December Newsletter

01 Dec


Today While The Sun Shines

Medicine Hat 1st Ward December 2008

Store Some Sweets!

We are told that we should have some sweet treats in our food storage. These are called comfort foods because they offer us comfort and break the monotony in a crisis. Hard candy has a very long shelf life as does chewing gum. Whatever you choose, make sure that you wrap the items in plastic, store in a bucket or sealed container, to prevent damage from humidity and to minimize flavor loss. This is a good time of year to stock up on candy when it goes on sale around Christmas time. Hot chocolate and other powdered drinks are other sweets with a long shelf life that will add variety to your food storage. Hot chocolate and orange drink crystals are sold through the church cannery for a very reasonable price and can be dry pack canned for a very long shelf life.

Time to set some goals for 2009!

  • Spiritual Goals – set goals for yourself, with your spouse, and your family for the year like: genealogy, family home evening, family prayer, service, and scripture reading

  • Character Goals – Thomas Jefferson used to pick 13 character traits he wished to improve in himself each year. For example you could pick honesty, kindness, integrity, modesty, gratitude, service, patience, temperance, cleanliness, courage, generosity, loyalty, humility and tact. He would practice each for one week totally focusing on the particular virtue. This can be done 4 times a year. Imagine how refined your character would be if you did this for the rest of your life? If you would like a comprehensive list of 52 virtues go to

  • Food Storage Goals – What would you like to accomplish by the end of 2009? You can start your food storage program with 1 month of food for each family, if you have already achieved this, then set the goal for 3 months, and so on.

  • 72 Hour Goals – Make goals to improve and complete your 72 hour kits. Make a goal to practice using them once this year. Look to the spring when with other families you can take an opportunity to live off of them, to evaluate, and improve.

Storing Powdered Milk for Your Food Storage

Powdered milk is a very important food storage basic. It can be used for both cooking and baking. It can be reconstituted with water to make milk and can be used to make yogurt, cheese, and other goodies like whipped topping. It is an important source of nutrition in your food storage. Nonfat milk either regular or instant stores well in airtight, low oxygen packaging. Low oxygen means that the oxygen has been removed, as in dry pack canning. This will increase the length of time the milk can be stored by 2 – 3 times. It also has a better flavor than when stored in boxes or plastic bags. It is important to buy non fat milk as powdered milk with fat has a short shelf life and will go rancid after 6 – 9 months at room temperature. Powdered milk can be packed and stored in the #10 cans and has a 20+ year shelf life stored this way. Each can will hold approximately 7.3 pounds of milk, when shaken down and dry packed.

Provident Living Goal – Make a goal to read 30 minutes a day to your children or grandchildren. If you do not have children to read to, make a goal to read at least 30 minutes a day just for pleasure.

You may have tangible wealth untold: Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be – I had a mother who read to me. Strickland Gillilan, “The Reading Mother”

It’s not just about reading aloud to them, it is the time spent together in that loving way. Slip into that world where only your imaginations are the limit.










Diet and Your Health

In the Doctrine and Covenants we are counseled in Section 89 about our diet. We are taught the importance of abstaining from alcohol, coffee and tea. But there is much more information as to what we are to eat if we want to be strong and healthy. The following is from Section 89:

  1. And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man –

  2. Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.

  3. Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly;

  4. and it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.

  5. All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only for man but for the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and all wild animals that run or creep on the earth;

  6. and these hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger.

  7. All grain is good for the food of man; as also the fruit of the vine; that which yieldeth fruit, whether in the ground or above the ground –

  8. Nevertheless, wheat for man, and corn for the ox, and oats for the horse, and rye for the fowls and for swine, and for all beasts of the field, and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks, as also other grain.

  9. And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones.

  10. And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;

  11. and shall run and not be weary and shall walk and not faint.

So a brief summary: We should eat herbs, grains, fruits and vegetables, and meat – eaten sparingly, if at all.

Most people don’t take control over their health like they should. According to the Surgeon General in the USA, the leading cause of death and disability is a poor diet. This leads to heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, all things which could probably be prevented by proper diet.

The Lord has blessed us with some pretty specific guidelines and pretty specific blessings if we follow those guidelines. We can sustain and improve our health and the health of our families, by following the Word of Wisdom, and “eating what we store and storing what we eat.”

We feel the need to emphasize with greater clarity the obligation for members of the Church to become more independent and self reliant.” Gordon B. Hinckley, April 1983.




Spiritual Goal

Decide as a family how you can better remember and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.

Preparedness Tip

Make duplicate keys for everything. All adult members, and other responsible family members should have a key for everything.

Sore Throat? Just mix ¼ cup of vinegar with ¼ cup honey and take 1 tablespoon six times a day. Both the vinegar and the honey will kill bacteria.





Prepare ye, prepare ye for that which is to come….. D&C 1:12

The people in your neighboring cities have been devastated by a natural disaster, and have been forced to evacuate their area. Your Bishop said that they will be arriving shortly after church today. There are 500 people that are hungry, cold, tired, dirty, and really discouraged. Many are in a state of emotional shock after what they have been through. They need places to stay for at least 5 days, until most of them can figure out what other options they have. How many will you be willing to take into your home?

Your first thoughts are okay, how many beds do I have extra… I guess I can take 2 into my home. The Bishop looks at you and says, “Now come on, how many can you REALLY take?” So you have to rethink…..okay, I have couches, a family room, sleeping bags, and lots of floor space. You can take 8 or 10.

How many could you really take in for a few days? Where would you put them? Do you have extra bedding, toothbrushes, and food? Could you include them into your normal flow of daily life? Meals? Laundry? Showers?

How would you be their friend and help them emotionally? What would you do? Could you do it? Are you ready???


Lemon Squares Recipe

A great recipe for Christmas!!
* 1 cup margarine or butter
* 2 cups flour
* 1/2 cup powdered sugar
Mix and pat into a 9X13 inch pan. Bake 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
* 4 eggs beaten well (or equivalent powdered eggs)
* 2 cups sugar
* 6 tablespoons lemon juice
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 tablespoon flour
* pinch of salt
Beat these ingredients together and pour over the crust. Bake for 25-30 minutes until it has set.
This is very tasty and freezes well.


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