TEMPORAL: How critical is our physical preparation in the latter-days?

Prophetic Statements

First Presidency

We encourage you to follow this counsel with the assurance that a people prepared through obedience to the commandments of God need not fear. 1

We suggest that members concentrate on essential foods that sustain life. 2

Brigham Young

If you are without bread, how much wisdom can you boast, and of what real utility are your talents, if you cannot procure for yourselves and save against a day of scarcity those substances designed to sustain your natural lives? . . . If you cannot provide for your natural lives, how can you expect to have wisdom to obtain eternal lives? 3 4

George Albert Smith

“How on the face of the earth could a man enjoy his religion when he had 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.” 5

Spencer W. Kimball

I believe that the Ten Virgins represent the people of the Church of Jesus Christ. . . They (five foolish) had the saving, exalting gospel, but it had not been made the center of their lives. They knew the way but gave only a small measure of loyalty and devotion.

The foolish asked the others to share their oil, but spiritual preparedness cannot be shared in an instant. . . . This was not selfishness or unkindness. The kind of oil that is needed to illuminate the way and light up the darkness is not shareable. . . . In our lives the oil of preparedness is accumulated drop by drop in righteous living. 6

The great difficulty is that when difficult times come those who in normal times could lend assistance are also under the wheel of the grinding mill. It may be impossible to anticipate and prepare for the eventualities of depression, war, invasion, bombing, but we can go a long way. 7

Harold B. Lee

There is no person who knows the real purpose for which this welfare program is being instituted but hardly before sufficient preparation has been made the real purpose will be revealed and when that time comes it will challenge every resource of the church to meet it. 8

The time is about ripe, for the demonstration of the power and efficacy of the Lord’s Plan which He designed as ‘a light to the world, and to be a standard for my people, and for the Gentiles to seek to it.’ 9

Ezra Taft Benson


It is better to prepare and prevent than to repair and repent. 10


“There is more salvation and security in wheat,” said Orson Hyde years ago, “than in all the political schemes of the world” (Journal of Discourses, 2:207). 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. 11


What, then, is the Lord’s way to help us prepare for these calamities? The answer is also found in D&C 1 of the Doctrine and Covenants, wherein he says: “Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments; And also gave commandments to others. . . .” (D&C 1:17-18.) He has also said: “Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled.” (D&C 1:37.)

Here then is the key—look to the prophets for the words of God, which will show us how to prepare for the calamities that are to come. For the Lord, in that same section, states: “What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.” (D&C 1:38.)

Again, the Lord warned those who will reject the inspired words of his representatives: “. . . and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people.” (D&C 1:14.) 12


When will all these calamities strike?  We do not know the exact time, but it appears it may be in then 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.  13


Heed the Lord’s counsel to the Saints of this dispensation: “Prepare yourselves for the great day of the Lord” (D&C 133:10).  This preparation must consist of more than just casual membership in the Church. You must learn to be guided by personal revelation and the counsel of the living prophet so you will not be deceived.  14


Wood, coal, gas, oil, kerosene, and even candles are among those items which could be reserved as fuel for warmth, cooking, and light or power. Some may be used for all of these purposes and certain ones would have to be stored and handled cautiously. It would also be well to have on hand some basic medical supplies to last for at least a year.


Let us not be dissuaded from preparing because of a seeming prosperity today, or a so-called peace.16


Let us live the gospel fully, and may we recognize the infallibility of God’s inspired word—whether by his “own voice” or the “voice of [his] my servants, it is the same.” The days ahead are sobering and challenging. Oh, may we be prepared spiritually and temporally! 17

Gordon B. Hinckley

We feel the need to emphasize with greater clarity the obligation for members of the Church to become more independent and self reliant. 18

The kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God on the earth will be combined together at Christ’s coming – and that time is not far distant. How I wish we could get the vision of this work, the genius of it, and realize the nearness of that great event. I am sure it would have a sobering effect upon us if we realized what is before us. 19

God has held you in reserve to make your appearance in the final days before the Second Coming of the Lord. He has saved for the final inning some of his strongest children who will help bear off the Kingdom triumphantly. And that is where you come in, for you are the generation that must be prepared to meet your God. 20

Gordon B. Hinckley

‘And there shall arise after them seven years of famine … And God will shortly bring it to pass.’ Now brethren, I want to make it very clear that I am not prophesying, that I am not predicting years of famine in the future. But, I am suggesting that the time has come to get our houses in order … avoid debt to the extent possible. Pay off debt as quickly as you can, and free yourselves from bondage… There is a portent of stormy weather ahead to which we had better give heed. We are carrying a message of self reliance throughout the Church… I urge you brethren to look to the condition of our finances… No one knows when emergencies will strike…. 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 wife and children and peace in your hearts. That’s all I have to say about it, but I wish to say it with all the emphasis of which I am capable. 21

Thomas S. Monson

Preparation is not a matter of perhaps or maybe. It is a mandate. The old phrase “Ignorance is bliss” is forever gone. Preparation precedes performance. 22

Many areas of the world have experienced difficult economic times. Businesses have failed, jobs have been lost, and investments have been jeopardized. We must make certain that those for whom we share responsibility do not go hungry or unclothed or unsheltered. When the priesthood of this Church works together as one in meeting these vexing conditions, near miracles take place.

