The Greek root of the word “Philanthropies” means love of humankind. This year, my assignment has been to work with LDS Philanthropies, an organization with a vision that helps change and save lives. I wish more people knew about LDS Philanthropies and the work they do.
LDS Philanthropies operates as a department of the Office of the Presiding Bishopric with the responsibility to correlate, encourage, and facilitate voluntary philanthropic contributions—beyond tithes and fast offerings—to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its affiliated organizations and activities. For Church members, LDS Philanthropies provides a way to make charitable gifts to Church institutions and priorities.
During the dedication of the new LDS Philanthropies building in Provo, Utah, President Henry B. Eyring said, “As people embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, a feeling grows in their hearts that motivates them to help other people.” Speaking of LDS Philanthropies, President Eyring said, “The success of the organization’s work cannot be measured only in dollars or projects, but in the effects in people’s hearts.”
I have learned that those who donate and those who receive are both blessed. Some of my most spiritual moments this year have occurred working with the employees of LDS Philanthropies and hearing about the miracles that have taken place while working with donors. I also find inspiration in the testimonies of those who have benefited from the donations, and how their lives have changed.
Donation to dozens of worthwhile causes are accepted, including the Polynesian Cultural Center, single mother scholarships to LDS Business College, and clean water initiatives. Individuals and families around the world, including members of the Church and those not of our faith, are being blessed because people who have embraced the gospel of Jesus Christ have a growing feeling of love that motivates them to help other people.
In 2008, LDS Philanthropies updated the Web site to allow donors to learn about donation opportunities and securely donate online. Anyone with Internet access can learn about giving opportunities and make donations online to dozens of priorities beyond what is funded by tithes and fast offerings. The right people, the right business processes, and the right technology solutions will continue to have a dramatic impact upon LDS Philanthropies and the organizations it serves.
Miracles occur in LDS Philanthropies because of people’s faith and their desire to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost. I have been fortunate to witness some of the miracles, as hearts are touched with a desire to help others and lives are saved and changed, including the lives of those who donate. It is very rewarding to be involved in the work of the gospel and to assist LDS Philanthropies with their work involving the love of humankind.
Brent Harris is a senior technical program manager for the Church.