If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear
Whenever I am leaving home for something, a vacation or some other overnight activity, I love to pack. When I was little, my mom used to give me an exact list of what to pack. Like “3 long pants, 2 jackets, 1 swimsuit, 5 shirts, etc.” I was usually very good about following the list. Except for that one time we were having a big family photo taken in Utah over Thanksgiving about 8 years ago. My mom had packed some dark jeans in the bottom of my bag to wear for the picture. I didn’t know about that, and when I saw those jeans, I thought, “Crazy Mom. You know I only wear camouflage pants.” And I took those pants out. I followed the rest of her list exactly. On picture day, my mom was a little surprised that I had taken out the pants I was supposed to wear for the big family photo with all of my aunts, uncles and cousins. Well, luckily I had packed plenty of camo for the trip, so I put on my favorite pair of camo pants, and joined the rest of the big Breinholt family for the photo shoot. I must have looked pretty good, because the photographer put me right up front and center. I think I made the photo look even better than it would have.
Anyway, I was talking about how much I love to pack. My mom doesn’t make a list for me anymore, because she knows that I like to be prepared. Everyone else might pack one tiny bag for an overnight thing. I pack a giant duffle bag. You never know what you might need. Definitely a flashlight, and the usual boring things like clothes, food, sleeping bag and a pillow. But what I really need in order to have the essential stuff is a light saber, my game boy, a pound of gummy worms, and an extra pair of shoes just in case some scouts think it’s funny to put them in the rainstorm in the middle of the night. An extra tent just in case Shayden Nagle tries to light our fly on fire again. And another extra tent fly just in case someone decides to take your fly off in a torrential rainstorm and hide it. 10 pairs of underwear, 5 pairs of shorts. You just never know what is going to happen. I guess you could say I’m an over-packer. I inherited this quality from my mom.
Anyway, I have learned that thinking about things that just might happen, and then preparing for those situations, has come in handy. I don’t want to ever be cold, or wet, or worst of all bored. So I
try to be ready.
Our family has taught me the importance of being prepared for things as well. Whether it is a school project or a math test, my mom has always tried to help me look into the future and plan my time wisely. I don’t usually listen to her, but I do understand the concept. Starting a huge project the morning that it is due is a little more stressful than if I would actually think about it ahead of time. Maybe next year I’ll finally get it.
My dad is Mr. Just In Case. Seriously, that guy thinks of every possible thing that could happen, and tries to prevent any injury or harmful situation. Like with running, he checks the weather at night, and then sets out all of his clothes he is going to need to run in the morning the night before. That way he doesn’t waste time scrambling around for something, because he got everything ready ahead of time. Again, maybe next year I’ll get that whole planning the night before thing figured out, too.
Our family has taught me to be prepared for hard times. We have been going to the church cannery for a long time putting food in cans and boxes, and stacking it up in a room in our basement just for this purpose. We have a supply of all kinds of other things like rope, lighters, firewood, paper plates, shampoo, toilet paper, and all that kind of stuff. If the power goes out, the world ends, a quarantine is in place, or the zombie apocalypse happens, we can survive for quite a while barricaded in our house. My parents have spent a lot of time, energy and money to make sure that our family would be prepared for any situation. We will have food, heat, toilet paper, and thanks to my mom, 70,000 books to read until the end of time.
But preparing for physical things is just part of the game. We need to be prepared for spiritual and emotional trials that will come as well. To do this, we need a solid foundation in gospel principles. We need to know the basics: God lives, Jesus Christ atoned for our sins and he carried our troubles and sorrows as well, families are forever, we have help from the angels of heaven to get through our dark times, and that we were each sent to earth to accomplish certain things that our heavenly father needs us to do. Besides my parents preparing us for the end of the world, they have also tried to prepare us kids for the rough parts of life as well. They have done this by having family home evening (even though I’m not sure I’ve ever actually listened), scripture study (even though a lot of times we just end up laughing because somebody uses a funny accent), and family prayer (even though somebody usually makes a funny noise), and then we sing a hymn before we go to bed. These basic things have built up day by day, year by year, to help give us the spiritual strength to be prepared for whatever may happen.