American Cancer Society Receives Help from Mormons

Charity of love is the greatest principle in existenceMembers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—sometimes inadvertently called the Mormon Church—have often heard the adage: Fix it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without. This is precisely what is happening with an abandoned Mormon meetinghouse near downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. The Church of Jesus Christ donated the site to the American Cancer Society in 2011 for the Hope Lodge—housing for cancer patients and their caregivers while they undergo treatments. And the American Cancer Society recently partnered with the local Habitat for Humanity to salvage usable materials for building homes for Salt Lake Valley families in need. [1]

The three-story, brick building—built in 1951, mostly by local members of the ward, or congregation—housed the 13th Ward until 2008, when the congregation was moved to another location. The Church of Jesus Christ donated the 2.2-acre lot, worth an estimated $4.2 million, to the American Cancer Society in 2011. When the donation was announced, Glenn McKay, director of real estate for The Church of Jesus Christ, said:

I’m sure there will be some mixed emotions on the part of those who built this building with their own blood, sweat and tears. But I can’t imagine a better use for this property than what it’s going to be used for. [2]

Uniting Forces for a Common Cause

Ed Blake, executive director for the Salt Lake Valley Habitat for Humanity, said the partnership symbolizes a continuing legacy of giving people a place to call home—for cancer patients as well as families in need. It is definitely a cycle of charity and caring for the poor and needy that is befitting to a former house of the Lord. [1]

Throughout the summer, volunteers from local businesses will “harvest” still-usable materials—including carpet, metal bathroom stalls, sinks, toilets, doors, bathroom and light fixtures, crown and base molding, speakers and cabinets. Volunteers will also remove nails to either use in other projects or sell. Some of the maple wood from the church building will be used in the Hope Lodge. Construction on the lodge is set to begin in spring 2014. Habitat for Humanity will use the materials they glean to build homes as well as in the thrift store. [1]

Pam Higginson, regional vice president for the American Cancer Society, pitched the idea to the society’s board after learning of Habitat for Humanity’s need for materials, and the board approved the arrangement. She said that although the two charitable organizations have different goals, they were able to “combine forces to work toward a common cause.” [1]

Mormon Underwear: Spiritually Protective

June 10, 2013 by  
Filed under Mormon Beliefs

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—sometimes inadvertently called the Mormon Church—are a covenant-making people. Mormon underclothing—or “garments,” as they are called by members of the Church—are outward expressions of covenants made in the temples of God. President Henry B. Eyring, the first counselor in the First Presidency (with the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the governing body of The Church of Jesus Christ), said:

The Latter-day Saints are a covenant people. From the day of baptism through the spiritual milestones of our lives, we make promises with God and He makes promises with us. He always keeps His promises offered through His authorized servants, but it is the crucial test of our lives to see if we will make and keep our covenants with Him. [1]

A Covenant is a Sacred Agreement between God and Man

Mormon UnderwearA covenant is an agreement between God and man, and the terms are set by God. Elder Russell M. Nelson, an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, explained:

One of the most important concepts of revealed religion is that of a sacred covenant. In legal language, a covenant generally denotes an agreement between two or more parties. But in a religious context, a covenant is much more significant. It is a sacred promise with God. He fixes the terms. Each person may choose to accept those terms. If one accepts the terms of the covenant and obeys God’s law, he or she receives the blessings associated with the covenant. … Through the ages, God has made covenants with His children. [2]

God outlines the terms of covenants. He has declared that they are to be performed through the power of the priesthood, which is the authority and power that God gives to man to act in all things for the salvation of man. Elder D. Todd Christofferson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ, said: Read more

Mormons Donate 1 Million Pounds of Food

May 20, 2013 by  
Filed under Mormons Giving Aid Globally

Feeding America, a national hunger relief organization, can literally say “thanks a million” to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—sometimes inadvertently called the Mormon Church—for a recent food donation. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ collected and donated more than a million pounds of food to the organization. [1]

“The commitment from our supporting partners helps make Feeding America’s work possible and provides hungry Americans with food, hope and dignity every day,” said Bob Aiken, president and CEO of Feeding America. “Thanks to the generosity of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this most recent donation will provide the equivalent of 625,000 much-needed meals.” [1]

Sheri Dew quote about sharing the gospel through living it.The Church’s donation of canned goods includes fruit, vegetables and legumes that will be distributed to families in need at community pantries, soup kitchens and shelters across the nation. The nonprofit organization, based in Chicago, supports more than 200 food banks. “Feeding America will distribute the food based on three factors: the number of clients served by a network food bank, the level of poverty of its clients and the food bank’s need for a particular food product on the list of donated items.” [1]

The Utah Food Bank is a member of the Feeding America network and will receive 250,000 pounds of the donation. [1]

“This donation from the LDS Church could not have come at a better time for [us],” said Karen Sendelback, CEO of the Utah Food Bank. “The food will help fill a large need over the summer for our fellow Utahans who struggle to put food on the table each day. We are so very grateful.” [1] Read more

Mormon Humanitarian Aid in Liberia

May 7, 2013 by  
Filed under Mormons Giving Aid Globally

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes inadvertently called the Mormon Church, recently dedicated several water wells and latrine facilities for those in need in the suburbs of Monrovia, Liberia, according to an article.

