If the Savior came to visit you and said he had some counsel for you which would give you peace, would you listen and obey his counsel?
The Lord has said, “What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.”
This scripture refers to the Lord's servants, also known as prophets. Our living prophet is the Lord’s mouthpiece today and when he speaks, he is speaking the words of our Savior. If the Savior stood before us and shared a message, we would heed his counsel. Likewise, we should heed our prophet’s counsel. I love the primary song, “Keep the commandments,” particularly the line “Words of a prophet, keep the commandments. In this there is safety and peace.”
Our prophet today, President Thomas S. Monson, as a member of the first presidency, recently released a pamphlet outlining a preparedness plan for members of the church. It states: "We encourage Church members worldwide to prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings. "We ask that you be wise as you store food and water and build your savings. Do not go to extremes; it is not prudent, for example, to go into debt to establish your food storage all at once. With careful planning, you can, over time, establish a home storage supply and a financial reserve." —The First Presidency, All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage, Feb. 2007.
President Monson also said, "Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their year's supply of food. . . and were debt-free. Today we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse: they have at least a year's supply of debt and are food free."
As I reflect upon the current economic crisis we are experiencing, I have been reminded of the words of our prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley, which he shared at General Conference in October 2001, soon after the September 11th terrorist attacks:
"Occasions of this kind pull us up sharply to a realization that life is fragile, peace is fragile, civilization itself is fragile. The economy is particularly vulnerable. We have been counseled again and again concerning self-reliance, concerning debt, concerning thrift. So many of our people are heavily in debt for things that are not entirely necessary. When I was a young man, my father counseled me to build a modest home, sufficient for the needs of my family, and make it beautiful and attractive and pleasant and secure. He counseled me to pay off the mortgage as quickly as I could so that, come what may, there would be a roof over the heads of my wife and children. I was reared on that kind of doctrine. I urge you as members of this Church to get free of debt where possible and to have a little laid aside against a rainy day.
The other day, I was listening to a radio program where a well-known financial commentator was talking about the current financial crisis with a burst housing bubble, imprudent loans, major banks failing and an astronomical drop in stock prices creating a ripple effect that has led to a credit crunch and great losses in employment. One thing struck me. . .he said, “No one knew what was coming. No one could have ever anticipated what would happen.” But our prophet knew and we were warned well in advance to prepare by staying out of debt, buying a modest home, setting money aside for a rainy day, and storing food and water. We were promised peace if we did so.
I am used to giving talks on all aspects of preparedness, so when I was asked to talk only about food storage, I asked my daughter, "How can I talk about food storage for so long?" We started laughing and jokingly said, "You get your coat on, you get out your keys. Walk to the car, drive to the store, buy an extra couple of cans of food each week and over time, you build your food storage." The church's food storage program as it currently stands is really that simple. You begin by creating a three month supply:
Three Month Supply
Build a small supply of food that is part of your normal, daily diet. One way to do this is to purchase a few extra items each week to build a one-week supply of food. Then you can gradually increase your supply until it is sufficient for three months. These items should be rotated regularly to avoid spoilage. —The First Presidency, All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage, Feb. 2007.
I keep water under my sink in used, clean 2L bottles and juice bottles. We don't drink much soda but I save the bottles when I have parties at our house. When we had a boil water advisory in our town for three days, water bottles flew off the grocery store shelves in a flash and they even cancelled school. But I had no concerns whatsoever. We had plenty of clean water right in our kitchen and lots more in the basement.
People say “I’m not going to buy wheat. My family won’t eat wheat bread. I don’t have a grinder, etc. " I would suggest that you get wheat. It’s about $13 for 25 lbs. That will make almost 25 loaves of bread. We can share grinders if it is required. People will be much more likely to let you grind wheat with their grinder than to share the precious food that will keep their family from starvation.
You can also save a lot of money by producing food in your own gardens.
After WWII, Pres. Ezra Taft Benson was called by the 1st Presidency to re-establish missions and set up a program for the distribution of food and clothing to the saints. Vivid in his memory were the people who got on trains each morning with all kinds of bric-a-brac in their arms to go out to the countryside and trade their possessions for food. At evening time, the train station was filled with people with arms full of vegetables and fruits and squealing pigs and chickens. . .These people were, of course, willing to barter practically anything for that commodity which sustains life—food.
Remember, peace in adversity—whether it be the job loss, underemployment, health problems, sudden death, or financial challenges comes by following the prophet. In this, there is safety, in this, there is peace. The Savior promised:
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:26–27).
"Fear not to do good, my sons, for whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye also reap; therefore, if ye sow good ye shall also reap good for your reward.
"Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail.
"Behold, I do not condemn you; go your ways and sin no more; perform with soberness the work which I have commanded you.
Today, I urge you to follow our prophet’s counsel, follow the Savior and if you do so, you will feel the peace that only the Savior can give us:
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