An area of great significance in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the location of the new Palmyra bishops’ storehouse in Manchester, New York. Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé dedicated the 8,000 square foot facility, Saturday, April 16, 2016.
“I am grateful to the many Church leaders and members who have given — and who will yet give — so generously of their time, resources, and talents to make this storehouse a reality,” said Bishop Caussé during the dedication ceremony. “I am pleased that this bishops’ storehouse will provide an additional resource to help those in need.”
The Palmyra storehouse is one of dozens around the world but is unique because of its location near the Palmyra, New York area, where many important events related to the founding of the Church took place. An open house of the new facility was held for local government and religious leaders Friday night and Saturday afternoon.
This was Bishop Caussé’s first visit to the area where members believe Church founder Joseph Smith experienced what is often referred to as the First Vision at the age of 14 during the spring of 1820.
“On that day, the heavens opened and the God of the universe, along with His son, Jesus Christ, appeared and spoke to mortal man once again,” said Bishop Caussé. “For members of the Church, this is sacred ground.”
“The legacy of Joseph Smith and his example of compassion for others has passed from generation to generation,” he explained. “Over the past 186 years, this commitment to reach out and help others has grown into a remarkable welfare program that is admired and praised by people of influence throughout the world.”
Bishop Caussé said the Church grows food on more than 100,000 acres of land. The food is then sent to one of its many plants, where it is packaged, canned or processed and shipped to more than 100 bishops’ storehouses located in North America. Recipients receive assistance with a local bishop’s approval. They are also given opportunities to work for what they receive, based on their abilities.
“Our local storehouses help lift people up,” said Dwight Garrow, who manages the storehouse with his wife, Sue. “Its purpose here is to provide local Church leaders with available food to provide temporary assistance to members, to encourage self-reliance through home food storage, to assist in times of natural disaster and to support area service organizations through humanitarian donations.”
“Caring for the poor is the very focus of this Christian service,” said Donald Taylor, a local bishop. “I am grateful for this program and the resource it is for the families that have fallen on hard times.”
Many volunteers from congregations in the area provide service at the storehouse. Service missionaries, including Joshua Toone, 21, from Agoura Hills, California, cleaned and moved boxes to help get the new facility operational. “It was great to see other Church members pitching in to help. Even though I’m not from here, I can see what good the storehouse offers to the community,” he said.
“We are known throughout the world as a people who give without expectation of recompense,” said Bishop Caussé. “Often when we offer assistance, those who receive don’t even know it is from our Church.”
He continued, “We give because the Savior gave. We love others because God loves us. We lift others because it is an essential and integral part of our faith.”
In addition to offering admiration to the Church’s first prophet during the dedication ceremony, Bishop Caussé paid tribute to the prophet today. “The love that President Thomas S. Monson has for God’s children today is a reflection of the character of the man from Palmyra (Joseph Smith).”
The new bishops’ storehouse is located at 790 State Route 21 in Manchester, across from the annual Hill Cumorah Pageant site. It replaces an outdated facility that was located near Canandaigua.