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Utah Legislature lauds Mormon church's welfare system

Published: Monday, Oct. 3 2011 5:49 p.m. MDT

Paul Farnsworth checks the cooling temperature of the freshly baked bread at the LDS Church's Welfare Square in Salt Lake City Thursday, April 7, 2011.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Legislature passed a resolution Monday recognizing the 75th anniversary of the LDS Church welfare program.

The resolution recognizes the significant impact the system has had, both in Utah and throughout the world, and the efforts made by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members to serve others regardless of religious affiliation.

Sen. Stuart Reid, R-Ogden, said Utah has been of the system's greatest beneficiaries in that it has saved the state possibly hundreds of millions of dollars.

In 1936, seven years into the Great Depression, then LDS Chruch President Heber J. Grant announced the creation of what came to be known as the church's welfare program.

"Our primary purpose was to set up … a system under which the curse of idleness would be done away with, the evils of a dole abolished, and independence, industry, thrift and self respect be once more established amongst our people … The aim of the church is to help the people to help themselves," the resolution quoted President Grant as saying at the time.

The church welfare system includes Deseret Industries thrift stores, and 129 bishop's storehouses and 300 employment resource centers around the world.

E-mail: romboy@desnews.com, Twitter: dennisromboy

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