Food Storage etc. for the Coming Famine – Quotes from The Prophets of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
-“The first season that we came here I recollect that Brother Brigham proclaimed the policy of our laying up grain, and told us to lay up a seven years supply, and prepare for a famine.” (Heber C. Kimball, The Deseret News 6:38; June 10, 1855)
-“The Lord, through his prophet, has called the mothers of Israel to prepare for a famine. . . .We are well assured that the time is fast approaching when the Lord will pour out his indignation on the nations, andalthough we should escape, we will feel the effects in a national capacity. Our hearts must be hard indeed if we will not feel for those who may come to us for help. The Lord showed his servant Joseph that such things would come, and it was of such a nature and so distressing and revolting to humanity to witness, that he asked the Lord to close it up.” (Woman’s Exponent, Dec. 1, 1876)
-“There are a few things I want to say. One is, take care of your grain; for it is of more worth to you than gold and silver. I know you will see harder times before another harvest than you have seen this season. There is enough, and we need never want bread, but if we do not take the right course we are sure to see sorrow, and the greatest you have ever seen.” (Life of Heber C. Kimball, p. 411, 1853)
-“Build yourselves good store-houses and save your grain for a time of famine, and sickness, and death upon the nations of the wicked, to get rid of the evil doers.” (Heber C. Kimball, JD 3:227, 1856)
-“The time has come for us to lay up our stores. Will the world follow our example? No, they will not; and if we do our duty, who cares whether they do or not. They will come with their bonnets, their fine clothing, and their jewelry, and be glad to work for us to get their bread.” (Heber C. Kimball, JD 5:10)
-“I would like to see the people take a course to make their own clothing, make their own machinery, their own knives and their own forks, and everything else we need, for the day will come when we will be under the necessity of doing it, for trouble and perplexity, war and famine, bloodshed and fire, and thunder and lightning will roll upon the nations of the earth, insomuchthat we cannot get to them, nor they to us.” (Life of Heber C. Kimball, p. 411)
-“After the Angel Moroni appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith September 21, 1832, he [Joseph] said: “He informed me of great judgments which were coming upon the earth, with great desolations by FAMINE, sword, and pestilence; and that these grievous judgments would come on the earth in this generation.”” (DHC 1:14)
-“Harder times are coming by and bye, and there is going to be an awful famine. And if we do right, we shall take a course to lay up our surplus grain.” (Heber C. Kimball, JD 109, 1856)
-“I will not say much more about grain; you can do as you please. I might just as well say nothing about it, for I know none will listen to it but good Saints, men of God, and men that have an experience, and can see things as they are: they are the men that will save this people. If one to fifty proves a Savior in the end, I shall think that things are much better than I expected to find them.” (Heber C. Kimball, JD 8:246, 1860)
-“I tell you in the name of the Lord God, I know the gate of plenty will be shut down, and your wheat and corn will be blasted; the earth will cease to yield in her strength if this people do not appreciate their blessings, and improve upon them. Further, if this people appreciate these blessings, we will see the time yet, in these mountains, when the people will come from our native countries for bread. If we are faithful, if we are true, if we are humble, and appreciate the blessings of heaven that are poured upon us, and improve upon them, strangers will seek bread at our hands, but, if we neglect our duty, if we become proud, idle, selfish, or covetous, and forget our God, the earth will cease to yield her fruits, they will be blasted, and we will be in poverty; that you may be assured of.” (Brigham Young, Deseret News, Oct. 16, 1852)
-“Will the United States send troops here? Yes. And when they have done, the other inhabitants of the earth will send them. . . . Will you go to work now, and lay up your grain?” (Heber C. Kimball, JD 5:180, 1857)
-“What is going to be the condition of this people and their surrounding neighbors. Do we not see the storm gathering? It will come from the northeast and the southeast, from the east and from the west, and from the northwest. The clouds are gathering; the distant thunders can be heard; the grumblings and mutterings in the distance are audible, and tell of destruction, want, and famine. But mark it well, if we live according to the holy Priesthood bestowed upon us, while God bears rule in the midst of these mountains, I promise you, in the name of Israel’s God, that he will give us seed-time and harvest. We must forfeit our right to the Priesthood before the blessings of the Heavens cease to come upon us. . . .
