Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Storehouse

For the first time, I got to see what a Bishop's Storehouse looks like when Jacob and I volunteered there this week. Yet one more reason I am proud to be Mormon. It's like the best non profit ever.

The way it works is that struggling families can go to their bishop, or congregation leader, to ask for help. The bishop, based on their situation, gives them permission to go to the bishop's storehouse, which is like a grocery store where items are given, not purchased, and in return they perform a service that the Church needs, like cleaning the church building. I asked the other workers there if anyone is paid, and I was told that it is run completely by volunteers, mostly retired men and women.

Awesome, right?? I was amazed at how huge it was, the variety, and the resources that the Church has in times of emergency. Not only are we encouraged to have 2 years of food storage, but in the event that something happened and Jacob and I needed help, we would always have a resource to turn to.

The LDS Church strongly encourages self reliance and independence, because when you are, you are better in the position to help others. So the Storehouse isn't a free ride, but sort of a step up when you're really out of luck.

This is also why I love paying tithing. Tithe, which literally means "tenth" is a voluntary contribution to the Church. I have seen so often how it is used for the good that it is a privilege to be able to pay it. For example, BYU tuition is so low because tithing helps to fund it. In Turkey, humanitarian aid missionaries were helping to distribute free wheelchairs all over Turkey. And now we got to see how our tithing pays for food of needy families all around the globe.

And all of this is distributed by people who are not paid! It is really incredible.


The Elledges said...

The Church really is amazing!!!

Where are you guys now?

GooberDiva13 said...

I love how this corresponds with the visiting teaching message this month. I really liked it this month, all about self-reliance. I, too, am grateful for tithing, esp. since I work for BYU. I always make sure to pay mine because I know people way worse off than I am are paying theirs, and helping me, so I should help them too by paying mine. (it's like the circle of life) :) Isn't this such a great church?!

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