Section 78 contains instructions regarding the Lord’s storehouse.
“Through the Church, the Lord has established a way to care for the poor and needy and help them regain their self-reliance. When Church members are doing all they can to provide for themselves but still cannot meet their basic needs, they first should turn to their families for help. When this is not sufficient, the Church stands ready to help. Members who need such assistance should call on their bishops.
“When people give, they should do so freely and with a spirit of love, recognizing that Heavenly Father is the source of all blessings and that those blessings should be used to serve others.
“When people receive help, they should accept it with gratitude and humility, thanking the Lord for His goodness and the goodness of others (see D&C 56:18; 78:19). People who receive assistance should use it to release themselves from the bondage and limitations of their need, becoming more self-reliant and more able to give to others. …
“In the Doctrine and Covenants, the Savior explained that the Saints should give their offerings for the poor to the bishop. The bishop keeps these offerings ‘in [the Lord’s] storehouse’ and uses them as needed ‘to administer to the poor and the needy’ (D&C 42:34; see also D&C 42:29–36; 78:3–7, 13–14; 82:14–19)” (Church Handbook of Instructions, Book 2: Priesthood and Auxiliary Leaders , 256).
Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For
Church members covenant to work together under the direction of priesthood leaders in caring for the poor. This work brings great blessings to the Church (see D&C 78:3–7; see also D&C 42:29–36; 82:14–19).
Church History in the Fulness of Times: Religion 341–43, pp. 98, 115.
Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325, pp. 171–73.
Suggestions for Teaching
Doctrine and Covenants 78:3–7. Church members covenant to work together under the direction of priesthood leaders in caring for the poor. This work brings great blessings to the Church.
Show students a tithing and offerings donation slip. (You could draw one on the board or make an overhead transparency.) Review each category in which donations can be made. Discuss the following questions:
How do your contributions help others?
How do your contributions bless the Church?
How does making these contributions bless your life?
Which contributions are specifically used to help the poor? (Fast offerings and humanitarian aid.)
Read Doctrine and Covenants 78:3–4 and identify what the Lord commanded the Church to establish to help care for the poor. Ask: How long was the bishops’ storehouse to be established? Share the following statement:
“The Lord’s storehouse … 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 inspiration from the Lord, he uses the Saints’ offerings to care for the poor and needy. He is assisted by the priesthood quorums and Relief Society” (Providing in the Lord’s Way: A Leader’s Guide to Welfare [online welfare handbook, 2004], 8).
Have students read Doctrine and Covenants 78:3–7 and mark the blessings the Lord promises will come as a result of our caring for the poor. Have students share their findings, and list them on the board. Testify that the Lord’s welfare program brings blessings into the lives of those who give and those who receive. Encourage students to be generous in their Church contributions.
Doctrine and Covenants 78:7–22. The blessings God grants to His faithful and wise stewards are beyond our understanding. We should be thankful for our blessings.
Invite one or two students who have participated in a drama, symphony, athletic event, or similar activity to explain what they did to prepare. Discuss with them how important preparation is and how the outcome may have been different if they hadn’t prepared.
Tell students that forms of the word prepare appear several times in section 78 (see vv. 7, 10–11, 13, 15, 17, 20). Sometimes it refers to our preparation and sometimes to what God has prepared. Have students read the verses listed above and look for who is to do the preparation. Keep a tally on the board. Discuss the following questions:
What has the Lord prepared for us?
Why do you think He has prepared such great blessings for us?
What must we do to receive these blessings?
Why do you think the Lord requires these preparations from us?
How should we respond when we receive the Lord’s blessings? (see v. 19).
Testify of the great blessings the Lord has given you. Invite students who would like to share their experiences receiving the Lord’s blessings to do so. Encourage the class to prepare and follow the Lord. Reiterate the Lord’s promises of great blessings to those who do.