Elder Richard Miles, the director for the Displaced Camp project in Brewerville, said construction took more than 6 months and that the project will improve sanitation for the women and children of the area, according to the article. The dedication took place April 2, 2013.

Elder Miles said that based on a survey conducted last year, The Church of Jesus Christ determined a real need for the project. Elder Miles said the community once hosted Sierra Leonean refugees who were repatriated and reintegrated into Liberian Society, according to the article. But Elder Miles said the community was left vulnerable after aid agencies pulled out of the area. Read more

Mormon Volunteerism

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes mistakenly called the “Mormon Church,” are well-known for their volunteerism, giving both service and funds in their church and their communities.  In early 2012 the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released findings associated with a comprehensive study of Mormons.  The focus was Mormon volunteerism, which was found to be far and beyond what most Americans, even very religious Americans give in terms of time and money.

Mormon VolunteerismAn event was scheduled along with the release of the results of the study, called Mormons and Civic Life (read the transcript here), in which the results were discussed by those who mounted the study, scholars, members of the press, and others.

The findings of the study showed that while about 30% to 50% of Americans volunteer, they do it for about three to four hours a month.  Studies by the Corporation for National and Community Service show that Utah has the highest rate of volunteering.   Utah is the American state with the most Mormons.  The Pew study (using a 14 page, very detailed questionnaire) showed that Mormons do much more on a monthly basis.

For religious activities, people give on average 242 hours. For church-affiliated volunteering to help meet social needs of people in the church, 96 hours. For church-affiliated activities helping people outside the church, 56 hours. And for activities outside of the church totally, 34 hours.

If we take the value of the hours volunteering for an average member of the Latter-day Saints, it’s about $9,140 annually. This is a major, major contribution.

When analyzing the giving habits of Mormons the Pew study divided “giving” into three types — secular giving (outside the Church), giving as tithing (10% of one’s increase), and giving to the Church over and beyond tithing.

For secular giving, meaning giving money to worthy causes outside of the church, an average person in the church gives $1,171. Giving to welfare through the church — $650. And on top of tithing — $203 per person for religious activities.

The first thing that I said about tithing — 88.8% of members of the church that we interviewed reported that they provide full tithing. Remember, we went to the church; people that we interviewed were active members of the church. They went to a Sunday service, and this is where we found them. Another about 6% said that they do partial tithing. The total social donation — I’m excluding now the religious donation outside — if we only take what they gave for social causes within the church and outside the church, we have $1,821.

To conclude, we found a group of people that are most generous in our society. Through their theology of obedience and sacrifice and strong commitment to tithing and service, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints are the most pro-social members in American society. We couldn’t believe the findings. But that’s what we have.

Discussed at the event was the remarkable fact that Mormons show up after every major disaster, ready to provide relief; that Mormons believe in preparedness and self-reliance; that there is a social structure within each congregation that binds members together and encourages them to provide more service.  Most Mormons interviewed said that taking care of the poor and needy is a very important aspect of their faith.

Additional Resources:

More on the Pew Study on Mormon Volunteerism

Basic Mormon Beliefs and Real Mormons

Mormons Believe

Our Search for Happiness


We Are Children of God the Father

March 2, 2012 by  
Filed under Mormon Beliefs

Written by Ryan Nimer, a BYU student, studying a volume of scripture known as the Pearl of Great Price, which is written by prophets; members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints “Mormons” revere it as sacred text. This post comes from a book within the Pearl of Great Price known as The Book of Moses; it is an extraction from the translation of the Bible as revealed to Joseph Smith the Prophet, June 1830—February 1831.

God the Father is the Literal Father of Our Spirits

Mormon Learning About God the Father

Throughout time people have asked and still ask: what is the purpose of life? One of the wonderful things about the restored gospel, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the “Mormon” Church), is that we have the answer to this question. Although the purpose of life encompasses a few important principles, one of the most significant realizations needed to understand this purpose is that we are children of God, our Heavenly Father. One of the Great Old Testament prophets Moses was visited by the Lord and taught about his relationship to God. As we learn about Moses’ experience we can understand more about our purpose in life and our relationship to God as well.

