LDS to boost emphasis on helping the needy; Salt Lake Temple not closing

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  • Anonymous
    Jan. 20, 2010 2:35 p.m.

    the lds church is one of the largest relief agencies in the world. It just does not do handouts. They do not help members unless they truly need it. Thats the job of the people in your ward.

  • Liz
    Dec. 25, 2009 11:35 p.m.

    Probably too late to comment- But I was amazed to hear that the instruction 'Caring for the Poor and Needy' would have to be given.

    It's there in the scriptures over and over again. Do I need to remind anyone where? Try Alma 34 for a start.

    The Saints cannot be Perfect without caring for the Poor and Needy so I assumed that it was included in that part of the Three Fold Mission of the Church

  • Aussie
    Dec. 19, 2009 5:15 p.m.

    Is good. what, we needed to be told to do this?
    So we feed fat Americans down on their luck? But we let our govts spend trillions building bombs to make death showers in other countries and destroy millions of lives. confessions of an economic hitman anyone. No, it needs a rethink from top to bottom. from $300million dollar conference centres (where the tabernacle was sufficient) to the malls, to the media stations, and book distributors need i go on about the "corporation of....". top down. then maybe the membership might catch the vision that they should have anyway.
    maybe lobby our govts to stop rorting the system and bleeding us dry to save their banker mates, instead of giving them doctorates and recognition
    great start, and now think wider than poor white people

  • Ratkellar
    Dec. 16, 2009 8:54 a.m.

    Nobody has even seen the new Handbook yet. The scriiptures and the old handbooks all taught to look after our neighbors. Some heed the commandments and the rest of us need to improve.

  • LDS Topical Guide
    Dec. 15, 2009 5:48 p.m.

    Jesus din't run around handing out money.

    He actually went out and DID something for them.

    Charity is the Pure love of Christ.
    Alms is donating money.

  • Re: BYU dude | 9:37 a.m. Dec. 15
    Dec. 15, 2009 1:29 p.m.

    Are you sure it helps the poor? I served a mission in Canada, a country that enjoys a universal health care system. I knew a woman there in her 70s who had gallbladder stones so painful she could hardly walk. When I met her, she was 3 months into a promised 6-month wait (turned out to be 8 months) to meet a general physician, who would then place her on a specialist's waiting list. I saw her shortly before I left for home, after she'd been waiting for just over a year, and she still hadn't had them removed. They offered her earlier times if she could pay in cash, but she was too poor. I, on the other hand, was able to make same-day appointments for doctor visits. You wouldn't believe their excitement when they learned I'd be paying in cash. If I believed socialized health care would help the poor, I'd be all for it. But I don't.

  • BYU dude
    Dec. 15, 2009 9:37 a.m.

    Well, it's better that the church start focusing more on the poor, imho. I think we could learn from the example of many other christian churches and not only donate $, but fight for social policy in Washington that will help the poor-- like universal health care. It's what Jesus would do.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 15, 2009 8:47 a.m.

    10% is just a minimum, there is no maximum.

    I believe that is all we will ever be asked to pay.

  • @ 2:56 p.m. Dec
    Dec. 14, 2009 5:02 p.m.

    How would you feel,
    or would you be willing to obey if you were asked for an additional 10% to care for the "poor and the needy" to get and hold a Temple Recommend?

    Most members can't even do that today.

    And the hypocrasy is that these are the same ones who say they'd be willing to give 100% at the flip of a swith to live the United Order or Law of Consecration because they wouldn't be forced.

    Here's a hint for you "believers".
    10% is just a minimum, there is no maximum.

    Those laws will be be steadily increased until you reach 100%.

    So, don't be surprised when the Lord's ups his ante to see if you're still willing to stay in the game.


  • Re: Dave from Taylorsville now
    Dec. 14, 2009 4:30 p.m.

    "Although there is an Auditors Report at each General Conference, the "books" are NOT open. . . nor should they be."

    Take it from an auditor: they open their books. The Church maintains a rigorous internal auditing force which operates constantly. They also open the books to external third-party auditors for both annual and interim audits of both the tax and financial persuasion. There's rarely a time when the books are not under some form of audit.

  • Re: deborah | 11:05 p.m. Dec. 12
    Dec. 14, 2009 2:56 p.m.

    "Let me explain it this way, conservatives judge the poor and label all needy as needy just because they "want" to be."

    It's a good thing you don't judge anyone! People fall into traps of labelling, stereotyping, overgeneralizing, condemning, and using absolute arguments on complex issues. But not you!

    I'm a conservative, and I don't label all needy as needy just because they want to be. Let me know when your mind explodes. (it may take a while to process) I just want the government out of it. You seem to think it appropriate for the government to dictate care of the poor and needy, and place the burden on its constituents by force. You may consider me conservative because I disagree with that notion.

    I have no problem with the Church reminding me to care for the poor and needy. I do it all the time, and have all my life. But I still like the fact that it's my choice, I can decide who receives what and in what way, and it isn't automatically withheld from my paycheck and washed through the chronically leaky government system.

  • Jake
    Dec. 14, 2009 2:16 p.m.

    Why is it that people think political conservatives have no interest in caring for the poor and needy? We resist socialism because we don't want to government to manage the care of the poor and the needy. We want the freedom to choose to whom we give and in what form, rather than having the government mandate it through taxes and waste a significant portion of it on overhead. We may want to help someone because they lost a spouse or lost a job or contracted an illness or is just plain down on their luck. We do not want funds diverted to special-interest "charities" like abortion funding in D.C. (see Congress's latest spending bill - hey, at least they got the name right!).

    I hope no one makes the mistake of thinking that socialism is some form of charity. It isn't. It's a political system aimed at extending the power of government at the expense of personal and local liberty. It's a system that's easily gamed and manipulated, both by its administrators and its beneficiaries. The ones who invariably lose in a socialist state are those who actually earn their living.

  • Conservatives and Charity
    Dec. 14, 2009 2:12 p.m.

    The conservatives here sound exactly like the Pharisees : "See how much we give to the poor $$$"

    On one hand they brag about being the most charitable:

    Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the HYPOCRITES do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

    Then mock, and miss the story of the widow and her 2 mites.

    For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want.

    Alms is giving money,
    Charity is the pure love of Christ.

    Still don't get it....sad.
    No wonder we're going to add this, and teach this.
    I'm sooo happy!!

    Since most of us still don't get it!!!


  • Dave from Taylorsville now
    Dec. 14, 2009 11:43 a.m.

    Dear Anonymous-

    Although there is an Auditors Report at each General Conference, the "books" are NOT open. . . nor should they be.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 14, 2009 8:01 a.m.

    Does the Mormon Church open their books?"

    yes they do.

  • Dave in Taylorsville now
    Dec. 13, 2009 11:37 p.m.

    TO Transparency is good (8:50 am Dec 11)

    YOU SAID: "The Christian denomination I am a member of, quartely publishes a financial statement of where the money goes,we are a memmber national council evangelical churches. "We can follow the money"
    Does the Mormon Church open their books?"

    ANSWER: Because all the people who donate this money don't ask them to.

    One good thing to understand. . . You belong to a church who is a member of a council with other churches. The people of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who donate this money you would like accounted for believe they belong to THE Church; and thus are accountable to no one but the head of the Church, who is JESUS CHRIST the Lord and Savior of mankind.

  • JLambyG
    Dec. 13, 2009 9:54 p.m.

    I for one, am thrilled! The Church might as well acknowledge publicly what it quietly and consistently does.
    In spite of the fact that I am an under-employed music teacher here in CA, I will donate $50 to the Humanitarion fund this Christmas. And, I invite all to do the same! :) Happy Holidays!

  • deborah
    Dec. 12, 2009 11:18 p.m.

