I was looking up this particular talk this morning because of another great quote and promise in it, and much to my surprise, ran right into the quote that I have been looking for!
We've had a few lessons in our new ward that have brought up this topic, and I know of several people who have expressed similar concerns. We are told over and over again to prepare, but the reality is that not everyone does. After seeing some of the widespread disasters over the last few years, and the devastation and destruction they can cause, and the ensuing panic among affected residents, it is easy to question what our obligation is to those who have not prepared. It is easy to be concerned that there will not be enough to go around. I know there are mixed feelings about this, and lots of differing opinions, so I hope this will be taken in the correct spirit in which it is meant.
Here is what Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone had to say on the matter while he was serving as second counselor in the presiding bishopric:
I should like to address a few remarks to those who ask, “Do I share with my neighbors who have not followed the counsel? And what about the nonmembers who do not have a year’s supply? Do we have to share with them?” No, we don’t have to share—we get to share! Let us not be concerned about silly thoughts of whether we would share or not. Of course we would share! What would Jesus do? I could not possibly eat food and see my neighbors starving. And if you starve to death after sharing, “greater love hath no man than this …” (John 15:13.)
Now what about those who would plunder and break in and take that which we have stored for our families’ needs? Don’t give this one more idle thought. There is a God in heaven whom we have obeyed. Do you suppose he would abandon those who have kept his commandments? He said, “If ye are prepared, ye need not fear.” (D&C 38:30.) Prepare, O men of Zion, and fear not. Let Zion put on her beautiful garments. Let us put on the full armor of God. Let us be pure in heart, love mercy, be just, and stand in holy places.
I KNOW that what Elder Featherstone said is true! I know that the Lord will not abandon those who have followed the commandments and have done what they can to prepare. He will not leave us helpless! The important thing is that we follow the commandment to prepare, and once done, we trust in the Lord and leave the rest up to Him.
We have been blessed on a couple of occassions to be able to give some of our food storage to those who needed it more than we did at that time, and EVERY SINGLE TIME, without fail, the Lord replaced what we had given with an overabundance in return! We've sometimes joked that our food storage is our "magic pantry" because no matter what we take from it, it seems to multiply somehow on its own and we can barely tell we ever took something from it in the first place! I KNOW IT WORKS!
Here is another wonderful promise from that same talk:
The Lord will make it possible, if we make a firm commitment, for every Latter-day Saint family to have a year’s supply of food reserves...All we have to do is to decide, commit to do it, and then keep the commitment. Miracles will take place; the way will be opened, and ... we will have our storage areas filled. We will prove through our actions our willingness to follow our beloved prophet and the Brethren, which will bring security to us and our families.
Elder Featherstone even goes into exact details in his talk of the steps you should follow to get your food storage, and home to complete each one. He even tells you how to go about finding the means to accomplish this goal! It is an excellent, excellent talk that I highly recommend!
"Food Storage" Vaughn J. Featherstone, Ensign, May 1976