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RELIEF SOCIETY LEADERSHIP MEETING
January 25, 1996
PREPAREDNESS
 

    In 1 Timothy 5:8 we read, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” From this, we learn that the faithful provide for their own. May I add that the faithful provide for their own for both the short term and the long term.
    We live in an uncertain economy both nationally and globally. It has been made more difficult by government entities that cannot agree.
    We live under uncertain weather conditions. The past few years have given us catastrophic hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes, and volcanoes. We just experienced the most active hurricane season in 62 years. The east just experienced the heaviest winter storm in 70 years. These conditions have not only immediate consequences, but also long term consequences and effect many different aspects of our society and economy. The wake up call is sounding, but many are still deaf to its ring. Are you prepared to care for your family under any conditions? Are you teaching your wards and branches to be prepared?
    The counsel to be prepared and store food has been around for a long time. (See Simply Prepared, page 9)
    Now, may I quote some of our latter-day leaders.

    Boyd K. Packer said, “…For some reason, we expect to hear, particularly in welfare sessions, some ominous great predictions of calamities to come. Instead, we hear quiet counsel on ordinary things which, if followed, will protect us in times of great calamity.” (April, 1982)

    L.Tom Perry has said, “…we must remind ourselves that the Church welfare system was never designed or intended to care for the healthy member who, as a result of his poor management or lack of preparation, has found himself in difficulty. It was designed to assist the membership in case of a large, physical disaster, such as an earthquake or a flood. It was designed to assist the ill, the injured, the incapacitated, and to rehabilitate them to a productive life. In far too many cases, members who should be making use of their own preparedness provisions are finding that there is nothing there and that they have to turn to the Church.” (April, 1981)

    Mark E. Peterson said, “There are many very good people who keep most of the Lord’s commandments with respect to the virtuous side of life, but who overlook His commandments in temporal things. They do not heed His warning to prepare for a possible future emergency, apparently feeling that in the midst of all this trouble ‘it won’t happen to us.’ It is not always the other fellow’s problem. It is our problem also whenever there is economic trouble afloat.
    “To prepare for the future is part of God’s eternal plan, both spiritually and temporally. To protect ourselves against reversals and hardships is only good sense.
    “…the most important storehouses in the entire welfare plan are those that are within the walls of our own homes. We must provide our own storehouses for our own families in our own homes as far as possible to meet any rainy days that may come our way.
    “…[God] teaches us to be self-reliant and industrious, to plan ahead, to provide for possible hard times, to avoid obligations unless we are sure we can handle them, and then to serve him with such devotion that He will be pleased to augment all of our own earnest efforts.” (April, 1981)

    In 1965, Ezra Taft Benson said, “For years we have been counseled to have on hand a year’s supply of food. Yet there are some today who would not start storing until the Church comes out with a detailed monthly home storage program. Now suppose that never happens? We still cannot say we have not been told.
    “Should the Lord decide at this time to cleanse the Church…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.” (April, 1965)

    In last October’s General Conference, Elder L. Tom Perry gave an address entitled “If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear.” He said, “I believe it is time, and perhaps with some urgency, to review the counsel we have received in dealing with our personal and family preparedness….President Spencer W. Kimball admonished us:
        “In reviewing the Lord’s counsel to us on the importance of preparedness, I am impressed with the plainness of the message. The Savior made it clear that we cannot place sufficient oil in our preparedness lamps by simply avoiding evil. We must also be anxiously engaged in a positive program of preparation.”
        He also said: “The Lord will not translate one’s good hopes and desires and intentions into works. Each of us must do that for himself.”
    Elder Perry continues: “Just as it is important to prepare ourselves spiritually, we must also prepare ourselves for our temporal needs. Each of us needs to take the time to ask ourselves, What preparation should I make to care for my needs and the needs of my family?
    “We have been instructed for years to follow at least four requirements in preparing for that which is to come.
    “First, gain an adequate education….
    “Second, live strictly within your income and save something for a rainy day…
    “Third, avoid excessive debt…
    “Fourth, acquire and store a reserve of food and supplies that will sustain life. Obtain clothing and build a savings account on a sensible, well-planned basis that can serve well in times of emergency. 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….
    “…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.” (October, 1995)

    In Alma 60:21 we read, “…do ye suppose that the Lord will still deliver us, while we sit upon our thrones and do not make use of the means which the Lord has provided for us?”

    And in D&C 136:27 we read, “Thou shalt be diligent in preserving what thou hast, that thou mayest be a wise steward;…”

    The Relief Society remains the same concerning Personal and Family Preparedness. The President, who is responsible for the Welfare and Compassionate Service Department, has the responsibility to “Encourage sisters to be self-reliant by teaching them personal and family preparedness and provident living.” The Homemaking Counselor has the responsibility to incorporate Personal and Family Preparedness into the homemaking department. All Homemanagement lessons focus on an aspect of self-reliance. At least one mini-class each month is to be an extension of that lesson or a Sunday lesson. Two of the Homemanagement lessons each year are to be on subjects selected by the presidency. They are to be Personal and Family Preparedness topics applicable to this area or needed by members of your ward or branch. The President and both counselors are members of the ward welfare committee. Two of the responsibilities of that committee are to teach members to provide for themselves and their families and to teach members to prepare for unexpected adversity. However you encourage preparedness is up to you. Let the Lord help you. If you need help with teaching, printed resource materials, or product sources, contact us. A regional dry pack committee has been formed to develop a dry pack program at the cannery. It will be run by them and not by the Storehouse Manager. Lucy Stern is part of that committee and can answer your questions. The only family canning available now is peanut butter. It can only be done once a year and must be done in conjunction with our stake welfare assignment. That will be in April.
    Let me now go to the question “Why Home Storage?” on this poster. (Poster) It’s for all these reasons and especially the last - “Prophetic Counsel.”
    A more convenient time for following the commandments will never come. We must adjust whatever our circumstances are to make room for obedience.
    Remember 1 Nephi 3:7 - “…I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” I urge you to find the way to accomplish the commandment to be prepared.

 

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Last modified: 07/15/2013