Part of what made this so powerful is that it could be abbreviated, as SWK himself did just a few sentences later as:• To proclaim the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people;
• To perfect the Saints by preparing them to receive the ordinances of the gospel and by instruction and discipline to gain exaltation;
• To redeem the dead by performing vicarious ordinances of the gospel for those who have lived on the earth.
In 2010, the Church subtly tweaked the message. Unfortunately, though, it wasn't done in a way that has the same punch. The verbiage added the phrase "caring for the poor and needy". But it fell way short of making this a mission of the Church. Here is the text from Handbook 2 (which can be found at https://www.lds.org/handbook/handbook-2 ... ng=eng#2.2) under the heading "The Purpose of the Church":to proclaim the gospel, to perfect the Saints, and to redeem the dead
A couple of notes that I will make about this. The first paragraph is a restatement of the original SWK Mission of the Chruch. All three elements are there, and no others. The third paragraph says that to accomplish this, the Church focuses on all divinely appointed responsibilities, which include a group of four sub-bullets. IMO, it's not a very well-crafted statement because it lists three purposes and later four enablers, of which three are the stated purposes. In other words, it's confused.The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized by God to assist in His work to bring to pass the salvation and exaltation of His children. The Church invites all to “come unto Christ, and be perfected in him” (Moroni 10:32; see also D&C 20:59). The invitation to come unto Christ pertains to all who have lived, or will ever live, on the earth.
When individuals receive the ordinances of baptism and confirmation, they become members of the Church. The Church supports them and their families by serving as “a refuge from the storm” of worldly influences and wickedness (D&C 115:6). The Church provides opportunities for service, blessing, and personal growth. The programs and activities of the Church support and strengthen individuals and families.
In fulfilling its purpose to help individuals and families qualify for exaltation, the Church focuses on divinely appointed responsibilities. These include helping members live the gospel of Jesus Christ, gathering Israel through missionary work, caring for the poor and needy, and enabling the salvation of the dead by building temples and performing vicarious ordinances.
It appears to me that the "threefold mission of the Church" has simply gone away from Church literature, but hasn't been replaced with an equivalent, and because of this, long-time members will continue to refer back to the threefold mission of the Church. I'm not saying this is either right or wrong, but I am just interested in it, because it feels like an aborted transition to something new that never had any emphasis.
I'm interested to hear from others how they interpret this and if there are any more clear statements by the Church out there.