See Mormon Film: Key Films of the Second Wave
This film was created at the suggestion of "Judge" Wetzel Whitaker when three apostles--Elders Harold B. Lee, Matthew Cowley, and Mark E. Petersen--visited him at the Walt Disney Studio in 1947. Judge recalled that it was a "somewhat rash" offer, but it changed the course of his life and LDS films forever.
The offer to make one film on Church welfare soon divided into two, and while Whitaker directed the other film, The Lord's Way
, this title was headed up by Eric Larson, a self-described "collapsed Mormon" who nevertheless always lended support whenever the Church needed assistance with filmmaking in Los Angeles. (Unlike Whitaker, who was a mid-level "in-betweener" animator, Larson was already one of Disney's top animators and would soon become known as one of his Nine Old Men, who dominated Disney animation for decades to come.)
Church Welfare in Action
was completed before The Lord's Way
, but when both were done Church President George Albert Smith personally paid for the filmmakers and their wives to come to Salt Lake City to screen them. The General Authorities were impressed--David O. McKay told Whitaker they were "the best films ever to come out of Hollywood"--and the films circulated throughout the wards for years. More importantly, they induced Church leaders such as McKay to consider the use a permanent film studio would be. Thus, the BYU Motion Picture Department was established as the Church's filmmaking arm in January 1953, shortly after McKay became Church President; Judge Whitaker left Disney to become its first director general.