As a former service missionary for the LDS Church, I must take exception to the article by Cole R. Capener ("What Mormons can learn from Catholics," Opinion, Dec 21). His premise that Mormons do not feel that caring for the poor is intrinsic for their salvation is incorrect. Why else would Mormons put so much emphasis on providing service to the poor?
LDS members regularly donate to the Deseret Industries, Goodwill and other worthy organizations. They sign up to volunteer at soup kitchens. They have assisted in settling and mentoring refugees as they enter our country. Many of us have volunteered to work as service missionaries in the inner city, specifically to help and mentor the poor.
We give money once a month as a fast offering to feed, provide housing assistance, clothing and necessary household items to the poor.
Welfare Square and the Humanitarian Center in Salt Lake City are well-known for the assistance they give to the poor.
LDS members are taught that we are our brother's keeper and we have a responsibility to care for all of God's children. Mormon leaders do not need to continually spout from the pulpit our responsibility to help the poor; it is inherently built into many programs in the church.