What have we learned at LDS conference about caring for the poor and needy?

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  • vern001 Castle Rock, CO
    Oct. 5, 2013 9:19 a.m.

    Churches and charities simply don't have the means to help everyone, because the needs are too great and people just aren't that generous. That's when the government has to step in. I have seen many a Relief Society President help struggling members to apply for welfare, Medicaid, and other government programs because the Church couldn't cover all the family's needs.

    Charity isn't just tithing and fast offerings. It's paying our taxes without griping so that others can be helped. We should all remember that there but for the grace of God go all of us....

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Oct. 5, 2013 9:07 a.m.

    A. The majority of Mormons in the U.S. are Republican.

    B. A majority of Republicans, including Romney believe those who recieve govt. assistance are "takers," people unable/unwilling to help themselves--just looking for handouts.

    Therefore one must conclude that the majority of U.S. Mormons believe poor people are lazy, ne'er-do-wells.

    How did U.S. Mormons come to adopt these beliefs?

    Did Caesar have programs to help the poor, the disabled, the elderly? Did he collect taxes to help fund those programs?

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Oct. 5, 2013 8:50 a.m.

    This is a GREAT article and much needed.

    Let's hope that those "opportunities for work" are in place, and not just opportunities to fill in endless application forms; we already have that.

    Surely there is work enough to do. How about the many orchards offer work, in harvest time, for willing hands and able bodies, even and especially for permanent residents legally here!

    Brigham Young even said it was better to provide people with a job building unneeded redwood fences than to deny the opportunity for honest paid work.

    There must be tons of work projects that would improve out towns and villages and we should also be free to employ our neighbors who are out of work without government rules and regulations that deter that good work.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Oct. 5, 2013 8:11 a.m.

    “In this modern world plagued with counterfeits for the Lord’s plan, we must not be misled into supposing that we can discharge our obligations to the poor and the needy by shifting the responsibility to some governmental or other public agency,”. . .

    Having the Government assist in helping with the poor does not mean that we necessarily abdicate our responsibility. The truth is that in many cases, the only entity with enough resources to get the job done is a government. I might point out that the Welfare program is also a "public agency" that takes substance from some for the benefit of others. In a representative democracy the shifting of resources to others in need is implied in the very notion of democracy. We, by electing our representatives, give them a proxy to assist the poor as needed. Such public assistance is then hardly "involuntary".

    When Jesus said "the poor will always be with you". That was not just a prophecy. It was also an indictment.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Oct. 5, 2013 8:02 a.m.

    We've learned we can pick and choose our poor and needy and the conditions under which we will help can be dictated with a clear conscience, and that whatever aid is provided can be used as a marketing tool.

  • Manzanita Las Vegas, NV
    Oct. 5, 2013 12:48 a.m.

    Chris B wrote: "Jesus never took money from one person to give to another. Never."

    But didn't Jesus, in response to a question regarding whether Jews should pay taxes, command that they should "render under Caesar the things that are Caesar's"?

    I don't think Jesus could have stated it any more clearly than that. Is it your contention that taxes are un-Christian, should not be compulsory, or something else?

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 4, 2013 10:54 p.m.

    Mormon prophets have long taught what I believe also: we should help the poor but no one should be forced to do so.

    Jesus never took money from one person to give to another. Never.

  • Nosea Forest Grove, OR
    Oct. 4, 2013 10:51 p.m.

    Well written.