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Revised mission of the Church stirs controversy.


Bsix

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Faithful members of the Church know that for nearly 20 years, the three-fold mission of the Church has been: Proclaim the Gospel, Perfect the Saints, Redeem the Dead.

In our Stake Conference this past week, we received notice that that mission statement has been revised.

The Salt Lake Tribune has a story today on this shift. Now included in the LDS Church mission ismission is: "Care for the Poor and Needy."

New LDS Emphasis: Care for the Needy.

Compassion for the elderly and infirm that has come to characterize Thomas S. Monson's ministry soon will be embraced more fully by the worldwide church he leads.

The LDS Church is adding "to care for the poor and needy" to its longstanding "threefold mission," which is to preach the LDS gospel, purify members' lives and provide saving ordinances such as baptism to those who have died.

This mission first was coined by late LDS President Spencer W. Kimball in the 1980s and since then has been repeated as a mantra by the church's more than 13 million members.

The new group of phrases will be described as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' "purposes," rather than missions, and will be spelled out in the next edition of the LDS Church Handbook of Instructions , due out next year, church spokesman Scott Trotter confirmed this week.

This committment to serving the elderly and needy is stirring all sorts of controvesy on the Tribune message board. It seems that no kind act or alteristic desire on the part of the Church will ever be acceptable to critics.

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I focused on the controversy and criticism of this new Church mission change.

The change itself is HUGE news for members of the faith. It is by itself worthy of discussion independent of whatever criticism some may have of it.

Six

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This committment to serving the elderly and needy is stirring all sorts of controvesy on the Tribune message board. It seems that no kind act or alteristic desire on the part of the Church will ever be acceptable to critics.

Those who seek evil intent will find it (even where it does not exist). Just as those who look for that which is good and praise worthy.

I know which I'd rather be, it makes for a happier heart. :P

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Interesting and I wonder if it's because they see what's coming down the road when there will be even more poor and needy, especially among the elderly as Medicare continues to get cut.

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Why do you think, we have the changes?

Because we (LDS) are forgetting to serve those around us?

or because

There is going to be an increase of poor and needy, in the years to come?

Personally I think for both reasons. To remind us to serve our neighbours and communities and because of a greater need in years to come.

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Having served a mission in the Philippines, I would not say that it is an American issue.

I do think it is somewhat redundant to "Perfect the Saints," but if President Monson wishes to emphasize this role it is fine by me.

I like the change. One could also argue that a perfected Saint will preach the Gospel and Redeem the Dead, so the other two missions were redundant, which is why the shift to "purposes," I feel adds greater clarity.

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Why do you think, we have the changes?

I think it is because the stone is rolling down the mountain and filling the earth. We are at a point where the Church can assert itself effectively in this regard, having met a threshold level of membership that has been practicing it independently, and another threshold level of membership that can respond to the call to practice it more consciously / conscientiously / independently. We are progressing as a people so the Church can do more, and the leadership can activate more people to do more.

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I think this will become President Monson's legacy as many temples have become President Hinckley's. I think it's obvious that President Monson has been endowed with a special love and compassion for the needy and most especially for the elderly ever since he was very, very young. It seems to be his calling in life. It seems natural that he would institute something like this, and I don't think it falls under the "perfect the saints" category. I think President Monson is specifically telling us to reach out to needy and elderly saints and non saints alike.

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Interesting and I wonder if it's because they see what's coming down the road when there will be even more poor and needy...

Perhaps.

Although that may be part of the picture, I think it's more due to the issue of "religion pure and undefiled..."

It's yet another step of Zion rising out of obscurity, as things grow brighter and brighter...

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Now included in the LDS Church mission ismission is: "Care for the Poor and Needy."

On another note, isn't this really the government's job? I mean, how can you expect a relatively minuscule organization to accomplish the massive redistribution of wealth that this worthy goal requires? Say I need a new car because my old one isn't fancy enough. The government will buy me a new one but I've never heard of the church doing anything like that. Besides that, the church expects you to actually be grateful for things. With the government however, you can collect numerous checks from a multiplicity of agencies with no need to send a "Thank You" note to anybody. Furthermore, it's really inconvenient to actually go into people's homes and assess needs and get to know them personally. It's far easier to tax & spend anonymously because everybody with real needs is backed by potent lobbying groups.

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On another note, isn't this really the government's job?

That is what Obama thinks. To that I say, "No it is not hte governemnt's job to do that".

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Having served a mission in the Philippines, I would not say that it is an American issue.I do think it is somewhat redundant to "Perfect the Saints," but if President Monson wishes to emphasize this role it is fine by me.

This was my thought also :P

I think this will become President Monson's legacy as many temples have become President Hinckley's. I think it's obvious that President Monson has been endowed with a special love and compassion for the needy and most especially for the elderly ever since he was very, very young. It seems to be his calling in life. It seems natural that he would institute something like this, and I don't think it falls under the "perfect the saints" category. I think President Monson is specifically telling us to reach out to needy and elderly saints and non saints alike.

Katherine, I have always believed as to why the Church divided its units into geographical areas was for this reason. I have served with several Bishops from Oregon, Colorado, and Texas and they have always been there for the members and nonmembers. In my current ward we have been taking care of a WWII veterans house repairing it for him so that his wife will have a secure home once he is gone.

As it has been implied the three fold mission has always reached out to the poor and elderly. The three fold mission, and now the four fold mission has always over lapped in purpose and scope, and now with this added emphasis it will be more clearly seen.

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I think it's noble that this change has taken place. We should take care of the poor and needy. I hope the change includes provisions to avoid helping the few who are abusers and usurpers, who take advantage of the kindness of the Church. I hope the help is going towards those who are genuinely in need.

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I guess they're not happy with the Home/Visiting teachers program. Which I thought that was what it was all about - Taking care of those around you? OH WAIT.... WHAT A BUFFOOOOON I AM. Well have a new mission of the church and do away with Home/Visiting Teaching programs altogether!!!!!! Then we'll have to use our ESP to figure out who the elderly and needy and go visit/Teach JUST THEM!!! The work load will be less... OH BOY :P

I'll walk the path whereever it leads....

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Christians are commanded to care for the sick, homeless, widows, needy etc, so as far as I am concerned any Nationalization of health services is just another mechanism by which I do those things which I am already sacredly bound to do.

Yet this approach fails on at least three counts.

  1. There is nothing in the commandment that requires an external power use coercion on the believer to force him to obey the injunction.
  2. The commandment is to individuals, not societies, to care for the poor and the needy (two distinct classes), so foisting the obligation onto the collective will not fulfill the sacred obligation.
  3. The obligation is to care for the poor and the needy, not the bureaucracy. Government does nothing well, and most of what it does is counterproductive (as when, in 1960, senior citizens spent 20% of their income on meidcal care, and in 2000, with MediCare, seniors spent 20% of the income on medical care, but the taxpayers of USmerica spent billions of dollars paying for medical care for senior citizens).

Socializing medical care in the '60s, socializing charity in the 30s, socializing education in the 1860s have done nothing but destroy families and communities at enormous financial costs.

Lehi

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