New Year, New Progress
When it comes to implementing a successful home storage program, the most important step is to start. With the beginning of a new year, now is the perfect time for individuals and families to review the First Presidency’s guidelines on home storage in the pamphlet All Is Safely Gathered In. The First Presidency encourages all Church members to gradually establish a three-month supply of food, store drinking water, set aside a financial reserve, and when possible, eventually increase home storage to a longer-term supply.
By following these simple guidelines, Church members can prayerfully consider their circumstances and set one goal to begin or continue their own home storage program. As we prepare ourselves and our families for trials and adversity, we will receive temporal security and be able to “provide for our needs as we walk in faith and obedience.” 1 Here are a few ideas that you and your family can begin in 2009.
Consider your normal daily diet and make a list of foods that you can purchase, store, and rotate.
Choose a few items on your regular shopping list every week to add to your home storage, and purchase double amounts of those items as finances allow.
Begin to save and clean durable bottles that have been used for soda or juice. Rather than purchasing new bottles, save the clean and sanitized bottles and use them for water storage.
Purchase a few water bottles every week to add to your home storage water supply. Be sure to rotate your water supply regularly.
Add a certain amount of your income to your financial reserve each month. Set the money aside immediately after paying your tithes and offerings.
Create a budget based on your spending last month. After looking at your spending habits, consider limiting the money you use on nonessential items and adding it to your financial reserve instead.
If you have succeeded in gathering a three-month supply, increase your home storage to meet longer-term needs based on your individual circumstances.
Learn how to properly package and store longer-term food storage items, such as wheat, white rice, and beans.
For more information on setting home storage goals, visit www.providentliving.org. You can also access information printed in the Church magazines by going to the Gospel Library on LDS.org and visiting the “Food Storage” entry in the Gospel Topics list.
All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage (pamphlet, 2007), 1.
My “Let It Rain” Journal
Kersten Campbell, Washington
Our stake president encouraged us to start a “Let It Rain” journal. He said that personal revelation is like rain. It comes drop by drop, and if we would create a reservoir for it, so to speak, in our journal, we’d be surprised at how much the Holy Ghost prompts us every day. He advised us to write in our journal any questions we might have and pray about them. When I tried this, I was astounded at how much personal revelation I had been overlooking.
I discovered answers to many of my parenting concerns. I also wrote down my desires for a deeper understanding of gospel principles. While studying scriptures or listening to conference and Church talks, I took notes in my journal. I even recorded seemingly stray thoughts on the right side of the paper. I soon discovered that these thoughts were often answers to my struggles or promptings to do something for my family or my calling. Once while watching general conference, I kept having an unrelated thought that I should do something for a certain woman in my ward. The next Sunday I discovered that I’d been assigned as her visiting teacher.
Keeping a “Let It Rain” journal has deepened my gospel understanding, strengthened my testimony, and helped me to be a more effective parent, member missionary, Primary teacher, and daughter of God. I am thankful for a wise stake president whose forecast for rain turned out to be a beautiful, life-changing experience for me.
Family Singing Time
Kimberly Hicken, Nevada
The importance of good music in the home was the focus of a sacrament meeting that prompted my husband to encourage a change in our home. Though “musically challenged,” we decided to sing a hymn to start each evening’s scripture study.
As we passed out the hymnbooks and announced we were going to begin with a song, most of our children were skeptical and somewhat resistant. We pressed forward, however, and decided to begin with the first hymn in the book. We practiced it that week and then introduced the next hymn the following week in family home evening.
Since then, our singing time has evolved to fit our family’s needs. Because none of us is particularly proficient in music, we often skip hymns that are unfamiliar or seem too daunting for us. For the hymns we attempt to sing, my daughter or I sometimes try to plunk out the tune on the piano. Other times we sing along with the hymns on CD. Most of the time we sing a capella. The children take turns leading our singing, which helps them to learn basic music skills. Sometimes we also discuss a hymn’s meaning or the history behind it. Other times, we talk about the feelings a particular hymn evokes in us.
Although we try our best to sing, we often hit wrong notes, our voices don’t always blend, and our timing is sometimes off. Most of the time, I’m glad no one can hear us. Still, when I hear the children humming or singing a hymn we’ve practiced or see their faces light up when a familiar hymn is sung at Church, I’m grateful we chose to enhance our family’s scripture study with music.
Left: illustration by Joe Flores; right: illustration by Beth Whittaker
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