    Yes, and to that I say.........Oh well. How blessed the conservatives are to be given this (for them) "great difficulty" with enough time left prior to the Lord's return, for them to do something about their "difficult" position and put enough oil of charity in their lsmps so they can enter in to the marriage feast with the other virgins when the Bridegroom arrives.

    .....Anonymous | 3:23 a.m. Dec. 11, 2009
    Conservatives are going to have a difficult time with this one.......

  • deborah
    Dec. 12, 2009 11:05 p.m.

    Let me explain it this way, conservatives judge the poor and label all needy as needy just because they "want" to be. THey totally kick against the Lord's counsel through King Benjamin in Mosiah chapter 4.In so doing they believe they can justify their own greed and lack of the pure love of Christ so they feel they can get away quite nicely without helping anyone. They forget the story of the beggar Lazarus and the King in Luke 16 and the Saviour's words in the parable of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25.

    .........I don't understand the conflict between conservatism and charity.... Anonymous | Dec. 12, 2009 at 4:14 p.m.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 12, 2009 4:14 p.m.

    I don't understand the conflict between conservatism and charity. Charity is not, never was, never will be socialistic. Socialism is carried out by mandates and force. Charity is voluntary giving to those in need. Most conservatives, because of their religious beliefs, are perfectly willing to give much to those in need. This is a completely different principle than socialistic entities where those in power forcefully take from some to give to others. It is Satan's version of charity. Noone that truly adhere's to conservative values will be troubled by the church's emphasis ob helping the poor and the needy.

  • here's the alternative
    Dec. 12, 2009 2:43 p.m.

    This is what conservatives and liberals should be promoting:

    There is a great chairty called the National Association of Free Clinics. You can google it.

    Dr's, nurses and other healthcare professionals donate thier time to help people that don't have access to medical care. 87% of those people that come for care have at least 1 job.

    There is no better way to see your donation have a greater impact on healthcare. If you want to keep government out of health care then help take care of the problem. $10 or whatever you can donate.

    Since this is anonamous I will say that I have been making small contributions as a single father with lots of bills. Either side of the isle should be, to back up your words and finger pointing in the air.

    And if you need care, look them up and go to the next clinic in your area.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 12, 2009 12:32 p.m.

    Many members say they just have a problem with the government being involved. Fine, the government is not the first choice but people are lacking basic things and currently private charity has not been able to keep up.

    I would suggest that anyone that wants to keep government out of charity should spend thier efforts supporting private charities so there will be no reason for the government to get involved. Make that great push for private charities. Town hall meetings for charity work and contribution. That will keep the government out of it. And it's allready tax deductable, so pay less tax that way....

    Just saying the government should ignore the plight of our brothers rings a bit hollow.

    I'm glad the church has taken a step in that direction to empasize the need for involvement and not just finger pointing in the air rhetoric about the ways that should definetly NOT be used to help the poor and sick.

  • Tigger
    Dec. 12, 2009 9:59 a.m.

    I think Elder DeHaan says it best - "The temporal requirements placed upon the Church and our members are never simply temporal. They only seem temporal because our vision is lacking. The Lord's requirements are always spiritual."
    --Douglas W. DeHaan, "Is Any Thing Too Hard for the Lord?", Ensign, Nov. 1980, 87

    We as mortals, understand minute amounts of what is really happening in the universe. It just stands to reason that at times our vision may be blocked by mortal constructs. Helping others is of course what we should be doing without prompting. However, we are mortal and as such we need reminding. I wonder how our brains will work as eternal beings?!?!? Food for thought.

  • South Carolina proud Mormon
    Dec. 12, 2009 6:52 a.m.

    Just a note to all those who choose to JUDGE us..the scriptures tell us to keep the commandment not to judge along with the scriptures to have charity and give to the needy. I am so thankful to be a member of a church that has no need to boast about the charity we give. As a member of a small ward in SC, I know first hand how much service we give as a ward because I have been responsible for organizing huge service projects all year long, not just at Christmas for the needy in our community (not church members). We DO NOT have our pictures taken to go in the local newspaper for praise, we just simply go about our business knowing that the one who knows what we do is our Heavenly Father. That is all that counts. Stop judging, complaining, and whining and do your own good deeds without the newspaper pictures.

  • Sleuth
    Dec. 12, 2009 5:46 a.m.

    If you are fortunate and have your "house in order," look around you and privately facilitate someone less fortunate, according to your talents and resources. You do not need to solve the entire worlds, or all others problems at once.

    Help and service can be delivered in all sizes and under many different approaches and philosophies, "doing what’s best" for others being served. That is true love for your fellow man and your “God” (if you recognize one).

    The bottom line is that your contribution equals a significant, durable increase in order and stability in the lives of those you are serving. The objective is sharing and reducing other’s weighty burdens through charity and service if you are able; and in the cases of LDS, in the name of Christ.

    Such is really not a sacrifice when you consider the personal gains. Remember, out of small things proceeds that which is great and let us be not slothful for the easiness of the way. This is simple.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 12, 2009 5:40 a.m.

    Being a Mormon, I must admit that sometimes I do service hoping to gain points for an afterlife reward. I have to work hard sometimes not to think about earning a reward but doing things just for the love of mankind.

  • FYI
    Dec. 11, 2009 10:43 p.m.

    Ask the Utah Food Bank what % of the donations and volunteers are from the LDS Church and its members.

    Next Saturday, my LDS ward will be delivering a 14 foot trailer-full of coats, blankets and clothing for the Road Home based in SLC.

  • Jess
    Dec. 11, 2009 8:22 p.m.

    The LDS church has always placed great importance on humanitarian service. Perhaps this recent emphasis is because the need for our service will be even greater in the near future and we must get prepared for it.

  • To : John Pack Lambert:4:41
    Dec. 11, 2009 5:40 p.m.

    The only ones who think they are Christians are Mormons(FLDS,LDS) a good example of circular reasoning. Recently(11/20/09) The Roman Catholics,Protestants and Orthodox came out with a statement of unity in the Christian body, Mormons,Jehovah Witnesses were excluded by their denial of the Tri-une God. Something Joseph Smith taught at one time. Momon giving has a different motivation for giving than Christians giving.

  • To Christians Nope
    Dec. 11, 2009 4:47 p.m.

    "You cry babies should take the Christmas season and try to find something positive. Your parents failed you miserably. "

    Ummm... I'm thinking you need to follow your own advice cry baby. You went off with quite the incoherent rant. And BTW, if you are upset about your wealth being redistributed don't get mad at us, get mad at the government.

  • Re RE: John Pack Lambert
    Dec. 11, 2009 4:41 p.m.

    I hate to burst your bubble Sherlock but Mormons are Christians.

  • RE: John Pack Lambert
    Dec. 11, 2009 3:43 p.m.

    The Mormon church does do good works, The motivation may be different than the Christians. The Salvation Army; Mormons are not in the same category. The Salvation Army is a wonderful part of the body of Christ,(Christian Church). In their statement of faith: #3. "We believe in the Tri-une God".

    This is what seperates Christian giving versus, non-Christian giving.[Mormons,Jehovah Witnessess,etc.]

  • Mormon Gal
    Dec. 11, 2009 3:23 p.m.

    We've been without income for two months now, and our ward has not stepped in to help. WHY? Because we have not asked them to!! We are living off our ample food storage which we prepared because our Church counseled us to "prepare every needful thing." We are doing our best to be self-reliant and not a drain on Church funds. We hope our situation is temporary, so we can get back to helping others who are in need. Merry Christmas everyone!

  • RE Cowboy Joe
    Dec. 11, 2009 3:06 p.m.

    What a great way of saying it. We all have good intentions but most never do anything with them. Hopefully President Monson's advice can be followed.

