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Sleep While The Wind Blows – Be at Peace

Sleep While The Wind Blows – Be at Peace

Are You Prepared, Or Do You Fear?

An old fable entitled: “Sleep While The Wind Blows” tells the story of a farmer who had desperately been looking for a hired hand. Finally, a young man showed up and said: “I hear you’ve been looking for help.”

“I sure have, replied the farmer. What do you do? Can you run a tractor?”

“Nope,” answered the young man.

“How about a milking machine?”

“Never worked one of those either,” answered the lad.

After a few more questions and the same negative responses, the farmer finally asked: “Well, what can you do?

“I can sleep while the wind blows,” answered the young man.

In no mood for joking, the farmer almost told the young lad to be on his way. But he needed help so badly that he decided to give him a try. A week or so later the farmer woke in the middle of the night. Outside a storm was blustering. Sheets of windblown rain were battering away at the windows. The farmer jumped out of bed and went to the hired hand’s room. Efforts to rouse him proved fruitless. So the farmer rushed outdoors in the howling storm to take care of things, by himself. When he got to the barn, the doors were already shut and bolted. The animals were secured in the safe shelter of the barn. Remembering that there was straw and feed in back of the barn that could be ruined by the rain, or blown away by the wind, he hurried outside once more. But his concerns were unfounded for the piles were covered with canvas and fastened down. It was then that he realized the significance of the young man’s prophetic claim: “I can sleep while the wind blows.”

The Latter-Day prophets have preached for decades the importance of being prepared. None of us, including those who aren’t members of the LDS church (tragedy of course, belongs to no religion) are immune to the possibility of an unexpected emergency. Every day, jobs are lost, people are injured or killed; and we are all just a natural disaster away from losing everything. Despite the myriad of possible tragedies, however, we need not fear, if only we are prepared.

Back in 2001, I was working as a contractor for a prominent shoe company. I did several projects for the company, two of which were on a daily basis. This went on for two years with no end in site. Life was great. I worked from home for only six hours a day, but still made full-time money. It couldn’t be better. But my life on easy street, as is often the case, suddenly hit a dead end. With no warning, I was informed that one of my daily projects was going to be discontinued in a month’s time. Then, just two weeks later, another phone call came; this time with the news that my other (and larger) daily source of income would be gone a month later. I immediately began searching for work, but a quick replacement was not to be found. Fortunately, my wife and I were diligent savers. At one point we had over $12,000 in our account. By the time another job was secured, our once abundant bank account was cut by more than half as we were forced to live off our savings for several months.

So what can one do to prepare for the many unexpected twists and turns of life? According to the church’s Provident Living Web site, members should: “Build a small supply of food that is part of [their] normal, daily diet; Store drinking water for circumstances in which the water supply may be polluted or disrupted; Establish a financial reserve by saving a little money each week and gradually increasing it to a reasonable amount; and, for longer-term needs, and where permitted, gradually build a supply of food that will last a long time and that [they] can use to stay alive, such as wheat, white rice, and beans.”

But how are members of the LDS church – and non-members, for that matter – doing? The church doesn’t keep statistics on food storage, but here’s an example of just one stake. In 2005, members of the Vancouver, Washington stake were counseled by their Stake Presidency to have a year-supply of basic food storage. They laid out a two-year plan to help the members make it happen. Of course, this council is nothing new, and unfortunately, the results probably aren’t either.

Many members started to lay up in store – in the beginning. However, as time passed and the deadline approached, only about 23% of all the members in stake could report a full year’s supply of basic food necessities. Now let’s assume these numbers can be applied to the rest of the church membership in just the state of Washington. According to numbers from, there were 253,166 members of the church in Washington in 2007. If we assume an average of 23% for the entire state, then roughly 58,228 members have a full year’s supply of basic food necessities. That means close to 195,000 members of the church, in just the state of Washington, are NOT prepared for a long-term emergency. Again, the church does not have specific numbers on how well its members follow this council. But, if we assume that this one stake is an accurate representation of church membership across the U.S., then it would appear that quite possibly millions are unprepared for a long-term emergency.

So what should you do? If you haven’t started, then start. If you’ve started, but stopped, then start again. If you’re half-way there, then keep going. Whatever it is, do something! The Internet is loaded with ideas, big and small, to help people prepare for emergencies. Of course, is great place to start, but there are many other helpful sites, including:,,,,, and many, many more. If you can’t start big, then start small. Even if you can only gather a 72-hour kit and a two-month supply of basic food, you’ll be better off than if you had nothing. Whatever your circumstances are, just start. Then, over time, with a solid plan of attack and a concerted effort, eventually, you too, will be able to “sleep while the wind blows.”

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