Prison Ministry

“Prison Ministry,” Topics and Questions (2023)

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Prison Ministry

During His mortal ministry, Jesus Christ taught that His disciples minister to those in need, including those who are imprisoned. He taught that “inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”1

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is one of many faith and community organizations that work together to help those affected by crime and incarceration. We minister and care for those who are victims of crime.2 We are also invited to follow the example of Jesus Christ by ministering to and caring for those who are in prison or jail and their family members.3

Church leaders throughout the world consider the needs and resources in their areas and provide help where appropriate. When possible, Church members can choose to volunteer their time to hold worship services and classes for incarcerated individuals on religious education, addiction recovery, family history, and self-reliance. The central teachings in all of these efforts are the restored truths of the gospel and the hope that comes through Jesus Christ. When individuals are released from prison or jail, members may help them live the gospel, find employment, secure housing, and reconnect with family (as appropriate and as they follow the conditions the court has set).

As part of its humanitarian efforts, the Church donates more than 50,000 volumes of Church literature to prisons every year. It also collaborates with other faith groups to support worship and educational centers in prisons and community initiatives to help those who have recently been released.

The Church encourages its leaders and members to act with compassion toward those who were previously incarcerated and to support them in their efforts to repent, establish healthy patterns for successful living, and return to the Church (see section 32, “Repentance and Church Membership Councils,” in General Handbook: Serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gospel Library).

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