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Pharoah’s Dream

By Michelle Lehnardt

Most likely, you remember this talk of President Hinckley’s, it was just weeks after September 11th, 2001 and given in the Sunday morning session– the session where the prophet speaks to the world. We had a renewed hunger for prophetic counsel that fall and waited eagerly in our homes and halls for his comfort and guidance.

As always, President Hinckley spoke boldly and yet with grandfatherly intimacy. His words echoed our sorrows on the tragedies we’d witnessed and our trepidation of the war to come. And then he said this:

“I do not know what the future holds. I do not wish to sound negative, but I wish to remind you of the warnings of scripture and the teachings of the prophets which we have had constantly before us.

I cannot forget the great lesson of Pharaoh’s dream of the fat and lean kine and of the full and withered stalks of corn.”

You’ll recall Joseph’s interpretation of Pharoah’s dream– 7 years of prosperity in the land followed by 7 years of famine.

The Saturday following Conference I went to Costco with my husband. Not a single cart remained in the entrance, so we scavenged through the parking lot to find one of those large pallet wagons. As we entered the warehouse I caught my breath– every square foot was filled with families buying case after case of food storage. “Hmm,” my husband mused, “I guess a lot of people listened to the Prophet.”

Though it didn’t feel like it at the time, we WERE going through a time of prosperity. Pottery Barn and other home furnishing companies posted record profits as Americans turned to nesting and new technologies infused life into our economy(can you believe we didn’t have iPods back then?). My ward and stake(and yours too) pressed hard for everyone to gather their food storage.

Now, you’ll also recall last October– exactly seven years from President Hinckley’s talk– when the stock market suffered it’s largest fall since the Great Depression.

Seven years. To the day.

Now, like President Hinckley, I do not wish to sound negative. I have great confidence in our leaders and in our nation– but I’ll keep my food storage stocked.

And I wonder, as I reflect on President Hinckley’s words, if I take prophetic counsel a bit too casually. Unlike the bellowing doomsayers of the past, our prophets are gentle, kind, even avuncular in their manner. Perhaps I’ve regarded their words as friendly advice rather than divine instruction?

Today, I turned to President Monson’s Sunday Morning address from last October. What was his message for the world? What was his message for me? He spoke of the constancy of change, of inevitable heartache, but of Finding Joy in the Journey. And so, I’m reading his words with renewed interest. What can I remove from my life to create more family time? Which things matter most? Am I chasing too hard after elusive goals and neglecting the beauty of the here and now?

Please. Please, share your thoughts.

About Michelle Lehnardt

(Blog Team) I'm the kind of mom who drives through mud puddles, throws pumpkins off the roof and lets the kids move the ping-pong table into the kitchen for the summer. Despite (or probably, because of) my immaturity, my five sons and one daughter are happy, thriving, funny people. I'll climb a mountain with you, jump into a freezing lake hand-in-hand or just sit with you while you cry. I believe the gospel of Jesus Christ will heal the earth. Founder of buildyourteenager.com, scenesfromthewild.net and rubygirl.org.

45 thoughts on “Pharoah’s Dream”

  1. Finding joy in the journey is something that is a constant struggle with me. I struggle almost daily to find happiness in the little things. That isn't to say that I suffer from deep depression, just that I can't stop myself from looking forward to when things will be different and, in my mind, better.

    This particular problem became apparent when I got married. I had somehow convinced myself that everything would be easier if I had a husband. Hah!

    The first six months of our marriage were incredibly difficult. I couldn't adjust to life with another person in my house, using my stuff, and having an opinion on many things that I used to do without a thought. It was nothing like I had imagined it would be.

    The last month or so has been a vast improvement as I have relaxed and looked for joy in the small moments–like when my husband vacuums as a surprise for me or lets me pick the movie–instead of spending all of my time imagining what things will be like in the future.

    I know that looking to the future is something that is important. However, like so many other things, we must find moderation. It makes me sad to know that I have missed so many wonderful moments because I have been so focused on what is to come. I am more motivated than ever to find a balance between being a goal-oriented person and finding joy in the journey.

