New Deseret Industries store dedicated

The Church's newest - and by far largest - Deseret Industries store was dedicated here Oct. 30. In offering the dedicatory prayer, Bishop Keith B. McMullin, second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, asked that the new store be "a place where men and women, and boys and girls, can come to exchange their plenty and exchange their needs - blessing and lifting one another, strengthening each other through this mortal probation."

The 100,000-square-foot facility, located at 1415 N. State St., has a 33,000-square-foot sales floor. An old Deseret Industries store at the site was razed to provide a parking lot for the new building.The Church owns and operates 47 Deseret Industries stores in Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, California, Washington and Oregon. Begun 60 years ago, Deseret Industries is a non-profit welfare enterprise designed to help people help themselves. (Please see related article on this page on the 60th anniversary of Deseret Industries.)

Elder Ben B. Banks of the Seventy and president of the Utah South Area, presided over and addressed the dedicatory event, which was attended also by his counselors, Elder Dennis B. Neuenschwander and Neil L. Andersen, also of the Seventy.

Harold C. Brown, managing director of Church Welfare Services, also spoke at the ceremony. Others participating were John M. Felt, unit manager of Provo Deseret Industries, who offered the invocation; and Provo Mayor Lewis K. Billings, who gave brief remarks. Minerva Almeida, a Deseret Industries trainee, gave the benediction. (Remarks by Elder Banks and Brother Brown, pertaining to the essence and purposes of Deseret Industries, are included in the accompanying article on the 60th anniversary of Deseret Industries.)

Glen L. Rudd, an emeritus Seventy and a former managing director of the Church Welfare Department, was introduced as "Mr. Welfare of the Church" and was invited to make a few remarks.

A Deseret Industries choir performed two musical selections, "Because I Have Been Given Much" and "Lord, I Would Follow Thee."

Bishop McMullin, in remarks before offering the prayer of dedication, said that through the doors of Deseret Industries stores "pass some of the finest people on earth." He spoke of those who bring of their substance to give generously to help those who need to have a little initial support in order to stand straight and tall as they work so that they, too, might carry on and give generously in the help and service of others.

"This is an institution where a great exchange program takes place," Bishop McMullin said. He noted that an individual with an untrained eye might walk through a Deseret Industries storage area and conclude that there is nothing more there than a collection of junk. But the trained eye, he said, sees that "here are contributions that are going to be turned into something marvelous, something wondrous and, in the process, people's lives are changed, lifted and strengthened."

He said that he hoped that people can remember that when the opportunity comes to give that they can "remember the product of that gift, and how it transforms the giver into someone who is noble, generous, kind and thoughtful."

He expressed hope that people remember that the modest contributions that come into Deseret Industries facilities are taken by those who work with them and turn them into something useful for those who come to such stores to shop.

Guests toured the new Deseret Industries facility, which includes: a covered drive-through donation area where donors are assisted by uniformed attendants; an LDS Employment Resource Center; a computer training area for trainees; classrooms to teach English as a second language, literacy and job-search skills; a customer service center.

The Provo Deseret Industries has a staff of 35, plus 280 trainees, who are people with disabilities and others in need of vocational rehabilitation.

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