|Today The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has nearly 17 million members in over 160 nations worldwide. Currently, 173 of its beautiful temples adorn sites in North, South, and Central America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and numerous islands of the sea. As of 19 June 2022, there are currently 173 dedicated temples, 51 temples under construction, and 58 temples that have been announced (not yet under construction) for a total of 282 Temples. Of the 282 total temples, 100 have been announced by President Russell M. Nelson during his four years as Church president. The following temples are currently undergoing renovations: Hamilton New Zealand Temple, Salt Lake Temple, St. George Utah Temple, Hong Kong China Temple, and the Columbus Ohio Temple.
The relief and humanitarian efforts of the Church have helped bless the lives of millions around the world, regardless of faith, as it follows the example of its Living Head, Jesus Christ. Sadly, The Church of Jesus Christ is still greatly misunderstood, and many myths and falsehoods still exist. We hope that this site will provide information to those who visit hoping to gain knowledge about Latter-day Saints (nicknamed "Mormons"), either on a given topic in Mormonism or simply about Latter-day Saints in general. Articles cover topics about such things as basic Mormon beliefs, Mormon doctrine, Mormon history and leadership, temple work, family life, Mormon literature, controversial topics, and Church organizations and humanitarian efforts.
"Fundamental Premises of Our Faith" given by President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency at Harvard Law School.
The Washington D.C. Temple was announced on 15 November 1968. It is the 16th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the first temple of the Church to be built on the East Coast of the United States. Elder Hugh B. Brown presided at the groundbreaking and site dedication ceremony, which was held on 7 December 1968. The temple was completed in 1974 and serves Church members in Washington, D.C., Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, and New Jersey.
At 160,000 square feet, the Washington D.C. Temple is the third largest Latter-day Saint temple in the world. It has the tallest tower of any of the Church's temples, at 280 feet. The angel Moroni that sits on top of this tower is eighteen feet tall and weighs two tons. The temple was designed to be similar in style and form to the Salt Lake Temple so that it would be easily recognized as an LDS temple.
The Washington D.C. Temple Visitors' Center hosts numerous interactive exhibits, a breathtaking reproduction of the Christus statue, and regular lectures and concerts throughout the year. Admission is free. And at Christmastime, the grounds are set aglow during the Festival of Lights, which offers nightly concerts, a live nativity scene, and international nativity sets. A free temple shuttle, funded by donations, is offered to patrons and visitors traveling between the Metro and the Washington D.C. Temple.
The Washington D.C. Temple closed in March 2018 for extensive renovations, including an upgrade of the mechanical systems and the refreshing of the finish and furnishings.
On Monday, 15 June 2020, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that, because of concern for the effects of COVID-19, the open house, youth devotional, and re-dedication of the Washington D.C. Temple were being postponed until large public gatherings are deemed safe.
Finally, the open house was scheduled for April of 2022 and was extended because so many people wanted to visit and tour the temple. The open house was attended by government officials and members of the press. Press photographers commented upon the fact that there are no shadows at all in the various rooms, which are flooded with an ethereal light.
The rededication of the Washington D.C. Temple was set for Sunday, August 14, 2022, in three sessions, with the temple being rededicated by Prophet Russell M. Nelson and First Presidency members Dallin H. Oaks and Henry B. Eyring.
Latter-day Saints Unselfishly Help Their Brothers and Sisters in Need
"Caring for those in need is both a duty and a joyful privilege for followers of Jesus Christ. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we commit to living the two great commandments: to love God and to love our neighbor (see Matthew 22:37–39). As a Church, we are blessed to have the ability, global connections, and resources to follow His admonition. . .. We invite all to join in being 'anxiously engaged in a good cause' as we continue to strengthen one another through service (Doctrine and Covenants 58:27). - First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
We Love God and We Love Our Neighbors
Caring for those in need has been the core mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the beginning. In 1842, the Relief Society was organized with a charge to care for the poor and minister to their needs. In 1936, the Church created the welfare program to help care for members in need and strengthen their ability to become self-reliant. And in 1985, the Church’s global humanitarian outreach was formally initiated.
President Russell M. Nelson has taught us that they who are willing to be called the Lord's people "are willing to bear one another’s burdens, . . . to mourn with those that mourn; . . . and [to] comfort those that stand in need of comfort."
Members of the Church have a covenant commitment to live the two great commandments: to love God and to love our neighbor. The Lord has commanded us to "succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees" (D&C 81:5). As followers of Jesus Christ, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints heed the Savior's call to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, take in the stranger, clothe the naked, and visit the sick and afflicted.
