Interestingly enough, the story of the patriarch Joseph is where we also see the primary Biblical text illustrating the power of endowments. Pharaoh is warned in a dream that Egypt is about to see seven years of abundant crops, followed by seven years of famine. Joseph’s advice, in Genesis 41:35-36, is that “They should collect all the food of these coming good years […] for food in the cities, and they should guard it. This food will serve as a reserve for the country against the seven years of famine that will occur in the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish in the famine.”
Endowed funds work the same way. The abundance of the present moment is set aside to prepare for, and safeguard, the future. Then, when difficulties and suffering come—“when all the land of Egypt became hungry and the people cried to Pharaoh for food”—the Church can, just as the Egyptians were commanded by their king, Ite ad Joseph. Go to Joseph!