Possibly, you would not have ridden the waves of speculation in the housing bubble and you would have taken the time to pay off your mortgage and become debt free. There is certainly a lesson here.

I hope that if you were not one of the prudent ones who paid off your mortgage that you will take heed in the future. You will not continue to bind yourself through costly interest. As you seek work, seek also to follow the counsel of a living prophet. Get out of debt!

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