The Lord's Storehouse
"The Lord's storehouse includes the time, talents, skills, compassion, consecrated material, and financial means of faithful Church members. These resources are available to the bishop in assisting those in need" (Thomas S. Monson, “Guiding Principles of Personal and Family Welfare,” Ensign, Sept. 1986, 5).
Many Church members may think that only the bishop, the Relief Society president, or priesthood quorum leaders are responsible to care for the poor and needy. However, each member of the Church has the responsibility not only to become self-reliant, but also to assist others in doing the same.
In section 42 of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord revealed the principle of the Lord’s storehouse:
“And behold, thou wilt remember the poor. . . . And inasmuch as ye impart of your substance unto the poor, ye will do it unto me, and they shall be laid before the bishop of my church. . . . Therefore, the residue shall be kept in my storehouse, to administer to the poor and the needy” (D&C 42:30–31, 34; italics added).
When the Lord commanded the Saints to “impart” of their “substance,” He meant more than just money and material goods.
In section 82 of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord said:
“And all this for the benefit of the church of the living God, that every man may improve upon his talent, that every man may gain other talents, yea, even an hundred fold, to be cast into the Lord’s storehouse, to become the common property of the whole church—
“Every man seeking the interest of his neighbor, and doing all things with an eye single to the glory of God” (D&C 82:18–19).
The Lord's storehouse exists in each ward of the Church and is established the moment faithful members give to the bishop of their time, talents, skills, compassion, materials, and financial means in caring for the poor and in building up the kingdom of God on the earth.
In principle, the Lord’s storehouse receives, holds in trust, and dispenses consecrated offerings of the Saints. In form and operation, the storehouse is as simple or sophisticated as circumstances require.
As members cast their offerings into the Lord’s storehouse, laying before the bishop their time and talents, the storehouse becomes a perpetual reservoir of resources, continually replenished and growing exponentially as Church members help each other to become self-reliant.
The Lord's Storehouse and the Bishops' Storehouse
The Lord’s storehouse and the bishops’ storehouse are not the same thing.
- The bishops’ storehouse is usually a physical location where certain household goods and commodities are dispensed under the direction of the bishop in order to meet short-term needs.
- The Lord’s storehouse, however, is not so much a physical place as a divine principle. The Lord’s storehouse includes all that faithful Church members are willing to do to help one another to become self-reliant. (In this sense, the bishops’ storehouse may be considered one part of the Lord’s storehouse.)
The following table illustrates the difference:
|Bishops’ Storehouse||Lord’s Storehouse|
|Commodities such as food, soap, diapers, and other household goods needs.||All the time, talents, skills, compassion, and other consecrated material of faithful Church members dispensed to meet short-term needs and available to meet long-term needs.|
Employment Resource Survey
The Employment Resource Survey (01032) is a tool to help identify employment needs within the ward and stake, as well as providing Church members an opportunity to cast into the Lord’s storehouse the time, talents, skills, and compassion they wish to consecrate for the benefit of those in need.
“There is enough of expertise, of knowledge, of strength, of concern in every priesthood quorum [and Relief Society] to assist the troubled members . . . if these resources are properly administered. . . . It is the obligation of the priesthood quorum [and the Relief Society] to set in motion those forces and facilities which will equip the needy member to provide on a continuing basis for himself and his family” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Welfare Responsibilities of the Priesthood Quorums,” Ensign, Nov. 1977, 85–86).
Bishops or stake presidents determine when and how the survey is to be conducted. For example, members may be asked to fill out the Employment Resource Survey during a combined priesthood and Relief Society meeting in which the principles of the Lord’s storehouse are taught and discussed.
Under proper priesthood direction, stake and ward employment specialists may take the lead in developing a plan to conduct the survey, teaching the principles involved, and administering the survey itself.
Using the Survey Data
Once the Employment Resource Survey (01032) has been conducted, the information should be used to identify those members with employment needs and call upon the consecrated resources of the Saints to help meet those needs.
This table illustrates how the Employment Resource Survey can help match needs with available resources:
|Needs:||Consecrated Resources Available:|
The data collected by the survey should be handled in a sensitive and discreet manner. The information should be used only for the purpose of assisting those in need, and only by those designated by the bishop or stake president.
“Only the bishop may allocate ward resources, but the [welfare] committee helps . . . by planning and coordinating the use of ward resources, including the time, talents, skills, materials, and compassionate service of ward members” (M. Russell Ballard, “Counseling with Our Councils,” Ensign, May 1994, 25).
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