You just never know when a natural disaster might occur. A flood, a tornado, a hurricane, or an earthquake could happen at any moment. Who can we look to for guidance during these moments?
As disciples of Jesus Christ, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [sometimes inadvertently called the “Mormon Church”] strive to follow the Savior’s admonition to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, take in the stranger, clothe the naked, and visit the sick and those in prison. The Savior also taught that we are to love and care for each other and visit the fatherless and the widow in their afflictions (see LDS.org).
On Monday, May 20, 2013, a devastating tornado hit five American states, the worst of which was in Moore, Oklahoma. It took the lives of at least 24 people, 9 of which were children. It is during such a situation that we should all take a step back and send our love and prayers to those who have been so tragically affected.
In Oklahoma, members of The Church of Jesus Christ (nicknamed “Mormons”) are getting their “hands dirty” by rallying together to administer help to those in need. They didn’t decide that they would help out after the tornado hit—they decided a long time ago when they made a covenant (a two-way promise) with God at the time of their baptism to keep the two great commandments given by the Lord Jesus Christ — to love God with all their hearts and to love their neighbors as themselves. How are these Mormons helping? Read more
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often inadvertently called the Mormon Church) place great value on involving themselves in their local communities. They believe in serving wherever they are and in reaching out to whomever they interact with. More prominent church members are no exception. In early May a group of women that included Olympian and World Cup skeleton champion Noelle Pikus-Pace and Paige Holland, wife of Utah Valley University president Matthew Holland and daughter-in-law to the Mormon apostle Jeffrey R. Holland, gathered together to participate in Habitat for Humanity. Read more
Mormons in Temecula, California spent a Saturday in the spring of 2013 sprucing up their local community. This is an annual event for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is part of the popular Mormon Helping Hands program. The program encompasses both emergency cleanup after disasters and also scheduled service projects that simply give back to the communities in which they live and worship.
Mormons Serve Temecula
The Temecula event took place at a variety of locations and non-Mormons were invited to join the efforts. One group worked to get Chaparral High School in shape following extensive budget cuts. Volunteers worked with the school’s principal to clean up the grounds for their upcoming graduation and were told the school had never looked nicer.
At the same time, other volunteers headed for Jacob’s House, a spiritual organization that serves as a hospitality house for families whose loved ones are in the nearby hospital. They were preparing for their upcoming open house and Mormon Helping Hands volunteers joined with other community volunteers to fix up the yard and gardens and to organize and clean the building. Read more
April 26, 2013 was one of the first really beautiful days of spring. Most people scheduled a day of playing, but nearly 5,300 volunteers Pennsylvania, Delaware, and portions of Maryland, New York, Ohio, and West Virginia chose to spend their Saturday at just under fifty state and local parks across the region to do repairs, clean-up, and improvements. The project was organized by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as part of their Mormon Helping Hands program. Both states issued proclamations honoring Saturday in the Park events. More than 115 Mormon congregations were involved and they invited members of other faith groups and Scouting organizations to join them. Nearly 18,000 service hours were logged in, saving state and local governments thousands of dollars. Mormons initiated the project and began planning in November.
National Parks Week
Pennsylvania’s governor declared, “’Saturday in the Parks’ was created to recognize the crucial role that volunteers play in the maintenance and preservation of state and local parks throughout the Commonwealth.’” He commended those organizing the event, which is open to all volunteers, not just the Mormons who organized it and hoped it would encourage others to do similar events.
In Delaware, Mormons joined with Delaware Council of Faith-Based Partnership and Delaware State Parks to create events in conjunction with Delaware’s annual Week of Service.
Mormon is a nickname for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The parks initiative is part of the Mormon Helping Hands program, a grassroots program begun in 1998 that sends Mormons into their communities to do service projects on a regular basis and to help in clean-up efforts during emergencies. Volunteers wear yellow vests to help organizers keep track of the hundreds that typically show up for such events. Read more
The commitment to helping women and children worldwide was evident at a United Nations side event hosted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often mistakenly called the Mormon Church.
The LDS Church hosted the event in early March 2013 as part of the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women.