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  2. you know, i always felt so helpless hearing talks like this, since as a teenager, and then a college student, i felt that i had little control over my life as far as financial planning and food storage were concerned. i wanted to do more, but i just wasn't in a season where i could save a lot, and food storage — beyond what i could keep in the half cupboard i was allotted in my shared apartment — was almost out of the question.

    now, as a struggling young-ish (ha!) professional trying to scrape together the 3-5 years of experience that are the threshold to so many 'real' jobs, i find myself frustrated again because i have almost no money to save, and still almost no room for food storage. i have been fooled into thinking that unless i can save a lot and make grand plans for food storage and rainy days, i might as well spend my widow's might and enjoy it. what difference is $15, $45, $80 going to make in the long run?

    but…the prophets have taught that every bit matters, and that even though i don't have a lot of money, i can make sure that my attitude about money, saving, and living are in check. i am always tempted to buy things for the here and now, but i need to learn to save what i can, even $20, for the future.

    it seems to me that one of the hardest things for my generation to learn is that the future doesn't provide for itself. we won't automatically have good jobs, a decent house, great friends, wonderful vacations, etc. surely, i had $20 a month to save when i was in college! if only i had started that practice then, perhaps i wouldn't feel so guilty now.

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  3. Seven years to the day!! Thanks for scaring the life out of me. I was worried enough about the credit crunch, but this extra little bit of 'timing' information really puts it more into perspective.

    I too think I generally take counsel too flippantly. I will be listening extra hard at next general conference. As for taking joy in the journey, I am rubbish at that. Partly because I am a control freak, I think. I do know that I should try to relax and let life happen.

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  4. These observations are quite astute, aren't they. I always wonder then when the clarity is set so beautifully before us why we still wonder 'how long will it take for us to see prosperity again?'

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  5. I'm sorry Kay! I was a bit frightened too when I first keyed in on this. Who knows how this will all pan out?

    But even if it takes some time before the economy is strong again, we can listen to Pres. Monson's counsel and STILL enjoy the journey.

    What other counsel should we be focusing on?

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  6. A few years ago I had a dream that was very insightful. I'm not claiming that it was a revelation dream:), but it did make me think. I dreamed I was in a big log cabin with family around me. One woman that was there was obviously from pioneer time. She was washing clothes in a big tub of water. I began to talk to her and the one thing that sticks out to me was she essentially said that you need to make everyday things sacred. It sort of had a connection to her washing her clothes, implying that even something like that was sacred.

    Now this was at a time when I was a new mom and very overwhelmed by the new duties that entailed. So thinking that somehow changing diapers, wiping noses, and cleaning house should be sacred changed my perspective. Life is what we make it, no matter what is going on or how little we have, or how difficult life seems. To me finding joy in the journey means two things…1)we consecrate all the we do to the Lord, including washing the dishes:) 2) We reach out to others to help them learn to consecrate what they do to the Lord. Not that I'm perfect at it. I still have those days when I feel like running as far away as possible. But, it helps to have some perspective.

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  7. I love your dream Rachel– thank you for sharing it with us.

    I know it, I can feel it that I'm rushing too quickly to "the next stage" and I'll regret it if I don't sit back and enjoy the here and now.

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  8. I remember as a very young mother, reading an article in the Ensign amonishing us not to "wish away" our children's childhoods. (Paraphrasing: "I'll be happy when this baby sleeps through the night, I'll be happy when the teething is done, I'll be happy when this child is out of diapers, I'll be happy when she can tie her own shoes, I'll be happy when…") It really struck a chord with me, that thinking I'd be happy when I got out of the current stage of parenting I was at with a particular child, really meant that that part of my child's life was spent. Over; it was permanent. That child would never be three {or __} ever again. And as hard as some of those three year old days were–there were lots of good ones too and I had to say good bye to them as well. I resolved at that time to never wish away my children's days. I have tried to enjoy each stage my children are going through, even if it is a tough one, I try to find the good in it and do my best to savor it and press in into memory.

