The Mormons’ War on Poverty: A History of LDS Welfare, 1830-1990

If nothing else, the publication of The Mormons’ War on Poverty should lay to rest the erroneous notion that in its present form the welfare program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began in 1936. Actually, Joseph Smith laid out the basic principles of the program—equality, self-reliance, and charity—in revelations he received as early as December 1830, and the basic features of the current welfare system took shape in Salt Lake County during the 1890s.

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