Remember General Conferences when we were told to grow gardens, put in a supply of food, prepare 72-hour kits, get out of debt, and put our houses in order by preparing every needful thing?
The Church’s instructions on provident living still stand, of course, and there are wonderful resources available to help us. But when was the last time such counsel received significant attention in General Conference?
As best I can recall, there was a turning point when President Hinckley, after an extensive sermon in a priesthood session on financial preparations, said, “Now that’s all I’m going to say about that.” It may have been the last time he mentioned physical preparations in a General Conference address.
During the five sessions of conference just completed, I attempted to write down every admonition, instruction, exhortation, suggestion or recommendation given by the speakers. I collected 430 items of counsel in all, but…No one talked about food storageThere were only three references to financial matters (Elder Watson, Bishop Burton and Elder Christofferson) and all of them were warnings against excesses and greed, not about preparations.
No one advised putting together emergency kits
No one exhorted us to get out of debt
No one said to grow a garden
Having a house full of wheat, beans and rice will be insufficient if we are not strong in spirit and mind as we face prophesied events.
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With that in mind though, many of the talks focused on how to be positive despite the difficult times we now face, and may have to face in the future. The Church even has a new section of their web page devoted to this topic of hope. It is prominently featured on their home page or you can go there directly from here http://www.lds.org/topic/hope/.