  • John Pack Lambert
    Dec. 11, 2009 2:47 p.m.

    To Levi,
    Read the article. There is nothing new about this message, just a new way of presenting it. President Hinckley and President Kimball and many others have spoken on it before. President Grant and President Clark began the welfare program in the 1930s. There are earlier examples I can site.
    The point of the Church is to deliver God's message to the people, and we normally fall short of fully following it, so the leaders of the Church have to figure out how to speak to us so we will better follow God's message.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 11, 2009 2:40 p.m.

    Helping the needy.

    If members were focused enough on the current healthcare problem, they would be voting for healthcare change!

  • Fredd
    Dec. 11, 2009 2:37 p.m.

    I know the LDS church does a lot of good. What I've always wondered and it has bothered me, is why your 10% has to go to the church? To me if your giving to the needy it should count. I personally don't think there should be a measure like 10%, you should give what you can and want to whether is 5% or 15%. And while giving to the needy you could drop an invite or share your testimony. Grow your church that way. But again, you do a lot of good. I believe there is too much investing in material things like land and businesses. But I don't give to your church so its none of my business.

  • John Pack Lambert
    Dec. 11, 2009 2:24 p.m.

    Considering the Church operates bishops storehouses, caneries, employment center (about 200 world wide) has the Perpetual Education Fund and gives aid to various soup kitchens and the like (I know this from having hurt my back taking out a lot of food we were giving to a food kitchen on a welfare truck run, mainly because I did not use a dolly, so it is totally my own fault, but anyone who thinks the Church does not help the poor is misinformed).
    Then there is Deseret Industries which provides employment and training for thousands of people, some of whom are not members of the Church. LDS Humanitarian Services seeks to provide aid in the wake of disasters.
    It is true we probably could give more time and energy to aiding our fellow man, and we could do a lot more good. However to act like the Church does not try and help people is to totally ignore what the Church actually does.

  • Levi
    Dec. 11, 2009 2:18 p.m.

    They are just NOW figuring this out?

  • A few comments
    Dec. 11, 2009 1:39 p.m.

    @12:08 - The tithing of the church pays for buildings, teaching materials, utilities, and many other things that are needed for the church to function.

    To several posters who have talked about social stuff being the top priority, and missionary service as a waste of time/resources - the last thing recorded in the Bible that Jesus told the apostles was to teach the gospel to all nations, teaching repentance and baptism. He taught them that in the last days, the gospel would be taught to every nation, kindred, tongue and people, and then the end (Second Coming) would come.

    Saving souls is the top priority - all other goals are appendages to it. Many posts have detailed all the help that the Church as an organization and its members give - and it's considerable. Just think how much more good we'd be doing if there were more of us!

  • to old Ralph
    Dec. 11, 2009 1:24 p.m.

    You are a bitter old person and do not no what the heck you are talking about. I think if you are hanging around in homeless shelters than you need to get a job.

  • AZRods
    Dec. 11, 2009 1:16 p.m.

    @ It's about time. I'd agree. It's about time you learned more about the welfare program of the church.
    And how many decades it has been in existence.
    In fact, it seems that most of the hateful comments come from people who clearly know NOTHING about what the church does, and has done for many many years.
    For anyone telling the LDS church what IT should be doing, I ask, what are you doing personaly to help those around you?
    Stop looking for a another excuse to attack the LDS church and just decide what you can do to be more Christlike.

  • Widows mite
    Dec. 11, 2009 1:14 p.m.

    I was blessed with poor Grandparents who gave me more than all the gold and silver on the earth.

    They were the most Christ-like people I have ever known. Born and raised in the deep south, they joined the church and were ostersized from their families so they moved to Salt Lake to be with the other saints.

    They came with nothing, and live very modestly the rest of their lives - but they always gave.

    When you visted, you always left with something, even if it was a can of beans, or a bottle of beets - no one EVER left with less than when they arrived.

    I watched my Grandfather literally give a man the coat off his back.

    Gramps would drop a dollars here, a few coins there -- given to someone on the street.
    He said it would not change his circumstances much in this life by giving so, but it might theirs.

    You call us bleeding heart liberals, or anything else you want - I have chosen to follow his example.

    It makes me happy, I feel better about myself, peace and joy that a few dollars could never buy.

  • No Hypocrites Allowed
    Dec. 11, 2009 1:09 p.m.

    Some of the comments on here reveal a horrible distortion in Christian doctrine.

    One reader writes:

    "Please to not walk away from this experience having missed a valuable lesson for yourself.
    It is not how or what we give - by WHY.
    It not for them, it for us."

    If you are "giving" to others, and the WHY is for your OWN LESSONS or BLESSINGS - in other words, if you are giving FOR YOURSELF- then that is just selfishness!

    You think you are earning a place in heaven for YOURSELF. That means you are not really helping the needy person at all. You are just helping yourself. The needy person is incidental and meaningless to you.

    That is hypocrisy.

    Jesus clearly taught that the REASON for helping others is BECAUSE THEY NEED HELP! It has nothing to do with you! If you are not giving help to the needy for the simple, pure reason that they NEED HELP, then you have wasted your life deluding yourself about what Christian living is truly about. Sorry, but “the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you” (Matt. 21: 31).

  • to Ralph 2:05 Dec 11
    Dec. 11, 2009 12:44 p.m.

    Before you spew your anger (and ignorance) at why the LDS Church does not run shelters you had better know the facts on how much in hundreds of thousands of dollars it contributes to those who do.

  • 20/20 @ Peace 11:24
    Dec. 11, 2009 12:42 p.m.

    Rest your mind, I will not stop giving in charity. My left hand will continue to donate, and my right hand will not brag about it anymore. Lesson learned.

    But was I really deprived of my "blessing" by virtue of watching the recipient spend the donation in a manner which violated the covenant of this solicitation and donation?
    In fact, I did not give this young man two dollars in expectation of any blessing, just as I do not give time and resources to LDS and non-LDS entities alike in expectation of any blessing.

    I am grateful for the means to support my family, and I express that gratitude by my charity. However, this does not mean that I am required to suspend my own intuition of who is or is not lying to get my money. Beware of wolves in sheep's clothing - or hustlers in homeless clothing.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 11, 2009 12:38 p.m.

    The only time I've ever heard of a Bishop telling some he wouldn't help, was the real life story of a couple in his ward:

    8,000 sq ft house
    4 car garage
    2 Suburbans
    a mercedes and
    26 ft Bayliner boat
    4 ATVs
    and 2 small kids
    with both parents working.

    One got laid-off.
    So, the couple went to the Bishop for help.

    He did the right thing, and told them sorry - no.

    I wish we had more Bishops like that one.

    I know too many LDS that get bent over giving a guy $2 for a taco, but think nothing of shelling out $ thousands to keep Bro.& Sis. X in the ward.


  • Zadruga Guy
    Dec. 11, 2009 12:30 p.m.

    A previous poster wrote, "The point of 'follow the money' is not about almsgiving, it is auditing the the assets of the Church or the individual,to make sure the congregations money is not going to the wrong places."

    The Church has a very large group of professional auditors who do just that -- verify that the Church's money was spent in the ways that it was supposed to be spent. Watch the Saturday afternoon session of any April General Conference and you will see the head auditor give his report. The text of that report is published in year in the Church's magazines and on the Church's website.

    The April 2009 report can be easily found via Google.

  • Temporary help
    Dec. 11, 2009 12:22 p.m.

    Recently I had a long term illness where I ran out of my own resources. I asked my bishop for help, and received help with three bills. Weeks later I was able to pay my own bills again; I am back to work, and grateful for the help I did receive.

    I could have asked for more help, but decided not to. Instead I sold some of my belongings that I felt I could do without; it was a great blessing to receive the help, but it is now an even greater blessing to take care of myself again.

