Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Thoughts on Storing Food

First - Where is the revelation where God commands us to store food?

I wonder if it would have been better to learn how to trust God for my supply, instead of putting away food.

What if food storage subverts the work of God as He tries to teach us to rely on Himinstead of the arm of flesh (even if it is our own arm)?

We (my family and I) are living off our food storage. The oil is nearly gone. Depending on how many sweets we make, the sugar could last several months to a year (we don't usually use it very quickly). The salt will last forever (we don't use much of that, either). Our oils are olive oil and grapeseed oil. Our sugar is sucanat (brown) and dried cane juice (white, but not as white as refined cane sugar). To replace any of those items with similar items is more than we can afford right now. We'd have to “downsize” to the lowest quality available (or go without).

But this post isn't to draw attention to us, nor to make anyone feel sorry for us. God is taking care of us. We aren't starving. I'm just wondering if we would have, perhaps, been better off learning to trust God for our food supply instead of our own ability to hoard, even if collecting the food entailed sacrifice (which it did at times).

Second - The fruits of storing food.

What are they? You know the most prolific fruit I see? Fear and violence.

So many people (not all - and I know many because of my interaction with the internet) are stockpiling weapons to defend their food storage. They speak of how they plan to kill anyone who tries to take their food by force. They speak of how they will make someone who asks for food labor in the most menial, demeaning ways to earn the right to survive. You know, s/he didn't prepare when the time was right. Now the time of preparation is past. Even though I didn't agree with the violent tendencies, it seem “normal” to me. But, now . . .

What about King Benjamin's sermon? What about not judging the beggar? What about freely giving to him/her? What about the fact that his/her death is upon your head if they perish because you withheld food?

Which of my children should die that you might live?” Catchy comeback for those who assume they can just come to your house and get some food when times get bad, because they didn't store away food. (I liked the comeback when I first heard it. I thought I could use it if I ever came across that particular situation.)

But this doesn't sound like the fruits of the Spirit on either side - Not on the side of the one assuming they have a right to take, nor on the side of the one who assumes that sharing means automatic death for a family member.

I see food storage preventing faith that God will provide.

I see food storage causing otherwise good people to desire to kill their fellowmen.

I see food storage causing selfishness, pride, and greed.

I see food storage causing envy, covetousness, and anger.

This is a new view for me. A new paradigm. An unexpected turn of thought.

What if we are supposed to rely on God and God only, for our support?

The rich man who hoarded his grain was only being a good steward. He was making sure he had his long term supply of food - And God called him a fool.

Jesus said (in the Bible) that we shouldn't worry about how or if we are fed and clothed. He seemed to be talking to everyone, the 12 apostles as well as the general congregation. Jesus said the same thing to another group (in the Book of Mormon), but it was to 12 disciples and didn't seem to be directed to the multitude in general. I don't know if that means something or not.

A group of people in the Book of Mormon got together a 7 year supply -
But -
1) They did it together
2) There was an immediate threat they were responding to.

The Pharaoh in the Old Testament had a warning dream. God's seer interpreted it. Again, there was a specific threat. God gave a specific revelation in relation to it.

What if the people in Pharaoh's time had been righteous? What if they were in the habit of trusting God for their supply? Would there have been a need for them to eventually sell their souls to the Pharaoh? Would the dream have been necessary? Joseph certainly would not have been in prison because a wanton woman would not have been among the people (neither would slavery had been among them). Did God provide the dream because the people, like us, lacked the faith for God to provide for them day by day and minute by minute? Like the ravens. Like manna. Like clothes never wearing out (and that was among a rebellious people).

And the Israelites the dream was intended to save? How righteous were they? Many of them wanted to kill their brother. Instead, they threw him in a pit and sold him as a slave, putting blood on his clothes so the lie they told their father would seem more realistic. Two of them massacred a great many young men in a certain town. One slept with his father's wife. This doesn't sound like people who would be able to draw down the power of heaven when a famine showed up (and perhaps the famine was to humble them).

For us today, what happens when the food runs out? When there are no stores to go to? No money even if there were stores? No gardens because there is no safety, no unpoisoned land, no good water? Will we be fed by ravens? Will manna come from heaven? What if we have killed to protect our food supply? Is God bound to save our lives after we have done that? Will He still send ravens or manna or water from a rock to a murderous people?