We urge all Latter-day Saints to be prudent in their planning, to be conservative in their living, and to avoid excessive or unnecessary debt. 23

Noah heeded God’s command to build an ark…that they might be saved from the flood waters. Yet there was no evidence of rain and flood. His actions were considered irrational. The sun was shining and life moved forward as usual. But time ran out. The floods came, the disobedient were drowned. When God speaks and we obey, we will always be right. 24

Noah heeded God’s command to build an ark…that they might be saved from the floodwaters….Yet there was no evidence of rain and flood…His actions were considered irrational…The sun was shining and life moved forward as usual. But time ran out…The floods came, the disobedient were drowned… When God speaks and we obey, we will always be right. 25


1 Timothy 5:8

But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. 26

D&C 88:119

Organize yourselves; prepare very needful thing… 27

D&C 136:27

Thou shalt be diligent in preserving what thou hast, that thou mayest be a wise steward… 28

D&C 78:7

For if you will that I give unto you a place in the celestial world, you must prepare yourselves by doing the things which I have commanded you and required of you. 29

D&C 1:12

Prepare ye, prepare ye for that which is to come, for the Lord is nigh. 30

Doctrine and Covenants 29:

Be prepared in all things against the day when tribulations and desolations are sent forth upon the wicked. 31

Supporting Statements

George A. Smith

How on the face of the earth could a man enjoy his religion when he had 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. 32

A good many of us claim our decent from Joseph, who was sold into Egypt. He was the instrument of the Almighty in saving the Egyptians, through the interpretation of the King’s dream of the seven fat and the seven lean kine, and the seven full and the seven blighted ears of corn. He prescribed the means by which the storehouses of Egypt here filled with corn, and when the seven years of famine came the whole people were actually saved from death through the wisdom of Joseph in laying up bread. We expect to be saviors on Mount Zion in the last days. We all exercise faith that God may give to our President wisdom and understanding to foresee the evils with which we may be threatened, and to take measures to avert them. Suppose that he comes forward and tells us how to prepare, and we neglect his counsel, then the watchman is clear, and we are liable to the dangers and difficulties resulting from disobedience. If the King of Egypt had not observed the counsels of Joseph almost the whole people would have been destroyed. As it was, those who did not obey Joseph’s counsel were under the necessity of selling all their property, and ultimately themselves, for slaves to the king, in order to obtain that bread which they could have laid up during the seven years of plenty, if they had obeyed Joseph’s counsel. 33

Orson Hyde

Remember the counsel that is given, ‘…Store up all your grain, and take care of it!’…And I tell you 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. 34

Dallin H. Oaks

Signs of the Second Coming are all around us and seem to be increasing in frequency and intensity. For example, the list of major earthquakes in The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 2004 shows twice as many earthquakes in the decades of the 1980s and 1990s as in the two preceding decades (pp. 189–90). It also shows further sharp increases in the first several years of this century. The list of notable floods and tidal waves and the list of hurricanes, typhoons, and blizzards worldwide show similar increases in recent years (pp. 188–89). Increases by comparison with 50 years ago can be dismissed as changes in reporting criteria, but the accelerating pattern of natural disasters in the last few decades is ominous…. While we are powerless to alter the fact of the Second Coming and unable to know its exact time, we can accelerate our own preparation and try to influence the preparation of those around us…. We need to make both temporal and spiritual preparation for the events prophesied at the time of the Second Coming. And the preparation most likely to be neglected is the one less visible and more difficult–the spiritual. A 72-hour kit of temporal supplies may prove valuable for earthly challenges, but, as the foolish virgins learned to their sorrow, a 24-hour kit of spiritual preparation is of greater and more enduring value.

We are living in the prophesied time ‘when peace shall be taken from the earth’ (D&C 1:35,) when ‘all things shall be in commotion’ and ‘men’s hearts shall fail them’ (D&C 88:91.) There are many temporal causes of commotion, including wars and natural disasters, but an even greater cause of current ‘commotion’ is spiritual. 35

No one knows the time of His coming, but the faithful are taught to study the signs of it and be prepared for it…We need to make both temporal and spiritual preparation for the events prophesied at the time of the Second Coming. 36

Heber C. Kimball

Will you be slack, brethren, and let the evil come upon us, when we forewarn you of the future events that are coming;… We are telling of what the prophets have said-of what the Lord has said to Joseph. Wake up now, wake up, O Israel, and lay up your grain and your stores. I tell you that there is trouble coming upon the world… 37

George Q. Cannon

The greatest events that have been spoken of by all the Holy Prophets will come along so naturally as the consequences of certain causes, that unless our eyes are enlightened by the Spirit of God, and the spirit of revelation rests upon us, we will fail to see that these are the events predicted by the Holy Prophets. 38

