The following was excerpted from the Deseret News. To read the full article, CLICK HERE.
Complaints that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wasn’t doing enough to combat COVID-19 seem premature in the wake of Tuesday’s letter from the faith’s First Presidency indicating that the church has undertaken some 110 global humanitarian projects related to COVID-19.
And other suggestions that the church should have forgone or curbed certain devotional elements of its recent general conference — e.g. the “Hosanna Shout,” revealing a new proclamation or an invitation to fast — fail to appreciate the full breadth and scope of Christian worship.
One writer in the Salt Lake Tribune observed: “When Nelson announced that April conference would be special like never before, I expected an announcement of mass relief efforts. … But instead, conference consisted of a Joseph Smith commemoration, discussion of the end of times and an announcement of another church wide fast.”
A separate public commentator complained: “In a time of global pandemic … our big revelation was a proclamation that our religion is the right one?”
And yet another wrote in the Salt Lake Tribune that, rather than witness the “Hosanna Shout” — a devotional ritual considered sacred to Latter-day Saints — he would have preferred to watch a detailed accounting of how the church planned to spend its “rainy day fund to help those who have lost or will lose their jobs during these very rainy times.”
This latter complaint is particularly confusing, simply because the welfare efforts of the church in aiding the unemployed are already well-known: Every week all across the world thousands — if not tens of thousands right now — of unemployed Latter-day Saints (as well as non-Latter-day Saints) meet with local church bishops who are authorized to assist, where appropriate, in helping with bills, rent or food in an effort to keep the lights on and the pantry filled during hard times.
Free employment services are also deployed to help individuals get back on their feet and find work. The church offers low cost higher education opportunities and free classes on, among other things, starting a business, looking for employment and personal finances. The church offers free mental health counseling services as well.
We believe that it’s important to hold institutions to account. And, certainly we’re not suggesting that the church or any similar organization should be shielded from the judgement of a public press. But it’s worth wondering whether these writers took the time to inquire about the scope of church relief efforts prior to publishing criticisms.
To read the full article, CLICK HERE.