Mar 12

Interesting Quotes on Temporal Preparedness & Food Storage!

Here are some interesting latter-day saint quotes on emergency preparedness and food storage I’ve compiled. Most are from general conferences. All can be found on ChurchofJesusChrist.org. I recently decided to research more into what the latter day prophets have taught concerning the events leading up to the second coming. I also set out to learn what specifically our leaders have said about food storage over the years, and wow- it has actually been very enlightening! Especially with regards to things that are prophesied will come to pass in the last days. It’s given me a greater understanding for why we might need to store food. After reading a lot of these talks, I feel like I’m starting to see the bigger picture – it was a good reminder of how the commandment to store food is only one small part of a larger commandment to be self-sufficient (we are also counseled to get out of debt, learn to produce our own food, grow gardens, & make many of our own non-food items, etc.). Anyway, I’m grateful for these words from our latter day prophets; they’ve helped me feel more motivated and inspired to focus more on some of these areas in my life. I hope sharing this will help inspire others the way it did me. I’m so grateful for continuing revelation in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


*I’ve tried my best to keep all the quotes in context, but I still highly recommend reading some of these talks in their entirety if you haven’t yet, (even if you have! It’s a nice refresher course) so that you can see more of the full picture. I’ll try to include links at the bottom. I may bold a few words/phrases here & there to make it easier to see patterns and pick out important points.  I know that God has called prophets in our day and that they receive divine revelation to give us commandments and forewarn us. We are greatly blessed when we heed the prophets; we’re on shaky ground when we don’t.

Quotes on Food Storage:

        Today, I emphasize a most basic principle: home production and storage. Have you ever paused to realize what would happen to your community or nation if transportation were paralyzed or if we had a war or depression? How would you and your neighbors obtain food? How long would the corner grocery store—or supermarket—sustain the needs of the community?” (President Ezra Taft Benson)
        Those families will be fortunate who, in the last days, have an adequate supply of food because of their foresight and ability to produce their own” (Ezra Taft Benson)
        Our Heavenly Father created this beautiful earth, with all its abundance, for our benefit and use. His purpose is to provide for our needs as we walk in faith and obedience. He has lovingly commanded us to ‘prepare every needful thing’ (see D&C 109:8) so that, should adversity come, we may care for ourselves and our neighbors, and support bishops as they care for others.” (All is Safely Gathered In pamphlet)
        I wish to urge again the importance of self-reliance on the part of every individual Church member and family. None of us knows when a catastrophe might strike. Sickness, injury, unemployment may affect any of us. 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.” (President Gordon B. Hinckley)
        Our bishops storehouses are not intended to stock enough commodities to care for all the members of the Church. Storehouses are only established to care for the poor and the needy. For this reason, members of the Church have been instructed to personally store a year’s supply of food, clothing, and, where possible, fuel. By following this counsel, most members will be prepared and able to care for themselves and their family members, and be able to share with others as may be needed.” (President Ezra Taft Benson)

Recent surveys of Church members have shown a serious erosion in the number of families who have a year’s supply of life’s necessities. Most members plan to do it. Too few have begun . . . It is our sacred duty to care for our families, including our extended families.” (President Thomas S. Monson- note: the italicized parts were italicized in his original talk)

        I have paid attention to the counsel that has been given me. For years past it has been sounded in my ears, year after year, to lay up grain, so that we might have an abundance in the day of want. Perhaps the Lord would bring a partial famine on us; perhaps a famine would come upon our neighbors.”  (President Brigham Young)
        Let us be in a position so we are able to not only feed ourselves through the home production and storage, but others as well.” (President Ezra Taft Benson)
        The best food storage is not in welfare grain elevators but in sealed cans and bottles in the homes of our people. What a gratifying thing it is to see cans of wheat and rice and beans under the beds or in the pantries of women who have taken welfare responsibility into their own hands. Such food may not be tasty, but it will be nourishing if it has to be used.” (President Gordon B. Hinckley)
        There are some countries which prohibit savings or surpluses. We do not understand it, but it is true. And we honor, obey, and sustain the laws of the country which is ours. (See A of F 1:12.) Where it is permitted, though, which is most of the world, we should listen to the counsel of the Brethren and to the Lord.” (President Spencer W. Kimball)
        We call upon priesthood bearers to store sufficient so that you and your family can weather the vicissitudes of life. Please see to it that those entrusted to your watchcare receive these two pamphlets entitled All Is Safely Gathered In. Exhort them to prepare now for rainy days ahead.” (Bishop Keith B. McMullin)


