LDS Emergency Preparedness

Be Prepared, Not Scared!

How to Jump from a Moving Car

Posted by Elise on February 28, 2017


Hurling yourself from a moving car should be a last resort, for example if your gbrakes are defective and your car is about to head off a cliff or into a train.

  1.  Apply the emergency brake.  This may not stop the car, but it might slow it down enough to make jumping safer.
  2. Open the car door.
  3. Make sure you jump at an angle that will take you out of the path of the car.  Since your body will be moving at the same velocity as the car, you’re going to continue to move in the direction the car is moving.  if the car is going straight, try to jump at an angle that will take you away from it.
  4. Tuck in your head and your arms and legs.
  5. Aim for a soft landing site: grass, brush, wood chips, anything but pavement – or a tree.  Stunt people wear pads and land in sandpits.  You won’t have this luxury, but anything that gives a bit when the body hits it will minimize injury.
  6. Roll when you hit the ground. 

Source: The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook by Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht


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Quake Alert Issued for Southern California – Update below

Posted by Elise on October 3, 2016

Nate Brelsford (

Nate Brelsford (




Southern California cities should remain on heightened alert into early this week for the increased possibility of a powerful earthquake following a swarm of temblors near the Salton Sea, officials announced.

Such warnings are uncommon – typically issued once or twice a year, said Kelly Huston, the deputy director of crisis communications for the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. Given the swarm’s location near the San Andreas fault, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services issued the warning this week.

The Salton Sea is located on the 800-mile-long San Andreas, the state’s fastest moving fault. It experienced 142 temblors starting Monday. Those quakes ranged in strength from a magnitude of 1.4 to 4.3 near Bombay Beach at the southern end of the fault, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Because of the cluster of quakes, scientists estimate the likelihood of an earthquake of a magnitude 7.0 or higher increased to between 0.03 and 1 percent, according to the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. That means the probability of a sizable earthquake on the southern San Andreas fault being triggered is between 1 in 3,000 and 1 in 100. That heightened probability will last through Tuesday with the odds decreasing over time.

The southernmost end of the fault hasn’t ruptured since 1690, and has been building up stress for 326 years. Earthquakes along the San Andreas typically occur every 300 years, said Morgan Page, a geophysicist with the U.S.G.S. Earthquake Science Center.

There is significant stress stored on the southern end,” Page said.

A common misconception about earthquakes is that smaller ones relieve pressure on a fault and reduce the chances of a major earthquake happening. Not so, said Page. Little quakes can actually trigger more powerful ones.

Almost all the energy is in the large earthquakes,” Page said.

Famed seismologist Luch Jones tweeted Friday that similar swarms happened in 2001 and 2009. The current quake cluster, she wrote, had ended and the risk of a major earthquake is already “mostly gone.”

The advisory comes the same week Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation to develop a statewide warning system, and Californians will one day be able to receive alerts on their cellphones.

California is earthquake country,” said Mark Ghilarducci, the director of the state’s Office of Emergency Services. “We must always be prepared and not let our guard down.”

Source: The Orange County Register by by Lauren Williams, staff writer,,

(dated 9/30/16, updated: October 2, 2016)


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World’s Largest Earthquake Drill

Posted by Elise on September 30, 2016


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American Red Cross “Safe & Well List”

Posted by Elise on February 23, 2016

Contact Loved Ones

The American Red Cross can help you reconnect with family members when separated by a recent emergency here at home, or a natural disaster overseas.  Use their Safe & Well website to let loved ones know you are okay, or to find someone who may have experienced a recent disaster. Safe & Well provides a central location for people in disaster areas to register their current status, and for their loved ones to see that information.  It is designed to help make communication easier.  This list is voluntary.



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Triangle of Life

Posted by Elise on January 6, 2016

The E-mail  about “triangle of life”  by Doug Copp is dangerous.  Please do not take his advice.  Experts at every level in the U.S. agree that “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” is the best thing to do during earthquakes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Earthquake Myths

Posted by Elise on January 6, 2016

clix (

MYTH #1: ” Big Earthquakes Always Happen in the Early Morning!” Read the rest of this entry »

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During an Earthquake

Posted by Elise on January 6, 2016

What to Do During an Earthquake

Stay as safe as possible during an earthquake.  Be aware that some earthquakes are actually foreshocks and a larger earthquake might occur.  Minimize your movements to a few steps to a nearby safe place and stay indoors until the shaking has stopped and you are sure exiting is safe. Read the rest of this entry »

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Earthquake Safety Steps

Posted by Elise on January 6, 2016

Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety

These steps were developed by members of the Earthquake Country Alliance and are based on many existing resources and the advice of many organizations.  Earthquake Country Alliance member have specific things they need to do before, during, and after an earthquake so as to reduce earthquake damage and injuries, and to speed recovery.  But, you need to do your part.

1.  Identify potential hazards in your home and begin to fix them.

2.  Create a disaster-preparedness plan.

3.  Prepare disaster supplies kits.

4.  Identify your building’s potential weaknesses and begin to fix them.

5.   Protect yourself during earthquake shaking- drop, cover, and hold on.

6.   After the earthquake, check for injuries and damage.

7.  When safe, continue to follow your disaster preparedness plan.

Source:  Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country
Originally posted: 11/18/09

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Earthquake Advice for People With Disabilities or Access and Functional Needs

Posted by Elise on January 6, 2016

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During a significant earthquake, you could experience sudden and intense back and forth motions of up to six feet per second. The floor or the ground would jerk sideways out from under you. Every unsecured object around you would likely topple, fall, and become airborne, potentially causing serious injury. Strong shaking might not end for you until a minute and a half after you first felt the earthquake.  That’s why federal, state, and local emergency management experts and other official preparedness organizations all agree that “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” is the appropriate action to reduce injury and death during earthquakes.