I have not seen even one revelation from God for our time, commanding us to have a food supply (yet we think there was one). I have not seen such a revelation telling us to rely on it for our lives.

A dream by an unknown person (attributed to John Taylor, I believe, but the truth is that there is no name attached though there is a space for the name once the journal writer found out who had it). What credence should we give to that? The same as we give to the myriad of other rumors of thus and so general authority had a dream or a prophecy, but never bothered to deliver the message over the pulpit, pointing out that God had given it to him to warn the people?

Thus saith the Lord, it is meet that my people gather together food and other supplies to sustain them for xxxx years, And this is a standing law unto them forever (or at least until I come). Amen.”

Where is it? If God said it and it is scripture for our day, it should be in the Doctrine and Covenants. I cannot find it there.

And if it isa commandment from God (but someone forgot to canonize it), why are the fruits
fear
greed
anger
envy
violence
murder
slavery?

If it was from God, wouldn't the fruits be
faith
charity
peace
generosity
freedom?

As one who has been to the spirit world, I can tell you that to kill for fear of dying from hunger makes no sense. If you do that, your death when it comes will not be pleasant for you. As one who has experienced serious hunger, I assure you that one does adjust to hunger. For myself, the pain became my friend. I didn't want it to leave. Scary thought, huh?

8 comments:

  1. Thank you for this post - I've been asking myself the same questions lately and have almost come to a crisis regarding the matter. I feel incredible guilt for not having tons of storage but at the same time I feel guilty if I spend any money on food storage because I recognize the reasons for it. Do I not have enough faith for the Lord to step in and feed my family? Hasn't He already done that time and again?
    But what about the "economy of Heaven" where we're supposed to do what we can?
    I'm definitely torn both ways. But your thoughts on "fruits" really clarifies things for me. I think if I end up storing food/supplies away for the future with my neighbors and extended family in mind I won't be condemned. But man, what a thin line to walk.

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  2. I think storing food with the idea that we're going to help those who need it is okay. I think if a beggar comes to our door or if we become aware of someone in need and the Spirit tells us to help them we should.

    Since this is such a new thought to me, I'm still working it out.

    I'm thinking that storing food isn't a bad thing; it's when it is stored with the idea of hurting others if they want any - or if it is stored even when one is aware of those in need who suffer from lack while one is figuratively swimming in food - or storing because we cannot trust God to provide.

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  3. I know from personal experience that when we are trying to follow the Savior and are free with our substance we will be blessed with abundance.

    When we have shared of our food freely we have been blessed to have more than enough even when there was little. It reminds me of Elijah, the widow and the cruse of oil.

    I think the same will apply to food storage. Especially when times are tough. If we are willing to share we will be blessed with more than we know. If we are stingy and selfish our stores will not last and may even go rotten.

    So many fail to remember the power of God in these things.

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  4. Jeremy, I had forgotten about that. When you had people coming to your house much of the time, there was always food for everyone. I remember that. And it was good, healthy food, as nature intended - not cheap, unhealthy food. Most definitely, God does bless us when we are free with our substance.

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  5. And remember in the Bible when God fed the Children of Israel with Manna, greed was useless. Whether they took a lot or a little, it was enough and anyone who kept it overnight found worms in it, come morning.

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    1. That is very true. It was impossible to have a "food storage" under those circumstances - except for the sabbath day. Very good point. Thank you.

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  6. I just found your blog. Thanks for writing some thoughts. I have to say that I have gone through a transition on food storage. At first, I obeyed for the reasons we are told to (so we have enough for ourselves if we ever need it.) Then, I came across the story of a kind old man who said that food storage ought to be with the intent to give it away to whomever may need it, whenever they may need it. The Spirit riveted that into my heart. I store it with the intent to use it whenever I see someone in need, whether that is a homeless man, a neighbor who lost her/his job, or the whole neighborhood when disaster strikes. If something really bad happens, I will give it all away freely, and trust that if I die, I die to the Lord, and if I live, I live to the Lord.

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  7. That sounds like an excellent way to store food, Rob.

    I think I could justify doing this. For one thing, I would be writing on my soul the attitude of giving and love instead of fear of lack.

    Thank you very much for sharing.

    Toni aka L'Jn

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