In the November 1995 Ensign, Elder L. Tom Perry touched on the issue of preparedness. He stated:
On a daily basis we witness widely fluctuating inflation; wars; interpersonal conflicts; national disasters; variances in weather conditions; innumerable forces of immorality, crime, and violence; attacks and pressures on the family and individuals; technological advances that make occupations obsolete; and so on. The need for preparation is abundantly clear. The great blessing of being prepared gives us freedom from fear, as guaranteed to us by the Lord in the Doctrine and Covenants: “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear” (D&C 38:30).1
At the priesthood session of General Conference in November 1998, President Gordon B. Hinkley likewise warned that it was time to get our houses in order.2 After citing Pharaoh’s dream of seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine in Genesis 42, President Hinckley warned about possible financial reversals both personal and in the world at large. He related the following:
No one knows when emergencies will strike. I am somewhat familiar with the case of a man who was highly successful in his profession. He lived in comfort. He built a large home. Then one day he was suddenly involved in a serious accident. Instantly, without warning, he almost lost his life. He was left a cripple. Destroyed was his earning power. He faced huge medical bills. He had other payments to make. He was helpless before his creditors. One moment he was rich, the next he was broke.3
Later, in 2002, President Hinckley again reminded us of the importance of being prepared, saying:
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 may affect any of us.
We have a great welfare program with facilities for such things as grain storage in various areas. It is important that we do this. But 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.
I do not predict any impending disaster. I hope that there will not be one. But prudence should govern our lives. Everyone who owns a home recognizes the need for fire insurance. We hope and pray that there will never be a fire. Nevertheless, we pay for insurance to cover such a catastrophe, should it occur.
We ought to do the same with reference to family welfare.
We can begin ever so modestly. 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. As all of you recognize, this counsel is not new. But I fear that so many feel that a long-term food supply is so far beyond their reach that they make no effort at all.
Begin in a small way, my brethren, and gradually build toward a reasonable objective. Save a little money regularly, and you will be surprised how it accumulates.
Get out of debt and rid yourself of the terrible bondage that debt brings.4
1 Perry, L. Tom, “If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear,” Ensign 35 (Nov. 1995).
2 Hinckley, Gordon B., “To the Boys and the Men,” Ensign (Nov. 1998).
4 Hinckley, Gordon B., “To Men of the Priesthood,” Ensign (Nov. 2002).