Comments about ‘Mormon tithing under national media microscope after Mitt Romney releases his financial data’

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Published: Wednesday, Jan. 25 2012 3:00 p.m. MST

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Kirk R Graves
West Jordan, UT

Just to clarify the Thinkman's original post:

The LDS Church has the following funding sources:
1. Tithing (voluntary donations of members based on 10% of individual's income)
2. Fast Offerings (Voluntary donations)
3. Temple Funds (Voluntary donations)
4. Missionary Fund (Families paying for their children to serve missions + Voluntary donations of others)
5. For Profit corporations (privately held entities that pay tax and are legally separate from the Church)
6. Not For Profit Corporations (privately held entities that perform a variety functions, usually just self-sustaining)
7. A Variety of other misc donation categories used for specific purposes (these represent a relatively small amount of the over-all funding)

Kirk R Graves
West Jordan, UT

-Temples - Tithing and Temple Funds
-Ward/Stake buildings - Tithing
-Seminary buildings - Tithing
-University system: - Some tithing, also Self Funding as Not For Profit
-Missionaries - Missionary Fund (perhaps some Tithing, but is shouldn't need it)
-Stipends/salaries - Paid for out of For Profit corporations the Church has owned for a very long time.
-City mall in SLC - For Profit Corporations
-Visitor centers - Tithing
-Members' mortgages - Fast Offering (only)
-General Conference - Tithing
-Church Educational System - Salaries paid out of Tithing
-General Church employees - Tithing
-FamilySearch - I don't know
-Wellfare operations - Operational costs: Tithing. Everything else: Fast Offerings and Misc Donations
-Real-estate - Tithing
-Computer systems and office supplies - Tithing
-Church fleet - Tithing
-Travel - Tithing
-printing - Tithing
-Media - since this supports the Church's mission I assume Tithing, but I am not sure.
-Clothing - If you mean Behive Clothing, that is a Not For Profit entitiy that funds itself (in fact, prices where reduced drastically a few years ago because they were making too much)

Orem, UT

@John Pack, I simply reference the quote from Pres. Hinkley in the article about "financing the church." The church, of course, is that legal entity, "The Corporation of the Presiding Bishop." I make a distinction between financing the church and, say, financing the poor of the church.

@snowman, you may be right about some of those categories. Perhaps some of these areas are funded by interest taken on investments and so forth. As UtahBlueDevil said, the Church doesn't reveal its finances... perhaps some truths are best kept away from the light of day. We do get occasional glimpses, though, from the corporate insider who has observed perhaps more than was strictly intended (for instance, anthropologist Daymon Smith).

Mesa, Az

Irrespective of how much Romney pays, he just pays 10%, plus any other contribution that he cares to make. If anything, Romnney should be praised for keeping the commmandments, as in the book of Malachi, but Romney getting praise for that what happen any day soon. People seem to be more interested in a shark frenzy feed more that anything else. Perhaps we should be more interested in his policies than his beliefs.

Salt Lake City, UT

x2 stories about Mitt Romney's tithing...

I wonder if the Deseret News will allow this post...

about how much Romney pays in TAXES...

**Romney paid $3M in federal income tax in 2010 By Stephen Braun AP Published by DSNews 01/24/12

At the same time, Romney gave nearly $3 million to charity about half of that amount to the Mormon Church which helped LOWER his effective tax rate to a modest 14 percent...' - article

Less than I pay in taxes, I know that.

Farr West, Utah

The article seems to suggest that Romney may not be exact on his 10%. From other articles that have appeared in the DN it is clear that not all of the income is cash. (Stock, etc.) So it is perfectly understandable that the amount contributed may need adjusting in the following year, to match the actual value of the income.
Sometimes "10% of your increase" is clear, sometimes it is not. If you are receiving distributions from a 401K, for example, how much of it is income? Some of the money received would be withdrawing what you had put in prevously - not income. But some would be income - contributions made by your employer, and interest.
Defining what is 10% of one's income is left to the individual conscience.

Farmington, UT


"Less than I pay in taxes, I know that."

You pay more than $3M in taxes? Good for you! Thanks for ponying up, big guy!

Sierra Vista, AZ

Good Grief! Why do people worry about what Mormons do with their money and what the authorities in the church do with it? We give VOLUNTARILY because we know where the money goes, believe that is what God would have us do, and are happy to donate it. Why don't you people who are so wound up about others finances find something else to complain about? When was the last time you made a donation to the needy?!

Salt Lake City, UT

'You pay more than $3M in taxes? Good for you! Thanks for ponying up, big guy!' - giantfan | 11:33 a.m. Jan. 26, 2012


I pay 30% in taxes back to my country.

More, than Mitt Romney.

But I guess you don't know what a % of $42 million dollars is...?

Do you?

Dark Reaver

Don't care, tithing not relevant outside of the religion it's tithed to.

This though...
"Mormon children are expected to begin tithing from their very first allowance," Givens told Gilgoff. "And there's never any variation on the 10 percent, whether you're on welfare or you're a millionaire."

