36 Quotes from LDS Leaders re: Preparedness

  1. Family preparedness has been a long-established welfare principle. It is even more urgent today.  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.  (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, November 1987, p. 49)
  2. Hope is not knowledge, but rather the abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promise to us. It is confidence that if we live according to God’s laws and the words of His prophets now, we will receive desired blessings in the future. It is believing and expecting that our prayers will be answered. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance. In the language of the gospel, this hope is sure, unwavering, and active. The prophets of old speak of a “firm hope” and a “lively hope.” It is a hope glorifying God through good works. With hope comes joy and happiness. With hope, we can “have patience, and bear . . . [our] afflictions.” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Oct. 4, 2008 Gen. Conf.)
  3. Should the Lord decide at this time to cleanse the Church…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. (Ezra Taft Benson, Gen. Conf. April 6, 1965)
  4. 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, June 24, 1988)
  5. We learn to cultivate hope the same way we learn to walk, one step at a time. As we study the scriptures, speak with our Heavenly Father daily, commit to keep the commandments of God, like the Word of Wisdom, and to pay a full tithing, we attain hope. We grow in our ability to “abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost,” as we more perfectly live the gospel. There may be times when we must make a courageous decision to hope even when everything around us contradicts this hope. Like Father Abraham, we will “against hope [believe] in hope.” Or, as one writer expressed, “in the depth of winter, [we find] within [us] an invincible summer.”(Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Oct. 4, 2008 Gen. Conf.)
  6. Faith, hope, and charity complement each other, and as one increases, the others grow as well. Hope comes of faith, for without faith, there is no hope. In like manner faith comes of hope, for faith is “the substance of things hoped for.” Hope is critical to both faith and charity. When disobedience, disappointment, and procrastination erode faith, hope is there to uphold our faith. When frustration and impatience challenge charity, hope braces our resolve and urges us to care for our fellowmen even without expectation of reward. The brighter our hope, the greater our faith. The stronger our hope, the purer our charity. (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Oct. 4, 2008 Gen. Conf.)
  7. Each time a hope is fulfilled, it creates confidence and leads to greater hope. I can think of many instances in my life where I learned firsthand the power of hope. I well remember the days in my childhood encompassed by the horrors and despair of a world war, the lack of educational opportunities, life-threatening health issues during youth, and the challenging and discouraging economic experiences as a refugee. The example of our mother, even in the worst of times, to move forward and put faith and hope into action, not just worrying or wishful thinking, sustained our family and me and gave confidence that present circumstances would give way to future blessings.(Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Oct. 4, 2008 Gen. Conf.)


