Elder Joseph Anderson Eulogized

Elder Joseph Anderson

Born the year Wilford Woodruff was sustained as President of the Church and three years before the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple, Elder Joseph Anderson spent a century in quiet service to the Lord and others.

Elder Anderson, an emeritus member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, died March 13 at age 102. He served with seven of the thirteen Presidents of the Church and “was an example to all of us. ‘Behold an Israelite … in whom [there] is no guile.’ (John 1:47.) I so look upon Joseph Anderson,” observed President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency and speaker at the funeral. “He was worthy of the total confidence of the prophets of God.”

Other funeral speakers included Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve, Elder Marion D. Hanks of the Presidency of the Seventy, and J. Robert Anderson, Elder Anderson’s son. President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, conducted the March 17 funeral services, which were held in the Salt Lake Bonneville Stake Center.

Elder Anderson served as secretary to President Heber J. Grant and the First Presidency from 1922 to 1945. He then served as secretary to the First Presidency, working with Presidents George Albert Smith, David O. McKay, and Joseph Fielding Smith. He was called as an Assistant to the Twelve on 6 April 1970 and sustained to the First Quorum of the Seventy on 1 October 1976. He received General Authority emeritus status 30 September 1978.

“I think Joseph Anderson knew more and said less than any man I have ever known,” said President Hinckley, who first met Elder Anderson fifty-seven years ago. “He kept the trust that was imposed on him.

“He served always in faith and confidence and trust and always in his own quiet way,” he continued. “He was a man who was trusted, and it was President David O. McKay who said it is a greater thing to be trusted than to be loved.”

Calling Elder Anderson a friend and a teacher, Elder Packer observed that “we will not, in our lifetime, meet another who has known the Brethren as Joseph Anderson did. Five years short of two-thirds of the history of the Church, Joseph Anderson was there. For more than a third of it he was recording the events as they occurred. For half a century, he attended the meetings of the First Presidency and the temple meetings of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. …

“He was a man whose mind and experience stretches back to the past,” Elder Packer continued, noting some of the historical facts occurring during Elder Anderson’s life.

Born on 20 November 1889, Elder Anderson was three years old when the Salt Lake Temple was dedicated and was six when Utah became a state. The automobile was invented the year he turned four, and the Spanish American War started the year he was baptized. He saw the law of tithing reemphasized by President Lorenzo Snow. Elder Anderson had been married for two years when the United States entered World War I.

Calling Elder Anderson a “glorious example of absolute unselfishness,” Elder Hanks talked of the example the centenarian left behind. “Like his Savior, Brother Anderson continued to grow in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man. He began in his youth and continued on for all of his years.

“The Lord has said, ‘Them that honour me I will honour.’ (1 Sam. 2:30.) Joseph Anderson honored God and is and will be forever honored by him.”

Elder Anderson’s son, J. Robert Anderson, spoke of the “great reunion” in which his father was participating on the other side of the veil. “And if it is necessary over there to take minutes, I’m sure Dad is there with book and pencil in hand,” he observed.

Brother Anderson talked of his father’s quiet example of service and love to the Brethren, the Lord, and his family.

New Young Women General Presidency Called

Janette C. Hales and others in the former Young Women general presidency and staff had gathered for a farewell celebration. A close group, they stood arm-in-arm, expressing their love and appreciation for each other.

Sister Hales, soon to be called as the new Young Women general president, made a quiet observation. “I really don’t like closed circles.”

“Are you claustrophobic?” someone asked.

“No, I just want people to feel there is always a place for them.”

President Janette C. Hales

President Janette C. Hales

Reaching out to others is important to Sister Hales because, she says, “people have always reached out to me.”

In fact, it was a Primary president in Spanish Fork, Utah, who literally put an arm around eleven-year-old Janette and invited her to be baptized. She’d attended Primary occasionally with neighborhood children, but it was a few years before anyone realized she wasn’t a member. Although she was young and didn’t understand a lot about the gospel, she did know she felt included in Primary, so she decided to join the Church.

“Although my father wasn’t a member and my mother wasn’t active, they supported my decision. They’d always taught gospel principles in our home,” Sister Hales recalls. “They taught me to be kind, honest, and loving, and they supported me in everything I ever did.”

And Janette Hales, born on 7 June 1933 to Thomas L. and Hannah Carrick Callister, has done much in her lifetime. She married Robert H. Hales in 1955. A few of her greatest “accomplishments” are her five children: Ann Nevers, Thomas C. Hales, Jane Ricks, Karen, and Mary.