    Fast forward my life to just a few years ago. My husband was layed off. We had 5 kids 10 and under. My husband didn't find a job in his field until almost 2 years later. We sold our house. We temporarily moved in with my parents in another state. When we finally found employment, it was on the other side of the country. In short, I was overwhelmed and very depressed. I spent the next 2 years after that "surviving" and "recovering". I don't know what could have been different, really. I needed that time to get, well, everything, back on track. But last year (year #3 after our move) I realized I was wishing away my own life. Doing the exact thing I had resolved not to do with my children's childhoods. I was wasting valuable time that I would not ever have back. Then out of the blue, one beautiful fall day a friend of mine passed away suddenly. This had a profound impact on the way I looked at each day I was given. I made it a goal to find at least one thing every day that I could be truly happy and joyful about. Just one thing every day. There are so many things in our days! When I heard President Monson's talk on Finding Joy in the Journey, all I could think was "yes! yes! yes!" It was all the things I had been working through on my own all year long. I love that counsel. "Men are that they might have joy." Heavenly Father wants us to have joy. Even in this very serious time of economic upheaval.

    I love this quote by Anna Quindlen:

    "The biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of them sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less."

    {Sorry to be so very long winded. This subject just happens to be very close to my heart this last little while…}

    {And scary how right on with the timing President Hinckley was. It shouldn't surprise us at all, but still. 7 years! wow.}

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  9. The power of our humble prophets. You are so right about the gentle delivery . In our day of shouting, pushiness, do those constant, gently imploring voices go unnoticed!

    I appreciate Pres Monson's timely talk, yes finding the joy in our circumstances- that is hope, that is living.

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  10. I remember when he said that and I thought, "That sounds like prophecy to me." I have watched and waited. And, admittedly, embarrassingly, did not do nearly as much to prepare as such a thought might have inspired. Funny, I didn't pay attention to the stock market crash and it's uncanny timing. though I did go back to the talk sometime last fall and make note of the seven year time span. I'm fascinated by his statement and do believe he was speaking prophetically.

    I love, Michelle, how you bring us to President Monson's talk. I was struck by how many talks there were that focused on those kinds of themes . . . more hope and joy than gloom and doom . . . just as things started looking bad. There IS room for joy and hope and happiness during these troubling times.

    I'm curious to see what goes. I wish the media wouldn't focus so much on the negative. I'm working on better preparedness, too.

    Thanks for this post, Michelle. You said good things.

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  11. rachael –
    what a beautiful statement! it is true – so true.
    the sacred moment is all there is, that we can hold – and all we need to see the eternal – the rest is gravy.

    my grandmother tod me ever so often! – it is not what your husband brings home – it is what you do with it -and how you act about it. It is all properity.

    traci

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  12. I remember President Hinckley's talk vividly. My husband had been out of work for ten months.When they had gotten rid of the entire marketing department he had been promised a job in October. But after 9-11 evrything in his field changed and they never hired back any of the marketing department. I went to conference hearing that talk and thinking the seven good years were over.

    But we really have had seven good years since that talk. Even the two years we struggled to find employment were good years. I have so many fond memories of that hard time. The miraculous Sunday dinners that would feed everyone that my husband invited. Neighbors who had "extra" meat. The tomato plant that produce all year long. The year supply that fed my family for two years. There was more joy in those two years of financial struggling than in the next two years as I tried to make it up to my kids for all they had "missed". I ran the family rugged with sports and music lessons.

    If we are to have seven years of the difficulties we are now facing, I hope I can follow President Monson and find that joy now and not wait until it is over like I did with my 2001-2002 experience. I was so worried, stressed, anxious, even depressed during the time, but looking back I recognize how blessed we were. What a shame that I didn't let my self see it and revel in the miracle of God's mercy.

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  13. actually, the whole seven years thing gave me the chills. i remember that talk well. i remember being so freaked out about life after september 11th. i remember sitting in the conference center the morning president hinckley gave this talk and having all the burdens of my heart dissolve.

    but i really wish i would have paid more attention to the scriptural references he was throwing around. wow. i always think (in general) those types of things are just examples, a way to "liken the scriptures," not part of the prophecy! i'm kidding some, but truly i don't give it enough credence. it makes me want to study the talks more deeply, to really read all the scriptural references and look for clues.

    also, i love "finding joy in the journey." love, love it. the part that gets me most is having gratitude for every minute. it's a high charge, but we can do it.

