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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – Welfare, 1937

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Priesthood: Welfare, 1937.” You can view other years here.

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1937:  Jan.:  Bishop has primary welfare responsibility.

“The responsibility of seeing that no one is hungry or cold or insufficiently clad rests upon the bishops, each one for the members of his own ward.  He will use every Church organization of his ward to help him in his work.  For help outside his ward, he will look for necessary assistance to his stake presidency, they to their regional organization, and these to the Presiding Bishopric of the Church, whose primary responsibility it is to look after the poor of the Church as a whole.”  (First Presidency, IE 40(1):3, Jan., 1937)

Jan.:  Harold B. Lee director of Church Security Program.

“Harold B. Lee, president of Pioneer Stake, resigned his position as commissioner of Salt Lake City, to accept the position as managing director of the Church Security Program.”  (IE 40(1):34, Jan., 1937)

Mar.:  Primary purpose of Church Security Program.

“Our primary purpose in organizing the Church Security Plan was to set up, in so far as it might be possible, 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 among our people.  The aim of the Church is to help the people to help themselves.  Work is to be re-enthroned as a ruling principle of the lives of our Church membership.

In accordance with this plan, everything that has been done has been accomplished by the purely voluntary gift or labor of members of the Church as well as the gifts of many non-members who have contributed most generously of their substance to aid the Church in its efforts.”  (Heber J. Grant, IE 40(3):131, Mar., 1937)

Apr.:  Retrospect of 1st year of Program.

“April, 1937, marks the conclusion of the first year of the Church Security Plan, which was announced to the Church assembled at the April Conference in 1936.

In this brief article it will be our purpose to state clearly the nature of this program, its purposes and objectives, to review some of the accomplishments, and to define some steps that must be taken in order to achieve the goal of ‘Church Security.’

What is the Church Security Plan

By now it is clear to the minds of most people that the Church Security Plan is not something new to the Church; neither does it contemplate a new organization within the Church to carry out its purposes; but rather it is the expression of a philosophy that is as old as the Church itself, incorporated into a program of stimulation and co-operation to meet the demands of Church members in the solution of present-day economic problems.  The words ‘Church Security’ describe the underlying hope of our leaders in this mprogram, rather than name a movement separate and distinct from the already established organizations of the Church.

The following excerpts from addresses made at various times by members of the First Presidency bareathe the spirit and power directing the present movement toward the establishment of permanent security:

It is my testimony to you that President Grant was inspired to begin this work and this plan, and it stands on an equality with any of our Church organizations.  And furthermore, just as these organizations have grown and developed, with the experience and needs of the people, and so are not what they were at the beginning, so will this plan grow and develop and if the time comes when we do not need it, we will not use it, but until that time comes this will be a permanent thing.–President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., Special Meeting Stake Presidents, October, 1936.

This Church Security Program has not come up as a mush-room over night.  It has come from the Lord.  Satan’s emmisaries would like to see it fail.  Those who have selfishness in their hearts would like to see it fail, but it is not going to fail, you mark that, because it is right.–President David O. McKay, Salt Lake Regional Meeting, February, 1937.

With the inspiration of this movement attested to by such witnesses as coming from divine sources, any Latter-day Saint who believes in the principle of continuous revelation cannot fail to heed the call of the prophets ‘to set up a system where the evils of the dole will be abolished and where independence, thrift, industry, and self-respect can again be established among our people.’  (Official Statement, President Grant, October, 1936.)

In a world of fears and anxieties occasioned by feelings of insecurity resulting from a world-wide economic depression, the word of the Lord comes as a beacon to point the way to safety:

Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations; And that the gathering together upon the land of Zion, and uopn her stakes may be for a defense, and for a refuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth.  (D. & C. 115:5.)

Applying the meaning of that declaration to this program, well might the Lord have said to His people, ‘I have caused you to be organized into stakes of Zion that you might provide a defense, a refuge, and a protection for my people.’

