LDS Church, NAACP to launch joint education, employment initiative

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  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    July 21, 2018 7:13 p.m.

    This is not complicated as certain folks are trying to make it. It is very simple. No need to bash or politicize the efforts of the LDS Church. Very basis Christian principle going on here. Loving and helping and reaching out to others who can benefit by what we have to offer. Reminds me of "teach a man to fish" ....unlike many government programs giving a family their food etc.
    Lots of people are totally unaware that when LDS Charities or any LDS Humanitarian aid is rendered, there are ABSOLUTELY NO STRINGS ATTACHED! In fact the Church is trying hard to avoid publicity....some may not believe that to be the case but I have heard those exact words right from the mouth of Sharon Eubank who is the Director of LDS Charities.
    Like so many LDS members, I have donned the yellow "Mormon Helping Hands" T-shirt and given service with no restriction regarding ethnicity or color or religion.
    In this case where the NAACP is involved I see the same service offered with no strings attached. The NAACP seems willing to allow LDS efforts without casting suspicion as to motive.

  • Gil Bates Mayfield, UT
    July 21, 2018 11:50 a.m.

    I read the entire transcript on the Newsroom site.

    Elder Gerard went to great lengths to show that we are like-minded and have a common cause. He spoke of shared vision.

    He did not testify of Jesus Christ, and explain His role in the self-reliance program. Surely the NAACP is still a Christian organization at its core. The spiritual element of self-improvement is sorely needed in our society today.

  • omahahusker Modesto, CA
    July 21, 2018 6:34 a.m.

    Now if the NAACP could admit Rachael Dole-sol back into the fold and help her with struggle to raise her children would go a long way in promoting self reliance and equality. Acceptance on both side goes a long way in promoting social justice.

  • Robb R. Sacramento, CA
    July 20, 2018 5:20 a.m.

    "Our unified vision is not only equality of education and income... but, perhaps more importantly, equality of influence."

    If one understands that the minority voice is just that - a barely heard and often ignored legitimate plea for fair access to education, employment and housing - then Elder Gerard's statement makes perfect sense.

    If you don't understand this, you will continue to miss the mark with regard to the great commandment. To have compassion means to "suffer with", not to pity from afar.

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    July 17, 2018 6:28 p.m.

    Yuge Opportunity, I agree that our church has much to offer to the Black and other minority communities (especially in the inner cities) because of our emphasis on the family. These teachings (family, education, and self-reliance) all work together and complement eachother. The partnership between the LDS church and the NAACP is certainly one good place to start. It will take time, but I believe that the time will come when the LDS Church will be a major force for good and constructive change on our inner cities. This is beginning to happen already in Detroit, Atlanta, and various other places around the country.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    July 17, 2018 4:01 p.m.

    I am disgusted that at least 3 people "like" banliberals' comment about the church meeting with the "NAAWP." If you were trying to be funny, you're not. If you seriously think you are discriminated against because you're white, you're delusional.

  • African Grey Centerville, UT
    July 17, 2018 3:04 p.m.

    Real Ute - You certainly say some troubling things but are uninformed. As another pointed out there are 22 missions now east of the Mississippi where once 10 years ago there were 23. Nothing significant like you claimed. It is also very possible to attract members in countries that have the Internet and running water. And in places where they don't have running water, the Church builds wells for the people. The Church is actually very technological. Missionaries literally use the internet to contact their members and investigators. They even use FaceBook.

  • Yuge Opportunity Here Mapleton, UT
    July 17, 2018 2:13 p.m.

    I scanned the story, looking for words like family, husband and marriage, but my search came up empty.

    Here we are, the Church of eternal families, reaching out to black leaders where 70% of their children grow up without a father in the home, and we don't talk about the family structure?

    I think we missed a golden opportunity.

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 17, 2018 9:18 a.m.

    This is the right approach. Providing constructive solutions for today's societal problems is better than demonstrations or riots.

  • mhenshaw Leesburg, VA
    July 17, 2018 8:02 a.m.

    >>Just how many LDS missions are there east of the Mississippi River in the deep south as of today? Very few in fact! The Utah church keeps closing them and has been for decades.

    >>go look it up. Since the internet, things are getting really grim sir.

    *sigh* Okay, I looked it up.