She has also served on the Primary general board, as ward Primary president, as stake Primary president, and in the Utah State Legislature. For the last two years, she has served as second counselor in the Young Women general presidency.

“And that was a great experience,” she observes. “The Young Women program and its theme and values are based on fundamental principles that can be a blessing in the lives of young women, their families, and the leaders. It’s not just a program; it’s a way of implanting values in an appealing, approachable way.”

Sister Hales learned what she calls “one of life’s greatest lessons” when her husband died of cancer four years ago.

“I felt an overwhelming responsibility to my children to provide safety. At the same time, however, I realized that I wouldn’t always be there for them. It was at this time that I realized that complete safety in our lives is not an option.

“Once I realized that, I immediately felt freedom,” she continues. “There is a certain risk involved in living and loving, but life is empty without those things. When we truly realize that complete safety isn’t an option, we can turn to the Lord and do all that he wants us to, regardless of the cost.”

Turning to the Lord will be an important part of Sister Hales’s new calling as she leads a program that involves approximately 480,000 young women worldwide.

“The potential—seeing young women make choices that bring them to Christ—makes all this worthwhile,” notes Sister Hales. “The gospel and the Church can make a difference in lives.”

Sister Hales’s first counselor, Virginia H. Pearce, echoes that conviction. Raised in an environment of trust and love, she recognizes the importance those elements play as children grow up.

Virginia H. Pearce

Virginia H. Pearce, first counselor

“During my childhood, there was an incredible amount of freedom to discover who I was,” she recalls. Born 8 February 1945, the middle child of Gordon B. and Marjorie Pay Hinckley, she learned from her parents that she could be whatever she wanted to be.

“My parents taught by example. The rules in our home were never really discussed, they were just obvious and evident and we obeyed them. When we didn’t, we knew there were consequences.”

An early experience illustrates that matter-of-fact approach to life. Neighborhood children had been throwing rocks on the roof of a home, and Virginia eagerly took her turn. Unfortunately, she tossed her rock right into a bedroom window where the owner lay sleeping.

The owner didn’t sleep for very long, and she was obvious about her disapproval of young Virginia’s behavior. “She told me that if I were her little girl,” remembers Sister Pearce, “I’d spend the rest of the day sitting on a chair in the kitchen. So I went home and sat on a chair in our kitchen for the rest of the day.

“I didn’t need to tell my parents, I didn’t need to argue or complain. I just realized I’d done something wrong—and if this neighbor thought my punishment should be sitting on a chair all day, that’s what it would be.”

Although Sister Pearce has always felt close to her Heavenly Father, she felt a deepening of commitment to him as a teenager.

“I was fifteen, that awkward age where you really don’t feel that you belong anywhere or that anyone really cares,” she explains. “I remember consciously making a decision to hold on to the gospel. I knew that I wanted to be with my Heavenly Father.”

Sister Pearce met her future husband, James R. M. Pearce, on a blind date. They immediately became friends but didn’t date seriously until a year later. Married in 1965, they now have five daughters—Rosemary Olsen, Emily Fox, Laura Jenkins, Heidi Jenson, and Amy—and one son, James.

Her strengths—a listening ear, a loving heart, and an ability to accumulate information gathered from that listening and loving—have served her well as a parent and will serve her well as she contemplates her new assignment.

“I’m most excited about listening to the youth,” she comments. “Adolescence is a time of discovering who you are, what you want. The young women know what works for them, what challenges they are facing, what they want to accomplish. I look forward to hearing and learning from them.”

As second counselor, Patricia P. Pinegar is also committed to making the Young Women organization work. A woman who loves the outdoors and people, Sister Pinegar knows what an important time those teenage years can be.

Patricia P. Pinegar

Patricia P. Pinegar, second counselor

“I had always wanted to do what was right, but when I was eighteen, I felt a real desire to know my Heavenly Father.

“Of course, I’ve had to continue to make efforts to grow spiritually.”

But opportunities for spiritual growth have always been there, she notes. Born on 3 February 1937 to Laurence and Wavie Williams Peterson, Patricia met and married Ed Pinegar nineteen years later. Many of her growing opportunities have come as she has raised their eight children: Karie Bushnell, Steven, Kelly Hagemeyer, Kristin Gubler, Brett, Cory, Traci, and Tricia.

