What’s the purpose in having a 3 month supply? There are numerous reasons to have one. First and foremost is that it’s a commandment. A 3 month supply is only a small part of becoming self reliant, a goal that we are constantly working on in my family. We’re not there yet! Yet, food storage still brings blessings.
No one knows when hardship will hit. It can come in any number of ways: loss of a job, an unexpected move to another state, someone moving in with you, or big medical expenses when you don’t have good insurance (or no insurance at all). These things are all part of life, but they seem much less like trials when you prepare to meet them beforehand.
A small financial hardship doesn’t mean the end of the world. It probably won’t last 7 years like the Biblical famine in Egypt. 3 months of food is a small price to pay and very little effort when compared to the task that Joseph faced: storing up 7 years of food for a whole nation, plus many other nations. Because he followed the Lord’s command, he was able to save many people, including members of his family that he hadn’t seen in many years. 3 months is only 1/28th as long as 7 years.
The principle of self reliance is a true one. We didn’t have everything stocked up when we started our experiment of eating only food storage for 6 weeks. We ran out of things that we shouldn’t have. Sometimes I miscalculated how much we needed of certain items, so we weren’t even close to perfect. When we ran out of fresh fruit, ward members gave us 10 lbs. of cherries. We ran out of vegetables but shortly after received a bag of potatoes, onions, and peppers. None of those who gave us food had any idea that we were out of these things!
The Lord is asking very little of us when it comes to self reliance. It’s not the normal way of living; it’s more like the opposite. Though you may have no idea what you’re doing at first, you will receive help when you make mistakes. What commandments do you live 100% perfectly anyway? This commandment is no different. Do the best you can with the knowledge you have, and you will receive help to make up the difference. By just trying to become self reliant, you have already succeeded.