And here let me say to you, buy what flour you need, and do not let it be hauled away. Have you a horse, or an ox, or a wagon, or anything else, if it takes the coat off your back, or the shoes off your feet, and you have to wear moccasins? Sell them and go to the merchants who have it to sell, and buy the flour before it is hauled away. . . .My faith does not lead me to think the Lord will provide us with roast pigs, bread already buttered, etc. He will give us the ability to raise the grain, to obtain the fruits of the earth, to makehabitations, to procure a few boards to make a box, and when harvest comes, giving us the grain, it is for us to preserve it–to save the wheat until we have one, two, five, or seven years’ provisions on hand, until there is enough of the staff of life saved by the people to bread themselves and those who will come here seeking for safety. . . .
Do you see any necessity, Latter-day Saints, for providing for the thousands coming here?. . .The time is coming when. . .this is the only place where there will be peace. There will be war, famine, pestilence, and misery through the nations of the earth, and there will be no safety in any place but Zion, as has been foretold by the Prophets of the Lord, both anciently and in our day.. . .Buy flour, you who can;. . .And then, when the people come here by thousands, you will be able to feed them. What will be your feelings, when the women and children begin to cry in your ears, with not a man to protect them?You can believe it or not,but the time is coming when a good man will be more precious than fine gold. . . .Joseph said, many and many a time, to us,–“Never be anxious for the Lord to pour out his judgments upon the nation; many of you will see the distress and evils poured out upon this nation till you will weep like children.” (Brigham Young, JD 10:292-95, 1864)
-“Missouri is cracked up to be the greatest honey country that there is on the earth; but it will not be many years before they cannot raise a spoonful in that land, nor in Illinois, or in any other land where they fight against God. Mildew shall come upon their honey, their bees, and their crops; and famine and desolation shall come upon the nation like a whirlwind. . . .Shall we ever be brought to want? I tell you, if we live our religion, we never shall. Cannot God Almighty send manna here, honey, and everything else, just as well as he could in the days of Moses? This is the last dispensation, and it has got all the power, the interest, the miracles that were in all of them, and tenfold more. . .The maple trees in the States will be blasted; yes, and they might as well try to make sugar from an oak tree; and everything else will be mildewed and go to destruction, when we shall have thousands.
Have not we felt the rod? Yes; and God says judgment shall come, and it shallcommence at the house of God first, and then it will come upon those that have rebelled in the house of God; andof all the suffering that ever fell upon men and women will fall upon the apostates. . . .” (Heber C. Kimball, JD 5:93-94, 1857
-“Lay up your stores, and take your silks and fine things, and exchange them for grain and such things as you need, and the time will come when we will be obliged to depend upon our own resources; for the time is not far distant when the curtain will be dropped between us and the United States. . . You will also see the day that you will wish you had laid up your grain, if you do not do it now; for you will see the day, if you do not take care of the blessings God has given to you, that you will become servants, the same as the world will.. . . I will prove to you that I will put my faith with my works and layup stores for my family and for my friends that are in the United States, and I will be to them as Joseph was to the people in the land of Egypt. Every man and woman will be a saviour if they will do as I say. . . .It behooves us to be saving and to prepare for the time to come. The day will come when the people of the United States will come lugging their bundles under their arms, coming to us for bread to eat. Every Prophet has spoken of this from the early ages of the world. Already we begin to see sickness, trouble, death, famine, and pestilence; and more yet awaits the nations of the wicked. Jesus said, When you hear of these things in foreign nations–destruction and desolation, you may then look forth for my coming, and know that it is nigh at hand.” (Heber C. Kimball, JD 5:10, 1857)
-“Follow the example if you think it is a good one, and lay up stores of grain, against the time of need, for you will see the time when there will not be a kernel raised and when thousands and millions will come to this people for bread.” (Heber C. Kimball, JD 3:252, 1856)
