Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Moroni's Training and You

Alma 51:31 reads:
“But behold he met with a disappointment by being repulsed by Teancum and his men, for they were great warriors; for every man of Teancum did exceed the Lamanites in their strength and in their skill of war, insomuch that they did gain advantage over the Lamanites.”
This simply says that the Lamanites lost battles because they were not as skilled as the Nephites. It always helps when you are righteous and God is with you. As we as members try to defend our homes and families, we can learn from this verse. We must have advantage over the adversary.
Many years ago there was the original Star Trek series. In one of the episodes the landing party is trying to get back to their ship but is stopped by a powerful being. He wants to use the Star Trek crew in his arena to fight other aliens. Captain Kirk is supposed to fight an alien to the death. Something is said about Kirk defeating the alien because of good conquering evil. Dr. McCoy has a line that I’ve always remembered. He says to Kirk, “It’s been my experience that good conquers evil only if good is very, very good.” In other words, training and skill is important for good to win over evil.
How is your training program? Do you have one? Are you under the impression that when the time comes, you’ll remember everything the instructor said in the one shooting class you took 3 years ago? Or are you under the impression that going to the range once every 3 months will give you the muscle memory you need to instinctively draw, determine your target, determine if you really need to shoot, aim, shoot, and then look for any other threats that may be there? As President Monson so aptly put it several times, “When the time for decision arrives, the time for preparation is past.”
I’ve been fortunate in my life. I’ve had experiences and training that many people do not have the opportunity to learn. From the military I learned to shoot, security, survival, and many other things. From the Scouting program I learned emergency prep, wilderness survival, fire starting, using rope, and many other things. I’m sure most of you have similar experiences to look back on with gratitude. But there is much I do not know. I’d like to know how to weld. I’d like to know how trap. I’d like to know how ride motorcycles. And the list goes on. My list of skills I need, far overshadows my list of what I know.
But many of these things I have in my “skills plan”. Yes, I have a plan for everything! Drives my wife nuts. But it’s something I learned on my mission. In my missionary handbook there was a saying that said, “A goal not written is only a wish.” So I have a preparation plan with mini plans within the big plan to be prepared in all things.
Here is a sample.
Burn’s Prep Plan
A. Food storage plan
B. Water storage plan
C. Other item storage plan
D. Security plan
E. Bug out plan
F. Medical plan
G. Skill/Education plan
H. Financial plan
Each of these plans has the plan spelled out in detail. As we complete our action items we move to the next or find new items to add. Sometimes it’s hard to prioritize and items in the plan change. Our Bug out plan for instance, it has been set for some time. We haven’t had to change it for years. Our Bug out bags however have had many changes to it.
So what would your Skill/education plan consist of? There are many ways to attain education. Books and manuals can teach much. I love the Scouting program because of it’s teaching of skills. Merit badge pamphlets have taught me much of basic skills. This is a good source. The internet is a good place to learn, but be careful about the information there, try to confirm it with other sources. You tube has helped me out of many problems working on vehicles. We learned to build our pallet raised bed gardens from You tube. Find someone who may do the skill you want to learn and ask for a basic class in this skill. College’s will often give single classes in a variety of things. Other organizations like community centers and the Red Cross, or hospitals may offer free or low cost classes.
Once you learn the basics of the skill you are looking for, you must practice. Many years ago I went to a Jump school ran by the Army from Fort Benning. I jumped a total of 23 times. But I haven’t jumped in at least 20 years. Do you think I’d want to do this skill again by strapping on a chute and saying “I got this!?” I don’t think so. I’d like a refresher at least.
Defending yourself in any way requires good training and lots of practice. However you decide to defend yourself, have continuous training and practice. Don’t just dabble in your family’s defense. I like redundancy in my planning. 2 is 1 and 1 is none. I use a gun, pepper spray, a knife, and a tac pen for defense. These are the things I train in constantly. I was a weapons instructor in the military. I did this for many years. I’ve hunted since I was 10. Do you think I know how to safely shoot and handle a weapon? Yes I do. Do I need more practice and training? Always! Shooting is a perishable skill. I played basketball in High school. I don’t think I’ve touched a basketball in 10 years, do you think I can still shoot? Not really. Most skills have a shelf life. The longer they are shelved, the more need there is for additional training and practice.
Be on the lookout for training programs. There is always something to learn.
Captain Moroni knew his men needed to be better than the Lamanites. I’m sure they practiced and trained and did all they could so the Lord could bless them. We should learn from and follow the example of the Nephites in their preparation.
Semper Paratus
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