Wednesday Words

–by Donna Mitchell

Well, I am a day late and a dollar short, as the saying goes. Yesterday was a stressful day. I spent all day on cub scouts, preparing for and then participating in a den meeting.

Another relevant saying is taken from Doctrine and Covenants 38:30, the last part of which tells us “if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” I prepared extensively for a discussion on tall tales by looking up all the ones mentioned in the Bear Cub Scout Manual and printing out many, many pages about them. I spent a lot of time learning how to download from the internet songs about three of the characters mentioned: Casey Jones, John Henry and Davy Crockett. I couldn’t find the music that I wanted for the Zorro television program from the 1950s. Then I learned how to transfer music from one program on my computer to the new iTunes program I had downloaded so I could put the music on my iPod. I hate to admit that I have owned this iPod for several years but have hardly used it since I was released as a Primary teacher almost three years ago. I got it so I could play Primary songs in my class. After having difficulties getting my iPod to sync with my new list of music, I called my second son, Don, for help. All I needed was to go to the correct screen and click on the “Sync” button… This all took so long that after successfully transferring everything to the iPod, I packed up all my stuff, papers, iPod, and portable speakers, and dashed off to church.

I had not played my new music on my speakers, since I had used them before and they worked fine. However, they did not work well and the two songs out of three that I managed to play skipped so badly that the boys couldn’t hear coherent sentences and understand the stories. I also discovered that I had left one of the stories on top of my printer. This brings me to another scripture, Doctrine and Covenants 88:119, “Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing: …” My problem was being too thorough in one time-consuming area which caused me to neglect doing a dry run with the music. I went to a scout training seminar on Saturday which discussed presentation of information, including practicing. I should have taken it more to heart.

Although I have applied this to the presentation of what was essentially a lesson, we often apply the concept of preparedness to emergency preparedness. My message is “If ye think ye are prepared and ye are not sufficiently prepared in all things, ye may not fear, but ye should!”

During the big spring wind storm a couple years ago, we drove to Massachusetts to buy a generator (because there were no more in New Hampshire). After we got it home, we discovered that our new electronically controlled propane heating system did not like the electricity produced by the generator and refused to work, leaving us without heat or hot water in spite of what appeared on the surface to be adequate preparation. Eventually, when finances permit, we will purchase a whole-house generator to get over this hurdle.

Having adequate food will not be sufficient if it has to be cooked and there is inadequate fuel or appropriate procedures or tools for cooking. Having a river flowing by the house will not quench thirst if it is not drinkable. I am telling myself to pay attention and PRACTICE now what is necessary for success later. Just a word to the wise, and hopefully better prepared than I.

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