Learning from Mormons

Disaster | Marvin Olasky

Learning from Mormons

A snow-covered street in Boston's South End neighborhood Saturday.
Associated Press/Photo by Charles Krupa

The Northeast blizzard has left hundreds of thousands without power and left me pondering a letter from Ted Smethers of Arkansas: “I have been reading WORLD Magazine for many years now and one subject that I would like to see you cover: preparing for disasters, both natural and man-made. On this subject the Mormons are way ahead of us Baptists.”

Smethers continued, “One of my Baptist buddies went to a Mormon ‘canning’ party. He’s loading up a bunch of cans, notices his new Mormon friend doing the same, and asks why: Surely he had all he needed laid up already. The guy says, ‘Yes, but I have a number of Baptist neighbors and decided I would rather feed them than fight them.’ Ouch, very convicting words on a number of levels.”

Ted is right, and the big blizzard should remind us that we don’t need apocalyptic concerns to be prepared for power outages and other difficulties. I disagree sharply with Mormon theology, but on both welfare and preparing for trouble the Latter-day Saints have an advantage in that their views haven’t changed much from their former and formative early 19th century days.

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