You and I Can Help Severely Malnourished LDS Children


They’re not just numbers.
(Click to enlarge.)


I received the following note from Bob Rees a few minutes ago, and he’s given me permission to re-post it here:




Currently there are between 70,000 and 80,000 severely malnourished active LDS kids in the world. The Liahona Children’s Foundation is attempting to provide basic nutritional supplements to address this problem. At present, we are working with local bishops and stake presidents in Guatemala, Ecuador, Peru and Cambodia. We are hoping to increase our work in these countries and expand to Africa and Asia where the need is most critical. Amazingly, we are able to provide the annual nutritional supplements for a single child for $50 a year. When one considers that a child who is not properly nourished will likely be dependent on both the Church and his/her own government, the return on investment in meeting these children’s needs in their critical early years is enormous.


The Liahona Children’s Foundation is holding a series of open-houses in Utah during the next short while in order to call attention to this problem and hopefully raise funds to further our work. Coordinators from countries in which we are currently working are in Utah and will be attending these gatherings (see the list below). If you are able to make any of these gatherings, we would welcome you. If you can’t come but would still like to contribute to our work, you can do so at:  [This address didn't seem to work for me, but I was successful with]


Here’s a short video that shows our work:  Anything you can do to support these children would be greatly appreciated.




Robert A. Rees, Ph.D., Vice-President

Liahona Children’s Foundation



415-888-8125 (H)

415-747-1230 (M)




Monday, September 30 – 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Lindon Community Center, 45 North Main St., Lindon, UT 84042

PRICE: Free (with donations welcomed!)




Sunday, September 29 – 7:00 – 9:00 pm

Ron Madson residence:  13441 Grove Drive, Alpine, UT 84004

RSVP:  (801) 358-5074


St. George/Santa Clara

Sunday, September 29 – 7:00 – 8:30 pm

Raymond residence:  1674 Southhill Dr, Santa Clara, UT

RSVP:  (801) 455-3603



Wednesday, October 2 – 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Carol Coombs residence:  942 E Millbrook Way, Bountiful, UT

RSVP:  (801) 295-1650



Saturday, October 5 – 8:00 – 10:00 (pm?) & noon – 2 pm

TBA in Spanish ward building in area



Sunday, October 6 – 5:00 – 7:00 pm

Polly Sheffield residence:  274 North 550 East, Lindon, UT 84042

RSVP:  (801) 796-3836 



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  • Lucy Mcgee

    Last month I bumped into a couple I’d worked with almost a decade ago in the furniture industry in Oregon. The husband was the son of a man I’d worked for over a 12 year period, a devout Christian and really great person. The young couple also tried their hand opening up several furniture stores over a 5 year period, with limited success. They ended up $500k in debt. When I met them about a month ago they were dressed to the nines, drove a Lexus and had recently rented a million dollar home. I was taken aback since I knew something of their story. After a few minutes of catching up they explained they had for several years been involved in an MLM called Take Shape for Life, and had become Presidential Directors. They recruited and trained people who wanted to get healthy and help others do the same. It was quite a story.

    I did some research and found this MLM sold very expensive meal replacements costing $2.60 per 100 calories of processed food like oatmeal, powdered eggs, nutrition bars, cereal, etc. at 4 to 10 times the cost of the same items purchased from any well stocked grocery. A monthly meal plan per person would cost around $400 of meal replacements plus whatever other food a person was inclined to eat.

    The upshot for me, was the understanding that many of us in first world nations are eating ourselves to death, then paying far more than we should to lose the weight we shouldn’t have gained in the first place, and waste 40% of the food we produce and consume, all the while the children of the third world starve. The diet industry is a multibillion dollar business.

    In reading the post “Approaching Zion: Solving the Problem of Malnutrition”, I sincerely hope that this group of caring individuals can raise the money they need and much more. It is a national shame to understand just how much we Americans waste while so many have nothing.

    We’ve cut back our lifestyle over the past decade for just this purpose. We have become frugal and much more thoughtful of our spending and send as much as possible to Save the Children where we sponsor children in Egypt. We’ll never meet these kids, although we can view their photographs online. Every U.S. family could easily adopt a child through these programs for as little as $20 per month. It makes all the difference in the world.

  • Chad Larson

    This sounds like a wonderful organization. Although, I do have to wonder why this is an issue that has to be dealt with by a foundation. The church recently spent over a billion dollars on a palace to consumerism. My calculations suggest that this program would cost $4 million a year (80,000*$50). Would Jesus spend over a billion dollars on a mall while members of his church are going hungry? What would Isaiah have said about this? While I applaud this organization, it makes me sad that it is necessary.

    • DanielPeterson

      I don’t think that charities would do very well if all of the money that is invested in business enterprises were instead turned directly over to them, and if downtowns were permitted to decay.

      In the short term, of course, there would be a vast surge in philanthropy. In the long term, though, everybody would be poor — if they hadn’t starved to death first. Nobody would be able to GIVE to charity.

      Don’t forget that the City Creek Mall is intended, among other things, to provide return on investment — a return that will be used to fund good things.

      Investing for permanent income is a better long-range strategy than is burning up principal.

      • Chad Larson

        I agree with your first paragraph. I don’t think that all the money that is invested in businesses should be redirected to charities. I am all for business enterprises. I agree that it helps lift all boats. But what do business enterprise have to do with a church?

        Is profit making through high end commercialism the responsibility of a religious organization? Should a religion be making these types of investments? Should a church be saving money up, so that some day in some distant future it can do good, while millions of innocents die of completely curable and preventable diseases? Can a church maintain moral authority to speak out against consumerism and excess when it profits off of those very things? If the members of society were living according to the gospel of Jesus Christ and heading the brethren’s council on modest living and avoiding debt, could the mall return a profit? Once again what would Isaiah say about this? What does the Book of Mormon say about costly apparel and pride?

        I’m not arguing that the church should be fiscally reckless and give away every dime it has. I’m arguing that the types of “investments” it makes and the amount of wealth/savings it maintains has significant moral implications.

        Meanwhile back in the bubble, we debate about the length of hemlines, whether young children in primary should be covering their shoulders and many other important issues of the day. I cannot help but see significant parallels between Jesus’ time and ours. Jesus spoke with power to the religious leaders of his day for these exact same things. I’m amazed and saddened at how blind we have become.

        • DanielPeterson

          I’m afraid I don’t share your indignation at the very idea of a nice mall. Nor am I offended that a for-profit business owned by a church seeks to make a profit.

          I think it’s just fine that the Church, interested as it is in maintaining the quality of the area around its headquarters and its signature temple, uses its for-profit arm to invest there, and that it uses the revenues from that for-profit arm to sustain its efforts and even extend its reach.

          Moreover, while I myself am entirely uninterested in expensive clothes (it’s not a moral choice; I simply don’t care, and clothing stores have the same effect on me that chloroform does), I always want to be wary of the moral stance that points condemningly to the guy over there, that says that, while my clothing accords with the scriptures, anything just a notch or two above my level is of the Devil.