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LDS Church releases website for women's refugee relief effort


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SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a new website Monday as a way to promote a new relief effort for the women of the church.

The Relief Society, Young Women and Primary general presidencies are extending the invitation to women to unite in helping refugees in their communities, according to a letter from the First Presidency of the LDS Church.

The sisters’ “I Was a Stranger” effort “gives sisters a way to serve as individuals, in families, and in organizations and to offer friendship, mentoring, and other Christlike service to the refugees in our midst,” according to the letter.

“I Was a Stranger” is one of many ways LDS females “can lift and bless those in need,” according to a letter from the Relief Society, Young Women and Primary general presidencies.

The general presidencies wrote that anyone who wants can participate, but no one is obligated and “no one should serve at the expense of her family and other responsibilities.”

The church leaders encouraged women to pray for opportunities to serve and consider finding and supporting local community and civic organizations, according to the letter.

Women and girls line up outside the Conference Center in Salt Lake City prior to the General Women's Session on Saturday, March 26, 2016. (Photo: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)
Women and girls line up outside the Conference Center in Salt Lake City prior to the General Women's Session on Saturday, March 26, 2016. (Photo: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

Women may find ideas on the new website, IWasAStranger.lds.org, and they can share their experiences by sending emails to IWasAStranger@ldschurch.org or on social media using the hashtag #IWasAStranger.

“We are invited to share our love, our confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ, and our hands to strengthen others and love them as the Savior would have us do,” the new website says. “This is not a program; it is who we are.”

The new website followed Sister Linda K. Burton's, LDS Relief Society general president, at the general women’s session of the church’s general conference Saturday night.

During the conference, Sister Burton told LDS women she hoped they would pray to see what they could do to serve local refugees.

“This is an opportunity to serve one-on-one, in families and by organizations to offer friendship, mentoring and other Christlike service and is one of many ways sisters can serve,” she said.

Contributing: Sam Penrod

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