    Of the 117 US missions, 22 missions cover "the South" east of the Mississippi (compared to just one fifty-ish years ago--the Southern States Mission, which didn't cover LA or AK BTW). The same region is home to ~29% of the US population. 22 is about 19% of US missions. So a bit low relative to population; but I dispute that a 10% disparity is a serious problem given that we're talking about the Evangelical Bible Belt.

    As for "keeps closing them," the only changes to Southern missions since 2009 are:
    2011: consolidated GA Macon with surrounding missions
    2013: reopened GA Macon as a separate mission
    2018: merged Mississippi Jackson with LA Baton-Rouge and TX Dallas

    So there are now 22 missions in the Bible Belt where there was 1, and the Church has closed 2 and reopened 1 in the region in the last decade. This does not sound like a mission network implosion to me.

  • Gil Bates Mayfield, UT
    July 17, 2018 7:31 a.m.

    I think I have the answer. I don't think Elder Gerard really meant equality of income. I think he should have said, "Equal pay for equal work."

    There is great danger and disservice to African-Americans when we allow them to wallow in victimhood, so we need to pave the way for employment opportunities. That is especially true for that "first job," entry-level work for low skilled people.

    As for education, much work needs to be done in K-12 systems in metropolitan areas. I wish the Brethren luck in unraveling that political mess.

    As for "equality of influence"...Elder Gerard is on his own there.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    July 16, 2018 4:13 p.m.

    This is exactly the kind of organized cooperative effort the Church needs to be involved in.

    It doesn’t mean the Church embraces everything the NAACP does not vice versa. The Church works with all good organizations where we have common interests. The NAACP brings a huge wide-ranging network among African-Americans to this effort.

    Sure, this effort is long overdue for the Church. But, it takes time to build trust between organizations. Time to let the past go, and go forward and do lots of good for members and non-members alike. Just the way Christ would do if he were here today.

    I am looking forward to do whatever I can to support this inspired new collaboration between the Church and the NAACP.

  • KentBrowning Houston, TX
    July 16, 2018 3:23 p.m.

    Better late than never...

  • 1Reader Alpine, UT
    July 16, 2018 2:39 p.m.

    How exciting!!

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    July 16, 2018 2:01 p.m.

    The Law of Consecration is the voluntary giving of property, time, and talents to a religion-based authority with property then redistributed as a stewardship and as private property. It is closely associated with the Law of Tithing and the principles underpinning Fast Offerings.

    Socialism is the legal seizure and redistribution of excess property as defined by government officials. It assumes that all property is owned by the government or the people collectively. It is a form of communism, and close cousin of Marxism.

    The Law of Consecration (and Tithing and Fast Offerings) inspires Christ-like love and unity in a society, and enriches materially and spiritually. Socialism divides communities into tribes that fight for increasingly scarce resources.

    The Law of Consecration builds self-reliance, industry, work and peaceful communities. Socialism fosters dependence, resentment and contention across all classes and groups.

    So, no, socialism is not even the world’s poor attempt at the Law of Consecration. It is, at best, a counterfeit.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    July 16, 2018 1:09 p.m.

    "Our unified vision is not only equality of education and income," Elder Gerard told the Deseret News, "but, perhaps more importantly, equality of influence."

    I do not read this as a call for socialism or other guaranteed equality of outcome. I read this as a rhetorical device that acknowledges others' typical goals, and then expands on them. We don't merely want to strive for equality of opportunity in income and education (typical areas of focus) but also when it comes to social and political influence. In other words, out goal is absolute legal equality, social equality, etc. In yet other words, a society where skin color, national origin, or ethnic heritage have no effect on a person's opportunities.

    "Bonner hoped the new LDS/NAACP collaboration will make LDS Church members more aware of ongoing struggles experienced by black Americans and more sensitive."

    A potential win-win that educates everyone with valuable information.

    A real shame a few folks always look to sow discord rather than simply admitting the increasing good.

  • bass679 Novi, MI
    July 16, 2018 12:55 p.m.

    You can trust the prophet and church leaders or not. It's really up to you. But it's worth remembering that at one time we would have been expected to live under the United Order and give all of our excess to the common good.

    Socialism is a worldly attempt to replicate (often poorly) the Law of Consecration. If anything we should applaud the Church trying to follow a divine principle and do it right.

  • banliberals Bountiful, UT
    July 16, 2018 12:39 p.m.

