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BYU Studies Quarterly

BYU Studies Quarterly

Abstract

The welfare plan of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, initiated during the Great Depression, was praised by conservatives as an effective New Deal protest and criticized by liberals as a step backward. The Church's philosophy of providing work relief as opposed to a dole is based in its doctrines and statements from early leaders. Early work relief programs were adopted in local congregations starting in 1931, but when the federal government began to decrease its direct relief programs, church leaders increased church-wide work relief programs. The Church welfare system was not a political move but simply an attempt to provide for those in need.

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