A Collection of Thoughts
Applicable to Self-Reliance, Preparedness and Food Storage
• “The Lord has warned us of famines, but the righteous will have listened to prophets and stored at least a year’s supply of survival food.” (Ezra Taft Benson, “Prepare Ye”, Ensign, January 1974)
• “For the righteous the gospel provides a warning before a calamity, a program for the crises, a refuge for each disaster.” (Ezra Taft Benson, “Prepare Ye”, Ensign, January 1974)
• “For over 100 years we have been admonished to store up grain. “Remember the counsel that is given,” said Elder Orson Hyde, “‘… Store up all your grain,’ and take care of it! … And I tell you it is almost as necessary to have bread to sustain the body as it is to have food for the spirit; for the one is as necessary as the other to enable us to carry on the work of God upon the earth.” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 5, p. 17.) And he also said: “There is more salvation and security in wheat, than in all the political schemes of the world. …” (JD, vol. 2, p. 207.)” (Ezra Taft Benson, “Prepare Ye”, Ensign, January 1974)
• “There are blessings in being close to the soil, in raising your own food, even if it is only a garden in your yard and/or a fruit tree or two. Man’s material wealth basically springs from the land and other natural resources. Combined with his human energy and multiplied by his tools, this wealth is assured and expanded through freedom and righteousness. Those families will be fortunate who, in the last days, have an adequate supply of each of these particulars.” (Ezra Taft Benson, “Prepare Ye”, Ensign, January 1974)
• “The day will come when, as we have been told, we shall all see the necessity of making our own shoes and clothing and raising our own food. …” (Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, p. 166)
• “In a message to the Saints in July of 1970, President Joseph Fielding Smith stated that the pioneers ‘were taught by their leaders to produce, as far as possible, all that they consumed … This is still excellent counsel.’” (Improvement Era, vol. 73 , p. 3.) (Ezra Taft Benson, “Prepare Ye”, Ensign, January 1974)
• “… when we really get into hard times,” said President Clark, “where food is scarce or there is none at all, and so with clothing and shelter, money may be no good for there may be nothing to buy, and you cannot eat money, you cannot get enough of it together to burn to keep warm, and you cannot wear it.” (Church News, November 21, 1953, p. 4.)
• “How on the face of the earth could a man enjoy his religion when he had been told by the Lord how to prepare for a day of famine, when, instead of doing so, he had fooled away that which would have sustained him and his family.” (George A. Smith, Journal of Discourses, vol. 12, p. 142.)
• “If you are without bread, how much wisdom can you boast, and of what real utility are your talents, if you cannot procure for yourselves and save against a day of scarcity those substances designed to sustain your natural lives? … If you cannot provide for your natural lives, how can you expect to have wisdom to obtain eternal lives?” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 68.)
• “The revelation to store food may be as essential to our temporal salvation today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah.” (Ezra Taft Benson, “Prepare Ye”, Ensign, January 1974)
• “Noah built his ark before the flood came, and he and his family survived. Those who waited to act until after the flood began were too late.” (Ezra Taft Benson, “Prepare Ye”, Ensign, January 1974)
• “If we are to be saved in an ark, as Noah and his family were, it will be because we build it…My faith does not lead me to think the Lord will provide us with roast pigs, bread already buttered, etc. He will give us the ability to raise the grain, to obtain the fruits of the earth, to make habitations, to procure a few boards to make a box, and when harvest comes, giving us the grain, it is for us to preserve it—to save the wheat until we have one, two, five or seven years’ provisions on hand, until there is enough of the staff of life saved by the people to bread themselves and those who will come here seeking for safety.” (Brigham Young, The Discourses of Brigham Young, 291)
• “Our task is to react and to notice without overreacting, to let life go forward without slipping into the heedlessness of those in the days of Noah. It has been asked, and well it might be, how many of us would have jeered, or at least been privately amused, by the sight of Noah building his ark. Presumably, the laughter and the heedlessness continued until it began to rain—and kept raining! How wet some people must have been before Noah's ark suddenly seemed the only sane act in an insane, bewildering situation! To ponder signs without becoming paranoid, to be aware without frantically matching current events with expectations, using energy that should be spent in other ways these are our tasks. (Neal A. Maxwell, For the Power Is In Them…:.Mormon Musings, 20)
