President Uchtdorf Dedicates New Bishops’ Central Storehouse
By Heather Whittle Wrigley, Church News and Events
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf dedicated a new 570,000-square-foot Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, on Thursday, January 26, 2012.
Bishop H. David Burton, Presiding Bishop, also attended.
Prior to the dedication, President Uchtdorf emphasized that while the processes and techniques of welfare must be flexible to accommodate the needs and circumstances of the times, the principles behind the processes remain unchanged and eternal.
“We reach out to lift up others because this is what the Savior did and still does for us,” he said. “God is in His heavens, but He asks us that we, His disciples on earth, serve as His hands.”
As a six-year-old boy in post-World War II Germany, President Uchtdorf was a beneficiary of the welfare program that includes bishops’ storehouses. In the months following the war, the Church partnered with the United States military to send food, clothing, and bedding to people throughout Europe.
The new building includes administrative offices, conference rooms, bulk and rack storage, and approximately 60,000 square feet (5,600 sq m) of refrigeration areas.
It also provides a 24,000-square-foot (2,200 sq m) transportation facility to support the Church’s trucking fleet.
Most importantly, it will help meet the needs of tens of thousands of bishops serving around the world.
During his remarks, President Uchtdorf pointed out that the concept of consecration through a bishops’ storehouse is an ancient one, dating back to Malachi, Enoch, Melchizedek, Alma, Nephi, and Peter.
“We will continue to build storehouses because we are commanded by the Lord to do so,” he said. “’Let the bishop appoint a storehouse unto this church’ the Lord said in the revelations” (D&C 51:13).
He concluded, “This is a glorious facility, but it is not built for our glory. We do not celebrate our own goodness here today. This building exists for the work and glory of God. It is to His honor that we stand here today, not ours. This is a holy place.”
The first bishops’ storehouse, built in 1939 on Welfare Square, near Church headquarters, was 80 feet (24 m) wide and 140 feet (43 m) long. The new storehouse covers approximately 570,000 square feet (53,000 sq m) and sits on 36 acres (14.5 ha), but its purpose is the same as that original facility’s: it acts as a central part of the Church’s welfare and humanitarian programs.
Bishops’ storehouses are storage facilities where commodities are deposited that will be used to provide for those in need. Through a bishop’s order, those in need can obtain food, clothing, and other items to provide temporary relief for their basic needs.
Ground was broken for the facility on May 18, 2010. Bishop Burton was also present at that ceremony, during which he offered the dedicatory prayer.
During his remarks at that time, Bishop Burton pointed out that the new storehouse would help the Church keep the Lord’s commandment to “love thy neighbor” (Matthew 19:19). Members worldwide helped contribute to the building through generous fast offerings and other donations.