If you cannot Drop, Cover, and Hold On, there are modified actions you should immediately take to protect your head and neck.

Read the rest of this entry »

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After an Earthquake

Posted by Elise on January 6, 2016

What to Do After an Earthquake

Expect aftershocks These secondary shockwaves are usually less violent than the main quake but can be strong enough to do additional damage to weakened structures and can occur in the first hours, days, weeks, or even months after the quake.

Listen to a battery-operated radio or television.  Listen for the latest emergency information.

Use the telephone only for emergency calls.

Open cabinets cautiously.  Beware of objects that can fall off shelves.

Stay away from damaged areas.  Stay away unless your assistance has been specifically requested by police, fire, or relief organizations. Return home only when authorities say it is safe.

Be aware of possible tsunamis if you live in coastal areas.  These are also known as seismic sea waves (mistakenly called “tidal waves”). When local authorities issue a tsunami warning, assume that a series of dangerous waves is on the way. Stay away from the beach.

Help injured or trapped persons.  Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance such as infants, the elderly, and people with disabilities.  Give first aid where appropriate.  Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of further injury.  Call for help.

.Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches, gasoline or other flammable liquids immediately.  Leave the area if you smell gas or fumes from other chemicals.

Inspect the entire length of chimneys for damage.  Unnoticed damage could lead to a fire.

Inspect utilities.

 Check for gas leaks.  If you smell gas or hear blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building.  Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can and call the gas company from a neighbor’s home.  If you turn off the gas for any reason, it must be turned back on by a professional.

Look for electrical system damage.  If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker.  If you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, call an electrician first for advice.

Check for sewage and water lines damage.  If you suspect sewage lines are damaged, avoid using the toilets and call a plumber.  If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid using water from the tap.  You can obtain safe water by melting ice cubes.

Originally posted: 11/17/09

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Disaster Proofing Your Home

Posted by Elise on January 6, 2016

Ayla87 (

The federal government declared 86 major natural disasters in the first nine months of 2011, more than in any full year in the past. Ten of those disasters topped $1 billion in damage, and at least three—Hurricane Irene along the Atlantic coast up to Vermont…the Virginia-based earthquake…and wildfires as far north as Minnesota—remind us that disasters can strike homes that are not built to withstand them. There’s no way to make a house completely disaster-proof, but there are home-improvement projects that can significantly limit damage and/or improve the odds that a home will survive. Not all of these projects make financial sense for every home owner, but many provide considerable protection at a reasonable price.

Helpful: Insurers sometimes offer discounts to home owners who invest in home-protection upgrades. Read the rest of this entry »

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Surprising Places Earthquakes can Happen

Posted by Elise on January 6, 2016

LilGoldWmn (

Thousands of Earthquakes Hit the U.S. Each Year (and Not Just California)

Major earthquakes in Haiti and Chile this year left hundreds of thousands of people homeless, injured or dead. Virtually ignored amid news of these disasters was a much smaller earthquake in Read the rest of this entry »

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The Sabbath – A Delight

Posted by Elise on January 2, 2016

Spencer W. Kimball

About This Issue: Early in 1976 the subject of the Sabbath was discussed with our Brethren. They agreed that a treatment of that topic could have a powerful impact on the lives of members of the Church. Thus the articles in this issue were prepared; and they are featured together here to provide a complementary unit of themes relating to Sunday. We hope that readers will find helpful the ideas and experiences voiced by members of the Church—not as official pronouncements concerning Church Sabbath-day practices, but as good counsel to be considered by all who have seen the need for renewed efforts in making Sunday the best day of the week—Jay M. Todd, managing editor.

The autumn I was assigned to a stake conference in a rural area of the mountain West. I arrived on Saturday evening and remained with the stake president and his family overnight. In the morning we started our drive of five or six miles to the meetinghouse, and on our way we passed several farms. It was apparent that the Sabbath day was being observed by the people.

We saw beautiful fields of ripened wheat with machinery standing in the fields just as it had been left the evening before. We saw haystacks partly built, with more hay resting in the fields waiting to be brought in. Some of the grain was harvested and some was yet in the field. The very land seemed to be at rest.

We entered the village, and there too we found a scene of peace and serenity. There was no sound of hammer, machinery, or work of any kind. Instead, we saw people gathering to the chapel from all directions in the valley.

I remarked to the stake president about this unusual sight and inquired whether the home teachers had canvassed the stake and warned the people that a visitor was coming from Salt Lake. “No,” he said, “we’re very pleased with the way our people observe the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Nearly every family in the stake is represented at our meetings every Sunday.” The records upheld his word.

It was a beautiful day—quiet, a soft breeze blowing, warm and pleasant. The hills in the distance were turning to their autumn colors. There were beautiful farms and fields, lovely homes, and a sweet spirit of contentment. The meetings and councils of that day were remarkably peaceful, productive, and satisfying.

In contrast, while attending another stake conference in a different community, I was awakened very early Sunday morning by considerable noise. I discovered it was caused by a number of men dressed in hunting clothes and carrying rifles. They were en route to the mountains and canyons for the deer hunt.

