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. 1
Church members can begin their home storage by storing the basic foods that would be required to keep them alive if they did not have anything else to eat. Depending on where members live, those basics might include water, wheat or other grains, legumes, salt, honey or sugar, powdered milk, and cooking oil.” … “When members have stored enough of these essentials to meet the needs of their family for one year, they may decide to add other items that they are accustomed to using day to day.” … “Families who do not have the resources to acquire a year’s supply can begin their storage by obtaining supplies to last for a few months. Members should be prudent and not panic or go to extremes in this effort.” 2
If we are to be saved in an ark, as Noah and his family were, it will be because we build it… 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 make habitations, 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. 3
My faith does not lead me to think the Lord will provide us with roast pigs, bread already buttered, &c. He will give us the ability to raise the grain, to obtain the fruits of the earth, to make habitations, 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.
Will you do this? “Aye, maybe I will,” says one, and “maybe I won’t,” says another; “the kingdom that cannot support me I don’t think of much account; the Lord has said it is His business to provide for His Saints, and I guess He will do it.” I have no doubt but He will provide for His Saints, but, if you do not take this counsel and be industrious and prudent, you will not long continue to be one of His Saints; then continue to do right that ye may be His Saints; sow, plant, buy half a bushel of wheat here, and a bushel there, and store it up till you get your five or seven years’ provisions on hand.4
The Lord is not going to disappoint either Babylon or Zion, with regard to famine, pestilence, earthquakes or storms…lay up your wheat and other provision against 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. 5
“The day will come, when, as we have been told, we shall all see the necessity of making our own shoes and clothing and raising our own food. . . .” 6
Ezra Taft Benson
A man should not only be prepared to protect himself physically, but he should also have on hand sufficient supplies to sustain himself and his family in an emergency. For many years the leaders of the Mormon Church have recommended, with instructions, that every family have on hand at least a year’s supply of basic food, clothing, fuel (where possible), and provisions for shelter. This has been most helpful to families suffering temporary reverses. It can and will be useful in many circumstances in the days ahead. We also need to get out of financial bondage, to be debt-free. 7
I ask you earnestly, have you provided for your family a year’s 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. 8
For years we have been counseled to have on hand a year’s supply of food. Yet there are some today who will not start storing until the Church comes out with a detailed monthly home storage program. Now, suppose that never happens. We still cannot say we have not been warned.
Should the Lord decide at this time to cleanse the Church-and the need for that cleansing seems to be increasing-a famine in this land of one year’s duration could wipe out a large percentage of slothful members, including some ward and stake officers. Yet we cannot say we have not been warned. 9
You do not need to go into debt to obtain a year’s supply. Plan to build up your food supply just as you would a savings account. Save a little for storage each paycheck. Can or bottle fruit 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. Store seeds and have sufficient tools on hand to do the job. If you are saving and planning for a second car or a television set or some item which merely adds to your comfort or pleasure, you may need to change your priorities. We urge you to do this prayerfully and do it now. I speak with a feeling of great urgency. 10
Food production is just one part of the repeated emphasis that you store a provision of food which will last for at least a year wherever it is legally permissible to do so. The Church has not told you what foods should be stored. This decision is left up to individual members. 11
Our bishops storehouses are not intended to stock enough commodities to care for all the members of the Church. Storehouses are only established to care for the poor and the needy. For this reason, members of the Church have been instructed to personally store a year’s supply of food, clothing, and, where possible, fuel. By following this counsel, most members will be prepared and able to care for themselves and their family members, and be able to share with others as may be needed. 12
We encourage families to have on hand this year’s supply; and we say it over and over and over and repeat over and over the scripture of the Lord where he says, “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46.) How empty it is as they put their spirituality, so-called, into action and call him by his important names, but fail to do the things which he says. A man should not only be prepared to protect himself physically, but he should also have on hand sufficient supplies to sustain himself and his family in an emergency. For many years the leaders of the Mormon Church have recommended, with instructions, that every family have on hand at least a year’s supply of basic food, clothing, fuel (where possible), and provisions for shelter. This has been most helpful to families suffering temporary reverses. It can and will be useful in many circumstances in the days ahead. We also need to get out of financial bondage, to be debt-free.” 13
For over forty years, 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. Today there are compelling reasons to re-emphasize this counsel. 14
For the righteous, the gospel provides a warning before calamity, a program for the crises, refuge for each disaster…. The Lord has warned us of famines, but the righteous will have listened to the prophets and stored at least one year’s supply of survival food… 15
Let us be in a position so we are able to not only feed ourselves through home production and storage, but others as well. 16