    Glad to see this happen.....

    When is the Church scheduled to meet with a the NAAWP to form a stronger bond?

  • Real Ute Dallas, TX
    July 16, 2018 12:33 p.m.

    @IJ, go look it up. Since the internet, things are getting really grim sir. The Utah church publishes where missions are. Good luck my friend.

  • J2 Riverton, UT
    July 16, 2018 12:21 p.m.

    It sounds like a wonderful thing on paper, but a close look at Elder Gerard's statement reveals that his statement is not in harmony with the principles of the self reliance program as it has traditionally been implemented.

    "Equality of income." So are the members of the church supposed to all convert to socialism now? Another disturbing piece of news coming from the church that I didn't need to hear today.

  • IJ Hyrum, Ut
    July 16, 2018 12:07 p.m.

    Real Ute - statistics please. I think you are saying things of which you know not. The Church is doing just fine in our mission to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the world, including those who have the internet and running water. It is not the availability of earthly wealth but sensitivity to the Spirit that attracts people to the Church.

  • Real Ute Dallas, TX
    July 16, 2018 11:44 a.m.

    Just how many LDS missions are there east of the Mississippi River in the deep south as of today? Very few in fact! The Utah church keeps closing them and has been for decades, so I suspect they are trying to finally make friends with the NAACP now............oh my goodess?

  • Real Ute Dallas, TX
    July 16, 2018 11:35 a.m.

    What other choice does the LDS Church have in the 21st century? None, as it stands today. It is impossible to attract new members in countries that have internet access or running water.

  • Austin Coug Pflugerville, TX
    July 16, 2018 9:56 a.m.


    Agree 100% that equal opportunity is not the same as equal result. Elder Gerrard is suggesting equal opportunity which is how it should be.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    July 16, 2018 9:48 a.m.

    @Third Try.
    Far be it from me to criticize a leader like Elder Gerard. But, you have a point.

    The term “Equality of Income” is being hijacked in behalf of efforts to dramatically increase the minimum wage, cap executive and professional salaries, and dramatically raise income taxes on so-called “high income individuals.” These efforts will punish achievement and excellence in the workplace, and reward mediocrity and minimal effort. Additionally, minimum wage increases would punish the poorest of the poor among us, and limit opportunities for youth and young adults to gain valuable work experience.

    I am sure that that is not the message Elder Gerard intended to give.

  • illuminated Kansas City, MO
    July 16, 2018 9:44 a.m.


    "The equality mentioned by Elder Gerard is an equality in terms of race, ethnicity, gender and other factors, where people are rewarded for the content of their character, their skills and abilities, rather than the color of their skin. "

    I don't think that's what Elder Gerard is talking about if they are teaming up with the NAACP. The NAACP takes millions from George Soros and supports Black Lives Matter and other Social Justice groups. They have long supported equal-outcome, Socialist-style economics. Look it up yourself.

    This is scary stuff.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    July 16, 2018 9:44 a.m.

    You are right about the self reliance program, but that's NOT what Elder Gerard said. He specifically called equality of income a vision for the Church.

    The self reliance program presupposes and exploits the idea of a free market economy. It is as American as apple pie. Work hard; take some initiative; get an education; reap the rewards of your extra work.

    Elder Gerard said something very different.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    July 16, 2018 9:26 a.m.

    @A Scientist.
    LDS Self-Reliance Programs are hardly Marxist or Socialist. They are in fact, what most conservative Republicans have advocated for years and years.

    The LDS programs are about taking control of and responsibility for your own life.

    This is the ultimate “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” program, where the individual is shown that not only do they have bootstraps, but they also are given in-depth instruction and encouragement about how the world works and how they can succeed, excel, and become fully self-reliant.

    The equality mentioned by Elder Gerard is an equality in terms of race, ethnicity, gender and other factors, where people are rewarded for the content of their character, their skills and abilities, rather than the color of their skin. You know, kind of like the Declaration of Independence. Don’t know too many conservatives that disagree with that.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    July 16, 2018 9:23 a.m.

    @A Scientist is absolutely correct.
    Equality of income is a serious problem for us in America. It sounds great rolling off the tongue, but in practice you get the $15 an hour nonsense and start calculating how many times more income the CEO gets over the janitor.