Sharon Eubank, executive director of LDS Charities, began her remarks “talking about a humanitarian effort that predates LDS Charities. She spoke of the Salt Lake Valley [in Utah] in 1870, when inexperienced midwifery and home births contributed to a high infant mortality rate.” She said “a visionary woman named Eliza Snow” asked the territorial governor to send six women to the Eastern United States where they would be trained in medicine and then return to the territory and train others. He agreed. One of the women sent—Ellis Shipp—returned with a medical degree, and over her lifetime she “delivered 5,000 babies” and “trained 500 midwives to be certified and licensed.”
Eubank said the execution of Snow’s plan was the “beginning of the drop of the infant mortality rate in (Utah).” She summarized by saying “that work completed more than 150 years ago—by women who were poor and had many barriers—became the underpinnings of the work by LDS Charities today.”
“The work of Shipp has evolved into the modern-day work by LDS Charities on neonatal resuscitation training,” Eubank said. “There are more than 1 million infants every year that die of asphyxia.” Although many doctors have the skill to save these babies, they lack the equipment.
Dr. Dennis C. Hughes, an LDS humanitarian medical trainer, demonstrated some of the equipment and training given to medical professionals.
The event focused on more than infant mortality. “During the past quarter-century, the LDS Church has provided assistance to nearly 30 million people in 179 countries. This happened, Eubank said, because of those “who make the work of LDS charities possible on both a national and grass roots level.”
Ambassador Charles T. Ntwaagae, Botswana’s permanent representative to the United Nations, said that Botswana is one of the countries that has benefited for many years from the support of LDS Charities—“especially when it comes to wheelchair distribution.”
Ntwaagae expressed appreciation of his government and the people of Botswana for the support from LDS Charities. “This particular commitment has been very helpful in uplifting the lives of our vulnerable population, especially the women and children.”
“Later this year, Botswana will be among the first African countries to implement the newly released World Health organization wheelchair-training curricula. The multiyear effort between the Botswana Ministry of Health and LDS Charities trains physical therapists and technicians to properly fit wheelchair recipients and then provides a variety of mobility aids for distribution.”
Eubank noted the gender inequality of wheelchair distribution. Forty-five million people in the world need wheelchairs but don’t have access to them. Men and boys receive 70 percent of the wheelchairs. “When we distribute wheelchairs we look for partnering organizations that have a commitment to address this gender bias,” she said.
Eubank said in her opening remarks that “If women don’t have access to health care because the roads are too dangerous, if they are turned away from care because they are too poor or too disabled, if there is no equipment to save their newborn, if no one believes girls need wheelchairs—they are bullied by a societal structure that is so much bigger and meaner than they have power to fight.” Her concluding remarks linked back to those thoughts. She asked those in attendance to work with her and LDS Charities to “inoculate people at an early age against violence and the acceptance of violence because it is like a disease.”
“We can commit that we will speak and learn ourselves and then train eight other people by our personal example. We can find ways for inclusion and rehabilitation to bring people back into the mainstream of society. It is only in those skills that we have a clear road to be able to go forward in this way. It is important for every person in this room.”
This article was written by Paula Hicken, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Paula Hicken was an editor with the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship from 2000 to 2013. She earned her BA degree in English from Brigham Young University. She edited Insights, the Maxwell Institute newsletter, and was the production editor for Faith, Philosophy, Scripture, Hebrew Law in Biblical Times (2nd ed.), Third Nephi: An Incomparable Scripture, and was one of the copy editors for Analysis of the Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon. She also helped manage the Maxwell Institute intellectual property and oversaw rights and permissions. She has published in the Ensign, the Liahona, the LDS Church News, and the FARMS Review.
On Friday morning, 8 February 2013, President Barack Obama called a special meeting in the White House in which President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, joined with 13 other faith leaders from around the United States to discuss the immigration policy.
“It was a very wonderful, warm meeting,” President Uchtdorf said during a telephone interview Friday afternoon. “Not everyone agreed with everything that was said, but we all agreed on the principles and values that have to govern any legislation on this issue.”