Another Sabbath I drove through an agricultural area and saw many mowing machines and balers and perspiring men in the fields engaged in harvesting the hay crop.

Still another Sabbath I noticed long lines of people standing and waiting their turn to get into motion picture shows and others obviously on their way to the beach or canyon with picnic baskets and athletic equipment.

We have become largely a world of Sabbath breakers. On the Sabbath the lakes are full of boats, the beaches are crowded, the shows have their best attendance, the golf links are dotted with players. The Sabbath is the preferred day for rodeos, conventions, family picnics; even ball games are played on the sacred day. “Business as usual” is the slogan for many, and our holy day has become a holiday. And because so many people treat the day as a holiday, numerous others cater to the wants of the fun-lovers and money-makers.

To many, Sabbath-breaking is a matter of little moment, but to our Heavenly Father it is disobedience to one of the principal commandments. Moses came down from the quaking, smoking Mount Sinai and brought to the wandering children of Israel the Ten Commandments, fundamental rules for the conduct of life. These commandments, however, were not new. They had been known to Adam and his posterity, who had been commanded to live them from the beginning, and were merely reiterated by the Lord to Moses. These commandments even antedated earth life and were part of the test for mortals established in the council in heaven “to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them.” (Abr. 3:25.)

The first of the Ten Commandments requires that men worship the Lord; the fourth designates a Sabbath day especially for such worship:

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me. …

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

“Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

“But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

“For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” (Ex. 20:3, 8–11.)

The solemn command brought down from file thundering of Mount Sinai was “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.” That commandment has never been rescinded nor modified. Instead, it has been reinforced in modern times:

“But remember that on this, the Lord’s day, thou shalt offer thine oblations and thy sacraments unto the Most High, confessing thy sins unto thy brethren, and before the Lord.

“And on this day thou shalt do none other thing, only let thy food be prepared with singleness of heart that … thy joy may be full.” (D&C 59:12–13.)

To hunt and fish on the Lord’s day is not keeping it holy. To plant or cultivate or harvest crops on the Sabbath is not keeping holy the Lord’s day. To go into the canyons for picnics, to attend games or rodeos or races or shows or other amusements on that day is not to keep it in holy remembrance.

Strange as it may seem, some Latter-day Saints, faithful in all other respects, justify themselves in missing their church meetings on occasion for recreational purposes, feeling that the best fishing will be missed if one is not on the stream on opening day or that the vacation will not be long enough if one does not set off on Sunday or that one will miss a movie he wanted to see if he does not go on the Sabbath. And in their breach of the Sabbath they often take their families with them.

The Savior said: “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:19.)

There is no criticism of legitimate recreation—sports, picnics, plays, and motion pictures. All have potential for revitalizing life, and the Church as an organization actively sponsors such activities. But there is a proper time and place for all worthwhile things—a time for work, a time for play, a time for worship.

Sometimes Sabbath observance is characterized as a matter of sacrifice and self-denial, but it is not so. It is merely a matter of shifting times and choosing seasons. There is time enough, particularly in our era of the world’s history, during the six days of the week in (which to do our work and play. Much can be done to organize and encourage weekday activities, avoiding the Sabbath.

A Scout council was accustomed to arranging its summer camp schedule so that the Scouts were moving to the camp on one Sabbath and returning home from camp on the next Sabbath. Latter-day Saint youth were being deprived of religious activities for two successive Sundays. A friendly suggestion to the council authorities brought about a change, so that the camp period ran from Friday to Friday. The Sunday in between was planned so that there was religious observance for the boys who were in the camp.

A seminary group planned a service in the mountains on Sunday. They felt justified in the have their meeting and enjoyed a spiritual hour together, but after that hour the day became a day for picnicking, games, hiking, and climbing, with no further thought of the Sabbath. The one hour of devotion did not make of that day a holy day.

The purpose of the commandment is not to deprive man of something. Every commandment that God has given to his servants is for the benefit of those who receive and obey it. It is man who profits by the careful and strict observance; it is man who suffers by the breaking of the laws of God.

The commandment has its negative side, that on the Sabbath “thou shalt not do any work,” but it also has its positive aspect. On that day “thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments … to pay thy devotions unto the Most High … with cheerful hearts and countenances.” (D&C 59:9–10, 15.)

The Sabbath is not a day for indolent lounging about the house or puttering around in the garden, but is a day for consistent attendance at meetings for the worship of the Lord, drinking at the fountain of knowledge and instruction, enjoying the family, and finding uplift in music and song.

The Sabbath is a holy day in which to do worthy and holy things. Abstinence from work and recreation is important, but insufficient. The Sabbath calls for constructive thoughts and acts, and if one merely lounges about doing nothing on the Sabbath, he is breaking it. To observe it, one will be on his knees in prayer, preparing lessons, studying the gospel, meditating, visiting the ill and distressed, writing letters to missionaries, taking a nap, reading wholesome material, and attending all the meetings of that day at which he is expected.

One good but mistaken man I know claimed he could get more out of a good book on Sunday than he could get in attending church services, saying that the sermons were hardly up to his standards. But we do not go to Sabbath meetings to be entertained or even solely to be instructed. We go to worship the Lord. It is an individual responsibility, and regardless of what is said from the pulpit, if one wishes to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth, he may do so by attending his meetings, partaking of the sacrament, and contemplating the beauties of the gospel. If the service is a failure to you, you have failed. No one can worship for you; you must do your own waiting upon the Lord.

