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Saturday, June 20, 2015

If ye are prepared ye shall not fear

The following is a thought-provoking talk from a ward's emergency preparedness specialist.  Maybe the younger generation of adults haven't heard all of these quotes by the general authorities of the LDS church.  This is a good synopsis of what we have been commanded to do.  There are many more stories and quotes that are not in this talk.  For a more comprehensive library of words of the prophets and leaders Here is a great source on learning what our responsibilities are from the Lord in this regard.  Let's help each other get prepared!

If you will be responsible
Image result for emergency food storageElder Jorge F. Zeballos of the Seventy spoke in the April 2015 General Conference titled “If You will be Responsible”.   He says – Let us press forward by LEARNING our duty, making correct decisions, acting according to those decisions and accepting the will of our Father.

What responsibility do we have as members of the Church of Jesus Christ? President Joseph Fielding Smith expressed it as follows: “We have these two great responsibilities. … First, to seek our own salvation; and, second, our duty to our fellow men.”2

Salvation means reaching the highest degree of glory that our Father has provided for His obedient children.3 These responsibilities that have been entrusted to us—and which we have freely accepted—must define our priorities, our desires, our decisions, and our daily conduct.

President Thomas S. Monson has taught us that “men cannot really long rest content with mediocrity once they see excellence is within their reach.”4 How, then, could we be content with anything short of exaltation if we know that exaltation is possible?

Allow me to share four key principles that will help us fulfill our desire to be responsible to our Father in Heaven as well as respond to His expectation that we become as He is.
1.    Learning Our Duty
2.    Making the Decision
3.    Acting Accordingly
4.    Willingly Accepting the Father’s Will
Learning our Duty: Today I would like to talk about learning our duty associated with Food, Water, Clothing and Fuel Storage.  Being prepared in an Emergency.  Being able and willing to help others and possibly ourselves in times of need. 

Here is what Spencer W. Kimball has to say about it - “How Often do Church members arise early in the morning to do the will of the Lord?...How often do we say, ‘Yes, I will obey the COMMANDMENTS to store food and to help others, but just now I have neither the time nor the money to spare; I will obey later’?... While we procrastinate, the harvest will be over and we will not be saved.  Now is the time to follow Abraham’s example; now is the time to repent; now is the time for prompt obedience to God’s will.” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.174)

Our beloved Prophet President Monson in the September 2014 Ensign titled Are We Prepared said it this way: 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?

And many of you may remember the First Presidency Letter dated June 24, 1988 which was read in Sacrament:
"We continue to encourage members to store sufficient food, clothing and where possible, fuel for at least one year. We have not laid down an exact formula for what should be stored. However, we suggest that members concentrate on essential foods that sustain life, such as grains, legumes, cooking oil, powdered milk, salt, sugar or honey, and water. Most families can achieve and maintain this basic level of preparedness. The decision to do more than this rests with the individual.

"We encourage you to follow this counsel with the assurance that a people prepared through obedience to the commandments of God need not fear."  (First Presidency letter read in Sacrament Meetings, June 24, 1988, Ezra Taft Benson, Gordon B. Hinckley, Thomas S. Monson)

Learning our duty means understanding that Food, Water, Clothing and Fuel storage is a commandment from God. We are asked to obey all of God’s commandments.  By following this counsel we have been assured that we will not fear.

Making the Decision: Today is the day that we choose to put food, water, fuel and clothing storage on our list of accomplishments. 

Each morning alternate this phrase:  I choose to make time for food storage today.  I choose to make time for water storage today, I choose to make time for fuel storage today and I choose to make time for clothing storage today.  Remember these phrases in your prayers.  Ask Heavenly Father for further light and knowledge as to what and how you can store.

Here are some quotes that might help steer you in the right direction as to why you want to make this decision today:
In April 1986 President Ezra Taft Benson said, “Pride is characterized by “What do I want out of life?” rather than by “What would God have me do with my life?” It is self-will as opposed to God’s will. It is the fear of man over the fear of God.” (Cleansing the Inner Vessel )

The next year in October 1987 General Conference President Benson said: I ask you earnestly, have you provided for your family a year’s supply of food, clothing, and where possible, fuel?  

Dallin H Oaks said, “As the Book of Mormon teaches, “this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; … the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors” (Alma 34:32). Are we preparing?”  (Preparation for the Second Coming April 2004)

And in that same talk he also said:

“How oft have I called upon you by the mouth of my servants, and by the ministering of angels, and by mine own voice, and by the voice of thunderings, and by the voice of lightnings, and by the voice of tempests, and by the voice of earthquakes, and great hailstorms, and by the voice of famines and pestilences of every kind, … and would have saved you with an everlasting salvation, but ye would not!” (D&C 43:23, 25).

