Too often we bask in our comfortable complacency and rationalize that the ravages of war, economic disaster, famine, and earthquake cannot happen here. Those who believe this are either not acquainted with the revelations of the Lord, or they do not believe them. Those who smugly think these calamities will not happen, that they somehow will be set aside because of the righteousness of the Saints, are deceived and will rue the day they harbored such a delusion.
The Lord has warned and forewarned us against a day of great tribulation and given us counsel, through His servants, on how we can be prepared for these difficult times. Have we heeded His counsel?
Cash is not food, it is not clothing, it is not coal, it is not shelter; and we will get to the place where no matter how much cash we have, we cannot secure those things in the quantities which we may need … All that you can be certain you will have is that which you produce. We must purge our hearts of the love of ease; we must put out from our lives the curse of idleness. God declared that mortal man should earn his bread by the sweat of his brow. That is the law of this world (In Conference Report, Apr. 1937, p. 26, quoted by A. Theodore Tuttle, Ensign, May 1978)
- “I just don't have the money.”
Who does? Have you purchased new clothes for the kids? New jewelry or clothing for yourselves? A new sofa? Taken a vacation? Gone to the movies or eaten out in the past month? Then you have the money.
It was hearing this excuse over and over that prompted me to begin the Seven Steps program on my blog and also to discuss moneysaving tips each week. We do have the money. It is desire we lack.
We can always borrow a movie from a friend and watch at home. We can eat a breakfast menu for dinner one night a week and take the money we save to purchase food storage and become prepared. I am not suggesting we incur debt to purchase food storage and generators — only that we re-prioritize what we are already spending.
And why not prepare? Do you realize that once you have a three-month supply of the foods you normally eat, you never have to purchase food at full price again! Everything goes on sale. Think about how much money you could save and how it could help you become totally self-reliant or debt free.
Let’s read what President Spencer W. Kimball had to say on the subject:
Let’s do these things because they are right, because they are satisfying, and because we are obedient to the counsels of the Lord. In this spirit we will be prepared for most eventualities, and the Lord will prosper and comfort us. (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball, Chapter 11: Provident Living: Applying Principles of Self-Reliance and Preparedness, From The Life of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 115).
- “I don't know how to cook with stored food.”
If that’s your excuse, then it's time to learn a new skill. If you store a three-month supply of foods you normally eat and supplement with other storage foods to reach your one-year supply, you should have no trouble rotating your storage.
- I have had some people tell me they only eat fresh fruits and vegetables. If that is the case, maybe it is time to expand your menu, because in most places it is difficult to get enough fresh fruits and veggies year round to maintain your 4-5 servings a day. Be creative and ask a great cook you know to help you develop some recipes your family will enjoy.
- And why not include stored foods? Incorporating stored foods in your diet now will enable your body to get used to processing these foods. During an emergency you will have to eat stored foods, either your own or others. Wouldn't you rather have the foods you like? I for one really enjoy knowing I have brownie mix in my food storage, as well as beans and rice.
- You will also be eating a much more balanced diet now that your food storage is well rounded and you are making it a part of everyday cooking. No more preprocessed foods — and, it really doesn't take that much longer to cook from scratch. With childhood obesity at an alarmingly high rate, doesn't it make sense to eat more balanced meals? Just think of the savings in medical costs. And think of the gift you are giving your children — a healthy lifestyle.
- Another benefit of learning to use stored foods is less waste! No more throwing away foods that have spoiled while waiting to be consumed. I can't begin to imagine how much wheat, rice and dehydrated foods have been tossed in dumpsters.
Even worse than throwing away food, is the risk of serving foods that may be unsafe because you have stored them too long.Of course, if we consume stored foods, they can spoil as well. If you have canned fruits and jams that have turned brown, throw them away! I recently heard of a friend's mom who has fruit that was canned before her oldest child was born — and that child now has a child.
- What could possibly be wrong with having good foods stored, so when the missionaries or friends of your kids show up right at dinner time, all you have to do is run to the pantry and open a few more cans or packages and stretch that meal?
• “The Church will take care of me.”
Think so? I remember a few years ago when my husband was serving as a bishop and he received word that the Church was dangerously low on supplies in the storehouse. It had been a year full of natural disasters, famine and drought.
If your rationale is that the Church will take care of you, you may want to read this quote:
|What does it really mean when we say the church will take care of us? Consider the following: My brothers and sisters, throughout the history of the world, the Lord has been concerned for the eternal welfare of the souls of his children. Over the past fifty years, inspired leaders have taught welfare principles to help us plan ahead for difficult times that may come in our lives. The Church has grown and is now spread over many countries throughout the world. But the strength of the Church and the Lord’s real storehouse is in the homes and hearts of his people (Robert D. Hales, “Welfare Principles to Guide Our Lives: An Eternal Plan for the Welfare of Men’s Souls,” Ensign, May 1986, p. 28.|
Will the church take care of us? Yes. Through the storehouse — the Lord's most effective storehouse — the homes of the members of the Church. When family and friends need our help, the bishop can call on the members to help one another, or the community. It may be a disaster in our own neighborhood, or those who evacuate to our community to seek refuge from a nearby calamity.