With respect to this commandment, among the others, let us follow the prophet Joshua: “Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: … choose you this day whom ye will serve; … but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Josh. 24:14–15.)

Then we can hope for the blessings promised the children of Israel: “Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord.

“If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;

“Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.

“And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.

“And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid.” (Lev. 26:2–6.)

Many industries have processes which, it is said, cannot be interrupted for the Sabbath—in those industries the workers “have to work” on Sunday. This may be true. But “necessity is the mother of invention,” and I have often wondered how long it would take to invent new methods of production, which would not require Sunday work, if everyone in a particular industry simply decided to keep the Sabbath day holy.

The Savior knew that the ox falls in the mire, and one must pull the ox from the mire when necessary. But no one deliberately puts the ox in the mire every week, or lets him get in the mire with no effort to keep him out.

It is true that some people must work on the Sabbath. And, in fact, some of the work that is truly necessary—caring for the sick, for example—may actually serve to hallow the Sabbath. However, in such activities our motives are a most important consideration.

When men and women are willing to work on the Sabbath to increase their wealth, they are breaking the commandments; for money taken in on the Sabbath, if the work is unnecessary, is unclean money. Can you imagine a person laboring on the Sabbath in defiance of the Lord’s command, and then bringing a tithe or other portion of the ill-gained fruits of this labor to Him as an offering? Just as in Old Testament times, offerings presented to the Lord must be “without blemish,” and unnecessary Sabbath-day earnings can never be such.

Sabbath-breakers too are those who buy commodities or entertainment on the Sabbath, thus encouraging pleasure palaces and business establishments to remain open—which they otherwise would not do. If we buy, sell, trade, or support such on the Lord’s day we are as rebellious as the children of Israel, the dire consequences of whose transgressions against this and other commandments should be a permanent warning to us all.

Although Israel’s swift and severe punishment for infractions is not exacted today, this does not lessen the seriousness of the offense to the Lord for violating his day. The importance of honoring the Sabbath was reiterated in our day to the Prophet Joseph Smith in revelation from the Lord:

“And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day.” (D&C 59:9.)

It should be noted that this is a “thou shalt” command.

“For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High;

“Nevertheless thy vows shall be offered up in righteousness on all days and at all times;

“But remember that on this, the Lord’s day, thou shalt offer thine oblations and thy sacraments unto the Most High, confessing thy sins unto thy brethren, and before the Lord.

“And on this day thou shalt do none other thing, only let thy food be prepared with singleness of heart that thy fasting may be perfect, or, in other words, that thy joy may be full?” (D&C 59:10–13.)

Note here that while the Lord lays stress upon the importance of the Sabbath day and its proper observance, he requires of his people “righteousness on all days and at all times.”

In my travels I find faithful people who forego Sabbath day profits and the handling of forbidden things. I have found cattlemen who have no roundup on the Sabbath; fruit stands along the roadside, generally open day and night through the fruit season, closed on the Sabbath; drug stores, eating houses, and wayside stands closed on the Lord’s day—and the owners seem to get along, at the same time taking genuine satisfaction in abiding by the law. And every time I see good folk foregoing these kinds of earnings, I rejoice and feel within my heart to bless them for their faith and steadfastness.

The Lord said through the prophet Isaiah, “If thou turn away … from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

“Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” (Isa. 58:13–14)

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Our Heavenly Mother

Posted by Elise on October 25, 2015

church of ldsThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that all human beings, male and female, are beloved spirit children of heavenly parents, a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother. This understanding is rooted in scriptural and prophetic teachings about the nature of God, our relationship to Deity, and the godly potential of men and women.1The doctrine of a Heavenly Mother is a cherished and distinctive belief among Latter-day Saints.2

While there is no record of a formal revelation to Joseph Smith on this doctrine, some early Latter-day Saint women recalled that he personally taught them about a Mother in Heaven.3 The earliest published references to the doctrine appeared shortly after Joseph Smith’s death in 1844, in documents written by his close associates.4The most notable expression of the idea is found in a poem by Eliza R. Snow, entitled “My Father in Heaven” and now known as the hymn “O My Father.” This text declares: “In the heav’ns are parents single? / No, the thought makes reason stare; / Truth is reason—truth eternal / Tells me I’ve a mother there.”5

Subsequent Church leaders have affirmed the existence of a Mother in Heaven. In 1909, the First Presidency taught that “all men and women are in the similitude of the universal Father and Mother, and are literally the sons and daughters of Deity.”6 Susa Young Gates, a prominent leader in the Church, wrote in 1920 that Joseph Smith’s visions and teachings revealed the truth that “the divine Mother, [is] side by side with the divine Father.”7 And in “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” issued in 1995, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles declared, “Each [person] is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny.”8

Prophets have taught that our heavenly parents work together for the salvation of the human family. “We are part of a divine plan designed by Heavenly Parents who love us,” taught Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.9 President Harold B. Lee stated, “We forget that we have a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother who are even more concerned, probably, than our earthly father and mother, and that influences from beyond are constantly working to try to help us when we do all we can.”10

Latter-day Saints direct their worship to Heavenly Father, in the name of Christ, and do not pray to Heavenly Mother. In this, they follow the pattern set by Jesus Christ, who taught His disciples to “always pray unto the Father in my name.”11 Latter-day Saints are taught to pray to Heavenly Father, but as President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “The fact that we do not pray to our Mother in Heaven in no way belittles or denigrates her.”12 Indeed, as Elder Rudger Clawson wrote, “We honor woman when we acknowledge Godhood in her eternal Prototype.”13

