It’s Our Responsibility

The recent winter emergency in Texas has prompted many to share their opinions of the cause of the crisis. Regardless the cause, thousands of people are suffering from the cold conditions and many are unprepared. The question we should probably ask ourselves is what we would do if we were faced with a similar situation? Are we prepared and how would we respond?

A Texas mayor recently resigned after he shared his thoughts on social media about whose responsibility he felt it was to rescue the citizens of his town. He said:

“No one owes you [or] your family anything; nor is it the local government’s responsibility to support you during trying times like this! Sink or swim, it’s your choice! The city and county, along with power providers or any other service owes you NOTHING!”

His statement may have been overly passionate, but his words were true. There will never be enough resources for a government to take care of every one of its citizens. That responsibility lies with the people.

I’ve been getting updates from friends and seeing posts on social media about how people are coping with the blackouts, lack of water and how they’re trying to stay warm. Some have had their pipes burst. Some have had their pets pass away. Some have left their homes in search of hotel rooms because they are too cold and their blankets “have stopped working.” Some have run out of food. Some have hit the hardware stores in search of 2x4s purchase so they can burn them in their fireplaces. Some are shoveling snow in their backyards, boiling it, treating it and using it as drinking water–genius! Some are prepared and doing quite well. Others are not.

In October 2020, President Russell M. Nelson spoke to the women of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints about temporal and spiritual preparedness. He said:

“For decades, the Lord’s prophets have urged us to store food, water, and financial reserves for a time of need. The current pandemic has reinforced the wisdom of that counsel. I urge you to take steps to be temporally prepared. But I am even more concerned about your spiritual and emotional preparation.

“In that regard, we can learn a lot from Captain Moroni. As commander of the Nephite armies, he faced opposing forces that were stronger, greater in number, and meaner. So, Moroni prepared his people in three essential ways.

“First, he helped them create areas where they would be safe—places of security’ he called them. Second, he prepared ‘the minds of the people to be faithful unto the Lord.’ And third, he never stopped preparing his people—physically or spiritually.”

When I read the Texas mayor’s response, I immediately thought about President Nelson’s words. If we fortify our homes and families, our homes will be the safe places to which we and our families will be able to retreat. If we prepare our homes and families BEFORE the crisis hits, we won’t be forced to look to the government or anyone else for help to solve our problems; and we won’t be disappointed when they let us down, because chances are, the government won’t be able to rescue everyone and usually no one else can better solve our problems than we can. So, let’s be obedient to President Nelson’s counsel and be prepared–for the Lord has said, “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear,”(Doctrine & Covenants 38:30).

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