  1. With Nephi I declare: “Press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.” This is the quality of hope we must cherish and develop. Such a mature hope comes in and through our Savior Jesus Christ, for “every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as [the Savior] is pure.” The Lord has given us a reassuring message of hope: “Fear not, little flock.” God will wait with “open arms to receive” those who give away their sins and continue in faith, hope, and charity. (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Oct. 4, 2008 Gen. Conf.)
  2. And to all who suffer—to all who feel discouraged, worried, or lonely—I say with love and deep concern for you, never give in. Never surrender. Never allow despair to overcome your spirit. Embrace and rely upon the Hope of Israel, for the love of the Son of God pierces all darkness, softens all sorrow, and gladdens every heart. Of this I testify and leave you my blessing in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.(Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Oct. 4, 2008 Gen. Conf.)
  3. What is a provident provider? All of us are responsible to provide for ourselves and our families in both temporal and spiritual ways.  To provide providently, we must practice the principles of provident living: joyfully living within our means, being content with what we have, avoiding excessive debt, and diligently saving and preparing for rainy-day emergencies.  When we live providently, we can provide for ourselves and our families and also follow the Savior’s example to serve and bless others….Whenever we [go into debt to buy things we can’t afford – and things we do not really need] we become poor temporally and spiritually….When faced with the choice to buy, consume, or engage in worldly things and activities, we all need to learn to say to one another, “We can’t afford it, even though we want it!” or “We can afford it, but we don’t need it…” (Robert D. Hales, Apr 4, 2009, Gen. Conf.)
  4. From President Ezra Taft Benson: “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.” (Prepare For The Days of Tribulation, WWW.LDS.ORG, Ensign, Nov. 1980)
  5. Cash is not food, it is not clothing, it is not coal, it is not shelter; and we will get to the place where no matter how much cash we have, we cannot secure those things in the quantities which we may need ¼ All that you can be certain you will have is that which you produce. We must purge our hearts of the love of ease; we must put out from our lives the curse of idleness. God declared that mortal man should earn his bread by the sweat of his brow. That is the law of this world (President J. Reuben Clark, Conference Report, Apr. 1937, p. 26, quoted by A. Theodore Tuttle, Ensign, May 1978)
  6. Let’s do these things because they are right, because they are satisfying, and because we are obedient to the counsels of the Lord. In this spirit we will be prepared for most eventualities, and the Lord will prosper and comfort us. (Spencer W. Kimball, The Life of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 115).
  7. What does it really mean when we say the church will take care of us? Consider the following: My brothers and sisters, throughout the history of the world, the Lord has been concerned for the eternal welfare of the souls of his children. Over the past fifty years, inspired leaders have taught welfare principles to help us plan ahead for difficult times that may come in our lives. The Church has grown and is now spread over many countries throughout the world. But the strength of the Church and the Lord’s real storehouse is in the homes and hearts of his people (Robert D. Hales, “Welfare Principles to Guide Our Lives: An Eternal Plan for the Welfare of Men’s Souls,” Ensign, May 1986, p.28)
  8. The Lord does help when we go to Him in times of need, especially when we are committed to His work and respond to His will. But the Lord only helps those who are willing to help themselves. He expects His children to be self-reliant to the degree they can be. Brigham Young instructed the Saints, “Instead of searching after what the Lord is going to do for us, let us inquire what we can do for ourselves.” (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1978, p. 293.) (L. Tom Perry, Gen. Conf. Oct. 1991, Becoming Self-Reliant)
  9. Independence and self-reliance are critical to our spiritual and temporal growth. Whenever we get into situations which threaten our self-reliance, we will find our freedoms threatened as well. If we increase our dependence on anything or anyone except the Lord, we will find an immediate decrease in our freedom to act. As President Heber J. Grant declared, “Nothing destroys the individuality of a man, a woman, or a child as much as the failure to be self-reliant.” (Relief Society Magazine, Oct. 1937, p. 627.) Never before in my life has the doctrine of self-reliance been more needed to be preached and encouraged for the benefit of the Saints. (L. Tom Perry, Gen. Conf. Oct. 1991, Becoming Self-Reliant)
  10. The principle of self-reliance is spiritual as well as temporal. It is not a doomsday program; it is something to be practiced each and every day of our lives. (L. Tom Perry, Gen. Conf. Oct. 1991, Becoming Self-Reliant)
  11. Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them. (Ezekiel 38:7)
  12. Is there a happy future for you and your posterity in these latter days? Absolutely! …. Will there be difficult times when those ominous latter-day warnings and prophecies are fulfilled? Of course there will. There always have been. Be prepared. – Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, fireside address given at Brigham Young University on 12 September 2004.
  13. “Where preparations are being made there will be little difficulty, but where no preparation has been made, suffering and difficulties will come. … This has been the message of this Church since the institution of the Welfare Program, and we constantly bring it before you.” Program of the Church, John H. Vandenberg, Essentials of Home Production & Storage, p. 6
  14. The little gardens and the few trees are very valuable. I remember when the sisters used to say, “Well, but we could buy it at the store a lot cheaper than we can put it up.” But that isn’t quite the answer, is it, Sister Spafford? Because there will come a time when there isn’t a store. Spencer W. Kimball, General Conference Report, April 1974, pp. 184-185
  15. The Church was two years old when the Lord revealed that “the idler shall not have place in the church, except he repent and mend his ways.” (D&C 75:29.) The Welfare handbook instructs: “[We must] earnestly teach and urge Church members to be self-sustaining to the full extent of their powers. No true Latter-day Saint will … voluntarily shift from himself the burden of his own support. So long as he can, under the inspiration of the Almighty and with his own labors, he will supply himself with the necessities of life.” (1952, p. 2.) We have succeeded fairly well in teaching Latter-day Saints that they should take care of their own material needs and then contribute to the welfare of those who cannot provide for themselves. If a member is unable to sustain himself, then he is to call upon his own family, and then upon the Church, in that order, and not upon the government at all. –Boyd K. Packer, Gen. Conf. Apr. 1978
  16. Remember the Law of Witnesses. “Both history and prophecy—and, I may add, common sense—bear witness to the fact that no civilization can long endure which follows the course charted by bemused manipulators and now being implemented as government welfare programs all around the world.” A. Theodore Tuttle, Gen. Conf. Apr 1978 quoting Pres. Marion G. Romney, Conf. Report, Apr. 1976, p. 169. When the church welfare program was first announced in 1936, the First Presidency stated, “Our primary purpose was to set up, in so far as it might be possible, a system under which the curse of idleness would be done away with, the evils of a dole abolished, and independence, industry, thrift and self respect be once more established amongst our people. The aim of the Church is to help people help themselves.” (signed) Heber J. Grant, J. Reuben Clark, JR., David O. McKay
  17. “We have the general warning that comes from…world conditions, but we have no precise timetable…. “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” (Matthey 24:36) With no warning, no last-minute preparation is possible. [The Savior] gave us another parable to try to make clear the importance of being always prepared. It is the parable of the Ten Virgins, a powerful warning to all men….I believe the Ten Virgins represent the people of the Church of Jesus Christ and not the rank and file of the world…. The Lord has given us this parable as a special warning….Now, too late, they were becoming conscious of the tragedy of unpreparedness.” Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle, pp. 253-255
  18. We live in turbulent times. Often the future is unknown; therefore, it behooves us to prepare for uncertainties. When the time for decision arrives, the time for preparation is past. Thomas S. Monson, First Presidency message, Ensign, September 2014
  19. “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.” 1 Timothy 5:8
  20. “Important to remember is the solemn truth: Obedience to God’s law will bring liberty and eternal life, whereas disobedience will bring captivity and death.” Thomas S. Monson, Gen. Conf., Oct. 1979