As with many other truths of the gospel, our present knowledge about a Mother in Heaven is limited. Nevertheless, we have been given sufficient knowledge to appreciate the sacredness of this doctrine and to comprehend the divine pattern established for us as children of heavenly parents. Latter-day Saints believe that this pattern is reflected in Paul’s statement that “neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”14 Men and women cannot be exalted without each other. Just as we have a Father in Heaven, we have a Mother in Heaven. As Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said, “Our theology begins with heavenly parents. Our highest aspiration is to be like them.”15


  1. Genesis 1:26–27; Moses 3:4–7; Romans 8:16–17; Psalm 82:6; Doctrine and Covenants 132:19–20.
  2. See “Becoming Like God”; see also Elaine Anderson Cannon, “Mother in Heaven,” in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, ed. Daniel H. Ludlow, 5 vols. (New York: Macmillan, 1992), 2:961. For an extensive survey of these teachings, see David L. Paulsen and Martin Pulido, “‘A Mother There’: A Survey of Historical Teachings about Mother in Heaven,” BYU Studies 50, no. 1 (2011): 70–97.
  3. Zina Diantha Huntington Young recalled that when her mother died in 1839, Joseph Smith consoled her by telling her that in heaven she would see her own mother again and become acquainted with her eternal Mother. (Susa Young Gates, History of the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints [Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1911], 15–16.)
  4. See W. W. Phelps, “Come to Me,” in “Poetry, for the Times and Seasons,” Times and Seasons 6 (Jan. 15, 1845): 783.
  5. “My Father in Heaven,” in “Poetry, for the Times and Seasons,” Times and Seasons 6 (Nov. 15, 1845): 1039; “O My Father,” Hymns, no. 292; see also Jill Mulvay Derr, “The Significance of ‘O My Father’ in the Personal Journey of Eliza R. Snow,” BYU Studies 36, no. 1 (1996–97), 84–126.
  6. “The Origin of Man,” Improvement Era 13, no. 1 (Nov. 1909): 78.
  7. “The Vision Beautiful,” Improvement Era 23, no. 6 (Apr. 1920): 542. At this time, Gates was the recording secretary of the Relief Society general presidency.
  8. The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 129.
  9. M. Russell Ballard, When Thou Art Converted: Continuing Our Search for Happiness (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2001), 62.
  10. Harold B. Lee, “The Influence and Responsibility of Women,” Relief Society Magazine 51, no. 2 (Feb. 1964): 85.
  11. 3 Nephi 18:19–21; Matthew 6:6–9; John 17:1, 5, 21, 24–25; see also Matthew 4:10; Luke 4:8; and3 Nephi 13:9; 17:15.
  12. Gordon B. Hinckley, “Daughters of God,” Ensign, Nov. 1991, 100.
  13. “Our Mother in Heaven,” Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star 72, no. 39 (Sept. 29, 1910): 620. Rudger Clawson was the editor of the periodical and likely author of this editorial.
  14. 1 Corinthians 11:11.
  15. Dallin H. Oaks, “Apostasy and Restoration,” Ensign, May 1995, 84.

The Church acknowledges the contribution of scholars to the historical content presented in this article; their work is used with permission.


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Mistakes to Avoid During a Health Emergency

Posted by Elise on October 24, 2015


There are no two ways about it—medical emergencies fill us with fright, confusion and sometimes panic. While you may think that you can’t prepare for an unexpected health crisis, the truth is that you can—and should.

Whether you’re dealing with a stroke, heart attack or even a relatively minor injury such as a broken ankle, the consequences of not being prepared can be quite serious. In the most extreme cases, it can result in a preventable medical error, which studies show is a leading cause of death in the US.

Below are four common mistakes that patients make during the first 24 hours—and simple steps you can take to avoid them…

MISTAKE #1: Not calling 911. In the first moments of a health crisis, it’s hard to know what to do. Simply render aid? Call 911? Or load the patient in the car and take him/her to the hospital yourself?

 What to consider…

What’s the nature of the problem? If it’s a minor injury to a limb (arm or leg) or an extremity (hand or foot), it’s generally less urgent than an injury to the head or torso, where vital organs are located. (Note: If bleeding from a limb or extremity won’t stop even when pressure is applied or there is a very long or deep cut, the situation may be serious and warrants a 911 call.)

If there’s no visible injury but the person is experiencing troubling symptoms, be sure to pay close attention. Does he have unexplained shortness of breath? Is he clammy and cold or faint and dizzy? (All are potential heart attack signs.) Is the pain getting worse? Does he appear to be having an acute allergic reaction or asthma attack? Any of these scenarios could become life-threatening and should prompt an immediate call to 911.

If the patient is stable, talking coherently and none of the above symptoms are present, it’s helpful to call the patient’s primary care physician and ask if the situation can be handled in an office visit. If you can’t reach the doctor or you have any doubts, call 911.

What’s the age and health status of the patient? If you’re dealing with someone who’s in his 70s or older and/or has a chronic condition such as diabetes, heart disease or cancer, it’s best to err on the side of caution and call 911 if there is any question whether the person requires emergency treatment.

