Midvale Union Fort
 Multi-Stake Family History Center
540 East 7155 South in Midvale
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Thoughts by Pres Moss







Kenneth B. Moss


Church leaders for many years have encouraged members of the Church to prepare both spiritually and temporally. This counsel has been proven to be very important and prophetic over and over again. Preparedness becomes even more important in a world with great economic uncertainties as well as knowing we live in the last days prior to the Second Coming.

It is evident from the words of living prophets that our first priority is to prepare ourselves spiritually. Secondarily we should prepare ourselves temporally.  The Lord has stated: “…that all things unto me are spiritual.” (D&C 29:34)

Our temporal preparation should first focus on the guidelines the prophets have given, which are found on the Provident Living website. In conjunction with this we have also been counseled to “be anxiously engaged in a good cause and do many things of [our] free will.” (D&C 58:27) There are many other important resources on preparedness such as government emergency preparedness websites, etc.

We should be wise in our preparations. For example, the prophets have counseled us not to go into debt. They have emphasized the importance of doing what we can and then consistently build upon it. Each of us is entitled to inspiration in making these preparations. There is value to consider what items are necessities for our family and the importance to gradually acquire these additional items in the event of a trucking strike, natural disaster, epidemic, etc.

There have been many prophecies recorded in the scriptures as well as given by living prophets about future destructions that will take place in the last days. It is easy to become fearful when we read these prophecies. However, we have been counseled over and over again by ancient and modern prophets not to fear.

President Thomas S. Monson stated these hopeful words in the April 2009 General Conference: “My beloved brothers and sisters, fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith.” I believe a keyword of this wonderful quote is the word, “faith.”  We must remember that faith is an action word – it requires making an effort to demonstrate our faith.

The Lord has said: “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.” (D&C 38:30) This is a very important statement that has profound meaning. Since the early 1970s this scripture has been shared 57 times in General Conference. The demonstration of our faith in this context is to be obedient to the counsel of the prophets and prepare ourselves. The Lord has stated that we should “organize [ourselves] and prepare every needful thing…” (D&C 88:119)

It can be insightful to more fully understand the important statement “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear” to break the statement down into its component words.

If – the word “if” describes a condition – the outcome of “not fearing” is based on the condition of preparing. The word “if” is found 2,670 times in the scriptures and often in this context. In my personal scripture study I look for the word “if” in this context so I can highlight it to remind me that if we do a specific thing stated in the scriptures, then certain blessings or outcomes will come.

For example:

“… if [we] humble [ourselves] before [the Lord] and have faith in [the Lord], then will [the Lord] make weak things become strong unto [us].” (Ether 12:27)

“And if ye do always remember me ye shall have my Spirit to be with you.” (3 Nephi 18:11)

“And if thou art faithful in keeping my commandments, thou shalt be lifted up at the last day.” (D&C 5:35)

Ye – the word “ye” makes this statement personal – it applies to each of us individually. Each of us must prepare to avoid the fear.

Are – the word “are” is used in present tense, not past tense. We must be currently prepared – we cannot relax our preparedness based on the past or future intentions.

Prepared – the word prepared has context based on the counsel from living prophets that we are to have both spiritual and temporal preparation.

Ye – the word “ye” is used again on the blessing part of this statement. Each individual prepared shall not fear.

Shall Not – this is a strong statement from the Lord that we “shall not” fear, if we are prepared. It doesn’t say “might” or “may not”, but instead states forcefully “shall not” fear. The Lord has told us that He “is bound, when [we] do what [He] says.” (D&C 82:10)

Fear – the dictionary defines fear as “a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc. It is synonymous with: foreboding, apprehension, dread, terror, fright, panic, horror, etc. Obviously we want to prepare to avoid fear. The Lord states that when the signs of the times are manifested in their fullness that “all things shall be in commotion; and surely, men’s hearts shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all people.” (D&C 88:91)

This booklet is a compilation of prophetic warnings and counsel regarding the last days with specific instruction on spiritual and temporal preparedness. In addition it contains additional information on preparedness from other resources such as government recommendations.

Bishop Keith B. McMullin of the Presiding Bishopric promised in the April 2007 General Conference: “As we do our very best, we can be confident that ‘the barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail.’ We shall enjoy greater wisdom, security, peace of mind, and personal well-being.”





Chapter 1 – Signs of the Last Days....................................................................... 1

Chapter 2 – Be of Good Cheer.............................................................................. 11

Chapter 3 – Prophetic Counsel – Spiritual Preparedness………………………… 21

Chapter 4 – Prophetic Counsel – Temporal Preparedness ………………………. 33

Chapter 5 – Provident Living............................................................................... 39

Chapter 6 – Emergency Preparedness................................................................ 48

Appendix A – Sample 90-day Dinner Food Storage Plan.................................... 52

Appendix B – Sample Long-term Storage Inventory.......................................... 54

Appendix C - Family Home Storage Order Form............................................... 55

Appendix D - Stake & Ward Emergency Planning Guide.................................. 56

Appendix E – Things I Learned from Hurricane Sandy (Frank Ostmann)........ 58

Appendix F – The Top 100 Items That Will Disappear First.............................. 60


Signs of the Last Days

“He that feareth me shall be looking forth for the great day of the Lord to come, even for the signs of the coming of the Son of Man”

(D&C 45:39-40)

The Savior taught the parable of the fig tree whose tender new branches give a sign of the coming of summer. “So likewise,” when the elect shall see the signs of His coming “they shall know that he is near, even at the doors” (JS—M 1:38–39; see also Matt. 24:32–33; D&C 45:37–38).

In the April 2004 General Conference Elder Dallin H. Oaks spoke on the Second Coming:

…the importance of preparation for [the Second Coming of the Lord is] of supreme importance to each of us. The scriptures are rich in references to the Second Coming, an event eagerly awaited by the righteous and dreaded or denied by the wicked.

Four matters are indisputable to Latter-day Saints: (1) The Savior will return to the earth in power and great glory to reign personally during a millennium of righteousness and peace. (2) At the time of His coming there will be a destruction of the wicked and a resurrection of the righteous. (3) No one knows the time of His coming, but (4) the faithful are taught to study the signs of it and to be prepared for it. I wish to speak about the fourth of these great realities: the signs of the Second Coming and what we should do to prepare for it.

Biblical and modern prophecies give many signs of the Second Coming. These include:

1. The fulness of the gospel restored and preached in all the world for a witness to all nations.

2. False Christs and false prophets, deceiving many.

3. Wars and rumors of wars, with nation rising against nation.

4. Earthquakes in divers places.

5. Famine and pestilence.

6. An overflowing scourge, a desolating sickness covering the land.

7. Iniquity abounding.

8. The whole earth in commotion.

9. Men’s hearts failing them. (See Matt. 24:5–15; JS—M 1:22, 28–32; D&C 45:26–33.)

Elder Henry B. Eyring stated in April 2006 General Conference; “The prophets of God have foreseen the times in which we live. The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, ‘This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.’ (2 Timothy 3:1) Anyone with eyes to see the signs of the times and ears to hear the words of prophets knows that the peril is great. The peril comes from the forces of wickedness. Those forces are increasing. And so it will become harder, not easier, to keep the covenants we must make to live the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

The Gospel Principles manual outlines clearly some of the Signs of the Second Coming (see Chapter 43):

For thousands of years, followers of Jesus Christ have looked forward to the Second Coming as a time of peace and joy. But before the Savior comes, the people of the earth will experience great trials and calamities. Our Heavenly Father wants us to be prepared for these troubles. He also expects us to be spiritually ready when the Savior comes in His glory. Therefore, He has given us signs, which are events that will tell us when the Savior’s Second Coming is near. Throughout the ages God has revealed these signs to His prophets. He has said that all faithful followers of Christ will know what the signs are and will be watching for them (see D&C 45:39). If we are obedient and faithful, we will study the scriptures and know of the signs.

Some of the signs foretelling the Second Coming of Jesus Christ have already been or are now being fulfilled. Others will be fulfilled in the future.

Wickedness, War, and Turmoil

Many of the signs are terrifying and dreadful. The prophets have warned that the earth will experience great turmoil, wickedness, war, and suffering. The prophet Daniel said that the time before the Second Coming would be a time of trouble such as the earth has never known (see Daniel 12:1). The Lord said, “The love of men shall wax cold, and iniquity shall abound” (D&C 45:27). “And all things shall be in commotion; and … fear shall come upon all people” (D&C 88:91). We can expect earthquakes, disease, famines, great storms, lightnings, and thunder (see Matthew 24:7; D&C 88:90). Hailstorms will destroy the crops of the earth (see D&C 29:16).

Jesus told His disciples that war would fill the earth: “Ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars. … For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” (Matthew 24:6–7). The Prophet Joseph Smith said: “Be not discouraged when we tell you of perilous times, for they must shortly come, for the sword, famine, and pestilence are approaching. There shall be great destructions upon the face of this land, for ye need not suppose that one jot or tittle of the prophecies of all the holy prophets shall fail, and there are many that remain to be fulfilled yet” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 252).

Many of these signs are being fulfilled. Wickedness is everywhere. Nations are constantly at war. Earthquakes and other calamities are occurring. Many people now suffer from devastating storms, drought, hunger, and diseases. We can be certain that these calamities will become more severe before the Lord comes.

However, not all the events preceding the Second Coming are dreadful. Many of them bring joy to the world.

The Restoration of the Gospel

The Lord said, “Light shall break forth among them that sit in darkness, and it shall be the fulness of my gospel” (D&C 45:28). Prophets of old foretold the Restoration of the gospel. The Apostle John saw that the gospel would be restored by an angel (see Revelation 14:6–7). In fulfillment of this prophecy, the angel Moroni and other heavenly visitors brought the gospel of Jesus Christ to Joseph Smith.

The Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon

The Lord told the Nephites of another sign: the Book of Mormon would come to their descendants (see 3 Nephi 21). In Old Testament times the prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel foresaw the coming of the Book of Mormon (see Isaiah 29:4–18; Ezekiel 37:16–20). These prophecies are now being fulfilled. The Book of Mormon has been brought forth and is being taken to all the world.

The Gospel Preached to All the World

Another sign of the last days is that the “gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations” (Matthew 24:14; see also Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:31). All people will hear the fulness of the gospel in their own language (see D&C 90:11). Ever since the Restoration of the Church, missionaries have preached the gospel. The missionary effort has increased until now tens of thousands of missionaries preach in many countries of the world in many languages. Before the Second Coming and during the Millennium, the Lord will provide ways to bring the truth to all nations.

The Coming of Elijah

The prophet Malachi prophesied that before the Savior’s Second Coming, the prophet Elijah would be sent to the earth. Elijah would restore the sealing powers so families could be sealed together. He would also inspire people to be concerned about their ancestors and descendants. (See Malachi 4:5–6; D&C 2.) The prophet Elijah came to Joseph Smith in April 1836. Since that time, interest in genealogy and family history has grown. We are also able to perform sealing ordinances in the temples for the living and the dead.

Lehi’s Descendants Will Become a Great People

The Lord said that when His coming was near, the Lamanites would become a righteous and respected people. He said, “Before the great day of the Lord shall come, … the Lamanites shall blossom as the rose” (D&C 49:24). Great numbers of Lehi’s descendants are now receiving the blessings of the gospel.

Building of the New Jerusalem

Near the time of the coming of Jesus Christ, the faithful Saints will build a righteous city, a city of God, called the New Jerusalem. Jesus Christ Himself will rule there. (See 3 Nephi 21:23–25; Moses 7:62–64; Articles of Faith 1:10.) The Lord said the city will be built in the state of Missouri in the United States (see D&C 84:2–3).

These are only a few of the signs that the Lord has given us. The scriptures describe many more.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie, gave a powerful talk entitled, “The Coming Tests and Trials and Glory”, in General Conference in April 1980. In his talk he outlined the great joys for the righteous and the great sorrow for the wicked:

But our joy and rejoicing is not in what lies below, not in our past—great and glorious as that is—but in our present and in our future.

Nor are the days of our greatest sorrows and our deepest sufferings all behind us. They too lie ahead. We shall yet face greater perils, we shall yet be tested with more severe trials, and we shall yet weep more tears of sorrow than we have ever known before.

We see stakes of Zion in all parts of the earth; and Israel, the chosen people, gathering into these cities of holiness, as it were, to await the coming of their King.

We see temples in great numbers dotting the earth, so that those of every nation and kindred and tongue and people can receive the fulness of the ordinances of the house of the Lord and can qualify to live and reign as kings and priests on earth a thousand years.

We see the Saints of God, who are scattered upon all the face of the earth, rise in power and glory and stand as lights and guides to the people of their own nations.

We see our children and our children’s children stand firm in defense of truth and virtue, crowned with the power of God, carrying off the kingdom triumphantly.

We see the faithful Saints perfecting their lives and preparing for the coming of him whose children they are, preparing for the glorious mansion he has promised them in the kingdom of his Father.

As the Saints prepare to meet their God, so those who are carnal and sensual and devilish prepare to face their doom.

As the meek among men make their calling and election sure, so those who worship the God of this world sink ever lower and lower into the depths of depravity and despair.

Amid tears of sorrow—our hearts heavy with forebodings—we see evil and crime and carnality covering the earth. Liars and thieves and adulterers and homosexuals and murderers scarcely seek to hide their abominations from our view. Iniquity abounds. There is no peace on earth.

We see evil forces everywhere uniting to destroy the family, to ridicule morality and decency, to glorify all that is lewd and base. We see wars and plagues and pestilence. Nations rise and fall. Blood and carnage and death are everywhere. Gadianton robbers fill the judgment seats in many nations. An evil power seeks to overthrow the freedom of all nations and countries. Satan reigns in the hearts of men; it is the great day of his power.

But amid it all, the work of the Lord rolls on. The gospel is preached and the witness is born. The elect of God forsake the traditions of their fathers and the ways of the world. The kingdom grows and prospers, for the Lord is with his people.

Amid it all, there are revelations and visions and prophecies. There are gifts and signs and miracles. There is a rich outpouring of the Holy Spirit of God.

Amid it all believing souls are born again, their souls are sanctified by the power of the Spirit, and they prepare themselves to dwell with God and Christ and holy beings in the eternal kingdom.

Is it any wonder that we both rejoice and tremble at what lies ahead?