Ezra Taft Benson said, “When will all these calamities strike? We do not know the exact time, but it appears it may be in the not-too-distant future. Those who are prepared now have the continuing blessings of early obedience, and they are ready. Noah built his ark before the flood came, and he and his family survived. Those who waited to act until after the flood began were too late. (October 1973 Prepare Ye)

Dallin H Oaks said, “While we are powerless to alter the fact of theSecond Coming and unable to know its exact time, we can accelerate our own preparation and try to influence the preparation of those around us.” (Preparation for the Second Coming April 2004)

And Ezra Benson also said “Too often we bask in our comfortable complacency and rationalize that the ravages of war, economic disaster, famine and earthquake cannot happen here. Those who believe this are either not acquainted with the revelations of the Lord, or they do not believe them. Those who smugly think these calamities will not happen, that they somehow will be set aside because of the righteousness of the Saints, are deceived and will rue the day they harbored such a delusion. The Lord has warned and forewarned us against a day of great tribulation and given us counsel, through His Servants, on how we can be prepared for these difficult times. Have we heeded His counsel?...” Ezra Taft Benson (Ensign, Nov 1980)

Make the decision today to obey God’s commandment and get your house in order

Acting Accordingly
L Tom Perry said in General Conference October 1995  “I believe it is time, and perhaps with some urgency, to review the counsel we have received in dealing with our personal and family preparedness…We have been instructed to follow at least four requirements in preparing for that which is to come. Gain an adequate education, Live within your income, Avoid unnecessary debt, Store a reserve of food supplies…As long as I can remember, we have been taught to prepare for the future and to obtain a year 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.”
Gordon B. Hinckley said “I am suggesting that the time has come to get our houses in order… I urge you, brethren, to look to the condition of your finances. I urge you to be modest in your expenditures; discipline yourselves in your purchases to avoid debt to the extent possible. Pay off debt as quickly as you can, and free yourselves from bondage. (October 1998 To the Boys and to the Men)  

Prepare for the Days of Tribulation Ezra Taft Benson said of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles In a spirit of love, members of the Church have been counseled to be thrifty and self-reliant; to avoid debt; pay tithes and a generous fast offering; be industrious; and have sufficient food, clothing, and fuel on hand to last at least one year.

April 1976 Vaughn J. Featherstone said about food storage: Most of us can afford such basics. Buy them from your monthly food budget allowance. The Church discourages going into debt to buy for storage…find someone who sells large bulk of grains.  Make arrangements to buy a ton or so of grain.  Find someone who sells honey in large containers and make arrangements to buy what you can afford.  Buy a little additional sugar each time you go to the store.  Purchase dry milk on a systematic basis.  Buy a case of salt the next time you go to the store. Store enough water for each member of your family to last at least two weeks. 

Keep working on this each day until you have 1 year in your house.  So how much is a ton of grain going to cost you?  If you were to go to the LDS cannery and purchase a ton or 2000 lbs of hard red wheat it would cost you $480.00.  This would meet the grain criteria for 5 people for 1 year.  For those gluten intolerant please remember to add wheat to your food storage as it will be necessary to sprout for vitamins.  Those who are gluten intolerant can add more beans, lentils, quinoa and other grains which do cost more but it is still very affordable when purchased in bulk.

Willingly Accepting the Father’s Will
Discipleship requires us not only to learn our duty, make correct decisions, and act in accordance with them, but also essential is our developing the willingness and the ability to accept God’s will, even if it does not match our righteous desires or preferences.

Elder Dallin H Oak’s said:  To borrow a metaphor from the familiar world of athletic competitions, we do not know when this game will end, and we do not know the final score, but we do know that when the game finally ends, our team wins.  (Preparation for the Second Coming April 2004)

Let us press forward by learning our duty, making correct decisions, acting according to those decisions, and accepting the will of our Father.

Brothers and Sisters please trust me when I say I have so much more to say about this topic.  Heavenly Father wants us to rally the troops.  He wants to inspire you to get your storage in order.  He wants you to get your house in order.  He loves you, he trusts you, he wants you independent above all other beings.  Let’s do our part and show him that we love him.  Let’s obey this commandment as our prophets have instructed us to do.

If I could sum it all up I would say this:
We are to watch and be ready,
We are to live obediently and be ready to meet him
We are to be prepared for the calamities that will come upon the earth
We are to be prepared for famines and pestilences
We are to be prepared for wars and rumors of wars
We are to be prepared for personal and family crises
We are to be prepared for local and national emergencies
We are to be prepared for world calamities
We are to be prepared for the turbulent times which are to precede his coming
We are to be prepared for the day of His return.
Again, we are to “Watch” and “Be ready!”

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