When God spoke to Moses, He revealed that His work and glory was “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). To assist the Lord in this work is the mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently referred to as the Mormon Church by others). Spencer W. Kimball, former Mormon Prophet and President of the Church explained in detail aspects of this mission in the April 1981 General Conference of the Church. He emphasized key priorities which came to be known as the “three-fold mission” of the Church: Proclaiming the Gospel, Perfecting the Saints, and Redeeming the Dead.
In 2009, the Church, under the leadership of President Thomas S. Monson, added a fourth element:To care for the poor and needy. While caring for the poor and needy have always been part of the Mormon faith as evidenced by its numerous humanitarian efforts, the new adjustment effectively moved it to the top of the Church’s top priorities along with missionary and temple work. This move proves not only that there is so much poverty and suffering in the world, but also that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – being built upon the rock of continuous divine revelation – has the capability to adapt to the changing needs of society.
The Four-fold Mission of the Church
Proclaiming the Gospel
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a Missionary Church. Every year, thousands of young men and women ages 18 to 25 years old are being sent on missions where they find and teach people the gospel of Jesus Christ and provide service. Today there are over 60, 000 full-time Mormon missionaries serving around the world with thousand more applications coming in. As to what these young missionaries teach about, find out more at MormonBeliefs.org.
- Perfecting the Saints
In one of His greatest sermons, the Savior declared: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48; 3 Nephi 12:48). Some might think that this commandment was the most difficult to follow because nobody is sinless. However, modern revelation tells us that perfection is a process and that while we cannot be perfect all at once, we must do all we can to follow the Savior’s example and continue in patience until we are perfected. (See Doctrine and Covenants 67:13).
To accomplish this purpose, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides opportunities for its members to participate in activities and programs designed to develop their physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being. Many of these activities are designed for youth and young single adult members to guide them through these most crucial stages of their life.
- Redeeming the Dead
Many people have died without a chance to hear the gospel and receive the ordinances that are necessary for their salvation. Through the atonement of Jesus Christ, those who have passed on may have the opportunity to receive these blessings through proxy ordinances performed in Mormon temples on their behalf.
Members of the Church participate in the work of redeeming the dead in two ways: 1) by performing proxy baptism and other temple ordinances, and 2) by doing family history / genealogical research. Both of these works are important and can greatly bless those who perform them as well as those for whom the ordinances are performed. “For we without our dead cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect” (see Doctrine and Covenants 128:18).
- Caring for the Poor and Needy
One characteristic of a pure Christian religion is its emphasis on helping the poor and needy (James 1:27). To accomplish this purpose, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has organized a welfare program which not only takes care of its own members, but also reaches out to other people outside. Latter-day Saints are also famous for their various humanitarian programs and emergency response efforts.
Additionally, The Church of Jesus Christ has hundreds of job development and placement centers around the world. It also provides opportunity for its less-fortunate members to acquire education through its Perpetual Education Fund.
Everything that The Church of Jesus Christ does falls under one of these four main missions.
The Church performs many functions which do not directly involve the preaching of its doctrine, but the main objective of the its four-fold mission is to help people come unto Christ and partake of the blessings of the Atonement.