SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The 192nd Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Semiannual General Conference is underway this Saturday, marking the first day of the two-day conference.

President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency says that in 2021, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gave a whopping $906 million in donations throughout 188 countries, with Church members reportedly contributing 6 million hours of aid.

But President Oaks notes not only the Church’s generosity and dedication to helping others, but states, “More of us should be recognizing the good done by others and supporting it as we have the time and means to do so.”

President Oaks points out other organizations that have served as sources of inspiration and collaborators to the Church, noting the Red Cross, Red Crescent and Catholic Relief Services, saying that they have set the tone for world-class relief. He also mentions Muslim Aid, Water for People and IsraAID as collaborators in the Church’s efforts to help others.

Why does the Church offer help in areas thousands of miles across the world? President Oaks makes a simple statement: “We share the common goal of relieving suffering among God’s children. All of this is part of God’s work for His children.”

President Oaks continues, stating, “Giving to those in need is a principle in all Abrahamic religions and in others as well.” He makes the point that despite all that the Church does directly, “Most humanitarian service to the children of God worldwide is carried out by persons and organizations having no formal connection with our Church,” a powerful statement about the common good and shared human values.

For President Oaks, the message is clear: Giving to those in need, helping the poor and distressed and lending a hand to others is a core principle of the Church, setting the tone for the 192nd Semiannual General Conference.