• “Although the value of a food supply in case of disaster is obvious, disaster insurance is not the best reason to start a home storage program. And it can be the cause of the worst sort of storing. A ‘doomsday’ food supply often turns out to be just that – undesirable food fit only for the doomed.” (Ezra Taft Benson Institute)
• “…For some reason, we expect to hear, particularly in welfare sessions, some ominous great predictions of calamities to come. Instead, we hear quiet counsel on ordinary things which, if followed, will protect us in times of great calamity.” (Boyd K. Packer, “The Gospel—The Foundation for Our Career,” Ensign, May 1982)
• “…we must remind ourselves that the Church welfare system was never designed or intended to care for the healthy member who, as a result of his poor management or lack of preparation, has found himself in difficulty. It was designed to assist the membership in case of a large, physical disaster, such as an earthquake or a flood. It was designed to assist the ill, the injured, the incapacitated, and to rehabilitate them to a productive life. In far too many cases, members who should be making use of their own preparedness provisions are finding that there is nothing there and that they have to turn to the Church.” (L. Tom Perry, “The Need to Teach Personal and Family Preparedness,” Ensign, May 1981)
• “There are many very good people who keep most of the Lord’s commandments
with respect to the virtuous side of life, but who overlook His commandments in
temporal things. They do not heed His warning to prepare for a possible future
emergency, apparently feeling that in the midst of all this trouble ‘it won’t
happen to us.’ It is not always the other fellow’s problem. It is our problem
also whenever there is economic trouble afloat.
“To prepare for the future is part of God’s eternal plan, both spiritually and temporally. To protect ourselves against reversals and hardships is only good sense.
“…[God] teaches us to be self-reliant and industrious, to plan ahead, to provide for possible hard times, to avoid obligations unless we are sure we can handle them, and then to serve him with such devotion that He will be pleased to augment all of our own earnest efforts.
“…the most important storehouses in the entire welfare plan are those that are within the walls of our own homes. We must provide our own storehouses for our own families in our own homes as far as possible to meet any rainy days that may come our way.” (Mark E. Peterson, “Blessings in Self-Reliance,” Ensign, May 1981)
• “For years we have been counseled to have on hand a year’s supply of food.
Yet there are some today who would not start storing until the Church comes out
with a detailed monthly home storage program. Now suppose that never happens? We
still cannot say we have not been told.
“Should the Lord decide at this time to cleanse the Church…a famine in this land of one year’s duration could wipe out a large percentage of slothful members, including some ward and stake officers. Yet we cannot say we have not been warned.” (Ezra Taft Benson, April 1965)
• “I believe it is time, and perhaps with some urgency, to review the counsel
we have received in dealing with our personal and family preparedness….President
Spencer W. Kimball admonished us:
“In reviewing the Lord’s counsel to us on the importance of preparedness, I am impressed with the plainness of the message. The Savior made it clear that we cannot place sufficient oil in our preparedness lamps by simply avoiding evil. We must also be anxiously engaged in a positive program of preparation.”
He also said: “The Lord will not translate one’s good hopes and desires and intentions into works. Each of us must do that for himself.” (The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 8).
“…Just as it is important to prepare ourselves spiritually, we must also prepare ourselves for our temporal needs. Each of us needs to take the time to ask ourselves, What preparation should I make to care for my needs and the needs of my family?
“We have been instructed for years to follow at least four requirements in preparing for that which is to come.
“First, gain an adequate education….
“Second, live strictly within your income and save something for a rainy day…
“Third, avoid excessive debt…
“Fourth, acquire and store a reserve of food and supplies that will sustain life. Obtain clothing and build a savings account on a sensible, well-planned basis that can serve well in times of emergency. As long as I can remember, we have been taught to prepare for the future and to obtain a year’s supply of necessities. I would guess that the years of plenty have almost universally caused us to set aside this counsel. I believe the time to disregard this counsel is over. With events in the world today, it must be considered with all seriousness….
