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