Hardly had the announcement of the program been made to the membership of the Church until press dispatches carried the news to the entire country and there immediately appeared numerous articles in the world’s greatest newspapers; some made exaggerated and erroneous statements, but others gave accurate and carefully written explanations of the proposed plan.  In the New York Times there appeared an editorial that began with the caption, ‘The Mormons Show The Way Out.’  There followed, a brief description of the Church organization and its proposed program and closed with this significant statement:

And if in this program, the Mormon Church can demonstrate its ability to look after its own members, it will have made the greatest contribution to the world in this generation.

Erroneously some papers announced that the Church proposed to transfer all Church members from government relief to Church relief.  The more far-reaching objective is clearly stated by President Grant in an official statement at the opening session of General Conference, October, 1936:

Our primary purpose in organizing the Church Security Plan 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.  Work is to be re-enthroned as the ruling principle of the lives of our Church membership.

Any activity or project which tends in the direction of ‘helping the people to help themselves’ to a position of security is in harmony with the great objective of the plan.

How Far Has the Church Progressed Towards

the Realization of These Objectives?

Heeding the call of the leaders, stake presidents have joined themselves together as regional councils to develop genuine teamwork, to discuss common problems, to provide the most economical system possible for collection and distribution of commodities through common storehouses, and to make preparation for the meeting of emergencies that might arise within any given region.

As one stake president reported–‘We haven’t produced much to show for our labors, but in our stake every man, woman, and child has had something to do in our program in canning, quilting, gardening, wood-cutting, and farming; our ward and stake committees are all organized and are functioning so that we woiuld have the experience necessary to meet any emergency that might arise’–so have others yielded to the spirit of co-operation, until today, after less than one year of effort, there is more sympathetic understanding and cooperation manifested than it was thought possible to expect in so short a time.

The payments of fast offerings and tithing have doubled and trebled in many cases, and many have contributed liberally in special donations of money, land, and commodities.

Through the activities of ward employment committees, 2,210 persons have been assisted in finding jobs in private industry and at least 16,867 more have worked on various projects under the Church Security Plan up to December 31st, 1936, as indicated by incomplete reports from seventy-six stakes.

In the regional and stake storehouses, twenty-four in number, up to the present thousands of pounds of food-stuffs and pieces of clothing, bedding, etc., have been stored and distributed by order of Relief Society sisters and ward bishops.  Generosity and unselfishness, coupled with loving and untiring volunteer labor on the part of Relief Society mothers, with brethren of the Priesthood cooperating, have made possible the rendering of assistance to 23,004 members of the Church, seventy-six stakes reporting.

. . . .

What of the Future in this Plan?

With a year of experience and observation behind us and with the light of inspiration pointing to the future, there are clearly defined five steps which must be taken to bring about the security so much desired.

First Step

There must be no idleness in the Church.  Today with the fruits of idleness ripening on every hand into indolence, infidelity, and rebellion, it is well to take heed to the voice of the Church as expressed by one of our leaders:

There is no curse equal to the curse of idleness.  It destroys the man, the group, the people, or the nation, who suffer under it.  Now, in saying that, I am not wishing to reflect upon those who are involuntarily idle, who cannot find anythng to do.  Idleness, I repeat, is a curse which destroys whoever is subject to it.–President J. Reuben Clark, Jr.

Viewed from another angle, the idle person of the present must be provided with the opportunity of rendering some service of which he is capable so that if and when he needs assistance it may be given not as a dole to sustain him in idleness but as a partial compensation for the work he has done or the services he has rendered that we may not ‘grind down the faces of the poor’ with merciless alms-giving.

So, with these considerations in mind, the plan must begin with opportunities provided in quorum, ward, or stake projects for all to find a place to labor best suited to his abilities and his experiences.  The more productive that labor on projects can be made, the more economically sound is the program.

Second Step

We must learn the lesson of self-sacrifice.

The fulness of this principle was explained to the rich young man by the Master as recorded in the Bible in answer to the query as to what must be done in order to gain eternal life: If thou wilt be perfect go and sell that thou hast and give to the poor, and come and follow me.

The goal set for 1936 to raise at least an average of $1.00 per capita fast offering was not attained, although there was a great increase.  The drive to achieve that goal must continue throughout this year, not alone because of the need for the money that will thus accrue, but to enable the Church as a whole to receive blessings that come from fasting and the payment of fast offerings.  For so the Lord has promised to those who are faithful in keeping this law:

Then shalt thou call and the Lord shall answer,

Then shalt thou cry, and He shall say, ‘Here am I.’