“I’ve learned so much as I’ve grown in my marriage, in our family, and as I’ve served in various church callings. I just keep growing and stretching and saying, ‘Ouch.’ It isn’t always easy, but I have an absolute faith that Heavenly Father lives and that he knows me personally. That gives me the desire and faith to keep saying yes, to keep growing, and to keep trusting.

“Even though we often feel inadequate, unworthy, or scared, if we will do all that we can, the Lord will do the rest to make us successful in what he has asked of us.”

Sister Pinegar has helped others learn this same principle. While her husband served as mission president of the England London South Mission and as director of the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, she encouraged the missionaries to say yes and obey.

Another thing she tried to teach missionaries is a love for the scriptures. “I challenged them to read the scriptures every day and look for a scripture idea or principle that they could apply in their lives that very day,” she explains. “And I did the same thing. Every day I posted a card outside my office door that had a scripture and a personal application of that scripture. It’s crucial that we learn how the scriptures can help, strengthen, and guide us.

“I’m thrilled with this new opportunity,” she continues. “I took the Young Women’s theme home a few nights ago and read it over and over again. I’d heard it before; I’d even said it. But it was as if I were reading it for the first time.

“Our young women need to say this theme, to understand it, and to feel it. I’ve never read anything so powerful in such a few words. If a young woman will follow these words, she’ll have the armor of God, the shield of Christ, the protection that she needs to get through the challenges and trials of life.”

Political Neutrality Reaffirmed

The First Presidency released the following letter addressed to all members of the Church.

“Dear Brethren and Sisters:

“In this election year, we reaffirm the policy of strict political neutrality for the Church.

“The Church does not endorse political candidates or parties in elections.

“The Church does not advise its members how to vote.

“Church facilities are not used for political purposes.

“Church members should study the issues and candidates carefully and prayerfully and then vote for those who they believe will act with integrity and will most nearly carry out their ideas of good government. Members are encouraged to participate as responsible citizens in supporting measures that strengthen society morally, economically, and culturally. They are urged to be actively engaged in worthy causes to improve their communities and make them more wholesome places in which to live and rear families.

“Political candidates should not imply that their candidacy is endorsed by the Church or its leaders. Church directories or mailing lists should not be used for political purposes.”

President Hinckley calls on King and Queen of Spain

A personalized, leatherbound copy of the Book of Mormon is now in the royal palace in Spain.

While in Europe for a regional Church conference, President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, made a courtesy call on the country’s king and queen. During the visit, which took place in the residential palace north of Madrid, President Hinckley gave King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia the gift.

During the brief visit, President Hinckley and the king talked of their previous meeting several years ago. President Hinckley also mentioned his son, Clark, who, in 1969, served as one of the first four LDS missionaries to Spain.

Accompanying President Hinckley during the courtesy call were Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, Elder Spencer J. Condie of the Quorum of the Seventy and president of the Church’s Europe/Mediterranean Area, and President Faustino Lopez of the Madrid Spain Stake.

King Carlos invited President Lopez to contact his office and arrange a future appointment when they could discuss the Church in Spain in greater detail.

Also during his European trip, President Hinckley and his wife, Marjorie, called on the Rev. Leonard Boyle, prefect of the Vatican Library, and presented a set of the five-volume Encyclopedia of Mormonism.

The Rev. Boyle gave the group a tour of the Vatican Library, including a look at rare biblical parchment manuscripts dating from A.D. 818.

Elder Condie and Italy Rome Mission President Richard Favero and his wife accompanied the Hinckleys during the Vatican visit.

President Gordon B. Hinckley greets King Juan Carlos I during a recent trip to Spain. During the visit, President Hinckley presented the king with a leather-bound copy of the Book of Mormon. (Courtesy of Dalda Photography.)

Seek Local Counsel, First Presidency Urges

To: All Members of the Church

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

Members’ Communications with General Authorities

The General Authorities of the Church have a special commission to serve as witnesses of Jesus Christ and to watch over the Church. In their service at Church headquarters or in area presidencies throughout the world, requests for personal counseling, administrations to the sick, special priesthood blessings, answers to doctrinal questions, and requests to officiate in temple sealings create an almost insurmountable task.

The Lord has provided bishoprics, branch presidencies, and stake, mission, or district presidencies to share the task of ministering to the members. They hold the Melchizedek Priesthood as do the General Authorities. They have love and concern for those they are called to serve and are entitled to the spirit of discernment and inspiration in ministering to them. They are best acquainted with members and with their needs and concerns.