A bit excessive to me. Give the children a break, faith is in your heart not your wallet. Childhood is too short, an extra 2 dollar toy they get to choose can lift a child's spirit for days on end. There is a big difference between 10% from a person on welfare and 10% from a millionaire.

Danish American
Payson, UT

Pagan: You must be making big bucks with no deductions, exemptions, etc. As a former tax auditor I know most people in the so-called middle class pay an "effective" tax rate of 15% to 16% even though the tax tables show them at 30% to 35%. Perhaps you need a different accountant.

Port Alice, B.C.

I give to the Perpetual Education Fund, tithing and fast offerings.

Port Alice, B.C.

Romney was not hiding his Swiss or Caymans accounts - they were right there on his tax returns.

Salt Lake City, UT

'As a former tax auditor I know most people in the so-called middle class pay an "effective" tax rate of 15% to 16% even though the tax tables show them at 30% to 35%. Perhaps you need a different accountant.' - Danish American | 12:36 p.m. Jan. 26, 2012

I know I certianly don't want you as my accountant.

Since I cannot verify anything that you say on your post. :)

Maybe if you presented a

and person oustide of yourself?

**'Stop coddling the Super-Rich' - By Warren E. Buffett - NY Times - 08/14/2011

'But what I paid was only 17.4 percent of my taxable income and thats actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office. Their tax burdens ranged from 33 percent to 41 percent and averaged 36 percent.' - article

Dark Reaver

Orem, UT
"perhaps some truths are best kept away from the light of day"

I would sit back and think deeply where that leads.
Good vs Evil, Light vs Darkness. One finger hidden in the dark is a pair of hands not fully bathed in light. Where one finger leads the rest may follow.

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

I'm sad that I didn't see this until now. If I could, I would go back and post my comment first in order to persuade as many as I can of the truth in the principle and act of paying tithing.

The idea that my giving my 10% to God's church is laughed at, hated, or even considered slightly unreasonable by some religious figures only testifies to the truth in our principle of tithing.

In the Book of Mormon, Zeezrom tried to trick Amulek in order to destroy him for his own financial gain. Today we also see many criticize the LDS Church. An LDS Bishop, an LDS Missionary, members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and the vast majority of Church callings are not compensated financially. We do not pay ourselves but pay God and pay the rest of humanity through service. Yet our financial decisions are in question from people who take income and call it service.

Anyone in doubt of my argument may read Alma, chapter 11 and then re-read this post.

Ms Molli
Bountiful, Utah

I wouldn't say that paying tithing is voluntary. Not when a church believes that the only way you may live with God again is to be a full tithe payer (among other requirements). Not when a church believes that the only way you may have an eternal marriage is to be a full tithe payer (among other requirements). Not when a church believes that the only way you may have your family in tact eternally is to be a full tithe payer (among other requirements). Not when a church believes that it is the eternal perspective that its members should be focusing on (which includes being a full tithe payer). Doesn't really look voluntary to me if you believe the doctrine.


To: Danish American. You're right. I've a friend who is an IRS tax auditor. She says that if you count state income and property taxes as well as federal, and you don't give anything to charities, not church or otherwise you would pay close to 30%. I happen to live in a state that does not have state income tax, sales tax is 5% except on food items, there is no tax on food (on non-prepared food that is, there is tax at restaurants or deli foods in a grocery store.), and our property tax like our sales tax is relatively low when looking at what other states near by are paying. What we should be concerned about with Romney's taxes is not what percent he paid but if he pays an honest tax according to the laws. Since I am sure the Government keeps close tabs on the 1% top richest men in America and he wasn't hiding his Cayman Island stash, as Liberal Larry called it, nor his Swiss bank account, maybe that points out to his honesty. Considering Newt's dishonesty-cheating on wives, nice to see some honesty somewhere.

Cedar City, UT

I am confused by all the those criticizing the amount of taxes that Romney pays. No one seems to be accusing him of illegal activities, but are upset that he only paid 14%. What do you suggest? Should he have not taken his legal deductions? Should he have volunteered to pay more than the required amount for capital gains? He simply paid the legally required amount. Do you expect him to pay more?

If you think that Romney and others like him should pay more taxes, you should select the candidate who is most likely to simplify the tax code (other than Ron Paul, that person is Romney).

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

Ms Molli,

A teacher may require you to spend 10% of workload on homework and pass regular tests in order to receive an "A" grade, a pat on the back, and a college credit, and a diploma.

Assume that a college degree is the only way to get a decent job. I volunteer and willfully (as a free agent) decide to go to college to get that reward. My going to college was in fact voluntary. If it was involuntary I wouldn't have a choice. You can choose God's laws and receive from him. Or you can choose to reject God and receive from the alternative. Just because one is behind a gate of captivity and one behind a golden curtain doesn't take away your choice.

I say this in respect- It just seems more like you have a problem with God 'placing requirements' on us. Is this true? If so, why is that bad? If not, what else could you mean?

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