Thursday, December 10, 2009

The fourth purpose of the Church - to care for the poor and needy.

It's official. For the past few days, the bloggernacle has been rumoring that the LDS Church was changing it's three-fold mission of the Church to include caring for the poor and needy. Today, the Salt Lake Tribune's Peggy Fletcher Stack confirmed the rumor with Church spokesman Scott Trotter. In the upcoming revision of the Church's Handbook of Instructions, the former three-fold mission of the church is being replaced with the 'purposes' of the Church, which will now be:

  • Preaching the Gospel
  • Perfecting the Saints
  • Redeeming the Dead
  • Caring for the Poor and Needy
Words can hardly relate how elated I am about this. For those who know me or have been following my blog, this is something that I have felt passionately about and arguing for for years. While the Church, as an organization, has always seemed to have this emphasis to a certain extent, it is my experience--which is limited at best--that this has not always been an important purpose for the general membership. By placing the emphasis at the head of the Church's stated purposes, I hope that it's important will trickle down to the general membership.

While this has almost always been the subject of President Monsen's talks, it has clearly been the primary emphasis of his most recent General Conference talk and this week's Christmas devotional. This change, bears testimony to the role he believes the Gospel should have in taking care of those in need and his prophetic calling.


  1. I think it should have been worded more like: "eradicating the world's poor and needy...through helping them," personally.

  2. ...or, better, the *first* purpose of the Church... I recall Jesus telling his apostles to feed his lambs before declaring the Great Commission to preach the gospel...

    Wonderful, wonderful news, and great timing for this to come out during the Christmas season. I'm pleasantly surprised to see so far such positive reactions from my fellow LDS, in a way like we're so happy it's being emphasized in this way. I know I feel a sense of appreciation to be able to authoritatively declare that my religion recognizes the fundamental and essential ethic of caring for the poor. I particularly appreciate the use of the word "caring" which implies to me a more complete approach, one of looking to all dimensions of poverty and need and showing compassion.

  3. BHodges for general authority.

  4. Why didn't they give you credit for thinking this up? ;0)


Please provide a name or consistent pseudonym with your comments and avoid insults or personal attacks against anyone or any group. All anonymous comments will be immediately deleted. Other comments are subject to deletion at my discretion.