In Joel 2:28-29 we read:
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
Also, Joseph Smith taught:
The Holy Ghost is a revelator… no man can receive the Holy Ghost without receiving revelations (HC 6:58)
The Bible Dictionary contained in the back of the King James version of the Bible published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints states:
Divine revelation is one of the grandest concepts and principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, for without it, man could not know of the things of God and could not be saved with any degree of salvation in the eternities. Continuous revelation from God to His Saints, through the Holy Ghost or by other means, such as visions, dreams, or visitations, makes possible daily guidance along true paths and leads the faithful soul to complete and eternal salvation in the celestial kingdom. The principle of gaining knowledge by revelation is the principle of salvation. It is the making known of divine truth by communication with the heavens and consists not only of revelation of the plan of salvation to the Lord’s prophets but also a confirmation in the hearts of the believers that the revelation to the prophets is true. It also consists of individual guidance for every person who seeks for it and follows the prescribed course of faith, repentance, and obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
So there should be no question in anyone’s mind that the LDS Church strongly believes in the principle of individuals being able to receive divine revelation.
On the other hand, there have been several authors who have published what they claim to be special dreams or visions of events that are soon to transpire. Again, turning to the Bible Dictionary section on revelation, we find the following:
In the Lord’s Church the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve are prophets, seers, and revelators to the Church and to the world. In addition, every person may receive personal revelation for his own benefit. It is contrary to the laws of God for any person to receive revelation for those higher in authority (see D&C 28:2–8; 100:11; 107:91–92).
Thus, the following response from the Church regarding inquiries relating to the published dreams and visions as well as recommendations for extreme preparations should come as no surprise. Of course, how one defines “extreme preparations” probably depends in large measure on a family’s resources and where they live. I am not aware of any Church publication or General Conference talk that defines such.
As one who prefers to attribute good motives to others until soundly proven otherwise, I prefer to think that the individuals who have published their dreams and visions have done so in full belief that they were told to do so. The problem comes in with stewardship, as outlined above. It is the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve whom the Lord has tasked with revealing those coming world events that He, the Lord, wants revealed to the world. Individuals certainly may receive advance knowledge of situations and events they personally should prepare for, but let’s not interpret the guidance given to someone else as guidance intended for everyone.
Church Responds to Inquiries About Preparedness
(September 26, 2015) In response to several news media inquiries, the Church recently issued the following statement:
The Church encourages our members to be spiritually and physically prepared for life’s ups and downs. For many decades, Church leaders have counseled members that, where possible, they should gradually build a supply of food, water and financial resources to ensure they are self-reliant during disasters and the normal hardships that are part of life, including illness, injury or unemployment.
This teaching to be self-reliant has been accompanied by the counsel of Church leaders to avoid being caught up in extreme efforts to anticipate catastrophic events.
The writings and speculations of individual Church members, some of which have gained currency recently, should be considered as personal accounts or positions that do not reflect Church doctrine.