Simple & Easy – Emergency Preparedness
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“…And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil for our lamps are going out

“…And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil for our lamps are going out

“…And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you;’ but go rather to those who sell and buy for yourselves” (Matthew 25: 8-9). And the story tragically follows that the ill-equipped virgins left to obtain oil, while the Bridegroom came… and the door indefinitely closed.

Spiritual and physical preparation has long been a hallmark of God’s people. The ancient prophet, Joseph of Egypt, saved himself, family and his entire kingdom because of the revelatory interpretation given to him concerning Pharaoh’s dream and his strict obedience to follow it. Laying up seven years of food for rough times proved to be life-saving in Joseph’s case. Modern prophetic warnings have not changed from Old Testament times. The same counsel, for different circumstances, has been echoed by Thomas S. Monson who has said, “Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their year’s supply of food and clothing and were debt free. Today we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse: they have at least a year’s supply of debt and are food-free” (Thomas S. Monson, ‘That Noble Gift – Love at Home,’ Church News, 12 May 2001, 7).

Self-reliance, SELF-reliance, SELF-RELIANCE—a quality greatly emphasized within the Latter Day Saint community; it is faithfully lived but often simultaneously combined with out-of-balance attributes. Consider the following scenario: After years of feeling they should prepare for future calamities, Lisa and Jon finally decided to bite the bullet and buy their entire year’s supply in one day. Heading out to the store, they spent an entire day slaving and stressing over food that, when they arrived back home, they didn’t have room for. In the dead heat of summer, they left cans in their truck—some of which exploded because of the extreme heat and others that they probably never ate—or knew how to prepare, even if it were a time of famine.

Much like the parable of the foolish virgins who were scurrying here and hustling there to acquire oil, counsel from ancient and modern prophets has emphatically been given to members to “Be wise.” Save a little here and prepare a little there. Buy some extra cans of your favorite soups, fruits or vegetables when you are at the store, and slowly, over time, your bare cupboards will eventually turn into a supply for you, your family and friends.

Storing a year’s supply of food is valuable in several ways. Beyond the conviction that it is a commandment of God, it affords survival in times of personal or natural disasters and strengthens skills in preparing and using basic foods. (Home Storage: Build on the Basics,” Ensign, Jun 1989, 39) Along with food preparation, some recommended home emergency supplies include: prescription and other necessary medications, flashlight with extra batteries, battery-powered radio, extra blankets, first aid supplies (i.e vinyl gloves, antibiotic ointments, bandages, etc.).

In infant ears resonates prophetic counsel concerning preparation for physically demanding times to come. Prophets have emphatically stressed and will continue to emphasize emergency preparedness for individuals and families. Elder L Tom Perry has said, “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 would guess that the years of plenty have almost universally caused us to set aside this counsel. I believe the time to disregard this counsel is over. With events in the world today, it must be considered with all seriousness”
(L. Tom Perry, ‘If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear,’ Ensign, Nov 1995, 35).

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