Thursday, February 12, 2015

Family Security: What I'd Teach My Kids About Security

This is what I’d like my kids to know about security and self-defense.
I have a large family by many standards. Most of my kids are grown and married although I have some still at home. They are all bright, smart, and good people.
I would want them to know that I believe things have changed in this world since I was in the military. Not only has this country changed since 9-11, but this world has changed. Some of them don’t remember a pre-9-11 world. When those towers fell a new enemy became “ripe with iniquity”. This was not an instant change in the world. The 60’s were the beginning with the forming of Israel. In 1967 the 6-day Israel-Arab war left the Arab world pretty much devastated. Israel had casualties of less than a 1,000 where Arab forces were well above 20,000. Basically, Israel kicked some serious butt. But because of the rift between Arab allies and Israel, along with the Palestinian relations, Israel is literally surrounded. I believe that the only thing stopping the disgruntled neighborhood from attacking Israel with an all-out war, is the United States. Lately the U.S. relations with Israel a frigid but we are still allies. Anyway, the Arab world, which is predominantly Islamic, realized they could not defeat Israel with conventional war, they moved to terrorism and “gorilla” warfare. In 1979 the USSR invaded Afghanistan with their own “Vietnam” war. In those ten years, Islamist militants learned a lot. And from this came a stepped up, better armed, and better organized terrorism. That’s the terrorism that has been perpetuated against the world. That’s what makes it a different world.
I believe that we should take care of ourselves. Self-sufficiency is high on my list of priorities. I believe our Heavenly Father wants us to be dependent on Him, but independent of the world. To do this we should follow inspired counsel from leaders.
In 1937 the Lord inspired a “prophet, seer, and revelator” to give the following counsel.
“What may we as a people and as individuals do for ourselves to prepare to meet this oncoming disaster, which God in his wisdom may not turn aside from us?
First, and above and beyond everything else, let us live righteously, fearing God and keeping his commandments, that we may in part claim his blessing as of right, and not as of mercy only.
Let us avoid debt as we would avoid a plague; where we are now in debt let us get out of debt; if not today, then tomorrow.
Let us straitly and strictly live within our incomes, and save a little. Let every head of every household see to it that he has on hand enough food and clothing, and, where possible, fuel also, for at least a year ahead. You of small means put your money in foodstuffs and wearing apparel, not in stocks and bonds; you of large means will think you know how to care for yourselves, but I may venture to suggest that you do not speculate. Let every head of every household aim to own his own home, free from mortgage. Let every man who has a garden spot, garden it; every man who owns a farm, farm it.”
J. Reuben Clark, April 1937 Conference
I think that the Church has responded to this challenge. Every Prophet and Apostle since 1937 has echoed this challenge. We must do our best to follow this counsel. If we do not, we will not be protected in our time of need. We will have to endure “this oncoming disaster” without being prepared and possibly on our own. Would God take care of someone who ignored inspired counsel from leaders they sustain as Prophets? He might because He loves us. Or He might not because He loves us!
All of the above being said, I believe we need to care for ourselves. I believe our law enforcement professionals are the best in the world. The problem is, when seconds count, the police are minutes away. Joseph Smith said:
“There is one principle which is eternal; it is the duty of all men to protect their lives and the lives of the household, whenever necessity requires, and no power has the right to forbid it, should the last extreme arrive, but I anticipate no such extreme, but caution is the parent of safety.” Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section 6, 1843-44, p. 391
“We will not act on the offensive, but always on the defensive; our rights and our liberties shall not be taken from us, and we peaceably submit to it, as we have done heretofore, but we will avenge ourselves of our enemies, inasmuch as they will not let us alone.” Joseph’s Journal September 1838
“11 We believe that men should appeal to the civil law for redress of all wrongs and grievances, where personal abuse is inflicted or the right of property or character infringed, where such laws exist as will protect the same; but we believe that all men are justified in defending themselves, their friends, and property, and the government, from the unlawful assaults and encroachments of all persons in times of exigency, where immediate appeal cannot be made to the laws, and relief afforded.” D&C 134:11
After Joseph’s words, and the words of scripture, I am convinced we should provide our own self-defense. We are justified to protect ourselves and our families and property. But that doesn’t mean when the time comes we can actually press a trigger. Or that we want to deal with the aftermath. These are things you should really consider before carrying a gun. When you decide to carry a gun you are saying “Today I may have to kill another human being.” If you can’t come to terms with that, then don’t carry a gun.
The things I’ve learned in the military and from my law enforcement friends tell me that criminals are getting more bold. Many have little care for what pain or suffering they inflict on anyone else. The fact that day time home invasions are happening says a lot. It reminds me of war. Old wars were fought in the day time mostly. Modern war seems to be fought anytime, all the time. It used to be that crime like home invasions happened only in bad neighborhoods. But the times they are a-changin’. Most people live good, productive lives. Most don’t have crime come to their door. The problem is that we think it won’t happen to me. I sincerely hope it does not happen to you. But why do we carry a spare tire? Why do we have insurance? Are you planning a fire? No, but you have smoke detectors don’t you? You do these things to be prepared. Then why would you not prepare for crime or unrest?
I’m not advocating all of you joining a sniper team in the military, or even that you buy a gun. But find alternatives. Then put together a plan. All of you will have a family. What will you do to keep your kids safe at home, at church, at school, and at the mall? Come up with a plan. There are simple things you can do.
In the next post I’ll go into detail about what you can consider for your security plan.
Semper Paratus
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