MISTAKE #2: Heading to the wrong hospital. When a patient realizes that he is at a hospital that simply doesn’t have the expertise and resources to properly render care, it can require dozens of phone calls over days and pushback from the insurance company to get a transfer to another hospital. Instead, get to the right hospital the first time. Here’s how…

Before there’s ever an emergency, check to see if you have a designated “trauma center” in your area. An emergency room is considered a trauma center when it has the manpower and technology to handle the worst physical injuries—such as those from car crashes, high falls, etc. There are five different levels of trauma centers—a Level I center has the most resources, while a Level V center would provide basic trauma care. To find out if you have a trauma center near you, go to

If your condition is not life-threatening, you can ask the ambulance driver to take you to your preferred hospital. If he resists, request that the driver contact his supervisor for permission. However, if it’s a true emergency, such as a heart attack, you should be taken to the closest ER available.

Important: When you reach an emergency department (or even while in transit, if possible), call your doctor. This will enable the medical staff to more accurately place your diagnosis in the context of your medical history. Note: If you have the choice of going to a trauma center (not all locations will have one) or the hospital where your doctor has privileges (meaning he has been cleared to use the hospital’s facilities), you need to consider the specific situation. For example, if it’s a chronic problem that might require a lengthy stay, having your primary care physician present becomes more important. If you’ve been in a car accident, a trauma center is likely better.

MISTAKE #3: Not communicating clearly. Once you’re at the emergency room, you (or your loved one) will need to convey a lot of information fast. And that might not be so easy. What helps…

Don’t assume that electronic medical records will be in place. In this age of electronic medical records, that advice to carry an up-to-date medical information card in your wallet is no longer valid, right? Oh yes, it is! The electronic medical record systems of many hospitals and doctors’ offices are not compatible at this point, so it’s still wise to have that card with you at all times. Be sure to include any allergies, chronic conditions such as asthma or diabetes, medications (and dosages) and phone numbers for emergency contacts.

Make sure you are heard. Studies show that the average ER patient gets interrupted after 12 seconds of explaining his symptoms. For the best care, it’s crucial to give the medical staff your full range of symptoms and medical history, so be clear and detailed. Also, be assertive if you are interrupted and let your needs be known.

MISTAKE #4: Giving up your power. When illness strikes you or a family member, it’s easy to believe that if you simply obey the doctors and nurses, all will be well. Not so. The patient is ultimately in charge of his own health destiny. What helps…

Find out who is treating you. If you’re at a teaching hospital, it can be difficult to tell whether it’s an attending physician, a resident or an intern who might be working in the emergency room. It’s perfectly reasonable to ask, “Could you tell me what your title is?” If your health issue is complex, politely request to be examined by the attending physician. This way, you’ll be sure to have a doctor who has completed his training (and is actually supervising the others) caring for you.

Don’t forget your records. By federal law, all your medical records belong to you. Before you’re discharged after an ER visit, ask for copies of all of your medical records in case you encounter complications down the road and the doctors treating you need to know your medical history. The cost for these copies varies by state.

Source: Leslie D. Michelson, founder and CEO of Los Angeles–based Private Health Management, a consultancy that partners with physicians to develop state-of-the-art treatment plans for clients dealing with medical emergencies and complex conditions and coordinates all medical and logistical aspects of their care. He is the author of The Patient’s Playbook: How to Save Your Life and the Lives of Those You Love.

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How Hurricanes are Measured

Posted by Elise on October 23, 2015



Note:  When the wind speed doubles, there’s an eight fold increase in the wind’s power, making a Category 5 hurricane at least 8 times more powerful than a Category 1.

Examples: Read the rest of this entry »

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The Mountain Meadows Massacre

Posted by Elise on September 12, 2015

Mountain_Meadows-Massacre_gravesite_memorial_dedication5 Things Every Mormon Should Know

By:  Jake Healey,

On September 11th, 1857, a group of Mormon militiamen persuaded a band of passing emigrants to march down a trail in Mountain Meadows, Utah. Under the pretense of protection and following the orders of their local Church leaders, these militiamen proceeded to execute 120 men, women, and children.

This actually happened. And we Mormons need to know that it happened.

Over the last 158 years, many apologists, seeking to combat anti-Mormon sentiment, have tried to explain or rationalize away the event. At one point, stories suggested the train of Arkansas emigrants had deliberately poisoned a spring and an ox carcass that made locals ill—a claim that was later proven false. Some reports maintained that the emigrants had threatened the lives of the settlers, while another theory placed the majority of blame upon the Paiute Indian tribe (which also participated in the massacre).

After a careful analysis of historical evidence, however, none of these explanations holds weight—and even if they were true, none of them would justify the death of so many. The massacre was simply one of the most horrific acts of violence committed on early American soil, and members of the Church were responsible.

Though the Church has made great efforts in recent years to heal the wounds caused by this event, the flame that was kindled in September of 1857 will probably never truly be extinguished. The massacre remains a favorite topic of discussion in anti-Mormon circles, where false claims exacerbating the Church’s involvement are often presented along with the truth.

The actual events of that fateful day, however, remain relevant for Church members around the world. So today, we at LDS Living seek both to memorialize the massacre’s victims and provide our readers with a factual understanding of the tragedy. Here are five facts surrounding the Mountain Meadows Massacre we should all understand.

1. The Church was under threat of government military attack.

In 1857, tensions were high between the Church and United States government. As a result of previous political wrangling, an army of more than 1,500 U.S. troops was reportedly marching toward the Utah Territory to put down perceived treason. In a 2007 Ensign article titled “Mountain Meadows Massacre,” Assistant Church historian Richard Turley said that “the Saints believed the army was coming to oppress, drive, or even destroy them.”