Truly the world is and will be in commotion, but the Zion of God will be unmoved. The wicked and ungodly shall be swept from the Church, and the little stone will continue to grow until it fills the whole earth.

Following the terrible destruction of Hurricane Katrina upon the Gulf States President Gordon B. Hinckley spoke in the October 2005 General Conference:

How portentous are the words of revelation found in the 88th section of the Doctrine and Covenants concerning the calamities that should befall after the testimonies of the elders. The Lord says:

"For after your testimony cometh the testimony of earthquakes, that shall cause groanings in the midst of her, and men shall fall upon the ground and shall not be able to stand.

"And also cometh the testimony of the voice of thunderings, and the voice of lightnings, and the voice of tempests, and the voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds.

"And all things shall be in commotion; and surely, men's hearts shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all people" (D&C 88:89–91).

How interesting are descriptions of the tsunami and the recent hurricanes in terms of the language of this revelation, which says, "The voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds."

In another revelation the Lord declares that some of these signs are His voice calling His people to repentance:

“Hearken, O ye nations of the earth, and hear the words of that God who made you… How oft have I called upon you by the mouth of my servants, and by the ministering of angels, and by mine own voice, and by the voice of thunderings, and by the voice of lightnings, and by the voice of tempests, and by the voice of earthquakes, and great hailstorms, and by the voice of famines and pestilences of every kind, … and would have saved you with an everlasting salvation, but ye would not!” (D&C 43:23, 25).

Elder Oaks in his April 2004 General Conference talk on the Second Coming stated:

These signs of the Second Coming are all around us and seem to be increasing in frequency and intensity. For example, the list of major earthquakes in The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 2004 shows twice as many earthquakes in the decades of the 1980s and 1990s as in the two preceding decades (pp. 189–90). It also shows further sharp increases in the first several years of this century. The list of notable floods and tidal waves and the list of hurricanes, typhoons, and blizzards worldwide show similar increases in recent years (pp. 188–89). Increases by comparison with 50 years ago can be dismissed as changes in reporting criteria, but the accelerating pattern of natural disasters in the last few decades is ominous.

A friend, Tim Benedict, recently gave a lesson on the Major Events before the Return of Christ. He prepared the information below which clearly portrays one of the Signs of the Times. On the website, http://quake.utah.edu/, it is recorded that there have already been 48 earthquakes in 2012 (not all led to fatalities as the diagram below shows.)

President Ezra Taft Benson gave a talk entitled, “Prepare for the Days of Tribulation,” in October 1980 General Conference in which he stated:

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.

The Lord has warned and forewarned us against a day of great tribulation and given us counsel, through His servants, on how we can be prepared for these difficult times.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell stated in an October 1982 General Conference: “…we do live in a time when peace has been taken from the earth. (See D&C 1:35) War has been the almost continuing experience of modern man. There have been 141 wars, large and small, just since the end of World War II in 1945. As the American Civil War was about to begin, the Lord declared there would be a succession of wars poured out upon all nations, resulting in the “death and misery of many souls.” (D&C 87:1) Moreover, that continuum of conflict will culminate in “a full end of all nations.” (D&C 87:6)

Another sign of the time is wickedness. In 2004 President Boyd K. Packer gave an address to a group of lawyers and was very explicit in how wicked our world has become:

These are days of great spiritual danger for this people. The world is spiraling downward at an ever-quickening pace. I am sorry to tell you that it will not get better.

I know of nothing in the history of the Church or in the history of the world to compare with our present circumstances. Nothing happened in Sodom and Gomorrah which exceeds the wickedness and depravity which surrounds us now.

Satan uses every intrigue to disrupt the family. The sacred relationship between man and woman, husband and wife, through which mortal bodies are conceived and life is passed from one generation to the next generation, is being showered with filth.

Profanity, vulgarity, blasphemy, and pornography are broadcast into the homes and minds of the innocent. Unspeakable wickedness, perversion, and abuse-not even exempting little children - once hidden in dark places, now seeks protection from courts and judges. (Boyd K. Packer, J. Reuben Clark Law Society devotional, February 28, 2004)

President Benson wrote an article in the New Era in May 1982 entitled “Prepare Yourself for the Great Day of the Lord.” He wrote of the devastation that would take place prior to the Second Coming. Below are some excerpts from his article:

I realize this is an unpleasant topic on which to dwell. I take no delight in its portrayal, nor do I look forward to the day when calamities shall come upon mankind. But these words are not my own; the Lord has spoken them. Knowing what we know as His servants, can we hesitate to raise a warning voice to all who will listen that they may be prepared for the days ahead? Silence in the face of such calamity is sin!

But to an otherwise gloomy picture there is a bright side—the coming of our Lord in all His glory. His coming will be both glorious and terrible, depending on the spiritual condition of those who remain.

One appearance will be to the righteous Saints who have gathered to the New Jerusalem here in America. In this place of refuge they will be safe from the wrath of the Lord which will be poured out without measure on all nations.

Modern revelation provides this description:

“And the glory of the Lord shall be there, and the terror of the Lord also shall be there, insomuch that the wicked will not come unto it, and it shall be called Zion.

“And it shall come to pass among the wicked, that every man that will not take his sword against his neighbor must needs flee unto Zion for safety.

“And there shall be gathered unto it out of every nation under heaven; and it shall be the only people that shall not be at war one with another.” (D&C 45:67–69.)

Another appearance of the Lord will be to the Jews. To these beleaguered sons of Judah, surrounded by hostile Gentile armies, who again threaten to overrun Jerusalem, the Savior—their Messiah—will set His feet on the Mount of Olives, “and it shall cleave in twain, and the earth shall tremble, and reel to and fro, and the heavens also shall shake” (D&C 45:47–48).

The Lord Himself will then rout the Gentile armies, decimating their forces (see Ezek. 38, 39). Judah will be spared, no longer to be persecuted and scattered. The Jews will then approach their Deliverer and ask, “What are these wounds in thine hands and in thy feet?”

“… I will say unto them: These wounds are the wounds with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. I am he who was lifted up. I am Jesus that was crucified. I am the Son of God.

“And then shall they weep because of their iniquities; then shall they lament because they persecuted their king.” (D&C 45:51–53.)

What a touching drama this will be! Jesus—Prophet, Messiah, King—will be welcomed in His own country! Jerusalem will become an eternal city of peace!

Yet another appearance of Christ will be to the rest of the world. Here is His description of His coming:

“The Lord shall be red in his apparel, and his garments like him that treadeth in the wine-vat.

“And so great shall be the glory of his presence that the sun shall hide his face in shame, and the moon shall withhold its light, and the stars shall be hurled from their places.” (D&C 133:48–49.)

All nations will see Him “in the clouds of heaven, clothed with power and great glory; with all the holy angels. …

“And the Lord shall utter his voice, and all the ends of the earth shall hear it; and the nations of the earth shall mourn, and they that have laughed shall see their folly.

“And calamity shall cover the mocker, and the scorner shall be consumed; and they that have watched for iniquity shall be hewn down and cast into the fire.” (D&C 45:44, 49–50.)

When the Savior spoke of these signs and prophecies to His disciples in Jerusalem, they were apprehensive. He said to them, “Be not troubled, for, when all these things shall come to pass, ye may know that the promises which have been made unto you shall be fulfilled” (D&C 45:35; italics added).

Youth of Zion, do you realize you are living in the days of the fulfillment of these signs and wonders? You are among those who will see many of these prophecies fulfilled. Just as certain as was the destruction of the temple at Jerusalem and the scattering of the Jews, so shall these words of the Savior be certain to your generation.

We know not the day nor the hour of His coming, but of this you may feel assured: You stand close to the great day of the Lord! In His words of modern revelation, we say to you, “Seek the face of the Lord, always” (D&C 101:38).

You will live in the midst of economic, political and spiritual instability. When you see these signs—unmistakable evidences that His coming is nigh—be not troubled, but, “stand … in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come” (D&C 87:8). Holy men stand in holy places and these holy places include our temples, our chapels, our homes, and the stakes of Zion, which are, as the Lord declares, “for a defense, and for a refuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth” (D&C 115:6).

Heed the Lord’s counsel to the Saints of this dispensation: “Prepare yourselves for the great day of the Lord” (D&C 133:10).

Elder Oaks in his April 2004 General Conference talk on the Second Coming also stated:

We are living in the prophesied time “when peace shall be taken from the earth” (D&C 1:35), when “all things shall be in commotion” and “men’s hearts shall fail them” (D&C 88:91). There are many temporal causes of commotion, including wars and natural disasters, but an even greater cause of current “commotion” is spiritual.

Viewing our surroundings through the lens of faith and with an eternal perspective, we see all around us a fulfillment of the prophecy that “the devil shall have power over his own dominion” (D&C 1:35)…

Evil that used to be localized and covered like a boil is now legalized and paraded like a banner. The most fundamental roots and bulwarks of civilization are questioned or attacked. Nations disavow their religious heritage. Marriage and family responsibilities are discarded as impediments to personal indulgence. The movies and magazines and television that shape our attitudes are filled with stories or images that portray the children of God as predatory beasts or, at best, as trivial creations pursuing little more than personal pleasure. And too many of us accept this as entertainment.

The men and women who made epic sacrifices to combat evil regimes in the past were shaped by values that are disappearing from our public teaching. The good, the true, and the beautiful are being replaced by the no-good, the “whatever,” and the valueless fodder of personal whim. Not surprisingly, many of our youth and adults are caught up in pornography, pagan piercing of body parts, self-serving pleasure pursuits, dishonest behavior, revealing attire, foul language, and degrading sexual indulgence.

An increasing number of opinion leaders and followers deny the existence of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and revere only the gods of secularism. Many in positions of power and influence deny the right and wrong defined by divine decree. Even among those who profess to believe in right and wrong, there are “them that call evil good, and good evil” (Isa. 5:20; 2 Ne. 15:20). Many also deny individual responsibility and practice dependence on others, seeking, like the foolish virgins, to live on borrowed substance and borrowed light.

All of this is grievous in the sight of our Heavenly Father, who loves all of His children and forbids every practice that keeps any from returning to His presence.


Be of Good Cheer

 “My beloved brothers and sisters, fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith.”

(President Thomas S. Monson)

The Lord has stated: “Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you” (D&C 68:6).

There are many other places in the scriptures where the Lord and His prophets have counseled us not to fear:

  • fear not what man can do… (See Moro. 8:16)
  • perfect love casteth out fear… (See Moro. 8:16)
  • fear not, little flock… (See D&C 6:34, D&C 35:27)
  • doubt not, fear not… (See D&C 6:36)
  • do not fear what man can do… (See D&C 30:11, D&C 122:9)
  • fear not, for kingdom is yours… (See D&C 38:15)
  • if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear… (See D&C 38:30)
  • fear not, little children, for you are mine (See D&C 50:41)
  • fear not, let your hearts be comforted… (See D&C 98:1)
  • fear not even unto death… (See D&C 101:36)
  • fear not thine enemies… (See D&C 136:17)

Our prophets have continually encouraged us to be of good cheer. They have emphasized that fear is the opposite of faith.

President Thomas S. Monson, our Prophet, counseled us with these words in the April 2009 General Conference:

…there have been continuing signs that circumstances in the world aren’t necessarily as we would wish. The global economy, which six months ago appeared to be sagging, seems to have taken a nosedive, and for many weeks now the financial outlook has been somewhat grim. In addition, the moral footings of society continue to slip, while those who attempt to safeguard those footings are often ridiculed and, at times, picketed and persecuted. Wars, natural disasters, and personal misfortunes continue to occur.

It would be easy to become discouraged and cynical about the future—or even fearful of what might come—if we allowed ourselves to dwell only on that which is wrong in the world and in our lives. Today, however, I’d like us to turn our thoughts and our attitudes away from the troubles around us and to focus instead on our blessings as members of the Church. The Apostle Paul declared, “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

None of us makes it through this life without problems and challenges—and sometimes tragedies and misfortunes. After all, in large part we are here to learn and grow from such events in our lives. We know that there are times when we will suffer, when we will grieve, and when we will be saddened. However, we are told, “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.” (2 Nephi 2:25)

…From the holy scriptures we read, “Behold, the righteous, the saints of the Holy One of Israel, they who have believed in [Him], they who have endured the crosses of the world, … they shall inherit the kingdom of God, … and their joy shall be full forever.” (2 Nephi 9:18)

I testify to you that our promised blessings are beyond measure. Though the storm clouds may gather, though the rains may pour down upon us, our knowledge of the gospel and our love of our Heavenly Father and of our Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments. There will be nothing in this world that can defeat us.

My beloved brothers and sisters, fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith.

President Monson told the brethren in the priesthood session of that same conference: This is not a time for fear, brethren, but rather a time for faith—a time for each of us who holds the priesthood to be his best self.”

President Boyd K. Packer has frequently encouraged us to not fear the future. Below are some excerpts from one of his talks entitled, “Do Not Fear,” which he gave in April 2004 General Conference:

Everywhere we go fathers and mothers worry about the future of their children in this very troubled world…

They will see many events transpire in the course of their lifetime. Some of these shall tax their courage and extend their faith. But if they seek prayerfully for help and guidance, they shall be given power over adverse things. Such trials shall not be permitted to stand in the way of their progress, but instead shall act as stepping-stones to greater knowledge.

We do not fear the future for ourselves or for our children. We live in dangerously troubled times. The values that steadied mankind in earlier times are being tossed away.

We must not ignore Moroni 's words when he saw our day and said, "Ye [must] awake to a sense of your awful situation" (Ether 8:24).

We cannot take lightly this warning from the Book of Mormon:

"The Lord in his great infinite goodness doth bless and prosper those who put their trust in him . . . doing all things for the welfare and happiness of his people; yea, then is the time that they do harden their hearts, and do forget the Lord their God, and do trample under their feet the Holy One—yea, and this because of their ease, and their exceedingly great prosperity.

"And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with death and with terror, and with famine and with all manner of pestilence, they will not remember him" (Helaman 12:1–3; emphasis added).

Have you noticed that word terror in that prophetic Book of Mormon warning?

The moral values upon which civilization itself must depend spiral downward at an ever-increasing pace. Nevertheless, I do not fear the future.

Remember the Atonement of Christ. Do not despair or count as forever lost those who have fallen to the temptations of Satan. They will, after the debt is paid to "the uttermost farthing" (Matthew 5:26) and after the healing which attends complete repentance takes place, receive a salvation.