The payment of tithes and special donations in addition, from those who are financially able, must be encouraged that there might be ‘meat in the Lord’s storehouses’ for those who may need.

. . . .

Third Step

We must master the art of living and working together.

The present movement has been referred to as a ‘war against idleness, a war against depression, a war against social enmity.’  We are fighting to establish brotherhood and cooperation.

What an army the Church has with which to wage such a war!

Sub-divided into fifteen regions the one hundred and eighteen stakes of the Church are grouped together in units to make more effective and economical the program of that region, by better understanding and team-work, with the stake presidents acting as an advisory regional council.  Within each of the 1080 ward broups will be found the real ‘soldiers’ with the ‘guns and ammunition’ necessary to wage a successful ‘war’.  Here ward Bishoprics, Priesthood quorum representatives and the women’s Relief Society presidents must regularly plan the ‘attack’.

. . . .

In 1937, great effort will be made to create at least one project for each quorum of the Priesthood as well as ward, stake, and regional projects.  ‘Church Security’ will not be developed unless each group finds some problems to solve and then sets out as a unit to find the solution.

Fourth Step

We must practice a greater brotherhood in our Priesthood quorums.

. . . .

Priesthood has been defined as the ‘authority given to man to act for God.’  This must apply to temporal things as well as to spiritual matters.  Priesthood quorum members must search out the distressed and ‘act for God’ in fulfilling the promises made to those who have been faithful in the payment of fast offerings and tithing and in living ‘unspotted from the sins of the world.’

It would appear that in reality, the Church Security Plan, actually began more than five years ago with the organization of the four standing committees in each Priesthood quorum, and to just the extent that these committees have been organized and have functioned, just to that extent has a measure of security for quorum members been effected.

How long would six members of an Elders’ quorum be unemployed where the other ninety were employed, if the Personal Welfare committee had constantly in mind their unemployed brethren?

If quorum members fully realized that the greater the excellence of any man’s performance, the more secure his employment, would they be content until through the studies of the quorums and the auxiliary organizations every educational and cultural opportunity was provided to improve every individual of the quorum?

Priesthood must mean ‘service’ today as it has never meant before!

Fifth Step

We must acquire the courage to meet the challenge of today’s problems.  One year ago, good seed was sown and much of it fell on fertile ground where it has sprouted and is beginning to grow.  If there is proper cultivation and fertilization we may expect a great harvest of blessings that will build a haven of safety and security for all who keep the commandments of the Lord.  When, as a result of the productive labor of our people, surplus commodities are on hand in excess of the immediate needs of the Church, we are face to face with a problem that demands solution.

We find most of our unemployed today are unskilled laborers.  How may we train the unskilled in the midst of complicated labor uncertainties?  With most of our distressed families living in cities and the most secure living guaranteed in farming communities, rehabilitation seems our only solution.  Many youths of the Church are forced today to look elsewhere for business and financial opportunities because of their inabilities to gain a foothold within the body of the Church.  Shall we help them to become community builders by becoming home owners?

These and many other similar problems must claim our attention and in the solution of which, courage and clear thinking are requisites if we are to build ‘a defense and a refuge from the storm’ and thus become a ‘light set upon a hill that others seeing our good works might glorify our Father which is in Heaven.'”  (Harold B. Lee, “Church Security:  Retrospect, Introspect, Prospect,” IE 40(4):204-210, 260; Apr., 1937)

  Jun.:  Role of Priesthood Quorums.

“We have had the Priesthood for a long time, together with its quorum organization.  We need to vitalize these quorums, and, through them, furnish the cooperative assistance to the individual members of the quorum which is necessary to lift them above their present difficulties, solve their present problems, and point out to them the way for their future activity and success.  With the assistance of his quorum, the member should be encouraged to seek remunerative employment through regular commercial channels in established industries, or, where no such opportunities exist, in new industries which, through the cooperative efforts of the group, can be initiated in his community.  Special quorum, ward, stake, and regional projects should be maintained for those who, through physical disability or for other unavoidable causes, cannot qualify for the regular employment above suggested.”  (Henry D. Moyle, President of Cottonwood Stake and a Member of the General Security Committee, “Some Practical Phases of Church Security,” IE 40(6):355, Jun., 1937)

Aug.:  How quorums function under Security Plan.

