A recent program implemented by the Church that expands concepts from the Perpetual Education Fund has seen 20 times the success.
The announcement electrified an increasingly global LDS Church.
In 2001, President Gordon B. Hinckley said the church would remake the concept of the old Perpetual Emigration Fund. What once helped early Mormon pioneers cross the Plains was repurposed as a Perpetual Education Fund to lift modern Mormon pioneers out of poverty around the world.
The announcement was a bombshell. The fund is a triumph. It has provided revolving loans for the vocational or higher education of 83,260 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Nearly 90 percent find jobs upon graduation. A significant percentage of local church leaders in international congregations now come from the ranks of PEF graduates.
Still, the fund couldn't grow fast enough, no matter how enormous the fund's impact had on church members between the ages of 18 and 30. The need for training and skills for Mormons of all ages was too vast. More than two-thirds of LDS Church members outside the United States and Canada live in places where, even with education and training, jobs are scarce.
So in 2012, after a comprehensive review of the Perpetual Education Fund, President Thomas S. Monson authorized a dramatic expansion of his predecessor's concepts by combining it with other efforts under the title Self-Reliance Services.