SALT LAKE CITY -- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is adding a fourth emphasis to its three-prong mission.
The LDS Church is adding, "to care for the poor and needy" to the threefold mission of the Church, which is to teach the gospel to the world, strengthen the membership of the Church and perform saving ordinances for the dead.
The change will be made in a new Church Handbook of Instructions, to be released next year, which will refer to them as "the purpose of the Church" instead of missions.
Church spokesman Scott Trotter said, "Caring for the poor and needy has always been a basic tenet of the Church. The language reference is simply a description of the purposes of the Church to be included in the next edition of the Church Handbook."
The change became public over the weekend during an adult session of an LDS stake conference in Holladay, where Bishop Richard C. Edgley, a counselor in the LDS Presiding Bishopric, spoke of the revision at the prodding of the stake president.
David H. Sundwall, who attended the conference, blogged about it at asoftanswer.com.