-“We have done first rate; but we canwake up more, and keep waking up, and attend to the things you have been told to attend to; and one of them is, to lay up stores of corn, wheat, oats, peas, beans, buck wheat, andeverything else that can be preserved; for you will see a day when you will want it; and it will be when we shall feel the effects of famine, and when the United States have not any food. And inasmuch as we are wise and prudent in this matter, we shall have power over them, and they cannot help themselves.” (Heber C. Kimball, JD 4:330, 1857)
-“But the day will be, and it is right at our doors, when thousands and millions in the United States and in the old countries will come to us and render to us all the rich things that this earth affords, in exchange for food.” (Heber C. Kimball, JD 5:255, 1857)
-“The day will come when millions of people will flock to us for bread, and thousands of them will be honest; they will be the elect of God; they will come to us for salvation, either to this place or to Jackson County.” (Heber C. Kimball, JD 8:89, 1860)
-“There are some who feel that they are secure as long as they have funds to purchase food. Money is not food. If there is no food in the stores or in the warehouses, you cannot sustain life with money. Both President Romney and President Clark have warned us that we will yet live on what we produce.” (J. Richard Clarke, Conference Report, Oct. 1980)
-“You have been warned before hand, and that by revelation from God through Joseph Smith, and afterward through brother Brigham who is our Prophet, you have been warned, time and time again, to take care of your grain. In future build yourselves good store-houses and save your grain for a time of famine, and sickness, and death upon the nations of the wicked, to get rid of the evil doers. . . .We must lay up grain against the famines that will prevail upon the earth. What shall we lay up that grain for? Shall we lay it up to feed the wicked? No, we shall lay it up to feed the Saints who gather here from all the nations of the earth, and for the millions of lovers of good and wholesome laws who will come from the old countries and from the United States, fleeing to this place for their bread, and I know it.” (Heber C. Kimball, JD 3:227-228, 1856)
-“It has been prophesied, scores of times, to different ones of the Latter-day Saints that their relatives and friends who cast them out and scorned them, should yet come begging for bread; then be wise, and prepare yourselves with bread in abundance to feed the hungry.” (Woman’s Exponent, Nov. 15, 1876)
-“I have seen a hungry woman turn down food for a spool of thread. (Ezra Taft Benson, speaking of war-torn Europe at close of World War II;” Conference Report, Oct. 1973))
-“What good will be our greenbacks that we get from the government for security when all the crops of the earth are destroyed by hail?” (“And there shall be a great hailstorm sent forth to destroy the crops of the earth.”) D & C 29:16 (Mathew Cowley Speaks, p. 172)
-“I remember when the sisters used to say, “Well, but we could buy it at the store a lot cheaper than we can put it up.” But that isn’t quite the answer. . . Because there will come a time when there isn’t a store. I remember long years ago that I asked a very prominent grocer who had a chain of grocery stores, “How long would your supply of groceries last if you did not have trucks to bring in new supplies?” He replied, “Maybe we could stretch it out for two weeks from our storehouses and from our supplies.” People could get awfully hungry after two weeks were over. . . .Should trucks fail to fill the shelves of the stores, many would go hungry.” (Pres. Spencer W. Kimball, Conference Report, Oct. 1974)
-“Have you ever paused to realize what would happen to your community or nation if transportation were paralyzed or if we had a war or depression? How would you and your neighbors obtain food? How long would the corner grocery store or supermarket sustain the needs of the community?” (Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, Oct. 1980)
-“I presume you have never had the great and trying experience of looking into the faces of people who are starving when you are unable to give them even a crust of bread. We faced that as we first met with the Saints in parts of Europe. But when the welfare supplies came, it was a time never to be forgotten by these faithful Saints. I can see them now in tears, weeping like children, as they looked upon those first boxes of welfare supplies when they reached occupied Germany.” (Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, Oct. 1952)