“There is no organization in the Church whose members should be as close to each other as should be the members of a quorum of Priesthood.  If the quorum is organized with its four committees; and if the personal Welfare and Church Service committees are functioning as they are expected to do, certainly this close association makes it possible for the quorum officers and members to know the real needs and personal condition of each of the members.

First of all it is the responsibility of the members of these committees to see that each member of the quorum is paying his full, honest tithing; also that each quorum member and his family are contributing to the fast offerings up to the standard set by the Church, namely $1.00 per capita as a minimum.  In this way funds are created for the assistance of worthy quorum members who are in need of help.  It becomes, then, the duty of the Personal Welfare Committee and the quorum officers to know the members of their quorum who are in need of employment.  If the employment cards furnished by the Church Security Committee are used and kept up to date, when the quorum meets each week or month, a complete record of the status of each member with reference to unemployment is available.  It would be a splendid thing if every quorum would do as many are now doing, namely, carry a list of their unemployed brethren and, when they hear of an opening where the unemployed man could probably fit in, send word to him at once so that he may make application for the position.

. . . .

Where the quorum finds itself unable to render all the assistance necessary to accomplish this, the matter should be taken up with the bishop and through him with the stake president and then the problem comes to the General Committee of the Church for such counsel and guidance as they may be able to offer.  But the quorum must do its part first and do all that it can in an attempt locally to solve the problem of the unemployed quorum member before reporting the matter to the General Church Committee.

. . . .

Nothing will make the quorum member think so much of his standing in the quorum as the interest that may be shown the unfortunate member by his associate brethren in bringing to him real happiness in the knowledge that a man can take care of himself and his family because he has a job or he has a farm or an opportunity to earn his own living.

The quorum can therefore function in a most effective way in assisting the Church in a solution of these individual problems.”  (Melvin J. Ballard, “Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 40(8):510, 514; Aug., 1937)

Oct.:  Place of quorum in Security Program.

“The more we begin to understand the problems of the Church Security Program the more do we realize that hte solution of these problems will be found when Priesthood quorums begin to function as such in the solution of the problems of its members.

. . . .

Fortunately, there are many quorums of the Priesthood who do not need to be ‘commanded’ to set about on their own initiative and to enter into this program with great energy and intelligence.  But now, through the mouthpiece of the Lord, all Priesthood quorums are being ‘commanded’ to marshal their forces and, under the spirit and power of the Priesthood, to see to it that every person who is in distress is assisted by his quorum to become self-sustaining.

The Church Security Plan describes a Ward Employment Committee.  This committee brings together a member of the bishopric as chairman, a representative of each of the Melchizedek Priesthood quorums, a representative of the adult Aaronic Priesthood of the ward, with the ward Relief Society President, and a ward work director, and a Relief Society work director.  The chief responsibility of this committee is to investigate the problems of each needy family in distress and to counsel together as to the solution of these individual family problems.

It has been advised that the work director be delegated the authority to be the ctive chairman of this committee, so that in the event a member of the bishopric is otherwise engaged this work will not be hampered.  This committee should stimulate the Priesthood quorums to action in behalf of their distressed members and to seek ways and means of bringing about a permanent solution of these problems.

. . . .

Every quorum of the Priesthood should have a project of its own, under the supervision of the ward or stake work diretor and the ward bishopric, the nature of the project having been approved by the ward employment committee and the stake security committee.  Such projects should have for their objective, the taking care of those within their quorum first, and then the supplying of material assistance to those elsewhere who may not be so favored.  Assistance in building homes, aiding in the cultivation of farms, saving of mortgaged homes from foreclosure, counseling with quorum members who need wisdom and direction from those more experienced, all these and many other matters are practical applications of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that will be made when Priesthood quorums sense their responsibility to the members of their quorum, and when they come to realize the full meaning of the word of the Lord that:

Men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;

For the power is in them wherein they are agents within themselves.  And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.  (Doc. & Cov. 58:27, 28.)”