Read more

Blessings from God the Father

March 1, 2012 by  
Filed under Mormon Beliefs

Written by Kristen Knecht, a BYU student, studying a volume of scripture known as the Pearl of Great Price, which is written by prophets; members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints “Mormons” revere it as sacred text. This post comes from a book within the Pearl of Great Price known as The Book of Moses; it is an extraction from the translation of the Bible as revealed to Joseph Smith the Prophet, June 1830—February 1831. 

God the Father’s Visit to Moses Teaches Us a Lot

Mormon Learning about God the Father

One of my favorite parts of the teachings from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently called the “Mormon Church” by the media) is that everyone can obtain the blessings that obedience brings. All blessings, covenants, and opportunities are available if we live worthily and strive to do our best. No one is more important than the other is; no one has special privileges that another person cannot obtain. Even though women cannot hold and exercise the priesthood (the eternal power and authority of God the Father) like men can, that doesn’t mean that women will not receive all the blessings of the priesthood as they support the priesthood.

Read more

Mormons’ Focus on Marriage & Family Highlighted in Pew Survey

January 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

SMITHFIELD — After dinner, three baths, four bedtime stories and a half-a-dozen goodnight kisses for 2-year-old twins Brock and Isaac and 6-year-old Ellie, Erin and Brian Thompson finally sink into the couch with weary smiles.

Being parents is just what they always wanted. And they love it.

“Of course we have our crazy moments,” Thompson says, “but for the most part we just try to find the good things in the day and remember that they’re only going to be little for so long.”

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Thompsons believe that maintaining a strong marriage and raising and teaching children are essential keys to happiness and their most important responsibilities on earth.

Mormon family marriage focus PewIn fact, 81 percent of Mormons say being a good parent is “one of the most important things in life,” according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center‘s Forum on Religion & Public Life — the first survey of Mormons about Mormons, by a non-LDS research organization.

The survey of more than 1,000 self-identified Latter-day Saints from across the country asked how accepted Mormons feel in American culture, as well as their thoughts on religious practices, political issues and family roles.

The survey showed that Mormons are more likely to be married than the general population, 67 percent of the sample size compared to 52 percent of the general public. Read more

Why Don’t Mormon Women Hold the Priesthood?

December 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Mormon Beliefs

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently called by friends of other faiths, the “Mormon Church”) holds women in the highest respect. The Lord has given worthy male members of the Church, the specific responsibility to administer the priesthood of the Church. Women in the Church are given different responsibilities and callings to serve, teach, and help other members. Below, D. Lauritsen, a Mormon professor, shares an answer as to why Mormon women don’t hold the priesthood:

Why Don’t Mormon Women Hold the Priesthood?

Brief Answer: Though Jesus Christ was the earliest, kindest, and most outspoken proponent and defender of womanhood of whom we have written record (Matthew 15:21–28; John 7:37–50; John 4:6–30; John 8:3–11), he nevertheless did not confer the ecclesiastical responsibilities of the Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood on women. He has continued to follow that pattern in his restored Church.

Mormon WomenDetailed Answer: Why the Lord established and continues to follow the pattern mentioned above has not been revealed. But if the Lord chooses to change this pattern, his Saints are assured that he will first reveal it through the living prophet, for “surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7).

Nevertheless, the Lord has revealed major changes in the role of women in his restored Church, beginning with his establishment of the relief Society on March 17, 1842. With the exception of the grueling years of Church persecution, flight, and relocation, the relief Society has steadily grown in numbers, influence, and accomplishments. Its humble rebirth began in the Utah Territory in 1854 when sixteen women responded to President Brigham young’s exhortation to form a women’s organization to make clothing for Native American women and children. By 1866, the local “Indian relief Society” had become known throughout the Church as relief Society, and by 1880, the organization had units in each of three hundred wards. Read more

Church Gives Donations To Fisherman In Japan

November 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Mormons Giving Aid Globally, Uncategorized

Eight months after the earthquake and tsunami hit in Japan, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently called by friends of other faiths, the “Mormon Church”) contributed donations to the fishermen of Kuji and the small village of Noda Mura in Japan.

Mormon churchThe fisherman in those cities were devastated when the tsunami destroyed almost all of their equipment. The Church donated “three trucks, 4,500 nets, 3,000 octopus cages and various other fishing supplies to the local fishermen’s cooperative” to the city of Kuji, and “trucks with refrigeration equipment and fish tanks, a fork lift, a large-volume digital scale and 70 large containers for hauling the day’s catch” in Noda Mura. In Kuji, the head of the fisherman’s co-op, Kenichiro Saikachi, thanked the Church saying, “For us who received the shock of this great disaster, the donation today from your church is a reassuring act of kindness.” This is a part of the ongoing effort of the Church in contributing to the welfare of those affected by the disaster in Japan. “Both the mayor and the head of the co-op were visibly moved by the help they had received from people they were not aware of before the earthquake and tsunami.”

To read the full story, please visit the official Mormon news website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Learn more about the Church humanitarian aid program.


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