Members should seek the counsel and assistance of their local authorities. If local leaders are unable to resolve a matter, they will seek the assistance of the General Authorities as the Lord has provided and directed through established channels.

Sincerely your brethren,

Ezra Taft Benson

Gordon B. Hinckley

Thomas S. Monson

Update: Church Membership

Church membership continued to grow during 1991. There were 8,120,000 Latter-day Saints at the end of last year, up from 6,440,000 in December 1987.

1987: 6,440,000

1988: 6,720,000

1989: 7,300,000

1990: 7,760,000

1991: 8,120,000


Groundbreaking for Bountiful Utah Temple

The First Presidency has released the architect’s rendering of the Bountiful Utah Temple. The temple, scheduled for groundbreaking on May 2, will be white stone with a tower rising to 176 feet, including a gold-leafed statue of the angel Moroni.

An architect’s rendering of the Bountiful Utah Temple

An architect’s rendering of the Bountiful Utah Temple.

There will be approximately 100,000 square feet of floor space, including four ordinance rooms, a celestial room, a baptistry, offices, cafeteria, and laundry facilities. A two-level parking lot will hold some 550 cars, and the 10.2-acre temple site will be enclosed with an eight-foot wrought iron fence.

The temple will serve Church members residing in twenty-eight surrounding stakes. The temple site, situated in the Bountiful foothills, offers a panoramic view of the Great Salt Lake to the west.

Announcement of the temple, the eighth in Utah, was made four years ago. The Church currently has forty-two operating temples worldwide; two others, in England and Switzerland, are currently being renovated. A forty-fifth temple is under construction in San Diego, California, and plans have been announced for temples in Orlando, Florida; St. Louis, Missouri; Guayaquil, Ecuador; and Bogotá, Colombia.

Albania Receives Humanitarian Aid

The Church recently joined efforts with Intermountain Health Care to send to Albania a shipment of surplus medical and hospital equipment.

The equipment, donated by IHC, was shipped to Albania by the Church. The equipment included medical carts, exam tables, surgical lights, monitors, sterilizers, and desks. In addition, the Church included a variety of medications and medical textbooks in the shipment.

The equipment, in good working order, had previously been in IHC facilities but had been replaced by newer equipment.

Ricks College Modifies Admission Policy

Ricks College has announced a change in policy that will make Church activity and religious values a determining factor in admitting new students.

The modified admissions policy still includes basic admissions requirements—high school graduation, taking the American College Test, and a bishop’s or ecclesiastical leader’s endorsement. In addition, applicants must write a personal essay and submit an evaluation from a seminary or institute of religion teacher.

The additional requirements are designed to assess the character and spiritual preparation of the potential student and to help determine which students will best benefit from the religious and academic climate of Ricks College.

Additional factors that will be examined include a personal commitment to living the Ricks College Honor Code, geographic location, and ethnicity.

Admissions officials will begin implementing the modified policy by June, taking applications for winter semester 1993.

Five General Authorities Address South Africans

For the first time in the 140 years that the Church has been in South Africa, five General Authorities met with the Saints there in a single meeting. It was also the first time that the two most senior members of the Quorum of the Twelve visited that country together.

The occasion was a regional conference held in Johannesburg on February 9. Speaking to the congregation were President Howard W. Hunter, president of the Quorum of the Twelve; Elder Boyd K. Packer, also of the Twelve; Elder Richard P. Lindsay of the Seventy, president of the Africa Area; and his counselors, Elder J Ballard Washburn and Elder Earl C. Tingey of the Seventy.

South Africa “is a good place to be, a good place to live with good people,” President Hunter told the audience. “What a glorious thing it is to be a member of the Church, to have the benefit of modern-day revelation, to have friends, to have a code of living that is different from the world’s and that will bring us happiness if we are willing to follow its admonitions and live in righteousness.”

For most of his address, President Hunter commented on the Savior’s parable of the plowman. “The Master made it clear,” he said, “that the work of the kingdom must take precedence over all other things. … Those who become disciples of the Master must put their hand to the plow and, without any turning back, prove themselves to be worthy plowmen. By turning over the old dirt of tradition, they prepare the field for the spread of Christianity into the world.”

He cited the work of missionaries, seminary and institute teachers, and Church leaders as examples of modern-day plowing. “This is hard work,” President Hunter said. “But if we submit ourselves to the easy, little progress is made. … May we put our hands to the plow and not look back, and may we earn a place in the kingdom of God by our faithfulness.”

