Why the Church Builds Strong, Beautiful and Functional Meetinghouses

Refuges from the storms of life for entire communities

Commentary

When The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints constructs a meetinghouse—such as the new Mulifanua Stake Centre in Samoa—the aim is to make it strong, beautiful and functional. 

    

        

Strong, so it can last many, many years and be not only a refuge from the spiritual storms of life; but also, if needed, a haven during physical storms.

We've seen this time and again in the Pacific, when, during cyclones and other natural disasters, many people seek shelter and safety in the strongest buildings in their community—which are often our meetinghouses.

Beautiful, because a place of worship is dedicated to the Lord, and we want to give our best to Him. 

And functional because a meetinghouse for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a hub of worship, meetings, social and cultural activities—not only for Latter-day Saints, but also for our relatives, neighbours and friends. All are welcome to our weekly worship services and other gatherings.

The Church's tithes and offerings are used in careful and prayerful ways. Much planning and counseling is undertaken to ensure that the Church's buildings are built and maintained in ways that we hope the Lord would approve. 

The Church also sponsors many other initiatives that benefit entire communities. For example, disaster relief efforts that support members of the Church, and many others, after cyclones, tsunamis, floods and other emergencies.

Other welfare and humanitarian projects including the building of community vegetable gardens; the construction of wells and donation of water tanks; and the distribution of food, medical supplies and wheelchairs.

The Church also builds and maintains schools; supports health initiatives such as diabetes prevention efforts and neo-natal rescussitation training; and runs self-reliance courses to help people find a job, get a better job, or start their own business. 

We are grateful for the interest expressed by news media and the public when we open a new meetinghouse, especially the opportunity it often brings to have important conversations about how the Church uses sacred funds to bless the communities in which our members live, including our friends of other faiths.

Bishop Gérald Caussé, presiding bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said earlier this year: "Some people occasionally describe today’s Church as a powerful and prosperous institution. This may be true, but the strength of the Church cannot be measured merely by the number or beauty of its buildings or by its financial and real estate holdings."

He continued: "As President Hinckley once said, 'When all is said and done, the only real wealth of the Church is in the faith of its people.' The key to understanding the Church 'is to see it not as a worldwide corporation but as millions of faithful members in thousands of congregations across the world following Christ and caring for each other and their neighbors.'"

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