Follow the leaders who are called to preside over you, for the promise is given: "If my people will hearken unto my voice, and unto the voice of my servants whom I have appointed to lead my people, behold, verily I say unto you, they shall not be moved out of their place" (D&C 124:45).

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will go forward "until it has filled the whole earth" (D&C 65:2) and the great Jehovah announces that His work is done (see History of the Church, 4:540). The Church is a safe harbor. We will be protected by justice and comforted by mercy (see Alma 34:15–16). No unhallowed hand can stay the progress of this work (see D&C 76:3).

We are not blind to the conditions in the world.

The Apostle Paul prophesied of "perilous times" in the last days (2 Timothy 3:1), and he warned, "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12).

Isaiah promised, "In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee" (Isaiah 54:14).

The Lord Himself encouraged, "Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come" (D&C 68:6).

Elder Neal A. Maxwell spoke at a BYU Devotional in October 1978. Excerpts from his talk, “Meeting the Challenges of Today,” are recorded below:

Properly humbled and instructed concerning the great privileges that are ours, we can cope with what seem to be very dark days and difficult developments, because we will have a true perspective about "things as they really are," and we can see in them a great chance to contribute. Churchill, in trying to rally his countrymen in an address at Harrow School in October of 1941, said to them:

Do not let us speak of darker days; let us speak rather of sterner days. These are not dark days: these are great days--the greatest days our country has ever lived; and we must all thank God that we have been allowed, each of us according to our stations, to play a part in making these days memorable in the history of our race. [Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, p. 923]

Brothers and sisters, so we should regard the dispensation of the fullness of times - even when we face stern challenges and circumstances, "these are great days"!

President Ezra Taft Benson in a talk entitled “Do Not Despair,” in the October 1974 General Conference counseled:

 …Satan is increasingly striving to overcome the Saints with despair, discouragement, despondency, and depression. Yet, of all people, we as Latter-day Saints should be the most optimistic and the least pessimistic. For while we know that “peace shall be taken from the earth, and the devil shall have power over his own dominion,” we are also assured that “the Lord shall have power over his Saints, and shall reign in their midst.” (D&C 1:35–36)

President Howard W. Hunter gave a wonderful talk at a BYU Devotional in February 1993 shortly before becoming the President of the Church. His talk entitled, “An Anchor to the Souls of Men,” is very inspiring and encouraging. Below are some excerpts of his marvelous talk:

…Despair, Doom, and Discouragement are not an acceptable view of life for a Latter-day Saint. …there have always been some difficulties in mortal life and there always will be. But knowing what we know, and living as we are supposed to live, there really is no place, no excuse, for pessimism and despair.

I want to say to all within the sound of my voice tonight that you have every reason in this world to be happy and to be optimistic and to be confident. Every generation since time began has had some things to overcome and some problems to work out.

… When these experiences humble us and refine us and teach us and bless us, they can be powerful instruments in the hands of God to make us better people, to make us more grateful and more loving, to make us more considerate of other people in their own times of difficulty.

The scriptures also indicate that there will be seasons of time when the whole world will have some difficulty. We know that in our dispensation unrighteousness will, unfortunately, be quite evident, and it will bring its inevitable difficulties and pain and punishment. God will cut short that unrighteousness in his own due time, but our task is to live fully and faithfully and not worry ourselves sick about the woes of the world or when it will end. Our task is to have the gospel in our lives and to be a bright light, a city set upon a hill that reflects the beauty of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the joy and happiness that will always come to every people in every age who keep the commandments.

In this last dispensation there will be great tribulation (Matthew 24:21). We know that from the scriptures. We know there will be wars and rumors of wars and that the whole earth will be in commotion (D&C 45:26). All dispensations have had their perilous times, but our day will include genuine peril (2 Timothy 3:1). Evil men will flourish (2 Timothy 3:13), but then evil men have very often flourished. Calamities will come and iniquity will abound (D&C 45:27).

Inevitably, the natural result of some of these kinds of prophecies is fear, and that is not fear limited to a younger generation. It is fear shared by those of any age who don't understand what we understand.

But I want to stress that these feelings are not necessary for faithful Latter-day Saints, and they do not come from God. To ancient Israel, the great Jehovah said:

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. . . .

And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed. (Deuteronomy 31:6, 8)

And to you, our marvelous generation in modern Israel, the Lord has said: "Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail. . . . Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not" (D&C 6:34, 36).

… In light of such wonderful counsel, I think it is incumbent upon us to rejoice a little more and despair a little less, to give thanks for what we have and for the magnitude of God's blessings to us, and to talk a little less about what we may not have or what anxiety may accompany difficult times in this or any generation.

For Latter-day Saints this is a time of great hope and excitement--one of the greatest eras of the Restoration and therefore one of the greatest eras in any dispensation, inasmuch as ours is the greatest of all dispensations. We need to have faith and hope, two of the greatest fundamental virtues of any discipleship of Christ. We must continue to exercise confidence in God, inasmuch as that is the first principle in our code of belief. We must believe that God has all power, that he loves us, and that his work will not be stopped or frustrated in our individual lives or in the world generally. He will bless us as a people because he always has blessed us as a people. He will bless us as individuals because he always has blessed us as individuals.

Listen to this marvelous counsel given by President Joseph F. Smith nearly ninety years ago. It sounds as if young people in that day might have been a little anxious about their future as well. I quote:

You do not need to worry in the least, the Lord will take care of you and bless you. He will also take care of His servants, and will bless them and help them to accomplish His purposes; and all the powers of darkness combined in earth and in hell cannot prevent it. . . . He has stretched forth His hand to accomplish His purposes, and the arm of flesh cannot stay it. He will cut His work short in righteousness, and will hasten His purposes in His own time. It is only necessary to try with our might to keep pace with the onward progress of the work of the Lord, then God will preserve and protect us, and will prepare the way before us, that we shall live and multiply and replenish the earth and always do His will. [Joseph F. Smith, CR, October 1905, pp. 5­6]

I promise you tonight in the name of the Lord whose servant I am that God will always protect and care for his people. We will have our difficulties the way every generation and people have had difficulties….

But with the gospel of Jesus Christ you have every hope and promise and reassurance. The Lord has power over his Saints and will always prepare places of peace, defense, and safety for his people. When we have faith in God we can hope for a better world--for us personally and for all mankind. The prophet Ether taught anciently (and he knew something about troubles):

Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God. [Ether 12:4]

Disciples of Christ in every generation are invited, indeed commanded, to be filled with a perfect brightness of hope (2 Nephi 31:20).

This faith and hope of which I speak is not a Pollyanna-like approach to significant personal and public problems. I don't believe we can wake up in the morning and simply by drawing a big "happy face" on the chalkboard believe that is going to take care of the world's difficulties. But if our faith and hope is anchored in Christ, and in his teachings, commandments, and promises, then we are able to count on something truly remarkable, genuinely miraculous, that can part the Red Sea and lead modern Israel to a place "where none shall come to hurt or make afraid" ("Come, Come, Ye Saints," Hymns, 1985, no. 30). Fear, which can come upon people in difficult days, is a principal weapon in the arsenal that Satan uses to make mankind unhappy. He who fears loses strength for the combat of life in the fight against evil. Therefore, the power of the evil one always tries to generate fear in human hearts. In every age and in every era fear has faced mankind.

As children of God and descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, we must seek to dispel fear from among people. A timid, fearing people cannot do their work well, and they cannot do God's work at all. Latter-day Saints have a divinely assigned mission to fulfill that simply must not be dissipated in fear and anxiety.

An apostle of the Lord in an earlier day said this:

The key to the conquest of fear has been given through the Prophet Joseph Smith. "If ye are prepared ye shall not fear." (D&C 38:30) That divine message needs repeating today in every stake and ward.” [Elder John A. Widtsoe, CR, April 1942, p. 33]

Are we prepared to surrender to God's commandments? Are we prepared to achieve victory over our appetites? Are we prepared to obey righteous law? If we can honestly answer yes to those questions, we can bid fear to depart from our lives. Surely the degree of fear in our hearts may well be measured by our preparation to live righteously--living that should characterize every Latter-day Saint in every age and time.

Let me close tonight with one of the greatest statements I have ever read from the Prophet Joseph Smith, who faced such immense difficulties in his life and who of course paid the ultimate price for his victory. But he was victorious, and he was a happy, robust, optimistic man. Those who knew him felt his strength and courage, even in the darkest of times. He did not sag in spirits or long remain in any despondency.

He said about our time--yours and mine--that ours is the moment “…upon which prophets, priests and kings [in ages past] have dwelt with peculiar delight; [all these ancient witnesses for God] have looked forward with joyful anticipation to the day in which we live; and fired with heavenly and joyful anticipations they have sung and written and prophesied of this our day; . . . we are the favored people that God has [chosen] to bring about the Latter-day glory.” [HC 4:609­10]

That is a thrilling statement to me: that the ancients whom we love and read and quote so much--Adam and Abraham, Joshua and Joseph, Isaiah and Ezekiel and Ezra, Nephi and Alma, and Mormon and Moroni--all of these ancient prophets, priests, and kings focused their prophetic vision "with peculiar delight" on our day, on our time. It is this hour to which they have looked forward "with joyful anticipation," and "fired with heavenly and joyful anticipation they have sung and written and prophesied of this our day." They saw us as "the favored people" upon whom God would shower his full and complete latter-day glory, and I testify that is our destiny. What a privilege! What an honor! What a responsibility! And what joy! We have every reason in time and eternity to rejoice and give thanks for the quality of our lives and the promises we have been given. That we may do so, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a member of the First Presidency, gave a very inspiring talk on the “The Infinite Power of Hope,” in the October 2008 General Conference, in which he said:

The things we hope in sustain us during our daily walk. They uphold us through trials, temptations, and sorrow. Everyone has experienced discouragement and difficulty. Indeed, there are times when the darkness may seem unbearable. It is in these times that the divine principles of the restored gospel we hope in can uphold us and carry us until, once again, we walk in the light.

We hope in Jesus the Christ, in the goodness of God, in the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, in the knowledge that prayers are heard and answered. Because God has been faithful and kept His promises in the past, we can hope with confidence that God will keep His promises to us in the present and in the future. In times of distress, we can hold tightly to the hope that things will “work together for [our] good” (D&C 90:24) as we follow the counsel of God’s prophets. This type of hope in God, His goodness, and His power refreshes us with courage during difficult challenges and gives strength to those who feel threatened by enclosing walls of fear, doubt, and despair.

Hope sustains us through despair. Hope teaches that there is reason to rejoice even when all seems dark around us.

Elder Henry B. Eyring, in a talk entitled "Raising the Bar" given at a BYU-Idaho Devotional in January 2005, said:

The giant earthquake, and the tsunami it sent crashing into the coasts around the Indian Ocean, is just the beginning and a part of what is to come, terrible as it was. You remember the words from the Doctrine & Covenants which now seem so accurate: (See D&C 88: 88-91)… Fear shall come upon all people. But you and I know that the Lord has prepared places of safety to which He is eager to guide us…. It will be our choice whether or not to move up or stay where we are. But the Lord will invite and guide us upward by the direction of the Holy Ghost…. I did not plan to speak to you about the hard times that are ahead and they are real, and they are coming.

President Harold Be Lee, in April 1948 General Conference, counseled:

It would be well—before the frightening events concerning the fulfillment of all God's promises and predictions are upon us, that the Saints in every land prepare themselves and look forward to the instruction that shall come to them from the First Presidency of this Church as to where they shall be gathered and not be disturbed in their feelings until such instruction is given to them as it is revealed by the Lord to the proper authority.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell stated in a talk entitled “Be of Good Cheer,” in the October 1982 General Conference:

“My brothers and sisters, we are living in a time in which we shall see things both wonderful and awful. There is no way that we can be a part of the last days and have it otherwise. Even so, we are instructed by our Lord and Exemplar, Jesus Christ, to “be of good cheer.” (D&C 61:36; D&C 78:18.)

…In the midst of our afflictions, reassurances will come to us from the Lord and from His prophets—as they did to the Lord’s people in another age when they feared an approaching army, and the prophet reminded and reassured them, and “therefore they hushed their fears” (Mosiah 23:28).

… Such reassurances and perspective will surely be needed, brothers and sisters, for the Lord has clearly indicated that His purifying and sifting judgment would begin first at the house of God and then proceed outward to the world. (See 1 Pet. 4:17; D&C 112:25.)

It is very easy for us to become discouraged and pessimistic about the direction the United States of America is going. We wonder what will happen to this great country. Below are some of quotes by prophets regarding the future of the United States:

Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote:

 “It is our firm conviction as a people that the stars and stripes will
be waving triumphantly in the breeze, as a symbol of the greatness and stability of the United States of America, when the Lord comes. This nation was established to be the Lord’s base of operations in this final gospel dispensation. From it the gospel is to go to every other nation and people. The greater its influence among the nations of the world, the more rapidly the gospel spreads. But the Lord has told us that all nations, the United States included, shall cease to be when he comes”
(The Millennial Messiah, 491).

Elder Ezra Taft Benson stated:

“The Lord told the Prophet Joseph Smith there would be an attempt to overthrow the country by destroying the Constitution. Joseph Smith predicted that the time would come when the Constitution would hang, as it were, by a thread, and at that time ‘this people will step forth and save it from the threatened destruction’ (Journal of Discourses, 7:15). It is my conviction that the elders of Israel, widely spread over the nation, will at that crucial time successfully rally the righteous of our country and provide the necessary balance of strength to save the institutions of constitutional government”  (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 618 - 619).

President Harold B. Lee strongly encouraged us to not preach pessimism regarding our country in a talk that he gave in 1973 when he was serving as the President of the Church:

Men may fail in this country, earthquakes may come, seas may heave beyond their bounds, there may be great drought, disaster, and hardship, but this nation, founded on principles laid down by men whom God raised up, will never fail.

This is the cradle of humanity, where life on this earth began in the Garden of Eden. This is the place of the New Jerusalem. . . . This is the place where the Savior will come to His temple.

We are living in a time of great crisis. The Country is torn with scandal and with criticism, with faultfinding and condemnation. There are those who have downgraded the image of this nation as probably never before in the history of the country.