(Harold B. Lee, “Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 40(10):634-635, Oct., 1937)

1938:  Mar.:  Role of quorums/bishop in welfare.

“Before assistance is given to any needy member of the quorum, consultation should be had with the bishop and the ward security committee so that duplication will be avoided.  Every quorum is, or should be, represented on the ward security committee; thereby the quorum has direct access to the help given by other Church organizations to Church members in need.  Care should be exercised to secure united action of Church organizations in behalf of this and similar quorum activities.”  (“Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 41(3):168, Mar., 1938)

Apr.:  Priesthood and Security.

“The divinely inspired L.D.S. Church Security Program has made great progress, more than expected, in the time since it was undertaken.  However, there is much yet to be done.  Provision has beed made for caring for the poor; but the relief of unemployment is yet to be fully accomplished.  The future of the Program, the accomplishment of its purposes, depend on the activity of the Priesthood of the Church.  Indeed, the Church Security movement will succeed in proportion to the support given it by the Priesthood bearers of the Church.

The life and vitality of the Church are drawn from the Priesthood with which the Church has been endowed.  Auxiliary organizations and all similar helps can give but feeble service if the power of the Priesthood be withdrawn from them.  Even so with the Security Program, the progress of which depends upon the exercise of the power of the Priesthood.  As men use the Priesthood conferred upon them, so will the Church and all its activities prosper.  When the men of the Church holding the Priesthood perform their duties, the Church is always secure.  the Church can not rise above its body of Priesthood.  No law is more clearly set forth in sacred history.

Priesthood, always preeminent in the Church of Christ, is the power of God.  It has been with the Lord from the beginning; it is eternal.  It is the force or tool, the creative element, by which the heavens and the earth were made and fashioned, by which they are held in their places and positions, by which all creation may win the happiness of existence.  It is also the authority by which mortal man may assist in the consummation of the purposes of the Almighty with respect to the human family and all created beings.  Through it are manifested the attributes and the works of God.

In the words of Brigham Young (Discourses, p. 201):

The Priesthood of the Son of God, which we have in our midst, is a perfect order and system of government, and this alone can deliver the human family from all the evils which now afflict its members, and insure them happiness and felicity hereafter . . . it is the law by which the worlds are, were and will continue forever and ever.  It is that system which brings worlds into existence and peoples them, gives them their revolutions–their days, weeks, months, years, their seasons and times, and by which they are rolled up as a scroll, as it were, and go into a higher state of existence.

When the Priesthood is conferred upon a person, he receives a portion of this matchless, divine power, by which, if he obey the laws of the Gospel, he may actually perform with more ease and certainty every task of life, whether of a spiritual or a temporal nature, for personal or general human welfare.  Whenever the bearers of the Priesthood exercise this power, and all acts should be directed by the Priesthood, they move conclusively to the full accomplishment of every righteous undertaking of the Church.  Therefore, in their hands lies, primarily, the future of the Security Program.  This should be the sober thought of every man upon whom the Priesthood has been conferred.

Priesthood implies leadership.  The revelations of the Lord declare repeatedly that those who have received the Priesthood bear the responsibility of leading out and carrying forward every project for the advancement of the restored Church of Christ.  They must be the foremost laborers in the Kingdom of God.  Nor can this responsibility be shifted to others, to presiding officers or to helps to the Priesthood, such as auxiliary bodies, but it must be accepted and borne individually by the Priesthood bearers themselves.  Activity among the Priesthood in behalf of the Security Program or any similar need will stir the whole Church into corresponding action.  This is the great responsibility of the Priesthood.

The organization of the Priesthood into quorums, really groups of brethren blessed with the Priesthood, makes it easy for the men of the Church to perform their priestly duties.  The relatively small number assigned by revelation to each quorum enables the quorum-group to know intimately the condition and needs of every member.  Moreover, such a group may function more effectively, as a unit, in accomplishing assigned and accepted tasks such as the helping of their brethren who may be in distress, or the carrying out of quorum projects, those for example now being established for the Security Program.  There is no conflict here between quorum and ward bishop or stake president.  These officers, in the last analysis, are administrative officers of the Priesthood as well as of the lay members of the Church, and therefore a part of any righteous Priesthood movement to bless and help.

