Friday, January 2, 2009

Poppy seeds...librarians...the new media and the gospel of preparedness...

Eating a poppy seed muffin...I began to wonder..."How do they harvest all of those poppy seeds!! They are so tiny...and there are sooo many of them!"..."Do the poppies they harvest from look like the California poppies...or are they like those big ones they grow in other countries for opiates? Do they have a machine that mechanically collects them?...HOW DO THEY DO IT?"

When I was a kid...such questions would more than likely go unanswered. Perhaps if I was lucky...I could persuade my parents to take me to the library to see if we could find the answer in an available book. We would speak with librarian to see if they had any books on the harvesting of poppy seeds...she would say "I don't think so...but let's look"...we would walk over to a big cabinet of cards where we would write down a bunch of numbers on a small piece of paper with a golf pencil...then we would make our way through a very confusing Dewey decimal system to see if any book was on hand. "We've got one on the harvesting of sugar beets." "No thank you" I'd reply. Exasperated she would say "I'm sorry...we don't have any books on poppy seeds." I'd walk over to the children's section and settle for a picture book...and then we'd go.

Nowadays...the question could have been answered in just a moment...without even leaving my home! I wouldn't have to get all dressed up and drive across town...and go through the above process...just to find out that there was no such book! I would simply have to put it into a search engine to get my answer...almost instantly! If I did want a book from the library...I could request it online...and have it delivered for free to the library that is closest to me! Our local library even has a system that allows for you to request books from other library systems. Right I type this...I have a book checked out from a college library in San Jose...and I live in Sacramento!

The prophets have been clear that this advance in technology is inspired of God to advance His work. There has been a real thrust this past year...stressing that the saints should use the internet and "new media" to share the gospel. Preparedness is certainly a part of the gospel and we are being encouraged to share it.

The gospel of preparedness is ALL OVER THE INTERNET!!! It is being spread by people in and out of the church. Thousands and thousands of articles on every preparedness topic you could think of are online. A plethora of videos demonstrating how to do most every task you can think of is available for free online. Put a preparedness topic into and see how many videos there are! The topic "food storage" brings up over 1,000 videos! Learn to cook with food storage...learn how to can...learn what to can...etc...etc...all online. Of course I would not be doing my job if I failed to mention that the church has a preparedness website!!!

The TV also has all kinds of shows on preparedness. You've got shows like "Survivorman" and "Man vs. Wild" that teach some wilderness survival skills (should I even mention the show "survivor"!?). Then there are shows on BYUtv like "Living Essentials" that is all about preparedness...or there is the show they have on gardening called "Homegrown".

agencies such as FEMA or the State of CA's Office of Emergency Services have stacks of emergency preparedness info that they will give to you for free...if you ask them.

Make no mistake my friends...if we don't know how to do something regarding preparedness....and we don't act because of that lack of's our own fault! We are left without excuse. One can't say "If I only had access to the information I would have done something"...or "My ward didn't really have a good program for I didn't do anything."...such excuses no longer fly! (unless of course you live in a cave...but I've heard you can get the Internet there too!) I challenge you...if you have any use any of the resources I mentioned above...or just to simply open up a search engine and type your question in. The answer is out there! It has NEVER been easier to prepare.

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