Elder Packer told the assembled Saints that this was his third visit to South Africa. “If I have an impression of [my visit] this time,” he said, “the word change comes to mind—and not just change, but progress. … I sense that as the future unfolds that there will be great and important changes ahead.”

South Africa is undergoing great change at present as its various cultures seek new ways of working together to build a stronger and more cohesive society. Many have worried about the future. To those assembled at the conference, Elder Packer assured them that “there is reason to have courage and hope and gratitude to live in such a wonderful land.”

He addressed the bulk of his remarks to the youth, describing his first trip to southern Africa and a lesson he learned, later shared in general conference, of the danger of crocodiles, which camouflage themselves in muddy elephant tracks. In the same way, “there are spiritual crocodiles all around,” he told the youth. “And they are … well disguised.” There is safety, however, in listening to parents and teachers as they point out dangers.

Elder Packer also shared the story of his son, who learned that a wild horse can’t be tamed by physical strength. He pointed out that, like a wild horse, “life is big, and it can be mean and dangerous, but you don’t whip it with your brute strength. You must use something else. … If you learn to listen to the Holy Ghost, then the Lord will watch over you and you can meet any challenge.”

To the parents, Elder Packer said, “Stand steady and look to the future. Erase fear. … Jesus presides over this church. He is our redeemer. If we know him—and we can know him—then our lives can be full of security and faith.”

Elder Lindsay addressed a related theme. “As Elder Washburn and Elder Tingey and I and our wives have traveled throughout many of the nations of this great [African] continent, the question of peace—the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ—has been much in our minds. …

“Here in South Africa we are experiencing some considerable degree of turmoil. Elsewhere in the world there are conflicts. There is never a time that we are without violent controversies. … The blessings of the gospel are universal, and so is the Lord’s formula for peace: Keep the commandments of God and serve his children.”

Elder Lindsay went on to declare that peace “begins in our hearts; it is furthered in our homes. If we are faithful, and if we are righteous, we will set the pattern for this great nation in the pursuit of peace.”

Elder Washburn commented that he has known personally twenty-one of the twenty-eight men called to the Quorum of the Twelve during his lifetime. “I’ve been blessed on occasion to be present when the Lord has revealed his will to them,” he said. “I’ve seen their love and consideration for each other and for all of Heavenly Father’s children. For forty years I have heard them speak the word of God.”

Elder Tingey echoed Elder Washburn’s remarks, saying that “the Peters and the Johns of yesteryear are the Elder Hunters and Elder Packers of today. It is my humble testimony that if you will listen and ponder and think and talk about … what you hear and feel today, you will receive that which the Lord desires of you, and it will become personal revelation to you.”

Others who addressed the conference were Sister Inis Hunter, Sister Donna Packer, regional representative Don Harper, Johannesburg temple president Charles Canfield, and Johannesburg mission president Peter Mourik. A choir of young people from various ethnic backgrounds provided music for the two-hour meeting.

South African Latter-day Saints and friends gather in a Johannesburg sports arena to hear counsel from Church leaders.

President Howard W. Hunter and Elder Boyd K. Packer, both of the Quorum of the Twelve, greet a young South African. They bring messages of hope, love, service, and obedience. (Photography by Phil Shurtleff.)

A choir of youth from the Johannesburg South Africa Region sing for the conference.

New Handbook Helps Leaders Strengthen Aaronic Priesthood

A recently distributed Aaronic Priesthood Leadership Handbook replaces a handbook for Aaronic Priesthood leaders that was printed in 1977. To learn how the new handbook is different and how it helps leaders and youth, the Ensign talked to Elder Jack H Goaslind of the Seventy, Young Men general president.

Elder Jack H Goaslind

Elder Jack H Goaslind of the Seventy, Young Men general president

Ensign: What is the most important benefit this new handbook offers to leaders and youth?

Elder Goaslind: I believe it is the book’s focus on the Aaronic Priesthood as the authority to serve and an emphasis that Aaronic Priesthood is not a program. The Aaronic Priesthood Leadership Handbook is more closely aligned with the Melchizedek Priesthood Leadership Handbook. It is designed to help leaders prepare young men to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood and to prepare them for the greater service they can render as they progress in the gospel.

Ensign: How does the new handbook emphasize preparation for the Melchizedek Priesthood?

Elder Goaslind: By focusing on the purpose of the Aaronic Priesthood. On page 6, leaders will read:

“The mission of the Aaronic Priesthood is to help each young man—

“Become converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ and live by its teachings.