The high ideal of a Priesthood quorum is that of true brotherhood, under the laws and requirements of the Lord.  The spirit of Priesthood is simply the spirit of true brotherhood.  A group of brethren working toward such an ideal become irresistible in overcoming difficulties and acnieving desired results.  The world is waiting for the service of such brotherly organizations.  Peace on earth will come when men look upon one another as brethren.

Four great objectives have long been set up for the quorums of the Priesthood:

1. To become better acquainted, through careful study, with the doctrines of the Gospel and their applications to life.  The Gospel Doctrine class in Sunday School and the regular Priesthood courses of study offer the means for such instruction.  Ignorance has no place among the quorums of the Priesthood.  The Gospel is ever characterized by the possession of truth and the use of truth for human good.

2. To render regularly some service to the Church.  By such activity a man not only learns more intimately the workings of the Church, but finds the joy that always comes from unselfish service in helping to advance the cause of the Lord.  He thus prepares himself to accept from time to time the call to official position that may come to every man in a Church in which all righteous men do or may hold the Priesthood.

3. To care for the personal welfare of every quorum member, temporally, intellectually, and spiritually.  This means that the quorum should provide for their needy brethren from the resources of the quorum and application to the established relief agencies of the Church.  Also, and more important, this means to help their member-brethren become self-sustaining, by securing for them opportunities for self-help and by teaching them the principles of industry and thrift upon which all temporal security rests.

4. To engage in miscellaneous activities, socials, outings, etc., etc., by which the quorum members may find outlets for their normal social needs, give employment to their families, and extend their companionship with other quorums and groups within the Church.

Every quorum shoul dhave four standing, active committees, representing the above mentioned activities: 1. Class Instruction, 2. Church Service, 3. Personal Welfare, and 4. Miscellaneous.  No quorum is fully prepared to function in the Church unless this organization is perfected.

Quorums so organized and active, such groups of united brethren, would become the strength of Zion, of the Kingdom of God on earth.  They would make the Church a power on earth among all men, to bless and redeem the nations now lying in discord, unrest, and unhappiness.

The call has come to the quorums of the Priesthood to use their power in establishing firmly the Security Program to which the Church has set its hand.  This program may appear at first to be purely material in its objective, but in reality it is as truly spiritual as its results.  Those who give to the cause will experience the great joy that comes from helping others; those who receive, in the right spirit, will not only be fed but will be made to rejoice in the brotherhood of man.

The problem of the Priesthood quorums with respect to the Security Program is threefold:

1. To help feed, clothe and house the needy.

2. To help the unemployed find employment.

3. To help raise the standard of living of those who are barely subsisting.

In facing this threefold problem, quorums should remember that it is not necessary to look far away.  The elements of wealth lie all around us, awaiting the application of the time and strength of men.  The earth offers riches to humanity, on the condition that men labor to master and acquire them.

Every quorum should look about in its immediate vicinity for opportunities on which to base security projects.  Is food needed?  There are vacant lots, or unused farm lands that may be cultivated.  Is clothing needed?  A few sheep may be placed with the flock-master’s herd, or food products may be exchanged for clothing.  Is shelter needed?  Wood may be within reach for lumber, or gravel for concrete, or clay for adobes or brick.  United quorum labor on such projects would soon bring rich results to bless the needy.  Every quorum may list many unused opportunities.

Similarly, employment for the unemployed should be sought.  Again, home conditions and possibilities should be surveyed.  Are any jobs available?  May irrigation water now used excessively be uased to increase the farming area?  Are small storage sites available on which labor now wasted might be used to impound early water?  Can more intensive crops, requiring more labor, be grown, such as beets, fruit, garden truck, peas, beans, etc.?  Is dairying being following to a sufficient degree?  Are the products of the farm, fruits and vegetables, prepared properly, by added labor, for the market, to secure the best prices?  Is the locality suited to some of the so-called Chemurgic crops, combining the farm and factory, such as power alcohol?  Are there possible hand industries, for the slack season?  Perhaps an investigation into the things now imported by the locality would reveal many things that might be produced by the community.