    Church welfare is SHORT TERM - and we have to do as much as we possibly can to help ourselves. For long term help, I believe that most bishops have resources to point the person in the right direction, like permanent disability and other programs I know little about.

    As has been pointed out here, the LDS Church does more than it's leaders make public. Please go to Welfare Square and find out more before you condemn the LDS Church for not caring enough about those in need, whether they are LDS members or not.

  • Works many ways
    Dec. 11, 2009 12:15 p.m.

    I know some nonmembers who DO NOT want LDS help. They told me and a few others to get lost. They said they did not want our help.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 11, 2009 12:08 p.m.

    Is the church trying to get individual LDS giving to take the heat off what a miniscule percentage of the tithing the church takes in that it gives out in acts of charity?

    Perhaps the SLC needy will be able to set up sleeping bags in "the great and spacious building" when it's closed at night. Maybe they'll be able to eat from scraps from the food court.

  • Running Fish
    Dec. 11, 2009 11:56 a.m.

    I worked hard to emphasize this when serving as an elders quorum president for five years, but most of what I said was not well accepted by other local leaders and long-time members. I'm not exactly sure why as the topic is so dominant in the scriptures. So, I say that the new emphasis is fantastic and much needed! LDS activity rates will increase when wards and stakes take more local initiative to meet the needs of the poor and the needy in their boundaries. Christian people like to be involved in these activities. We have developed a culture of helping that believes "If Salt Lake approves it, then we will do it." Thus, we too often wait for the presiding bishopric's office to organize and direct our efforts. But, more local initiative is precisely what we need. Hopefully that will be one outgrowth of this new emphasis.

  • from Ogden-UT
    Dec. 11, 2009 11:50 a.m.

    @ Shunned, I have a bro-in-law who has MS and terrible pain - he goes to work. I have another bro-in-law who has back injuries, and he is going to school full time. I myself had a work-related back injury, and I continued to work and provide for my family. There is ALWAYS more you can do for yourself, rather than wallow in your grief.

    Rather than be offended at what your bishop told you (which I doubt was as rude as you make it out to be), go out and do more for yourself. Rather than relying on others, do something!

    You're comptent enough to sit at a computer, read a story and add a comment. Surely you could start supporting yourself. The church is designed to temporarily help others - not to baby someone who is capable of helping themselves.

  • AZ Tom
    Dec. 11, 2009 11:47 a.m.

    I am so reminded that if we "follow the Prophet", we'll be blessed. Jesus told us in all His teachings to care for the downtrodden and less fortunate. Blessings come from obedience and not doing to be known of man.
    What a cool edict from the Bretheren!!!!

  • True
    Dec. 11, 2009 11:44 a.m.

    I appreciate the church for all of its generous and caring deeds. I personally know of hundreds of private acts of service, support, training and helping.

    I am pleased, honored, and grateful for the millions of good, caring, trying members of the church.

  • to:20/20 | 10:57 a.m.
    Dec. 11, 2009 11:24 a.m.

    I applaud your giving $2 to that young man. :-)

    I was saddened that you made such a point as to what he did with it. :-(

    Who was blessed in the end?
    It sounds like you missed the very purpose of the commandment and missed getting your blessing for following through on it.

    Please to not walk away from this experience having missed a valuable lesson for yourself.

    It is not how or what we give - by WHY.

    It not for them, it for us.


  • Mromon corpoate empire
    Dec. 11, 2009 11:23 a.m.

    The Mormon church has had a lawsuit or two pending from the IRS in the paston income, they may have settled out of court,they have a great PR department. Years ago the leaders of the Mormon Churches salaries were published,(not bad) have they been published recently?

  • Utah Dem
    Dec. 11, 2009 11:22 a.m.

    First regarding 'Shunned Member' - we do not have all of the facts only what this individual has chosen to write so it is easy for this person to bad-mouth the local ward and bishop when we don't have the 'other side of the story'.

    To NYMember - there was no implication from any whiners such as Shunned Member on these posts that they were tithe paying members; this individual could also be from a poor ward that does not have the resources that this person seems to require. Having work within the church's welfare system recently we did at times send people to the local food pantry (run by the Baptist church in our area) and to agencies of other churches when our ward and stake welfare dollars were expended.

  • anonymous
    Dec. 11, 2009 11:12 a.m.

    I would like to see more love and caring shown the hearing impaired members of all ages. The members who can hear seldom if ever show interest in them to get know and understand them better. There are people who do learn sign language and interprete for them but they are not really friends, just interpreters. The home and visiting teachers who may or may not know signs will call on them once a month and deliver the monthly message and talk about anything they want and after about 30 minutes, they leave without really getting to know the people.Then after a few months the home and visiting teachers are changed and the whole process starts all over, again. They could ask them questions about their deafness, their childhood, their schooling, etc to learn about hearing loss and how to help them. The regular interpreters shuld meet with them periodically to ask how well they are doing and how they can better help them, etc. Hearing people need to spend more time listening to the deaf. They have the same human needs as those who hear yet they often have no one to go to for support and help.

  • Cowboy Joe
    Dec. 11, 2009 11:10 a.m.

    What President Monson is saying is "the path to HECK is paved with good intentions." We need to be hearers and doers of the word, and many of us are just hearers right now.

  • Arjay
    Dec. 11, 2009 11:09 a.m.

    Every organization that has an ongoing purpose saves some of its resources to be able to continue through though times and invests that "reserve" wisely to make sure it does not dissipate but that it grows (some five, some ten fold as the parable says). To ensure that it can continue its mission of temporal and spiritual salvation The LDS Church maintains and invests its reserves wisely. Thus it can weather literal or figurative storms. Commercial enterprises funded by the Church earn income that is then dedicated to temporal and spiritual relief, preparation and preservation. Such relief and firesight have been hallmarks of The Church since its early beginnings. For example, The Church's Relief Socierty - the largest charitable womens' organization in the world had its foundation on relief and service to the poor and needy (without regard to denomination).

    As one who has witnessed much of the relief rendered by The Church and its members in times of need from my youth to adulthood and who has participated in some of that relief (as a recipient, as a volunteer and as an administrator), I am greatful for the reminder of the priority, but it is not at all new.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 11, 2009 10:59 a.m.

    re: It's about time | 12:51 a.m. Dec. 11, 2009

    That is because its Christmas... come 1/4/2010, it'll be back to the usual dialogue.

  • 20/20
    Dec. 11, 2009 10:57 a.m.

    Help the needy?
    Just yesterday evening, I was approached in West Jordan by a young man asking $2 for bus fare to "get home". Asked where home might be, he told me he lived on 700 North and Redwood Road. Well and good.
    I gave him the two dollars, stating "Know this - I do not believe you, but the responsibility for how you use this money is now on you."
    I drove off, but looped around and watched him from a different part of the parking lot. He walked into a fast food restaurant.
    I don't know of too many UTA bus stops located in Del Taco franchises, do you?
    My biggest complaint with the anti-Mormons in this thread is that you have no idea how much I give, and you compound the error with the insult that I need to give more.
    Jesus told us that the left hand should not know what the right hand is doing when giving alms. To interpret, the person who trumpets his charity is the most false among us. Give quietly of your own resources, instead of demanding loudly that I give more of mine.

  • RL
    Dec. 11, 2009 10:51 a.m.

    I've been beaten up for YEARS in the church trying to emphasize this one point.

    Only to get shouted down by other members that the poor have brought it upon themselves, they made poor choices, they made their beds - let'em sleep in them, etc.

    Almost went in-active a few times due to such un-Christ-like attitudes. And being mocked and ridiculed for says something such "leberal" things.

