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Mormons and Murphy’s Law

Mormons and Murphy’s Law

Mormons and Murphy’s Law


The adage that “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong” is often known as Murphy’s law.

Murphy’s Law as we know it today has only been around for about 60 years, but to most wise observers the notion that we live in a world where the worst can and often does happen is simply common sense.

Indeed, to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, this outlook is rooted in the familiar doctrine that there is opposition in all things (See 2 Nephi 2). Mormons view life paradoxically as both beautiful and dangerous. Mortality is fraught with challenges and struggles and Latter-Day Saints plan for a certain amount of uncertainty in the world we live in.

The principle of emergency preparedness is an outgrowth of this idea. Mormons are big believers in the idea of preparing for disasters of the worst kind: Earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, tornadoes, flooding, economic uncertainty, famine, and basically any kind of natural or man-made disaster you can think of.

So what are Latter-Day Saints expected to do so that they are prepared for the worst?

While there is no exact laundry list of items, some of the basic areas in which Church members are encouraged to plan an emergency are personal finances, a home storage of food, medicine, and clothing, and a basic 72-hour kit for every family member. What follows is a generalized summary of counsel that has come from Church leaders on this subject.

Personal Finances: “Save For a Rainy Day” The idea is to put away 3-6 months worth of living expenses in case of a loss of employment or other interruption of income.

Home Storage: “A One Year Supply” Latter Day Saints are encouraged to store at least a one year’s supply of food in the form of basic staples such as grains, legumes, flour, sugar, salt, cooking oil, etc. Once the year supply of basics is achieved, members of the Church are encouraged to add variety to this supply by supplementing it with items that can be regularly rotated into daily meals. A year’s supply of basic medicines and clothing is also recommended.

72 Hour Kits: “Plan for the worst” 72-Hour kits are designed to help families through the initial stages of a disaster. These kits often include such items as emergency blankets, food and water for 3 days, and first aid and hygiene kits. Family members are also counseled to have a family emergency plan that could include pre-determined gathering spots, and ways to communicate in an emergency.

Members of the LDS Church would be the first to admit that it is impossible to plan for every possible disaster be it on a personal, local or even global level. However, planning ahead and preparing for events that have a good chance of occurring brings a measure of peace into the lives of Latter-Day Saints.

Just knowing that there is a plan in place gives members assurance and comfort in a world that is so full of uncertainty.



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