“Church Reducing Number of Welfare Projects,” Ensign, Feb. 1985, 80
The Church is currently reducing the number of welfare projects it operates, in accordance with changes announced in 1983, bringing food commodity production into line with the needs of the welfare system.
These changes will reemphasize the importance of each member’s responsibility for personal and family preparedness.
They will also free members to devote more of their volunteer labor to Christian service in the community—one of the intents of the modifications announced more than a year and a half ago, he added.
As announced then, welfare projects are being evaluated in light of efficiency and of the ultimate goal of producing only those commodities needed in the welfare system. Cash needs will be met through fast offerings.
He said the Church will lease, not sell, projects which could be useful in the future to meet the needs of the welfare program. This will provide the flexibility to put the projects back in service to the Church if the need arises.
One of the basic premises of the welfare system, he explained, is that members must be independent and provide for their own needs, as far as possible, looking to the future in times of plenty. “The only real independence the Church has is for all its members to become independent. Independence is within the homes.”
He explained that developments in society and changes in economic conditions have changed the role of Church welfare projects. Originally, the projects provided work for members who could not otherwise find it, so they would be earning what they received. But now, in an urbanized society, many who need welfare assistance are not vocationally or physically capable of farm work, or have no means to travel to a farm.
Local priesthood leaders, however, are usually able to find other work, closer to home, for those who must turn temporarily to welfare assistance. It is no longer necessary for the projects to provide as many jobs as they once did.