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Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
About 300 volunteers gather Christmas Eve morning at the old Granite High School in South Salt Lake to distribute two semi-trailer loads of donated goods to refugee families Thursday, Dec. 24, 2015.

The Relief Society general president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints asked LDS women across the globe on Saturday evening to help refugees.

“It is our hope that you will prayerfully determine what you can do according to your own time and circumstances — to serve the refugees living in your neighborhoods and communities,” said Sister Linda K. Burton during the General Women’s Session of the church’s 186th Annual General Conference. “This is an opportunity to serve one-on-one, in families, and by organizations to offer friendship, mentoring, and other Christlike service and is one of many ways sisters can serve.”

The invitation, extended by the Relief Society, Young Women and Primary general presidencies of the church, follows a First Presidency letter sent to the members of the LDS Church on Oct. 27, 2015. The letter expressed “great concern and compassion” for the millions of people “who have fled their homes seeking relief from civil conflict and other hardships.” In the letter, the First Presidency invited individuals, families, and church units to participate in Christlike service in local refugee relief projects, and to contribute to the church humanitarian fund, where practical.

The church has been providing aid to refugees in the Middle East for more than a decade, donating hundreds of thousands of blankets, clothes, emergency medical supplies, food and other resources to refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Syria.

In response to the recent crisis in Europe, the Church made an additional commitment in September of $5 million to help displaced families.

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Acknowledging that Latter-day Saint women come from all walks of life and live in varied circumstances, Sister Burton promised the Lord’s help to those who “ask for divine guidance to bless his children.”

“As we consider the pressing calls of those who need our help, let’s ask ourselves, ‘What if their story were my story?’” she said. “May we then seek inspiration, act on impressions we receive, and reach out in unity to help those in need as we are able and inspired to do so.”

sarah@deseretnews.com @SJW_ChurchNews

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