Brigham Young and other leaders in Church headquarters created and enforced policies based on that perception. Preparing for the possibility of attack and the need to live off of stored supplies, Church members were instructed to gather supplies on mountain trails and refrain from trading any grain or ammunition to passing emigrants, of which there were many. This frustrated emigrant groups, like the Baker-Fancher party from Arkansas, who could not restock as expected when they reached the Mormon settlement at Cedar City.

Contrary to popular stories, the emigrants do not appear to have been guilty of poisoning anything or anyone. Neither were they guilty of actual threats to the local residents’ safety. However, a few idle threats and claims were made by emigrants who were frustrated at not being able to restock at this last stop on the way to California. Though these threats were immediately rebuked by the emigrant captains, the words were taken quite seriously by the tense local members.

2. The massacre was planned and perpetrated by local Church leaders.

As a result of heated exchanges with the Cedar City members, the emigrant party departed toward Mountain Meadows, where there were enough supplies for their cattle. But mayor, militia major, and stake president Isaac Haight was unwilling to let the “offenders” leave in peace. He provided district militia commander William Dame (the mayor and stake president of nearby Parowan) with a list of grievances against the emigrants and requested permission to chasten them with military force.

Dame and his council did not originally grant this permission. “Words are but wind—they injure no one,” he replied. However, Haight and a neighboring militia leader, John D. Lee, were not so forgiving. They secretly planned to persuade a band of Paiute Indians to attack the emigrants, hoping to pin the impending blame on the tribe. Though the Paiutes were initially reluctant, Haight and Lee convinced them that the Baker-Fancher party was comprised of “enemy troops,” who would kill Indians as well as their Mormon friends.

Church members were stunned when told of the plan. They demanded to know whether Haight had consulted President Young before arriving at such an extreme decision. He replied that he had not, and agreed to send a letter to Salt Lake.

3. Brigham Young sent orders to let the emigrants pass in peace.

Though they had received no word from Church headquarters, Lee and the Indians made a premature attack. Several emigrants were killed, but the remainder successfully defended their camp. This failed action was not only a tragedy in itself, but it paved the way to an even greater loss of life: since the emigrants knew that they had been attacked by members of the Mormon settlement and not just Paiutes, Dame reluctantly granted Haight and Lee license to take offensive measure against them. This permission was an attempt to prevent retaliatory military action from the government, which they believed was likely if tales of Mormon involvement in the attack were spread.

On September 11th, an armed militia approached the emigrants under a white flag. The emigrants, with few other options, agreed to the militia’s proposal: They would guard the emigrants on their path past the Paiutes, provided the emigrants temporarily surrendered their weapons as a display of peace.

Turley recounts the following event: “As directed, the youngest children and wounded left the wagon corral first, driven in two wagons, followed by women and children on foot. The men and older boys filed out last, each escorted by an armed militiaman. The procession marched on for about a mile or so until, at a prearranged signal, each militiaman turned and shot the emigrant next to him, while Indians rushed from their hiding place to attack the terrified women and children. Militiamen with the two front-running wagons murdered the wounded. Despite plans to pin the massacre on the Paiutes—and persistent subsequent efforts to do so—Nephi Johnson later maintained that his fellow militiamen did most of the killing.”

President Young’s letter, dated September 10th, arrived two days later. “In regard to emigration trains passing through our settlements, we must not interfere with them,” he wrote. “You must not meddle with them . . . if those who are there will leave, let them go in peace. While we should be on the alert, on hand, and always ready, we should also possess ourselves in patience . . . always remembering that God rules.”

When Haight read President Young’s reply, he sobbed like a child.

4. Church members involved in the massacre faced discipline and trial.

In those days, legal proceedings did not work as efficiently or quickly as they do today—but some measure of justice was still delivered. In the same Ensign article, Turley continues, “Although Brigham Young and other Church leaders in Salt Lake City learned of the massacre soon after it happened, their understanding of the extent of the settlers’ involvement and the terrible details of the crime came incrementally over time. In 1859, they released from their callings stake president Isaac Haight and other prominent Church leaders in Cedar City who had a role in the massacre. In 1870, they excommunicated Isaac Haight and John D. Lee from the Church.

“In 1874, a territorial grand jury indicted nine men for their role in the massacre. Most of them were eventually arrested, though only Lee was tried, convicted, and executed for the crime. Another indicted man turned state’s evidence, and others spent many years running from the law. Other militiamen who carried out the massacre labored the rest of their lives under a horrible sense of guilt and recurring nightmares of what they had done and seen.”

5. Some Church members today are descendants of the massacre’s survivors.

During the massacre, 17 children were spared, considered “too young to tell tales.” They were raised by local families until 1859, when government officials returned them to surviving family members in Arkansas. Some of these 17 children have descendants in the Church today. James Sanders, a great-grandson of massacre survivor Nancy Saphrona Huff, says that learning his ancestor had been killed at Mountain Meadows “didn’t affect my faith because it’s based on Jesus Christ, not on any person in the Church.” He continues, “I still feel pain; I still feel anger and sadness that the massacre happened. But I know that the people who did this will be accountable before the Lord, and that brings me peace.”

