Thursday, June 25, 2015

Self-Reliance Tip of the Week - Vandalism and Corn Meal Mush

Los Angeles Temple Vandalism during the Prop 8 voting

For starters, I wanted to share this email that I received regarding vandalism/ mischief that has been happening to our church buildings locally.

Brethren and Sisters – I am emailing you today because of increases in Church property vandalism and/or mischief during the past month, and I am asking that you please pass the word to your members and staffs to be vigilant for us and help put a stop to this costly abuse.  We have had the following incidents occur in the last 30 days:
  • Sprinkler flow controls turned off at the Temple, and Church Street 
  • Electrical disconnect turned off to sprinkler system at CT5, Central/FM
  • Electrical disconnects turned off to HVAC equipment at Solomon, Safford 20th, Safford SC, Pima SC
  • Sprinkler wires ripped from valve boxes at Pima SC
  • Sprinkler clocks tampered with, watering times changed, programs altered, button settings disrupted at Pima SC, Pima DT Safford 20th, Thatcher Seminary
Many of these controls and disconnects are behind masonry screen walls, or inside locked containments where no unauthorized persons should be.  So they are entering with the intent to do damage. 
These cost man hours and contractor hours to review, reset, and repair, not to mention the destruction and death to plant and landscape materials in a short time with the heat levels at over 100 degrees, and the cost to replace that.  Much of that damage we are even discouraged to replace by our Municipality Water Restriction guidelines which are in place during this drought.  It is much less costly to maintain the current landscapes than to replace them if they die.  I do not know who is causing this, but it seems to be increasing and spreading.  Please be extra vigilant and notify me or the police in your communities if you find or suspect someone doing damage to church property.

This reminds me in the Book of Mormon, just before Jesus is born in Helaman 13, the prophet Samuel warns the people that their riches will become slippery because of a curse that is brought upon them. That curse is theft. The disregard for personal property is "theft's" first cousin.  Let us be vigilant and report to the proper authorities if we see anything suspicious - these are houses of the Lord.


Aurelia and son Orson Thomas Rogers

I recently heard a talk about the first Primary General President - here is a short summary I found.

  • In 1878, Aurelia Rogers had become concerned that younger Latter-day Saint children had too much unsupervised time. In particular, Rogers felt that the younger boys in the community were becoming unruly and mischievous. While praying for guidance, Rogers said she heard a voice say "that there was an auxiliary organization [in the church] for all ages except the children".Rogers met with the LDS Church president John Taylor and received permission to operate a church organization for children. With the assistance of general Relief Society president Eliza R. Snow, Rogers organized a Primary Association for her local Farmington congregation on August 11, 1878. Two weeks later, the first meeting was held on August 25, with 215 children in attendance. That day, boys were specifically taught not to steal fruit from orchards and girls were taught not to hang on wagons. In addition, they were given lessons on faith, manners, obedience, and other principles. Snow assisted the church in spreading Primary to other church congregations. In 1880, Primary was adopted churchwide as the official organization for children in the LDS Church. From 1893 until her death, Rogers served on the general board of the Primary organization.
  • Who wants to take on a responsibility like that? Didn't she know there were thousands of children in the church?
  • In 1978 April General Conference, David B. Haight spoke of Sister Rogers.  At Winter Quarters, when Aurelia was only twelve and her sister Ellen was only fourteen, their father was called to leave their motherless family (mom died shortly after they left Nauvoo). Dad had been called to serve a mission. So Aurelia and Ellen became "mother" to the four younger siblings. After the first year their father was gone, they were asked by President Brigham Young if they would consider their father continuing his mission for another year. Ellen said, “If it is thought best,we would like it so, for we want to do [what’s] for the best.” The cows and horses their father had purchased for their support had all died but one. This little family had crossed the plains by themselves. Aurelia said:
  •  … We really suffered for something to eat; part of the time having nothing but corn-meal, which was stirred up with water and baked on a griddle. Many a night I have gone to bed without supper having to wait until I was hungry enough to eat our poor fare.” 
  • Wow...isn't that humbling? I have a couple reasons for bringing up corn-meal mush. 

  1. it can sustain life (just like rice, beans, and wheat) - if that's all you've got, then you make do.
  2. would it be wise to store a variety of foods? Food fatigue is a very real thing (shoe string prep ideas here

One of my "sons" on Trek put about two tablespoons of corn-meal mush in his bowl. He wanted to eat enough for him to get "the pioneer experience". Funny boy. 

Aurelia is one of my heroes. Her ability to take this two year trial and make herself a better person. It prepared her for the calling she would later hold. She became the example to not only her younger siblings, but also to the young moldable children of the entire church. Amazing! Through physical trials, Heavenly Father is able to mold us to be what He needs us to be. Aurelia's life is an excellent example of that.  

If our children are getting into too much mischief....maybe we need to feed them corn-meal mush. It may help to humble them. :)

    Saturday, June 13, 2015

    Self-Reliance Tip of the Week - Miracles of Powered Moo Juice

    powdered-milk.png (700×795)
    Oreo's Favorite Drink

    Our culture uses a lot of dairy. From soups and sauces, to milk on our cereal or whipped topping on strawberry crepes. Oh YYyyyyeaaaahh!

    Then there's powdered milk (peanut gallery says "Boooo") ! Oh come on guys!  You just haven't given it a chance. Did you know there are tons of stuff you can do with powdered milk? No, it won't be the same as the original, but it will get pretty stinkin' close. 

