New Welfare Square Tour Highlights Church Efforts to Care for Poor

Contributed By Marie Schildknecht, Church News contributor

  • 14 December 2015

New exhibits at Welfare Square pave the way for a better picture of the Church’s efforts to care for the poor and needy.  Photo by Malia Littlefield.

Article Highlights

  • New exhibits at Welfare Square pave the way for a better picture of the Church’s efforts to care for the poor and needy.
  • The tour path on Welfare Square has been changed to reflect the flow of production.
  • Updates include 13 new video displays, photos of Christ, and a room highlighting LDS Charities’ humanitarian efforts.

“[The Savior] is why we do what we do. We’re here to take care of the poor—His poor.” —Richard Humpherys, Welfare Square manager

Thousands of visitors a year head out to Welfare Square in Salt Lake City to learn about the Church’s welfare program. New exhibits pave the way for a better picture of the Church’s efforts to care for the poor and needy.

The tour will continue to include visits to the dairy, Deseret Industries, grain elevators, home storage center, wet-pack cannery, employment center, bakery, warehouse, and bishops’ storehouse. However, the tour path has been changed to more clearly reflect the natural flow of production, beginning with food processing and ending where the product is delivered to the patron.

Updates also include the addition of 13 new video displays, photo depictions of Christ serving others, and a room highlighting LDS Charities’ humanitarian efforts.

The manager of Welfare Square, Richard Humpherys, has a simple, yet powerful, vision of the tour. He hopes that the renovations will help visitors see not just what we do in our production facilities, but why we do it.

He explained, “[The Savior] is why we do what we do. We’re here to take care of the poor—His poor.” He taught us to care for those in need by spending His life in their service. We follow Him.

Video displays

Along the tour path, video displays enhance the functionality and relevance of the tour. They show production procedures in each of the facilities. This will help tour guides explain how food is produced in the bakery, cannery, and dairy, even when those facilities are not in use.

New exhibits at Welfare Square pave the way for a better picture of the Church’s efforts to care for the poor and needy. Photo by Craig Marshall Jacobsen.

Photo depictions of the Savior’s ministry

The Savior set the perfect example of service. His life was a tribute to King Benjamin’s words: “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17).

Throughout the tour, photographic depictions of Christ helping others teach visitors about the Savior—how He accomplishes His work and how He helped those in need.

Brother Humpherys hopes that these depictions will help visitors have confidence that the Savior will help them in their time of need. He said, “I want the poor to be able to come here and see how the Savior feels for them.”

Other photos, like the one of the Savior feeding the multitude, serve as a reminder of our role as His disciples and show us that God will multiply our efforts as we seek to help those in need.

These photographs were taken from The Life of Jesus Christ: Bible Videos series produced by the Church and from Mark Mabry’s Reflections of Christ and Another Testament photo series.

Humanitarian room

The humanitarian room showcases the eight signature programs of LDS Charities: Benson food, clean water, emergency response, immunization, maternal and newborn care, vision care, wheelchairs, and community projects.

The room includes two touchscreen displays and two video displays. The touchscreen displays allow visitors to see what projects the Church is doing internationally as well as projects members are doing in their own communities. The video displays feature stories that highlight Humanitarian Services’ guiding principles of self-reliance, service, and sustainability.

These changes are designed to inspire visitors to follow the Savior’s mandate to “go, and do thou likewise” (Luke 10:37).

New exhibits at Welfare Square pave the way for a better picture of the Church’s efforts to care for the poor and needy. Photo by Malia Littlefield.

New exhibits at Welfare Square pave the way for a better picture of the Church’s efforts to care for the poor and needy. Photo by Craig Marshall Jacobsen.

New exhibits at Welfare Square pave the way for a better picture of the Church’s efforts to care for the poor and needy. Photo by Malia Littlefield.