    How could this be the church of Jesus Christ with people so greedy, shelfish, and self-centered.

    What a breath of fresh air!

  • RE:@ transparentcy is good
    Dec. 11, 2009 10:49 a.m.

    The point of "follow the money" is not about almsgiving, it is auditing the the assets of the Church or the individual,to make sure the congregations money is not going to the wrong places. Christians churches should be accountable and transparent. Christians should be transformed by the light. see(Ephesians 5:8-14) verse 12.,"For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret." I would not my church to support someones sinful lifestyle or liberation theolgy,etc.. "trust but verify" Ronald Reagan

  • To "I hope it is true" from Tom
    Dec. 11, 2009 10:47 a.m.

    Once again and as seems to be very common with everybody who hates the LDS church, CHECK YOUR FACTS BEFORE SPEWING OFF YOUR MOUTH!!!! The church doesn't spend very much money on missionaries, the missionaries pay for it themselves for the most part, of course there are special circumstances and all that but the Church itself doesn't pay for very much of what goes into that program. Jesus said help the least among us? That's true and if you did any REAL research on the LDS church (real being not from your anti-mormon sources, how about reading it straight from the church or better yet, an independent neutral researcher?) You don't because you hate the church and you look for reasons to hate it and justify your hate. Get over it...seriously, everybody, nobody needs it. So you disagree with prop 8? Great, disagree and debate and fight for what you believe, but don't hate those who disagree with you because we don't hate you, in fact, as you can see we are more than willing to help anybody in true need. Spread Love and remember our Savior Jesus Christ during Christmas.

  • LDS Lib
    Dec. 11, 2009 10:44 a.m.

    Imagine that;

    A bleeding heart Liberal point added to the Church Mission statement.

    Conservatives are just gonna flip...(hahaha)

  • to Carl
    Dec. 11, 2009 10:42 a.m.

    Wow, you people have soooooooo much compassion for your sick members. Unbelievable.

  • Janet
    Dec. 11, 2009 10:29 a.m.

    Some of you need to get out of the proud POWDER BOX. What with this giving to the poor and patting oneself on the back all about?

  • Chistians Nope
    Dec. 11, 2009 10:26 a.m.

    Socialistic? Nope. The largest receivers of wealth redistribution from the federal government are the wealthy. It's a commentary on conservatism that the redistribution of wealth is only bought up when the poor receive aid. The real irony is these same people self identify themselves as "Christians."

    Let's look at the lie, first. Salt Lake happens to be a perfect example. Has charity and the involvement of churches been able to met the needs of the needy in the community?


    The lie is, if we didn't have government programs, churches and charities would provide these services.

    One more point for these whining cry baby conservatives with kids. I'm single and all my working life I have had more money redistributed so you people can get you taxes cut and you have the nerve to whine? Have you no character? Do you never think how your choices cost others?

    I pay taxes because taxes pay for civilization. Go to countries with low tax revenues. They have dirt roads, the police take bribes and illness abounds.

    You cry babies should take the Christmas season and try to find something positive. Your parents failed you miserably.

  • Alpine Observer
    Dec. 11, 2009 10:23 a.m.

    The bulk of the Bible's teachings on social justice, whether from the Savior's mouth or from one of His prophets, is directed to people who were trying to live the first and second great commandments (either superficially or with their whole hearts) but who didn't seem to "get it." They needed reminding, scolding, teaching, etc. to do "the will of the Father," which is what Jesus spent His time doing.

    It seems entirely appropriate that President Monson would emphasize caring for the poor and needy among us, and it should not seem surprising that even those who consider him to be a prophet would, nevertheless, need such a reminder. We are "natural men," prone to be overly concerned with ourselves, spending our treasure on "bling" and ignoring real people with real needs. The remarkable thing is that such teaching actually reaches a few who, ever after, will "get it." The rest of us will need several doses before it takes. But this is the good fight, is it not? Why the bile? Why the sniping? This is pure religion and undefiled - let us close ranks with all people of good will, and then do good.

  • Confusion
    Dec. 11, 2009 10:18 a.m.

    Why would politically conservative church members have a problem with the church re-emphasizing charitable giving? I think there are quite a few people that confuse coersive government wealth redistribution with voluntary charitable giving. If someone forcibly takes something from you and gives it to someone else, needy or not, it is not charity, it is theft.

    Also....LOL at folks saying the LDS church does not give back to the community. The haters are out in force apparently.

  • Bob in Boise
    Dec. 11, 2009 10:15 a.m.

    Conservatives will not have a problem with this. Capitalism is not based upon greed. This great nation was founded upon liberty, opportunity and work. That includes devoting time, money and other resources to care for those who cannot care for themselves. As a conservative, I welcome the emphasis.

  • Ryan
    Dec. 11, 2009 10:12 a.m.

    The Church does not use sacred tithing funds to build malls or fund any corporate ventures. I am not sure why so many people are trying to make this new emphasis a negative thing.

  • Carl
    Dec. 11, 2009 10:11 a.m.

    I once lived in a ward that bought a christmast tree for a family for years. Then, we bought them an artificial tree and saved a bunch of money that was used to help people that needed it. There are plenty of resources, but there are also many who are lazy. God also asked Adam to live by the sweat of his brow. That is not a problem is it?

  • California Mormon
    Dec. 11, 2009 10:09 a.m.

    CAN THERE BE A MORE RIDICULOUS ACCUSATION AGAINST THE LDS CHURCH THAN TO SAY THEY DON'T HELP THE NEEDY? You can disagree with the beliefs, but saying they don't help the needy- Come on!!! They just don't flaunt what they do. The new statement only reiterates what they've always done. I don't see any big "changes" coming. The LDS church will continue to do what they have always done- assist those in need witnout fanfare.

    Having been a Relief Society president, I have seen first hand the welfare system at work. It is amazing and helps many people. Of course you'll always find slackers who are just looking to take advantage and they get angry when told they need to get a job. The church stresses self-reliance and the welfare system was never intended to be a way of life.

    In addition the church sends millions of dollars of relief around the world. I'm happy to be a member of such a generous organization that gives me a way to help others through fast offerings.

    Why criticize the church for saying they want to help the poor and the needy?

  • carl
    Dec. 11, 2009 10:07 a.m.

    Hey Shunned Member: The church preaches self-reliance. You should have purchased insurance so you could be self-reliant. You sound like someone who "won't" rather than like someone who "can't" help themselves. The church is not a disability income provider. They assist partially and for a temporary time is not your retirement.

  • i hope this is true
    Dec. 11, 2009 10:05 a.m.

    I'd like to see the church focus more on helping the needy as well. I'm tired of reading about it organizing for Prop 8 or spending money on more missionaries to convert the masses. Jesus said help the least among us.

  • 2008 Welfare Services Fact Sheet
    Dec. 11, 2009 9:57 a.m.

    These are some of the basic principles of the Church welfare system:
    "The responsibility for each person’s spiritual and temporal well-being rests first upon himself, second upon his family, and third upon the Church."

    "When members and their families are doing all they can to provide for themselves and still cannot meet their basic needs, they may turn to their bishop for temporary assistance."

    "The purpose of Church welfare assistance is to help people to help themselves. Recipients of these resources are given the opportunity to work, to the extent of their ability, for the assistance they receive."

    The Church welfare system has never been intended to be a long-term care plan nor is it in place to enable people who don't want to help themselves.

    The fact sheet also includes numbers, like $282.3 million in cash donations last year. This fact sheet can be found with a simple google search.

  • Pam
    Dec. 11, 2009 9:50 a.m.

    I have given food, clothing, presents, etc. to many regardess of their affiliation with religion or not.
    We have drained our entire food storage more times than we can count because it is a Christian attribute to help others.
    If you don't contribute anything to help anyone, you cannot possible understand the amount of time, money, resources that are expended in doing so.
    Why not thoroughly investigate to verify the statements before wrong assumptions & mean comments are made?