At the 2007 sesquicentennial of the massacre, President Henry B. Eyring said, “The truth, as we have come to know it, saddens us deeply. The gospel of Jesus Christ that we espouse abhors the cold-blooded killing of men, women, and children. Indeed, it advocates peace and forgiveness. What was done here long ago by members of our Church represents a terrible and inexcusable departure from Christian teaching and conduct. We cannot change what happened, but we can remember and honor those who were killed here.”

For a more detailed analysis of the tragedy, read Massacre at Mountain Meadows by Glen M. Leonard, Richard E. Turley, Jr., and Ronald Walker. 

You can also learn more by visiting the topic page titled “Mountain Meadows Massacre.”

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First Presidency Response to 9/11

Posted by Elise on September 11, 2015

psalms(+ a Heroic Story of Sacrifice)

Just after the horrific events of September 11, 2001, President Gordon B. Hinckley gave an address in the Tabernacle on Temple Square. In it, he said:

Dark as is this hour, there is shining through the heavy overcast of fear and anger the solemn and wonderful image of the Son of God, the Savior of the World, the Prince of Peace, the exemplar of universal love, and it is to him that we look in these circumstances.

It was he who gave his life that all might enjoy eternal life. … May the peace of Christ rest upon us and give us comfort and reassurance and, particularly, we plead that he will comfort the hearts of all who mourn

Just a month after this address, President Hinckley spoke in general conference, highlighting once again the “vicious and ugly attack” as well as the fear and uncertainty it brought. He recognized that:

We are people of peace. We are followers of the Christ who was and is the Prince of Peace. But there are times when we must stand up for right and decency, for freedom and civilization, just as Moroni rallied his people in his day to the defense of their wives, their children, and the cause of liberty (see Alma 48:10). . . .

Occasions of this kind pull us up sharply to a realization that life is fragile, peace is fragile, civilization itself is fragile. The economy is particularly vulnerable.

But even in recognizing the frightening and uncertain times in which we live, President Hinckley pointed us towards the one source of light, hope, and life.

Now, brothers and sisters, we must do our duty, whatever that duty might be. Peace may be denied for a season. Some of our liberties may be curtailed. We may be inconvenienced. We may even be called on to suffer in one way or another. But God our Eternal Father will watch over this nation and all of the civilized world who look to Him. He has declared, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Ps. 33:12). Our safety lies in repentance. Our strength comes of obedience to the commandments of God.

Let us be prayerful. Let us pray for righteousness. Let us pray for the forces of good. Let us reach out to help men and women of goodwill, whatever their religious persuasion and wherever they live. Let us stand firm against evil, both at home and abroad. Let us live worthy of the blessings of heaven, reforming our lives where necessary and looking to Him, the Father of us all. He has said, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10).

Are these perilous times? They are. But there is no need to fear. We can have peace in our hearts and peace in our homes. We can be an influence for good in this world, every one of us.

The following year, in the October 2002 General Conference, President James E. Faust shared a “very poignant and heroic” story about a “retired army Colonel Cyril “Rick” Rescorla, who was working as vice president for corporate security of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.” From the story, President Faust points out that we can learn how even small acts can be heroic and how even a smile or a kind word can change the lives of those we know.

Rick was a very experienced ex-military combat leader. He was in his office when “the first plane struck the north tower at 8:48 A.M. … He took a call from the 71st floor reporting the fireball in One World Trade Center, and he immediately ordered an evacuation of all 2,700 employees in Building Two,” as well as 1,000 more in Building Five. Using his bullhorn, he moved up the floors, working through a bottleneck on the 44th and going as high as the 72nd, helping to evacuate the people from each floor. One friend who saw Rick reassuring people in the 10th-floor stairwell told him, “Rick, you’ve got to get out, too.”

“As soon as I make sure everyone else is out,” he replied.

“He was not rattled at all. He was putting the lives of his colleagues ahead of his own.” He called headquarters to say he was going back up to search for stragglers.

His wife had watched the United Airlines jet go through his tower. “After a while, her phone rang. It was Rick.

“‘I don’t want you to cry,’ he said. ‘I have to evacuate my people now.’

“She kept sobbing.

“‘If something happens to me, I want you to know that you made my life.’

“The phone went dead.” Rick did not make it out.

“Morgan Stanley lost only six of its 2,700 employees in the south tower on Sept. 11, an isolated miracle amid the carnage. And company officials say Rescorla deserves most of the credit. He drew up the evacuation plan. He hustled his colleagues to safety. And then he apparently went back into the inferno to search for stragglers. He was the last man out of the south tower after the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, and no one seems to doubt that he would’ve been again last month if the skyscraper hadn’t collapsed on him first.”

Amid the great evil and carnage of September 11, 2001, Rick was not looking for what might be in it for him; instead he was unselfishly thinking about others and the danger they were in. Rick Rescorla was the “right man in the right place at the right time.” Rick, “a 62-year-old mountain of a man cooly [sacrificed] his life for others.”  As the Savior Himself said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” 

Most of us don’t demonstrate our unselfishness in such a dramatic way, but for each of us unselfishness can mean being the right person at the right time in the right place to render service. Almost every day brings opportunities to perform unselfish acts for others. Such acts are unlimited and can be as simple as a kind word, a helping hand, or a gracious smile.

The Savior reminds us, “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”  One of life’s paradoxes is that a person who approaches everything with a what’s-in-it-for-me attitude may acquire money, property, and land, but in the end will lose the fulfillment and the happiness that a person enjoys who shares his talents and gifts generously with others.

Source:  LDS Living | Mormon Life

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September is National Preparedness Month

Posted by Elise on September 2, 2015


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