2nd Deseret Industries in Washington has been dedicated and will serve ‘to transform souls’

During the dedicatory service of a new Deseret Industries building in Puyallup, Washington, on Wednesday, Oct. 20, Elder Gary F. Gessel, Area Seventy, said that the services provided in the facility will contribute in a remarkable way to the Church’s welfare objective, which is “not just to clothe bodies and to furnish homes, but to transform souls — souls who may have lost the sight of their own worth and their own capacity, and are in need.”

Deseret Industries is a nonprofit enterprise owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It serves as a thrift store and donation center, and also provides work training opportunities and job placement services.

In addition to Deseret Industries, the building also houses the Church’s Family Services, Development Counseling Services and Employment Services.

“These inspired programs help people learn how to provide for themselves, build self-confidence and maintain self-respect,” said Bishop Mitch Noll of the Pioneer Valley Ward during the dedicatory service. “As a bishop, I am grateful for the services housed here and have used them to bless the lives of those to whom I minister.”

Sister Mauri Crandall, the South Hill Washington Stake Relief Society president, also bore witness of the blessings of the services offered by Deseret Industries. 

When a family moved into Sister Crandall’s ward several years ago from a different country, the family’s mother needed to find a job to support her children but lacked confidence in her abilities and her English skills. With the help of other ward members, the mother was connected to Deseret Industries who provided her with the commodities that the family needed, a job as an associate and coaching from a development counselor.

“With the help of all these resources available through Deseret Industries, [the mother] has been able to move forward successfully in her life and in her career,” Sister Crandall said. “She is currently a warehouse shift manager for another company in our area, and it’s just so wonderful to hear that she has come so far from where she began.”

The dedicatory service for the new Deseret Industries in Puyallup, Washington, took place on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021.
The dedicatory service for the new Deseret Industries in Puyallup, Washington, took place on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The parable of the good Samaritan offers powerful insights into how the welfare and self-reliance system of the Church works, Elder Gessel said. “Some of God’s greatest learnings, some of His greatest tender mercies are reserved for those who freely give.”

He recalled the words of President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency, who offered insight into the story of the good Samaritan. He said, “We honor the good Samaritan for what he did not do as much as for what he did. … He did what he could for the beaten man and then put in place a specific plan for others to do more. He did that because he understood that helping may require more than what one person can do.”

The operations of Deseret Industries, Elder Gessel taught, are a gift from God created to do for others “what we individually ourselves are not equipped to do for them on our own. It is, in essence, an inn for God’s children, and He is the innkeeper.”

Elder Gessel cautioned against categorizing people as either needy or self-reliant. “Adversity may catch up with any of us or any of our loved ones at almost any time. … All of us at different times in our lives and in different ways may fall among the ranks of those in need, and just as all of us are not so much self-reliant, as we are ‘Savior-reliant,’ the Lord will certainly fulfill his promise to prosper those who love serve and obey Him.”

Elder Gessel promised that “all those who come to labor within the walls of this edifice will be participants in the Lord’s work, and will have the opportunity to partake of His Spirit.”