Disobedience does not always involve doing bad things. More often, it involves procrastinating things we know we ought to do.

  1. “I have a sense and a feeling as we have watched some of these disasters in the world that this is a time for us to learn and prepare from these experiences. Sister Thompson gave a testimony of that, and the preparation happens in our own homes. There are not enough tents in the world to furnish every person with a tent unless the members of the church have a tent in their own homes…a simple thing like that. And then the storehouse is pressed down, heaped over and running over in our own homes. Some of you have student apartments, how prepared are you? If an earthquake or economic disaster happened, would you have enough water to drink for 24 hours? Would you be able to get by until help could come to you. Those are the kind of the things we need to be thinking about in our day and time, the Lord expects us to do our little part and then He can bring on the miracles and then we don’t need to fear.” Sister Julie Beck, General Relief Society President, in video on LDS.ORG 4/11/2010 Relief Society Training Meeting
  2. All of the virgins, wise and foolish, had accepted the invitation to the wedding supper; they had knowledge of the program and had been warned of the important day to come. They were not the gentiles or the heathens or the pagans, nor were they necessarily corrupt and reprobate, but they were knowing people who were foolishly unprepared …. Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle, p. 254
  3. The foolish virgins were not averse to buying oil. They knew they should have oil. They merely procrastinated, not knowing when the bridegroom would come….Midnight is so late for those who have procrastinated. Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle, p. 256
  4. If—verily I say unto you—if the Church with one united effort perform their duties; if they do this, the work shall be complete—if they do not this in all humility, making preparation from this time forth, like Joseph in Egypt, laying up store against the time of famine, every man having his tent, his horses, his chariots, his armory, his cattle, his family, and his whole substance in readiness against the time when it shall be said: To your tents, O Israel! Let not this be noised abroad; let every heart beat in silence, and every mouth be shut. (Joseph Smith, History of the Church 2:145)
  5. Any man may believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and be happy in that belief, and yet not obey his commandments, and at last be cut down for disobedience to the Lord’s righteous requirements. (Joseph Smith, History of the Church 5:426)
  6. To get salvation we must not only do some things, but everything which God has commanded. (Joseph Smith, History of the Church 6:223)
  7. Now, Brother William [W. Phelps], if what I have said is true, how careful men ought to be what they do in the last days, lest they are cut short of their expectations, and they that think they stand should fall, because they keep not the Lord’s commandments… (Joseph Smith, History of the Church 1:299)
  8. Will the mere admission, that this is the will of heaven ever benefit us if we do not comply with all its teachings? Do we not offer violence to the Supreme Intelligence of heaven, when we admit the truth of its teachings, and do not obey them? Do we not descend below our own knowledge, and the better wisdom which heaven has endowed us with, by such a course of conduct? (Joseph Smith, History of the Church 2:11)
  9. Unless they [the brethren of the Church] do the will of God, God will not help them; and if God does not help them, all is vain. (Joseph Smith, History of the Church 2:48)


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