The Truth of Mormonism

Today I put in a shift at the Deseret dairy. Fifteen other men and I packaged and boxed up 1 lb. blocks of cheddar cheese for distribution through the church’s system of bishops’ storehouses.
Deseret DairyTwo weeks ago when they passed around the clipboard in priesthood meeting, I checked my schedule and realized it was flexible enough to be able to help, and I’m glad I signed up.

Another blogger at By Common Consent lives in a stake which gets frequent opportunities to work on a church dairy farm. It is entirely possible that the milk from the cows on that farm was used to make the cheese we packaged today.

The mother of yet another BCC blogger is a Relief Society president in Moore, Oklahoma. She gave her children quite a scare last Monday night when the large tornado struck her town. They were unable to contact her and were becoming worried. However, she finally made contact and let them know she was unhurt. She had been out, on foot, seeing after the well-being of her neighbors and accounting for ward members. Today as I placed boxes of cheese on pallets, I realized that within a matter of days some of those boxes would be at the bishop’s storehouse in Oklahoma City, and my friend’s mother would be caring for people in need. The food orders she will fill out will often include cheese from the Deseret dairy.

“Therefore, let every man stand in his own office, and labor in his own calling; and let not the head say unto the feet it hath no need of the feet; for without the feet how shall the body be able to stand? Also the body hath need of every member, that all may be edified together…” Doctrine and Covenants 84:109-110


  1. Fantastic when we can see the end from the beginning and vica versa, and especially when the system works to support those in need.

  2. How wonderful that we can all feel a part of that vast net of caring and kindness that is our Heavenly Parent’s work.

  3. KerBearRN says:

    Thank you for a reminder of what this really is all about, Mark.

  4. Very nice! Charity in action.

  5. My very favorite part of us. And my very favorite place to serve is in the storehouse (Yes, even more than the temple. Rolling up my sleeves and serving with sweat and effort, here as part of the body of Christ, has always felt sacred to me.) Bless you, Mark.

  6. Kevin Barney says:

    One great whole indeed. Thanks for connecting the dots, Mark.

  7. Larry the Cable Guy says:

    I wonder who gets to be the tastebuds in this Body of Christ metaphor.

    Ward turnover always reminds me of protein and nutrient cycling in a body. Take in a few molecules, plug them in one place for a while, let them detach and become part of another structure for a while, and later on they’ll probably become part of another being entirely.

  8. One of the best posts I’ve read in a long time. Thanks, Mark.

  9. Teri Kramer says:

    Mark – Last Sunday, I sat in my old ward and the speaker was Elder (Emeritus) Glenn Rudd -who was highly influencial in the Welfare Program, and was asked by the church to write a book about the Welfare Program, (aptly entitled “Pure Religion.”) I’ve known Glenn since I was in kindergarten with his daughter, Glenda. He’s now 95 years old, but he’s still sharp as a tack and a superb speaker. I could have listened for hours as he regaled us with story after story regarding the welfare program and the blessings it’s brought to all involved. Being a very liberal Mormon (in the midst of a tea-party family and living in the heart of red Salt Lake City), I’m often cynical regards to many aspects of the church; that being said, your imagery – from dairy to Oklahoma tornado victims – was a wonderful reminder that the welfare program is the gospel in action. (For anyone who wants to listen to about an hour of his storytelling, here’s a link… Thanks for a great start to my day.

  10. Wonderful post, Mark. Truly, this pure religion and undefiled.

  11. Great stuff, Mark! Thanks for posting this!

  12. Thanks, Mark.

  13. Love it! Thanks!

  14. I love this!

  15. Antonio Parr says:

    This is wonderful. It helps affirm my decision to be a part of this wonderful community, while at the same time inspiring me to engage in works of love. Thank you.

  16. Well told, Mark.

  17. J. Stapley says:

    Thanks Mark and to all the helpers in Oklahoma.

  18. I was at the airport in OKC when the tornado hit Moore – about 11 miles away. Everyone there was massed in the “basement” of the airport for about 20 minutes, waiting for the all clear.

    Some of my extended family live about 70 miles southeast of Moore, in the same stake. They probably know the RS President in Moore. Due to the storms of the past few days, there were no rental cars available, and it was too dangerous for my family to come to the airport to see me. When we were allowed back into the terminal, I called my brother and asked if they would be going to Moore to help with the clean-up. His answer was simple:

    “Of course – for as long as it takes.”

    The good in our religion is so good.

  19. Sharee Hughes says:

    I have never worked in the dairy, but I have worked in the cannery putting lids on jars of applesauce or salsa, and I’ve worked in the bakery slicing and packaging bread. And In the humanitarian center, I’ve helped put together school kits. It all helps. I think everyone who can should sign up for these welfare projects whenever possible. It isn’ always easy work, but it is very rewarding.

  20. I can tell you from being on the receiving end of this service, how sacred and amazing this entire experience is. I’ve never had problems serving in the storehouse or anywhere else. But, when I was brutally let go from my job and was out of work for a year, I ended up getting to know the bishop’s storehouse in Sandy and Welfare Square quite a bit. My children even knew our food came from tithing, and without asking, my 5 year old would thank members for her “tithing bread” or “tithing milk” when she saw the envelopes given to the bishop at church.