-“I remember great tracts of once fertile and productive land lying idle… andpeople starving because there was no seed to plant, no machinery with which to plant, cultivate, and harvest, and no power because power machines had been destroyed and horses had been killed during the bombing and many others killed and eaten for human’s food. . . .” (Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, Oct. 1952)
-“We are too accustomed to going to stores [and rationalizing]. . .that [we have] no time or space [for a garden]. May I suggest…you store seeds and have sufficient tools on hand to do the job.” (Pres. Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, Oct. 1980)
-“The time will come when the judgments of God will be poured out upon this nation because of their wickedness in shedding the blood of the Prophets and other righteous men and women, and in passing laws against the Patriarchal order of marriage; and peace will be taken from the earth. A great revolution will take place in this land and those who will not take up the sword against their neighbor, and the honest in heart, will flee to places of safety; they will come over these Rocky Mountains with knap sacks on their backs and there will be so many to be fed that there will be a famine for the want of food, not because there will not be seed time and harvest, but because of the number of people that will come. Then a sack of wheat will be worth many times more than a bag of gold.” (John W. Taylor, Farmington, Utah, Spring, 1901)
-“Should evil times come, many might wish they had filled all their fruit bottles. . .cultivated a garden. . .planted a few fruit trees and berry bushes.” (Pres. Spencer W. Kimball, Conference Report, Oct. 1974)
-“Suppose you. . .sell all your wheat . . .and you are left with nothing more than a pile of gold, what good would it do you? You could not eat it, drink it, wear it, or carry it off where you could have something to eat. The time will come thatgold will hold no comparison in value to a bushel of wheat.” (Brigham Young, JD 1:250, 1853)
-“Obtain a year’s supply [by building] up your food supply just as you would a savings account. Save a little for storage each pay-check. Can or bottle fruits and vegetables from your gardens and orchards. Learn how to preserve food through drying and possibly freezing. Make your storage a part of your budget. . . . We urge you to do this prayerfully and do it now.” (Pres. Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, Oct. 1980, “Prepare for the Days of Tribulation”)
-“Store up all your grain and take care of it. . . . it is almost as necessary to have bread to sustain the body as it is to have food for the spirit; for the one is as necessary as the other to enable us to carry on the work of God upon the earth.” (Orson Hyde, JD 5:17)
-“Learn to sustain yourselves, lay up grain and flour, and save it for a day of scarcity.” (Discourses of Brigham Young, pp. 291-93)
-“Some of the recent disasters in which Church members have been involved show that there is a need for diversification in places of storage and in types of containers. Perhaps not all storage should be concentrated in one area of the house, not all should be stored in tin or plastic containers, not all in glass containers.” (Barbara B. Smith, Conference Report, Oct. 1976)
-“Frequently I am asked, “What were the most valuable items in the days of starvation in Germany? As for what we needed, the food item we relied on most was vegetable oil.With a bottle of vegetable oil, one could acquire nearly every other desirable item. It had such value that with a quart of vegetable oil one could probably trade for three bushels of apples or three hundred pounds of potatoes. Vegetable oil has a high calorie content, is easy to transport, and in cooking can give a tasty flavor to all kinds of food items that one would not normally consider as food–wild flowers, wild plants, and roots from shrubs and trees. For me and my family, a high-quality vegetable oil has the highest priority in our food storage, both in times of daily use and for emergency usage. When vegetable oil is well-packed and stored appropriately, it has a long storage life without the necessity of refrigeration. We found ours to be in very good condition after twenty yearsof storage, but circumstances may vary. . . . . . .Honey could be traded for three times as much as sugar. . . . When a person is very hungry, the taste of food will change for him. In times of emergency, the Lord seems to provide a way to help our bodies adapt.”
