President Ezra Taft Benson commented on this verse in one of his general conference addresses:
“What are some of the calamities for which we are to prepare? In section 29 the Lord warns us of ‘a great hailstorm sent forth to destroy the crops of the earth.’ (D&C 29:16.) In section 45 we read of ‘an overflowing scourge; for a desolating sickness shall cover the land.’ (D&C 45:31.) In section 63 the Lord declares he has ‘decreed wars upon the face of the earth. …’ (D&C 63:33.)
“In Matthew, chapter 24, we learn of ‘famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes. …’ (Matt. 24:7.) The Lord declared that these and other calamities shall occur. These particular prophecies seem not to be conditional. The Lord, with his foreknowledge, knows that they will happen. Some will come about through man’s manipulations; others through the forces of nature and nature’s God, but that they will come seems certain. Prophecy is but history in reverse—a divine disclosure of future events.
“Yet, through all of this, the Lord Jesus Christ has said: ‘… if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.’ (D&C 38:30.)
“What, then, is the Lord’s way to help us prepare for these calamities? The answer is also found in section 1 of the Doctrine and Covenants, wherein he says: [D&C 1:17–18, 37].
“Here then is the key—look to the prophets for the words of God, that will show us how to prepare for the calamities which are to come [see D&C 1:38].” (In Conference Report, Oct. 1973, p. 89; or Ensign, Jan. 1974, p. 68.)