I plead with you not to preach pessimism. Preach that this is the greatest country in all the world. . . . It is the nation that will stand despite whatever trials or crises it may yet have to pass through.

We must be on the optimistic side. This is a great nation; this is a great country; this is the most favored of all lands. While it is true that there are dangers and difficulties that lie ahead of us, we must not assume that we are going to stand by and watch the country go to ruin. We should not be heard to predict ills and calamities for the nation. On the contrary, we should be providing optimistic support for the nation.

You must remember . . . that this church is one of the most powerful agencies for the progress of the world, and we should . . . all sound with one voice. We must tell the world how we feel about this land and this nation and should bear our testimonies about the great mission and destiny that it has.

If we do this, we will help turn the tide of this great country and lessen the influence of the pessimists. We must be careful that we do not say or do anything that will further weaken the country. It is the negative, pessimistic comments about the nation that do as much harm as anything to the country today. We who carry these sacred responsibilities must preach the gospel of peace, and peace can only come by overcoming the things of the world. Now, we must be the dynamic force that will help turn the tide of fear and pessimism.

(Excerpts from a talk given at Ricks College Devotional Assembly, “Have Faith in America,” October 26, 1973, and printed in two sources: Ye Are the Light of the World: Selected Sermons and Writings of Harold B. Lee, 340, 350-351, and The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, edited by Clyde J. Williams, 365-366.)


Prophetic Counsel – Spiritual Preparedness

“You will live in the midst of economic, political, and spiritual instability. When you see these signs--unmistakable evidences that his coming is nigh--be not troubled, but, "stand... in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come" (D&C 87:8).

(President Ezra Taft Benson)

In the October 1973 General Conference Elder Ezra Taft Benson gave a talk entitled, “Prepare Ye,” where he addressed the important topic of preparedness:

In section 1 of the great Doctrine and Covenants, a volume of modern scripture, we read these words: “Prepare ye, prepare ye for that which is to come. …” (D&C 1:12.) Further in this same revelation are these warning words: “… I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth . …” (D&C 1:17.)

Yet, through all of this, the Lord Jesus Christ has said: “… if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” (D&C 38:30.)

What, then, is the Lord’s way to help us prepare for these calamities? The answer is also found in section 1 of the Doctrine and Covenants, wherein he says:

“Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments;

“And also gave commandments to others. …” (D&C 1:17–18.) He has also said: “Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled.” (D&C 1:37.)

Here then is the key—look to the prophets for the words of God, that will show us how to prepare for the calamities which are to come. For the Lord, in that same section, states: “What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.” (D&C 1:38.)

Again, the Lord warned those who will reject the inspired words of his representatives, in these words: “… and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people.” (D&C 1:14.)

President Gordon B. Hinckley gave a talk entitled, “If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear,” in the October 2005 General Conference where he spoke of priorities in our spiritual preparedness as he spoke about the prophecies of the Last Days:

The primary preparation is also set forth in the Doctrine and Covenants, wherein it says, "Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come" (D&C 87:8).

We can so live that we can call upon the Lord for His protection and guidance. This is a first priority. We cannot expect His help if we are unwilling to keep His commandments. We in this Church have evidence enough of the penalties of disobedience in the examples of both the Jaredite and the Nephite nations. Each went from glory to utter destruction because of wickedness.

We know, of course, that the rain falls on the just as well as the unjust (see Matthew 5:45). But even though the just die they are not lost, but are saved through the Atonement of the Redeemer. Paul wrote to the Romans, "For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord" (Romans 14:8).

President Ezra Taft Benson wrote an article in the May 1982 New Era entitled, “Prepare Yourself for the Great Day of the Lord.” In this article he wrote of things that we can do to spiritually prepare ourselves for the Second Coming of the Lord:

We know not the day nor the hour of His coming, but of this you may feel assured: You stand close to the great day of the Lord! In His words of modern revelation, we say to you, “Seek the face of the Lord, always” (D&C 101:38).

You will live in the midst of economic, political and spiritual instability. When you see these signs—unmistakable evidences that His coming is nigh—be not troubled, but, “stand … in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come” (D&C 87:8). Holy men stand in holy places and these holy places include our temples, our chapels, our homes, and the stakes of Zion, which are, as the Lord declares, “for a defense, and for a refuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth” (D&C 115:6).

Heed the Lord’s counsel to the Saints of this dispensation: “Prepare yourselves for the great day of the Lord” (D&C 133:10).

This preparation must consist of more than just casual membership in the Church. You must learn to be guided by personal revelation and the counsel of the living prophet so you will not be deceived. Our Lord has indicated who, among Church members, will stand when He appears:

“And at that day, when I shall come in my glory, shall the parable be fulfilled which I spake concerning the ten virgins.

“For they that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived—verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day.

“And the earth shall be given unto them for an inheritance; and they shall multiply and wax strong, and their children shall grow up without sin unto salvation.

“For the Lord shall be in their midst, and his glory shall be upon them, and he will be their king and their lawgiver.” (D&C 45:56–59; italics added.)

President Wilford Woodruff further prophesied in 1894:

“Can you tell me where the people are who will be shielded and protected from these great calamities and judgments which are even now at our door? I’ll tell you. The priesthood of God who honor their priesthood and who are worthy of their blessings are the only ones who shall have this safety and protection. They are the only mortal beings. No other people have a right to be shielded from these judgments. They are at our doors; not even this people will escape them entirely.” (Wilford Woodruff, Young Women’s Journal, 5:512, June 1894.)

If you are to preserve your blessings, it is not enough for you to just be free and independent, to capitalize on your advantages so that they accrue to your well-being and prosperity. You must protect and safeguard the freedom you have. You must be wise and virtuous. You must govern your natures by the doctrines of His kingdom. You must be valiant in your testimony of Christ, by keeping all His commandments. (Ezra Taft Benson, “Prepare Yourself for the Great Day of the Lord,” New Era, May 1982, 44)

Elder Dallin H. Oaks in a powerful talk entitled, “Preparation for the Second Coming,” that he gave in the April 2004 General Conference provided some wise counsel:

While we are powerless to alter the fact of the Second Coming and unable to know its exact time, we can accelerate our own preparation and try to influence the preparation of those around us.

A parable that contains an important and challenging teaching on this subject is the parable of the ten virgins. Of this parable, the Lord said, “And at that day, when I shall come in my glory, shall the parable be fulfilled which I spake concerning the ten virgins” (D&C 45:56).

Given in the 25th chapter of Matthew, this parable contrasts the circumstances of the five foolish and the five wise virgins. All ten were invited to the wedding feast, but only half of them were prepared with oil in their lamps when the bridegroom came. The five who were prepared went into the marriage feast, and the door was shut. The five who had delayed their preparations came late. The door had been closed, and the Lord denied them entrance, saying, “I know you not” (Matt. 25:12). “Watch therefore,” the Savior concluded, “for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh” (Matt. 25:13).

The arithmetic of this parable is chilling. The ten virgins obviously represent members of Christ’s Church, for all were invited to the wedding feast and all knew what was required to be admitted when the bridegroom came. But only half were ready when he came.

What if the day of His coming were tomorrow? If we knew that we would meet the Lord tomorrow—through our premature death or through His unexpected coming—what would we do today? What confessions would we make? What practices would we discontinue? What accounts would we settle? What forgivenesses would we extend? What testimonies would we bear?

If we would do those things then, why not now? Why not seek peace while peace can be obtained? If our lamps of preparation are drawn down, let us start immediately to replenish them.

We need to make both temporal and spiritual preparation for the events prophesied at the time of the Second Coming. And the preparation most likely to be neglected is the one less visible and more difficult—the spiritual. A 72-hour kit of temporal supplies may prove valuable for earthly challenges, but, as the foolish virgins learned to their sorrow, a 24-hour kit of spiritual preparation is of greater and more enduring value.

What is the state of our personal preparation for eternal life? The people of God have always been people of covenant. What is the measure of our compliance with covenants, including the sacred promises we made in the waters of baptism, in receiving the holy priesthood, and in the temples of God? Are we promisers who do not fulfill and believers who do not perform?

As the Savior taught in His prophecy of the Second Coming, blessed is the “faithful and wise servant” who is attending to his duty when the Lord comes (see Matt. 24:45–46). As the prophet Nephi taught of that day, “The righteous need not fear” (1 Ne. 22:17; see also 1 Ne. 14:14; D&C 133:44). And modern revelation promises that “the Lord shall have power over his saints” (D&C 1:36).  (“Preparation for the Second Coming,” Ensign, May 2004, 7, emphasis added)

The Parable of the Ten Virgins is chilling as described by Elder Oaks above. President Spencer W. Kimball provides additional details about how the ten virgins represent members of the Church:  

I believe that the Ten Virgins represent the people of the Church of Jesus Christ and not the rank and file of the world. … they were knowing people who were foolishly unprepared for the vital happenings that were to affect their eternal lives.

There are … many members of the Church who are lax and careless and who continually procrastinate. They live the gospel casually but not devoutly. They have complied with some requirements but are not valiant. They do no major crime but merely fail to do the things required—things like paying tithing, living the Word of Wisdom, having family prayers, fasting, attending meetings, serving. Perhaps they do not consider such omissions to be sins, yet these were the kinds of things of which the five foolish virgins of Jesus' parable were probably guilty. The ten virgins belonged to the kingdom and had every right to the blessings—except that five were not valiant and were not ready when the great day came. They were unprepared through not living all the commandments. They were bitterly disappointed at being shut out from the marriage—as likewise their modern counterparts will be. (The Miracle of Forgiveness, pp. 253-354, 7-8)

Elder David A. Bednar in a Regional Conference Broadcast in October 2011 stated that the lamp can represent our testimony and the oil can represent being truly converted to the gospel.

Those who will inherit the Celestial Kingdom are those who are valiant in the testimony of Jesus. Elder Bruce R. McConkie shared what it means to be valiant in a General Conference Talk he gave in October 1974 entitled, “Be Valiant in the Fight of Faith.”

Now what does it mean to be valiant in the testimony of Jesus?

It is to be courageous and bold; to use all our strength, energy, and ability in the warfare with the world; to fight the good fight of faith. 'Be strong and of a good courage,' the Lord commanded Joshua, and then specified that this strength and courage consisted of meditating upon and observing to do all that is written in the law of the Lord. (See Josh.1:6-9.) The great cornerstone of valiance in the cause of righteousness is obedience to the whole law of the whole gospel.

To be valiant in the testimony of Jesus is to 'come unto Christ, and be perfected in him'; it is to deny ourselves 'of all ungodliness,' and 'love God' with all our 'might, mind and strength.' (Moro. 10:32.)

To be valiant in the testimony of Jesus is to believe in Christ and his gospel with unshakable conviction. It is to know of the verity and divinity of the Lord's work on earth.

But this is not all. It is more than believing and knowing. We must be doers of the word and not hearers only. It is more than lip service; it is not simply confessing with the mouth the divine Sonship of the Savior. It is obedience and conformity and personal righteousness. 'Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.' (Matt. 7:21.)

To be valiant in the testimony of Jesus is to 'press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men.' It is to 'endure to the end.' (2 Ne. 31:20.) It is to live our religion, to practice what we preach, to keep the commandments. It is the manifestation of 'pure religion' in the lives of men; it is visiting 'the fatherless and widows in their affliction' and keeping ourselves 'unspotted from the world.' (James 1:27.)

To be valiant in the testimony of Jesus is to bridle our passions, control our appetites, and rise above carnal and evil things. It is to overcome the world as did he who is our prototype and who himself was the most valiant of all our Father's children. It is to be morally clean, to pay our tithes and offerings, to honor the Sabbath day, to pray with full purpose of heart, to lay our all upon the altar if called upon to do so.

To be valiant in the testimony of Jesus is to take the Lord's side on every issue. It is to vote as he would vote. It is to think what he thinks, to believe what he believes, to say what he would say and do what he would do in the same situation. It is to have the mind of Christ and be one with him as he is one with his Father.

There are many important things to do to be spiritually prepared. Below is a list of five specific things that in my opinion prophets have particularly emphasized as being very important:

  1. Always Be Worthy of and Carry a Current Temple Recommend and Attend the Temple 

"Stand in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come" (D&C 87:8).

We have been commanded to stand in holy places (See D&C 87:8). The prophets have strongly encouraged members of the Church to have a current temple recommend, to be worthy of it, and to attend the temple frequently. If we need to qualify for a temple recommend to enter the Lord’s Holy House certainly we will need to at least meet this same requirement to enter the Lord’s Kingdom. President Gordon B. Hinckley stated in the October 2005 General Conference: “Every individual who qualifies for a temple recommend is also qualified as a faithful Latter-day Saint.” (Ensign, Nov. 2005, 4)

President Thomas S. Monson:

“If you have not yet been to the temple or if you have been but currently do not qualify for a recommend, there is no more important goal for you to work toward than being worthy to go to the temple….  qualify to enter the temple of God. Secure a temple recommend and regard it as a precious possession, for such it is.  (Ensign, May 2011)

President Gordon B. Hinckley:

“I urge our people everywhere, with all of the persuasiveness of which I am capable, to live worthy to hold a temple recommend, to secure one and regard it as a precious asset, and to make a greater effort to go to the house of the Lord and partake of the spirit and the blessings to be had therein.”  (Ensign, Nov. 1995, 53.)

President Gordon B. Hinckley:

“Live worthy to hold a temple recommend. There is nothing more precious than a temple recommend… Whether you can go there frequently or not, qualify for a temple recommend and keep a recommend in your pocket. It will be a reminder to you of what is expected of you as a Latter-day Saint.” (Ensign, Apr. 2002, 4.)

