Saturday, May 28, 2011

Food Storage, Faith, and Prayer

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them. 1 Nephi 3:7

Obtaining your food storage and every needful thing is a commandment of God. How many simply do not keep this commandment for various reasons. 
Reasons such as:

  • Nothing is ever going to happen
  • It won't happen in my life time
  • My parents had food storage and nothing happened
  • The prophets don't talk about food storage anymore, so we don't have to worry about it.
  • My neighbor will feed me.
  • The church will feed me.
  • God won't let anything happen to my family.
  • I just bought.... _________. (You fill in the blank) and I can't afford it. Maybe next year.

These types of excuses are varied, but nothing less than an excuse. We've heard them all, and could come up with more to add to the list. I don't want to bother with these excuses today, because the people who voice these excuses really don't want to keep the commandment and until they choose to; then they will just come up with excuses, tune out the prophets, and roll their eyes at those who are trying to keep the commandment.

I was at an Preparedness Program about 5 years ago, when the lecturer asked people to think about if they were following the commandment, or were they just casually putting something in their storage on occasion. Or found they had purchased something and didn't really like it, so they put it in their food storage, saying ... if I'm hungry, I'll eat it then. (Yeah right you will, you'll hate it then too.)

After the lecturer left the stand, and we had a break I sat and listened to the people around me talking to the person they came with or just the person they were sitting next too. Some people were feeling the twinge that maybe they could have done more and should. A woman who was sitting behind me stated she had been trying for years to obtain a years supply, but still didn't have it. My interest was piqued, and also I was just slightly bored while waiting for the next speaker to take the stand, so I turned around and asked her, how long she had been trying to obtain her food storage. She stated it had been over 50 years. I couldn't believe it. How could she in 50 years not accidentally obtained enough even if she was just casually trying? So, I put on my most sympathetic voice, and asked her if she and her family had suffered job losses, illness, or other catastrophes that had made it impossible for her to keep her stores up. She told me, that no, they hadn't had anything like that, her life had been good. As I gently probed some more, they had taken cruises, many vacations, bought toys, large homes, in other words ... she had lived the "good life", and it was inconvenient to take a few dollars and buy storage to keep the commandments of God.

She had the money all along, but just didn't want to be bothered. It reminds me of Namen who was told to go wash in the River Jordan seven times to be healed, but that was too simple. Food storage to her really would have been a simple thing, but it was just too inconvenient or bothersome. Any ways she didn't really want to be bothered with finding a place to store it. She was another who had all the excuses, but they didn't hold water.

I do not want people who cannot store anything due to laws in their countries think that I am speaking to them. No, they cannot by law store anything, but they will be provided for by the Lord. I know the Lord did provide Manna. But, to those Saints who do not have that excuse, the Lord is not going to supply Manna just because you were slothful. President Ezra Taft Benson said, "Should the Lord decide at this time to cleanse the Church - and the need for that cleansing seems to be increasing - 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 ye cannot say we have not been warned."

Now, let us figure out how to obtain our storage when we really are trying, but just seem to get nowhere.

Let's look at what Nephi said, And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them. 1 Nephi 3:7

He tells us that the Lord doesn't give any commandments for us to keep, if he doesn't provide a way so we can accomplish them. We must have faith, and then act upon that faith. We need to go to the Lord in prayer, and present our problem to him. He will lead us to places and people that will help us obtain the needed items within our budget constraints. 

A few years ago I was praying and asking if what I needed the most. I pondered about it, but wasn't sure. One night after going to bed my mom who had passed over just a few months before came to me, and told me I needed to buy candles. She told me to go to the "Dollar Tree". The next day I went to the "Dollar Tree" and looked at the candles. I had no desire to purchase them. I left the store feeling slightly guilty that I had not purchased the candles. I knew I needed them!

My daughter asked about a week later if I wanted to go to K-Mart with her and go shopping. No, I really didn't want to go to K-Mart, who really does? But, my daughter asked so, I went. We shopped for what she needed, and then headed down the clearance aisle. We found "Emergency Candles" in some boxes marked at five cents!

Ahhh! I had found my candles! I took every one off the shelf and put them in the cart as quickly as I could. Then started looking around the shelves to see if they had any more that might be tucked in with the other items. No, they didn't. But as I looked up at the top shelf, which was way over my head I saw several boxes that looked just like the ones I had put in my cart. Between my daughter and I we were able to wrestle the boxes down, and open each one to find candles and candles and candles! A treasure had been found at K-Mart!

An answer to a prayer right in the aisles of K-Mart.

