The Perils Of Being A ‘Storm Chaser’


A person who pursuits storms is called a “Storm Chaser.” There is a TV show of the same name on the Discovery Channel. It follows people who enjoy the thrill of chasing Hurricanes, Tornados, Thunderstorms, or other weather related events. There has also been movies made about these type of people, such as “Twister” starring Helen Hunt the actress. They enjoy the thrill of danger, unpredictability, and enjoy getting close to something “untamed.” Unfortunately, they also endanger other people’s lives, because if they do get into trouble, others are called upon, sometimes in perilous situations, to rescue them.  Over the years I have often read about people who voluntarily get themselves into trouble, and end up risking the lives of those sent out to save them. So, in some ways, although they might not see it that way, “Storm Chasers” are often selfish in nature.

One observation that I have made over the years is that there are certain people who live their day-to-day lives as “Storm Chasers.” Even though they have been warned of danger ahead by family, friends, and church leaders, they still persist in chasing the storms of life. And often, they find themselves battered and torn and looking for someone to come to the rescue. We do have a sacred and solemn responsibility to be “rescuers” to those in need. Several years ago Thomas S. Monson reminded the priesthood of that duty when he said:

“Brethren, the world is in need of your help. There are feet to steady, hands to grasp, minds to encourage, hearts to inspire, and souls to save. The blessings of eternity await you. Yours is the privilege to be not spectators but participants on the stage of priesthood service”. (“To The Rescue”, April 2001, GC)

I would hope that all of us would be “rescuers” and not “Storm Chasers.” This life holds so many wonderful things that can be enjoyed without searching for storms to liven things up. Plenty of life’s storms come without warning and leave us battered and worn. To be chasers of storms while in pursuit of earthly pleasures will only compound our problems. As a church leader I’ve had the opportunity to counsel with many people. Often I found that those who came to me with severe problems had been “Storm Chasing.” It seemed that they had charted their life in pursuit of worldly things and in so doing they had endangered, not only their life, but the lives of their spouses, children and other loved ones. Now, seated across from me, they wept and wished for a “new beginning.” And, of course, a “new beginning” is possible through the atonement of Jesus Christ. But, often the consequences of their “Storm Chasing” had already resulted in things that could not be changed. Relationships had been damaged, lives have been torn apart, and tender feelings of trust had been broken with loved ones. Chasing a storm may be exciting for a while, but the storm can quickly turn, and the “chaser” finds that they have become the “chased.”

I quote the words of Ammon, and apply them to us.

“Yea, (we) shall not be beaten down by the storm at the last day; yea, neither shall (we) be harrowed up by the whirlwinds; but when the storm cometh (we) shall be gathered together in (our) place, that the storm cannot penetrate to (us); yea, neither shall (we) be driven with fierce winds whithersoever the enemy listeth to carry (us). But behold, (we) are in the hands of the Lord of the harvest, and (we) are his; and he will raise (us) up at the last day. Blessed be the name of our God; let us sing to his praise, yea, let us give thanks to his holy name, for he doth work righteousness forever. (Alma 26:6-8).

I would encourage us all, to seek refuse from the storms of life and to not go out looking, chasing after, and finding additional storms that can bring havoc into our lives. If we will seek the things of the kingdom, the Lord will give us the strength to overcome.

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