Vaughn J. Featherstone

The Lord will make it possible, if we make a firm commitment, for every LDS family to have a year’s supply of food reserves … All we have to do is to decide, commit to do it, and then keep the commitment. Miracles will take place: the way will be opened and we will have our storage areas filled. (1976 General Conference, Vaughn J. Featherstone, https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1976/04/food-storage?lang=eng)

L. Tom Perry

I believe it is time, and perhaps with some urgency, to review the counsel we have received dealing with our personal and family preparedness. … With events in the world today, it must be considered with all seriousness. 39

Bruce R. McConkie

I stand before the Church this day and raise the warning voice. … It is a voice calling upon the Lord’s people to prepare for the troubles and desolations which are about to be poured out upon the world without measure. For the moment we live in a day of peace and prosperity but it shall not ever be thus. Great trials lie ahead. All of the sorrows and perils of the past are but a foretaste of what is yet to be. And we must prepare ourselves temporally and spiritually. 40

James E. Faust

We should ask ourselves; What are the Brethren saying? The living prophets can open the visions of eternity; they give counsel on how to overcome the world. We cannot know that counsel if we do not listen. We cannot receive the blessings we are promised if we do not follow the counsel given. 41

Vaughn J. Featherstone

Do I share with my neighbors who have not followed the counsel? And what about the nonmembers who do not have a year’s supply? Do we have to share with them?” No, we don’t have to share—we get to share! Let us not be concerned about silly thoughts of whether we would share or not. Of course we would share! What would Jesus do? I could not possibly eat food and see my neighbors starving. And if you starve to death after sharing, “greater love hath no man than this …” (John 15:13.) . . . Now what about those who would plunder and break in and take that which we have stored for our families’ needs? Don’t give this one more idle thought. 42

  1. First Presidency letter, 24 June 1988
  2. First Presidency letter, 24 June 1988
  3. JD, vol. 8, p. 68.
  4. Brigham Young Deseret News, July 18, 1860, 153.
  5. George Albert Smith, Deseret News, Mar. 4, 1868, 26
  6. President Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle, 252-253.
  7. Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 372.
  8. President Harold B. Lee
  9. Harold B. Lee, Deseret News, Church section, December 20, 1941, p. 7; see also D&C 45:9.
  10. Ezra Taft Benson
  11. Ezra Taft Benson, CR October 1980, Ensign 10 [November 1980]: 33.
  12. Ezra Taft Benson, God, Family, Country: Our Three Great Loyalties [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974], 266.
  13. Ezra Taft Benson, “Prepare Ye,” Ensign, Vol. 4. No. 1, January, 1973, p. 81
  14. Ezra Taft Benson, “Prepare Yourself for the Great Day of the Lord,” New Era, May 1982, p. 50
  15. Ezra Taft Benson, God, Family, Country: Our Three Great Loyalties [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974], 270.
  16. Ezra Taft Benson, God, Family, Country: Our Three Great Loyalties [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974], 271.
  17. Ezra Taft Benson, God, Family, Country: Our Three Great Loyalties [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974], 273.
  18. Gordon B. Hinckley (General Conference, April 1983)
  19. Gordon B. Hinckley (General Conference, October 1992
  20. Ezra Taft Benson, “In His Steps” (Church Educational System fireside, Feb. 8, 1987); see also “In His Steps,” in 1979 Devotional Speeches of the Year: BYU Devotional and Fireside Addresses (1980), 59.
  21. CR, Gordon B. Hinckley, Oct. 1998, 70-72; Ensign, Nov. 1998, 53-54
  22. Thomas S. Monson, Conference Report, Apr. 1996, 61; or Ensign, May 1996, 43
  23. President Thomas S. Monson, October 2008 Priesthood Session, General Conference
  24. Thomas S. Monson (October 2002 Ensign)
  25. T.S.Monson, Ensign 10-07
  26. 1 Timothy 5:8
  27. D&C 88:119
  28. D&C 136:27
  29. D&C 78:7
  30. D&C 1:12
  31. Doctrine and Covenants 29:8
  32. Elder George A. Smith, Journal of Discourses, Volume 12, page 142.
  33. George A. Smith, Journal of Discourses, vol. 12, pp. 141,142
  34. Orson Hyde, Journal of Discourses, vol. 5, p. 17.
  35. Dallin H. Oaks, Conference Report, April 2004, “Preparation for the Second Coming.”
  36. Oct. 2007 VT Message in Ensign, Dallin H. Oaks
  37. Heber C. Kimball (Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, p. 336-9)
  38. George Q. Cannon, Nov. 2, 1879, JD 21:266-67.
  39. L. Tom Perry, in Conference Report, Oct. 1995, 47; or Ensign, Nov. 1995, 36
  40. Bruce R. McConkie, Ensign May 1979, pp. 92-93.
  41. James E. Faust, Reach Up For the Light, pg. 17.
  42. Vaughn J. Featherstone, “Food Storage,” Ensign, May 1976, 116.
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