  • Former Bishop
    Dec. 11, 2009 9:47 a.m.

    Over half of our ward welfare assistance went to non-LDS people living within our ward boundries.

    This is not uncommon.

    So much ignorance...

    So much bitterness...

    Let it go...

    Merry Christmas!

  • Anonymous | 3:23 a.m.
    Dec. 11, 2009 9:45 a.m.

    HAHA please! Conservatives are much more giving, of their OWN FREE WILL, than any liberal I've ever met. Liberals like to force others to "give". Conservatives like to make the choice to give of their OWN substance.

  • Dear its about time
    Dec. 11, 2009 9:42 a.m.

    There is a great reason the Church got involved. We would all do well to pay closer attention to what is the Church has said about the issue.

    Seriously, as a friend just look a little harder and just pray. Yes, pray and then listen. You will see clearly why the Lord had his prophet get have the Church get involved.

  • @transparentcy is good
    Dec. 11, 2009 9:39 a.m.

    It seems a bit of a brag to open the books to follow the money. "Look at all the money I've given to the poor!" ?? Didn't Jesus say that our alms should be given in secret? If you're bragging about how much money you give, you already have your reward - whether you're an individual, a business, or a CHURCH!

  • To Shunned Member
    Dec. 11, 2009 9:37 a.m.

    This is Christ's Church. You know he is the judge the the end. Please move on and get back to being your best self.

    It will be ok.

  • Susan
    Dec. 11, 2009 9:34 a.m.

    I don't understand the problem here. All my life (it's long believe me)every ward I have been in the members have reached out to help those in need. Just this week my ward filled several bins with items to give to those in need for Christmas. Individually I help family, then friends, then the community. The Church is to promote our eternal salvation - sometimes that requires meeting physical needs first; it does not mean supporting someone for their entire life. Even my friends 46 year old mentally handicapped son works part time. Helping yourself, @shunned member, is much better than expecting someone else to take care of you. It's liberating.

  • Johnny Boy
    Dec. 11, 2009 9:33 a.m.

    Being "asked" and "encouraged" to take care of the poor and needy is different than being forced to give through outrageous taxes that are misused and abused. The gospel of Christ is about people making choices to do the right thing of their on free will. Once one is compelled or made to do so the opportunity for growth and learning is diminished.

  • Socialistic? Nope.
    Dec. 11, 2009 9:31 a.m.

    There's a difference between socialism (forced wealth redistribution through mandatory high taxes to fund compulsory government-run programs) and what the church is stating here (ie: volunteer service and donations from the goodness of our hearts -- charity). People will always say that tithing and such are forced and are akin to taxes, but I can choose not to pay my tithing (gotta love agency). Try not paying your taxes.

    I don't think many members will have a problem with this, considering this is nothing new to us.

  • AUTODOC5066
    Dec. 11, 2009 9:29 a.m.

    To all you anti-anti's, your hatred is well shown by you own lack of knowledge. We should all be aware of others needs and help. The Church of Jesus Christ is only stating additional needs, perhaps of a bleak future, wherein we all will need to depend more on others and families. Most blessings come from "silent doings" and not from our boastings..

  • I just Ralphed
    Dec. 11, 2009 9:25 a.m.

    all over the ground . . . your comments Ralph are so uninformed and misguided that I couldn't help but to hurl.

    Have you ever walked into a DI? Have you ever been to Welfare Square? Have you heard of the African Relief Agency? Did you see the cargo planes that landed in Samoa, New Orleans, Uganda?

    It is good your name is Ralph because that is what I just did after reading your silly comment.

  • Jack
    Dec. 11, 2009 9:24 a.m.

    I am not sure conservatives will be bothered here. Conservatives believe in helping the needy with their own money. Liberals believe in keeping their own money then passing laws to help the needy with other peoples money. And the liberals take their cut of the transaction.

  • Emphasizes Eternal Law
    Dec. 11, 2009 9:21 a.m.

    The only thing new here is an added emphasis and focus; the principle, based in scripture, has remained the same from the beginning; it has always been one of the key tenants and practices of the faith.
    Some question whether it should even "need" to be stated, and my answer is, "Yes, if it will accomplish some good!" The church is a forward looking church; its leaders are constantly seeking for improvement and seek Divine direction to accomplish more good; there will come a time that even their "mall" may prove a great benefit to the church and community, and I'm not talking about just as another place to shop.
    In the Book of Mormon, we have always had the guidance to care for the poor and needy:
    Read Mosiah 4: 13-19
    17 Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just...
    19 For behold, are we not all beggars?...
    I welcome this change and give thanks for our prophets!

  • BobP
    Dec. 11, 2009 9:19 a.m.

    I find Johnny and his diatibive angainst helps those who aren't "real Americans" out quite distateful. I am glad he is not a fellow member of my church.

    I spent nearly two years helping out the fellow who ran a Bishops storehouse. One thing I learned from him was how to exercise authority and compassion. When he would get a list from one particualr Bishop he would look at it carefully and on his own authority increase it dramatically.

    To me and one or two others he referred to that Bishop as a cheapskate. On one occaision he actaully phoned that Bishop, told me to leave the office, and talked to him. The attitude adjustment must have worked because the orders from that Bishop became much bigger.

    On the other hand he treated the people coming in like valued customers at a small store.

    (We even had a sign over the brooms, entitled; "Mother in Law Transportation". The mothers-in-law laughed the loudest.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 11, 2009 9:18 a.m.

    Jesus Christ helped the poor. His main mission was saving souls, not filling bellies. Our focus should be on the salvation of souls through coming to Christ and repenting of our sins.

    I'm not discounting helping the needy but I think many on this forum are mistating Christ's ministry.

  • RE: Alma
    Dec. 11, 2009 9:15 a.m.

    Gain exaltation is a primary focus of the Mormon Church. The basic problem of the Mormon church; it is man-centered(Humanism(versus Christ-centered(Christo-centric).The Bible teaches God becomes man(The incarnation)man does not become God.
    "Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; So that he as God sitteth in the temple of God,shewing himself that he is God.(2Thess 2:4)

  • LDS Church charity
    Dec. 11, 2009 9:09 a.m.

    I see the usual ignorance about the LDS Church welfare program is in full force today.

    The LDS welfare program is HUGE; I would say it dwarfs anything the state and local governments do.

    There are several major industrial sites besides welfare square on the west side of SLC dedicated to the distribution of food, clothing, and other resources to poor people, and the church is planning to build an even bigger one for worldwide distribution.

    In fact, I believe the LDS Church is the only American organization which makes the specially-prepared dried food used in famine relief operations.

    Through the LDS Church Foundation members give millions of dollars every year to local charities. Most of the Salt Lake homeless shelters would have to fold up shop if it weren't for the Church's efforts.

    And having been in numerous homes of the poor and addicted, I can tell you that plenty of non- or inactive member families have "Deseret" brand foods on their shelves.

    Few seem to realize this because the Church does not make a big deal about their giving. Those of use who have worked in the welfare system know better.

  • Just Sayin...
    Dec. 11, 2009 9:07 a.m.

    It has been shown that if a person does three things there is an 80% chance they will never live in poverty.

    1. Graduate from high school.
    2. Wait until you are 20 years old to get married.
    3. Wait until you are married to get pregnant.

    Miss any one of them and odd of living in poverty are 80%.
    If you can manage to keep out of jail there is a 95% chance that you will never live in poverty.

    Any program that gives money to the poor is treating the symptom. We need to treat root causes. The LDS church does that very well. The teach these virtues to their people.

