Perpetual Emigration Fund

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The Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company, commonly referred to as the Perpetual Emigration Fund (PEF), was a corporation established by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) in 1849. The purpose of the corporation was to provide economic assistance to more than 30,000 individuals who sought to emigrate to the Salt Lake Valley and surrounding regions.

The PEF used both church assets and private contributions to aid impoverished converts to the LDS faith when they moved west. As funds were limited, converts seeking aid were ranked by their useful skills and by the duration of their membership in the church. Limits on funds led to innovative preparations and travel methods, including the establishment of handcart companies, to reduce expenses. Once established in their new homes, the converts were expected to repay the funds to the company in cash, commodities, or labor, with minor interest, so others could receive help.

In 1887, during a period of disenfranchisement for the LDS Church, the U.S. Congress enacted the Edmunds–Tucker Act, which disincorporated the LDS Church and the PEF company.

Perpetual Education Fund[edit]

In 2001, the LDS Church established a modern variant of the PEF, dubbing it the Perpetual Education Fund. This new fund helps church members in mostly third-world countries gain an education. Again, once established in a new profession, church members are expected to repay the funds, with minor interest, so others can receive help. Unlike the original PEF, the Perpetual Education Fund is not an incorporated company that is separate from the LDS Church.

References[edit]

  • Aird, Polly (Fall 2002). "Bound for Zion: The Ten- and Thirteen-Pound Emigrating Companies, 1853-54". Utah Historical Quarterly. 70 (4): 300–325. Retrieved 2012-01-12.
  • Boone, David F. (1992). "Perpetual Emigrating Fund (PEF)". In Ludlow, Daniel H. (ed.). Encyclopedia of Mormonism. 3. New York: Macmillan. pp. 1075–76. Retrieved 2012-01-12.
  • Hartley, William G. (October 1997). "How Shall I Gather?". Ensign. Vol. 27 no. 10. pp. 5–17. Retrieved 2012-01-12.
  • Jensen, Richard L. (1982). "Steaming Through: Arrangements for Mormon Emigration from Europe, 1869-1887". Journal of Mormon History. 9: 3–24. Retrieved 2012-01-12.
  • Jensen, Richard L.; Ward, Maurine Carr (Fall 2000). "Names of Persons and Sureties Indebted to the Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company, 1850-1877". Mormon Historical Studies. 1 (2): 141–42. Retrieved 2012-01-12.
  • Leonard, Glen M. (January 1980). "Westward the Saints: The Nineteenth-Century Mormon Migration". Ensign. Vol. 10 no. 1. pp. 6–13. Retrieved 2012-01-12.

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