President Howard W. Hunter:

“It would be the deepest desire of my heart to have every member of the Church be temple worthy.  I would hope that every adult member would be worthy of - and carry - a current temple recommend, even if proximity to a temple does not allow immediate or frequent use of it.  Let us be a temple-attending and a temple-loving people.  Let us hasten to the temple as frequently as time and means and personal circumstances allow.” (Ensign July 1994, p. 5)

  1. Always Follow the Prophet

“…thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me; For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith. For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory.”  (D&C 21:4-6)

President Harold B. Lee: 

“We have some tight places to go before the Lord is through with this church and the world in this dispensation, which is the last dispensation, which shall usher in the coming of the Lord…  The power of Satan will increase; we see it in evidence in every hand….  Now the only safety we have as members of this Church is to … give heed to the words and commandments that the Lord shall give through his prophets, “as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me; … as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.” (D&C 21:4-5) 

There will be some things that take patience and faith. You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. It may contradict your political views. It may contradict your social views. It may interfere with some of your social life. But if you listen to these things, as if from the mouth of the Lord himself, with patience and faith, the promise is that "the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name's glory." (D&C 21:6)  (Harold B. Lee, CR, October 1970, p. 152)

Elder Neal A. Maxwell:

Make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters, in the months and years ahead, events are likely to require each member to decide whether or not he will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions….  This is hard doctrine, but it is particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ… (An address delivered at Brigham Young University, 10 October 1978)

President Wilford Woodruff: 

The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray… If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty. (D&C Official Declaration 1)

  1. Take the Holy Spirit as your Guide

“And at that day, when I shall come in my glory, shall the parable be fulfilled which I spake concerning the ten virgins. For they that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived—verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day.”  (D&C 45:56-57

In February of 1847, the Prophet Joseph appeared to Brigham Young in a vision….  Brigham Young asked the Prophet if he had a message for the Brethren. The Prophet Joseph said: “Tell the people to be humble and faithful, and be sure to keep the spirit of the Lord and it will lead them right. Be careful and not turn away the small still voice; it will teach you what to do and where to go…”  (Quoted by James E. Faust, Ensign, Apr. 1996, 2)

President Wilford Woodruff, who was visited by both Joseph Smith and Brigham Young after their deaths, said: “Joseph Smith visited me a great deal after his death, and taught me many important principles… Among other things, he told me to get the Spirit of God; that all of us needed it…  He said, “I want you to teach the people to get the Spirit of God.”  (Deseret News [weekly], 7 Nov 1896)  In his diary, President Woodruff quotes Brigham Young also as saying: "Tell the people to get the spirit of the Lord and keep it with them." (Marion G. Romney, CR, Apr 1944, p. 138)

Elder Bruce R. McConkie: 

Prayers should fit the needs of the hour; the petitions they contain should be expressive of present needs; but there are two things that may, with propriety, be included in all prayers and on all occasions. They are (1) that God will give us his Spirit here and now in this mortal sphere, and (2) that he will save us in the world to come.”  (The Mortal Messiah, Book 4, pp. 107-8)

President Wilford Woodruff:

Now, if you have the Holy Ghost with you,… I can say unto you that there is no greater gift, there is no greater blessing, there is no greater testimony given to any man on earth.  You may have the administration of angels; you may see many miracles; you may see wonders in the earth; but I claim that the gift of the Holy Ghost is the greatest gift that can be bestowed upon man.” (Doctrines from the Prophets, Alma P. Burton, p.229)

Joseph Smith:

They can tell the Spirit of the Lord from all other spirits; it will whisper peace and joy to their souls; it will take malice, hatred, strife and all evil from their hearts; and their whole desire will be to do good, bring forth righteousness and build up the Kingdom of God.”  (Unpublished Revelations, p. 107)

  1. Feast upon the Scriptures – particularly the Book of Mormon

“… Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.” (2 Nephi 32:3)

 “Whoso treasureth up my word, shall not be deceived” (Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:37.)


Joseph Smith said: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” (HC, 4:461.)

President Marion G. Romney:

I counsel you… to make reading the Book of Mormon a few minutes each day a lifelong practice…. All of us need the uninterrupted association with the Spirit of the Lord.  We need to take the Holy Spirit for our constant guide that we be not deceived. 

I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from the Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart… Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity-the pure love of Christ—will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness. (Ensign, May 1980, p. 67.)

President Ezra Taft Benson:

There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the book.  You will find greater power to resist temptation.  You will find the power to avoid deception.  You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. 

These promises - increased love and harmony in the home, greater respect between parent and child, increased spirituality and righteousness - are not idle promises, but exactly what the Prophet Joseph Smith meant when he said the Book of Mormon will help us draw nearer to God.” (Ensign, Nov. 1986, p. 7)

President Gordon B. Hinckley:

Without reservation I promise you that if you will prayer­fully read the Book of Mormon, regardless of how many times you previously have read it, there will come into your hearts an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord. There will come a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to his command­ments, and there will come a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God. ("The Power of the Book of Mormon," Ensign, June 1988, p. 6.)

  1. Continually Guard against Deception

“For in those days there shall also arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch, that, if possible, they shall deceive the very elect, who are the elect according to the covenant.” (Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:22)

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland:

Prophecies regarding the last days often refer to large-scale calamities such as earthquakes or famines or floods. These in turn may be linked to widespread economic or political upheavals of one kind or another.

But there is one kind of latter-day destruction that has always sounded to me more personal than public, more individual than collective—a warning, perhaps more applicable inside the Church than outside it. The Savior warned that in the last days even those of the covenant, the very elect, could be deceived by the enemy of truth.  (“Safety for the Soul,” Ensign, Nov 2009, 88–90)

President Ezra Taft Benson wrote: “… in the Book of Mormon we find a pattern for preparing for the Second Coming. A major portion of the book centers on the few decades just prior to Christ’s coming to America. By careful study of that time period, we can determine why some were destroyed in the terrible judgments that preceded His coming and what brought others to stand at the temple in the land of Bountiful and thrust their hands into the wounds of His hands and feet.”  (“The Book of Mormon—Keystone of Our Religion,” Ensign, Nov 1986, 4)

I feel that this quote is very applicable to us as we prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. We have a choice - we can continue to remember our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ or we can forget them and face the terrible destructions that will precede the Second Coming. One of the powerful messages that I receive as I read the Book of Mormon is Satan’s ability to blind the minds and harden the hearts of the people. Sometimes I just shake my head as I read the cycles of righteousness and prosperity, then pride, and then wickedness and apostasy, and finally repentance or destruction. Other times I weep as I contemplate how our Heavenly Father must have felt! I recognize in my own life to a lesser extent my own cycles.

I noted that 34 times the Book of Mormon mentions hardness of hearts and 24 times it mentions blindness of minds. There are many examples where the people in the Book of Mormon forget the Lord, but there are two examples that are very sobering to me.

In 3 Nephi, Chapter 1, we read of the time where the people have become so wicked that they plan to put to death any believers of the prophesied sign of the Savior being born – a day, a night and a day without darkness. It is hard to believe that the hearts of the people were so hardened that they not only did not believe in this sign, but they planned to kill those who believed in the sign.

When the sign appeared, the record states that the people were “so exceedingly astonished that they fell to the earth… and they began to fear because of their iniquity and their unbelief.” (3 Nephi 1:17-18)

It is powerful to me that a couple of verses later that Mormon inserts these words:  “And it came to pass that from this time forth there began to be lyings sent forth among the people, by Satan, to harden their hearts, to the intent that they might not believe in those signs and wonders which they had seen; but notwithstanding these lyings and deceivings the more part of the people did believe, and were converted unto the Lord.”  (3 Nephi 1:22)

It is very sad and very amazing to me that even though the “more part of the people did believe” that only four years later the people once again became hardened:

“…the people began to forget those signs and wonders which they had heard, and began to be less and less astonished at a sign or a wonder from heaven, insomuch that they began to be hard in their hearts, and blind in their minds, and began to disbelieve all which they had heard and seen—

Imagining up some vain thing in their hearts, that it was wrought by men and by the power of the devil, to lead away and deceive the hearts of the people; and thus did Satan get possession of the hearts of the people again, insomuch that he did blind their eyes and lead them away… 

…the people began to wax strong in wickedness and abominations; and they did not believe that there should be any more signs or wonders given; and Satan did ago about, leading away the hearts of the people, tempting them and causing them that they should do great wickedness in the land.” (3 Nephi 2:1-3)

Only four years had gone by when the majority of the people who had repented were now deceived again by Satan. Mormon sums this up very well in what is recorded in Helaman 12:1-7, which includes the following excerpts:

“AND thus we can behold … the unsteadiness of the hearts of the children of men… at the very time when [the Lord] doth prosper his people… they do harden their hearts, and do forget the Lord their God, and do trample under their feet the Holy One—yea, and this because of their ease, and their exceedingly great prosperity.

And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with death and with terror, and with famine and with all manner of pestilence, they will not remember him.

O how foolish, and how vain, and how evil, and devilish, and how quick to do iniquity, and how slow to do good, are the children of men; yea, how quick to hearken unto the words of the evil one, and to set their hearts upon the vain things of the world!”

I can see a pattern of this in our day – following 9/11 it was wonderful to see people turn to God. However, it has been concerning and sad to see many today forget Him.  The world has definitely become increasingly wicked. The attacks on religion and on the family are becoming more frequent and more blatant!

The other very sad account from the Book of Mormon demonstrating the people quickly forgetting the Lord takes place just a few years before Jesus Christ appeared to the Nephites!

In 3 Nephi 4 we read that the people were faced with utter destruction by the Gadianton robbers. Therefore, all of the Nephites and Lamanites gathered together into one place with seven years of provisions. They repented of their sins and turned to the Lord in their time of need. The Lord came to their rescue and they were able to destroy “thousands and tens of thousands” of Gadianton robbers by day and by night. If this is day and night - it is amazing how many Gadianton robbers there must have been!

After they were delivered by the Lord the record states:

… they did break forth, all as one, in singing, and praising their God for the great thing which he had done for them, in preserving them from falling into the hands of their enemies…

And their hearts were swollen with joy, unto the gushing out of many tears, because of the great goodness of God in delivering them out of the hands of their enemies; and they knew it was because of their repentance and their humility that they had been delivered from an everlasting destruction. (3 Nephi 4:31-33)

Mormon inserts this statement in the record: “AND now behold, there was not a living soul among all the people of the Nephites who did doubt in the least the words of all the holy prophets who had spoken; for they knew that it must needs be that they must be fulfilled.”   (3 Nephi 5:1)

I read this to mean that 100% of all of the people were converted to the Lord! They were all filled with deep gratitude for His mercy in preserving their lives. And yet only six years later the people began to be wicked once again. Their wickedness became so bad that the Church was broken up and even the government was destroyed (3 Nephi 6:14).  Only six years later!!!

Mormon writes:

And thus Satan did lead away the hearts of the people to do all manner of iniquity; therefore they had enjoyed peace but a few years.

… and thus in the commencement of this, the thirtieth year, they were in a state of awful wickedness.

Now they did not sin ignorantly, for they knew the will of God concerning them, for it had been taught unto them; therefore they did wilfully rebel against God(3 Nephi 6:16-18)

This was only 3-4 years before the Savior came down from heaven and visited those who had remained righteous – where 2,500 people had the sacred experience to go forth one-by-one and feel the prints of the nails in his hands and feet of our Savior and bear witness that He had been resurrected from the dead! When I put it in perspective of timelines it is frightening how quickly people can forget and turn to wickedness.

I feel strongly about the power of the sacrament to help us remember the Savior. Hopefully as members we will take advantage of the sacred privilege to partake of the sacrament each Sunday to “remember” our Savior and His atoning sacrifice. I find it profound that in the sacrament prayers the words “remember” and “remembrance” are used four times. I firmly believe that if we will humbly take advantage of the blessing to partake of the sacrament it will help keep us on the strait and narrow path!


Prophetic Counsel – Temporal Preparedness

“The revelation to store food may be as essential to our temporal salvation today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah”

(President Ezra Taft Benson)

Home Storage

President Gordon B. Hinckley gave a talk entitled, “If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear,” in the October 2005 General Conference where he noted that we have been encouraged for over 75 by the prophets:

We have built grain storage and storehouses and stocked them with the necessities of life in the event of a disaster. But the best storehouse is the family storeroom. In words of revelation the Lord has said, "Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing" (D&C 109:8).

Our people for three-quarters of a century have been counseled and encouraged to make such preparation as will assure survival should a calamity come.

We can set aside some water, basic food, medicine, and clothing to keep us warm. We ought to have a little money laid aside in case of a rainy day.

Now what I have said should not occasion a run on the grocery store or anything of that kind. I am saying nothing that has not been said for a very long time.

Let us never lose sight of the dream of Pharaoh concerning the fat cattle and the lean, the full ears of corn, and the blasted ears; the meaning of which was interpreted by Joseph to indicate years of plenty and years of scarcity (see Genesis 41:1–36).

President Hinckley also said in the October 2002 General Conference: “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… 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.”

Bishop Keith B. McMullin, of the Presiding Bishopric, spoke on the importance of preparedness in a talk he gave in the April 2007 General Conference entitled, “Lay Up in Store.” He spoke of the two new pamphlets on preparedness the Church produced entitled, “All is Safely Gathered In.”

Priesthood bearers are led by these promises to prepare themselves and their families for the Lord’s appearing. (See 2 Timothy 4:8; D&C 133:50, 52) There is no need to be anxious about events leading up to the Second Coming. Let us instead be filled with gratitude for our understanding of what lies ahead. Let us appreciate that we are in charge of our own world, being the Lord’s agents over that which He has entrusted to us. (See D&C 104:13-17) The formula is simple: Be faithful. Unencumber your life. Lay up in store…

 A cardinal principle of the gospel is to prepare for the day of scarcity. Work, industry, frugality are part of the royal order of life. Remember these words from Paul: “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.” (1Timothy 5:8; see also 1 Timothy 6:19; D&C 29:34; “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,”)

…From President James E. Faust, Second Counselor, we hear: “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 … [and] God will sustain us through our trials.” (Ensign, May 1986, 22.)

From President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor, we hear: “Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their year’s supply of food … 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.” (“That Noble Gift—Love at Home,” Church News, May 12, 2001, 7.)

Encourage our members to regularly put into their home storage a few wholesome, basic food items and some water that is safe to drink. They should save some money, if only a few coins each week. This modest approach will soon enable them to have several months’ reserve. Over time they can expand these modest efforts into a longer-term supply by adding such essentials as grains, legumes, and other staples that will keep them alive in case they do not have anything else to eat. (See The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, ed. Clyde J. Williams (1996), 314.)

As we do our very best, we can be confident that “the barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail.” (1 Kings 17:14) We shall enjoy greater wisdom, security, peace of mind, and personal well-being. We shall be prepared, and because we are prepared, we “shall not fear.” (D&C 38:30)

Latter-day Prophets Speak on Preparedness

In an Ensign article, “Latter-day Prophets Speak on Preparedness,” written in August 2007, eight different Presidents of the Church are quoted regarding preparedness:

Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–1998) - Fifteenth President of the Church

“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” (“To Men of the Priesthood,” Ensign, Nov. 2002, 58).

Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994) - Thirteenth President of the Church

“The revelation to store food may be as essential to our temporal salvation today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah” (“Prepare Ye,” Ensign, Jan. 1974, 69).

Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) - Twelfth President of the Church

“We encourage you to grow all the food that you feasibly can on your own property. Berry bushes, grapevines, fruit trees—plant them if your climate is right for their growth. Grow vegetables and eat them from your own yard. Even those residing in apartments or condominiums can generally grow a little food in pots and planters. … Make your garden as neat and attractive as well as productive. If there are children in your home, involve them in the process with assigned responsibilities” (“Family Preparedness,” Ensign, May 1976, 124).

Harold B. Lee (1899–1973) - Eleventh President of the Church

“We expect the individual to do all he can to help himself, whether it be an emergency for a single family or for a whole community, that the relatives will do all they can to help, then the Church steps in with commodities from the storehouse, with fast offerings to meet their needs that commodities from the storehouse will not supply, and finally, the Relief Society and the priesthood quorums will assist with rehabilitation” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee [2000], 171).

Joseph Fielding Smith (1876–1972) - Tenth President of the Church

“[The pioneers] were taught by their leaders to produce, as far as possible, all that they consumed, and to be frugal and not wasteful of their substance. This is still excellent counsel” (“The Pioneer Spirit,” Improvement Era, July 1970, 3).

Wilford Woodruff (1807–98) - Fourth President of the Church

“We feel led to caution the Latter-day Saints against forming the bad habit of incurring debt and taking upon themselves obligations which frequently burden them heavier than they can bear, and lead to the loss of their homes and other possessions. … Our business should be done, as much as possible, on the principle of paying for that which we purchase, and our needs should be brought within the limit of our resources” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff [2004], 232–33).

George Albert Smith (1870–1951) - Eighth President of the Church

“How on the face of the earth could a man enjoy his religion when he had been told by the Lord how to prepare for a day of famine, when instead of doing so he had fooled away that which would have sustained him and his family” (Deseret News, Mar. 4, 1868, 26).

Brigham Young (1801–77) - Second President of the Church

“If you are without bread, how much wisdom can you boast and of what real utility are your talents, if you cannot procure for yourselves and save against a day of scarcity those substances designed to sustain your natural lives?” (Deseret News, July 18, 1860, 153).

In the April 1937 General Conference Presidency J. Reuben Clark, Jr. of the First Presidency addressed preparedness:

What may we as a people and as individuals do for ourselves to prepare to meet this oncoming disaster, which God in his wisdom may not turn aside from us?” President Clark then set forth these inspired basic principles of the Church welfare program:

First, and above and beyond everything else, let us live righteously. …

Let us avoid debt as we would avoid a plague; where we are now in debt, let us get out of debt; if not today, then tomorrow.

Let us straitly and strictly live within our incomes, and save a little.

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. You of small means put your money in foodstuffs and wearing apparel, not in stocks and bonds; you of large means will think you know how to care for yourselves, but I may venture to suggest that you do not speculate. Let every head of every household aim to own his own home, free from mortgage. Let every man who has a garden spot, garden it; every man who owns a farm, farm it.” (Conference Report, April 1937, p. 26.)

President Spencer W. Kimball strongly encouraged us to be obedient to the counsel of the Lord to prepare.

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 ("Family Preparedness," Ensign, May 1976, 125).

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 (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball [1982], 374-75).

Financial Reserve

President Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church, speaking in the October 2008 General Conference stated:  “We urge all Latter-day Saints to be prudent in their planning, to be conservative in their living, and to avoid excessive or unnecessary debt.”

In that same general conference Elder L. Tom Perry, of the Quorum of the Twelve, stated:

We have been encouraged at almost every general conference of the Church I can remember not to live beyond our means. Our income should determine the kind of housing we can afford, not the neighbor’s big home across the street…

One of the better ways to simplify our lives is to follow the counsel we have so often received to live within our income, stay out of debt, and save for a rainy day. We should practice and increase our habits of thrift, industry, economy, and frugality. Members of a well-managed family do not pay interest; they earn it.

President Gordon B. Hinckley continually gave a warning voice about the importance of getting out of debt. He passed away in early 2008 just prior to the global economic recession that began later that year. Below are a few excerpts from his talks regarding debt:

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… We hear much about second mortgages. Now I am told there are third mortgages. Discipline yourselves in matters of spending, in matters of borrowing, in practices that lead to bankruptcy and the agony that comes therewith. (Ensign, November 2002)

Be modest in your wants. You do not need a big home with a big mortgage as you begin your lives together. You can and should avoid overwhelming debt. There is nothing that will cause greater tensions in marriage than grinding debt, which will make of you a slave to your creditors. You may have to borrow money to begin ownership of a home. But do not let it be so costly that it will preoccupy your thoughts day and night…  When I was married my wise father said to me, "Get a modest home and pay off the mortgage so that if economic storms should come, your wife and children will have a roof over their heads."  (Ensign, May 1998, 49)

In the October 1998 General Conference President Hinckley used as a backdrop to his talk Pharaoh’s dream of years of plenty and years of famine. He then said:

Now, brethren, … the time has come to get our houses in order. So many of our people are living on the very edge of their incomes. In fact, some are living on borrowings. We have witnessed in recent weeks wide and fearsome swings in the markets of the world. The economy is a fragile thing. … There is a portent of stormy weather ahead to which we had better give heed. I hope with all my heart that we shall never slip into a depression. What we have experienced in the past was all foretold, and the end is not yet. Just as there have been calamities in the past, we expect more in the future…

I urge you to be modest in your expenditures; discipline yourselves in your purchases to avoid debt to the extent possible. Pay off debt as quickly as you can, and free yourselves from bondage.” (Emphasis added)

Other prophets have likewise given strong counsel regarding the seriousness of debt:

President Heber J. Grant once said: “From my earliest recollections, from the days of Brigham Young until now, I have listened to men standing in the pulpit . . . urging the people not to run into debt; and I believe that the great majority of all our troubles today is caused through the failure to carry out that counsel” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1921, 3).

President Ezra Taft Benson said, “Do not leave yourself or your family unprotected against financial storms. … Build up savings.”  (Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year (28 Feb. 1962)

President Harold B. Lee taught, “Not only should we teach men to get out of debt but we should teach them likewise to stay out of debt.” (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, ed. Clyde J. Williams (1996), 315.)

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, of the Quorum of the Twelve, shared the following in an April 2004 General Conference address entitled, “Earthly Debts, Heavenly Debts.”

In spite of the teachings of the Church from its earliest days until today, members sometimes fall victim to many unwise and foolish financial practices… Remember this: debt is a form of bondage. It is a financial termite.

May I suggest five key steps to financial freedom for your consideration:

First, pay your tithing. Do you want the windows of heaven opened to you? Do you wish to receive blessings so great there is not room enough to receive them? Always pay your tithing and leave the outcome in the hands of the Lord.

Second, spend less than you earn. This is simple counsel but a powerful secret for financial happiness. All too often a family’s spending is governed more by their yearning than by their earning.

Third, learn to save. Remember the lesson of Joseph of Egypt. During times of prosperity, save up for a day of want.

Fourth, honor your financial obligations. From time to time, we hear stories of greed and selfishness that strike us with great sorrow. We hear of fraud, defaulting on loan commitments, financial deceptions, and bankruptcies.

Fifth, teach your children to follow your example. Too many of our youth get into financial difficulty because they never learned proper principles of financial common sense at home.


Provident Living

All is Safely Gathered In

 (Message from the First Presidency)

The information below comes from the Church’s Provident Living website: https://lds.org/family/family-well-being/emergency-preparedness?lang=eng

Family Emergency Planning

Church members are encouraged to prepare a simple emergency plan. Items to consider may include:

  • Three-month supply of food that is part of your normal daily diet.
  • Drinking water.
  • Financial reserves.
  • Longer-term supply of basic food items.
  • Medication and first aid supplies.
  • Clothing and bedding.
  • Important documents.
  • Ways to communicate with family following a disaster.


Financial Reserve

Pay Tithes and Offerings

Successful family finances begin with the payment of an honest tithe and the giving of a generous fast offering. The Lord has promised to open the windows of heaven and pour out great blessings upon those who pay tithes and offerings faithfully (see Malachi 3:10 and Isaiah 58:6–12).


If our tithing is the first obligation met, our commitment to this important gospel principle will be strengthened and the likelihood of financial mismanagement will be reduced.

Fast Offerings

On fast day, we go without food and drink for two consecutive meals, if physically able, and then give to the bishop a fast offering at least equal to the value of the food not eaten. If possible, we should be very generous and give more. The bishop uses the fast offerings to care for the poor and needy.

Avoid Debt

Spending less money than you make is essential to your financial security. Avoid debt, with the exception of buying a modest home or paying for education or other vital needs. If you are in debt, pay it off as quickly as possible. Some useful tools in becoming debt free are a debt-elimination calendar and a family budget worksheet.

Distinguish between Needs and Wants

We must learn to distinguish between wants and needs. We should be modest in our wants. It takes self-discipline to avoid the “buy now, pay later” philosophy and to adopt the “save now and buy later” practice.


Drinking Water Guidelines

Water Storage

Commercially bottled water in PETE (or PET) plastic containers may be purchased. Follow the container’s “best if used by” dates as a rotation guideline. Avoid plastic containers that are not PETE plastic.

If you choose to package water yourself, consider the following guidelines:


Use only food-grade containers. Smaller containers made of PETE plastic or heavier plastic buckets or drums work well.

Clean, sanitize, and thoroughly rinse all containers prior to use. A sanitizing solution can be prepared by adding 5 ml (1 teaspoon) of liquid household chlorine bleach (5 to 6% sodium hypochlorite) to 1 liter (one quart) of water. Only household bleach without thickeners, scents, or additives should be used.

Do not use plastic milk jugs, because they do not seal well and tend to become brittle over time.

Do not use containers previously used to store non-food products.

Water Pretreatment

Water from a chlorinated municipal water supply does not need further treatment when stored in clean, food-grade containers.

Non-chlorinated water should be treated with bleach. Add 8 drops of liquid household chlorine bleach (5 to 6% sodium hypochlorite) for every 4 liters (one gallon) of water. Only household bleach without thickeners, scents, or additives should be used.


Containers should be emptied and refilled regularly.

Store water only where potential leakage would not damage your home or apartment.

Protect stored water from light and heat. Some containers may also require protection from freezing.

The taste of stored water can be improved by pouring it back and forth between two containers before use.

Water Purification

If your water supply is not known to be safe or has become polluted, it should be purified before use. Water purification is generally a two-step process.

Step 1: Clarify

Cloudy or dirty water must first be made clear. It should be passed through filter paper, fine cloth, or some other filter. It should be allowed to settle, and then the clear water on top can be carefully drawn. Filtered or clear settled water should always be disinfected before use.

Step 2: Disinfect

Boiling Method

Bringing water to a rolling boil for 3 to 5 minutes will kill most water-borne microorganisms. However, prolonged boiling of small quantities of water may concentrate toxic contaminants if present.

Bleach Method

Adding 8 drops of fresh liquid household chlorine bleach (5 to 6% sodium hypochlorite) to every 4 liters (one gallon) of water will kill most microorganisms. Only household bleach without thickeners, scents, or additives should be used. The use of bleach does not address toxic contamination.

Commercial Water Filters

Commercial water filters can effectively filter and purify water contaminated with microorganisms, toxic chemicals, and heavy metals. Their effectiveness depends on design, condition, and proper use.


Foods Lasting 30 Years or More

Properly packaged, low-moisture foods stored at room temperature or cooler (24°C/75°F or lower) remain nutritious and edible much longer than previously thought, according to findings of recent scientific studies. Estimated shelf life for many products has increased to 30 years or more (see chart below for new estimates of shelf life).

Previous estimates of longevity were based on “best-if-used-by” recommendations and experience. Though not studied, sugar, salt, baking soda (essential for soaking beans), and vitamin C in tablet form also store well long-term. Some basic foods do need more frequent rotation, such as vegetable oil every 1 to 2 years.

While there is a decline in nutritional quality and taste over time, depending on the original quality of food and how it was processed, packaged, and stored, the studies show that even after being stored long-term, the food will help sustain life in an emergency.



New “Life-Sustaining” Shelf-Life Estimates (in Years)



White rice






Pinto beans


Rolled oats




Potato flakes


Apple slices


Non-fat powdered milk


Dehydrated carrots


Product Recommendations

The following suggested amounts are for one adult.

Quantity for One Month

Recommended Products

Long-Term Storage Life

11.5 kg./ 25 lbs

Wheat, white rice, corn, and other grains

30+ years

2.5 kg. / 5 lbs

Dry beans

30+ years

You may also want to add other items to your longer-term storage such as sugar, nonfat dry milk, salt, baking soda, and cooking oil. To meet nutritional needs, also store foods containing vitamin C and other essential nutrients.

Packaging Recommendations

Recommended containers for longer-term storage include the following:

  • #10 cans (available in the U.S. and Canada at Church home storage centers)
  • Foil pouches (available through Church Distribution Services)
  • PETE bottles (for dry products such as wheat, corn, and beans)

These containers, used with oxygen absorber packets, eliminate food-borne insects and help preserve nutritional quality and taste. Oxygen absorber packets are available online at store.lds.org.

Under certain conditions, you can also use plastic buckets for longer-term storage of wheat, dry beans, and other dry products.

Warning: Botulism poisoning may result if moist products are stored in packaging that reduces oxygen. When stored in airtight containers with oxygen absorbers, products must be dry (about 10% or less moisture content).

Storage Conditions

Storage life can be significantly impacted by the following conditions:

  • Temperature: Store products at a temperature of 75°F/24°C or lower whenever possible. If storage temperatures are higher, rotate products as needed to maintain quality.
  • Moisture: Keep storage areas dry. It is best to keep containers off of the floor to allow for air circulation.
  • Light: Protect cooking oil and products stored in PETE bottles from light.
  • Insects and rodents: Protect products stored in foil pouches and PETE bottles from rodent and insect damage.

