“Are You Prepared?” Ensign, Aug. 2007, 30–33
“When a tornado struck near our house and caused significant damage in our neighborhood,” wrote Becky E. Ludlow, of Wichita, Kansas, “I soon learned a lot about what help is needed in a disaster. … As my husband and I rushed to be of service, we found that some of the things people needed almost immediately were drinking water and cups, diapers, [baby] formula, shoes, blankets, changes of clothes, … pet carriers and leashes, … and a place to stay.”1
A natural disaster is only one of many challenges that can cause us to rely on our home storage. Loss of income is another, whether it comes from the loss of the job, health, or life of the wage earner.
The Young family of Denver, Colorado, found themselves without income when Jeff Young lost his job.
“I felt sure that Jeff’s law degree meant that he would always have a good job,” wrote Joy Young of her husband’s unemployment. “But such thinking was naive. People at every educational and economic level can lose their source of income.
“How did we survive? … Throughout the years of our marriage, we had tried to follow the prophets’ counsel to be prepared for the unexpected. We had built a basic food supply: wheat, rice, beans, dried milk, flour, and sugar, as well as numerous cases of canned goods and a freezer full of vegetables and meat. It was a relief to know I could continue feeding my family even if no money was coming in.”2
These are only two testimonies from among the many Latter-day Saints who have learned firsthand of the blessings of being prepared. Our prophets have counseled and encouraged us since the days of President Brigham Young to “lay the foundation to feed and clothe and shelter ourselves.”3 This encouragement has continued and become more explicit. It is still firmly in place.
One great resource that helps Latter-day Saints in their effort to become prepared is www.providentliving.org. This repository includes extensive information on employment, family home storage, education and literacy, family finances, social and emotional strength, and physical health, as well as other topics. Here you can also learn more about welfare services and employment assistance.
Though we never know when we will face a challenge that will require us to depend on the resources we have stored, we know that the Lord has said, “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear” (D&C 38:30).
President Gordon B. Hinckley reminded us in October 2005 general conference of our need to be prepared: “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. … I have faith … 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.”4
Let us do all in our power to “walk in obedience” and be prepared.
Random Sampler articles in the Ensign are another helpful resource. Following are a few previously published Random Sampler articles on topics from “How to Begin” to “Emergency Savings.” To read the article, go to www.lds.org and click on “Gospel Library.” Select “Magazines,” “Ensign,” and “Past Issues.” Then choose the desired year and month. Click on “Random Sampler” near the bottom of the list and locate the article.
“Home Storage—How to Begin,” Ensign, Apr. 1986, 64–65.
“Emergency Water Storage,” Ensign, Aug. 2006, 71.
“Storing Fats and Oils,” Ensign, June 1999, 71–73.
“Food Storage: Where and How,” Ensign, Aug. 1981, 54–55.
“Food Storage for One Year,” Ensign, Mar. 2006, 70.
“Protecting Your Food Storage,” Ensign, Jan. 2006, 70.
“Spicing Up Your Food Storage,” Ensign, June 1990, 72.
“Mmmmm! This Couldn’t Be Food Storage!” Ensign, Mar. 1990, 71.
“Prepared for Today: Medical Supplies,” Ensign, July 1981, 54–55.
“How Will Your Garden Grow?” Ensign, Mar. 1979, 66.
“When Disaster Strikes,” Ensign, Aug. 1994, 71.
“What’s in the Safe?” Ensign, Aug. 1988, 72–73.
“Tips for Becoming Self-Reliant,” Ensign, Mar. 2000, 68–69.
“Out of a Job?” Ensign, Feb. 2004, 73.
“Emergency Savings the ‘Centsible’ Way,” Ensign, Feb. 1992, 65.
The Church has produced many helpful materials to assist with understanding and teaching important welfare principles. They include videos, pamphlets, books, and handbooks. A sample of available materials follows:
All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Finances (04007), pamphlet (4 pages)
All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage (04008), pamphlet (4 pages)
Basic Self-Reliance (32293), handbook (152 pages)
Essentials of Welfare (53045), video (six segments, 93 minutes)
One for the Money (33293), pamphlet (12 pages)
Providing in the Lord’s Way (32296), pamphlet in 16 languages (27 pages)
A complete list of available materials is posted on the Internet at www.providentliving.org. On the home page, bottom left, select “Helps for Church Leaders,” then “Find a Tool or Resource,” and then “Books, Videos, Pamphlets, and Forms” to access the listing of available materials. Copies of most of these materials can be ordered through the Church’s online distribution center at www.ldscatalog.com.