“Report of Welfare Services Meeting,” Ensign, May 1975, 122
At the Welfare Services session of general conference, held Saturday, April 5, at 7:00 A.M., the Presiding Bishopric, under the direction of the First Presidency, who were present and presiding, presented a model of how the family and the Church should work together to meet the social, emotional, health, and economic needs of all its members.
Using a slide presentation, Presiding Bishop Victor L. Brown stressed that welfare services begin in the home and that the individual should turn first to his family when problems arise. The Melchizedek Priesthood, through home teachers, should also be “actively concerned,” he said, “always emphasizing prevention.”
Bishop Brown also outlined the roles of the bishop, Relief Society, ward and stake welfare services committees, resource persons, and Church social services agencies.
Sister Barbara Smith, general president of the Relief Society, responded to the Presiding Bishopric’s presentation by saying, “We stand ready, as we always have, to work hand in hand with the priesthood in welfare services.”
Elder Marvin J. Ashton of the Council of the Twelve also spoke, outlining guides for money management and emphasizing its importance in marriage and families. He said money management should take precedence over money earning, and should be on a partnership basis. Children should also be involved, he said. He noted that many divorces and other family problems are the result of money mismanagement.
Specific suggestions he made include living within one’s means, teaching children the importance of work and saving for something, paying obligations promptly, using a budget, avoiding debt, being careful with credit cards, working toward home ownership, having an insurance program, striving to cope with inflation, and systematically storing food.
President Marion G. Romney of the First Presidency briefly spoke of the history of the welfare program and his involvement in it. He was followed by President Spencer W. Kimball, who urged avoidance of debt and waste and encouraged members to be thrifty.
“We wouldn’t think of going one day without a budget in the Church. We do not spend that which we do not have,” he said, and encouraged all families in the Church to follow this example.