Social upheaval is on my mind. When there is upheaval such as rioting in the streets, sooner or later we will be faced with the question Nephi had to ask during his family's trek across the Arabian desert: "Whither shall I go to obtain food?" (1 Nephi 16:23). It's a question that we may need to ask in the near future. The best time to ask it is before we face hunger, before a truckers strike, before riots break out, before the power grid goes down and shuts down commerce, or before a disaster wipes out parts of the supply chain for food and water. The best time to ask it is now when the answer is very easy and relatively non-miraculous: Wal-Mart or some other retailer with affordable prices. Build your supplies of food, water, and clothing gradually but fervently now before prices erupt much higher and before essentials simply become unavailable.

I hope I'm wasting all of your time and money with this advice. If you are lucky, taking my advice will be a waste of your money because you'll never need it. But luck tends to favor the prepared. Prepare.

We've seen riots break out in many nations when people are hurting economically. Ultimately, concern over the basics such as food can result in social upheaval or even mob behavior. Upheaval in the form of uprooting corrupt governments may be healthy if it's led by people with the wisdom to put something better in place of the old regime, but many of our revolutions in the past century have resulted in more hunger and sometimes mass starvation.

There are powder kegs all over the world that can be ignited, resulted in sudden changes in society. Whether for good or for evil, such transitions often involve disruption in the food chain. Shipments stop, stores are looted or simply become sold out in a hurry, water supplies may be shut down, farm lands and energy sources may be destroyed. People will go hungry--even in lands spared from the horrors of earthquakes, tsunamis, and other natural disasters. Man-made disasters can strike anywhere.

If people start going hungry here or anywhere else, things can get ugly. Kudos to Japan, though, for showing a mindset of cooperation, self-sacrifice, and civil order even in the worst of times.

"Whither shall I go to obtain food?" Inquiring minds want to know--when it's a bit too late. Now is the time to be asking.
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