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Monday, August 29, 2005 

Could This Be Any More Timely? Or is God Trying to Tell Us Something Here At VSoM?

No, seriously…don’t you think that all those people in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, etc are glad they have some food storage right now? I know for a fact that LDS people are not the only ones who believe in the principle of self sufficiency and preparedness. People who live in the hurricane regions and tornado alley have a food and water storage and it has nothing to do with being LDS.

But to briefly give the official view:

January 20, 2002

To: General Authorities; Area Authority Seventies; Stake, Mission, and District Presidents; Bishops and Branch Presidents

Dear Brethren:

Home Storage and Financial Reserves

Priesthood and Relief Society leaders should teach the importance of home storage and securing a financial reserve. These principles may be taught in ward councils or on a fifth Sunday in priesthood and Relief Society meetings.

Church members can begin their home storage by storing the basic foods that would be required to keep them alive if they did not have anything else to eat. Depending on where members live, those basics might include water, wheat or other grains, legumes, salt, honey or sugar, powdered milk, and cooking oil. (See reverse for suggested amounts.) When members have stored enough of these essentials to meet the needs of their family for one year, they may decide to add other items that they are accustomed to using day to day.

Some members do not have the money or space for such storage, and some are prohibited by law from storing a year's supply of food. These members should store as much as their circumstances allow. Families who do not have the resources to acquire a year's supply can begin their storage by obtaining supplies to last for a few months. Members should be prudent and not panic or go to extremes in this effort. Through careful planning, most Church members can, over time, establish both a financial reserve and a year's supply of essentials.

Sincerely yours,

The First Presidency

Sometimes, food storage seems like such an archaic subject. And then you run into a situation where you need it. Time and time again we are taught to be prepared: spiritually, temporally, & financially. The scriptures are full of stories about people who prepared and people who didn’t. I think the story of Joseph of Egypt’s dreams of the seven years of plenty and the seven years of drought come into mind often.

My parents did their best when we were young. They obediently bought the requisite wheat, grinder, honey, oil, and a pallet of tampons (“what ARE those?!” my young mind wondered….). And as we moved once, twice, five, six, eight, nine times…the storage was sold off or given away to keep from paying the cost of moving it. But each time we arrived at the new place, the food storage would be built up again.

I love that the other day, a niece was asked to get something out of my sister’s food storage pantry in the basement and she asked, “You mean Amy’s little grocery store?”

I used to work (briefly) for a really great food storage company. They used to work with companies like Malt-O-Meal, Bear Creek Soups, American Beauty Pasta, and Stephen’s Hot Chocolate to package their products specially to last for food storage purposes. Imagine that! Food you ACTUALLY eat! Packaged to last! It really was a great idea. But I think people had a hard time with the paradigm shift away from raw wheat to a bread mix where you would just add water. That’s OK. I think people are just trying to be obedient to the counsel the church gives.

Personally, I have a testimony of food storage. We used ours this last year. I stopped working about a year ago to see if the stress of a career and lots of traveling was part of the not-having-children dilemma. We lost a 1/3 of our income, and found ourselves in a major financial crunch. Luckily, we had started our food storage by picking up extra things as we shopped and having a reserve, of a sort, of things to eat and use (toilet paper, deodorant, shampoo, fancy body wash….). We decided last winter to try and not spend ANY money…we ate from our food storage and didn’t grocery shop. By January, we had paid off all our unnecessary debt from credit cards and debt from starting a company.

We felt blessed. We still do. We follow the prophets’ admonition to grow a garden, and have an abundance of produce each summer which also helps us keep our household costs down. I even learned to can so that we could enjoy fruit through the winter.

I have to say that the fruits of my labors are satisfying. It’s so easy to just go to the grocery store and buy stuff, but it’s so FUN to take fresh green beans to a dinner party that were in your garden not an hour before.

I have to work at having a full food storage. In the back of my mind I know it will get washed away when we have an earthquake and Deer Creek dam breaks and washes my house the ¾ miles into Utah Lake. That is why we decided to make out food storage mobile:

The brown one is Food Storage Unit A and the white one is Food Storage Unit B. We figure the pumpkin will last us for a good year or so...

The wheelbarrow is a must for good mobility. If only we could find some oxen… or a way to strap the Food Storage Units A & B to the wheelbarrow...

Good LDS links on the why's and how's of Food Storage...



Does it worry anyone else that it was almost exactly seven years ago when Pres. Hinckley gave his talk where he mentioned Joseph of Egypt's "seven years of plenty, seven years of famine" dream, and then said, in effect, "the time to get ready is NOW"


"Now, brethren, I want to make it very clear that I am not prophesying, that I am not predicting years of famine in the future."

The hard part for me is keeping enough cash on hand.

So did the prophet say what Rob said, or what Kim said? I only ask because I'm scared.

He said both :) click on the link to read the talk for yourself... I think while he wasn't predicting a specific length of time or a specific famine, he felt inspired to remind us of that particular story, and to say "bad times are ahead, get ready". He may not have meant exactly seven years, and he may have meant hurricanes and earthquakes and pestilences instead of famine, but the point is, "get ready".

actually, re-reading the talk, he quoted the story more in the context of economic depression, getting out of debt, and "put your houses in order."

Interestingly, he said this during the economic boom of the late 1990s, which a few years later was followed by the recession of 2001-2003. Gee, prophets warning us of things to come. Imagine that.

I've been feeling the urgency for a few years, but emergencies continue to arise that divert our resources. Now we are at the end of our rope financially and physically. I keep praying for a way to open up to make preparedness possible. I hope that we can begin to exercise the faith necessary to follow prophetic council and that the Lord will guide our efforts. Time seems increasingly short.

I can tell ya right now that I feel no sense of comfort from my food storage at all. Food storage under six feet of sewage will not be usable. I can't take much food storage with me in my little Toyota.

I'm just wondering if I'm going to have a house to go home to. So, I would guess, that NO, the people in Mississippi and Louisiana are not particularly glad to have food storage right now.

They may not be particularly pleased at the state of their own food storage, but I'd wager that they're grateful for the preparedness of the others that are there to assist them now.

Great post. We have been adding a little here, a little there, each time we go shopping, and we've built up a usable supply - it's what we use when those emergencies come up that divert our financial resources. And it's stuff we actually like to eat. Not a grain of pure wheat in sight.

ps - was that photo taken at your house? Looks like we may live in the same vicinity...

I would agree with Ann...I don't see how food storage is going to be very useful to anyone whose home was flooded. I bet most of those people would much rather have the money they spent on the food storage right now, rather than a bunch of flooded food in a house that they can't even get to.

Keep in mind that while there are thousands of people whose homes were flooded and everything was destroyed, there are TENS of thousands of people whose homes were NOT completely destroyed but who have no power or water or transportation. Food storage would come in VERY handy right about now.

I'm curious about the counsel to store food and water in light of the following scripture:

D&C 29:
34 Wherefore, verily I say unto you that all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal; neither any man, nor the children of men; neither Adam, your father, whom I created.
35 Behold, I gave unto him that he should be an agent unto himself; and I gave unto him commandment, but no temporal commandment gave I unto him, for my commandments are spiritual; they are not natural nor temporal, neither carnal nor sensual.

To me, this means that there is more benefit to self-sufficiency and food storage than simply having something to eat when the grocery store isn't available. There has to be a spiritual lesson or principle operating here. Any thoughts on what that might be?

How about the parable of the ten virgins? There is a spiritual lesson in the temoral-preparedness...no one knows the time of the Lord's coming, nor do we know when we will be called to meet him. Today is the day to prepare to meet God.

Good point, Rob.

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