President Gordon B. Hinckley

President of the church

"The Spirit of the Lord guides this work. This welfare activity is secular activity, expressing itself in terms of rice and beans, of blankets and tents, of clothing and medicine, of employment and education for better employment. But this so-called secular work is but an outward expression of an inward spirit — the Spirit of the Lord of whom it was said, he 'went about doing good.' "

The church welfare program has come to be recognized as even more noteworthy than the coming of Latter-day Saints to Utah as pioneers. None of the many recent visitors to the Office of the First Presidency mentioned the great pioneer journey of LDS forebears. "But each of them, independently, spoke in high praise of our welfare program and our humanitarian efforts."

The modern welfare program was initially designed to take care of the needs of Latter-day Saints. Numerous members of the church have worked in volunteer capacities producing food and other necessities. "We now operate 113 storehouses, 63 farms, 105 canneries and home storage centers, 18 food processing and distribution plants, as well as many other facilities.

"Not only have the needs of church members been met, but aid has been extended to countless others.

"Those in need are expected to do all they can to provide for themselves. Then families are expected to assist in taking care of their less-fortunate members. And then the resources of the church are made available."

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