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Our ward had a combined EQ and RS meeting this past Sunday, where the newly called emergency preparedness specialist gave an overview of the importance of food storage along with some pointers on how to get started.
Having food storage as a “single adult” has been somewhat interesting. A couple weeks ago, during a lesson on the Second Coming, the EQ instructor asked for a raise of hands for all those who had a year’s supply of food. I believe that I was the only one to raise my hand.
During Sunday’s lesson, it was suggested that as single adults we only need to store a month worth of food. Uhh.. what? Do we then get to obey 1/12 of all the other commandments, too? With all due respect to the instructor (who did a great job!), I find this statement to be contradictory to everything we’ve been told by our prophets. Being single adults does not justify partial obedience.
While not verified, I’ve heard from various sources that informal surveys have shown that between 4 and 6 percent of Church members have a year’s supply of food and water. If anybody knows of a source for such a survey, I’d love to get my hands on it.
The subject of preparation is an interesting one. I think it’s a great sifter for showing who is willing and ready to obey the Prophet’s call. Whether it be storing supplies, paying off debt, or preparing ourselves spiritually, our obedience to such preparedness principles invariably shows what path we’re on.
I received the following excerpt from a friend which relates quite well to the discussion of our willingness to heed the counsel on storage and similar preparedness. Please note that the following excerpt is satirical. The events described therein have not literally taken place, though the message conveyed isn’t all that far-fetched from reality, in my opinion…
Stake members vote to reject words of Prophet and Apostles. Massive Protests held.
85+% of local Stake members tell their Stake leaders that they will refuse to follow the counsel of the Prophet and the Apostles on certain commandments anymore.
In a recent vote of non-confidence, 85% of __________ stake members, including many ward and stake officers, told their local Stake President that not only are they refusing to follow the counsel of the Prophets and Apostles that has been given repeatedly for almost 100 years, but they emphatically told him that they do not want to even hear any more concerning it.
The issue came up concerning preparing for the last days, specifically obtaining a minimum of a years supply of food, and other commodities as outlined by President Hinckley, the Apostles and the general Church leadership in the various leadership and training manuals.
Massive passive protests were joined by at least 95% (some estimate as high as 85%) of the stake membership as they refused to participate in the Stake sponsored preparation meetings. As one of the protest participants said; “Enough is enough. I am just sick and tired of hearing about food storage and I simply don’t want to hear about it anymore. I have too many other things to think about besides such a doom and gloom subject. ” Another protest participant chimed in saying; “The Church leadership is asking too much of us when they tell us to get out of debt and get food storage. They have told us for years to get ready for hard times and a big famine. Well, it hasn’t happened in over 60 years. We simply refuse to believe it any more. It appears to most of us that they just don’t know what they are talking about and if it ever does happen, it will happen to my great, great grand children.”
The whole mood of the group was put forth by one of their local Ward leaders who had joined in the protest; “We only want our leaders to tell us good news. We want them to be upbeat and positive. No more of this bad news stuff anymore. Besides, most of us believe that we don’t have to do anything because if something bad ever does happens, the Lord will miraculously provide us with all the food and materials we need anyway. We would much rather have our big houses now, and spend our money on the playthings of the world than waste it on such a foolish notion as food storage.”
Stake leaders are perplexed about what to do about this overwhelming rejection by the majority of the members of their stake. When they counseled with the General Church leadership, they were told that this same problem was happening throughout the Church, but was a particularly large problem in the United States with massive passive protests happening all over.
Again, this excerpt is satirical. However, I think the gist of it accurately describes the sentiments of some members. We must obey this counsel!
I’ve saved a few quotes on this topic in Quoty. Here are a couple relevant ones:
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. (Harold B. Lee, Welfare Meeting, October Conference, 1966)
Fathers, another vital aspect of providing for the material needs of your family is the provision you should be making for your family in case of an emergency. Family preparedness has been a long-established welfare principle. It is even more urgent today. I ask you earnestly, have you provided for your family a year’s supply of food, clothing, and, where possible, fuel? The revelation to produce and store food may be as essential to our temporal welfare today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah.
…Yes, brethren, as fathers in Israel you have a great responsibility to provide for the material needs of your family and to have the necessary provisions in case of emergency. (Ezra Taft Benson, General Conference, April 1988)
A man with a surplus can control circumstances, but a man without a surplus is controlled by them, and often has no opportunity to exercise judgment. (Harvey S. Firestone)
It is folly to not procure food storage and other preparedness items. When disaster strikes we cannot say that we were not warned. Those found wanting will be like the unwise virgins, unprepared and unable to fulfill their desires. I hope that we all can take this counsel more seriously, and shun the sentiments found in the satirical excerpt. If we truly sustain and follow the prophet, we will actively work on this facet of doctrine along with the rest.