Dry Products for Longer-Term Food Storage

Products intended for longer-term storage must be dry (about 10% or less moisture content).

Warning: Botulism poisoning may result if moist products are stored in packaging that reduces oxygen.

Dry products that are not suitable for longer-term storage due to moisture content, oils, or other concerns include:

Barley, pearled

Meat, dried (such as jerky)

Eggs, dried


Flour, whole wheat

Rice, brown

Grains, milled (other than rolled oats)

Sugar, brown


Vegetables and fruits, dehydrated (unless dry enough, inside and out, to snap when bent)


Growing a Garden

“Self-reliance is a product of our work and undergirds all other welfare practices. It is an essential element in our spiritual as well as our temporal well-being.” (Thomas S. Monson, Guiding Principles of Personal and Family Welfare, Liahona, Feb. 1987, 5)

Planting a garden, even a small one, allows for a greater degree of self-reliance. With the right information and a little practice, individuals and entire families can enjoy the many benefits of planting and tending a garden.

The following information is provided to help you prepare your garden.

Planning a Garden

As you begin to plan and prepare for a garden, here are a few general reminders:

  • Vegetables need at least six hours of sunlight a day.
  • The garden site should be relatively level. If there is a steep slope, run rows of plants across it to prevent erosion.
  • It is a good idea to spade (mix) the soil to a depth of 12 to 14 inches. Adding organic matter such as manure, peat moss, or leaves will benefit the soil.
  • Be careful with fertilizer. All fertilizers have a three-digit code. For vegetable gardens, look for 8-8-8 or 16-16-16.
  • The simplest way to eliminate plant pests is to remove insects, worms, or eggs by hand. Some shake-on powder or liquid bug sprays are relatively safe to use.
  • Proper depth for planting seeds is approximately four times as deep as the seed is thick.

Gardening in Containers

If you don’t have a traditional garden plot, you can plant vegetables and herbs in containers that fit on driveways, balconies, roofs, and even window sills. This activity can be interesting and rewarding for adults and children alike. The following resources provide useful information about gardening in containers.

Frequently Asked Questions - Family Home Storage

What is the most important thing I can do regarding family home storage?

Get started! If you have already begun, faithfully continue your efforts. As Bishop H. David Burton taught: “This new program is within everyone’s grasp. The first step is to begin. The second is to continue. It doesn’t matter how fast we get there so much as that we begin and continue according to our abilities.”

What’s new or different in the new pamphlet All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage?

It teaches simple basics of home storage and encourages participation. It offers hope by showing that it is possible for all Church members to prepare for adversity by starting modestly and doing what they can according to their individual circumstances. The pamphlet helps eliminate the perceived complexity of home storage.

What’s the difference between the three-month and longer-term supply items?

Three-month supply items are foods that you normally eat, including canned and commercially packaged foods. Longer-term supply items are basic food items like grains and beans that have very low moisture content (about 10% or less), can be stored for long periods of time (20–30 years), and would sustain life if nothing else were available to eat. A portion of longer-term supply items may be rotated into the three-month supply.

The website and the family home storage pamphlet state that longer-term storage items can last 30 years or longer. Isn’t that a much longer period of time than previously thought?

Yes. Properly packaged, low-moisture foods stored at room temperature or cooler (75°F/24°C or lower) remain nutritious and edible much longer than previously thought, according to recent scientific studies. The studies, which are the first of their kind, increase the estimated shelf life for many products to 30 years or more (see chart for new estimates of shelf life). Previous estimates of longevity were based on “best-if-used-by” recommendations and experience. Though not studied, sugar, salt, baking soda (essential for soaking beans), and vitamin C in tablet form also store well long-term. Some basic foods do need more frequent rotation, such as vegetable oil every 1 to 2 years.

While there is a decline in nutritional quality and taste over time, depending on the original quality of food and how it was processed, packaged, and stored, the studies show that even after being stored long-term, the food will help sustain life in an emergency.

Why was the pamphlet produced?

To teach the simple principles of home storage and encourage participation. It offers hope by showing that it is possible for most Church members to prepare for adversity, starting modestly by storing a few items of food, filling a few leak-proof containers with water, and saving a few coins each week. The pamphlet helps eliminate the perceived complexity of home storage.

Does the information outlined in the pamphlet supersede all previous counsel?


Where do I start?

Start by adding a few storable items that you typically eat, storing some water that is safe to drink, and saving some money, if only a few coins each week. Then, over time, expand these initial efforts—as individual circumstances allow and where permitted—by storing a longer-term supply of basics such as grains, beans, and other staples.

How quickly should I obtain my food storage?

It is not prudent to go to extremes or go into debt to establish your home storage all at once. Gradually build reserves over time as financial resources and space permit.

How often should I rotate stored products?

Continually use and replenish the food in your three-month supply to avoid spoilage. You may wish to rotate into your regular meals elements of your longer-term food supply. Such items can, however, if properly packaged and stored in a cool, dry place, last 30 or more years. See the Home and Family section of the Church’s website, LDS.org, for more information about home storage rotation and packaging.

What about 72-hour kits?

Church members are encouraged to prepare for adversity by building a basic supply of food, water, money, and, over time, longer-term supply items. Beyond this, Church members may choose to store additional items that could be of use during times of distress.


Thoughts Emergency Preparedness

List the disasters (natural or man-made) that are most likely to occur in your area. For each type of disaster, identify specific response actions that would be needed.

(Stake and Ward Emergency Planning Guide)

The Salt Lake Valley Health Department has prepared a great brochure on Family Emergency Preparedness. It can be downloaded at http://slvhealth.org/programs/emergencyPreparedness/index.html

In the introduction to this brochure they share the following:

Disaster can strike quickly and without warning. It can force you to evacuate your neighborhood or confine you to your home. What would you do if basic relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone right away. Medical help may not arrive at all. 9-1-1 will be totally overwhelmed in a major disaster.

Families can - and do - cope with disaster by preparing in advance and working together as a team. Follow the steps listed to create your family's disaster plan. Knowing what to do is your best protection and your responsibility.

Where will your family be when disaster strikes? They could be anywhere – at work, at school or in the car. How will you find each other? Will you know if your children are safe?

Four Steps to Safety

1. Find Out What Disaster Could Happen to You


Winter Storm

Wildland Fire


Cold/Heat Wave


Bomb Threat


Utilities Failures

Hazardous Materials


Structural Failures

Transportation Failures


Pandemic Influenza

2. Create a Disaster Plan

Meet with your family and discuss why you need to prepare for disaster. Explain the dangers of fire, severe weather and earthquakes to children. Plan to share responsibilities and work together as a team.

• Discuss the types of disasters that are most likely to happen. Explain what to do in each case.

• Pick two places to meet:

1. Right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, like a fire.

2. Outside your neighborhood in case you can't return home. Everyone must know the address and phone number.

• Ask an out-of-state friend or relative to be your "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Other family members should call this person and tell them where they are. Everyone must know your contact's phone number.

• Discuss what to do in an evacuation. Plan how to take care of your pets.

3. Complete This Checklist

  • Post emergency telephone numbers by phones (fire, police, ambulance, etc.).
  • Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1 or your local Emergency Medical Services number for emergency help
  • Services number for emergency help.
  • Show each family member how and when to turn off the water, gas and electricity at the main switches.
  • Check if you have adequate insurance coverage.
  • Teach each family member how to use the fire extinguisher (ABC type), and show them where it's kept.
  • Install smoke detectors on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms.
  • Conduct a home hazard hunt.
  • Stock emergency supplies and assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit.
  • Take a First Aid and CPR class.
  • Determine the best escape routes from your home. Find two ways out of each room.
  • Find the safe spots in your home for each type of disaster.

4. Practice and Maintain Your Plan

  • Quiz your kids every six months so they remember what to do.
  • Conduct fire and emergency evacuation drills.
  • Replace stored water every three months and stored food every six months.
  • Test and recharge your fire extinguisher(s) according to manufacturer's instructions.
  • Test your smoke detectors monthly and change the batteries at least once a year. Every six months is even better

There is an abundance of information available on how to best prepare for emergency situations through government and commercial websites, books, articles, etc.

There are many commercially prepared 72-hour kits that can be purchased as well many different lists that have been published of what contents to include in a 72-hour kit. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has the following list of recommendations for emergency supplies on their webpage http://www.ready.gov/

Emergency Supplies:

Water, food, and clean air are important things to have if an emergency happens. Each family or individual's kit should be customized to meet specific needs, such as medications and infant formula. It should also be customized to include important family documents.

Recommended Supplies to Include in a Basic Kit:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert, and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First Aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Infant formula and diapers, if you have an infant
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Dust mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)

Clothing and Bedding:

If you live in a cold weather climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that the power will be out and you will not have heat. Rethink your clothing and bedding supplies to account for growing children and other family changes. One complete change of warm clothing and shoes per person, including:

  • A jacket or coat
  • Long pants
  • A long sleeve shirt
  • Sturdy shoes
  • A hat and gloves
  • A sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person

 Below are some other items for your family to consider adding to its supply kit. Some of these items, especially those marked with a * can be dangerous, so please have an adult collect these supplies.

  • Emergency reference materials such as a first aid book
  • Rain gear
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils
  • Cash or traveler's checks, change
  • Paper towels
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Tent
  • Compass
  • Matches in a waterproof container*
  • Signal flare*
  • Paper, pencil
  • Personal hygiene items including feminine supplies
  • Disinfectant*
  • Household chlorine bleach* (You can use bleach as a disinfectant {diluted nine parts water to one part bleach}, or in an emergency you can also use it to treat water. Use 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.)
  • Medicine dropper
  • Important Family Documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container

You do not need to spend a lot of money on special survival gear and supplies to be prepared for emergencies. Most items in a 72-hour kit can be purchased at the supermarket and hardware store. It is important to customize the kit for your family based on the type of emergency most likely to occur in the area. It is recommended to consider creating a kit that will last 96 hours or even a week in length.

If an evacuation order is given we may have little time to collect important items. It is possible that we may not be able to return to our homes. This website has additional info on evacuation:


Other scenarios could require that we shelter in place in our homes – possibly without power, water, and sewer. Another possibility is being quarantined in our home due to a pandemic.

One of the best websites that I found on preparation kits was at http://www.equipped.org/. Below are specific links to preparation categories:

Emergency Kits:           http://www.equipped.org/72hourkit.htm

Water and Food:           http://www.equipped.org/watrfood.htm

Shelter:                        http://www.equipped.org/shelter.htm#Space

Medical:                       http://www.equipped.org/medical.htm

Flashlights/batteries:     http://www.equipped.org/devices27.htm 

Appendix A

Sample 90-day Dinner Food Storage Plan

(14 meals x 7 = 98 meals)

  1. Island Chicken


1 can of  Pineapple, drained

1-2 cans of Black Beans, drained

1 jar of Salsa



Pour all ingredients into a crock pot and let cook until chicken is done (4-6 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low). 


  1. BBQ Chicken


1 jar of your favorite BBQ sauce




Place in crock pot and cook for 4-6 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low.  Or can mix sauce and canned chicken and heat on the stove.  Serve over rice

  1. Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce


1 package of spaghetti or other favorite noodle

1 jar of marinara sauce


  1. Macaroni and Cheese


1-2 boxes of Macaroni and Cheese


  1. Turkey and Veggie Soup


1 can of Progresso Soup (Chicken Noodle or Veggie Noodle)

1 can of drained Corn

1 can of drained Mixed Veggies

1 can of drained canned Turkey (we like Costco’s)

Adobo and salt and pepper to taste


  1. Tuna Sandwiches



Mayo/Miracle Whip


Mix and serve on bread or with crackers.


  1. Shepherds Pie


1 lb hamburger or TVP

1 can tomato soup or tomato sauce

1 can cream of mushroom soup

2 cans of vegetables (green beans or mixed veggies)

2 cups of potato pearls


To make potato pearls:  Boil 4 ½ cups water.  Add potato pearls.  Fluff with a fork.  To make gravy:  In sauce pan brown hamburger.  Add soups and vegetables.  Layer meat mixture of the bottom with potatoes on top.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Bake until cheese melts.


  1. Hawaiian Haystacks



1 c. chicken broth

2 (10 ¾ oz) cream of chicken soup

1 c. milk or evaporated milk


Place chicken in greased crock-pot.  Combine soup and milk and pour over chicken.  Cover on high heat for 3-4 hours or low heat for 6-8 hours. 


Serve over rice and top with crushed pineapple, coconut, roasted almonds, etc, etc

  1. Stove Top Chicken Casserole


2-3 Chicken Breast cut up

1 can cream of chicken

1 box of Stove Top Stuffing

1 cup Sour Cream

2 Tbsp lemon juice

Swiss Cheese


Place chicken in bottom of pan, put cheese over.  Mix cream of chicken, sour cream, and lemon juice.  Pour over top of chicken.  Make Stove Top Stuffing according to directions on box and put on top of chicken and sauce.  Bake covered for 40 minutes at 375 degrees.


10.  EZ Minestrone Soup


3 (10 ¾ oz) cans Campbell’s minestrone soup

3 (10 ¾ oz) cans of water

1 15 oz. can of pork and beans

2 T. Worcestershire sauce

1 c. shredded cheddar cheese, optional


Mix all ingredients together in a crock-pot, except cheese.  Simmer together for 2-3 hours.  Serve with shredded cheddar cheese.


*If desired you can also brown 1 lb. ground beef with 1 c. celery and 1/3 c. chopped onion and add to the soup.


11.  White Chicken Chili


1 T. olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped or ¼ cup dried onions

4 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 (4 oz) cans chopped green chilies

2 tsp. dried oregano

½ tsp. cayenne pepper

4 (16 oz) cans Great Northern Beans

6 c. chicken broth

5 cups cooked, chopped chicken

4 c. grated Monterey Jack Cheese (optional)


Sauté’ onions in oil.  Stir in garlic and chilies, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper and sauté’ 2 minutes.  Add un-drained beans and broth.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and add chicken.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with cheese sprinkled on top.  If desired you can thicken with a flour and water mixture.  .  Sprinkle with cheese.  Bake until cheese melts.

