As members of the church, we have been counseled by Latter-Day Prophets to store food for times of need. This counsel has been given over and over again, from the time of Brigham Young, through our present day.
In the General Priesthood session of the 1998 October General Conference, President Gordon B. Hinckley said, "I wish to speak to you about temporal matters. As a backdrop for what I wish to say I read to you a few verses from the 41st chapter of Genesis." He then recounted Pharoah's dream of seven fat kine and seven lean kine, and seven full ears of corn and seven withered ears of corn and Joseph's interpretation of the dream. President Hinckley then said, "Now, brethren, I want to make it very clear that I am not prophesying, that I a not predicting years of famine in the future. But I am suggesting that the time has come to get our houses in order." He also counseled us at that time to "get out of debt."
President Hinckley again counseled us concerning this matter in the October 2001 General Conference. Speaking of the tragedy of September 11, in the United States, he said, "Occasions of this kind pull us up sharply to a realization that life is fragile, peace is fragile, civilization is fragile. The economy is particularly vulnerable. We have been counseled again and again concerning self-reliance, concerning debt, concerning thrift...As we have been continually 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."
Given current economic troubles in the world, I am sure that there are many who have wished that they had heeded the counsel of the Prophets and filled their storehouses with food and water. But even though you may not have followed the counsel in the past, you can still choose to begin today. The Lord will bless you abundantly for your efforts and although it may seem an overwhelming task, it can be achieved a little at a time. The trick is to build upon what you currently have. Even small changes can yield big results over time.
President Hinckley counseled on this very thing in the General Priesthood Session of the October 2002 General Conference. He said, "Brethren, 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...I do not predict any impending disaster...prudence should govern our lives...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 the 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...gradually build toward a reasonable objective." And again he counseled us: "Get out of debt and rid yourself of the terrible bondage that debt brings."
If we could just look at food storage as only storing the foods that are basic to our survival, or build upon the foods we already have to include the basics, then the task of building a food storage may be simpler than we think. We would then be prepared for food emergencies in our homes.
Building a basic food supply is beneficial to us in several ways:
1. It will provide us with a peace of mind as we obey the counsel of the Prophets to store.
2. It will help to ensure our survival in the case of a personal or natural disaster.
3. It will help to strengthen our skills in preparing and using basic foods.
It is important that once you have stored the basic food items, that you use them regularly in your daily meals. This ensures a couple of different things. First, it ensures that you know how to use the items. Second, it ensures that you are accustomed to eating the basic food items. Third, it ensures that the food is rotated and used so it doesn't go to waste. How horrible would it be to go to the work of storing food, only to have your supply go bad because it is out of date? Proper rotation by use, ensures that this will not happen.
With a little effort and dedication, you can build up a food storage that will bless you both temporally and spiritually. And even if you never have to use that storage for emergency reasons, you will be blessed by the Lord for being obedient to the words of His Prophets.