Harold B. Lee
Perhaps if we think not in terms of a year’s supply of what we ordinarily would use, and think more in terms of what it would take to keep us alive in case we didn’t have anything else to eat, that last would be very easy to put in storage for a year … just enough to keep us alive if we didn’t have anything else to eat. We wouldn’t get fat on it, but we would live; and if you think in terms of that kind of annual storage rather than a whole year’s supply of everything that you are accustomed to eat which, in most cases, is utterly impossible for the average family, I think we will come nearer to what President Clark advised us way back in 1937. 18
Spencer W. Kimball
Maintain a year’s supply. The Lord has urged that his people save for the rainy days, prepare for the difficult times, and put away for emergencies, a year’s supply or more of bare necessities so that when comes the flood, the earthquake, the famine, the hurricane, the storms of life, our families can be sustained through the dark days. How many of us have complied with this? We strive with the Lord, finding many excuses: We do not have room for storage. The food spoils. We do not have the funds to do it. We do not like these common foods. It is not needed — there will always be someone to help in trouble. The government will come to the rescue. And some intend to obey but procrastinate. 19
Consider the important (food storage) program which we must never forget nor put in the background. As we become more affluent and our bank accounts enlarge, there comes a feeling of security, and we feel sometimes that we do not need the supply that has been suggested by the Brethren. . . . We must remember that conditions could change and a year’s supply of basic commodities could be very much appreciated by us or others. So we would do well to listen to what we have been told and to follow it explicitly. 20
We want you to be ready with your personal storehouses filled with at least a year’s supply. You don’t argue why it cannot be done; you just plan to organize and get it done. 21
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. 22
Gordon B. Hinckley
As we have been continuously counseled for more than 60 years, let us have some food set aside that would sustain us for a time in case of need. But let us not panic nor go to extremes. Let us be prudent in every respect. And, above all, my brothers and sisters, let us move forward with faith in the Living God and His Beloved Son. 23
The best place to have some food set aside is within our homes, together with a little money in savings. The best welfare program is our own welfare program. Five or six cans of wheat in the home are better than a bushel in the welfare granary. … We can begin with a one week’s food supply and gradually build it to a month, and then to three months. I am speaking now of food to cover basic needs. 24
Brethren, I wish to urge again the importance of self-reliance on the part of every individual Church member and family. None of us knows when a catastrophe might strike. Sickness, injury, unemployment…prudence should govern our lives … We can begin with a one week food supply and gradually build it to a month, and then to three months. I am speaking now of food to cover basic needs. … I fear that so many feel that a long-term supply is so far beyond their reach that they make no effort at all. Begin in a small way… gradually build toward a reasonable objective. 25
Thomas S. Monson
Recent surveys of the Church members have shown a serious erosion in the number of families who have a year’s supply of life’s necessities. Most members plan to do it. Too few have begun. 26
Prepare ye, prepare ye for that which is to come, for the Lord is nigh;
J. Reuben Clark, Jr.
Let us avoid debt as we would avoid a plague…Let every head of every household see to it that he has on hand enough food and clothing, and, where possible, fuel also, for at least a year ahead…Let every head of household aim to own his own home, free from mortgage. Let us again clothe ourselves with these proved and sterling virtues–honesty, truthfulness, chastity, sobriety, temperance, industry, and thrift; let us discard all covetousness and greed. 27
James E. Faust
Every father and mother are the family’s storekeepers. They should store whatever their own family would like to have in the case of an emergency. . . . Some have said, “We have followed this counsel in the past and have never had need to use our year’s supply, so we have difficulty keeping this in mind as a major priority.” Perhaps following this counsel could be the reason why they have not needed to use their reserve. By continued rotation of the supply it can be kept usable with no waste.28
A year’s supply of food storage is beneficial in several ways:
1. It provides peace of mind as we obey the counsel to store.
2. It helps ensure survival in case of personal or natural disaster.
3. It strengthens skills in preparing and using basic foods 29
L. Tom Perry
Acquire and store a reserve of food and supplies that will sustain life. Obtain clothing and build a savings account on a sensible, well-planned basis that can serve well in times of emergency. As long as I can remember, we have been taught to prepare for the future and to obtain a year’s supply of necessities. . . . I believe the time to disregard this counsel is over. With the events in the world today, it must be considered with all seriousness. . . . Create a plan if you don’t already have one, or update your present plan . . . We are not in a situation that requires panic buying, but we do need to be careful in purchasing and rotating the storage that we’re putting away. 30
Vaughn J. Featherstone
Now you ask where do I get the money for these things. I agree I need them, but I’m having a hard time making ends meet. Here is how you do it: Use one or more of the following suggestions: Food Storage Christmas: Use 25-50% of money for food storage, New Clothes: Don’t buy instead make it last a few more months, use that money for food storage, Vacation/ Holiday: no vacation or holiday until food storage is complete, Recreation: Cut by 50% use money for food storage, find fun, free things to make lasting memories, Snowmobiles/campers/boats: sell or trade to get a year’s supply, Change Diet: eat cheaper foods and use extra money for food storage.
