“It is our conviction that no person can truly claim to love God without also reaching out and lifting up God’s children, both through offering spiritual comfort and providing for temporal wants,” said Bishop Gérald Caussépresiding bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Bishop Caussé spoke at a religious symposium at Chapman University in Orange, California, Tuesday evening, February 20, 2018.

“The temporal and spiritual aspects of our lives are fundamentally intertwined,” said Bishop Caussé, who outlined the principles behind the Church’s welfare program to more than 800 members of the university administration, faculty and community and faith leaders on the Southern California campus near Los Angeles.

“This same principle was amply illustrated in the life of the Savior Himself,” he explained. “While much of His time was dedicated to teaching — as evidenced by His powerful sermons and parables — the biblical accounts are just as replete with examples of His feeding the multitudes and healing the infirm.”

Bishop Caussé told the audience that Mormons and other Christians are driven to make personal sacrifices because of their devotion to Jesus Christ, and acts of service bless both the giver and the receiver.

“It is this phenomenon — the mutually beneficial impact that service has on both giver and receiver — that drives us as a Church to not only provide aid through donated money and supplies, but to build in opportunities for service and personal interaction,” he added.

“Self-reliance has been a foundational principle of the Church’s welfare program ever since its inception,” said Bishop Caussé.

He said that caring for the poor and needy became one of the missions of the Church under the leadership of President Thomas S. Monson. “Until the very last years of his life, [President Monson] would be found in his ‘free’ time visiting hospitals, care facilities, and homes of the elderly to lift and to cheer. He understood that regardless of how many sermons he preached over the pulpit, what mattered even more would be the sermon that he taught and exemplified through his life.”

Bishop Caussé, who oversees the temporal affairs of the Church, including the welfare and humanitarian programs, said the global efforts to care for the poor and needy also include partners and community members of other faiths.

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