Those values, he said, include compassion, family cohesion, respect for law and common sense.
“We were a very small group, and so everyone had a chance to say their piece,” President Uchtdorf said. “The President was very warm and friendly, and seemed interested in what we had to say.” 
Throughout the course of the meeting the leaders expressed their concerns over the impact that the broken immigration system is having on families throughout their congregations. President Uchtdorf stated that as far as The Church of Jesus Christ is concerned, it is politically neutral. He further stated, “We won’t tell anyone how to vote, but we have interest in certain topics and issues, and immigration is something that touches so many lives in such personal ways.” 
The White House released a statement on the meeting, indicating that President Obama had reiterated his strong commitment to work with Congress in a bipartisan manner in order that a common-sense imigration reform bill would be passed in both houses, and sent to his desk expeditiously.
In 2011, The Church of Jesus Christ issued an official policy statement on immigration, in which it was noted that,
. . . .this issue is one that must ultimately be resolved by the federal government.
As a matter of policy, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints discourages its members from entering any country without legal documentation. . . .and it supports a balanced and civil approach to a challenging problem, fully consistent with its tradition of compassion, its reverence for family and its commitment to law. 
For the LDS Church, the statement underscored, “the bedrock moral issue … is how we treat each other as children of God.” As an immigrant to the United States from Germany, President Uchtdorf told the President and the faith leaders present, that he has strong and tender feelings on the subject of immigration.
“It is heartbreaking when you read some of the stories about how families are impacted by this issue,” he said. “It’s one thing for someone who has come to this country during the past year or so, when they knew they were coming here illegally. But there are people who have been here for 30 years or more, who came almost by invitation because they were needed and wanted to work in our fields and to perform certain labor. And now all of a sudden they are being told, ‘You have to leave. Your children may stay here but you have to leave or we will put you in prison.’”
He paused, then added, “Whether we are Christians or other faith groups, we focus on the human side. Yes, we should obey the law, but we need to take a look at how it impacts individuals and families.” 
President Uchtdorf further stated that how The Church of Jesus Christ is directly impacted by United States immigration policy is not the issue. The policy, he stated, has nothing to do with the organization of the Church, but it does have everything to do with individuals. Furthermore, the LDS Church cares about every member that is negatively impacted by the current policy. He stressed that we need to be of help and support in a moral way. He continued by stating that the LDS Church will not be directly involved in any legislation, “but we will make sure the values we stand for are clearly understood, and we hope that legislation will reflect those values.” 
As a result of the meeting, President Uchtdorf said, “I hope that a lot of the people who are thinking of this as a political issue will look more at the human side of this topic — that while they focus on enforcing the law, they also make sure that we are compassionate in our approaches and that we are strengthening our families in a common sense way.” 
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose members are often known as Mormons, have made a 200,000 dollar challenge donation to the Volunteers of America, to be used for their Adult Detoxification Center in Utah. Challenge donations mean the organization receiving the grant must raise a matching amount of money themselves. This type of grant motivates donors to provide more money, thus increasing the value of the donation. They have raised more than half the money already.
The detoxification center allows hospitals to transfer patients there instead of utilizing bed space in a hospital and also allows someone to go to the center instead of prison. They can receive more targeted assistance in an environment designed just for that purpose. Recipients have described the atmosphere as kind and supportive.
The Mormons have donated in-kind donations to the center in the past. The center is unable to receive meat, cheese, and produce from food banks and so the Mormons have donated those types of things from their storehouses. The Bishop’s storehouse is used to provide for the needy in their congregations but are also used to provide donations to other non-profits. The Mormons also donate wool blankets in the winter. This is the first time they have provided a challenge donation.
The grant will allow the center to remodel and add ten beds. There is a desperate need for those ten beds. In 2012, Utah had 88,251 adults and 12,189 children in need of treatment for drugs and alcohol. Only seventeen percent of those were able to be helped by public program. 83,414 people need help in Utah but are unable to receive it.