When I went to purchase the candles the manager was ringing up my purchases, and stated that the candles had been purchased for the winter and holiday season in hopes that people would buy them for their preparedness storage, but they hadn't been able to sell more than a few. He had slashed them to 50% discount, but nobody had purchased any. The candles had sat on the shelf for weeks and he had to make room for new items, so he slashed them to 95% off the original price. That was when I came in and purchased them all. They had been priced at $1.00, but I was able to obtain them for a mere five cents a piece. What a blessing in my life. I have never had the desire to purchase candles again. Each time I pray for help in knowing what to obtain, or I pray and say I need a certain item, I am blessed by being able to find it within my budget.

When you pray and ask for the Lords help he is there to help. He does not want you to suffer. He wants you to live as comfortably as you can when life is less than stellar. 

Now what will you do? Will you have the faith to go and do? Will you involve the Lord in aiding you in your quest to obey his commandments? Ask and you will receive.

Now let us speak of simple ways to obtain items we need. First start writing a list of what you need. Truly need, not frivolous items, but start with what you need. Then as you go down the list you can add your wants. Figure how much of each item you need. Put down the cost of each item. Through prayer you won't have to pay that full cost. You will be blessed when you show the Lord you really are trying to obtain the items for your storage. Don't just write the list and sit back and expect that you will be blessed because you wrote the list. Start obtaining. Then you will be blessed as you keep your end of the commandment.

Because I made a list, and then prayed over the list many times and asked for help we were able to obtain many items at greatly reduced prices that were shockingly low. Always they were one of a kind buys with a super low price on them. Each time the price was slashed from 80% to 95% off the original price. Every time I am overcome with gratitude about how much my Father in Heaven loves us and is mindful of what we are asking and pleading for. We are blessed because we are actively trying to obtain the needed stores to aide our family and others. I would have the feeling to go to a certain store NOW. I acted upon the prompting and was always blessed for my actions.

You too can be blessed just as greatly in obtaining the items you need. Maybe you won't obtain them at such deep discounts as I did. We needed those discounts to purchase those items and still maintain our budget. Without the discounts we would not have been able to obtain what we did as quickly as we did.

So, start with your list. Put everything you need. Salt, sugar, yeast, rice, beans, wheat, then keep adding on. Do you have babies? Then cloth diapers, wipes, etc. Sit down and think and pray. Do you have the feeling deep inside that you know you will be asked to do certain things to bless your Heavenly Fathers children? Then act upon those promptings. I know some people who have had the promptings to obtain blankets to help others, baby bottles, and diapers, and so they have acted upon those promptings. But you must obtain for yourself before you should be thinking of branching out and asking the Lord what you can do to help others that may be totally without, who are walking to safety.

What I did many years ago, and to be honest I still do. I look at my grocery list and decide what items I have on my list that I should buy multiples of. One to eat or use now, and then one or more to store away. If the item is on sale then I really think of stocking up on that item. When I buy a bottle of Peanut Butter, I buy one to eat now, and one to store in my food storage. If your family eats a lot of Peanut Butter then you will be able to obtain a solid store of Peanut Butter in a short time. 

Go through the Grocery Store ad and see what item or items you want to add extra to your storage this week. If you do this every week you will be amazed at how quickly you have obtained "Ready to Eat Foods" for your family. How easy this makes it to keep the commandments. When I was much younger, and my children much younger also, funny how that works that way; I would sit aside $5 to $7 a week to spend on storage items. I coupled it with sales, and coupons. Many times I was able to obtain the items for free that way. I didn't have a basement or any where to really store my treasures except the garage. At that time we lived in Southern California and the garage was a blast furnace in the summer. But, I had my husband bless our garage so that it would safely store our supplies, and not allow them to be destroyed by the heat, nor lose any nutrients. Remember with the power of the Priesthood anything is possible. Heavenly Father will bless us greatly when we are striving to keep his commandments. All of our food that we stored in the garage was always still top quality, never discolored, stale or old tasting. We received innumerable blessings. 

Because so many years ago the average family could put aside $5 to $7 a week if they sacrificed even just a small amount, then a family today could at the very minimum set aside $14 to $20 a week, search the ads, combine the purchase with coupons (if you eat processed foods) and quickly start building your stores. You will find that you will see sales on many items in the store for everything you need, shampoo, bandages, salt, rice, soup, etc. Make a list as a family and commit to keeping the commandment. If a family works together they will all be on the look out for a great deal. Pray for help, it will come. Others will tell you where you can obtain items, they may not even know why they told you, but you will know. 

Search, Ponder, and Pray and you will be able to obtain what you need for your family. 

The Lord wants you to keep his commandments. What a blessing it will be in your families lives.

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