Church members seek out those in need and render aid to all of God’s children without regard to religious affiliation, race, or nationality. As they do so, they are reminded of the Lord's admonition when he taught, "Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me" (Matthew 25:45). King Benjamin in his timely treatise as recorded in the The Book of Mormon also reminds us, "When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God" (Mosiah 2:17). King Benjamin also exhorted, "And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another" (Mosiah 4:21).
In 2021, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints participated in 3,909 humanitarian projects, with 6,800,000 hours of service volunteered, and 188 countries and territories served. Volunteer service was rendered through various means such as (1) Service at Church Facilities, such as farms, orchards, canneries, Deseret Industries stores, and more; (2) Missions to Care for Those in Need, including volunteer service in 85 countries around the world; and (3) Church-Sponsored Community Service Projects, including cleanup after natural disasters. In addition, JustServe facilitated over 41,000 volunteer projects (including 21,500 new projects).
A total of $906 million was expended to help those in need through:
- Fast Offering Assistance, which provides temporary financial help to those in need.
- Bishop's Orders For Goods, including giving food and commodities from bishops’ storehouses and Deseret Industries stores to those in need.
- Humanitarian Projects, including charitable relief in communities across the world.
- Donated Commodities, including Church-produced goods provided to communities through food banks and other agencies.
- Donated Clothing, including discounted or free apparel given to Deseret Industries.
- Church Operations, including Family Services counseling, employment centers, farms and food-processing facilities, and Deseret Industries.
To help as many people as possible, the Church has established various humanitarian projects which operate throughout the world. These programs include LDS Charities, Helping Hands, and LDS Philanthropies. The Church also maintains the Latter-day Saint Humanitarian Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, which was established in 1991 to "prepare humanitarian supplies for use worldwide and train those desiring to develop employable skills to become self-reliant."
The Church’s Self-Reliance and Humanitarian Initiatives
The Church also facilitates self-reliance programs and resources to help individuals find employment, become financially secure, gain educational opportunities, and build emotional strength. These efforts are aided by missionaries and other volunteers, who facilitate self-reliance groups and employment coaching in 144 countries worldwide.
For those who struggle with barriers to employment, development counseling is available through Deseret Industries. This program helps individuals to make goals and to determine a plan to get the education and experience necessary to achieve those goals. As part of the program, participants receive training and real-life work experience in Church-owned thrift stores.
The Church's Family Services organization helps leaders care for individuals with social and emotional challenges by providing resources and consultation. One important focus for Family Services is the Church’s Addiction Recovery Program (ARP), which provides support and a safe place for anyone working to overcome compulsive behavior. The free program is made up of support groups that follow a 12-step approach. The program is built within a gospel-centered framework that connects with the Savior Jesus Christ and recognizes Him as the source of healing. The Addiction Recovery Program is facilitated by ARP volunteers around the world, and anyone—regardless of their religious belief—is welcome to participate. In addition to ARP services, Family Services offers counseling to people in a variety of circumstances. They also conduct family, group, and marriage counseling sessions.
Emergency Response is the part of the LDS Church's humanitarian efforts of which most people are aware. Funds and supplies in this area are used to help victims of natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, droughts, tornadoes, and hurricanes, as well as other disasters such as wars or political unrest. Supplies in this area are gathered and stored before a crisis so supplies can be sent within hours of an emergency. Volunteers are also on call so they can be reached and organized within a few hours if needed. The LDS Church is renowned for its ability to organize its members in various regions of the world to respond to emergencies and facilitate distributing goods immediately after a crisis, often before aid programs such as the Red Cross or the Salvation Army come to assist.
President Russell M. Nelson has said, "It would be impossible to calculate the amount of service that Latter-day Saints render around the globe every day of every year." President M. Russell Ballard, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles adds, "When we serve together, we realize that our similarities are stronger than our differences." And Sister Sharon Eubank, first counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, has said, "Our individual efforts don’t necessarily require money or faraway locations; they do require the guidance of the Holy Spirit and a willing heart to say to the Lord, 'Here am I; send me.'"
You can read the full "Caring For Those In Need" 2021 Annual Report online.
In September 2022, after hunger increased in the world due to the pandemic, weather catastrophes, disasters, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine disrupting food supplies, the Church donated $32 million to the World Food Programme.  The aid will provide food for the following suffering countries: Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Kenya, northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen.
BYU-I Pathway to Education
Through BYU-Idaho, the Church has initiated its Pathway program to offer higher education to people all over the world. The unique structure of this program not only holds costs way down, but it also offers certificates on the way so that the earning power of the students increases as courses are completed.
Senior missionary opportunities in the Church include mentoring students all over the world, holding costs down.