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For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the concepts of self-reliance and emergency preparedness are nothing new.
While the church runs a robust welfare program, with 135 food storehouses and 52 farms and ranches located across the world (as of 2013), church leaders continually encourage members to provide food storage and other emergency necessities for their own families.
In fact, church leaders have been warning members to get out of debt, collect shelf-stable foods, and become prepared for natural disasters, difficult times and other emergencies for the last several decades. Here's a look at 10 inspiring emergency preparedness quotes from LDS leaders given at General Conferences past and present.
Elder L. Tom Perry: "The Need to Teach Personal and Family Preparedness," April 1981
It is time to teach the basics again. It is time to make the No. 1 priority of our welfare efforts personal and family preparedness. We must prepare now so that in time of need more of our members will be able to draw upon their own preparedness and not have to seek assistance from the church.
President Gordon B. Hinckley: "In the Arms of His Love," October 2006
The best food storage is not in welfare grain elevators but in sealed cans and bottles in the homes of our people. What a gratifying thing it is to see cans of wheat and rice and beans under the beds or in the pantries of women who have taken welfare responsibility into their own hands.
President Thomas S. Monson: "Center Stage in Welfare," October 1980
Paramount is the responsibility to coordinate personal and family preparedness efforts, including food storage.
Bishop Victor L. Brown: "Preparation for Tomorrow," October 1982
We also learn from the parable [of the 10 virgins] that preparation necessary to help them meet the immediate circumstances was a simple, everyday task. The arrival of the bridegroom did not require unusual or elaborate preparation. Our preparation should be deliberate and structured to meet todays problems. We should prepare ourselves one step at a time as the Lord so inspires us.
President James E. Faust: "The Responsibility for Welfare Rests with Me and My Family," April 1986
Every father and mother are the familys storekeepers. They should store whatever their own family would like to have in the case of an emergency. Most of us cannot afford to store a years supply of luxury items, but find it more practical to store staples that might keep us from starving in case of emergency.
President Ezra Taft Benson: "To the Fathers in Israel," October 1987
I ask you earnestly, have you provided for your family a years 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.
Barbara B. Smith: "She is Not Afraid of the Snow for her Household," October 1976
I repeat, home storage should consist of a years supply of basic food, clothing and, where possible, fuel. After this goal is reached, emergency and expanded storage is desirable.
President Gordon B. Hinckley: "To the Boys and to the Men," October 1998
"May the Lord bless you, my beloved brethren, to set your houses in order. If you have paid your debts, if you have a reserve, even though it be small, then should storms howl about your head, you will have shelter for your wives and children and peace in your hearts. Thats all I have to say about it, but I wish to say it with all the emphasis of which I am capable."
Elder L. Tom Perry: "If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear," October 1995
As long as I can remember, we have been taught to prepare for the future and to obtain a years 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.
President Dieter F. Uchdorf: "Providing in the Lords Way," October 2011
This work of providing in the Lords way is not simply another item in the catalog of programs of the Church. It cannot be neglected or set aside. It is central to our doctrine; it is the essence of our religion. Brethren, it is our great and special privilege as priesthood holders to put the priesthood to work. We must not turn aside our hearts or our heads from becoming more self-reliant, caring better for the needy and rendering compassionate service.
Although the quote to follow doesn't come from a General Conference message, we thought it deserved to make the list as a number 11, or honorary mention, considering its timeliness.
President Monson: "Are We Prepared?" September 2014 Ensign
"We should remember that the best storehouse system would be for every family in the Church to have a supply of food, clothing, and, where possible, other necessities of life.
Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had a supply of food and clothing and were debt-free. Today we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse: they have a supply of debt and are food-free.
Are we prepared for the emergencies in our lives? Are our skills perfected? Do we live providently? Do we have our reserve supply on hand? Are we obedient to the commandments of God? Are we responsive to the teachings of prophets? Are we prepared to give of our substance to the poor, the needy? Are we square with the Lord?"
"We live in turbulent times. Often the future is unknown; therefore, it behooves us to prepare for uncertainties. When the time for decision arrives, the time for preparation is past."