Many people have heard of the Mormon Church Welfare program. The LDS church has humanitarian efforts that span the globe, and an outreach that touches communities and individuals in all walks of life, and not just those who are of our faith.
When people hear the word “welfare,” they often think about handouts, checks from the government, or help for the needy. While these kinds of aid can be considered a part of serving those in need, the word “welfare” encompasses a much broader range of concerns: spiritual well-being, temporal or physical well-being, job security, self-respect, self-discipline, and self-reliance.
Welfare is complete when the giver and the receiver are both blessed for their dedication to the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, while on the earth, gave us wonderful examples of caring for the poor. The scriptures are full of examples that show us that we must, to be followers of Christ, care for the poor. This means that we must not only help with temporal, but also help with the “poor in heart,” the meek, and the lonely.
Real charity cannot be forced, or extracted from the masses and administered by a government program: it must spring forth actively from the hearts of individuals, spontaneous, and as a willful following of the Spirit.
In the LDS church we do have organized programs, but our giving, whether it be volunteer time, or funds, is always done by our own free will and choice. We are taught what we should do, and we are expected to be active in participating, without been directed in all things.
If you have more questions about the LDS church welfare system or programs, LDS.org and Providentliving.org are wonderful resources to get you started in learning more. Otherwise, feel free to ask your questions here!