Make it a Way of Life:


        A cardinal principle of the gospel is to prepare for the day of scarcity. Work, industry, frugality are part of the royal order of life.” (Bishop Keith B. McMullin)
        Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their year’s 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.” (President Thomas S. Monson)
         Preparedness, when properly pursued, is a way of life, not a sudden, spectacular program. We could refer to all the components of personal and family preparedness, not in relation to holocaust or disaster, but in cultivating a life-style that is on a day-to-day basis its own reward.” (President Spencer W. Kimball)
        I fear we today are somewhat like those referred to by President Brigham Young in this quotation:
“We have seen one grasshopper war before this. Then we had two years of it. We are having two years now. Suppose we have good crops next year, the people will think less of this visitation than they do now; and still less the next year; until in four or five years it will be almost gone from their minds. We are capable of being perfectly independent of these insects. If we had thousands on thousands of bushels of wheat, rye, and barley, and corn we might have said to them, [that is, the insects] ‘you may go, we are not going to plant for you.’ Then we could have plowed up the ground, put in the manure, and let the land rest, and the grasshoppers would not have destroyed the fruits of our labors which could have been directed to the beautifying of Zion and making our habitations places of loveliness.” (Victor L. Brown)

For Those Who Have Not Yet Started:

        We can begin ever so modestly. We can begin with a one week’s food supply and gradually build it to a month, and then to three months. I am speaking now of food to cover basic needs. . .I fear that so many feel that a long-term food supply is so far beyond their reach that they make no effort at all. . .Begin in a small way, … and gradually build toward a reasonable objective.” (President Gordon B. Hinckley)
        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)
        In Argentina, Relief Society leaders are trying to teach the importance of food storage. They wrote: “Unfortunately, most of the sisters [here] cannot afford to buy an extra kilo of sugar, or flour, or an extra liter of oil. However, they have been encouraged to save, even just a spoonful at a time.” (Elaine L. Jack)
        Decide as a family that there will be no vacation or holiday next year unless you have your year’s supply. Many Church members could buy a full year’s supply of the basics from what they would save by not taking a vacation. Take the vacation time and work on a family garden. Be together, and it can be just as much fun.” (Vaughn J. Featherston) *Intended as a suggestion. For the full context, read his talk here.
And here’s a couple short video clips that the Mormon Channel recently posted:


What Should I Store?