    Here are a few recipes to consider: 

    Sweetened Condensed Milk
    1/2 C. water 
    1 C sugar
    2 to 3 T shortening or butter
    1 C instant dry milk powder
    Dash salt

    Bring water to boil. Add sugar and butter. Bring back to boil. Wisk in powered milk.Get all the lumps out and you're done! Ta-Dah!

    Quick Whipped Topping
    1/2 C water (put in the freezer and chill until little ice crystals form on the top)
    1/2 C instant dry milk powder
    2 T powdered sugar
    1 tsp lemon juice
    1/2 tsp vanilla

    Combine water and powdered milk. Whip for about 5 minutes. Add sugar, lemon juice and vanilla. Whip for one more minute.

    Sour Milk ( for sour milk or butter milk in recipes)
    1 T vinegar
    1 C reconstituted powdered milk

    Mix together and in a minute it will curdle. 

    Feta/ Ricotta Cheese
    3 C powdered milk
    6 C water
    1 C vinegar
    1 tsp salt
    (basil can also be added - optional)

    Combine milk and water. Stir until dissolved. Slowly heat milk to 120 degrees. Remove from heat and add vinegar. Stir and let sit for 10 minutes. Strain curds out with cheese cloth. Rinse with 2 C clean water and add salt. Use in lasagna and other Italian dishes.

    Cream Cheese

    Use feta recipe - and let it sit on your counter covered lightly with a towel for three days. Blend in a blender and tadah! You've got cream cheese. 

    See, powdered milk has a special place in our cupboards. The best thing? When they are stored properly, powdered milk can still be in the same cupboard for 30+ years and do the same thing. Too bad the same could not be said about the fresh gallon in fridges across America. :) If you're interested, I could make a "how to" video on how to make mozzarella cheese with powdered milk. It turns a slight brown color, but when you melt it, it is white and beautiful. Not bad. 

    Saturday, June 6, 2015

    Self-Reliance Tip of the Week - How Big Are Your Ears?

    ear.jpg (810×900)
    Are your ears itching?

    It has come up a lot recently to me that the apostles haven't talked very much recently about food storage or anything like that. I hear quite often that if "something big" was going to happen, the prophet would surely warn us so we would be prepared. I would like to turn your attention to parables in the scriptures. When parables are given, those who have ears to hear are the ones who get it. Those who take the story at face value think, "Well, that's a nice story." The amazing thing about parables? They can be understood and applied on many, many different levels. That is why the Savior himself used them a lot. 

    How big are your ears? 

    We have been given several parables in General Conference and Ensigns over the last several years and I would like to highlight just a few of them. 

    • In October 2013 General Conference Adrian Ochoa gave the talk "Look Up". He tells the story of being sent on an errand to get groceries on horses with his cousins. They had a "brilliant" idea to get down and play marbles. They were so absorbed in this entertainment that they didn't see the "signs of the times" with an amazing storm about to open up on them. With rain and hail, they escaped and found a family who took them in and dried them off. He said, "...we were only thinking of ourselves." He also said, "I always remind myself, "Don't forget to look up."

    What could he be telling us? Here is the whole talk.

    • In October 2010 Patrick Kearon gave a parable of the scorpion. His parents had him many, many times to always wear shoes. They lived in the desert and there was always the threat that he could get stung by a scorpion at any time. He chose to ignore the council of his parents and decided to explore by half-heartedly putting on flip-flops. He was stung and had to be rushed to the hospital. He could have avoided all of the trauma, if he would have heeded the parental advice given to him.
    How does this same principle apply to self-reliance? Here is the whole talk:

    • In the September 2015 Ensign President Monson gave the First Presidency Message titled "Are We Prepared?" He shares a story of volunteers cleaning up weeds with weed eaters and fires around a church poultry project that housed 5000 chickens. While the service they were doing made the land look nice, it scared the chickens to an early molt and they stopped laying. 

    What in the world would that have to do with preparedness? Here is the whole article:

    Here is what I have gleaned from these words of wisdom:

    • Entertainment (in all its forms) can be very distracting and keep us from doing what we know is necessary
    • Be aware of the clouds, but finishing the work is a priority
    • If we half-heartedly make preparations because we're more interested in other entertainment - we leave ourselves open for a painful ride
    • Heed the advice our Heavenly Parent has given to us by old and new prophets
    • If the apostles were able to give us a "service" and tell us everything that was going to happen and when, all the "chickens" in the church would panic and stop producing. In reality, it would be a great disservice to them. 
    We are told in the scriptures to watch for the signs of tribulation. It will be a great sifting time before Jesus actually returns. We have seen some of them already. We don't know the day or the hour when anything will happen, but we are supposed to watch. It has even been compared to a woman in labor. She doesn't know EXACTLY when the little baby will be "delivered", but as labor begins (I feel like we are at the braxton hix labor pains now) and as the time gets closer we'll know because it will intensify. 

    President Monson said in the Priesthood Session in April 2009, 

    "In the world today we face difficulties and challenges, some of which can seem truly daunting. 
    However, with God on our side we cannot fail. "

    I think that is incredibly powerful. So, if you need to, get a q-tip and open your ears to hear what the prophets have taught. We will be so thankful that we opened our ears and chose to obey.