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  14. It's funny, my life is the economic downturn in reverse. Seven years ago I was in my first year of grad school, and the years between then and now were extremely trying financially, personally, and in my marriage. I totally failed to find joy in the journey during much of that time. I just didn't have the strength or perspective to maintain a positive attitude through some of the things that happened to me.

    Now my husband and I are both done with school, and while our problems aren't all solved, at least we can pay our bills, and we're not fighting much anymore. If I could live those hard years over again, I'd do a better job of things. But since I can't, I hope they taught me how to deal with hard times better next time they come. But next time, the challenges will all be different, so I'll need different ways to cope. I think it's OK to feel depressed and frustrated when things get hard, the key is to not lose faith in the process.

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  15. I thought you'd remember that talk as vividly as I did! I agree Wendy, I wish the media wouldn't be so negative(an d I'm sorry if this post came across as negative).

    Amy– your reply gave me chills, thank you for a living testimony and for your words of encouragement.

    I feel the same way Brookie– what have I missed? I'm going to be reading my Ensign's more.

    M– I agree, sometimes it's OK to feel depressed, let's help each other keep the faith!

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  16. Maybe this is a downer, but I felt like 2001 was the start of the downturn. I guess the fall of 2001 feels like relative prosperity compared to now, but my family was feeling the affects of the economic downturn that started in the spring of 2001.

    If the last seven years were the years of prosperity, then I'm really worried about next seven years. I hope that President Hinckley's prophesy wasn't as literal as we're making it, but I think he tried to say in that talk that he wasn't talking about a literal seven years.

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  17. I totally forgot about the 7 years thing, just remembered the "joy in the journey". Recently,at our stake conference, our Stake Pres. spoke on this very subject.

    Several years ago-in 2001- my baby sister's baby died at 8 months. I of course was devastated, but comforted by the fact that I had made use of every single opportunity to hold and cuddle her. No regrets. Now, my kids are older, busier, and more fun. Taking the time to just hang out with them will become a new priority. I wished away their babyhood, I won't miss their teen years.

    I am thankful for the prophets and continuing revelation that bears witness to me of a Father's loving care as he guides and protects us from the worst of the storm. Thank you for this beautiful post!

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  18. So many amazing comments! Thank you for sharing all you have.

    Honestly, we do the best we can and just don't have much food storage. My DH has lost his job twice, we've moved 3 times and had to get rid of food storage each time (donating to other families). We're trying to build it back up but we're not close to a bishop's storehouse and it takes time. So I'm finding myself at the beginning of the 7 lean years hoping Joseph will take pity on me.

    As far as enjoying the journey? After the talk of giving things up for Lent in yesterday's comments I've decided to give up medical run-arounds for Lent. For over a year I've been a mental mess trying to understand what is going on with my body- spending money, time and effort sorting through it all. The result is a medicine that helps but no diagnosis and possibly no insurance support. Now I want to enjoy my children more and worry about a name for it less.

    I've spent too much time being resentful towards God about some things in my life. Instead of letting that come between us I have humbly gone to him for a better relationship, putting the resentment aside. I enjoy everything more now. He is so forgiving.

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  19. Inner Reprimand and Homeschoolin' Hen– I agree Pres. Hinckley probably wouldn't want us to take the 7 year idea too literally. And Homeschoolin' Hen–please give your sister a hug for me!

    jendoop– I love this "I’ve spent too much time being resentful towards God about some things in my life. Instead of letting that come between us I have humbly gone to him for a better relationship, putting the resentment aside. I enjoy everything more now. He is so forgiving." Thank you.

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  20. Thank you for writing this post, Michelle!!

    Our family recently watched the DVD about the life of Joseph Smith. It's amazing to go back and read the words of our dear prophets and see how they came true, every bit, as life unfolded. This gives me great hope because not only do our prophets know what is going on, they know how to make it through, and they will lead us through these times. It's comforting to know even if we hear other voices calling us here and there, we can be sure of our prophet's voice!

