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Service & the priesthood


LDSToronto

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All, interested in hearing your thoughts.

Today's lesson in high priest group was about service. A question came up, along the lines of, "How does the priesthood drive service in the world?". After a bit of discussion I pointed out that the priesthood, aside from administering ordinances and ecclesiastical counseling, has absolutely no bearing on how service is carried out. To support this, I pointed out that there are all kinds of service organizations that provide service, and no shortage of people volunteering to help, and none are related to the church.

This was met with some opposition, stating that the priesthood guides service and inspires service. But I'm just not seeing it - service organizations seem to run as well or better than the typical ward organization, from my experience.

So what say you? Why does the priesthood 'matter' with respect to service? How does it make service that much better? Interested in hearing your comments.

H.

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Why does the priesthood 'matter' with respect to service? How does it make service that much better?

The priesthood matters to that service which requires its keys to accomplish (Moses 1:39), because such service cannot be provided without it. Nothing can be better than Moses 1:39. This doesn't prevent its proper exercise in the accomplishment in any good cause (God still controls its effectiveness in such an application).

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All, interested in hearing your thoughts.

Today's lesson in high priest group was about service. A question came up, along the lines of, "How does the priesthood drive service in the world?". After a bit of discussion I pointed out that the priesthood, aside from administering ordinances and ecclesiastical counseling, has absolutely no bearing on how service is carried out. To support this, I pointed out that there are all kinds of service organizations that provide service, and no shortage of people volunteering to help, and none are related to the church.

This was met with some opposition, stating that the priesthood guides service and inspires service. But I'm just not seeing it - service organizations seem to run as well or better than the typical ward organization, from my experience.

So what say you? Why does the priesthood 'matter' with respect to service? How does it make service that much better? Interested in hearing your comments.

H.

The priesthood leads the largest humanitarian relief effort in the United States, through the Church's welfare program. Each priesthood quorum spends countless volunteer hours in lay leadership callings, home teachings assignments, ect, serving the members and non members of there ward and stake.

Right now our Stake is a major contributor to a local schools attempt to break a world record for the most food donated in one location in a 24 hour period. The Stake Presidency has asked that the wards promote this effort in there work places and there neighborhoods, we are hoping to donate over 500,000 pounds of food from out stake alone.

The Church is the most successful service organization I know of, unlike state and federal aid agencies, the Church seeks to not only help with the immediate temporal needs but to provide ways for families to become self sufficient though training and education.

At an individual ward level, results are varied, no one expects every single ward to hit a home run on service every day. But the Priesthood manages some of the largest private service organizations in the world, this work is done by a completely volunteer basis (where most other organisations have to hire help) and serving almost every nation of the face of the Earth.

All for the glory of Heavenly Father and the benefit of his children!

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The priesthood itself is the epitome of service to both Latter Day Saints and non members. It exists to serve us in the best way possible, providing ordinances for salvation and exhaltation. However without the pure love of Christ in which we also serve each other's physical needs, it spiritual becomes null and void. You cannot pray to bless someone and then do nothing to help them.

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You cannot pray to bless someone and then do nothing to help them.

I agree, our prayers should be "lord teach me to know what I can do to help my brother in need" not "lord teach my brother what he needs to know to help him, iam kind of tired so ill talk with you in the morning"

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I agree, but he said that the Church doesn't provide nearly as much service as other organizations which is not true.

LDSGuy, you have a knack for misreading what I type. Here's what I said:

I pointed out that there are all kinds of service organizations that provide service, and no shortage of people volunteering to help, and none are related to the church.

This was met with some opposition, stating that the priesthood guides service and inspires service. But I'm just not seeing it - service organizations seem to run as well or better than the typical ward organization, from my experience.

This is my observation - that I don't see how the typical ward organization under the direction of the priesthood, operates any better than non-LDS run organizations. My observation may be incorrect. I don't claim it as fact. And I certainly didn't state that the church doesn't provide as much service as other organizations. My assertion is that the priesthood is unnecessary with respect to service, unless we are talking about specific, LDS ecclesiastical service.