(F. Enzio Busche, Ensign, June 1982)
-“The day will come when if this people do not lay up their bread they will be sorry for it.” (Wilford Woodruff, JD 18:127)
-“It will not surprise me, if times get harder and tighter, if somewhere along the line you will be required to give up what you yourselves have or part of it in your cellars. It will be fortunate if you have put away enough so that you can spare some and still be able to live.” (J. Reuben Clark, Jr., Church News, April 20, 1946)
-“[When] distributing food, clothing, and bedding to the suffering members of the Church in Europe following World War I, I witnessed the starving, the emaciated, and the barefoot. It was a piteous sight. My heart went out in compassion to all our Heavenly Father’s suffering children. . . .[Upon] arrival of our first Church welfare supplies in Berlin. . .I took with me the acting President of the mission. . ..[He] took [the] dried beans…put his hands into [them] and ran [them] through his fingers, then broke down and cried like a child with gratitude. We opened another box, filled with cracked wheat, nothing added or taken away. . . .He touched a pinch of it to his mouth. After a moment he looked at me through his tearful eyes–and mine were wet, too–and said, while slowly shaking his head, “Brother Benson, it is hard to believe that people who have never seen us could do so much for us.””(Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, Apr. 1977)
-“Elder Lorenzo Snow. . .spoke of the prediction of the servants of God that wheat would be worth its weight in gold. He asked what preparation had been made for that time. . . .When this nation became disrupted by civilstrife, thousands would flock here and we should have to feed them. . . .As sure as there was a God in Israel, the famine predicted would come to pass.” (Des. Evening News, Jan. 31, 1877)
-“Brethren, go and build your storehouses before your grain is harvested, and lay it up, and let us never cease until we have got a seven years’ supply. You may think that we shall not see times in which we shall need it.” (Heber C. Kimball, JD 4:337, 1857)
-“Let us go to work and lay up our grain, lay up wheat, and everything that will and can be preserved; and in so doing, we will save ourselves from sorrow, pain, and anguish; . . .This is a part of our religion–to lay up stores and provide for ourselves and for the surrounding country; for the day is near when they will come by thousands and by millions, with their fineries, to get a little bread. That time is right by our door. . . .Wake up, ye Saints of Zion, while it is called to-day, lest trouble and sorrow come upon you, as a thief in the night. Suppose it is not coming, will it hurt you to lay up the products of the earth for seven years? Will it hurt you, if you have your guns, swords, and spears in good condition, according to the law of the United States? . . .But wake up, ye Saints of the Most High, and prepare for any emergencythat the Lord our God may have pleasure in bringing forth. We never shall leave these valleys–till we get ready; no, never; no, never. We will live here till we go back to Jackson County, Missouri. I prophesy that, in the name of Israel’s God.” (Heber C. Kimball, JD 5:164-65, 1857)
-“For years past it has been sounded in my ears, year after year, to lay up grain, so that we might have an abundance in the day of want. .. View the actions of the Latter-day Saints on this matter, and their neglect of the counsel given; and suppose the Lord would allow these insects to destroy the crops this season and the next, what would be the result? I can see death, miseryand want on the faces of the people. But some may say, “I have faith the Lord will turn them away.” What ground have we to hope this? Have I any good reason to say to my Father in heaven, “Fight my battles,” when He has given me the sword to wield, the arm and the brain that I can fight for myself? Can I ask Him to fight my battles and sit quietly down waiting for Him to do so? I cannot.” (Brigham Young, JD 12:240-241, 186)
-“Let us be in a position so we are able to not only feed ourselves through the home production and storage, but others as well.” (Pres. Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, Oct. 1980)
-“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.” (Pres. Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, Oct.1987)
-“Joseph warned the people of a famine that was coming on the land, and laid up corn; so Brigham and Heber have taught you that we are going to see a day similar to that, but more terrible–more awful!
