Since late 2007, early 2008 I have had the opportunity to help families better prepare. My emphasis over these years has primarily been helping families figure out how to best store extra food using freeze dried products. Through the years I have had the chance to expand into helping families with everything from bunkers to growing zucchinis.
In 2012 I was featured in a 6-series documentary produced by the History Channel and it is available on both amazon instant video & itunes. Meh. It must have aired just a few days ago again. I can always tell because I will get a random onslaught of facebook friend request & twitter followers. I do have to say that History Channel didn't do all that bad of a job. Today, I am still not sure why they chose me to represent the "Prophets of Doom" episode. But with references from Isaac Newton and Joseph Smith I suppose it could have been worse.
The greatest blessing of working in the preparedness industry is the fact that studying and doing my homework always requires an in-depth read of american history, founding fathers, last day prophecies, current events and of course an acute orientation of Christ's parables, such as the Parable of the 10 Virgins (Matt. 25:1-12)
It was the second and third verses that particularly caught my attention a few days ago.
"2. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
3. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them"
Why would five of the sisters, not take oil with them? Why would the foolish five just carry around empty lamps? They didn't. They "took their lamps" and their was oil in their lamps. This is only logical. So wherein are they foolish? Read this commentary below from James E. Talmage to better understand their foolishness, which comes AFTER the call to go out and meet the Bridegroom.
"but of the ten virgins five had wisely carried an extra supply of oil."
later in Talmage's commentary, he writes
At midnight, the forerunners of the marriage party loudly proclaimed the bridegroom's approach, and cried in haste: 'go ye out to meet him'. The ten maidens, no longer sleep, but eagerly active, set to work to trim their lamps; then the wise ones found use for the oil in their flasks, while the thoughtless five bewailed their destitute condition, for their lamps were empty and they had no oil for replenishment"
What has struck me the most has not been my reading between the lines - as arrogant as that may seem, I thought it was only logical that the five thoughtless/foolish sisters simply did not prepare for such a lengthy delay in the bridegroom's arrival. Verse nine, has been most appealing to me because of the depth of wisdom the five prepared sisters expressed when they answered their under-prepared sisters requests to borrow oil
"9. Not so, lest there be not enough for us"
A short few months ago I created a readiness survey for families to take and assess their circumstances. it is not the most robust questionnaire, but it serves a valuable purpose in helping me better understand the needs of my clients. In my survey, I ask my clients if they plan to share their supplies, undoubtedly all have answered "yes". I then ask if they know how much of their supplies can be dedicated to other families until they must prioritize their supplies back to their immediate family. Undoubtedly, the answer is always "No".
I believe it is vital to understand that the wise virgins understood that they needed their extra flasks of oil to make the festal march. The wise virgins and the foolish virgins were sisters, not strangers, yet the wise did not share.
"they [foolish virgins] appealed to their wiser sisters, asking a share of their oil; but these declined; for, in a time of such exigency, to give of their store [storage] would have been to render themselves unfit, inasmuch as there was oil enough for their own lamps only." [parenthesis added]
Years ago I came to believe, so firmly, after speaking with thousands of families that we will share what we have prepared to share.
All references from James E. Talmage can be found in his book 'Jesus The Christ', pp. 578