        Have sufficient food, clothing, and fuel on hand to last at least one year.” (President Ezra Taft Benson)
       The counsel to have a year’s supply of basic food, clothing, and commodities was given fifty years ago and has been repeated many times since. Every father and mother are the family’s storekeepers. They should store whatever their own family would like to have in the case of an emergency … [and] God will sustain us through our trials.” (James E. Faust)
        Most of us cannot afford to store a year’s supply of luxury items, but find it more practical to store staples that might keep us from starving in case of emergency.” (James E. Faust)
        Store a provision of food which will last for at least a year wherever it is legally permissible to do so. The Church has not told you what foods should be stored. This decision is left up to individual members. . .From the standpoint of food production, storage, handling, and the Lord’s counsel, wheat should have high priority. ‘There is more salvation and security in wheat,’ said Orson Hyde years ago, ‘than in all the political schemes of the world’ (in Journal of Discourses, 2:207). Water, of course, is essential. Other basics could include honey or sugar, legumes, milk products or substitutes, and salt or its equivalent.” (President Ezra Taft Benson)
        Wood, coal, gas, oil, kerosene, and even candles are among those items which could be reserved as fuel for warmth, cooking, and light or power. Some may be used for all of these purposes and certain ones would have to be stored and handled cautiously. It would also be well to have on hand some basic medical supplies to last for at least a year.” (President Ezra Taft Benson)
        Concerning clothing, we should anticipate future needs, such as extra work clothes and clothes that would supply warmth during winter months when there may be shortages or lack of heating fuel. Leather and bolts of cloth could be stored, particularly for families with younger children who will outgrow and perhaps outwear their present clothes.” (President Ezra Taft Benson)
        Let every head of every household see to it that he has on hand enough food and clothing, and, where possible, fuel also, for at least a year ahead. You of small means put your money in foodstuffs and wearing apparel, not in stocks and bonds; you of large means will think you know how to care for yourselves, but I may venture to suggest that you do not speculate. Let every head of every household aim to own his own home, free from mortgage. Let every man who has a garden spot, garden it; every man who owns a farm, farm it.” (President J. Reuben Clark, Jr.)
         Included in the year’s supply of basic foods should be life-sustaining foods that store well for a long time: grains (wheat, rice, corn, or other of the cereal grains); dried milk, dried fish or protein vegetables such as beans and peas and other fresh, canned, dried, or pickled fruit or vegetables; sugar or a sugar substitute such as honey; some form of fats; salt; and water. Fresh taro or sweet potato, and live pigs, chickens, or fish might be considered as a supply in some areas of the world where it is difficult to store food. Remember that regular use of whole grains is important in building a digestive tolerance for roughage.” (Barbara B. Smith)
        Home storage should consist of a year’s supply of basic food, clothing, and, where possible, fuel. After this goal is reached, emergency and expanded storage is desirable.” (Barbara B. Smith)
        [Concerning emergency storage] You may wish to consider storing, where they could be picked up at a moment’s notice, such items as water, food needing no refrigeration or cooking, medications needed by family members, a change of clothing for each family member, a first-aid booklet and first-aid supplies, an ax, shovel, and blanket. These would be used when a family or individual has only a short time to flee a disaster or needs to stay in a sheltered area within the home. It is also wisdom to have the family’s important papers and documents together where they could be picked up at a moment’s notice.” (Barbara B. Smith)
        Perhaps if we think not in terms of a year’s supply of what we ordinarily would use, and think more in terms of what it would take to keep us alive in case we didn’t have anything else to eat, that last would be very easy to put in storage for a year … just enough to keep us alive if we didn’t have anything else to eat. We wouldn’t get fat on it, but we would live; and if you think in terms of that kind of annual storage rather than a whole year’s supply of everything that you are accustomed to eat which, in most cases, is utterly impossible for the average family, I think we will come nearer to what President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., advised us way back in 1937.” (President Harold B. Lee)
        Encourage our members to regularly put into their home storage a few wholesome, basic food items and some water that is safe to drink. They should save some money, if only a few coins each week. This modest approach will soon enable them to have several months’ reserve. Over time they can expand these modest efforts into a longer-term supply by adding such essentials as grains, legumes, and other staples that will keep them alive in case they do not have anything else to eat.” (Bishop Keith B. McMullin)
        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.” (President Ezra Taft Benson)
        Follow the prophet. He has counseled us to plant a garden and fruit trees. This year don’t just think about it—do it. Grow all the food you possibly can. Also remember to buy a year’s supply of garden seeds so that, in case of a shortage, you will have them for the following spring.” (Vaughn J. Featherstone)

Promised Blessings!

        As we do our very best, we can be confident that ‘the barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail.’ We shall enjoy greater wisdom, security, peace of mind, and personal well-being. We shall be prepared, and because we are prepared, we ‘shall not fear.‘ ”  (Bishop Keith B. McMullin)
        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.” (Vaughn J. Featherstone)
        Where food storage violates the law of your land, then abide the law. However, even in those cases we can plant gardens and fruit trees and raise rabbits or chickens. Do all you can within the laws of your community, and the Lord will bless you when the time of need comes.” (Vaughn J. Featherstone)
         Be faithful, my brothers and sisters, to this counsel and you will be blessed—yes, the most blessed people in all the earth. You are good people. I know that. But all of us need to be better than we are. Let us be in a position so we are able to not only feed ourselves through the home production and storage, but others as well.”  (Ezra Traft Benson)
        Surely we all hope that the hour of need will never come. Some have said, ‘We have followed this counsel in the past and have never had need to use our year’s supply, so we have difficulty keeping this in mind as a major priority.’ Perhaps following this counsel could be the reason why they have not needed to use their reserve. By continued rotation of the supply it can be kept usable with no waste.” (James E. Faust)