. . .I would advise you to take everything that is unnecessary, and buy wheat and barley, and such things as you need with it, and lay up your stores for the time that is to come, that you can feed your own kindred and friends, who will actually come to you.” (Heber C. Kimball, JD 5:174, 175, 1857)
-“It’s better to have your food supply two years early than one day late. Nations shall be cut off when they are ripe in iniquity. . . . A desolating sickness shall cover the land. . . . Famine shall sorely oppress them–confusion and war shall make their hearts to faint, and their knees to tremble. Would to God that our nation had never given cause for the distress which they now only begin to suffer! . . . When these poor starving thousands flock here for food, will it not be glory enough for you to begin with, to feed them, to give them shelter, and administer to their sick? . . . If you will do as you are told,your eyes shall witness just such scenes!” (Orson Hyde, JD 2:206, 1855)
-“A few years ago President Young gave counsel to the people of the Territory–most of whom agreed to it–to lay byseven years’ provisions. We were to have commenced three years ago, and were to have laid up one year’s bread over and above the year’s supply. The following year we were to add another year’s supply, and so have continued until we had our seven years’ supply laid up. … I look upon the subject of storing grain and other kinds of food as a very religious matter. How could a man who was half starved enjoy his religion? How on the earth could a man enjoy his religion when he has been told by the Lord how to prepare for a day of famine, when, instead of doing so, he had fooled away that which would have sustained him and his family. I wish our brethren to lay this matter to heart, and not to rest until they have obeyed this particular item of counsel. I also advise them to live within their means, and avoid getting into debt.” (George A. Smith, JD 12:141-143, 1867)
-“We have said much to the people with regard to laying up provisions to last them a few years. This is our duty now; it has been our duty for years. How many of our bishops have provisions laid up for one year, two years, or seven years. (Brigham Young, JD 12:106, 1867)
I tell you that the judgments of God are at the door of both Zion and great Babylon. …I want to ask you if you ever heard brother Kimball tell about laying up wheat? “Yes,” say some “we have heard him, but the famine has not come yet.” No, but it will come. The Lord is not going to disappoint either Babylon or Zion, with regard to famine, pestilence, earthquakes or storms, . . . they are at the doors . . . . Lay up your wheat and other provisionsagainst a day of need, for the day will come when they will be wanted, and no mistake about it. We shall want bread, and the Gentiles will want bread, and if we are wise we shall have something to feed them and ourselves when famine comes.” (Wilford Woodruff, JD 18:121, 1875)
-“I will tell you a dream which Brother Kesler had lately. He dreamed that there was a sack of gold and a cat placed before him, and that he had the privilege of taking which he pleased, whereupon he took the cat,and walked off with her. Why did he take the cat in preference to the gold? Because he could eat the cat, but could not eat the gold. You may see about such times before you die.” (Heber C. Kimball, JD 3:262, 1855)
-“There are many very good people who keep most of the Lord’s commandments with respect to the virtuous side of life, but who overlook His commandments in temporal things. They do not heed His warning to prepare for a possible future emergency, apparently feeling that in the midst of all this trouble “it won’t happen to us.”” (Mark E. Petersen, Conference Report, April 1981)
-“I have asked of the Lord concerning His coming; and while asking the Lord, He gave a sign and said, “In the days of Noah I set a bow in the heavens as a sign and token that in any year that the bow should be seen the Lord would not come; but there should be seed time and harvest during that year; but whenever you see the bow withdrawn, it shall be a token that there shall be famine, pestilence, and great distress among the nations, and that the coming of the Messiah is not far distant.”” (TPJS, pp. 340-341)
-“Now is the time for us to be like unto Joseph of old–lay up stores for ourselves, and our children; and thousands, and hundreds of thousands from the old world, the United States, and North and South America will flee to this place to get down by the side of Joseph’s cribs, and granaries, and storehouses, to get that which will sustain life. . . .”(Life of Heber C. Kimball, p. 41
-“. . . but those who have known [God] and in the day of tribulation forsaken His laws will be beaten with many stripes. To all those who stand firm and steadfast when the love of many shall wax cold because of the famine and pestilence, and great trials with which the Saints of God are to be tried before the judgments pass from the house of God to the wicked, to all such He has made precious promises, and they will be fulfilled.” (Parley P. Pratt, JD 3:311, 1856)