12.  Chicken with Rice


(If you don’t use chicken it will still make a great side dish)


8 chicken breasts

1 c. rice

1 (10 ¾ oz) can cream of mushroom soup

1 (10 ¾ oz) can cream of celery soup

1 c. milk


Generously butter a 9x13” pan and spread rice evenly over the bottom.  Mix cream of mushroom, cream of celery soup and milk together until smooth.  Pour over the rice.  Place chicken breasts on top of the rice and soup mixture.  Optional:  Can sprinkle with dry onion soup mix.  Cover tightly with foil and bake for 2 ½ hours at 300 degrees.


13.  Coconut Rice Casserole


1 (14.5 oz) can coconut milk (can use light)

1 ½ cups chicken broth

1-2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste

1 cup rice

Add coconut milk, broth, ½ cup water and curry paste.  Bring to boil and stir in rice.  Cover and reduce heat to medium-low.  Cook, without stirring, until rice is tender, approx. 15 minutes.

*Also can add sautéed chicken, sautéed bell peppers and steamed green beans and serve with lemon wedges.


14.  Alfredo Pasta or Rice


1 can cream of mushroom

Parmesan cheese


Mushrooms (optional)

Pasta or Rice


Mix cream of mushroom soup with ½ - 1 cup of parmesan cheese and enough milk to desired consistency.  If available add sautéed mushrooms to sauce.  Top with additional items.

Shopping List for 14 Meal Food Storage Plan
3 Months of Meals

# Items

Food Item


# Items

Food Item




Tomato Soup or Tomato Sauce


Black Beans


Green Beans




Tuna Fish




BBQ Sauce


Marinara Sauce


Cream of Celery Soup


Progresso Soup


Macaroni and Cheese




Canned Chicken


Mixed Veggies



Canned Turkey

Red Thai Curry Paste               


Campbell’s Minestrone soup

Chicken Bullion


Pork and Beans

Olive Oil


Cream of Chicken Soup

Worchester Sauce


Stove Top Stuffing

Lemon Juice


Coconut Milk


Parmesan Cheese


Chopped Green Chiles

Potato Pearls


Great Northern Beans


Mayonnaise / Miracle Whip


Cream of Mushroom


Dry Milk / Evaporated Milk

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Appendix E

Things I learned from Hurricane Sandy
by Frantz Ostmann on November 17, 2012

The excitement and coolness wears off around day three.

  1. You are never really prepared to go weeks without power, heat, water etc. Never!
  2. Yes it can happen to you.
  3. Just because your generator runs like a top, does not mean its producing electricity.
  4. If you do not have water stored up you are in trouble.
    1. A couple of cases of bottled water is “NOT” water storage
    2. Should have as much fuel as water
      1. Propane
      2. Gas
      3. Kerosene
      4. Firewood
      5. Firestarter, (kindling, paper, etc)
    3. Even the smallest little thing that you get from the store should be stocked up.. (spark plug for the generator, BBQ lighter, etc)
    4. If you are not working, chances are nobody else is either.
    5. I was surprised how quickly normal social behavior goes out the window. I am not talking about someone cutting in line at the grocery store.
      1. 3 people were killed at gas stations within 50 miles of my home.
      2. I did not say 3 fights broke out, 3 people were killed.
    6. Cash is king (all the money in your savings means nothing)
    7. Stored water can taste nasty.
    8. You eat a lot more food when you are cold
    9. You need more food than you think if your kids are out of school for 2 weeks
    10. Kids do not like washing their face in cold water.
    11. Your 1972 Honda Civic gets to the grocery store as well as your 2012 Escalade… but the Honda allows money left over for heat, food, water, a generator, fire wood, a backup water pump, you get the idea..
    12. The electrical grid is way more fragile than I thought.
    13. Think of the things that are your comfort, your escape, a cup of hot chocolate, a glass of milk and a ding dong before bed, tequila, etc. Stock up on those too. You will need that comfort after day 3.
    14. You quickly become the guy in the neighborhood who knows how to wire a generator to the electrical panel, directly wire the furnace to a small generator, or get the well pump up and running on inverter power or you are the guy whose Master’s degree in Accounting suddenly means nothing. 
    15. A woman who can cook a fine meal by candle light over the BBQ or open fire is worth her weight in gold. And women, whose weight in gold, would not add up to much, usually die off first. Sorry skinny women.
    16. It takes a lot of firewood to keep a fire going all day and into the evening for heat.
    17. All the food storage in the world means nothing if your kids won’t eat it.
    18. You might be prepared to take care of your children and their needs, but what about when the neighborhood children start to show up at your door?
    19. Some people shut down in an emergency. There is nothing that you can do about that.
    20. Your town, no matter how small is entirely dependent on outside sources of everything.
      1. If supply trucks stop rolling in due to road damage, gas shortages or anything else you could be without for a long time.
    21. In an emergency Men stock up on food, Women stock up on toilet paper.
    22. I was surprised how many things run on electricity!
    23. You can never have enough matches.
    24. Although neighbors can be a great resource, they can also be a huge drain on your emergency storage. You need to know how you are going to handle that. It is really easy to be Bob the guy who shares on Day 3, not so easy on Day 11. Just reality.
    25. Give a man a fish he eats for that day, teach a man to fish and he will never be hungry again.. Now I get it.
    26. All of the expensive clothes in the closet mean nothing if they don’t keep you warm.
    27. Same goes for shoes… Love you Honey!!!!
    28. You cannot believe the utility companies. They are run by politicians!! Or so it seems,
    29. Anything that you depend on someone else for is not avail anymore.
    30. Quote “A man with a chainsaw that knows how to use it is a thing of beauty”
    31. Most folks don’t have any emergency storage. They run to Wal-Mart and get water and batteries and then fill their tubs with water. That is it. A lucky few will get a case of ramen and a box of pop tarts. That will be your neighbors supply. (especially if you live outside of Utah)
    32. Fathers, all the money you have ever made means nothing if you can’t keep your kids warm.
    33. Mothers, everything you have ever done for your kids is forgotten if your kids are hungry.
    34. You really do not want to be the “Unprepared Parents” The kids turn on you pretty quick.
    35. Small solar charging gadgets will keep you in touch. Most work pretty well it seems.
    36. Most things don’t take much power to operate.
      1. Computers, Phones, Radios, TV, lights
    37. Some things take a ton of power to operate.
      1. Fridge, Toaster, Freezer, Hot plate, Microwave
    38. When it gets dark at 4:30pm the nights are really long without power.
    39. Getting out of the house is very important. Even if it is cold. Make your home the semi warm place to come home to.. not the cold prison that you are stuck in.
    40. Someone in your family must play or learn to play guitar.
    41. Things that disappeared never to be seen again for a very long time.
      1. Fuel, of all kinds
      2. Matches, lighters of any kind etc.
      3. Toilet paper
      4. Paper plates, plastic forks and knives
      5. Batteries, didn’t really see a need for them. (flashlights??? I guess)
      6. Milk
      7. Charcoal
      8. Spark plugs (generators)
      9. 2 stroke motor oil, (chainsaws)
      10. Anything that could be used to wire a generator to the house.
      11. Extension cords
      12. Medicines (Tylenol, Advil, cold medicine, etc.)
    42. There was a strange peace to knowing all I had to do each day was keep my family safe, warm, and fed, but my peace was someone else’s panic.
    43. There were also many things that were not learned from hurricane Sandy, but reinforced. Those things were the importance of my family and their love and support, especially my lovely wife, that my Heavenly Father is really in charge, period, and finally that I am very thankful for the upbringing and experiences that have taught me and brought me to where I am
    44. God Bless!!!

Appendix F

The Top 100 Items That Will Disappear First


1. Generators (Good ones cost dearly. Gas storage, risky. Noisy...target of thieves; maintenance etc.)
2. Water Filters/Purifiers
3. Portable Toilets
4. Seasoned Firewood. Wood takes about 6 - 12 months to become dried, for home uses.
5. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps (First Choice: Buy CLEAR oil. If scarce, stockpile ANY!)
6. Coleman Fuel. Impossible to stockpile too much.
7. Guns, Ammunition, Pepper Spray, Knives, Clubs, Bats & Slingshots.
8. Hand-can openers, & hand egg beaters, whisks.
9. Honey/Syrups/white, brown sugar
10. Rice - Beans - Wheat
11. Vegetable Oil (for cooking) Without it food burns/must be boiled etc.,)
12. Charcoal, Lighter Fluid (Will become scarce suddenly)
13. Water Containers (Urgent Item to obtain.) Any size. Small: HARD CLEAR PLASTIC ONLY - note - food grade if for drinking.
14. Mini Heater head (Propane) (Without this item, propane won't heat a room.)
15. Grain Grinder (Non-electric)
16. Propane Cylinders (Urgent: Definite shortages will occur.
17. Survival Guide Book.
18. Mantles: Aladdin, Coleman, etc. (Without this item, longer-term lighting is difficult.)
19. Baby Supplies: Diapers/formula. ointments/aspirin, etc.
20. Washboards, Mop Bucket w/wringer (for Laundry)
21. Cookstoves (Propane, Coleman & Kerosene)
22. Vitamins
23. Propane Cylinder Handle-Holder (Urgent: Small canister use is dangerous without this item)
24. Feminine Hygiene/Haircare/Skin products.
25. Thermal underwear (Tops & Bottoms)
26. Bow saws, axes and hatchets, Wedges (also, honing oil)
27. Aluminum Foil Reg. & Heavy Duty (Great Cooking and Barter Item)
28. Gasoline Containers (Plastic & Metal)
29. Garbage Bags (Impossible To Have Too Many).
30. Toilet Paper, Kleenex, Paper Towels
31. Milk - Powdered & Condensed (Shake Liquid every 3 to 4 months)
32. Garden Seeds (Non-Hybrid) (A MUST)
33. Clothes pins/line/hangers (A MUST)
34. Coleman's Pump Repair Kit
35. Tuna Fish (in oil)
36. Fire Extinguishers (or..large box of Baking Soda in every room)
37. First aid kits
38. Batteries (all sizes...buy furthest-out for Expiration Dates)
39. Garlic, spices & vinegar, baking supplies
40. Big Dogs (and plenty of dog food)
41. Flour, yeast & salt
42. Matches. {"Strike Anywhere" preferred.) Boxed, wooden matches will go first
43. Writing paper/pads/pencils, solar calculators
44. Insulated ice chests (good for keeping items from freezing in Wintertime.)
45. Workboots, belts, Levis & durable shirts
46. Flashlights/LIGHTSTICKS & torches, "No. 76 Dietz" Lanterns
47. Journals, Diaries & Scrapbooks (jot down ideas, feelings, experience; Historic Times)
48. Garbage cans Plastic (great for storage, water, transporting - if with wheels)
49. Men's Hygiene: Shampoo, Toothbrush/paste, Mouthwash/floss, nail clippers, etc
50. Cast iron cookware (sturdy, efficient)
51. Fishing supplies/tools
52. Mosquito coils/repellent, sprays/creams
53. Duct Tape
54. Tarps/stakes/twine/nails/rope/spikes
55. Candles
56. Laundry Detergent (liquid)
57. Backpacks, Duffel Bags
58. Garden tools & supplies
59. Scissors, fabrics & sewing supplies
60. Canned Fruits, Veggies, Soups, stews, etc.
61. Bleach (plain, NOT scented: 4 to 6% sodium hypochlorite)
62. Canning supplies, (Jars/lids/wax)
63. Knives & Sharpening tools: files, stones, steel
64. Bicycles...Tires/tubes/pumps/chains, etc
65. Sleeping Bags & blankets/pillows/mats
66. Carbon Monoxide Alarm (battery powered)
67. Board Games, Cards, Dice
68. d-con Rat poison, MOUSE PRUFE II, Roach Killer
69. Mousetraps, Ant traps & cockroach magnets
70. Paper plates/cups/utensils (stock up, folks)
71. Baby wipes, oils, waterless & Antibacterial soap (saves a lot of water)
72. Rain gear, rubberized boots, etc.
73. Shaving supplies (razors & creams, talc, after shave)
74. Hand pumps & siphons (for water and for fuels)
75. Soysauce, vinegar, bullions/gravy/soupbase
76. Reading glasses
77. Chocolate/Cocoa/Tang/Punch (water enhancers)
78. "Survival-in-a-Can"
79. Woolen clothing, scarves/ear-muffs/mittens
80. Boy Scout Handbook, / also Leaders Catalog
81. Roll-on Window Insulation Kit (MANCO)
82. Graham crackers, saltines, pretzels, Trail mix/Jerky
83. Popcorn, Peanut Butter, Nuts
84. Socks, Underwear, T-shirts, etc. (extras)
85. Lumber (all types)
86. Wagons & carts (for transport to and from)
87. Cots & Inflatable mattress's
88. Gloves: Work/warming/gardening, etc.
89. Lantern Hangers
90. Screen Patches, glue, nails, screws,, nuts & bolts
91. Teas
92. Coffee
93. Cigarettes
94. Wine/Liquors (for bribes, medicinal, etc,)
95. Paraffin wax
96. Glue, nails, nuts, bolts, screws, etc.
97. Chewing gum/candies
98. Atomizers (for cooling/bathing)
99. Hats & cotton neckerchiefs
100. Goats/chickens

Reported from a war survivor:

Experiencing horrible things that can happen in a war - death of parents and friends, hunger and malnutrition, endless freezing cold, fear, sniper attacks.

1. Stockpiling helps. but you never no how long trouble will last, so locate near renewable food sources.
2. Living near a well with a manual pump is like being in Eden.
3. After awhile, even gold can lose its luster. But there is no luxury in war quite like toilet paper. Its surplus value is greater than gold's.
4. If you had to go without one utility, lose electricity - it's the easiest to do without (unless you're in a very nice climate with no need for heat.)
5. Canned foods are awesome, especially if their contents are tasty without heating. One of the best things to stockpile is canned gravy - it makes a lot of the dry unappetizing things you find to eat in war somewhat edible. Only needs enough heat to "warm", not to cook. It's cheap too, especially if you buy it in bulk.
6. Bring some books - escapist ones like romance or mysteries become more valuable as the war continues. Sure, it's great to have a lot of survival
guides, but you'll figure most of that out on your own anyway - trust me, you'll have a lot of time on your hands.
7. The feeling that you're human can fade pretty fast. I can't tell you how many people I knew who would have traded a much needed meal for just a little bit of toothpaste, rouge, soap or cologne. Not much point in fighting if you have to lose your humanity. These things are morale-builders like nothing else.
8. Slow burning candles and matches, matches, matches