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)
Heber C. Kimball
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. Do you not comprehend how comfortable it will be for us to know that we have grain enough to last us seven years? But it would make me feel bad for brother Brigham, myself, and a few others, and the Tithing Office, to have our granaries full, and the rest of the people have none. Why? Because we should have to hand out of our granaries as long as there was a kernel left. (Voice: “We should have to buy the whole of them.”) Yes, we should have to buy your fine dresses, your jewellery, and everything you have got; which we shall do, if you do not lay up in store. 31
“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…” 32
“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. When that time comes, brethren and sisters, you will wish you had commenced sooner to make your own clothing. I tell you God requires us to go into home manufacture; and prolong it as much as you like, you have got to do it.” 33
George A. Smith
A few years ago President Young gave counsel to the people of the Territory-most of whom agreed to it-to lay by seven 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 year’s supply laid up. 34
Let us heed the counsel given about storing up provisions, and, instead of freighting our food away to feed strangers, let as go to work and build good substantial granaries, and fill them with breadstuff, until every man and woman has enough on hand to last for seven years. 35
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. 36
- The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints [Ezra Taft Benson, Gordon B. Hinckley, and Thomas S. Monson] June 24, 1988 in a letter to General Authorities and the following Priesthood leaders in the United States and Canada: Area Authorities [formerly Regional Reps.]; Stake, Mission, and District Presidents; Bishops and Branch Presidents.
- The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in a letter to General Authorities; Area Authority Seventies; Stake, Mission, and District Presidents; Bishops and Branch Presidents January 20, 2002
- Brigham Young, (quoted by Marion G. Romney – April Conference, 1976)
- Journal of Discourses, Brigham Young. 10:294
- Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Discourses, 18:121
- Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, p. 166.
- Ezra Taft Benson, “God, Family, Country” p. 331.
- Ezra Taft Benson (General Conference, October 1987)
- Ezra Taft Benson, “God, Family, Country” p. 383.
- Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, October 1980, Ensign 10 [November 1980]: 33.
- Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, October 1980, Ensign 10 [November 1980]: 33.
- Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, April 1977, Ensign 7 [May 1977]: 82.
- Ezra Taft Benson, “God, Family, Country” p. 331.
- Ezra Taft Benson – October Conference, 1980
- Ezra Taft Benson (General Conference, October 1973)
- Ezra Taft Benson, in Conference Report, Oct. 1980, 48; or Ensign, Nov. 1980, 34
- Ezra Taft Benson, God, Family, Country: Our Three Great Loyalties [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974], 270.
- Harold B. Lee, Welfare conference address, October 1, 1966.
- The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.375
- Spencer W. Kimball, in Conference Report, Apr. 1976, 170; or Ensign, May 1976, 124
- Spencer W. Kimball, August 1976
- Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 372.
- Gordon B. Hinckley, in Conference Report, Oct. 2001, 89; or Ensign, Nov. 2001, 73.
- Gordon B. Hinkley, “To Men of the Priesthood,” Ensign, Nov. 2002, 5.
- Gordon B. Hinkley, Priesthood Session, October 2002.
- Thomas S. Monson (September 1986 Ensign)
- President J. Reuben Clark, Jr. – April 1937 General Conference – Welfare conference address, October 1, 1966
- James E. Faust, in Conference Report, Apr. 1986, 26; or Ensign, May 1986, 22
- “Home Storage: Build on the Basics,” Ensign, June 1989, 40
- L. Tom Perry, in Conference Report, Oct. 1995, 47; or Ensign, Nov. 1995, 36
- A Discourse, by President Heber C. Kimball JoD 4:334
- Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, p. 336-9
- Journal of Discourses, vol. 5, p. 10
- George A. Smith, delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, October 9th, 1867. JoD 12:138
- George A Smith, JoD 12:142
- George A. Smith, Journal of Discourses, vol. 12, pp. 141,142