Will we be ready when the bishop or stake president asks us to bring our 72-hour kits or food storage to the chapel to care for those in distress?
And why not share what we prepared? After all, aren't we eventually going to have to replace or update a lot of that stuff anyway? Ever run out of something in your diaper bag at church because you forgot to restock? Aren't you glad someone was prepared to help?
|For I was an hungered and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? Or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? Or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren ye have done it unto me (Matthew 25:40).|
Note from Beth.....we all know that only 3 to 4% of the members of the church have any food stored. Recently my son was in a priesthood meeting where this was illustrated. The Bishop asked how many of them had their three month supply. Only my son and one other brother raised their hands! So if relying on "the church" (and that's your neighbors, in all actuality) is your survival strategy you might want to reconsider. If no one is storing food, no one will have any to share. I heard that the average home has over $25,000 worth of things they never use that could be sold to retire debt or in this case used to store food. We all might not have that much around but possibly a few hundred dollars would be realistic. Consignment stores are a great option right now. Find one in your area, go through your things and cash them in! I am hearing so often people telling me that they are paring down, simplifying their lives and only keeping things they really need.
Perfect time to prioritize and to be obedient!
• Nothing ever happens here and nothing ever will.
Did you know there have been major earthquakes in Missouri? Major hurricanes in New York and New England? Droughts and dust storms in the Midwest? Tsunamis in Oregon and Washington? Of course you did. Have you forgotten about the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, or Flight 93? We did not want to believe that could happen either, but such events are fresh in our memory.
|During the last week of our Lord’s mortal life, He was privately approached on the Mount of Olives by His disciples. They asked Him two questions, the first of which was: “Tell us, when shall these things be which thou hast said concerning the destruction of the temple, and the Jews?” (JST, Matt. 24:4).|
The basis for their earnest inquiry was a prophecy by Jesus that had left even the disciples stunned. While standing in the temple precincts, Jesus had declared: “There shall not be left here upon this temple, one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down” (JST, Matt. 24:2).
The temple in Jerusalem was a magnificent structure. It rested on the same site as the temple of Solomon. Can you imagine how improbable it must have seemed to Jesus’ disciples that one stone would not be left on another?
The Savior also prophesied concerning the fate of the Jewish nation: “This people shall be destroyed and scattered among all nations." That desolation came as predicted — in just four decades following the crucifixion — the nation, the city, and the temple were all destroyed!My word shall not pass away; but shall all be fulfilled (JST, Matt. 24:36).The second question asked by the disciples on the Mount of Olives, and the one pertinent to our time, was: “What is the sign of thy coming; and of the end of the world?”
The Lord has designated these days in which we live as the Times of the Gentiles. “And when the times of the Gentiles is come in, a light shall break forth among them that sit in darkness, and it shall be the fullness of my gospel; But they receive it not; for they perceive not the light, and they turn their hearts from me because of the precepts of men. And in that generation shall the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” (D&C 45:28-30; italics added.)
We will know when the times of the Gentiles are approaching fulfillment by these signs:
And in that day shall be heard of wars and rumors of wars, and the whole earth shall be in commotion, and men’s hearts shall fail them, and they shall say that Christ delayeth his coming until the end of the earth.
And the love of men shall wax cold, and iniquity shall abound (D&C 45:26-27).
And again, this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come, or the destruction of the wicked (JST, Matt. 24:32).
For after your testimony cometh the testimony of earthquakes, that shall cause groanings in the midst of her, and men shall fall upon the ground and shall not be able to stand. And also cometh the testimony of the voice of thunderings, and the voice of lightnings, and the voice of tempests, and the voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds. And all things shall be in commotion; and surely, men’s hearts shall fail them, for fear shall come upon all people (D&C 88:89-91).
And there shall be men standing in that generation, that shall not pass until they shall see an overflowing scourge; for a desolating sickness shall cover the land. But my disciples shall stand in holy places, and shall not be moved; but among the wicked, men shall lift up their voices and curse God and die. And there shall be earthquakes also in divers places, and many desolations; yet men will harden their hearts against me, and they will take up the sword, one against another, and they will kill one another (D&C 45:31-33).
Even greater signs shall then be given to manifest the approaching great day of the Lord (Ezra Taft Benson, New Era, May 1982).
- A desolating sickness over the land — have we not seen AIDS orphan an entire generation in Africa?
- The seas heaving beyond their bounds — such as the Southeast Asian tsunami that killed more than 288,000 people just several years ago.
- The world shall be in commotion and men's hearts shall fail them — such as on 9/11?
The time has come to get our houses in order … There is a portent of stormy weather ahead to which we had better give heed (Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, Nov. 1998, p. 53).