    Today in Daily Gems, there was a beautiful quote:

    God Is at the Helm

    "The world can at times be a frightening place in which to live. The moral fabric of society seems to be unraveling at an alarming speed. None—whether young or old or in-between—is exempt from exposure to those things which have the potential to drag us down and destroy us. Our youth, our precious youth, in particular, face temptations we can scarcely comprehend. The adversary and his hosts seem to be working nonstop to cause our downfall. "We are waging a war with sin, my brothers and sisters, but we need not despair. It is a war we can and will win. Our Father in Heaven has given us the tools we need in order to do so. He is at the helm. We have nothing to fear. He is the God of light. He is the God of hope. I testify that He loves us—each one."
    Thomas S. Monson, "Looking Back and Moving Forward," Ensign, May 2008, 90

    As we will continue to see our prophet's words and scripture warnings come true, we can also have great hope that the day our dear Savior will be here is getting ever closer.

    I see today's times as a time to prepare and a time to celebrate! We can especially celebrate that we're sisters in the gospel and not one of us is truly all alone in these times and in the times to come.

    Thank you again, Michelle.
    I also love your blog
    "Scenes from the Wild!"

    Best wishes,
    Annemarie

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  21. I marvel sometimes that I tend to react more to yelling, scare-tactics, doomsday words, etc, and yet when the prophets calmly tell us to be prepared, I smile complacently.

    We have enough food to feed all of northern Michigan for a long time, but we are woefully unprepared in many, many other ways. I'm not really freaked out about it, though. Maybe I should be a little more worried. It might motivate me to action!

    I really love Pres. Monson's call to enjoy the journey. I also am reminded of Elder Wirthlin telling me to "Come What May, and Love It". His words spoke deeply to me. I can continue to smile and face troubles graciously and with an eye toward Heaven. Wow, if I could only do that as easily as I just typed it.

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  22. I find myself trying to be aware of what consumes me.
    My mission president introduced me to the essay As a Man Thinketh and although the pages are worn, I still struggle with undesirable thoughts and actions which creep into my life.
    Pres. Monson's talk was so wonderful(and heartbreaking). I find I need constant reminders to jump start pure thinking so that the moments I do have don't slip away unenjoyed and unappreciated. Gratitude bleaches my black and blues.

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  23. Thanks for the fantastic quote and your thoughts Annemarie.

    Justine– don't you think it's interesting that our prophets have emphasized spiritual preparedness even more that physical preparedness in recent conferences? Clearly, I need to work on that.

    And Martha! "Gratitude bleaches my black and blues." Maybe I should paint that in my laundry room? You have the soul of a poet.

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  24. Whoa, thanks for the wake up call….7 years…to-the-day.
    I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when Pres. Hinkley gave that talk. I dont remember feeling the need to get my food storage built up (that has come in the past 2 years) But I remember a pressing urgency to get my Spirit prepared. I remember feeling the need to clean my heart and focus on matters of the spirit and forming a stronger relationship with my husband, children, and extended family.

    I cant say I am light years ahead, but I am often reminded of which direction I need to be heading and it helps me say No to so many things that side track me, things that are good and worthy, but just not what I need to do with my time. Example, I dont need to be the uber volunteer in every arena…school, community, church, scouts, charities, etc.

    When something new comes along asking for my time and energy, I have to ask myself what my motives are for saying yes and who this will really benefit. Will my family benefit, will I benefit, etc.

    Hope this makes sense…

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  25. I was reading the scriptures with my kids this morning and we came across the verses in 2 Nephi that talk about Joseph of Egypt. I swear I don't remember reading this before! Chapter 3:5 says, "Wherefore, Joseph truly saw our day." For the most part he seems to be talking about Joseph Smith, but perhaps he is likening the thin cows and the fat cows to us, just as President Hinkley did.

    Anyway, I've been a really concerned about the state of the world over the past few years. I've been really trying to build up my food storage. My husband has lost his job twice in the last three years. We've relied on the food storage quite a bit, but building it up again has been one of my top priorities since he got a new job. Having my food storage has really eased a burden in my mind.

