When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. (Isaiah 41:17.)An important theme of Providing in the Lord's Way: A Leader's Guide to Welfare is the concept of the Lord's storehouse.
When members do all they can to provide for themselves and their families and still cannot meet basic needs, the Church stands ready to help. As a judge in Israel and steward of sacred funds, the bishop counsels with those in need and determines where, when and how assistance should be distributed. He is the agent of the Lord's storehouse, described in detail in the guide:"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. It may be a list of available services, money in an account, food in a pantry, or commodities in a building.
"A storehouse 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.
"The Lord's storehouse, therefore, exists in each ward. The bishop is the agent of the Lord's storehouse. Guided by the inspiration of the Lord, he distributes the Saints' offerings to the poor and needy. He is assisted by the priesthood quorums and Relief Society. He is trained and supported in his responsibilities by stake, regional and area leaders.
"As the bishop administers the resources of the Lord's storehouse to help the poor and needy, he should ensure that organized Church welfare assistance does not replace personal, and compassionate caring of individuals for one another." (Providing in the Lord's Way, Page 11.)
'Providing in the Lord's Way'
"Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
"In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
"For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
"And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thrty and eight years.
"When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
"The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
"Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. "And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked..."(John 5:2-9.)
- "We should strive to live righteously, to develop good relationships with family members and others, and to feel good about ourselves. To become self-reliant, we should [alsoT study the scriptures and the teachings of the living prophets." (page 7.)\ - "We cannot be selfreliant without being willing to work. Work is physical, mental, or spiritual effort. The Lord has commanded us to work, for work is the source of happiness, selfesteem, and prosperity. It is the way we accomplish good things in our lives." (page 5.)\ - "We should receive necessary help in the proper spirit. We should not be proud, but we should be willing to graciously accept the help that someone else offers. We should receive the help with humility, thanking the Lord for his goodness and the goodness of our fellowmen. We should determine that we will use the help we receive to become more self-reliant and more able to give to others." (page 5.)\ - "There are many ways in which we can give to the poor and needy. One of the most important ways that the Lord has established is by fasting and contributing fast offerings. . . . "These fast offerings are used by the bishop to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, clothe the naked, and relieve the afflicted. Fast offerings are one of the most important ways in which we care for those in need." (pages 8-9.)\ - "When we accept the responsibility for our own and our family's well-being, we are better able to sustain ourselves in our everyday lives. We are better prepared to endure times of adversity without becoming dependent upon others. We also honor the sacred relationships that the Lord has established between husbands and wives, parents and children." (page 5.)