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What We Can Learn from Mormons

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With the failing economy, many have had to turn to the government to keep their family afloat. But this is not the case for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Their church's sophisticated private welfare system is providing a means of support and self-sufficiency to their members in these times of need. The amazing part? It's run almost entirely with donations and volunteers.

mormons and their food storage

The nationwide system, called the Bishop's Storehouse, provides basic food and essential household items to struggling members. Almost the entire stock is produced through Church agricultural properties, canneries, and light manufacturing operations. All of the work is performed by Church volunteers and recipients, making the system virtually independent of the commercial economy. They have also established Deseret Industries which is a nonprofit, vocational rehabilitation facility and a thrift store. Both resources are sustained by the contribution of time, talents and resources of its members.

The first versions of the storehouse started in the 1840's, when LDS members journeyed to the Salt Lake Valley to escape persecution. They created storehouses of grains and other goods to easy the travel of the later groups. During the Great Depression, former-president of the Church, Heber J. Grant said that he received revelation from God about the welfare system created by the New Deal.

"Our primary purpose was to set up, insofar as it might be possible, a system under which the curse of idleness would be done away with, the evils of a dole abolished, and independence, industry, thrift and self-respect be once more established among our people," said Grant.

Aside from the 10% tithing that the thirteen and a half million members donate toward the building and maintaining of temples and meeting houses and the sustaining of missionary work, they also fast for two meals every month. They then donate the money that they would have spent on food, known as a Fast Offering, to church leadership who then distributes the funds based on the needs of the members. Usually the bishop doesn't give money directly to the person being assisted, but pays directly for what the member needs (groceries, medical bills, etc).

The Latter-Day Saints have also been advocates of maintaining a year of food storage, something that has been encouraged at meetings and conferences for years. They are provided with the resources and counsel to help them build this back-up plan in case of disaster or emergency. Now, the food storages that have been in preparation for so long are becoming the cornerstone of survival to those whose income has been diminished by increased nationwide layoffs.

Read more tips on what to store and how to afford a food storage for your family.

Additionally, last year the Church challenged its followers to establish a 72-hour kit for each member of every family to use in the event that a family must evacuate their home quickly. Lists of recommendations for these kits are provided here.

So what can we learn from Mormons? We can take some of their preparations tips to help feed and sustain our families during these hard times. Maybe with just a little extra determination, we can ease our future hardships as well.

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8 comments so far | Post a comment now
b March 13, 2009, 2:18 PM

My sister-in-law and her friend have an entire blog dedicated to food storage, emergency preparedness, etc. It’s really quite good.

Melissa Multitasking Mama March 13, 2009, 7:37 PM

That is really interesting and really smart!

emily kate March 13, 2009, 7:54 PM

There is also lots of information on food storage and other successful living tips at

Anonymous March 13, 2009, 9:53 PM

it’s good can do something for other people in the community….. always join the community instead of isolating oneself is so good……

Catherine March 16, 2009, 9:02 AM

While the Bishop’s Storehouse was initially established to help LDS members, no one of any faith is ever turned away. The Church has many storehouses & thrift stores nationwide to help those who are struggling. For more information, you can view

Lichwxom June 22, 2009, 10:21 AM

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Emergency Food Storage March 3, 2011, 3:11 PM

This seems like a great program to be a part of. The ability of a church to support its own members is a great asset to a country that is experiencing wide spread economic difficulties which often result in people having a difficult time supporting themselves.

online shoes March 30, 2011, 4:59 PM

These writings to me are really hard to decipher. This is really fun can certainly say because one has pinpoint what is being explained. I really have to appear into this.

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