    Yes, it is true that many people play by all the rules and still end up in poverty and we must help them.

    One thing the LDS church does very well it prevention. When a person needs help, their situation is reviewed and the root cause identified. A plan is put together to both help the person and prevent a repeat of the problem. This comprehensive approach is vital to the success of any program.

  • I agree
    Dec. 11, 2009 9:03 a.m.

    Shunned member isn't being shunned at all, he's being encouraged to go on with life and support himself (as he should be). My mother-in-law had both knees replaced at the same time, and was walking within the week. I suggest getting another doctor. I am very pleased with this new emphasis. I live outside of Utah and have supported non-LDS charities and food banks for years. It's a great way of spreading His Gospel.

  • Edward K. Johnson
    Dec. 11, 2009 9:00 a.m.

    Why does the LDS Church needed to be reminded of this?
    Aren't the members aware of "Big Brother" that is, the LDS Church is also a Bureaucracy which has no need for slackers!

  • ticked
    Dec. 11, 2009 8:59 a.m.

    What has this country come to when a employee who uses his/her hands gets 1 finger cut off they are disabled and want the tax payinger or church members to pay their way too. Hey, get trained to drive a truck, mop floors, whatever. Learn a different job if you need to. People born without legs get jobs.

  • The Rock
    Dec. 11, 2009 8:57 a.m.

    How many children would ever learn to walk if we carried them everywhere?
    I once saw a sign in a teacher lounge in a school that read; "Never do anything for a child that they can do for themselves."

    Any welfare system should be designed to increase the capacity of those who need help so they become completely self reliant. We only need three rules:

    1. Don't let good people suffer.
    2. Do not enable.
    3. Require those receiving help to do the absolute maximum to change their own situation.

    The Lord helps those who help themselves.

  • True Story
    Dec. 11, 2009 8:53 a.m.

    After a tornado in OK a few years back, a news crew asked one of the victims which groups had been on scene helping them, his reply was that there have only been 2 churches, the LDS church and the Mormons!

    The LDS church does not toot thier own horn and you would be amazed what they do, from quiet assistance on the ward level to worldwide relief efforts during a disaster.

  • @ Shunned
    Dec. 11, 2009 8:52 a.m.

    I had total knee replacement surgery on Nov. 17, 2009 and missed 7 weeks of work. This was a very long recovery as most are only out for 4 weeks. Three months is unheard of.

    I know that everyone is different. I did not do my physical therapy exercises like I should and this is the reason it took me longer than most. I can't help but feel that you are a least partly responsible for your situation.

  • transparentcy is good
    Dec. 11, 2009 8:50 a.m.

    The Christian denomination I am a member of, quartely publishes a financial statement of where the money goes,we are a memmber national council evangelical churches. "We can follow the money"
    Does the Mormon Church open their books?

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 11, 2009 8:48 a.m.

    We have a member in our ward who has been getting assistance from the church, friends,family and strangers. No one is complaining. However after months of telling this people to move into a smaller/cheaper apartment she did.

    For Thanksgiving turkey boxes were given to those who did not need it. People who were spending the day with family got boxes. Someone with more money than the poorest ward members who are single got boxes.

    The ward does a great job at Christmas - those who actually need help get it. Either with gifts for the kids, gift cards and Christmas meal boxes.

    Other people that wards need to look at during the holiday seasons are those who have no family in the area. These people get lonely too. Invite them over, whether it is for dinner or dessert.

    Visit the shut ins. Sing Christmas carols. We need to take care of each other no matter what church we belong to.

  • To: Johnny84124
    Dec. 11, 2009 8:42 a.m.

    Better start believing!!! Those homeless are constantly being helped by the LDS church. Just becuase they don't go around advertising that they are the ones giving help, doesn't mean they aren't giving it. If you only knew how much money, food, clothing, shelter, and job services were provided to the homeless in Utah, you would be very surprised. Don't comment about what you don't know. It only makes you look like a fool!!

  • xscribe
    Dec. 11, 2009 8:39 a.m.

    Isn't this a socialistic agenda? I figured most of you would be against this kind of thing.

  • UNLV
    Dec. 11, 2009 8:35 a.m.

    Who do you think funds the homeless shelters in SLC?

    Mormons give more than any other class of people. They give more money and time.

    Bash all you want, but the facts are the facts.

  • OhDeer
    Dec. 11, 2009 8:30 a.m.

    After rendering service for many, many years in the local Bishop's storehouse, every Thanksgiving and Christmastime MANY who are there are not of the LDS faith nor have they ever been. Many wreaked of cigarette smoke & alcohol yet were welcomed, well provided for and clothed as were their families. They were provided with "many extra's" for the holidays, as well.
    If caring for the needy means a free ride, I guess there will always be those who will be disappointed & ungrateful; it IS a helping hand. That helping hand is seen worldwide not just locally.

  • Alma
    Dec. 11, 2009 8:27 a.m.

    Most of the food provided at the St Vincent de Paul dining room in SLC comes from the LDS Church. A major leader in the Utah Catholic Community Services is a former lds bishop. So lds church leaders are very focused on Utah indigent issues. The question is when or if social justice concerns should become the top priority for the LDS Church as it seems to be in the New Testament. Presently more assets seem devoted to missionary and temple efforts. I guess time will tell.

  • Mike
    Dec. 11, 2009 8:15 a.m.

    Hey Ralph, none of the homeless shelters or soup kitchens in Salt Lake would be in operation without the Church's help. Both financially and with donations of food, clothing, etc. My guess is that the Church helps out far more than your small brain can comprehend so get off your anit-Mormon high horse. The help the Church gives is in the 10's of millions of dollars.

    Dear Shunned, get over yourself. I knew a man that had both knees replaced, at the same time, when he was in his early 80's. He was up and walking the neighborhood a week later (he walked like George Burns, but he was walking without a cane also). Turn your TV off, get off your butt, and fend for yourself. I think three months is ample time to help. Everyone I know that has had a knee replacement has been able to function within a week or two of the surgery. So, if your Bishop said to go and get a job and support yourself, I agree with him.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 11, 2009 8:06 a.m.

    As a member of the Church, an IT professional, and one who has struggled to find full-time work this past year, I have been overwhelmed by the kind, gracious acts of family, friends and members who have helped me, my wife and eight children during a very challenging time. Those kind deeds have given us the courage to go on, enabled us to keep our home for the time being, and allowed us to become aware of others who are in greater need than we are. I attribute it to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the goodness of people who live in this wonderful valley. If you know someone who is in need, you can brighten your Christmas and theirs by showing the love and kindness we have come to know.

  • EPJ
    Dec. 11, 2009 7:53 a.m.

    Hey Ralph: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not in the habit of publishing all of the financial help and charitable services it gives around the world. You might try taking a tour of the Church's Humanitarian Center or find out for yourself in detail what the Church's Welfare department and LDS Charities are doing around the world. I heard from a local spokesperson in New Orleans regarding the help and charitable services received by several agencies and churches. His response was this; "There were two churches which really helped us the most, the LDS Church and the Mormons".

  • NYmember
    Dec. 11, 2009 7:49 a.m.

    @Jimbo, I always want to ask people with an attitude like yours have they read Mosiah 4:16-18. If a tithe paying member is unable to work and has medical advise against working, what is the issue with them getting needed help? Would it be better if LDS members went to other churches for food assistance or to Catholic Family Services for rental assistance??? Where is the charity?
    I do think there needs to be a more equitable way of determining who needs help, as said above it varies greatly between Wards and even Stakes.

  • Johnny84124
    Dec. 11, 2009 7:43 a.m.

