In a story that appeared on the front page of MSNBC.com senior reporter Kari Huus covered the ability of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to quickly locate and account for its missionaries and to a larger extent, its members and provide for those in need. Her story explained:
Within 36 hours of the earthquake striking off the coast of Sendai on March 11, the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that all 638 of its missionaries in the country — 342 Americans, 216 Japanese and 80 from other nations — were safe.
Within a few days, the church also had accounted for all but about 1,000 of its 125,000 members in Japan.
Haas goes on to explain that this ability can be attributed to the Church’s “culture of discipline and emergency preparedness” and “network that works in ordinary times to maintain cohesion among followers, and in disaster to locate them.” Another factor mentioned in the article is the Church’s home teaching program, where each family or individual is assigned a pair of Church members to look after their needs, including in emergencies.
As the article makes clear, while the Church network enables it to quickly account for its own, its concern for the welfare of others is much broader than that:
On the relief side of the operation, the church is not just focused on its own flock.
The church has made substantial contributions to the Japanese Red Cross and is coordinating with other aid organizations to assess the need for food, housing and fuel in the disaster zone.
The full MSNBC article can be read here.
Read more on the Church’s efforts in Japan.