- Latter-day Saints who love God — along with other followers of Christ — look for ways to help, lift and love others. They seek to live the first and second great commandments.
- What started as a Church-wide fast in 1984 that raised $6.4 million in a single day to help drought-stricken eastern Africa has evolved into Latter-day Saint Charities, which has provided more than $2 billion in assistance worldwide.
- When world leaders express their thanks for the Church’s humanitarian efforts, they also express hope for the Church to be established or to continue in their lands, knowing Latter-day Saints will help build strong families and communities and make life better for others wherever they live.
“Latter-day Saints, as with other followers of Jesus Christ, are always looking for ways to help, to lift and to love others. … They truly seek to live the first and second great commandments. When we love God with all our hearts, He turns our hearts to the well-being of others in a beautiful virtuous cycle.”
Church humanitarian outreach was launched in 1984 to help drought-stricken eastern Africa, with a single fast day raising $6.4 million. Now under the “Latter-day Saint Charities” name, the Church has provided more than $2 billion in global assistance,
“This assistance is offered to recipients regardless of their Church affiliation, nationality, race, sexual orientation, gender or political persuasion.
This is beyond the fast-offering assistance offered to Church members, with 124 bishops’ storehouses providing some 400,000 food orders annually and fast-offering funds use where no storehouses are available.
Church humanitarian initiatives have helped provide clean water in hundreds of communities in 76 countries, while millions of pounds of clothing are collected at Deseret Industries outlets each year, with the greatest portion donated to other charitable organizations for global distribution.
In 2018, the Church provided emergency supplies to refugees in 56 countries, vision care for 300,000 in 35 countries, newborn care for thousands of mothers and infants in 39 countries and wheelchairs for more than 50,000 in dozens of nations. Also last year, the Church carried out more than 100 disaster-relief projects worldwide.
“Giving help to others – making a conscientious effort to care about others as much or more than we care about ourselves — is our joy. Especially, I might add, when it is not convenient and when it takes us out of our comfort zone. Living that second great commandment is the key to becoming a true disciple of Jesus Christ.”
In the news:
- At the leadership session of the Church’s 189th Semiannual General Conference in October 2019, President Nelson announced a historic policy change allowing women, youth and children to serve as witnesses of ordinances.
- President Nelson spoke at a BYU devotional on Sept. 17 on the love and laws of God. He also explained the Church’s 2015 LGBT policy and asked young adults to ask God whether President Nelson and the apostles are prophets, seers and revelators.
- One year ago during October 2018 general conference, President Nelson addressed the importance of referring to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by its full name. A statement about calling the Church by its full and proper name was initially released Aug. 16, 2018.
- President Nelson turned 95 years old on Sept. 9. On Friday, Sept. 6, the prophet celebrated his birthday at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.
- The prophet recently returned from a visit to Central and South America including stops in Guatemala, Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina and Brazil. Traveling a total of 14,779 miles, he ministered to 344,452 Latter-day Saints.
- While he was in Argentina, President Nelson witnessed how a partnership between Latter-day Saint Charities and CILSA — a nongovernmental organization that works in Argentina for the full inclusion of people with disabilities — blesses individuals in need of wheelchairs.
- President Nelson gave an address during the 110th annual convention of the NAACP in Detroit on July 21. During his address, the prophet spoke about lifting one another as brothers and sisters and how we are all children of God.
- Addressing mission presidents at the Provo Missionary Training Center, President Nelson invoked blessings of safety, health, guidance and peace to those in attendance.
- Speaking to a crowd of 15,500 Latter-day Saints on June 9 in the Amway Center in Orlando, President Nelson shared seven truths about the gospel that have the power to change lives.
- In May, President Nelson ministered to Latter-day Saints living in the Pacific. Visiting Hawaii, Samoa, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Tahiti, the prophet shared messages about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, staying strong against “the attacks of the adversary,” and testified of God the Father and Jesus Christ.
- President Nelson was part of the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad at Promontory Summit, Utah.
- While on his visit to New Zealand, President Nelson expressed his love to those who had been impacted by the March 15 shootings in Christchurch. In behalf of the Church, he also donated $100,000 to the two mosques that were damaged in the attacks.
- Over the past six months, President Nelson has met with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, His Majesty King Tupou VI and Her Majesty Queen Nanasipau’u, Reverend Amos C. Brown, Reverend Theresa Deer and Colombian President Iván Duque.
- After the devastating Notre Dame Cathedral fire, President Nelson sent a letter of sympathy to the pope.
- Shortly after April 2019 general conference, President Nelson gave details about the renovation plans and open house for the Salt Lake Temple. The temple is expected to be closed for four years for renovations.
About the speaker:
- President Russell M. Nelson became the 17th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in January 2018.
- He was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for 34 years.
- A renowned surgeon, President Nelson assisted on the first-ever human open-heart surgery. In June 2018, the University of Utah honored President Nelson with an endowed chair in surgery.
- He and his late wife, Sister Dantzel White Nelson, who died in 2005, have 10 children, 57 grandchildren, and 119 great-grandchildren.
- He married Sister Wendy Watson, a BYU professor of marriage and family therapy, in 2006.
- President Nelson turned 95 years old on Sept. 9, 2019.
Recently on social:
- In a tweet, President Nelson reflected on his ministry to Central and South America and how the Restoration is a continuing process.
- A video on Instagram shows the prophet during his birthday celebration. In the video President Nelson testified that if there’s one thing he has learned in his 95 years of life, it is the reality that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
- In an Instagram post, President Nelson showed a picture from Tahiti, his last stop during his Pacific ministry. According to the post, the Church was established in the area 175 years ago before the early pioneers arrived in Utah.