-“If we sin, and do not repent, God will chastise us until we do repent of and forsake all sin; but He never will scourge us so long as we do right. …Plan to build a good storehouse, every man who has a farm, and never cease until you have accomplished it. And do not forget to pay your tithing before you put the grain into the storehouse. Lay up enough for seven years, at a calculation for from five to ten in each family; andthen calculate that there will be in your families from five to ten persons to where you now have one, because you are on the increase. It now takes about one thousand bushels of wheat to bread my family one year, and I want to lay up six thousand for each year of the seven for which I calculate to store it up. . . . Where a family now requires only a hundred bushels a year, let the head of that family lay up a hundred bushels the first year, two hundred the next, and increase the amount every year in proportion to their probable requirements. When we have stored away our grain we are safe, independent of the world, in case of famine, are we not? Yes, we are; for, in that case, we will have the means for subsistence in our own hands. When the famines begin upon the earth, we shall be very apt to feel them first. If judgments must need begin at the house of God, and if the righteous scarcely are saved, how will it be with the wicked? Am I looking for famines? Yes, the most terrible and severe that have ever come upon the nations of the earth. These things are right before us, and some of this people are not thinking anything about them; they do not enter their hearts. Still there is not an Elder here who has read the revelation which says, Go forth and warn the inhabitants of this land of the sickness, the death, and disasters that are coming upon this nation, but what must be satisfied of the truth of what I am saying. …I consider that carefully storing our surplus grain against a time of need is of the greatest importance to this people, in connection with building the Temple. You may build that Temple, and at the same time neglect those things that I am speaking of, and you will perish temporally.
. . .I know that we will see those things of which I have spoken–such famines as this world never beheld. Yes, we have got to see those scenes;. . .and if you will wake up and do as you are told, you will escape. I will advise every man in every settlement to build a storehouse; and if one cannot do so alone, let two or three build one between them. Store up and preserve your grain, and then you will be safe. . . . I know that He is able to suffer famines to come upon us, and then to rain manna down from heaven to sustain us. I also know that He could increase our grain in the granaries and our flour in the bins, and make one small loaf of bread suffice for many persons, by exerting His creative power. . . .
There are a great many things that we can save and take care of, as well as we can wheat, barley, and oats. We can dry pumpkins, squashes, currants, apples, peaches, &c, and save them; we can also save beans, peas, and like articles, and keep them for seven years. And if you will take the right care of your wheat, you can save it just as long as you may wish to; but, in the usual mode of storing it, you have got to stir it, move it, remove it, and turn it over, or it will spoil. . . .Then go to work and build up this kingdom, establish righteousness, and prepare yourselves for the famines that are coming upon the earth; for I tell you that they are coming. Do you suppose that God would give revelations and tell us to warn the inhabitants of the earth of things which were coming speedily upon them, if He did not intend that those things should come? He said that they should feel them, and I know that they are bound to feel them; for they will not repent. Let us go to work and prepare for the thousands upon thousands who will come unto us. . . . The day will come when people will gather here by hundreds and by thousands,–yes, fifty thousand in a year; and very many will come trudging along with their bundles under their arms.” (Heber C. Kimball, JD 5:19-23, 1857)
-“We can so live that we can call upon the Lord for His protection and guidance. . . . We cannot expect His help if we are unwilling to keep His commandments. Those of us who read and believe the scriptures are aware of the warnings of prophets concerning catastrophes that have come to pass and are yet to come to pass.
There was the great Flood, when waters covered the earth and when, as Peter says, only “eight souls were saved” (1 Peter 3:20).
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 rumours 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. . . .
“And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! . . .
“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
“And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matthew 24:6–8, 19, 21–22).
In the Book of Mormon we read of unimaginable destruction in the Western Hemisphere at the time of the Savior’s death in Jerusalem. Again I quote:
“And it came to pass in the thirty and fourth year, in the first month, on the fourth day of the month, there arose a great storm, such an one as never had been known in all the land.
“And there was also a great and terrible tempest; and there was terrible thunder, insomuch that it did shake the whole earth as if it was about to divide asunder.
“And there were exceedingly sharp lightnings, such as never had been known in all the land.
“And the city of Zarahemla did take fire.
“And the city of Moroni did sink into the depths of the sea, and the inhabitants thereof were drowned.
“And the earth was carried up upon the city of Moronihah, that in the place of the city there became a great mountain. . . .