“…Start now to create a plan if you don’t already have one, or update your present plan. Watch for best buys that will fit into your year’s supply. We are not in a situation that requires panic buying, but we do need to be careful in purchasing and rotating the storage that we’re putting away. The instability in the world today makes it imperative that we take heed of the counsel and prepare for the future.” (L. Tom Perry, “If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear” Ensign, November 1995)
• "A more convenient time for following the commandments will never come. We must adjust whatever our circumstances are to make room for obedience." (Cheryl Driggs, 1996)
• “About a year ago, I was at the cannery with a non-member – not a friend, just someone who believed in being prepared and wanted to use the cannery. As we stood waiting for the session to begin he said, “It’s not very crowded.” “No,” I replied, “the sessions usually aren’t full.” He asked, “Don’t you have a prophet?” “Yes,” I said. “Doesn’t your prophet tell you to store food?” he asked. “Yes, he does,” I replied. “Huh…,” he remarked. “I would think that if I went to a church that had a prophet and he told me store food, that I would be storing food.” (Linda in Washington 2011)
• “We have a great welfare program with facilities for such things as grain storage in various areas. It is important that we do this. But the best place to have some food set aside is within our homes, together with a little money in savings. The best welfare program is our own welfare program. Five or six cans of wheat in the home are better than a bushel in the welfare granary.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “To Men of the Priesthood,” Ensign, November 2002, 58)
• “Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their year’s supply of food and clothing 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.” (Thomas S. Monson, Church News, 12 May 2001)
• “Spiritual preparation is not complete until we have done all that we can to prepare temporally. Then what is lacking will be supplied by the Lord. (Ronald E. Poelman, “Priesthood Councils: Key to Meeting Temporal and Spiritual Needs,” Ensign, May 1980)
• “Most of us learn best what we apply in our own lives. I hope I would not be found wanting in applying basic gospel principles in my life, in my own home, with my own family. I would live the precepts of personal and family preparedness. That means having a garden, wisely managing family resources, and expanding my educational horizons. It means staying fit, replenishing the family year’s supply, fixing up our property, and all the rest we have been asked of the Lord to do.” (Spencer W. Kimball, “Applying the Principles of Welfare Services,” Ensign, May 1979)
• “Those who prepare are blessed in the present and will be blessed if adversity comes.” (Silvia H. Allred, “Principles of Self-Reliance,” May 1, 2008, BYU Women’s Conference)
• “You do not need to go into debt …. to obtain a year’s supply. Plan to build up your food supply just as you would a savings account. Save a little for storage each pay-check. Can or bottle fruit and vegetables from your gardens and orchards. Learn how to preserve food through drying and possibly freezing. Make your storage a part of your budget. Store seeds and have sufficient tools on hand to do the job. If you are saving and planning for a second car or a TV set or some item which merely adds to your comfort or pleasure, you may need to change your priorities. We urge you to do this prayerfully and do it now….I speak with a feeling of great urgency. (Ezra Taft Benson, “Prepare for the Days of Tribulation,” Ensign, November 1980)
• “We have a duty to survive, not only spiritually but also physically. Not survival at the cost of principles, for this is the surest way to defeat—but a survival that comes from intelligent preparation. We face days ahead that will test the moral and physical sinews of all of us.” (Ezra Taft Benson, "Prepare, Then Fear Not," April Conference 1967)
• “Thanks be to God for a prophet, for this inspired [welfare] program, and for Saints who so managed their stewardship that they could provide for their own and still share with others. What a marvelous way to become a savior on Mount Zion!” (Ezra Taft Benson, “Prepare Ye”, Ensign, January 1974)
• “We will see the day when we will live on what we produce.” (Marion G. Romney, Conference Reports, April 1975, p. 165)
• “I bear my humble witness to you that the great God of heaven will open doors and means in a way we never would have supposed to help all those who truly want to get their year’s supply [of food]. I know we will have time and money if we will commit and keep the commitment.” (Vaughn J. Featherstone, “Food Storage,” Ensign, May 1976)
• “Latter-day Saint women should be busily engaged in growing, producing, and conserving food, within their capabilities to do so.” (Barbara B. Smith, “Teach LDS Women Self-Sufficiency,” Ensign, May 1976)
• “We encourage you to grow all the food that you feasibly can on your own property. Berry bushes, grapevines, fruit trees—plant them if your climate is right for their growth. Grow vegetables and eat them from your own yard. Even those residing in apartments or condominiums can generally grow a little food in pots and planters. Study the best methods of providing your own foods. Make your garden as neat and attractive as well as productive. If there are children in your home, involve them in the process with assigned responsibilities.” (Spencer W. Kimball, “Family Preparedness,” Ensign, May 1976)
• “We encourage families to have on hand this year’s supply; and we say it over and over and over and repeat over and over the scripture of the Lord where He says, ‘Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?’ How empty it is as they put their spirituality, so-called, into action and call him by his important names, but fail to do the things which he says.” (Spencer W. Kimball, “Family Preparedness,” Ensign, May 1976)