Throughout the scriptures people are commanded to be loving and kind to one another. In the Book of Mormon, King Benjamin admonished his people to help one another; he said,
“For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind? And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name, and begging for a remission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay; he has poured out his Spirit upon you, and has caused that your mouths should be stopped that ye could not find utterance, so exceedingly great was your joy. And now if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another” (Book of Mormon, Mosiah 4:19-21).
The Mormon Church believes in helping one another. It is the essence of true discipleship to the Lord Jesus Christ. The world would enjoy so much peace if all people desired to help one another in any simple way possible. Jesus said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (New Testament, Matthew 7:21). God expects all his people to extend love to others as they want to be treated. In God’s sight, all people are equal, and He is no respecter of persons.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints participates in humanitarian aid to support and aid the needs of those who are affected by disasters or shortages or disease. The Church donates goods like clothing, food, hygiene kits, and other necessary things for those who are affected by disasters all throughout the world. The Church has an established program for humanitarian aid and is always one of the first to respond to the request of governments in emergencies, whether they are a Christian or non-Christian nation. Often times, the support is given without much sounding of the trumpets to be recognized publicly, for the Mormons believe in the teachings of Jesus on this particular subject. The Lord said,
“Therefore, when ye should do your alms do not sound a trumpet before you, as will hypocrites do in the streets, that they may have the glory of men. Verily, I say unto you they have their reward. But when thou doest alms let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth; That thine alms may be in secret; and they Father who seeth in secret, himself shall reward thee openly” (Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 13:2-4).
President Thomas S. Monson, 16th president and prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said, “We are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and to lift His Children. He is dependent upon each of us” (President Thomas S. Monson, What Have I done for Someone Today?” Ensign, November 2009, 86). The Church’s current and ongoing humanitarian efforts are focused on four important things: providing vision care, providing neonatal resuscitation training for medical practitioners in impoverished countries, providing clean water, providing “atmit” – a digestible food for the starving, vaccinating against measles, and providing wheelchairs. For example, in the latter part of 2003 and in early 2004, the Church Humanitarian Services provided 100 cataract surgeries (while local doctors observed the procedures), and 1,000 pairs of eyeglasses were distributed to those in need in a two-day set-up in six cities in Nigeria. Building of water facilities has been a huge project of the Church in countries like Ethiopia, Ghana, Ecuador, Peru, Uganda, Kenya, and Armenia. There many other instances where the LDS Church has offered help to those in need.
Here is a summary of Mormon Humanitarian Aid:
The Mormon Church has provided $1.3 Billion worth of aid and goods since 1985. Presently, the Mormon Church has 8,583 volunteer missionaries serving in welfare services missions.
Visit http://newsroom.lds.org/topic/humanitarian-services. Also see the website, http://mormonchurch.org, a website completely devoted to news about Mormon Humanitarian Aid.
1) Book of Mormon, Mosiah 4:19-21
2) New Testament, Matthew 7:21
3) Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 13:2-4
4) President Thomas S. Monson, “What Have I done for Someone Today?” Ensign, November 2009, page 86
5) www.lds.org- humanitarian services
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) strive to be a giving people. Our outreach extends to those of all faiths who are in urgent need of elevation from poverty, famine, natural disasters, and education. Through its humanitarian service division, called Latter-day Saint Charities, the Church often works with local government and other agencies, such as the International Red Cross and the Catholic Relief Services. We believe in the Savior’s mission of «doing good» to all, and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints donate tithes (ten percent of their income) and fast offerings to the building of the kingdom and to the helping of those in need globally.
For example, in 1985 when thousands were dying from famine in Africa, Church members in America fasted for two meals and contributed the money to the relief effort that they would have spent for their own food. In less than two weeks, millions of dollars were given to provide food and supplies to the starving people of Ethiopia. According to the International Red Cross, this was the largest single contribution to the famine relief effort by any organization in the world.
In 1993, the Church sent more than 16 tons of humanitarian aid supplies to Russia, the Ukraine and the Baltic States. During this same time, over 233 tons of food, mostly produced at Church farms, were sent to Kenya to feed drought victims and Somalian refugees. The Church also contributed hundreds of textbooks to China for use by that country’s university students.