You, on the other hand, said this:

The priesthood leads the largest humanitarian relief effort in the United States, through the Church's welfare program. Each priesthood quorum spends countless volunteer hours in lay leadership callings, home teachings assignments, ect, serving the members and non members of there ward and stake.

You seem to state this rather unequivocally. Can you support your assertion? I've googled and searched the church website and can't seem to find anything that supports the notion that the priesthood leads the largest humanitarian relief effort in the USA. Are you referring to one specific relief effort? Or are you referring to humanitarian aid in total?

Please clarify, and support your claim (you don't need to support the claim about ecclesiastical service - hometeaching, lay ministry, etc. as those numbers are not available. Focus on the underlined portion)

H.

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You seem to state this rather unequivocally. Can you support your assertion? I've googled and searched the church website and can't seem to find anything that supports the notion that the priesthood leads the largest humanitarian relief effort in the USA. Are you referring to one specific relief effort? Or are you referring to humanitarian aid in total?

Every ward provides direct aid through there fast offerings, the Stakes also have aid and welfare programs, the Church as a whole is one of the largest owners of ranch lands in the US for there massive welfare program. They produce millions of pounds of food each year which is distributed through the Church and other aid organizations around the world. If you are not seeing there work it's because your not looking. Now the Church does not boast about it's aid, lots of times its aid is distributed through the Red Cross and other organizations but it is still food grow on LDS welfare farms but LDS Members who volunteer there time to feed there fellow man.

We are a welfare church, I cannot agree with you, that there is a better relief and humanitarian aid organization in the world than the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We have dignitaries from around the world that visit Welfare Square in SLC each year trying to bring the format of our program to there nations. US Presidents have turned to the LDS Church when they want to learn about self reliance and humanitarian aid.

Two references:

http://classic.lds.o...49,6208,00.html

http://lds.org/haiti...ef/homepage.htm

The biggest complement I get from non members is that they wished that there Church would do a fraction of the humanitarian work we do.

Added through edit:

also we have Deseret Industries, they provide job training for those in need. They offer a wide variety of training and work opportunities for the unemployed and recent immigrants, they offer English classes for free and get people job skills.

http://www.providentliving.org/channel/0,11677,2022-1,00.html

Like I said you will never find a better welfare organization in the world, we do it all and we do it the best. Some wards may not have any welfare program at all but that is a rarity, I don't see how you can think that our wards do not run significant amounts of welfare work.

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This is my observation - that I don't see how the typical ward organization under the direction of the priesthood, operates any better than non-LDS run organizations. My observation may be incorrect. I don't claim it as fact. And I certainly didn't state that the church doesn't provide as much service as other organizations. My assertion is that the priesthood is unnecessary with respect to service, unless we are talking about specific, LDS ecclesiastical service.

With no Priesthood there is no LDS welfare program, the program is run by the priesthood leadership. Each Bishop leads a ward welfare fund, he provided tens of thousands of dollars in direct aid each year, per ward. The Quorums help the members in need they bring food, they bring cloths, they bring fellowship. We always bring a spiritual message, but a Home Teachers' first duty is to make sure that the families temporal needs are being met.

The Priesthood runs the welfare program in our Church, they volunteer countless hours, and donate thousands of dollars to help those in need.

Statistically the average American donates less than 1 percent of there income to charitable causes, Mormons donate at least 10% and in most cases far more to charity. The donate there time, there money, and there resources to help people, no relief origination of the face of the Earth can boast of such things. They are filled with paid employees (which takes up 10 to 25% of the money you donate to them) and most depend heavily on State and Federal funding to stay afloat. The LDS Chruch has never nor will ever take any government money they are 100% funded by the membership of the church and profits from there commercial enterprises. Every red cent donated to LDS charities is spent to aid those in need (any paid personnel are paid through the profits of the commercial enterprises of the Church), like I said you will never ever see a charity organization that is as productive and efficient as the LDS Church.

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The priesthood leads the largest humanitarian relief effort in the United States, through the Church's welfare program.

Is there a reference for this?

