"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world" (James 1:27).
Since 1998 the Welfare Services Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has reported inspirational experiences of the power of love and charity to change the lives of others for good. While the Church News has published many of the stories, many others have not been shared as widely. It is hoped that those who read this collection of stories will gain a deeper understanding of the Church welfare program and feel inspired to serve.
We express our appreciation to the many individuals who have shared their experiences with the Welfare Services Department to make the Pure Religion series possible.
Neil and Marjorie Darlington serve as humanitarian missionaries in Ghana, where their work included drilling and refurbishing wells, bringing clean water to 190,000 people.
LDS Church volunteers in their "Mormon Helping Hands" T-shirts assist with cleanup and repairs to homes following the devastation caused by one hurricane after another hitting the Caribbean and the southeastern United States.
Brother Ingram traveled seven hours to Florida with a group of members to assist hurricane victims. One man asked, "Why do you do this?" Brother Ingram reflected on the question and compared it to his mission, when he greeted people as a representative of the Savior and asked if he could share a message. Now he is greeting people and saying, "We are volunteers; may we help?"
Elder and Sister Coombs, humanitarian missionaries, help hospital administrators in Bangkok by obtaining diagnostic equipment for the cancer ward for children.
Members assist tsunami victims in Indonesia, purchasing and distributing goods to areas which were 99% Muslim. As the cry "We have a donation from the Jesus Church" rang out, grateful recipients would line up to receive food, clothing, and needed survival items.