Valerie Steimle is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (“Mormon” woman). She has been writing as a family advocate for the past 20 years. She is the mother of nine children living in southern Alabama and is the author of four books and a weekly newspaper column, Thoughts from the Heart.

Prepare Now for Hard Times

Your spouse lost employment. Your family is down to one or no income. The bills are piling up and you feel a panic for the future. This is happening to at least 8.2 percent of our U.S. Citizens according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics March 2012 report and there is no relief in sight.

Mormon familySo what do you do to survive? As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, being prepared for the worst has always been good counsel from our church leaders. From L. Tom Perry’s words as one of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in October 1995 at a General Conference meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints: “On a daily basis we witness widely fluctuating inflation; wars; interpersonal conflicts; national disasters; variances in weather conditions; innumerable forces of immorality, crime, and violence; attacks and pressures on the family and individuals; technological advances that make occupations obsolete; and so on. The need for preparation is abundantly clear. The great blessing of being prepared gives us freedom from fear, as guaranteed to us by the Lord in the Doctrine and Covenants: “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear” (D&C 38:30)

It is always advisable regardless of situation: staying ahead of a difficult economy is the best preparation. Many families are suffering through unemployment or disability yet there are some tips you can use to buffer the bumps.

Keep your eyes open for more employment now: It’s always good to have a back up plan for income even if your job is secure. Keep your resume up to date including keeping up with education in your field. Whatever educational seminars there are available, be sure you take time to participate as this will give you an edge and keep you abreast of your area of expertise. There are so many resources online and through networking, this can be a helpful tool in keeping good employment or finding a better opportunity.

Decide now to put away some savings: No one really knows what it is like to be so broke they can’t buy groceries until it happens to you. It is incredibly debilitating to suffer through such a challenge so by thinking ahead, you can be prepared if income is lost quickly. Put away some savings out of your monthly income for emergencies. Sometimes this requires sacrifice but better to sacrifice new drapes or furniture now, than to be caught without cash to use for emergencies later.

Cut back wasteful expenses: Americans are notorious for over spending. We think we can cover it later on down the road but in fact this causes great stress. Living within your means of your monthly paycheck is very wise for every family. When purchasing items at the store think to yourself: Do I really need this or it is just something I want? If you have to buy it on credit without being able to pay the bill off at the end of the month then you don’t really need it. There is a lot to be said for living within our means.

Keep a positive attitude! This is an important aspect of survival. It’s not all doom and gloom. We can be satisfied with what we have and enjoy life without a lot of material possessions. We are so blessed living in this country as we have no idea how the rest of the world lives. Read about the outside world on the internet to really have a great appreciation of how we are blessed and you will be content in your life to continue wise counsel.

If we can learn to live happily with what we already own, life seems a whole lot better. Keeping up with the Jones went out a long time ago and it is not important to buy what the neighbor buys. If we can remember these words of wisdom in our financial state, we can steer away from financial ruin and disaster in the future, for “if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear”.

Additional Resources:

Keep your family strong. Learn more at the official site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently called by friends of other faiths as the “Mormon Church”).

Attend a Mormon meetinghouse.

Request a free copy of the Book of Mormon.

Valerie’s website: Strengthen Your Home.


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