The closest thing I can find is this information provided by the church. I'm not sure if $1.2 Billion (cash and material) globally spread out over 24 years qualifies as the largest humanitarian relief effort in the USA. It is a significant amount of money but certainly it isn't much per member

http://newsroom.lds....facts-and-stats

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Is there a reference for this?

The closest thing I can find is this information provided by the church. I'm not sure if $1.2 Billion (cash and material) globally spread out over 24 years qualifies as the largest humanitarian relief effort in the USA.

http://newsroom.lds....facts-and-stats

I provided plenty of references in the previous posts, feel free to peruse them at your leisure.

Also realize that most of the aid given by the Church is food grown by the Church so there is not a lot of expense since the food is produced at no cost.

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I provided plenty of references in the previous posts, feel free to peruse them at your leisure.

Also realize that most of the aid given by the Church is food grown by the Church so there is not a lot of expense since the food is produced at no cost.

I might be missing it but I don't see anything in your posts to support your assertion that the LDS Church is the largest humanitarian organization in the USA. IF it is your opinion that is fine with me.

The church does a lot of good but my opinion is that the Salvation Army does more good and doesn't really ask for anything in return.

http://annualreport....10_Activity.pdf

Some of the LDS aid is only accessable to active LDS members (Welfare). I realize the LDS Church does a great deal of good. I just dispute that that are the largest humanitarian organization in the USA.

Also, the American Red Cross seems to believe they are the largest humanitarian organization in the USA

http://www.volunteermatch.org/search/org61206.jsp

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I might be missing it but I don't see anything in your posts to support your assertion that the LDS Church is the largest humanitarian organization in the USA. IF it is your opinion that is fine with me.

The church does a lot of good but my opinion is that the Salvation Army does more good and doesn't really ask for anything in return.

What does the Church ask for in return?

Some of the LDS aid is only accessable to active LDS members (Welfare). I realize the LDS Church does a great deal of good. I just dispute that that are the largest humanitarian organization in the USA.

Which programs are only available to members?

I find this hard to believe since any form of discrimination in the distribution of there aid can be grounds for them losing there non profit status.

Also, the American Red Cross seems to believe they are the largest humanitarian organization in the USA.

They are also the organization that charges hospitals for the blood donated for free by volunteers, and charges the US government for there disaster relief efforts. How else do you think that there President is paid his $800,000 annual salary?

Doesn't sound very humanitarian to me, on contrast the LDS humanitarian aid program has never charged anyone for any aid provided or service rendered.

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I might be missing it but I don't see anything in your posts to support your assertion that the LDS Church is the largest humanitarian organization in the USA. IF it is your opinion that is fine with me.

I never said that they posts directly said they were the largest, but they are only organization that produces food themselves, they are in more nations than the American Red Cross, or the Salvation Army, and they are the only organization that uses 100% of all donations to aid victims.

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I guess boast isn't the best word since the Church doesn't boast about there welfare efforts. But I couldn't find a better word at the moment, so I used boast knowing it wasn't the greatest word.

They don't? You must not read many of the press releases or deseret news articles. I'm actually surprised I could find the $ figure of their humanitarian efforts. It seems to be one of the few financial details they don't mind sharing.

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They are also the organization that charges hospitals for the blood donated for free by volunteers, and charges the US government for there disaster relief efforts. How else do you think that there President is paid his $800,000 annual salary?

Doesn't sound very humanitarian to me, on contrast the LDS humanitarian aid program has never charged anyone for any aid provided or service rendered.

I heard once that the LDS church does sell their Humanitarian kits to other charities for 4 or 5 bucks each. (not a bad deal). Not sure how true that is or not.

Also - pretty sure the General Authorities are paid to administer the Humanitarian program of the LDS Church. Not sure how much they are paid but I'm sure it is a decent salary (or stipend if you prefer).

I'm not trying to diminish what the church does. They do a lot of good. That just doesn't mean they do it bigger or better than everyone else. The Priesthood is not a requirement for doing good.

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Every ward provides direct aid through there fast offerings,...

