Almost since the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has been in existence, the Bishops Storehouse has been and still is a very important aspect of Mormon belief. Most storehouses were regional in the beginning, each congregation funding and supplying its own. But now, LDS bishops storehouse locations are upgraded to a more complex facility which also integrates Deseret Industries, an Employment Resource Center and Family Services.
LDS bishops storehouse locations are spread around the world, wherever a bishop deems it necessary and possible to finance such an endeavor. The storehouse is not meant for Mormons exclusively, as we could see after Hurricane Katrina when the Mormon Church, through its Distribution Service and Welfare programs helped a lot of non-Mormon people.
When it comes to establishing LDS bishops storehouse locations, several factors are taken into consideration. First and foremost the question whether the LDS community can support, finance and sustain the storehouse. Funding for a bishops storehouse is mainly gained through fast offerings by the members of the congregation. They are asked to fast for two meals every month on a Sunday and the money thus saved is donated to the church. The supplies in the LDS bishops storehouses are either bought with the money donated or are a product of the church’s holdings (like fruit and vegetables from church-owned fields and cans from church-owned canneries).
There are well over 100 LDS bishops storehouse locations distributed the US and Canada. More are located in South America and mostly everywhere around the world. The trend is to develop these LDS bishops storehouse locations so that they can encompass as many services as possible related to the LDS church like: the Distribution Center, Deseret Industries (the vehicles charged with distributing the food or goods), Employment Resource Center, Family Services Office and Welfare Offices.
The LDS bishops storehouse is a great way to provide for all the people in that congregation – and not just them! Many non-Mormons were, are and will be helped if the Bishops deems it appropriate. Basically, the storehouse is like a huge supermarket without the cashiers. Nobody pays for the food or goods they get from the storehouse. However, if a person is unemployed and asks for help from the Bishop, then he or she will be required to give something in return – in most cases, this being some volunteer work at the storehouse. But in general, for unemployed people, more permanent solutions are sought – like finding them a stable job or giving them the opportunity to develop some skills within the storehouse program so that they can use those skills to get a job in the future.
Given the fact that the storehouses are managed through donations and the fact that the people operating them are mostly church member volunteers, the costs of running a bishops storehouse are minimal. Everybody pitches in with what they can so that, in case of disasters or plain misfortune, they will have the guarantee that they will be helped in return.
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