Don’t go to extremes:

        You do not need to go into debt, may I add, 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.” (President Ezra Taft Benson)
        We encourage members worldwide to prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings. We ask that you be wise, and do not go to extremes. With careful planning, you can, over time, establish a home storage supply and a financial reserve.” (All is Safely Gathered In)
        There is no need to be anxious about events leading up to the Second Coming. . . The formula is simple: Be faithful. Unencumber your life. Lay up in store.” (Bishop Keith B. McMullin)
        As we have been continuously counseled for more than 60 years, let us have some food set aside that would sustain us for a time in case of need. But let us not panic nor go to extremes. Let us be prudent in every respect. And, above all, my brothers and sisters, let us move forward with faith in the Living God and His Beloved Son.” (President Gordon B. Hinckley)
        We have been taught that we should build our reserves over a period of time, that we should not go into debt to do so, that we should buy those things we use and use them on a rotation basis, that we should use common sense in preparing ourselves to be independent and self-reliant. There has never been extremism or fanaticism associated with these teachings.” (Victor L. Brown)

We have built grain storage and storehouses and stocked them with the necessities of life in the event of a disaster. But the best storehouse is the family storeroom. . .Our people for three-quarters of a century have been counseled and encouraged to make such preparation as will assure survival should a calamity come. . .Now what I have said should not occasion a run on the grocery store or anything of that kind. I am saying nothing that has not been said for a very long time.” (President Gordon B. Hinckley)

Prophetic Warnings:

        More than ever before, we need to learn and apply the principles of economic self-reliance. We do not know when the crisis involving sickness or unemployment may affect our own circumstances. We do know that the Lord has decreed global calamities for the future and has warned and forewarned us to be prepared.” (President Ezra Taft Benson)
        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. (President Ezra Taft Benson)
        When will all these calamities strike? We do not know the exact time, but it appears it may be in the not-too-distant future. Those who are prepared now have the continuing blessings of early obedience, and they are ready. 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. Let us not be dissuaded from preparing because of a seeming prosperity today, or a so-called peace.” (President Ezra Taft Benson)
        For the righteous the gospel provides a warning before a calamity, a program for the crises, a refuge for each disaster. …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.” (President Ezra Taft Benson)
        My brothers and sisters, I feel our anxieties are justified. It is the opinion of many that more difficult times lie ahead. We are deeply concerned about the welfare of our people and recognize the potential privation and suffering that will exist if each person and family does not accept the word of the Lord when he says, “Prepare every needful thing” (D&C 88:119)  (Victor L. Brown)
        There are some who feel that they are secure as long as they have funds to purchase food. Money is not food. If there is no food in the stores or in the warehouses, you cannot sustain life with money. Both President Romney and President Clark have warned us that we will yet live on what we produce. (J. Richard Clarke)
        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 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.” (J. Richard Clarke)
        Let us become efficient in our production operations, so that we don’t merely go through the motions of having welfare farms. The time will come when we will need all the products and more from our projects—even more than we do now.” (President Spencer W. Kimball)
        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.” (President Wilford Woodruff)

The revelation to produce and store food may be as essential to our temporal welfare today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah.” (President Ezra Taft Benson)

(While we’re on the subject, check out this AWESOME video about preparing for troubled times. It’ll give you goosebumps!)


A Call to Repentance

        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.” (Elder L. Tom Perry)
        For forty years and more members of the Church have been counseled by their leaders to prepare for uncertainty and calamity. Many have followed that counsel; some have turned a deaf ear to it. Times and circumstances cause us to repeat what the Lord said” (President Ezra Taft Benson)
      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?” (President Brigham Young)
        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)
        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. (President Spencer W. Kimball)
         As we become more affluent and our bank accounts enlarge, there comes a feeling of security, and we feel sometimes that we do not need the supply that has been suggested by the Brethren. It lies there and deteriorates, we say. And suppose it does? We can reestablish it. We must remember that conditions could change and a year’s supply of basic commodities could be very much appreciated by us or others. So we would do well to listen to what we have been told and to follow it explicitly. (President Spencer W. Kimball)

