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Global church welfare program focuses on service, self-reliance

The year was 1936 and many in the United States, including members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, were struggling amid the Great Depression. “There was obviously a great need,” said Gordon Carmen, the director of production and distribution in the church’s Welfare and Self-Reliance Services department. “Many, many people were unemployed. The economy was in trouble.” Members of stakes in Salt Lake City wondered what they could do to help. With stake presidents’ input, the church organized its welfare program locally under the direction of then-President ...

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