For the righteous the gospel provides a warning before a calamity, a program for the crises, a refuge for each disaster. The Lord has said that “the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven…” (Malachi 4:1), but he assures us that “he that is tithed shall not be burned. (D&C 64:23.) The Lord has warned us of famines, but the righteous will have listened to prophets and stored at least a year’s supply of survival food.
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.
I do not want to be a calamity howler. I don’t know in detail what’s going to happen in the future. I know what the prophets have predicted. But I tell you that the welfare program, organized to enable us to take care of our own needs, has not yet performed the function that it was set up to perform. We will see the day when we will live on what we produce.
The little gardens and the few trees are very valuable. I remember when the sisters used to say, “Well, but we could buy it at the store a lot cheaper than we can put it up.” But that isn’t quite the answer, is it, Sister Spafford? Because there will come a time when there isn’t a store.
And now I am prepared to say by the authority of Jesus Christ, that not many years shall pass away before the United States shall present such a scene of bloodshed as has not a parallel in the history of our nation; pestilence, hail, famine, and earthquake will sweep the wicked of this generation from off the face of the land, to open and prepare the way for the return of the lost tribes of Israel from the north country.
I prophesy, that that man who tarries after he has an opportunity of going, will be afflicted by the devil. Wars are at hand; we must not delay; but are not required to sacrifice. We ought to have the building up of Zion as our greatest object. When wars come, we shall have to flee to Zion. The cry is to make haste. The last revelation says, Ye shall not have time to have gone over the earth, until these things come. It will come as did the cholera, war, fires, and earthquakes; one pestilence after another, until the Ancient of Days comes, then judgment will be given to the Saints.
Do you think there is calamity abroad now among the people? Not much. All we have yet heard and all we have experienced is scarcely a preface to the sermon that is going to be preached. When the testimony of the Elders ceases to be given, and the Lord says to them, “Come home; I will now preach my own sermons to the nations of the earth,” all you now know can scarcely be called a preface to the sermon that will be preached with fire and sword, tempests, earthquakes, hail, rain, thunders and lightnings, and fearful destruction. What matters the destruction of a few railway cars? You will hear of magnificent cities, now idolized by the people, sinking in the earth, entombing the inhabitants. The sea will heave itself beyond its bounds, engulfing mighty cities. Famine will spread over the nations, and nation will rise up against nation, kingdom against kingdom, and states against states, in our own country and in foreign lands; and they will destroy each other, caring not for the blood and lives of their neighbors, of their families, or for their own lives.
My feelings are, if God blesses and sustains me, to build a good storehouse for my grain this season, I am going to lay up everything I can raise. I say this for the benefit of brother Hunter, and all the Bishops in the House of Israel. Follow the example if you think it is a good one, and lay up stores of grain, against the time of need, for you will see the time when there will not be a kernel raised and when thousands and millions will come to this people for bread. You cannot believe it, can you? You may say, “If one of the old Prophets could rise from the dead and declare it, we would then believe it, but, brother Heber, it is hard to believe it from you.
Will you be slack, brethren, and let the evil come upon us, when we forewarn you of the future events that are coming? Now, supposing that I had not the spirit of prophecy upon me, then I had better sit down. If a man gets up here and lets the Spirit of God dictate him, he cannot help prophesying, for the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of prophecy, and he will foretell future events, and you cannot help it. We are telling of what the prophets have said–of what the Lord has said to Joseph. Wake up, now, wake up, O Israel, and lay up your grain and your stores. I tell you that there is trouble coming upon the world.