Stay out of debt; live within your means; work to be self-reliant; save for a rainy day; have a supply of food storage; have a 72-our emergency kit – those are all things all the Prophets leading my church have been counseling the members for as long as I can remember, and I literally mean for as long as I can remember as I’ve heard it from them over, and over, and over again, from the time I was a little girl.
As a young woman I would hear it and not think much about it, but as time went on and I began having my own children and struggled financially I found myself praying much more fervently in my life and the result was a confirming feeling that I should pay attention to the Prophets counsel and live by it.
I wouldn’t buy things until I had the money saved up to buy them with cash; I started paying down my debts rather than buying nice things; and I began building up my food storage. There were no pandemics happening back then, no earthquakes hitting nearby, or anything of the kind. Many thought I was being ridiculous to build up food storage, others felt I should spend money more freely and enjoy life more rather than working so hard to pay off my debts as quickly as I could. After all they saw no disasters ahead so it appeared I was being overly cautious.
I was in my late 20’s when I began following their counsel and now I’m 48. For 20 plus years I haven’t had to use my food storage even once…so why in the world keep storing it? Never once have I needed a 72-hour kit so why make it a priority? Why keep following the counsel for all these years when everything has been going fine…often times even better than fine? There’s only one answer – FAITH!
Faith is a willingness to act on the “whats” God’s asking you to do even though you don’t get all the “whys”. I followed their counsel because I had faith that God wouldn’t be asking us to do those things if they weren’t going to be important. I didn’t know where or when or if they would come into play – that’s why it took faith. And for years and years things have been fine – not a “why” in sight. But as years went on I found myself caring less about knowing the “whys” because I found that the comfort that came from exercising my faith and doing the “whats” brought me tremendous feelings of peace and confidence and that was reward enough.
Obviously as I sit here today writing this blog it’s now glaringly evident why the leaders of the church asked the members to do all those things – to stay out of debt; live within your means; work to be self-reliant; save for a rainy day; have a supply of food storage; have a 72-hour kit…and so on. Between the current Coronavirus pandemic and the earthquakes in Utah it’s become abundantly clear as to the “why’s” – not one ounce of faith is required now to see why getting out of debt and having savings needed to be a priority, or why having food storage or emergency kits mattered. Having about every product sold out from Costco and Walmart screams the “whys”.
Faith is following the “whats” before you get the “whys”. It’s relying on the promptings that come through prayer and meditation. And faith will often require making sacrificing long before you see the clear need to make those sacrifices – sometimes sacrificing for short periods and sometimes for years and years without visibility of the “whys”. Simply but, faith is a principle of action. We express faith in the way we live and we grow our faith by exercising it…by being willing to do the “whats” when the “whys” aren’t clear.
I’m so grateful for church leaders that never stopped advising on those “whats”, even when I’m sure they got sick of having to repeat that advice year after year after year to all of us. And I’m so grateful that I chose to exercise my faith and listen because it’s given me so much peace during this turbulent time.
Where there is faith there are miracles.
~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the newly released book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )