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Klein Ward Sacrament Meeting
Spiritual and Practical Aspects of Home Production and Food Storage
15 February 2009

    In chapter 2 of Ether in The Book of Mormon, the brother of Jared builds barges as the Lord commands. They were tight “like unto a dish” and presented two problems – not enough air and no light. The Lord instructs him on how to solve the problem of the air but asks him what he would like Him to do about light. He also reminds him that he won’t be able to put windows in the barges because they would be “dashed in pieces” as they cross the “great water.” He tells the brother of Jared that there WILL be mountain waves, wind, rain and floods and that they won’t be able to complete their journey unless the Lord prepares them to withstand the terrible troubles ahead. He said “I prepare you against these things” so that you can make the journey. (Ether 2:25)

    The Savior has warned us in scripture that there will be difficult times in the last days. “Behold I speak for mine elect’s sake; for nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.”(JS-Matthew 1:29) “And there shall be a great hailstorm sent forth to destroy the crops of the earth.” (D&C 29:16) “And also cometh the testimony of the voice of thunderings, and the voice of lightnings, and the voice of tempests, and the voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds. And all things shall be in commotion; and surely, men’s hearts shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all people.” (D&C 88:90-91)

    In the last general conference, Elder Packer stated, “…in troubled times the Lord has always prepared a safe way ahead. We live in those “perilous times” which the Apostle Paul prophesied would come in the last days. If we are to be safe individually, as families, and secure as a church, it will be through “obedience…” (Boyd K Packer Oct 2008 )

    In the January ENSIGN, Elder Eyring says “Because the Lord is kind, He calls servants to warn people of danger. That call to warn is made harder and more important by the fact that the warnings of most worth are about dangers that people don’t yet think are real.” (Henry B. Eyring, Ensign Jan. 2009 p. 4)

    Latter-day Saints have received counsel to store food and prepare since at least 1845 when they were instructed to prepare an 18-month supply of food and supplies for the journey west from Nauvoo. Brigham Young counseled to store wheat in 1856 and the remaining years of his life. The counsel continued after his death and in 1937, with the formation of the Church’s welfare program, J. Rueben Clark spoke for the First Presidency when he said “Let every head of every household see to it that he has on hand enough food and clothing, and, where possible, fuel also, for at least a year ahead.” The First Presidency has issued subsequent letters and statements on food storage and preparedness in 1942, 1973, 1988, 2002 and 2007. The booklet Essentials of Home Production and Storage was printed and made available in Church distribution centers in 1978. The online site was available to members seeking information on food storage by early 2003.

    Barbara B. Smith, former General RS President taught, “Personal and family preparedness is provident living. Being provident involves being “wise, frugal, prudent, making provision for the future while attending to immediate needs.” (Barbara B. Smith)

    The Church Welfare handbook teaches us what responsibilities we, as members, have for home storage.

We should
    • Have sufficient food, clothing and shelter for self and family.
    • Where possible, store a year’s supply of basic items needed to sustain life.
    • Regularly use and replace all stored items in order to keep them from spoiling.
    • Learn to produce and prepare essential items.

    In April 2007, the pamphlet Prepare Every Needful Thing: Family Home Storage was released under the direction of The First Presidency. The Message from The First Presidency in the pamphlet states:

    “Our Heavenly Father…has lovingly commanded us to ‘prepare every needful thing’…so that, should adversity come, we may care for ourselves and our neighbors and support bishops as they care for others…We encourage you to store as much as circumstances allow.”

    We have been counseled have a 3-month supply of food that is part of our normal, daily diet; to store water for times it may not otherwise be available; and establish a financial reserve that is to be used for emergencies only. The pamphlet also includes instruction concerning a longer term food supply.

    There are many who are concerned about storing a 3-month supply of canned goods thinking that they are storing a nutritionally inadequate supply of food. Several respected universities have studied this issue. “A study conducted by the University of California - Davis found that fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables each contain important nutrients and contribute to a healthy diet and exclusively recommending one form of fruits or vegetables over another ignores the benefits that each form provides. Results of the study also showed that by the time food is consumed, fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables may be nutritionally similar.” (

    In D&C 89: 10-11 "And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man— Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving."

    We read in D&C 136:27 “Thou shalt be diligent in preserving what thou hast, that thou mayest be a wise steward;…” The Lord does not expect us to eat fresh fruits and vegetables all year long and he expects us to preserve them in season for our use later. Pres. Kimball counseled us to learn to can, freeze and dehydrate our food for future use.

    When we grow our own gardens, we are even more self reliant.

    Spencer W. Kimball encouraged, “Grow all the food that you possibly can on your own property, if water is available; berry bushes, grapevines, and fruit trees are most desirable. Plant them if your climate is right for their growth. Grow vegetables and eat those grown in your own yard. Even those residing in apartments or condominiums can generally grow a little food in pots and planters.”

    He also taught “Gardens promote independence. Should evil times come, many might wish they had filled all their fruit bottles and cultivated a garden in their backyards and planted a few fruit trees and berry bushes and provided for their own commodity needs.” - The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball

    Ezra Taft Benson stated, “There are blessings in being close to the soil, in raising your own food, even if it is only a garden in your yard and a fruit tree or two. Those families will be fortunate who, in the last days, have an adequate supply of food because of their foresight and ability to produce their own.” (Oct 1980) Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson

    Water storage is actually quite easy. It has been recommended that we store 14 gallons of water per person as a minimum amount. It is not necessary to have 55 gallon barrels in order to store water. PETE bottles, the bottles that juice comes in, stored in a dark place are very acceptable.

    We still have an obligation to obtain a year’s supply of basic foods that store well. These basic foods have a

1. LONG SHELF LIFE - except for powdered milk, unrefined basic storage foods will store indefinitely when kept dry, dark, airtight, and at 70 degrees or below. Higher temperatures shorten shelf life, but foods will still last longer than canned goods stored the same way. Even powdered milk has acceptable nutrition after 20 years when stored properly.

2. THEY ARE THE LEAST EXPENSIVE FOODS - a year's supply of basic foods for an adult can cost as little as $250. A year's supply of any other kind or combination of foods costs $700 to $4000 for each adult.

3. THEY PROVIDE THE MOST NUTRITION FOR THE VOLUME - basic foods are dry foods except for the fats and oils. The space necessary for storage is much less than canned goods which have liquid in addition to the food.

4. THEY PROVIDE ALL BUT VITAMINS A & C - even these vitamins can be provided by grains such as amaranth. Sprouting can also provide small amounts. It is best, though, to store vitamins and/or garden seeds for fresh vegetables until a supply of canned fruits and vegetables can be maintained.

5. THEY ARE THE BASIS OF A HEALTHY DISEASE PREVENTION DIET - nutrition and health research indicates that the healthiest diets are low fat, high fiber, high complex carbohydrate diets. Whole grains, legumes, and low-fat milk are all a part of this diet. (from Simply Prepared)

    The basics can be purchased and dry packed at the Home Storage Center (or Cannery). Our stake has been assigned the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 9 to 12 and 6 to 9. Contact Ruth Freeman when you are ready to go. There are also ways to dry pack at home using PETE bottles and canning jars. Portable mylar bag sealers are available for purchase, also.

    Repeatedly and consistently, counsel and instruction are given. If we heed it and take action, we will be prepared for whatever comes and whenever it comes. And when we are asked to reverse quarantine or go into self-isolation due to a pandemic, when we are affected by local or global economic disaster, by war or by crop destruction, we will not fear because we will be able to take care of ourselves and assist our neighbors.

    Elder Featherstone in his classic conference address on food storage stated, “The Lord will make it possible, if we make a firm commitment, for every Latter-day Saint family to have a year's supply of food reserves...All we have to do is to decide, commit to do it, and then keep the commitment. Miracles will take place: the way will be opened, and... we will have our storage areas filled. We will prove through our actions our willingness to follow our beloved prophet and the Brethren, which will bring security to us and our families." Unquote –(Vaughn Featherstone 1976 )

    There are many important practical reasons for home production and food storage but we as Latter-day Saints have only one reason to have food storage and that is obedience. Through this obedience we can obtain many blessings – better health, healthier finances, time for the important things in life, the ability to work, and self-reliance. We also begin to learn a higher law – a Celestial law.

    Pres. Romney stated, “…I wish to speak of a very important truth: self-reliance is not the end, but a means to an end. It is very possible for a person to be completely independent and lack every other desirable attribute. One may become wealthy and never have to ask anyone for anything, but unless there is some spiritual goal attached to this independence, it can canker his soul.

    “The Church’s welfare program is spiritual. In 1936, when the program was introduced, President David O. McKay made this astute observation:

    “It is something to supply clothing to the [poorly] clad, to furnish ample food to those whose table is thinly spread, to give activity to those who are fighting desperately the despair that comes from enforced idleness, but after all is said and done, the greatest blessings that will accrue from the Church [welfare program] are spiritual. Outwardly, every act seems to be directed toward the physical: remaking of dresses and suits of clothes, canning fruits and vegetables, storing foodstuffs, choosing fertile fields for settlement—all seem strictly temporal, but permeating all these acts, inspiring and sanctifying them, is the element of spirituality.” (In Conference Report, Oct. 1936, p. 103.)

    Pres. Romney went on to say, “Doctrine and Covenants 29:34–35 tells us there is no such thing as a temporal commandment, that all commandments are spiritual. It also tells us that man is to be “an agent unto himself.” Man cannot be an agent unto himself if he is not self-reliant. Herein we see that independence and self-reliance are critical keys to our spiritual growth. Whenever we get into a situation which threatens our self-reliance, we will find our freedom threatened as well. If we increase our dependence, we will find an immediate decrease in our freedom to act.

    “…self-reliance is a prerequisite to the complete freedom to act. We have also learned, however, that there is nothing spiritual in self-reliance unless we make the right choices with that freedom. What, then, should we do once we have become self-reliant in order to grow spiritually?

    “The key to making self-reliance spiritual is in using the freedom to comply with God’s commandments. The scriptures are very clear in their command that it is the duty of those who have, to give to those who are in need.

    “… Can we see how critical self-reliance becomes when looked upon as the prerequisite to service, when we also know service is what godhood is all about? Without self-reliance one cannot exercise these innate desires to serve. How can we give if there is nothing there? Food for the hungry cannot come from empty shelves. Money to assist the needy cannot come from an empty purse. Support and understanding cannot come from the emotionally starved. Teaching cannot come from the unlearned. And most important of all, spiritual guidance cannot come from the spiritually weak.

    “… One of the three areas emphasized in the mission of the Church is to perfect the Saints, and this is the purpose of the welfare program. This is not a doomsday program, but a program for our lives here and now, because now is the time for us to perfect our lives. May we continue to hold fast to these truths.” unquote (Marion G. Romney, “The Celestial Nature of Self-Reliance”)

    Brothers and Sisters, I encourage you to be obedient to do your best to obtain your 3-month supply of food, a storage of water, and a one-year supply of the basics so that you can become more self-reliant and more Celestial in nature. I can promise you that if you will make the commitment, miracles will happen and a way will be provided for you to accomplish this task.

    Testimony of spiritual aspects of self-reliance and provident living. It is the desire and the will of God that these attributes be a part of our lives.

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