LDS Resources and My Visit to The Bishop’s Storehouse

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It’s no secret that the Mormons, or Latter Day Saints (LDS), are preppers.  One of their beliefs is that everyone needs to stockpile at least a one year supply of food for their own family. As such, they have lots of helpful resources and are happy to share with non-Mormons.

One of their food storage resources is a Bishop’s Storehouse.  Here you can find bulk quantities of food, such as wheat and dehydrated milk, along with supplies like oxygen absorbers and mylar bags.  There are a few locations where local ordinances prohibit selling to non-Mormons, so it’s best to call ahead of time.  You may be required to have a church member accompany you.

image by John Webster,

Prior to heading out, you can find out what they have for sale, specifically, and actually, fill out a blank order form.  It can be filled out on your computer, and it calculates everything for you before you even leave home.  I really like this feature.

A couple of notes: the “dry pack pouch” is a mylar bag, and the oxygen (O2) absorbers are 300 cc each.  I used one absorber per mylar bag.  The mylar bags hold a 5 lb. grocery store bag of flour or sugar quite nicely. I bought enough mylar bags for all the food I bought, plus a whole lot more to use at home.

The labels they can provide are actually pre-printed and specific to the food items you buy from the Bishop’s Storehouse. I expected blank forms, so these were a nice surprise.

The day I went to the Bishop’s Storehouse, they were doing, “wet packing,” and so weren’t legally allowed to do any dry packing on the same day, which is another reason to phone ahead.  I bought wheat (red and white), flour, milk, oats, mylar bags, and oxygen absorbers and have been packaging them myself at home.

My vacuum sealer is unhappy with me at the moment (and I’m not too pleased with it either), so I’m using an iron to seal the bags closed. When I packaged instant mashed potatoes from the grocery store (the kind with no butter since the butter could go rancid), I wrote the instructions for making them on the outside of the mylar bag with Sharpie. I no longer have to worry about losing the instructions for them, which is one less worry, admittedly a small one, in my life.

The LDS mylar bags are smaller than I want for 25 lb. bags of rice, but for most other things they really are a nice size.  They hold enough food to last for a while but not so long that the food will be likely to go stale before you open a new bag.

Incidentally, one of the workers there mentioned that the only time they personally knew of rodents getting into mylar bags was when something spilled on them. The rodents were eating what was on the outside, chewed holes into it and then went to town. Moral of the story: keep those bags clean!

One more helpful tool is the LDS Food Calculator.  This tool will help you get a rough idea of what you need. Honestly, even if we had 20 people at our house instead of four, I have no idea how I would go about using 7 quarts of mayonnaise in one year, so the list definitely does need tweaking based on your own preferences, but it’s still a good start. The recommended quantities of baking soda, vinegar and salt are small compared to SHTF / TEOTWAWKI lists because the LDS list is specifically for dietary needs, so things like salting meat for long-term storage are not included.

The food calculator is fun to play with. You can watch the numbers go up and down as you look at how much you’ll need if you’re generous and include your parents and in-laws, your siblings and their kids, the kids’ God-parents, your best friend – or not a darn soul beyond your nuclear family.

The Mormons have promoted food storage for many decades, and since they are so willing to share their expertise and resources, take advantage of it!


32 thoughts on “LDS Resources and My Visit to The Bishop’s Storehouse”

  1. The LDS calculator is interesting and a good jumping off point. I agree with the comment about the mayonnaise recommendations. Good grief. Plus how you going to keep mayo nice if the power is down? Better eat it once it is opened. You can use mayo in cooking cakes, etc though instead of oil and eggs. The thing the calculator doesnt address is meat or fruits and vegetables. And the water recommendation would last about a week here.

    1. You can actually make your own mayonnaise. Like marshmallows, it simply never occurred to me that these things can be homemade.

  2. All recommendations are always just that, recommendations. Everything must be adjusted to your family's preference and tastes. Fruits and vegetables aren't addressed too strongly because they are concentrating on the basics on this list, and they push canning and dehydrating on a different level. It's something to add to the food storage, but not something the storehouse supplies for you. Rather like laundry needs… you're gonna want them, for sure, but it's not part of the storehouse program. (does that make sense??)
    Also, if you like to have things in dry-pack cans, some of the Bishops Storehouses can loan you a canner to take home and do it yourself. It's a heavy machine, but very uncomplicated to operate. You can dry can non-food items you want to save for a long time, like socks and undies, ammo, small children's toys like jacks and jumproaps.