    It is an astounding statement coming from a general authority, speaking for the Church. Whenever they make speeches like that, they are NEVER off the cuff. Each word is carefully measured. And Elder Gerard is the PR director. He was not ad libbing.

    The LDS view of equality has been rooted in self-reliance with no expectation that everyone gets the same paycheck. C S Lewis made some wonderful statements about the corruption of the word "democracy," in Screwtape Proposes a Toast (1959).

    We have the Self Reliance program ready to go. The NAACP might have some modifications to make.

    I am concerned about the phrase "equality of income." It's right up there with the sin of nationalism. Words matter.

  • Bountiful Guy Bountiful, UT
    July 16, 2018 8:58 a.m.

    A Scientist

    "That's Marxism and socialism! How will the conservative, Republican LDS core in Utah swallow that?"

    Always with the labels. Your name-calling is lacking the civility this article advocates. May I suggest that you embrace civility and find common ground upon which you can build understanding and work together towards the great good for all? A good start is to quit name calling and ridiculing of others. You can accomplish much once to end the labels. Thanks!

  • HSTucker Salt Lake City, UT
    July 16, 2018 8:37 a.m.

    "That's Marxism and socialism!"

    You appear to have confused equality of opportunity with equality of outcome. Promising and enforcing equality of outcome leads to human misery, because it is a deception.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    July 16, 2018 8:04 a.m.

    "Our unified vision is not only equality of education and income," Elder Gerard told the Deseret News..."

    That's Marxism and socialism! How will the conservative, Republican LDS core in Utah swallow that?

  • HSTucker Salt Lake City, UT
    July 16, 2018 7:58 a.m.

    The church's SRS programs are absolutely outstanding. They are the polar opposite of dependency, and instead encourage and develop (as the name implies) agency and self-reliance. What an incredible gift we have to offer to the world, and kudos to the NAACP for its courage and forward-thinking to partner with Latter-day Saints.

    We live in amazing times, led by a remarkable prophet, a man uniquely prepared by God to shoulder the mantle of leadership. God bless President Russell M. Nelson.

  • Sol Scottsboro, AL
    July 16, 2018 7:12 a.m.

    Seems a perfect partnership. The LDS Church isn't exactly a Trump loving group at the top, and the NAACP has been quite vocal with anti-Trump rhetoric. Meanwhile, black pastors are liking that Trump's efforts are employing plenty of black people. Mark Burns is a good example of the conservative black pastors out there.

  • illuminated Kansas City, MO
    July 16, 2018 6:37 a.m.

    "'Our unified vision is not only equality of education and income,' Elder Gerard told the Deseret News"

    Equality of income is Marxism. Many, many past LDS prophets have strongly warned against supporting this ideology in many talks and even formal proclamations.

    The NAACP has a long history of corruption, statements, and actions which fundamentally conflict with the LDS Church's values. For example, at one of its state conference meetings last year, the NAACP passed a resolution attacking the "Star Spangled Banner" and calling it "one of the most racist, pro-slavery, anti-black songs in the American lexicon."

    The NAACP is heavily funded by the George Soros Foundation, including a $1,000,000 pledge to the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund in March 2013; $100,000 in 2009; $200,000 in 2008; two grants of $208,000 and $300,000 in 2011; and $350,000 in 2012.

    They've aggressively supported and even funded Black Lives Matters and protested against police at many rallies around the country.

    Supporting the NAACP in anything is 180 degrees from right. It is as wrong as wrong can be and we should all be sickened by this support coming from the LDS Church. This needs to stop.

  • Chessermesser West Valley City, UT
    July 16, 2018 5:07 a.m.

    I hope this new program shows its value and thus can be expanded to other cities.

  • John Brown 1000 Laketown, UT
    July 16, 2018 12:48 a.m.

    Can't wait to see where this specific initiative goes and this partnership ultimately leads!

  • hobblecreek CA, 00
    July 15, 2018 11:56 p.m.


  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    July 15, 2018 10:41 p.m.

    In addition to preaching eternal salvation and exaltation, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as understood by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints includes a gospel of temporal salvation. Not a church of the Gospel of Prosperity, but of a practical self reliance based on prudent living in harmony with Gospel standards of hard work, service to others, and duty to God.

    I hope this program brings temporal relief and increased self reliance and self respect to many who have suffered through intergenetational poverty.

    We thank the oh God for a prophet to lead us in these latter days...