Welfare Duties

The purpose of welfare is to help members of the Church to become self-reliant and to care for the poor and needy. President Joseph F. Smith taught that the purpose of Relief Society is “to look after the spiritual welfare and salvation ... of all the female members of the Church” (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed. [1939], 385).


Welfare means temporal and spiritual well-being. "The welfare plan builds faith in the Lord Jesus Christ," Elder Robert D. Hales has said. "It gives us a window into the life of the Savior, experiencing the type of life He led while on earth." To help bishops and Relief Society presidents follow this inspired plan for the "poor and needy," President Hinckley has counseled them to "work closely" and "consult together" in administering Church welfare.

  • Family home storage pamplet, "All Is Safely Gathered In."
  • Bishop Keith B. McMullin speaks on Family Home Storage (video clip).
  • Literacy: The Church has produced a literacy course, Ye Shall Have My Words, that can be used as a group-study or tutorial program to teach beginning reading and writing skills. Text and vocabulary are drawn from the scriptures. Each language version is intended for learning to read and write in that language. Six resources can be ordered for the program: teacher's manual, participant's manual, alphabet chart, vowel/consonant chart, training DVD, and certificate of completion. All are available in English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish. These items are not available in the general distribution catalog but can be ordered through the local ward or branch unit.
Spiritual and Physical Self-Reliance

“ ‘The Savior has commanded the Church and its members to be self-reliant and independent. ...

“ ‘To become self-reliant, a person must work. Work is physical, mental, or spiritual effort. It is a basic source of happiness, self-worth, and prosperity. Through work, people accomplish many good things in their lives. ...

“ ‘As people become self-reliant, they are better prepared to endure adversities’ and are ‘better able to care for others in need’ ” (M. Russell Ballard, “Becoming Self-Reliant Spiritually and Physically,Ensign, Mar. 2009, 51).

Meeting Challenges During Times of Economic Uncertainty

We have identified some resources to help in meeting challenges during times of economic uncertainty.