  3. Our LDS Bishop's Storehouse was extremely friendly and accommodating. We did not need to be members and they never expressed their beliefs to us. We packed over 100 #10 cans between me and my mom. We're returning for a few more items later this month. I feel SO much more secure with those cans tucked away!

  4. Mormon dietary laws promote the eating of grains, so you will find a lot of grain and little meat at the Bishop's Storehouse. The dietary ideas of one Sylvester Graham were all the rage during the church's early days, so the diets of Mormons and Seventh Day Adventists, another faith from the same time period, rely heavily on Graham's food ideas. Graham was heavy on roughly ground grains-he invented the graham cracker, which is still called "digestive biscuit" in England because it was thought to help the intestines digest food more easily.

    Researching the "Word of Wisdom" which is the Mormon dietary code (similar in concept to the kosher laws of the Jews) and Sylvester Graham will give one a good idea what to expect from the Bishop's Storehouse and where the Storehouse may be lacking for non-Mormons.

    1. As a member of the LDS Church, our way of eating is based solely on the Word Of Wisdom, which is a revelation from Heavenly Father to our Prophet (Joseph Smith) at that time. Just wanted to clarify that…we do not rely on Sylvester Graham's food ideas. It's a great revelation; we are to eat a lot of grain as well as fruits and vegetables, and meat in moderation. Plus, we are to eat seasonally….our body needs the nutrients from certain foods during different seasons. It's great to see all of the preppers out there and that you are taking advantage of the LDS Canneries! 🙂

    2. I agree with Tara. Also these whole grains and beans will store nearly indefinitely when stored probably. Same cannot be said of meats.

  5. "Wet-packed" canned meats, fruits and vegetables certainly can be obtained at the LDS storehouses if they include a cannery. Not all of them do. The one near me does, and with a few hours of donated time helping, I've purchased cases at prices hard to beat even with home canning.
    I love you Bryan, but you almost made it sound like Mormons are grain-a-tarians. (Is there such a thing?) ; ) Also, they are aware that the majority of people, LDS included, aren't going to do more than they really have to. So, they push having the basics that will keep body and soul together. That's primarily the grains.

  6. A friend and I are going to a LDS cannery on Oct. 30 that's about an hour away. I've wanted to for some time and this article gave me the push to go ahead and call. (Thanks Liz and Lisa). What should we expect, do we need to take anything with us and how long should we plan on being there? We need to "prep" for our kids and husbands since we will be away awhile LOL. Any tips are appreciated!

    1. Glad we could help! I put it off for a long time myself. I finally went after reading about wheat crop failures (due to excessive heat and fire) in Russia and their stopping exporting.

      When I called, I found out that they "only" had 125 lbs of white wheat the day I went, but were getting a ginormous shipment the next day. You're going on a weekend, so they shouldn't have that issue, hopefully, but I did want to mention it for general information. They were wet-packing so I simply walked through with an employee and they put the things I was buying on a large pallet, totalled it, wheeled it out to my truck, and helped me put it on.

      I bought all the mylar bags they had on hand and two bags full of O2 absorbers so I had plenty for what I bought and to use at home. They sell an "O2 bag sealer" or something similar that theoretically keeps O2 out so your absorbers don't go bad quickly. I found that useless. I bought one online elsewhere that was good. If you are planning on buying a lot of mylar bags, etc, you might want to call in advance to check with them. (The bags are good for other things too, although they are NOT see-through.)

      My children are about to lose it, though, so I'll probably right more later.

    2. They provide boxes for the mylar bagged items and labels, which is handy. I didn't do mine there so I'm trying to find boxes that fit well at home, and it's a pain.

      The other main thing, which you probably figured out yourself, is to have someone at home to help you carry everything in. I didn't and after about halfway spent each trip chanting "(five) more bags" and changing the number with each trip just to get it done. Help would've been good, but I'm notorious for doing things like that myself.

      Have a great time!

    3. I don’t know what kind of gathering you are going to attend. Sometimes they are day-long projects and sometimes just an hour or two. Sometimes you just show up and pick up what you want, other times it’s everybody glove up and get industrious.

      I do know that if you MUST have coffee or tea during breaks, bring your own. They won’t have any. All in all, they’ll show you the ropes and give you your choice of how much you want to participate and which job you do. They’ll make you welcome.

