Not by bread alone but, still, bread

Not by bread alone but, still, bread April 3, 2024


“Into the Wild” with the Interpreter Foundation
From left to right, Jeffrey Mark Bradshaw, Elder Willy Binene (a Congolese Area Authority Seventy), James G. Jordan, Russell M. Richins, and, in the background, their driver, Leon.  Brothers Bradshaw, Jordan, and Richins had traveled to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to commence work on what has now become the “Not by Bread Alone” film project.

Here is a trio of new items on the website of the Interpreter Foundation.  I hope that you’ll enjoy them:

“Not by Bread Alone Episode 2: An Impossible Meeting with Mobutu”

This episode tells the story of how an unlikely series of events that began with a Congolese man named BULA led to a four-hour lunch meeting at Gbadolite, the remote palatial estate of MOBUTU SESE SEKO, the former ruler of the DR Congo. In that 12 February 1986 meeting, approval was granted for official recognition of the Church in that country.

For more information on the “Not by Bread Alone: Stories of the Saints in Africa” series, go to
For more information in French, go to
To see all of our posts about The Church in Africa, go to

Conference Talks: The Book of Moses as a Pre-Augustinian Text: A New Look at the Pelagian Crisis (2020 Tracing Ancient Threads in the Book of Moses Conference), presented by Terryl L. Givens

Terryl L. Givens spoke at the Tracing Ancient Threads in the Book of Moses Conference on Saturday, September 19, 2020 about “The Book of Moses as a Pre-Augustinian Text: A New Look at the Pelagian Crisis.” The principal contest over the future of Christianity occurs in the late 4th century, when Augustine’s re-interpretation of the divine and the human anthropology triumph, fundamentally damaging forever Christian soteriology. The Book of Moses, the Latter-day Saint tradition’s most neglected scripture, effectively restores the Great Plan of Happiness to its pre-Augustinian character.

All of the conference presentations were filmed, and both video and audio recordings of each presentation are available. Videos, audio recordings and transcripts are available at The videos are also available on the Interpreter Foundation YouTube channel at A YouTube playlist is also available at

Nibley Lectures: Come, Follow Me Book of Mormon Lesson 15: The Lord Labors with Us: Jacob 5-7:

This week, we have lecture 25 from Hugh Nibley’s Book of Mormon classes at Brigham Young University, covering Jacob 5—7 and Enos.

During 1988, 1989, and 1990, Hugh Nibley taught Honors Book of Mormon classes for four semesters at Brigham Young University. The lectures were video-taped and audio cassettes and printed transcripts were made of the lectures. We believe these recordings will be interesting to listen to and valuable to your Come, Follow Me study program this year. Each week, we will include the lectures covering the Book of Mormon chapters being studied that week.

All 112 lectures are immediately available in PDF, audio, video, and electronic formats, as well as in paperback books that are available for purchase. Links for all of the available online sources can be found in the Complete Bibliography for Hugh Nibley at

A granary at Salt Lake City's Welfare Square
The grain silo at Salt Lake City’s Church-owned “Welfare Square”
(Wikimedia Commons public domain image)

I’m appalled and horrified, and therefore utterly and appropriately delighted, to report to you that there is rich material in “The April 2024 Edition of the World Report” of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that undeniably comes from the Christopher Hitchens Memorial “How Religion Poisons Everything” File™.  You will scream in terror as you watch the video “Report.”  You will moan in agony, you will weep with sorrow, and, therefore, you will love it — whether it’s spewing news at you about the depravities of theism and theists in English, or in Spanish, or in Portuguese.

Among other things — and, please, prepare yourself for the sheer obscene horror of it — the “World Report” says just before its five-minute mark that the Church’s humanitarian/welfare contributions for 2023 totaled 1.36 billion dollars (that is, $1,360,000,000.00), spread over 4,119 distinct humanitarian/welfare projects in 191 countries or territories, on top of which 6.2 million hours of volunteer humanitarian service were offered.  That’s 6,200,000 hours, the equivalent of 3,100 years of full-time employment at 2,000 hours per annum.

I mentioned most of this a few days ago, but it seems not to have registered in certain predictable circles.

Just looking at the figure of $1.36B in humanitarian/welfare contributions for 2023, considering it in isolation from all of the other expenditures of the Church on maintaining chapels and temples and the vast Church Educational System (CES) and its missionary program (including missionary training centers) and its global family history efforts and so on and so forth, the figure is (or should be) impressive.

If the Church were ranked simply as a humanitarian/welfare charity in Forbes Magazine’s list of America’s Top 100 Charities, it would come in as Number 9 in the top ten, behind Habitat for Humanity International ($1.54B) and Goodwill Industries International ($1.51B), but ahead of Americares ($1.35B) and Samaritan’s Purse ($1.26B), which round out the current top ten.   However, neither Habitat for Humanity International nor Goodwill Industries International nor Americares nor Samaritan’s Purse also runs a multicampus group of universities in addition to its humanitarian/welfare efforts, or builds and maintains temples and chapels, or gathers and digitizes genealogical records around the world, or fields missionaries in more than 150 countries speaking more than sixty languages.

Now, some cynical critics of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints may (and do) sniff at a mere $1.36B in 2023 humanitarian/welfare aid as too little, too cheap, even pathetic and disgraceful.  But I doubt that the American National Red Cross ($1.05B) or the United States Fund for UNICEF ($959M) would be so dismissive.  They come in at, respectively, Number 14 and Number 15 on the current list from Forbes.  Nor would Catholic Relief Services (CRS), which spent $674M on humanitarian aid in 2023, just slightly more than half that of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a level of giving that earned CRS the position of Number 24 on the Forbes report.  Nor would St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, which at an expenditure level of $186M for 2023 — no small sum, really, and no small contribution to human wellbeing — checks in at Number 100 on the Forbes Magazine list of America’s Top 100 Charities.

“A man filled with the love of God is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race.”  (Joseph Smith, Jr.)



"If all the bells of hell ring out in derisive, antagonistic, crass petulant tone,some will ..."

The Bells of Las Vegas
"EL: "It seems to me more like a "the enemy of my enemy" relationship.'I'm sure ..."

Contra Calvinism 1
"MP2020: "We can only hope."And, in fact, I do hope. The pendulum has swung pretty ..."

Contra Calvinism 1
"The article linked to soberness in the Gen-Z generation caught my eye. As I contemplate ..."

Contra Calvinism 1

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!