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Christmas Gifts – Gold or Bread: The Either / Or Fallacy

December 1, 2018


President Brigham Young said,


The time will come that gold will hold no comparison in value to a bushel of wheat. (Journal of Discourses, vol.1, p.250, 1943 ed., p.298)



President Thomas Monson quipped,


Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their ... supply of food ... and were debt-free. Today we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse – they have at least a year's supply of debt and are food-free. (That Noble Gift, Church News, May 12, 2001, p.7)



President J Reuben Clark, Jr. taught,


When we really get into hard times, where food is scarce or there is none at all, and

 so with clothing and shelter, money may be not good, for there may be nothing to buy. You cannot eat money. You cannot get enough of it together to burn to keep you warm. You cannot wear it. (Church News, Nov 21, 1953, p.4)




At this Christmas Season, when thoughts turn to giving loving gifts to family and friends, consider the gift of preparedness.


I had a favorite professor at BYU, Eric Stephan. He often taught us, and reminded us, of the Either/Or Fallacy. He said too often we become trapped in a narrow view of choices, thinking we must choose one thing or the other. 


Dr. Stephan reasoned the trap of Either / Or blinds us to the possibility of And. Many things do not need to be consigned to Either / Or. They can be And.


At this Christmas season, we do not have to choose between gold or bread, between Legos or an MRE (meal ready to eat). Between a new bike or a bucket of wheat. Between a new TV or a fire extinguisher. We can choose BOTH.


Granted, we may need to be happy with a 55" TV rather than a 95" model. But we will be pleased to be able to eat some bread rather than watch a cooking show in high resolution if disaster consumes our 'gold.'

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