    My goal this year has been to really study the scriptures since spiritual preparedness is the thing that has been talked about so much. I've been so worried about how the world is calling good evil, and evil good. That has been my big motivation for scripture study; that I might know what is truly correct. It's so easy to be swayed by the opinions of the world. I would like to feel the comfort of knowing that I am on the Lord's side in the perilous times we will be facing.

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  26. I think this makes a lot of sense and I, too, am grateful that we took advantage of our plenty to put in food storage (and buy things that we needed instead of waiting until "later" i.e., until they had fallen totally to pieces, such as a new washer and dryer).

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  27. Having grown from a child to an adult in the last seven years, I have seen President Hinkley's words go to work in my family home, with my parents preparing as best they could against the day. Now that I'm looking out into the world and taking steps into it on my own, I find great comfort in President Monson's talk. It's scary to contemplate the job market, even though I have only me to support. I take comfort in the assurance that 'God moves in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform', knowing that if I keep my covenants and try my best to do his will, all will be well.

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  28. Shauna and Heidi– I love your spiritual and physical preparations! And Jennie– you gave me the chills. I have so much to learn. If anyone wants great food storage advice go check out Jennie's personal blog.

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  29. In 2001 we were almost married and both undergraduate students. And now, seven years later, we're still students and still totally unprepared. I've been feeling pretty freaked out by things lately, honestly, especially because we now need my husband to get a "real job" and there doesn't seem to be much out there for him. And we've had times when we've been prepared only to see it get used up on moves, months without jobs between semesters, etc. I do remember that talk and wish I had taken it more literally, but now I think I'm just going to press forward and find more joy in the journey right now. I don't have much food storage, but we have a litle and we're trying. I've found that if I try and think about doing "everything" I get too overwhelmed to do anything. So now I'm going to try some small steps. I just got my paycheck for the month, so my new goal is to put a bit aside for savings and try not to spend the rest before the month is out. In the past I would just give up and say "it's too overwhelming" and put stuff on my credit card. Is it ever too late to start being prepared?

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  30. On the sharing note- I had a friend who was in a profession associated with law enforcement and her DH was a security guard, they were well armed. She was a new convert and overwhelmed by food storage. So a few of us made a deal with her- She and her DH would serve as protection during a time of crisis and we would feed them. Now that I've moved far away I'm looking for a new protection plan!

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  31. Michelle, I didn't think your post was negative at all! Sorry if I sounded like I thought it was!

    Martha, I have been meaning to re-read As A Man Thinketh–thanks for mentioning that here!

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  32. One of my two favorite talks in the past while has been Elder Holland's, Remember Lot's Wife. Changed my whole view of my world really. He said that part of her sin was her attachment to the past outweighing her confidence in the future. Faith is always pointed to the future and she doubted the Lord's ability to give her something better than she had.

    The short version of his talk is found from the Church News, but there is a link to the long version as well.

    http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/56450/Elder-Jeffrey-R-Holland-Remember-Lots-wife–faith-points-to-future.html

    The other article was from the Church News, Faith: Unwavering in life's storms. It states that no matter the obstacle or the severity of the storm raging around us…he provides the miracle.

    http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/56353/Faith-Unwavering-in-lifes-storms.html

    Finding these two articles have made me not what to miss reading the Church News because they've had such a profound effect on the way I view my own ecomonic trials right now. Kathy Griffiths states that we do our part by keeping our eyes on Him and continuing to put one foot in front of the other, even if the storm rages on without relief and we don't the outcome.

    Joseph of Egypt has always been my favorite scripture story. I've lived different versions of it during my married life and looking back, the Lord has always provided the miracles and we've come out ahead each time.

