Comments about ‘Philanthropists eye LDS model of self-reliance’

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Published: Thursday, Dec. 1 2011 11:00 p.m. MST

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I really do not think LDS people are more self reliant than anybody else.

Murray, Utah

The article is not about the general LDS population, but a program in trying to help make people self reliant. Thanks for your opinion on LDS people, however.


It might have helped if you had mentioned that Shannon Toronto, CEO of the Philanthropy Roundtable, is LDS and a BYU graduate. The article as it stands makes it seem like this impartial group from Washington with no connection to the LDS church was so impressed by the church's welfare program that they traveled all the way to Salt Lake to see it in action.

The church does a great deal of commendable charitable and humanitarian work. It just seems unnecessary to use praise from a church member to imply outside approval.

Ms Molli
Bountiful, Utah

@ Shaun, I would have to agree with you and my agreement is not intended to LDS bash. I think in some ways that LDS have become more and more reliant upon the church. Look around you and see how many are receiving help from the church, particularly along the Wasaatch front. A few years ago I attended a meeting telling us that unlike any other area in the US, 100% of the fast offerings along the Wasaatch front stay right here because of the needs. I wonder what members would do if the church help wasn't available. I would guess that many would learn to become more self-reliant. The church has been saying for decades now to put aside funds for emergencies (6 months worth of expenses), to store food and other essentials for emergencies, etc. Yet the moment someone loses their job they begin looking to the church and people within the church for help. I really don't think that the lessons on self-reliance are being absorbed by many. It sounds good on paper, but in practice I don't think it is working. Perhaps for the extreme poor, but not the middle class.

Deep Space 9, Ut

It is too bad that the government doesn't model their welfare system after the LDS system.

Powell, OH

Why does the article give the impression of a neutral observer making comments? Shannon Toronto attended Grad School at BYU. Not exactly as portrayed in the story, is it?

safety dictates, ID

Doctrine and Covenants 104:16

16 But it must needs be done in mine own way; and behold this is the way that I, the Lord, have decreed to provide for my saints, that the poor shall be exalted, in that the rich are made low.

I hope this is not lost in all of the discussions. I believe it will be too radical to believe that the poor could be viewed as equals.

New Yorker
Pleasant Grove, UT

Any of you who think reporting is or should be unbiased are naive. Why do you think so many big corporations donate to NPR? I'd just get sick an turn off a program that started or ended with a list of possible conflicts of interest. We all know what they are, and belly-aching about it will just make the final media product more tedious both here at DN and at NPR.

I, for one, like the promotion of self-reliance by anyone who will do it. Too many people think that government should or will help them when things go south. It ain't going to happen, and they should all realize that now.

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

It is without reason to criticize the LDS Model according to the devotion of the LDS membership to that model. If this were to be accepted, then the actions of all men would subsequently negate their own beliefs. A principle is validated by devotion to it. Only relativism may be appropriately criticized by that standard.

Joseph Smith faced this same self-serving principle of judgement that has continued to be falsely applied against this work since it's restoration, and in the very accounts so long ago in the bible.

It is illogical to criticize the form of our translations or scripture, the righteousness of our membership, or anything less than the doctrinal principles themselves. Why? Because the nature of LDS theological and epidemiological claims premise that we are an imperfect people working toward a perfect cause.

One my ask, what about 'Ye shall know them by their works'?. That does not mean that my devotion validates principles. Just as the consequence of a principle reveal its ultimate function- what work we produce in our lives reveals which principles we adhere to.

This logical evidence only proves what we already knew. We're not a perfect people. But our gospel is.


I don't expect news outlets to be unbiased, but this story amounts to "Mormon thinks Mormon welfare program is awesome." Surely, we should expect better from the Deseret News.


I didn't realize the church had any epidemiological claims. But, that said, who is criticizing the LDS model?

the greater outdoors, UT

@Ms Molli: Should we discount all of your posts because of the anger and hatred towards all things LDS? According to your logic, we should just dismiss you completely.

I don't know what meeting you were in but your information is completely false regarding fast offerings along the Wasatch front.