    I find it hard to believe the Mormons are there for the needy and poor outside there members.
    I live here in Salt Lake City Utah and in the City and valley are crawling with Homeless People and are fed and clothed and sheltered by the "Catholics" and other faiths..Yet the Mormons also deny there own ( Shunned Member) Yet the Mormons flood our over crowded State and Country with People from all over the world and they house them, feed them, cloth them, buy new cars for them, Green Cards, Toys and the list goes on ( There is a family of 10 from Nigeria Next door)... While there are people right here in Salt Lake ( Americans ) and in the valley with no homes, no food, and are freezing and living in Pioneer Park and there cars..I think we need to take care of those right here at home here in utah and America! Not dragging people here from other countries! There should be NO HOMELESS IN UTAH! Shame on you the Mormons...

  • Pedro
    Dec. 11, 2009 7:34 a.m.

    RE: Ralph

    Your statement strikes me as very ignorant. I suggest you visit some of the homeless shelters in Utah and ask the management what kind of support they receive from the LDS church. The LDS church may not have it's name on the front of any homeless shelter, but that doesn't mean the church doesn't provide support necessary to keep the shelters functioning.

  • @Ralph & Nate
    Dec. 11, 2009 7:31 a.m.

    How little it returns? Have you ever been to Welfare Square? And that's just the central location. The church runs farms, canneries, etc. all over the place - with very few full time employees and mostly volunteers. Some are currently receiving aid, others are simply there to help out. I've been in both positions. Ever seen what happens when there's a hurricane in the south? The trucks were on the way filled with stuff before Katrina ever hit land, and Mormon Helping Hands were there right after it was over, with chain saws, emergency cleaning kits and volunteers to help anybody who needed it. Same with the tsunami, and every other disaster. When they run low on school kits, cleaning kits, newborn kits, etc. the call goes out and that's what the next local service activities are - putting together new kits to stock the warehouse to be available.

    To Nate - Jesus stated it, we're repeating it. Because people need to hear it, to be taught it, to understand where their responsibilities lie. If you have kids, you'd know you can't just tell them something once - well, grownups aren't that much different...

  • To shunned member
    Dec. 11, 2009 6:31 a.m.

    Wishing you continued progress with your healing from your surgery. Glad to hear that your ward gave 3 MONTHS of help, in whatever form that was - whether with meals, assistance, rides, or with your expenses, or all of the above. Why your Bishop is now trying to 'wean' you off this assistance is unknown, as we are not in the know as to all your circumstances. Other than monetary help or help with groceries etc. from the Church Welfare, all the help provided from within a ward is given by INDIVIDUAL members, and in some wards the need is great and those helping start to be spread thin when faced with long-term needs. Help is supposed to be temporary - not permanent.

    Under your circumstances, the day of hospitalization qualified you for disability payments which can last as long as your doctor keeps signing off on your disability.

    Helping the poor and needy has always been, and will continue to be, a priority.

    From the tone of your response it would seem you feel entitled to continue to receive help from your ward members, and are less than grateful for what you have already received.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 11, 2009 6:08 a.m.

    Isn't preserving traditional, God-ordained marriage between one man and one woman enough?

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 11, 2009 6:02 a.m.

    I think this emphasis on caring for the poor and needy is appropriate. I have been reading some objections to the emphasis on commercial enterprise in the church. Many feel that the Mormon church is more a corporation than a place where people's needs are met. I hope that homelessness and hunger will be addressed with more of the funds members contribute. Jesus so emphasized looking out for the sick and needy. In my wildest dreams I can't imagine him using the contributions of the church to build malls, hotels, condos, office buildings, etc. Thanks for this refocus.

  • BigDave
    Dec. 11, 2009 5:59 a.m.

    Dear Shunned Member-- Get over it! The Ward helped for 3 Months-- Church assistance is temporary. Where is your family? Not all jobs require walking and 3 months after Knee replacement you have a real problem I would be talking to another Doctor.
    The problem is American Culture has become an Culture of entitlement. Instead of helping ourselves and freeing ourselves from debt and assistance from others we feel we are entitled to that Help. Self Reliance gives us freedom and preserves our Agency! Teach a Man to fish (garden, get out of debt, new skill, budget, etc.) and feed him for a lifetime.

    Dec. 11, 2009 5:35 a.m.

    You know very well that your Bishop did not just tell you to "go out and get a job". You have misrepresented yourself and your Bishop. Your Bishop very likely did tell you that the church does not have the ability to pay all of your bills indefinitely. I am sure your Bishop then talked to you about long term assistance from other sources such as family, etc. If he did not, then he should have.

  • Nate Parragoda
    Dec. 11, 2009 3:49 a.m.

    The question is: Why does this need to be stated when
    in any christian church it should be self-evident?

  • to Shunned member
    Dec. 11, 2009 3:47 a.m.

    Bishops vary greatly in how they interpert need. Wards vary greatly in how they fellowship or do not fellowship. The Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is wonderful as long as personal opinions, myths, and Handbooks don't get in the way. Take it up the line.

  • Jimbo
    Dec. 11, 2009 3:34 a.m.

    @Shunned member
    Your ward helped you for THREE MONTHS and you are complaining? I had ankle surgery twice and was back to work on crutches both times in 3 days. (I know it's not the same as a total knee replacement) One of the basic tenets (not "tenent") of the LDS Church is self reliance. We use our own resources (savings, food storage etc), then we ask for help from our families and extended families. Only when those resources are exhausted does Church welfare kick in and it is always meant to be temporary. You may need different employment but there are jobs available for those who don't walk well. Good luck!

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 11, 2009 3:23 a.m.

    Conservatives are going to have a difficult time with this one.......

  • James
    Dec. 11, 2009 2:33 a.m.

    I find this new development so thrilling. Many of my friends take their free market, capitalistic conservatism so far that it becomes a religion unto itself. I am so tired of arguing with people who say that all the best economic systems run on the principle of greed. This change in emphasis will remind all LDS of the weightier matters, that giving and caring for the poor is more than a personal choice but is also an institutional covenant this church has made to the less fortunate.

  • Ralph
    Dec. 11, 2009 2:05 a.m.

    It amazes me how much this community gives to this church, and how little it returns. Has the LDS church ever run a homeless shelter? It must be the only church in the world that cares more about building a mall than helping the needy. I would rather give my tithing to McDonald's.

  • Anonymous
    Dec. 11, 2009 12:54 a.m.

    And some people think that churches are going to help families pay their unaffordable and outrageous healthcare bills..

    Time for a public healthcare option for Families.

    No... probably not the time to be blessing people with families. Might bankrupt this nation....


  • It's about time
    Dec. 11, 2009 12:51 a.m.

    This is better than regulating people's private lives. I'm glad to see the change in emphasis. It's what jesus would be doing instead of funding battles against the gays.

  • Trivia..
    Dec. 11, 2009 12:46 a.m.

    What was the very first commandment in the the NT?

    It was John the Baptist, saying that "If you have 2 coats, give one away"

    Giving is the foundation of the Gospel. Maybe its time to clean our all of our excess stuff and give it to someone that needs it?

    Just a thought

  • Shunned member
    Dec. 11, 2009 12:26 a.m.

    I worked within my ward for many years, always giving service when ever possible. However this "new" release is a bit of shock to me! I just recently had to have two total knee replacements and my ward helped me out for three months and then I was tyold to get a job anf support myself! At this point I couldn't walk as far as the bustop! Nor could I sit for more than 25 minutes. I have two doctors telliung me NOT to work and a physical therapist that says it would not be prudent for me to over exert the knees.

    So much for the "NEW" helping the needy tenent!!!

    Bah Humbug!!!

  • SA
    Dec. 10, 2009 11:46 p.m.

    In the New Testament it states in several places that disciples of Christ were sent out to preach the Gospel and minister to the needs of the people. Latter-day Saints and anyone who believes in Christ should do the same thing.