Putting the “organized” in organized religion
CHRISTOPHER FURLONG/Getty Images News Among the many interesting facts in Daniel Brook’s profile of the Mormon church is this tidbit: Mormons believe we are living in the “latter days,” that the end is near. Mormon families are instructed to stock up on canned goods and wheat to prepare for Armageddon. The Church itself stores 19 ...
CHRISTOPHER FURLONG/Getty Images News
Among the many interesting facts in Daniel Brook’s profile of the Mormon church is this tidbit:
Mormons believe we are living in the “latter days,” that the end is near. Mormon families are instructed to stock up on canned goods and wheat to prepare for Armageddon. The Church itself stores 19 million pounds of wheat in a Salt Lake City grain silo.
In fact, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, as the Mormons prefer to be called, operates some 60 such silos around the country. Together, they can hold nearly 9 million bushels of wheat (there are about 60 pounds in a bushel). With wheat hovering around $8 a bushel these days, you might think the Church is sitting on a potential gold mine. But the Mormons themselves don’t see it that way:
Wheat is a perishable commodity; it cannot be stored indefinitely. Accordingly, the grain storage program rotates one-fourth of the wheat in storage every year, with the result that, generally, no wheat is over four years old. The rotation is accomplished by selling the older wheat on the open market and buying new wheat on the open market. […] From its inception, the goal of the program has been to store wheat, not trade in wheat. The First Presidency, in a letter dated August 1940 stated, “It should always be borne in mind that we are storing wheat, not trading in wheat. The bins should always be kept as nearly full as possible, consistent with proper care.”
Storing grains and canned goods is an individual, not just a collective responsibility: Mormon households are encouraged have up to a year’s supply of emergency food on hand. For instance, a family of four ought to be storing about 1,200 pounds of wheat and/or other grains, according to this handy Food Storage Calculator. But where to put it?
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