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  33. Great post and discussion. I had not made the 7-year connection with the talk and the stock market. I "belong" to an online forum about chickens. Raising, keeping, hatching, etc. chickens. There are over 2000 members, mostly in the US. Many people just like chickens as pets or have always raised them as a business, but many new people are becoming interested in chickens (along with gardening) because they are concerned about the future and their food supply. A recent thread topic was started by older chicken-owners who remember growing up poor. They had so little, yet they were happy because they had their family and usually enough to eat. I'm not advocating that everyone should get chickens, but they are fun. And they taste just like chicken. 🙂

    I grew up relatively poor and am now grateful for it. At the time I didn't like powdered milk (who does?) and hauling buckets of coal through the snowy yard, but I liked being full and warm. I feel I now have to work hard to keep my kids from being spoiled. I hope that if things do get worse financially, I will be better prepared to accept it and deal with it because of my childhood. I want to be a good example to my children in finding joy in that journey. I don't want them to remember me always being stressed or upset. I hope they will look back on the good old days and remember that even though things were hard, they were happy because their family worked together and endured together.

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  34. It strikes me as funny a bit that it was the week after Conference when everyone went to Costco to buy their food storage. That counsel isn't new. And if they hadn't kept up with that, a lot of that food is either gone or bad by now and they probably don't have any food storage again.

    Reading the Book of Mormon I'm always shocked to see how few years it takes for them to go from a very righteous society to one that was extremely wicked. It seems like it should take longer than 5 or 6 years to do that. But our memories are a bit short too. Food storage is again being spoken of in a big way today. Would that we wouldn't need such grim reminders so often to keep us on the right track.

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  35. Wow. Your thoughts are so right on that I can think of nothing whatsoever to add. Except that you have really made me think…especially with these words:

    "I wonder, as I reflect on President Hinckley’s words, if I take prophetic counsel a bit too casually. Unlike the bellowing doomsayers of the past, our prophets are gentle, kind, even avuncular in their manner. Perhaps I’ve regarded their words as friendly advice rather than divine instruction?"

    Now, THAT's an epiphany!

    Well said, Michelle. Well conceived. And so, so timely and true. Thank you! And again, thank you!!

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  36. I am reading and re-reading many conference talks, and receiving so much perspective and strength from them.

    This Pres. Hinckley talk and its timing is very interesting. I also went back and found how he had encouraged us to get our homes in order in 1998 (via the men in priesthood session), mentioning Pharoah's dream then, too. I find that powerful to consider, since the end of the 90s really WAS still a time of plenty, in a big way.

    Prophets are such a blessing. This past conference seemed full of 'we know times are hard' but with lots of 'we can have hope and peace even in hard times.' Faith is a choice, Elder Andersen reminds us, and it cannot coexist with fear. I have thought of that often these past couple of months.

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  37. Great post.

    It always freaks me out when my husband and I are both on the same wavelength about something that has to do with preparedness. I was at the bank the other day, and thought, "I REALLY need to get some cash, stash it in small bills." Less than a week later, my husband says to me, "You know, we really need some cash in small bills, just in case."

    We will be working on that this week.

    I get panicked about this stuff too, but I'm convinced the Lord wants us not to panic. Slow and steady, slow and steady, I tell myself and my ward (I'm the emergency preparedness gal). Being overwhelmed is not productive and can be demoralizing. And if there is one thing I've learned with startling clarity is that every little bit DOES count. We've been committed to paying off student loans, and there are some months when I've just been able to scrape up an extra $25, and that's it. And yet, with the paltry sums I felt I was putting towards it, I'm still amazed at how quickly our debt has shrunk. The converse is of course also true: saving even $20 or $25 a month, or using that money to buy extra food, will add up much faster than you think.

    And some months we can work on food storage better than other months. But I try really hard not to be discouraged, because I have a testimony that the Lord will bless me in my efforts, whatever I can do. And so He has.

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  38. Hi there…

    Wow…I never even realized it. Sometimes we do take things to lightly, or in my case…I listen intently to find out what lies ahead for the next six months, to see if I will have that much more time to prepare…I don't remember who said it…but "The time is NOW"….thank you for the thoughts!!

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  39. hmmm, Heather, you've just awakened a desire to stash some small bills…..

    and Tamlynn, I grew up with chickens. Oh my the stink! But an eggscellent way to increase our preparedness.

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  40. In this day and age I feel the pressing importance of clinging to the council of the prophet. We cannot stray from the word or the work. The instant we step off the course we will fall. Satan is strong now; we must be stronger. Thank you for your post. I needed this today.

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