Beyond Food Storage (& Other Interesting Tidbits)

        I have on occasion cited the need for many reservoirs in our lives to provide for our needs. I have said, “Some reservoirs are to store water. Some are to store food, as we do in our family welfare program and as Joseph did in the land of Egypt during the seven years of plenty. There should also be reservoirs of knowledge to meet the future needs; reservoirs of courage to overcome the floods of fear that put uncertainty in our lives; reservoirs of physical strength to help us meet the frequent burdens of work and illness; reservoirs of goodness; reservoirs of stamina; reservoirs of faith.
“Yes, especially reservoirs of faith, so that when the world presses in upon us, we stand firm and strong; when the temptations of a decaying world about us draw on our energies, sap our spiritual vitality, and seek to pull us down, we need a storage of faith that can carry youth, and later adults, over the dull, the difficult, the terrifying moments; disappointments; disillusionments; and years of adversity, want, confusion, and frustration.
. . .Parents. .are expected to lay foundations for their children and to build the barns and tanks and bins and reservoirs.” (President Spencer W. Kimball)
        We need to make both temporal and spiritual preparation for the events prophesied at the time of the Second Coming. And the preparation most likely to be neglected is the one less visible and more difficult–the spiritual. A 72-hour kit of temporal supplies may prove valuable for earthly challenges, but, as the foolish virgins learned to their sorrow, a 24-hour kit of spiritual preparation is of greater and more enduring value.” (President Gordon B. Hinckley)
        To foster the economic self-sufficiency of the Latter-day Saint families, fathers and mothers, priesthood and Relief Society leaders are encouraged first to focus upon family preparedness, an important part of which is home production—canning, gardening, sewing, making household items—and also upon home storage, on the need for Saints to have a year’s supply of food, clothing, and, where possible, fuel.” (H. Burke Peterson)
        In the area of home production, we would hope that members would heed the admonition of the prophets and, where possible, grow a garden, sew their own clothing, make household items, and, in general, become as self-sufficient as possible to prepare against the days to come. (H. Burke Peterson)
        [The pioneers] were taught by their leaders to produce, as far as possible, all that they consumed, and to be frugal and not wasteful of their substance. This is still excellent counsel” (President Joseph Fielding Smith)
        Now regarding home production: Raise animals where means and local laws permit. Plant fruit trees, grapevines, berry bushes, and vegetables. You will provide food for your family, much of which can be eaten fresh. Other food you grow can be preserved and included as part of your home storage.” (Vaughn J. Featherstone)
        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.” (President Spencer W. Kimball)
        Wherever possible, produce your nonfood necessities of life. Improve your sewing skills; sew and mend clothing for your family. . .Develop handicraft skills. .and make or build needed items.” (President Spencer W. Kimball)
        We will see the day when we will live on what we produce.” (President Marion G. Romney)
        From local sources seek out reliable information on food and nonfood preservation. . .We encourage all Latter-day Saint families to become self-reliant and independent. The greatness of a people and of a nation begins in the home.  (President Spencer W. Kimball)
        …There is a need for diversification in places of storage and in types of containers. Perhaps not all storage should be concentrated in one area of the house, not all should be stored in tin or plastic containers, not all in glass containers.” (Barbara B. Smith)


Above all, be sure to check out the church’s official pages on food storage as well as provident living.  These are excellent resources!


Also, did you know that church has Home Storage Centers, run by service missionaries, where you can buy all the basics?


Here are some links to some interesting talks on food storage & family preparedness:
“Prepare Ye” by President Benson (I’ve noticed that President Benson talked a lot about tribulations that will come in the last days and always stressed the importance of being prepared. Isn’t it interesting that he happens to be the prophet we are studying this year? Must be something we need to be reminded of right now. Just a thought.)


Also, here’s an interesting seminar on food storage that I really enjoyed. She’s got some great ideas 🙂


*On a side note, if you’re storing wheat, you might want to consider also getting a wheat grinder. I personally recommend the WonderMill Junior Deluxe


Anyway, I really enjoyed gathering all these quotes and how it has invigorated me to become more prepared, both physically and spiritually. Hope you found it insightful too!