The last year and a half has been difficult for all the world. We were warned the day would come when “men’s hearts would fail them.” We have witnessed that as many have become discouraged, frustrated, and even angry, due to a pandemic, heated political disagreements, and violence. We have witnessed panic buying. We have seen earthquakes, the most destructive fires in history, and more hurricanes hitting the continental United States than ever before, all while being unable to worship together for over a year and donning face masks every time we leave home. We have been warned repeatedly to prepare for this time.
As I have spoken with people over the past few months one thing has become very clear—those who were temporally prepared were far more capable of finding peace and hearing the whispering of the spirit while adapting to isolation from friends and family, taking on the role of teacher, and changes in work circumstances during a type of adversity most believed could never happen in our day. Temporal preparedness brought peace.
Elder Bednar in General Conference last October said this:
“Two basic principles can guide and strengthen us as we face proving and trying circumstances in our lives, whatever they may be: (1) the principle of preparation and (2) the principle of pressing forward with a steadfastness in Christ.
“Some Church members opine that emergency plans and supplies, food storage, and 72-hour kits must not be important anymore because the Brethren have not spoken recently and extensively about these and related topics in general conference. But repeated admonitions to prepare have been proclaimed by leaders of the Church for decades. The consistency of prophetic counsel over time creates a powerful concert of clarity and a warning volume far louder than solo performances can ever produce.”
Did you notice what he said? “The consistency of prophetic counsel over time creates a powerful concert of clarity and a warning volume far louder than solo performances can ever produce.” For years, I have had people tell me the concept of food storage was outdated and no longer relevant. Some have said the prophet had not addressed if for a long time so they would prepare after the prophet told us to in General Conference. They must not have been listening as President Hinckley warned of perilous times to come.
In General Conference in 2005, President Gordon B Hinckley taught: “We have built grain storage and storehouses and stocked them with the necessities of life in the event of a disaster. But the best storehouse is the family storeroom. In words of revelation the Lord has said, ‘Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing’ (D&C 109:8).
As the pandemic became more serious and other disasters occurred, supply chains have been disrupted. Draught throughout the United States and much of Europe and even the islands of the seas have left us with limited food supplies. Fuel prices, gasoline and natural gas, are rising rapidly. We have experienced civil unrest unlike any since the 1960s. Much of this has more to do with government policies than the pandemic but together they have created shortages and inflation like we have not seen for decades. To keep up to date with the challenges ahead read the Totally Ready blog. This week Augusson Farms, a leading supplier of freeze-dried foods, closed their facility for 90 days due to the inability to purchase food to process.
Sister Marjorie Pay Hinckley said: “First I obey, then I understand”. I find this perfect for our time. Whether we had prepared or not we have a clear understanding now of why we have been taught for so long the importance of preparing.
Ask yourself the following questions as you obey and begin your quest to be better prepared for the challenges ahead. We’ll begin with food and other items essential to have in every home.
1. What foods, hygiene products, medications and other supplies were you missing as the orders came to self-quarantine and remain at home? We can all think of toilet paper and disinfectants but take time to remember the other items you were lacking, things the children asked for or neighbors asked to borrow.
2. What items were on your General Store shelves that you did not eat? Did you have lots of wheat but never touched it? Lots of tuna or soup that never really sounded good? Did the dehydrated and freeze-dried food sit on the shelf?
3. What items were you or the family craving? It is amazing the things you crave when you can’t get them. For me it was cream of wheat, crazy I know. For my husband, chocolate, now that one you can believe.
4. Were you prepared to celebrate birthdays and graduations? Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming soon, and birthdays never seem to end. Traditions are so important to bring a sense of normalcy and peace during a challenging time. What are your family food traditions for special occasions?
5. What were you afraid you would run out of?
6. What was missing from grocery store shelves? You may have had plenty of flour in your stores, but I was grateful I didn’t need to worry as the store shelves here were empty of flour for weeks. Items missing from shelves will vary depending on the region in which you live. Wheat and oat crops are down this year meaning flour will once again be in short supply. If you have been reading the Totally Ready blog you already know this year’s oat crop has the lowest yield since 1866!
Sit down as a family to answer these questions and record your answers. As you move forward these answers will guide your future buying decisions. At the beginning of the pandemic, we were asked to remain in our homes for two weeks. Many did not shop for a month before they felt safe to go to a store. What happens when the next disaster empties shelves for a month?
How will you deal with civil unrest that keeps you in your home for days or as was the case in Portland, a month ago. I have lived thru civil unrest, and it is by far the most frightening thing I have ever experienced.
Do you have a storehouse in your home? Could you feed another family for days or weeks if they were evacuated to your home? When the bishop or Stake president calls could you provide meals for families evacuated to the church building which has now become a shelter?
If you believe the church will provide, you are mistaken. The church storehouses are not equipped to care for thousands of people. They are designed and stocked to care for the poor and those experiencing temporary setbacks.
If you think the government will again send stimulus checks and that will see you thru, don’t count on it. All the stimulus checks in the world cannot stock shelves.
And let us consider inflation. If you have not observed food prices rising you are not paying attention. As prices rise on food and fuel your buying power will decrease unless you receive an increase in your income. Do you really feel you will receive a 10% pay increase to keep up with rising costs?
We have not even discussed shortages of food and empty shelves which is already happening and a disaster all by itself.
I have been asked many, many times over the last six months as I have warned of shortages and inflation to come, how to prepare for it. My answer is always the same, begin with food storage. If you can feed your family and feed them familiar foods, it will go a long way to making your home peaceful and your family confident about their ability to thrive. In addition, we know food prices will continue to rise but when your personal General Store shelves are full you can wait for sales as you replenish. Peace of mind and money savings. What could be better?
In his address If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear in 2005 President Hinckley continued:
“If anyone has any doubt concerning the terrible things that can and will afflict mankind, let him read the 24th chapter of Matthew. Among other things the Lord says: ‘Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. …
‘For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”
When will these come to pass? Will they come individually or several together? Only our Heavenly Father knows the plan.
In the October 2020 General Conference President Nelson taught:
“How are we to deal with both the somber prophecies and the glorious pronouncements about our day? The Lord told us how with simple, but stunning, reassurance: ‘If ye are prepared ye shall not fear.’
“What a promise! It is one that can literally change the way we see our future. I recently heard a woman of deep testimony admit that the pandemic, combined with an earthquake in the Salt Lake Valley, had helped her realize she was not as prepared as she thought she was. When I asked whether she was referring to her food storage or her testimony, she smiled and said, ‘Yes!’
“For decades, the Lord’s prophets have urged us to store food, water, and financial reserves for a time of need. The current pandemic has reinforced the wisdom of that counsel. I urge you to take steps to be temporally prepared.
The adversary never stops attacking. So, we can never stop preparing! The more self-reliant we are—temporally, emotionally, and spiritually—the more prepared we are to thwart Satan’s relentless assaults.
I am not saying that the days ahead will be easy, but I promise you that the future will be glorious for those who are prepared and who continue to prepare to be instruments in the Lord’s hands.”
A promise from a prophet. Let us prepare to thwart Satan’s assaults and thrive during difficult times by increasing our efforts beginning today.
Need a reminder and an assignment to stock your shelves? Visit Toallyready.com and Facebook.com/totallyready every Monday for a weekly challenge. Want to prepare faster? Check out Carolyn’s ebooks at: Totallyready.com Special offer right now: Complete bundle plus Mother Hubbard