by Robert John Stevens, February 7, 2017
In Utah County, Utah, only 10k of 517k residents live in unincorporated areas and 290 pages of land-use ordinances restrict their rights. No or few new farms have emerged for decades.
We had a combined meeting at church two Sundays ago. The emergency preparation specialist and the Bishop announced that only 3% of families in our ward have their food supply—and we live in affluent NE Provo!
Sunday, I asked the Elders in my quorum, “Why don’t we hire teenagers to mow our lawns, rake our leaves or wash our windows?” Nobody had an answer but all were aware that it was common in their youth but rare today. I suggested that after paying tithing, dedicated families have little to nothing to spare.
This morning I woke up with the thought that tithing is the answer.
I don’t know how God would decree how tithing, or a portion of tithing, could be used for local use but I have a feeling that it could be done effectively in a manner that the church membership would see the wisdom and magnificence of it.
While I’m sure affordability might prevent some people from hiring teenagers to do their yard work, I don’t hire young men in my ward because 1) I want my kids to see me working hard in our home and 2) I want my kids out working with me in the yard. It’s a great laboratory to teach kids hard work. I did pay a college student to wash my windows.—Comments from a very smart friend
I watched my father work and I worked with him, but I earned the majority of my money by working for neighbors.
Without the ability to work for money, it is more difficult for children to develop ambition. Because neighbors took a chance and hired me in the 1970s and 1980s, I learned to meet and exceed their expectations, be honest, faithful, dependable, and trustworthy. I also learned the value of being an apprentice and the satisfaction my mentors/employers received. As I encouraged my youthful friends to get involved, I learned how to train others, delegate and treat them as co-workers or employees.
To put on my “Six Thinking Hats Black Hat” and play Devil’s advocate, no government is capable of efficient central management of money, whether tax dollars or tithing.
Ezra Taft Benson said a round trip dollar to the federal government loses much of its value. The notion that we give money to the government in hopes of getting some of it back is ludicrous and fraught with problems including force, waste, entitlement, manipulation, misuse of funds, etc.
A central-managed government, whether civil or ecclesiastical, will follow similar paths, for thus is the nature and disposition of almost all organizations.
Consider a few permutations for a solution:
1. A family withholds a portion of their tithing to buy food supply, employ neighbor’s children and to invest in a coop for local food production which may include purchasing local lands, buying or leasing equipment, planting, cultivating, harvesting and delivery.
2. A family pays tithing to the Bishop who sends it to Salt Lake who then reimburses families thru the Bishop.
3. A family pays tithing to the Bishop who then reimburses families directly as he follows prescribed guidelines.
4. A family doesn’t pay tithing in money; instead, they contribute via volunteer service as Jesus did. Actually, I prefer this model for those who can abide honestly.
I believe a heavenly system can be devised to use tithing to help members build their food supplies and employ youth. If I were living in Nauvoo in the 1840s, I’d bring up the subject with Brother Joseph and ask him to inquire of the Lord. Their tithing system was for their times. It doesn’t seem right to me today.
Today, financial pressures on familes are very different and the battle for emergency preparation and self-sufficiency is all but lost, not just temporary but to prepare for prolonged disasters that require sustained reliance on local food production for long periods of time.
I feel if trends continue, after just one more generation, the blessings of employing our youth will no longer be understood.
I hope that is clear. As an entrepreneur, I detect and sense problems. My BYU students and I may discover and validate a civil solution.
Suppose a government’s goal is to control and then kill their citizens—How would they do it? Certainly via unrighteous or even evil, unconstitutional orders that affect their food. Once in control of food, they can poison citizens slowly, increase sterility and disease. Government should never be in control of food, especially children’s food:
by Robert John Stevens, March 1, 2016
Obesity is becoming a crisis as sedentary lifestyles and poor eating becomes the norm. Without question, BYU students are much fatter today than they were when I was a student thirty years ago, although BYU students are still probably the healthiest in the nation.
Update March 3, 2016: An answer popped into my head during dinner—Maybe it has to do with sins of commission versus omission and which are worse.
Who believes there are “evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days?” — Few people do because the government uses the prestitute media to cover up their crimes and label whistle blowers as conspiracy nuts.
Who realizes that sugar is the most consumed and addictive drug in Utah?
Who eats wholesome herbs?
Who eats herbs and fruits “in the season thereof?”
Who eats “flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air…only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine?1”
Who really makes an effort to avoid processed sugars including high fructose corn syrup, GMOs and pesticides?
My wife and I do and I know we’re in the minority.
BYU’s Cougar Eat is a disgrace. Its most popular location is Subway and that isn’t healthy: Their processed meats cause cancer and their vegetables are sprayed.
When I was a student the Cougar Eat served cafeteria-style (home-cooked) meals. The BYU Cannon Center is good as long as one only eats at the salad bar. And by the way, it costs only $5 for professors. 🙂
BYU, you can do better.
How about replacing the American fast-food franchises at the BYU Cougar Eat with startup restaurants run by returned missionaries who want to showcase the delicious foods they discovered on their missions? It could become a launchpad for restaurant startups and a delight for visitors and the local community.
Mormon Apostle John A. Widtsoe wrote a book entitled, “The Word of Wisdom.” People who read it are awakened. Get a copy and read it.
Awakening church members may require creativity but it can surely begin with educating them. The solution for this crisis was given in 1833 in the Word of Wisdom—maybe it is time to start discussing and obeying its do’s.
1 The meat issue is both a do and a don’t: Don’t eat it unless…