Also, I'm sure there are families that go to the church for assistance when the bread winner loses their job. But I know it's not the rule and it's definitely not in that very "moment".

I don't understand why so many of you hate on all things LDS. It's the usual diatribes of envy, coveting and anger.

According to many of you, the LDS church does absolutely nothing right, correct, applaudable or something to emulate. It's sad that you have so much disdain built up inside your soul and you choose the Dnews threads to release it.

@FDRfan: it's not radical except to people like you. You want to force people to give while the Lord's way is for us to choose to give freely of our abundance. You and LDS Lib have a true distorted view of the Lord's gospel.

South Jordan, Utah

Given the necessity of having one or two jobs to survive in today's economy, I think its nearly impossible to be self reliant. We do rely on our family, our network of friends, the church and the government. When I was a ward employment specialist I quickly learned that if I couldn't find a new job within 60 days after a ward member became unemployed, bankruptcy become inevitable. Church welfare doesn't cut it. I do appreciate the Church's efforts on helping folks find work.

Centerville, UT

Ok Runtu64, what do you think of this program. Is it a good program or not.
Ms Molli yes your intent is to LDS bash because that is what you go on to do.

Floyd Johnson
Broken Arrow, OK

Dektol and Runtu64

The fact that a board member had a previous familiarity stemming from an indirect tie has no relevance on the information included in the article. I would presume others in the organization have indirect ties to Lemonade Day and Florida's Positive Coaching Alliance. Those connections were not disclosed either. I can't imagine reading an article where such disclaimers were required. Consider, for example, the following inclusion: "...Florida's Positive Coaching Alliance (please note that board member Sam Branson's nephew participated in the program, Pat Johnson lived three years in Miami and Jean Lombard vacationed at Sea World last spring)...." Requiring Toronto's college background is equally as ridiculous. The only explanation I have for your concern is that you are in some way attempting to minimize the contributions of the LDS welfare system. The other information you are requesting is irrelevant to the conversation.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

One of the things those dirty, unwashed, stinky, loud, disorganized, communist, socialist Occupiers have on their wish list is/are jobs. Charity is great when youre starving, but having a job makes you feel better and more secure. However jobs provided by charity are seldom permanent. And as we are often told, temporary jobs dont really help.

If those millionaire philanthropists would simply live up to their propaganda and create permanent jobs, it would be much nicer.

Ms Molli
Bountiful, Utah

@Charles | 9:15 a.m. Dec. 2, 2011
The Greater Outdoors, UT
@Ms Molli: Should we discount all of your posts because of the anger and hatred towards all things LDS? According to your logic, we should just dismiss you completely.I don't know what meeting you were in but your information is completely false regarding fast offerings along the Wasatch front.

@Charles, the meeting was at an LDS singles conference here in Utah sponsored by the LDS church. That talk was given by a GA. In addition, in that same talk we were told that Utah had the highest rate of personal bankruptcy in the nation.


jsf: I've already said that I think the LDS welfare program is commendable. I'm LDS, and I have done a lot of service in the welfare program, including picking and sorting fruit, working at a dairy farm, canning peanut butter, and volunteering at the Bishop's Storehouse. And once, when I was laid off, I received food and other supplies from the Bishop's Storehouse. My wife served as a welfare missionary for the church in South America. I have nothing but admiration for the church's welfare program, and I agree with the emphasis on self-reliance.

My issue here is with the article, which wrongly implies praise from an unaffiliated group. The CEO of the organization is a Latter-day Saint, and she is the only member of the group that is quoted. You don't think that should be mentioned?

Holladay, UT

Redshirt1701 Said it well.

Too bad the welfare-state of the government does not encourage self-reliance, but encourages a further dependence on the state. Such attitudes that are developed lead people to believe that welfare is a "right", not a privilege.

I'm glad that the Church does a good job in encouraging others to be self-reliant, while emphasizing the principle of mercy to those who genuinely need help.

Our government, with current welfare estimates, has a 50 trillion dollar liability over the next 75 years. It would take our GDP doubling every year for 75 years to keep up to pay that liability.

Which means, government welfare may not exist for much longer, and our government may not either.

Morgan, UT

Lead...and the world will follow (hopefully)

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