Bishop Caussé shares church welfare principles at LDS International Society conference

Published: Tuesday, April 8 2014 11:55 a.m. MDT

“Its principles are universal and eternal, resting on fundamental spiritual laws. The welfare resources of the church are limitless because they rest on the keys of the priesthood that are exercised by the hundreds of thousands of local leaders and on the consecrated service of millions of Latter-day Saints.”

Robert Hokanson, manager of major initiatives for LDS Humanitarian Services, followed Bishop Caussé by expanding on similar themes related to church humanitarian efforts. He spoke of the importance of coaching and mentoring young Mormon leaders in these countries when situations arise rather than stepping in and taking over. He highlighted one positive example of a young priesthood leader who orchestrated relief efforts for those under his stewardship in the Philippines.

When local priesthood leaders understand the Lord’s storehouse and the local resources available, they don’t have to rely as much on church headquarters in Utah for solutions, Hokanson said.

“All you need to do in the world is put the priesthood to work; that is all. That is the example we saw in Haiti and in the Philippines,” Hokanson said. “We really are blessed with an inspired organization as a church with the opportunity and resources the Lord has given us. There is enough and to spare, and the Lord intends for us to provide for the poor and the needy.”

Following their presentations, Bishop Caussé and Hokanson both participated in short question-and-answer session.

Frederick W. Axelgard, senior fellow in international relations with the Wheatley Institute at BYU, was impressed with both presentations.

“What is striking is the really broad applicability of the welfare principles and the ability to make a difference,” Axelgard said. “The applicability demonstrates that no matter where you go in the world, you can count on that kind of insight coming from local leaders and from people who want to help themselves.”

The LDS International Society was organized in December 1989, and it now has more than 3,000 members representing more than 40 nationalities and languages in various career fields. Its mission is to encourage communication and contact among experts in international business, law, education, humanitarian service and other professional activities, according to its mission statement. Where possible, it also provides support for the international programs of the LDS Church and BYU.

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