Mormons frequently seek out organizations within their local communities to serve, both in time and in materials donations. It is, for them, part of their God-give admonition to follow the example of Jesus Christ, who spent His ministry caring for others. He served His followers and He also served those who were not His followers. They look for ways to assist that will promote self-sufficiency an allow people to turn their lives around and to become everything they want to become.
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often mistakenly called the Mormon Church, pitch in to help in their communities and even far from their homes, when disaster strikes. They don yellow vests to identify themselves as Mormon Helping Hands.
After a devastating tornado ripped through Favre’s hometown of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, in February 2013, the former NFL Quarterback teamed up with Mormon Helping Hands to clean up the area.
On February 10 an F-4 tornado ripped through Hattiesburg leaving more than 4,000 residents without power, destroying homes, causing damage to Southern Miss University (Favre’s alma mater), and completely wiping out the athletic facilities of Oak Grove High School, where Favre coaches football. Despite the destruction, there were no reported fatalities. 
Favre called the athletic facilities “a mangled mess.” “Favre donated a skid steer that was used by LDS missionaries and other church members to clean up debris from the Oak Grove ward bishop’s property, which received severe damage.” His charitable group, Farve4Hope Foundation, was established by his wife Deanna for the purpose of helping cancer survivors. The group mobilized fundraisers to help with the effort.
It was Wade and Dolly Walters, LDS, and friends of Favre, who enlisted his help. Mormons were involved in molding Favre’s career, and he was recently featured with missionary and BYU signee, Troy Hinds.
For those wishing to aid in cleanup efforts, donations via check or credit card can be made to the Greater Pinebelt Community Foundation by putting “Rebuilding Athletics in the Pinebelt” or “RAP” in the memo line.
The word “community” is basically defined as all the people living in a particular area or place, such as a local community. A synonym for the word “community” is the word “society.” A “society” can be defined in simplest terms as a body of individuals living together as members of a community. Surprisingly enough, a synonym for the word “society” is “fellowship.” And “fellowship” can be defined as friendly association, especially with people who share one’s interests. Therefore, in general terms of speaking, it becomes a basic algebraic equation – if community equals society, and society equals fellowship, then it follows that community is fellowship. In other words, “community” can be defined as a body of individuals living together in a particular area or place who maintain friendly associations, especially with those who share their common interests.
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, a German writer once said, ““The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers and cities; but to know someone who thinks and feels with us, and who, though distant, is close to us in spirit, this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden.” A characteristic commonly attributed to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (more commonly referred as the Mormon Church) is that they believe in taking care of their own. Although this may be an admirable charcater trait, it tells only half the story. Latter-day Saints (commonly referred to as Mormons) strive to “make the earth [for all their fellowmen] an inhabited garden” through fellowship with those inside, as well as, those outside their religious circles. They are always willing to be of support to the communities in which they reside, and it is this practice of cooperation that is being extended to larger communities and faith groups. Mormons do not allow differences to get in the way of being of service to others, but rather look for ways in which they can lift another. As the late Stephen Covey once said, “Strength lies in differences, not in similarities” And it was the late Mother Teresa who said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” Thus, Latter-day Saints fully understand that a community that strengthens itself has much more capacity to help other communities.
One example of this outward reach can be found in Monterey, California where during the past three years, Mormon congregations have joined with other Christian congregations to “lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees” (Hebrews 12:12.) They feed those who can’t feed themselves and offer comfort during times of need. This interfaith community plans and organizes opportunities for their fellow believers to serve together. Similar unheralded efforts are taking place in many locales. It is as Jean Vanier, author of Community and Growth has so eloquently expressed, “Many people are good at talking about what they are doing, but in fact do little. Others do a lot but don’t talk about it; they are the ones who make a community live.”
So what’s behind the Mormon ethic of community? In many respects Mormon community life aspires to the model of early Christianity. That community of Saints compared their joint enterprise to “the body of Christ.” As the diverse parts of the body work together compatibly, so each individual contributes to the whole. And so it is with the Latter-day Saints.
