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Pure Religion: The Story of Church Welfare Since 1930

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  74 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
This book describes the beginnings, development, and effects of the welfare program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It chronicles the efforts of Harold B. Lee and other stake leaders to help unemployed Saints during the Great Depression, the formal development of the Church welfare program in 1936 under President Heber J. Grant, the development of Welfa ...more
Published 1995
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Kevin Black
Sep 30, 2013 Kevin Black rated it it was amazing
The irony is that this book sat on my desk at church for the last couple of years of my tenure as bishop--unread. Much of the history was somewhat dry, but Bishop Rudd includes 3 chapters that by themselves are worth the price of admission. Chapters 11 and 14 contain numerous quotes from Church leaders, gleaned and carefully stockpiled over a lifetime of welfare work by the author. A number of them were new to me, and every one was useful. Examples: "The principles of the welfare plan, when appl ...more
Oct 03, 2014 Cyndi rated it really liked it
Shelves: religious
This book title comes from James 1:27 which says, "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted before the world." The book gives a comprehensive look at the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in their quest to provide relief to those in need. It chronicles the efforts of the Church to establish a system that would be able to give aid to those in need and those who are ...more
Oct 13, 2014 Jon rated it it was amazing
This book was very inspirational to me. The historical setting was useful, and I also enjoyed reading about how things changed/progressed over the years. The addition of the success stories was a very nice additional human touch to the book. Without those I don't know that the book would have been as powerful.

I also very much enjoyed the explanations of why work itself is so important. That is not a message heard anymore. In western (really, American) society, the idea is pushed that the only wo
Dec 01, 2008 Danielle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating, well-written look at the LDS Church welfare system, from its beginnings to the present day. This is an excellent book for members of the Church, but would appeal to anyone with an interest in social welfare. The principles outlined are enlivened with compelling anecdotes of the church welfare system in action.
This book really helped me understand how the things we do in the Church (donating money to fast offerings, giving time in service to Church welfare projects, like the canne
Wayne Goodworth
Mar 28, 2013 Wayne Goodworth rated it it was amazing
Elder Rudd worked directly with all LDS Prophets since the beginning of the current Church welfare program. He shares the principles the prophets taught, the many ways the welfare program blesses those in need, how those who serve others are blessed, and many miracles that occurs from practicing pure religion.

An incredible experience for me:
I recently had the opportunity to visit exclusively with Elder Rudd on his final day of full-time service at the Church Office Building. That was definitely
Oct 21, 2013 David rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual, cultural
I expected this to be informative but dry. Instead I found it to be fairly compelling and thought provoking.

The program described here was built by an organization that had fewer than 10 million members for almost the entire time covered by this book (although they have 15 million members now). Would it be possible for a variety of Christian churches to establish a coordinated effort comparable to what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has established? If so, what are the limits o
Feb 08, 2015 Patsy rated it it was amazing
I tried to read this book 20 years ago when I was serving as a Relief Society president, but never could connect the heart-warming stories from the book with the experience I was having. When I was called to serve again as a Relief Society president, I knew I had to finish this book, and I'm so glad I did. I'm grateful for the history and the stories, and the information about the people who have worked so hard for the current church welfare system. The chapters at the end have enriched my exper ...more
Jun 28, 2011 Kathy rated it really liked it
A very interesting history of the Welfare Program of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Sometimes the writing lacked momentum--lists of names, etc. The best parts were the stories of people who were helped, explanations of the genesis of certain programs, accounts of miraculous intervention, and quotations on welfare service by Church leaders. Reading this makes me proud to be a small part of this great work, and it also inspires me to do more for my fellow man.
Travis Hamilton
Dec 29, 2011 Travis Hamilton rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in helping the needy.
This was a great read! I would recommend this book to anyone interested in helping the less fortunate, in feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and lifting those who are down and out. This book has helped me gain a greater insight into the amazing program that has been established by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints. This is the Lord's way of helping those in need to help themselves and for how we can help in that process.
Jun 21, 2011 Laura rated it really liked it
This book opened my eyes to the far-reaching effects of the welfare program of the church. It has helped me to understand better how the program was organized to help people to help themselves, and that the church is often one of the first to respond to natural disasters around the world. It strengthened my own desires to be prepared.
Mar 29, 2009 Jeremy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For those interested in the history of Church welfare, this book has all of the facts that you could want. I was hoping for an examination of the guiding principles/philosophy behind the welfare system, and this wasn't the book for that.
Jul 22, 2008 Missy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Missy by: Lanae Goates
This book opened my eyes and heart. I am very glad to have read and gained a deeper understanding of welfare principals. How can we touch someone’s heart if they do not have basic needs met? If only our government could use this system of self reliance:) The real stories are faith building.
Mar 05, 2015 Willis rated it liked it
Has a lot of interesting stories about different things that have happened with the LDS welfare system. It feels like it bounces around from one story to the next without a whole lot of realy organization around particular themes and important events, so it feels more like a patchwork book.
Jun 09, 2008 Marcyhowes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book 5 years ago . . .it is a very interesting read that explains the history and purposes of the LDS Church Welfare Program and the gospel principles behind it. I've been skimming it and enjoying it again.
I was afraid this book was going to be dull, since it is a history, but it wasn't! It was great reading, and I learned a lot from it. I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in welfare, preparedness, or church history.
Apr 19, 2009 T rated it really liked it
Great book. There were some very inspiring portions throughout the book. The writing isn't spectacular but the facts and the insights are!
Brad Peterson
There is a lot of detail in this history, which can make it difficult to complete, but in summary I enjoyed it and came away with a more complete understanding of the welfare program.
Mar 31, 2011 Albert rated it really liked it
I read it as a recommended read before our humanitarian mission to Armenia. It's documentary, interesting, but not compeling.
John Hutton
Aug 25, 2015 John Hutton rated it liked it
This is definitely an interesting history book. It's hard to figure out how the principles of self reliance can be applied from that day to these days.
Jan 28, 2008 Rex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lds
Faith-promoting book outlining the history and doctrine of the LDS church welfare program. I really enjoyed reading the history and quotes at the end of the book.
Jul 25, 2010 Troy rated it really liked it
Shelves: church
Very interesting history. It made me proud to be part of such an organization. It was not the best written but it got the job done.
Oct 27, 2010 Jeff rated it really liked it
Excellent overview of the history of the LDS Welfare system. The last half of the book has great Latter-Day quotes from prophets.
Feb 12, 2010 Tammy rated it it was amazing
A wonderful history of how the LDS (Mormons) take care of the poor and needy. Inspirational stories included throughout the book.
Katina rated it liked it
Sep 19, 2012
Jason Okafor
Jason Okafor rated it really liked it
Aug 12, 2014
Fred V Provoncha
Dec 08, 2011 Fred V Provoncha rated it it was amazing
If the LDS Church must be defined, let this define her...
Karen P
Karen P rated it liked it
Feb 01, 2011
Barbara rated it liked it
Apr 14, 2011
Sandra Munro
Sandra Munro rated it really liked it
Jun 03, 2009
Alicia rated it it was amazing
Oct 30, 2009
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