  7. Kandi, I've puzzled over the same problem you mentioned–how do we keep things from going bad if we have no refrigerator? Even jars of fruit need to be refrigerated after they're opened. I've been buying small packages from a store in my city that supplies restaurants. It carries little containers of jelly, ketchup, etc. I bought 120 strawberry and 80 grape jellies. Of course I also store all the soy sauce, sweet and sour, etc. that are put in our take-out food. It's amazing what comes in one-meal-size packages.

    1. Here is a tip. Go to a truck stop that stocks refrigerators that operate from a cigarette lighter in one’s car.
      Some are just for refrigeration…other you can switch for keeping things warm or just keep it set for cold.
      I have one. They are about the size of the small under counter refrigerators…maybe a little smaller…but they work.

  8. Liz and Barbara, Thanks for your tips. I spoke with the lady there very briefly and she was to be out of town all this week visiting family. I've written down several questions to ask when I call to make our appointment. Whatever the day brings, I'll learn something. I went to a really neat celebration at our local Living History Park yesterday, Pioneer Days. It was amazing, all of the exhibit workers were not only making soap, candles, doing black smithing, etc. but they all camped out there all weekend. They all had fires where they were cooking in dutch ovens and using kerosene lanterns as their only lights. It was sooo neat to see it all.

  9. I have enjoyed reading all of your comments! My husband went today and picked up wheat for us to pack ourselves from the LDS cannery. He ordered larger Mylar bags on-line so that we can put them into 5 gal. buckets. We picked the buckets up from Wal-Mart …cheap!

    Where I live the cannery stopped doing the wet-packing because it wasn't being used enough. The health codes are very strict with the wet-pack.

    Wheat has been found to last over 2,000 years. If it's stored correctly it will last a very long time. Not that I'm expecting to be around in 2,000 years!! BTW, consider picking up some white wheat at the cannery too. It is great for baking with, or mixing the hard red with the white wheat for a lighter bread. If anyone has a great recipe for a lighter wheat bread…. I'm still looking for one!

  10. I was just at our LDS Family Canning Center in South Carolina. I asked her about using an iron on mylar bags. They do not recommend doing that. An iron will seal it initially but the seals will break down later and let air in, unless you use to sealing machine on them. These are available at the LDS family canning centers.

  11. I can definitely use that much mayo in a year considering I enjoy making salad dressing like ranch and thousand island or pasta salads or potato salads. I use mayo on sandwiches because I will not eat miracle whip. So yes I stock up on the mayo also.

    1. Look for a LDS cannery in the phone book or you could call one of their local churches.

  12. My whole wheat flour from the LDS cannery had an incredible texture. It was like white flour with bran in it and made the most fluffy tender loaves of bread using NO white flour (or bread flour) in them. When I grind my hard red wheat, it does NOT have that kind of texture and i have to use 50/50 with white/bread flour to achieve a good textured bread.

    What kind of wheat does the LDS cannery/bishop's storehouse use for their whole wheat flour?

  13. Where can I get a water purifier that will purify water from an underground stream that runs beneath our house? I need one that will clean enough water for our whole neighborhood (about 65 homes) since ours is the only reliable water source in the area. Thanks

  14. I am in need of a blank order form for the Bishops Storehouse (like the one that rs uses) can anyone help me im trying to help an older couple that are in need and trying to keep their wishies of not making them feel helpless…THANK YOU

    1. The Survival Mom

      I’m not sure if all Bishop’s Storehouses have the same foods, but give the one in your area a call to see what they have available.


    Many specific prophecies about Jesus have been reviewed. We know that the Old Testament manuscripts were made before the time of Jesus. Likewise the New Testament manuscripts, widely circulated during the time of Jesus, provide evidence that the fulfillment of prophecies was accurate.

    Remainder of comment deleted by editor. See response below.

    1. The Survival Mom

      I’m at a loss as to what the point is of your very long comment, other than to disprove the foundational beliefs of the Mormon church. Why you feel the need to do that on a non-religious blog, is anybody’s guess. Maybe the title of this particular article sent you into a tailspin — I’m not sure. I’m not Mormon, this blog does not promote the Mormon church. However, the Mormons ARE a great resource when it comes to knowledge about food storage. Some, but not all, of their facilities allow non-church members to make purchases and package food.

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