It need not be a paradox, as the Los Angeles Times recently maintained, that the Mormon faith is “rooted in both self-reliance and communitarian idealism.” The values of shared responsibility and commitment helped Mormon pioneers build settlements across the deserts of the American West. Individual success does not serve oneself but enables one to build up the greater good. The real story of the Mormons is the success of community. 
The ethical principle upon which the foundation of a Mormon community is built is that there is no separation between a person and his neighbor. The well-being of one individual is intrinsically tied to his neighbor’s well-being. The Book of Mormon, which Latter-day Saints testify is Another Testament of Jesus Christ, declares “every man should esteem his neighbor as himself, laboring with their own hands for their support” (Mosiah 27:4.) In the New Testament book of Matthew we read of the account of a lawyer who came to Jesus, tempting Him as the scriptures report, asking the pointed question, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” (Matthew 22:36) Verses 37 through 40 record the Master’s reply:
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
But, who is our neighbor? Our neighbor is not only defined as the person who lives on either side of us, or who is a fellow member of The Church of Jesus Christ. It goes far beyond that. Our neighbors are all those whom we interact with in society. Mormons believe that we are all part of the same divine family. Therefore, our relationships with the people around us have lasting significance. Mormon scripture teaches, “And that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy” (Doctrine and Covenants 130:2.) Heaven, as it seems, is made up of relationships.
Newsweek perhaps got it right in its report:
No matter where Mormons live, they find themselves part of a network of mutual concern; in Mormon theology everyone is a minister of a kind, everyone is empowered in some way to do good to others, and to have good done unto them: it is a 21st-century covenant of caring.  It is indeed this two-way obligation that makes community possible.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a number of programs that encourage its members to think of their neighbors first. Mormons contribute donations to a welfare program that is operated, administered and implemented by rich and poor members alike. Everyone is invested in the system. And you don’t have to be a Mormon to participate. Whether one has fallen ill, lost a breadwinner or can’t find a job, this network of compassion works hard to put people back on their feet. Bad things happen to everyone, near and far. In addition, when disasters strike in places around the world, Mormon volunteers offer a helping hand. And on an ongoing basis, service missionaries partner with local and international charitable organizations to help alleviate poverty, prevent disease and give relief to the disabled. 
Whenever and wherever there is a need, Mormons are ready and willing to render assistance in any way that they can, often devoting untold unselfish hours of service, and asking for absolutely nothing in return. Service is an innate part of the Mormon culture, and starting with the youth, Latter-day Saints learn and understand that when they are in the service of their fellow beings, they are in the service of their God. To them, being a viable part of any community means forgetting about self, and doing whatever it takes to lift another. They understand that a lone pillar cannot support the total weight of a community, but rather it takes a society of many pillars standing in unity to support its infrastructure. The words of Joseph Smith, first Prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sum up the matter: “A man filled with the love of God, is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race.”
Joseph Smith, the first Prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (mistakenly referred to as the Mormon Church) taught the Saints, “[A member of the Church] is to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to provide for the widow, to dry up the tear of the orphan, to comfort the afflicted, whether in this church, or in any other, or in no church at all, wherever he finds them.” Following the council of the Prophet, The Church of Jesus Christ has always had a membership of giving people who genuinely care about the welfare of those less fortunate than themselves, and who also follow the admonition of the Apostle Paul when He taught, “Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed” (Hebrews 12:12,13.)
In that same vein, Latter-day Saints are taught that welfare assistance is not a means to an end, but is meant to provide temporary relief until the person requiring assistance is able to once again become self-sufficient and able to sustain themselves. Concerning welfare, President Ronald Reagan probably summed it up best when he once said, “Welfare’s purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence.”
In order to help meet the temporal needs of those requiring assistance, the Church of Jesus Christ has an established a welfare system unlike any other known welfare system. The welfare system that has been put in place by the Church lets almost no one fall through the cracks while at the same time ensuring that its beneficiaries don’t become lifelong dependents.
