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Humanitarian services … make things better

Presiding Bishop H. David Burton spoke Dec. 16 to the Utah Valley chapter of the BYU Management Society about the growing scope of the Churchs humanitarian efforts. The address was delivered at a Christmas luncheon in the BYU Hinckley Visitors Center.
Stuart Johnson Deseret NewsBishop H. David Burton speaks about the Churchs humanitarian work which has totaled more than $150 million since 2003.
To underscore the increased emphasis being placed throughout the Church on humanitarian aid Bishop Burton quoted language that the First Presidency has recently approved that adds “caring for the poor and needy” to the traditional purpose of the Church of proclaiming the gospel perfecting the Saints and redeeming the dead.
“To help individuals and families qualify for exaltation the Church focuses on divinely appointed responsibilities” said Bishop Burton quoting the statement approved by the First Presidency. “These include helping members live the gospel of Jesus Christ gathering Israel through missionary work caring for the poor and the needy and enabling the salvation for the dead by building temples and performing vicarious ordinances.”
According to Bishop Burton humanitarian aid differs from Church welfare in that humanitarian efforts are aimed at non-members while welfare is assistance dispensed to members by the Churchs 27000 bishops. He said a primary objective of Church humanitarian outreach is to relieve suffering by responding to emergencies — on the average there is an emergency someplace in the world related generally to a natural disaster every two days. He added that the programs secondary objective is to help families and individuals become self-reliant.
Stuart Johnson Deseret NewsBishop H. David Burton said a primary objective of Church humanitarian outreach is to relieve suffering by responding to emergencies.
To that end since 2003 LDS Charities a non-governmental organization (NGO) arm of the Church has donated more than $150 million to humanitarian aid; given 333763 wheelchairs to disabled people all over the world; trained 130000 doctors and nurses in neo-natal resuscitation; trained 450000 professionals in eyesight-enhancing procedures; and provided more than 6 million people with access to clean water.
Humanitarian services around the world make things better for our brothers and sisters wherever they may be located Bishop Burton said.
He concluded his remarks by bestowing a special Christmas blessing: May this Christmas season be a time of peace a time of reflection a time of appreciation a celebration of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. … I take this opportunity to invoke the blessings of heaven upon each one of you that this Christmas season may be a marvelous family occasion that you may realize the importance of the day the season and our responsibilities so that we will in turn enjoy peace on earth and extend goodwill to our fellow men.
jaskar@desnews.com

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