Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are encouraged by their leaders to store a three-month supply of food. This stems from one of the Church’s guiding welfare principles: self-reliance.
President Thomas S. Monson explained, “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.”
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Based on that counsel to care for ourselves and our families in the routine or extenuating circumstances of life, Latter-day Saints store and use food and water in their homes that would sustain them in the event of weather-related catastrophes, illness or economic challenges. (See the Church’s All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Finances pamphlet for more information.)
Occasionally this storage guideline is publicly misconstrued and emphasis is placed on gathering an abundant cache of foodstuffs to stave off unexpected disasters. Such a response is unusual in Mormon culture, where a simple guideline suggesting the accumulation of a three-month food and water supply falls into the overall Church welfare philosophy of preparedness in every aspect of life.
"The Church has created a strong culture of preparedness among its members," said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross. "I believe it can be a model for others throughout the country."
As people become self-reliant, they are better prepared to endure adversities and are “better able to serve and care for others,” advises the Church’s handbook (Handbook 2: Administering the Church , 6.1.1).