Help might be given also to those who are on the margin of self-help.  Are they making the best use of their resources?  Are they spending their income wisely?  What unused possibilities are within their reach?  

The quorums of the Priesthood should lead out in all such projects, for they are singularly fitted, by organization and size, as well as by spiritual power, for the work.  Their wives and children would rejoice to be sharers in the quorum projects.  Through wisely directed quorum efforts might come not only help for immediate needs, but also the directing of attention toward cooperative effort or capital investment in industrial enterprises of large and lasting benefit to the people.

Every quorum should at once set about to find and plan its projects for the present year.  That which already has been done so successfully by the quorums is but evidence of what may be done by quorum activity.

Careful attention should be given to the new Priesthood plan, with its weekly meeting, course of study, stake committee and activity projects–as published from month to month under the Melchizedek Priesthood department of the Improvement Era. 

Again, let it be said that the future of the Church Security Program is largely in the keeping of the quorums of the Priesthood.  May the Priesthood of the Church, individually and as quorums, rise to full realization of their responsibilities and possibilities.  May the Priesthood of the Church read a lesson in successful brotherly effort, under divine authority and power, to all the world.

‘Up, awake, ye defenders of Zion!’”  (John A. Widtsoe, “Priesthood and Security,” IE 41(4):202-203, 250-253, Apr., 1938)

13 Aug.:  Formation of Deseret Industries.

“On Saturday, August 13, 1938, the First Presidency announced the formation of a new salvage and manufacturing program to be called ‘Deseret Industries,’ which will further aid the Church Welfare of Salt Lake region.”  (“The Church Moves On,” IE 41(9):543, Sep., 1938)

Sep.:  Deseret Industries.

“Under the authority of the L.D.S. Church Welfare Plan, an organization, Deseret Industries, has been established.  The purpose of the venture is to collect articles no longer needed or used by a household, to renovate them for use where they may be needed, and to place them on sale at low prices at convenient points.  It is a salvaging and manufacturing enterprise of real utility.

Deseret Industries aims to accomplish four things:  First, those who have will be given another type of opportunity to help those who have not.  Second, waste will be reduced by keeping our possessions in use as long as possible.  Third, the work of renovation will employ many now unemployed.  Fourth, articles in comon use, of good quality, will be available at a low cost.

In every household are articles and accumulations for which there is no further use.  Moreover, the American people, including members of the Church, are tremendously and indefensibly wasteful.  Furniture, clothing, bedding, shoes, tableware, paper, and the host of things used in our modern civilization are laid aside or thrown away, long before full use has been won for them.  This waste, which establishes dangerous personal habits, is reflected in our national distress, and cannot be pleasing to the Lord, the Giver of all things.  Deseret Industries will serve a wholesome moral as well as economic purpose in securing a fuller service of our property.  It asks that nothing at all redeemable be thrown away, but that it be retained for the Deseret Industries’ representative when he calls.

Those not familiar with the matter will be astonished at the acceptable appearance and quality of renovated furniture, clothing, shoes, and the many other things that will be handled by Deseret Industries.  Indeed, such establishments, always helpful to people of low incomes, are often patronized by people who are well able to by wherever they desire.

While Deseret Industries is modeled in part after the most commendable Goodwill Industries, operating in many cities of America, it will contain many features peculiar to the Latter-day Saints, particularly in the manner of organization and operation.  It will be based upon distinctively Latter-day Saint principles.

The enterprise, approved by the First Presidency, will be under the general direction of the Church Welfare Committee.  A board of directors will have supervising control, and a corps of trained workers, selected from among the unemployed, will give immediate attention to the work to be done.  Ward, stake, and regional committees will foster the project.

For the present, Deseret Industries will operate only within the Salt Lake Region, but eventually will enter all Church centers large enough to justify such a venture.

The Church will welcome this new forward step under the Welfare Plan.  All should give it hearty support.  It has a permanent future.”  (John A. Widtsoe, “Editorial,” IE 41(9):544, Sep., 1938)