MR says: As the membership of the Church grows and its makeup changes, so, sometimes, does its programs. Check out these 10 Church programs that have changed over the years.
On July 27, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that its “century-long association with Scouting will need to be examined” following the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to admit openly gay leaders in the program.
Whether the Church severs ties with BSA or remains in partnership with the organization, this is not the first time the Church has re-evaluated past practices. Many programs used by the Church in the past have been discontinued or changed. Here’s a short list of Church programs you may or may not remember.
1. Homemaking Meeting
The Relief Society organization’s weekday activities, then known as “Homemaking Meetings,” usually focused on homemaking and childrearing skills. But as the Church grew from a small number of people in the American West to a worldwide Church, Relief Society activities got a makeover.
Both the name and the focus of Homemaking Meetings changed on Jan. 1, 2000, when they became known as “Home, Family and Personal Enrichment” meetings. Since then, they have changed again to be called “additional Relief Society meetings” or simply “Relief Society meetings.” Though these meetings can certainly focus occasionally on teaching skills, they are also meant to uplift and inspire Relief Society sisters in all aspects of their lives.
2. Perpetual Emigration Fund
Before the Perpetual Education Fund (which helps LDS people around the world obtain needed education and skills to help them provide for themselves and their families), there was the Perpetual Emigration Fund. It was established in 1849 during the Mormon migration to Salt Lake City and discontinued in 1887.
The Perpetual Emigration Fund provided financial aid to LDS converts to help them get to Utah. Once established in their homes in the West, those who received funds were expected to repay the funds so other converts could make the same journey.
The Perpetual Education Fund and the Perpetual Emigration Fund are similar in structure, with beneficiaries of the program becoming the benefactors after they become self-sufficient. However, the Perpetual Emigration Fund was a corporation established separately from the Church, while the Perpetual Education Fund is not.