Thursday, July 31, 2008


originally posted at Mormon Matters.

Hurricane season is here, with the most recent tropical storm Dolly leaving hundreds of thousands of people in South Texas without power.  An estimated 236,000 people were left without food, power, or other services for several days.  Retired Lt. General Russel L. Honore, who was leader of Joint Task Force Katrina before retiring, is now urging Americans to develop a culture of preparedness.  Since I was in Texas for tropical storm Allison, I saw firsthand how LDS wards reacted in an emergency.  One of the most impressive experiences I had during that disaster was the chance to use and share food storage items.  So I was taken aback this week when a member of the Church advocated using firearms to protect our stash, stating: "That's why the Church tells us to keep a gun with our food storage!"

To be fair, we were discussing the events of the Last Days, and some of the recent apocalyptic fiction which pictures anarchy in the days leading up to the Second Coming.  Do you think Mormons are being trained to help and to share during times of disaster so that we will have these skills in case of a larger emergency?   Why do some members still retain a hoarding mentality and attribute it to directives of the Church?

Among all Americans, Mormons are perhaps the best prepared and the best equipped to survive a disaster. But what is our responsibility toward those who are not prepared?  Of course, we never know how we will react in times of stress.  But I like to think that I would share what I had with those in need, even if it meant less for my family.  I believe that principles of a Christian religion would teach that we do not take the lives of others, even to save our own.  That's why I would never place a gun with my food storage.

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