“Magnify priesthood callings.

“Give meaningful service.

“Prepare to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood.

“Commit to, worthily prepare for, and serve an honorable full-time mission.

“Live worthy to receive temple covenants and prepare to become a worthy husband and father.”

These six statements embody every principle that was in the eleven “Priesthood Purposes” in the old Aaronic Priesthood Quorum Guidebook, and more. We hope to build a strong enough focus on these six goals that every young man will carry them in his heart and mind as he develops and matures in the gospel.

Ensign: Since the handbook won’t be in the hands of all young men, how can it help them as individuals?

Elder Goaslind: I think the impact on the boys will be in what happens to their adult and quorum leaders. We want all Aaronic Priesthood leaders to study this book—to know it thoroughly and to use what they learn. I can promise that if they will do this, they will touch the lives of young men.

The book is organized and written to help leaders understand their responsibilities and see their opportunities to affect lives. It replaces the old handbook and also the Aaronic Priesthood Quorum Guidebook, which was basically a training document. The new Aaronic Priesthood Leadership Handbook covers both organization and activities in its seven sections: “The Aaronic Priesthood in the Church,” “The Aaronic Priesthood and the Young Men Organization,” “Quorum Organization,” “Ward Organization,” “Stake Organization,” “Training and Development,” and “Combined Aaronic Priesthood–Young Women Guidelines.”

Ensign: What are some of the other important differences in the new handbook?

Elder Goaslind: One of the most significant changes is that the Aaronic Priesthood now has a much closer working relationship with the Young Women organization. The last section of the new handbook gives guidelines for activities that can help young men and young women develop appreciation for each other’s strengths and differences, develop respect for each other, and grow through service. I really hope this new handbook helps emphasize to bishoprics that their first responsibility is to both the young men and the young women of their ward.

Ensign: Is the book broad enough to cover youth of the Church throughout the world?

Elder Goaslind: It was designed as an international handbook, with a strong emphasis on universal priesthood principles. We’ve tried to keep the book from being programmatic or limited in its scope. The principles in it are meant to be applicable in any culture. For example, Scouting is covered only briefly because it isn’t available in many parts of the world.

Ensign: How can this handbook help young men be better followers of the Savior?

Elder Goaslind: It teaches principles that can give young men a foundation for living the kind of life the Savior taught us to live.

The hope is that we will see lives of young men change in some concrete ways. For example, there has been no increase for the past several years in the percentage of young men serving missions. It is true that there are many more young missionaries out there simply because there are more young men in the Church, but the percentage of those who serve has not changed.

What a wonderful thing it would be if we could help more young men prepare to serve! With the opening of so many new doors to the gospel, more missionaries will be needed.

Ensign: How has the new handbook been received?

Elder Goaslind: Many leaders have been eager for it and have expressed very positive support for its strong priesthood approach. Those of us who were involved in producing this new handbook believe it unifies our efforts as a Church in what we’re trying to do for young men. Youth leaders who are now using it agree. I’ve lost count of the number of telephone calls we’ve had from people who have said, “Thanks. We needed this desperately.”

Foundation Honors Welfare System

According to the Heritage Foundation, one of the best known conservative think tanks in the United States, the country should follow the lead of the Church’s welfare system.

While the Church’s welfare system provides temporally for those it helps, it also focuses “on strengthening the family, teaching a vigorous work ethic, and helping the needy to help themselves,” wrote Tucker Carlson, assistant editor of the foundation’s journal, Policy Review. “Its themes are ones the secular world would do well to study,” he continued.

Carlson pointed out several reasons for the success of the welfare system.

  • Welfare recipients are expected to work for what they receive, often at one of the Church’s 50 canneries or 135 other food production sites. This lowers the cost of the assistance received.

  • Home teachers visit members every month, often discovering financial and other problems before they become critical.

  • Locally, the welfare system is directed by bishops, who administer assistance according to the specific needs, giving no more than is necessary. In addition, the system normally provides food or pays bills directly. Rarely is cash given to welfare recipients.

  • Members are encouraged to take care of their own family, including elderly parents.

  • Mormon culture encourages the belief that welfare is a last resort.

  • Members are counseled to store at least a year’s supply of food, clothing, and fuel. Doing so often helps individuals and families survive rough times, eliminating the need for welfare.

  • Members are encouraged not only to take care of themselves but also to give generously to others.