We are a welfare church, I cannot agree with you, that there is a better relief and humanitarian aid organization in the world than the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We have dignitaries from around the world that visit Welfare Square in SLC each year trying to bring the format of our program to there nations. US Presidents have turned to the LDS Church when they want to learn about self reliance and humanitarian aid....

The biggest complement I get from non members is that they wished that there Church would do a fraction of the humanitarian work we do....

...I don't see how you can think that our wards do not run significant amounts of welfare work.

First, I didn't claim that wards don't do welfare work. That's not even my argument. Second, the none of the evidence that you give supports the notion that the CoJCoLDS is the largest humanitarian organization. What it does say is that we have a welfare program, US Presidents have recognized this, and that some people have paid you complements. All suggest the *existence* of a humanitarian program, but do not support the *existence* of the largest humanitarian program.

H.

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With no Priesthood there is no LDS welfare program, the program is run by the priesthood leadership. Each Bishop leads a ward welfare fund, he provided tens of thousands of dollars in direct aid each year, per ward. The Quorums help the members in need they bring food, they bring cloths, they bring fellowship. We always bring a spiritual message, but a Home Teachers' first duty is to make sure that the families temporal needs are being met.

The Priesthood runs the welfare program in our Church, they volunteer countless hours, and donate thousands of dollars to help those in need.

Statistically the average American donates less than 1 percent of there income to charitable causes, Mormons donate at least 10% and in most cases far more to charity. The donate there time, there money, and there resources to help people, no relief origination of the face of the Earth can boast of such things. They are filled with paid employees (which takes up 10 to 25% of the money you donate to them) and most depend heavily on State and Federal funding to stay afloat. The LDS Chruch has never nor will ever take any government money they are 100% funded by the membership of the church and profits from there commercial enterprises. Every red cent donated to LDS charities is spent to aid those in need (any paid personnel are paid through the profits of the commercial enterprises of the Church), like I said you will never ever see a charity organization that is as productive and efficient as the LDS Church.

In all of this I'm hearing that the only thing the priesthood does is a) fill in as administrators (which other organizations have) and b) augment the word service by including ecclesiastical duties.

I'd also suggest that you nor I can state the dollar efficiency of the church's usage of funds, considering no information is revealed publicly. But might I play the speculation game, too? Tithing does not just go to humanitarian or welfare. A good portion goes to the property management and overhead, paying the salaries of church employees, IT services (familysearch, lds.org, all that isn't free), funding BYU, paying for broadcast services. And yes, a good amount goes into welfare services, but obviously, not all of it. I'd suggest that it could be as low as 10%, maybe as high as 25%, who knows.

I'd also like to point out that in a typical ward, at least in the 40 or so I've had the opportunity to monitor over the past 20 years, enter into a deficit scenario with respect to fast offerings and disbursements. Each time this has happened it's because most members, after they've paid tithing, fail to pay a generous portion in fast offering. This is not a criticism of the membership, but it does refute the notion that LDS are more generous, if one adjusts for the effects that a commandment (tithing)has on influencing it's people to donate.

H.

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Today's lesson in high priest group was about service. A question came up, along the lines of, "How does the priesthood drive service in the world?". After a bit of discussion I pointed out that the priesthood, aside from administering ordinances and ecclesiastical counseling, has absolutely no bearing on how service is carried out. To support this, I pointed out that there are all kinds of service organizations that provide service, and no shortage of people volunteering to help, and none are related to the church.

This was met with some opposition, stating that the priesthood guides service and inspires service. But I'm just not seeing it - service organizations seem to run as well or better than the typical ward organization, from my experience.

So what say you? Why does the priesthood 'matter' with respect to service? How does it make service that much better? Interested in hearing your comments.

Yep, a significant amount of service happens independently of the LDS church.

- Is it fair to compare paid service orgs with volunteer service orgs?

- Or are you limiting your comparison between volunteer service only orgs?

As an organization, the LDS church has a high participation rate among members on service projects. I don't have data, it's just my opinion.

I place value on the church teaching the ethos of service more than trying to compare the sheer amount of service done.,

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