Inspired Church Welfare
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin talks about how
Latter-day Saints offer temporal assistance to both those in and out of the Church
Be Thou an Example
President Thomas S. Monson discusses
the importance of rendering humanitarian service to others.
Reach With a Rescuing Hand
President Gordon B. Hinckley talks
about the need to help those who are in need.
Your Shoulder to the Wheel"
Elder Neal A. Maxwell discusses the
importance of work in building character
The term "compassionate service" is used in the Church to
refer to love-inspired assistance willingly given to meet physical, spiritual, and
emotional needs. It requires a sensitivity that perceives human distress beyond spoken
words (Luke 10:30-37; cf. 8:43-48), an eye that recognizes the good in people (Mosiah
4:16-18), and an understanding heart attuned to the Holy Spirit to discern what is
appropriate to say and do (3 Ne. 17:5-8; John 19:25-27).
Attitudes Toward Poverty
For Latter-day Saints, as for all Christians, attending to the needs
of the poor is service to God (Matt. 25:31-40; Mosiah 2:17; D&C 42:38) and an
expression of the greatest spiritual gift, the attitude of charity (1 Cor. 13:13).
The basic philosophy underlying the Welfare Services system of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was succinctly stated by the Church's sixth
President, Joseph F. Smith: "It has always been a cardinal teaching with the
Latter-day Saints, that a religion which has not the power to save the people temporally
and make them prosperous and happy here cannot be depended upon to save them spiritually,
and exalt them in the life to come"
The bishop's storehouse system is a network of
Church-owned and -operated commodity resource centers that function much like retail
stores, with the major difference that goods cannot be purchased but are given to needy
individuals whom local LDS bishops judge to be worthy and deserving of Church
The first Sunday of each month is designated as a Fast Sunday, and
Latter-day Saints are asked to fast for twenty-four hours and donate at least the value of
the meals not eaten as fast offerings. Fast offerings are cash or in-kind donations given
to the bishop to
help the needy following a short period of fasting.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a continuing
commitment to relieve human suffering, to help eliminate life-threatening conditions, and
to promote self-reliance among all people. Assistance is to be provided as Christian
service, without regard to race, nationality, or religion
Economic aid offered by the Church to needy people in various
countries is intended to promote the well-being of individuals and families. In addition
to temporary Welfare assistance given by the Church to its members and to a variety of
emergency and humanitarian services, the Church has rendered longer-term economic aid to
many groups in a variety of nations.
Self-sufficiency is the ability to maintain one's self and relates
to women and men being agents for themselves. Independence and self-sufficiency are
critical keys to spiritual and temporal growth.
Latter-day Saints are taught to prepare for potential problems. Since the
gospel is concerned with mankind's temporal as well as spiritual welfare, the Church
considers any potential emergency that would adversely affect the quality of life or
produce suffering to be a cause for advance preparation.
From its beginnings, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
has sought to be prepared against natural disasters following admonitions such as "if
ye are prepared, ye shall not fear" (D&C 38:30)
The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints calls upon LDS Family Services, a separate corporation, to
help meet the social and emotional needs of Church members and others
Toward the end of the Great Depression, in August 1938, Deseret
Industries was established "to help Church members help themselves" through a
program of donated household items, volunteer labor, and vocational training.