The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has been a long time advocate for self reliance. For years they have counseled members and non-members alike to 'prepare every needful thing'.
I was pushed to write this post after I received a phone call from a woman who found my ad listed on ksl. One of the most commonly asked questions I get is "Where do I start?" My response is always the same: "What are your goals?" The answer to this is different for everyone, but in a largely populated LDS community, most often they respond with something like "our religious leaders have counseled us to have food storage."
This counsel to store food dates all the way back to Brigham Young, 2nd president of the church, when he told the saints:
"The time will come that gold will hold no comparison in value to a bushel of wheat."
President Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, p.298
"...save the wheat until we have one, two, five, or seven years provisions on hand, until there is enough of the staff of life saved by the people to bread themselves and those who will come here seeking for safety."
Discourses of Brigham Young, pp.291-293
But somewhere down the road, I have found that a lot of people don't really know or understand what this counsel actually is. Specifically. And so, from the mouths of prophetic leaders of the Latter-day Saints, this post will hopefully help to cover just that.
I repeat, home storage should consist of a years supply of basic food, clothing and, where possible, fuel. After this goal is reached, emergency and expanded storage is desirable.
- Barbara B. Smith: "She is Not Afraid of the Snow for her Household," October 1976
Bishop H. David Burton, Presiding Bishop, Conversation, Ensign, Sept. 1999, 78.
"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 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 Clark advised us way back in 1937."
President Harold B. Lee: Welfare conference address, October 1, 1966
The rationale for emergency preparedness is that by living providently and by acquiring in advance the skills and resources necessary to cope effectively with difficulties, Latter-day Saints can minimize or avoid the suffering that accompanies the unexpected. They can also have the sense of security and peace of mind (D&C 38:30) that are essential to spiritual development.
Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 14 vols., edited by Daniel H. Ludlow (New York: Macmillan, 1992),, p. 453
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 we cannot say we have not been warned."
Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, pg. 265.