Gordon B. Hinckley:
Is it too much to ask of anyone, any member of this Church, that you actually fast for two meals a month? It will only bless our lives if we do so. I am satisfied that if every man and woman and child in the United States of America were to observe this great and marvelous practice, which costs no one anything, not a thing, that it would take care of all the welfare problems of this nation.
We have succeeded fairly well in teaching Latter-day Saints that they should take care of their own material needs and then contribute to the welfare of those who cannot provide for themselves. If a member is unable to sustain himself, then he is to call upon his own family, and then upon the Church, in that order, and not upon the government at all.
The goal has always been to encourage individual enterprise and thrift and the establishment of people on a self-sustaining basis, rather than to encourage dependence and a looking to others for what they might properly provide for themselves .. The exhilaration of spirit that has come from voluntary help to others and from sustaining themselves by their own effort has filled with a living meaning in their own lives the incontrovertibly true dictum credited to the Savior: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)
Royden G. Derrick:
The concept of the welfare system, which holds each of us responsible, first, for our own welfare second, for the welfare of our family and third, for the welfare of our neighbors, removes the waste, inefficiency, greed, and selfishness that plague our government welfare programs. The concept within the program of developing self-sufficiency builds self-confidence, self-reliance, and self-discipline, which puts us in the people-building business in a meaningful way.
Heber J. Grant:
There are always, I believe, striving with us two spirits, one that is the inspiration of the Lord and one that is not .. the spirit that inspires work is from our Heavenly Father. The spirit that would have us get something for nothing is from the lower regions.
Marion G. Romney:
The cornerstone of the United Order is belief in God and acceptance of him as Lord of the earth and the author of the United Order.
The United Order is implemented by the voluntary free-will actions of men, evidenced by a consecration of all their property to the Church of God.
In harmony with church belief, as set forth in the Doctrine and Covenants, “that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property” (D&C 134:2), the United Order is operated upon the principle of private ownership and individual management.
The United Order exalts the poor and humbles the rich (D&C 104:16). In the process, both are sanctified. The poor, released from the bondage and humiliating limitations of poverty, are enabled as free men to rise to their full potential, both temporally and spiritually. The rich, by consecration and by imparting of their surplus for the benefit of the poor, not by constraint but willingly (1 Pet. 5:2) as an act of free will, evidence that charity for their fellowmen characterized by Mormon as “the pure love of Christ” (Moro. 7:47).
Read Marion G. Romney’s speech here: Socialism and the United Order Compared.
See also The United Order