The roots of the modern Church welfare system reach into the histories of stakes in the Salt Lake and Utah valleys. Following the stock market crash of 1929, which ushered in the Depression, six Salt Lake City stakes – Salt Lake, Granite, Liberty, Pioneer, Ensign and Grant – formed the Deseret Employment Bureau to seek work for their members. Months later, the Cottonwood Stake joined the bureau. The Mormon welfare system was designed by church leaders as a way to match the armies of the unemployed faithful with some of the nearby farms that needed temporary labor. Goods and services were traded so that if a father needed food for his family he could get some in exchange for, say, repairing the fence of a widow down the road.
In the same manner, today as members of the Church who are in need continue to enjoy the blessings of those things which are needed to sustain life, generously provided and freely given, they are asked to give back by giving some of their time to serving others through such means as volunteering to work a few hours in the Bishop’s Storehouse, a warehouse maintained by the LDS Church where supplies, food items, and commodities are housed for distribution to those families and individuals in need.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints referred to the welfare system as “Providing in the Lord’s Way”:
“The prophetic promises and blessings of Church welfare, of providing in the Lord’s way, are some of the most magnificent and sublime the Lord has pronounced upon His children. …Whether we are rich or poor, regardless where we live on this globe, we all need each other, for it is in sacrificing our time, talents, and resources that our spirits mature and become refined. “This work of providing in the Lord’s way … cannot be neglected or set aside. It is central to our doctrine; it is the essence of our religion” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Providing in the Lord’s Way, Oct. 2011 general conference.)
Heber J. Grant, the seventh President of The Church of Jesus Christ, instituted the system of welfare. In 1936 he reported the reasoning behind the welfare efforts of the Church:
Our primary purpose was to set up insofar as it might be possible, a system under which the curse of idleness would be done away with, the evils of a dole abolished and independence, industry, thrift and self respect be once more established among our people. The aim of the Church is help the people to help themselves. Work is to be re-enthroned as the ruling principle of the lives of our Church membership. 
Over the ensuing decades, the Church acquired farms and ranches of its own. It built grain silos and dairies and canneries to store and process the food. By the end of World War II, Church leaders had enough in the way of reserves that they contacted President Truman to ask if they might assist in feeding and clothing the destitute across Europe. The President readily agreed. 
The welfare system is designed in such a manner that members of the LDS Church who find themselves in difficult circumstances can go to their local Bishop and ask for aid. After prayerfully counseling with the member and assessing his needs, the Bishop then fills out an order allowing him to go and receive food from the local Bishop’s Storehouse. Seventy percent of the items on the shelves are produced by the Church itself and the remainder are purchased at steep wholesale discounts. People generally depend on the food at the storehouse for an average of three to six months. The reasoning behind it is that the overriding concern of the Church is to help people overcome adversity and become self-sufficient once again. The storehouse is only one tool at a Bishop’s disposal, he may also refer members to other Church programs such as employment counseling or family services. The Bishop may also use money from a fund that has been set aside for his use to help pay for education, housing, or utilities.
The labor behind the farming, food production, counseling and even cattle ranching is provided almost entirely by volunteers. Some are retired folks who come in every day. At other times an entire ward, or congregation, may come for the day, each of the members standing on an industrial assembly line packaging bread, processing cheese or sealing jars of apple sauce.
Regular tithing by Church members helps to pay for the facilities. However, the primary source of capital support is received from the generous monthly fast offerings from the members as they are asked to contribute at least the amount of what they would spend on two meals. Members can, if they so desire, give more.
The Church’s welfare system serves mostly—but not exclusively—fellow Latter-day Saints who are in need. It is intended for people who have lost their jobs, who have been injured, or whose families are going through some other kind of hardship. Self-sufficiency is at the heart of its mission—both for the givers and receivers.  The welfare system also helps to provide for the humanitarian efforts of the Church by sending food, medical supplies and other necessities to the needy (of all faiths) world-wide.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, the Second Counselor in the First Presidency, grew up in occupied Germany. He saw firsthand the fruits of the Church’s labors. “Even though I was a young child,” he recalled in a recent sermon, “I still remember the sweet taste of canned peaches with cooked wheat and the special smell of donated clothing sent to the postwar German Saints by caring Church members from the United States. I will never forget and I will always cherish these acts of love and kindness to those of us who were in great need.”