The work of LDS Charities was the subject of a recent panel discussion at United Nations headquarters in New York, USA. The event, “Discovering Mormonism and Its Role in Humanitarian Assistance,” was part of the Focus on Faith series sponsored by the nongovernmental organizations section of the U.N.’s Department of Public Information.
“This series aims to provide a broader understanding of how different belief systems share common foundational principles such as tolerance, mutual respect for those different than ourselves, and a commitment to reconciliation and peaceful resolutions to disputes,” explained panel moderator Felipe Queipo, a public information assistant at the U.N. who is a member of the Church from Spain.
“To care for the poor is a foundational duty of anyone who reveres God and the brother- and sisterhood of all—to serve, lift, bless, and relieve suffering independent of religious persuasions, social philosophy, nationality, tribe, gender, or background,” said Sharon Eubank, director of LDS Charities, who participated in the discussion.
In her remarks she also reviewed the stated purpose of LDS Charities: to relieve suffering, foster self-reliance, and provide opportunities for service for families of all nationalities. Its key initiatives, she said, are clean water, neonatal resuscitation, vision care, wheelchair distribution, immunizations, food, and emergency response.
Other Latter-day Saint participants included Ahmad S. Corbitt, director of the Church’s New York Office of Public and International Affairs, and John P. (Phil) Colton, who is serving with his wife, Barbara, as a U.N. representative for LDS Charities.
Brother Corbitt said that there are “people of goodwill in all the world religions,” emphasizing the importance of working together. Brother Colton explained ways that LDS Charities provided help to nearly two million people in 132 countries during 2013.