” . . . The whole face of the land was changed, because of the tempest and the whirlwinds, and the thunderings and the lightnings, and the exceedingly great quaking of the whole earth;
“And the highways were broken up, and the level roads were spoiled, and many smooth places became rough.
“And many great and notable cities were sunk, and many were burned, and many were shaken till the buildings thereof had fallen to the earth, and the inhabitants thereof were slain, and the places were left desolate” (3 Nephi 8:5–10, 12–14).
What a terrible catastrophe that must have been.
The plague or Black Death of the fourteenth century took millions of lives. Other pandemic diseases, such as smallpox, have brought untold suffering and death through the centuries.
In the year A.D. 79 the great city of Pompeii was destroyed when Mount Vesuvius erupted.
Chicago was ravaged by a terrible fire. Tidal waves have swamped areas of Hawaii. The San Francisco earthquake in 1906 ruined the city and took some 3,000 lives. The hurricane that hit Galveston, Texas, in 1900 killed 8,000. And more recently, as you know, has been the terrible tsunami of Southeast Asia, where thousands of lives were lost and where relief efforts are still needed.
How portentous are the words of revelation found in the 88th section of the Doctrine and Covenants concerning the calamities that should befall after the testimonies of the elders. The Lord says:
“For after your testimony cometh the testimony of earthquakes, that shall cause groanings in the midst of her, and men shall fall upon the ground and shall not be able to stand.
“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 88:89–91).
How interesting are descriptions of the tsunami and the recent hurricanes in terms of the language of this revelation, which says, “The voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds.”
Man’s inhumanity to man expressed in past and present conflict has and continues to bring unspeakable suffering. In the Darfur region of Sudan, tens of thousands have been killed and well over a million have been left homeless.
What we have experienced in the past was all foretold, and the end is not yet. Just as there have been calamities in the past, we expect more in the future. What do we do?
Someone has said it was not raining when Noah built the ark. But he built it, and the rains came.
The Lord has said, “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear” (D&C 38:30).
The primary preparation is also set forth in the Doctrine and Covenants, wherein it says, “Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come” (D&C 87:8).
We sing the song:
When the earth begins to tremble,
Bid our fearful thoughts be still;
When thy judgments spread destruction,
Keep us safe on Zion’s hill.
(“Guide Us, O Thou Great Jehovah,” Hymns, no. 83)
We can so live that we can call upon the Lord for His protection and guidance. This is a first priority. We cannot expect His help if we are unwilling to keep His commandments. We in this Church have evidence enough of the penalties of disobedience in the examples of both the Jaredite and the Nephite nations. Each went from glory to utter destruction because of wickedness.
We know, of course, that the rain falls on the just as well as the unjust (see Matthew 5:45). But even though the just die they are not lost, but are saved through the Atonement of the Redeemer. Paul wrote to the Romans, “For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord” (Romans 14:8).
We can heed warnings. We have been told that many had been given concerning the vulnerability of New Orleans. We are told by seismologists that the Salt Lake Valley is a potential earthquake zone. This is the primary reason that we are extensively renovating the Tabernacle on Temple Square. This historic and remarkable building must be made to withstand the shaking of the earth.
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).
Our people for three-quarters of a century have been counseled and encouraged to make such preparation as will assure survival should a calamity come.
We can set aside some water, basic food, medicine, and clothing to keep us warm. We ought to have a little money laid aside in case of a rainy day.
Now what I have said should not occasion a run on the grocery store or anything of that kind. I am saying nothing that has not been said for a very long time.
Let us never lose sight of the dream of Pharaoh concerning the fat cattle and the lean, the full ears of corn, and the blasted ears; the meaning of which was interpreted by Joseph to indicate years of plenty and years of scarcity (see Genesis 41:1–36).
I have faith, my dear brethren, that the Lord will bless us, and watch over us, and assist us if we walk in obedience to His light, His gospel, and His commandments. He is our Father and our God, and we are His children, and we must be in every way deserving of His love and concern. That we may do so is my humble prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.” (If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear; by President Gordon B. Hinckley)