    Now that I have a job in the Cincinnati area, you could say that it’s “too far” to serve in Columbus, to let the local members help. Heck no. after all I’ve been given, there will not be one time I am not at the storehouse, if my day is free.

    Thanks again for sharing.

  21. I love, in general, how we watch out for each other. I live in Belmont, MA, and when the bombing occurred, the bishop asked each of us to check on whom we visit and home teach. When some people couldn’t be reached by phone, people went to their house to make sure they were ok (everyone was). One family that had been watching the Marathon (but fortunately left before the bombs went off) was stuck in Boston (no subways or buses running) , and their home teacher drove in (it took quite a while, lots of blocked off roads and snarled traffic) to get them. Small service indeed compared to the welfare system, but still it invigorates my faith to see even these small acts of service in times of trouble, instead of everyone just hunkering down and worrying about your own family.

  22. Sharee Hughes says:

    tinaj, there is no “small service.” I’m sure those people whose home teachers picked them up in Boston didn’t consider it a small service.

    Service in return is good thanks for service received. A story was told in our ward recently about a Bishop who refused to give food orders to any of his ward members because he didn’t want anyone to think there we any needy members of his ward. This attitude was reported and the Bishop was summarily released. There will always be people in need, no matter where they live, And it should always be our pleasure to provide.

  23. Dale Whiting says:

    As a retired member, when I lived much closer to a wet and a dry pack canning operation, I enjoyed helping out regularly. Where technically most of my fellow regulars were “volunteers” some who were “in charge” were there because of “callings.” Most were very happy to be there. But far too many had let this calling and the authority in conveyed go to their heads. Where I am living now, we have a non-denominational garden and a bi-weekly soup kitchen. Where LDS constitute the largest block of “volunteers” much of the labor needed in the garden and in the kitchen come from our stake. Yet, here too, the one or two who have regular stake callings have let their authority go to the heads. Not much Christ like charity running round. I have seen at both the cannery and the garden, volunteer members get run off on claims that they have offended those who are also volunteering or who are receiving assistance. Regardless of the merits or lack thereof, the one thing which is sorely lacking is the “But afterward showing forth an increase in love, least they esteem thee to be their enemy.”

    Let’s always remember when we are dealing with others, that Christ is must be the example of charity and love of our fellow man. Let’s not allow Caesar and his desire to call the shots ruin the reason for others being there. These charitable operations are not “of the world” but are merely “in the world.” Let us leave behind in the workplace our propensities to call the shots without showing thereafter increased love, if we cannot altogether discarded them.

  24. pizarro says:

    “Desde la planta del pie hasta la cabeza no hay en él cosa sana,sino herida,hinchazón y podrida llaga” (Isaias 1:6) Así se encuentra la mercaderia-religiosa mormona.Lo unico que les interesa de sus miembros es el diezmo y mantenerlos en un total y absoluto engaño.El falso y satanico profeta está a buen recaudo.(Apoc.19:20)

  25. HEre is a question to ask the Stake President or Ward Bishop– How much help did the LDS church REALLY GIVE in Moore, OK, or Boston, MA? The answer is very, very little when compared to the Salvation Army, Red Cross, Baptist Men, United Methodist Council on Relief. We all like to pat ourselves on the back and tell us how much we are really helping– but in truth, the LDS church prepares very little for the many individuals and even less for non church members. Don’t get all teary eyed and jumpy thinking that you have done such a great thing as working for 8 hours at the cheese factory. Think real hard about how, with the Billions of dollars that the church has, it could really make a difference– if it really wanted to. It does not and most members don’t either– just want to have a “feel good” experience.

  26. Peter, as I said, my brother lives in the stake that covers that area. They will be giving lots of help long-term there. The members in Alabama where I lived for three years were continuing to help in the Louisiana and Mississippi years after the hurricane and long after most other organizations had stopped.

    You’re cynicism says much more about you than about the service at which you sneer.

  27. Seriously, anyone who can mock people providing service to the needy and totally dismiss the real relief work an organization does throughout the world . . .

    Peter, I’ve researched total humanitarian giving of denominations comparable in size to the LDS Church, and I’m sick and tired of the inaccurate complaints that get thrown around out of sheer ignorance. The best example is the Methodist Church, since the total membership claims are roughly the same and both are US-based. The LDS Church gives FAR more in actual humanitarian dollars, PLUS all of the food to its own members and volunteer hours of its members, than the Methodist Church – and when I say “far more” that is exactly what I mean. It’s not twice or three times the amount; it was roughly 15-16 times more than a denomination of the same size.

    Slamming the LDS Church’s humanitarian giving based on inaccurate, skewed, misleading arguments is more than ignorant. It is reflective of a bitterness that obscures reality and forces distortion and causes cancer to the soul. You don’t have to accept the LDS Church’s truth claims to avoid such ridiculous, biased claims.

    Tackle real issues, not sincere attempts to help the needy. Your target says more about you than the people out there serving in whatever way they can.

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