If presidential candidate Mitt Romney wants to find a welfare system that "lets almost no one fall through the cracks while at the same time ensuring that its beneficiaries don't become lifelong dependents, he could look to his own church."

That's the opinion of former Wall Street Journal editor Naomi Schaefer Riley, in an op-ed piece that was published Saturday.

Riley bases her opinion on a tour she took recently through the new 15-acre Bishop's Central Storehouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City.

"The storehouse is not only a kind of physical marvel — it has been built to withstand an earthquake with a magnitude as high as 7.5 — but also a symbol of strength and self-sufficiency," Riley writes.

She accurately and precisely outlines the history, purposes and practices of the LDS Church welfare system, indicating that the charitable donations of Romney and other Latter-day Saints "are supporting the kind of safety net that government can never hope to create."

"Jesus may have said the poor will always be with you," Riley concludes, "but he didn't say Medicaid would."

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EMAIL: jwalker@desnews.com