Mormon Church provides aid in flooded areas of Pakistan

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  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan
    Aug. 27, 2010 5:41 p.m.

    Actually, since some of the staff of LDS Employment Services is missionaries, I would go as far as to say no one knows the whole cost, because how can you count the cost when you have people donating time?

    I would expect President Monson or someone under him has at least a report saying the annual cost of LDS Employment Services, whether or not they could recite the figure if asked.

    How high up or low down in the Church structure this is known I do not know. Also the close interaction between LDS Employment Services and Deseret Industries might make the relative budgets hard to decipher. For example, when you have various entities of the Church sharing a parking lot, and there is cost to maintaining the parking lot, clearing snow, etc., and you want to calculate the total cost of some sub-entity of the Church, how do you do it?

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan
    Aug. 27, 2010 5:36 p.m.

    As an expansion of my last post, there are many members who barely make it by on tithing.

    However, the other assumption of the Humanitarian Services budget is too small snarkers is that this is the sum total of humanitarian services the Church offers.

    As far as I can tell, donations from the Church to aid in operating food banks, like the $1.5 million one recently given to a food bank in Ogden are not part of the Humanitarian Services budget.

    Exactly why when calculating the Church's "charitable spending" some exclude fast offering related items is a good question.

    When they try to compare the percentage of the Church's budget that goes to "charitable spending" and that of various companies they ignore the crucial question of what is and what is not counted. I have yet to see any evidence that any of these individuals have analyzed the data enough to be using the same rules, and they always avoid explaining in depth what charitable spending is.

    Also, since LDS Employment Services is open to all without any membership screening or cost, this is a charitable service, the cost of which few know.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan
    Aug. 27, 2010 5:30 p.m.

    Independent I think your line "someone who makes nothing, pays nothing" is importantn. One can be a full tithe payer while paying no tithing.

    The post-disaster assitance by the Church is largely funded by donations to LDS humanitarian services. It may be that some of the cost of maintaining the storehouses to have the supplies on hand (which where they are used by Church welfare is actually more expensive than just purchasing and distributing the food without a storehouse, I know this from discussions with our local director) comes from other sources, but the purchase of supplies to meet the disaster, and of supplies to restock the storehouses so they are ready for the next one largely comes from the LDS Humanitarian Services donations.

    This is one of the reasons why attempts to say anything about the size of the humanitarian services budget on a per-member basis are odd. Many members only give tithing and fast offerings and never donate further down the donation form.

    Beyond this, there is the Perpetual Education Fund which is another worthwhile use of money, so the per-member donation rate to Humanitarian Services needs to be considered in this light.

  • snowman
    Aug. 27, 2010 5:21 p.m.

    JayJay: You chose to pay your tithing.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan
    Aug. 27, 2010 5:20 p.m.

    I think there are two issues, actual distribution and disbursement of funds and accounting of funds.

    With fast offerings the real funds are not kept at the ward level. However I am under the impression that fast offerings verses expenditures from fast offerings are both recorded and weighted against each other both at the ward and stake levels.

    If your stake has lots of quite affluent members, with good jobs and homes, and is taking in less in fast offerings than it is disbursing, it would not be surprising if members of the high council counsel ward members in their monthly visits that they need to consider whether in the light of the blessings the Lord has given them, they are giving enough in fast offerings. I can say so from personally having heard such counsel back in the mid-1990s when our stake was a place of relative affluence.

    On tithing the Church does not keep accounts on how much tithing money your ward or stake consumes verses how much it takes in.

    So while the physical distribution of the money is centralized in both cases, only in fast offerings is income even tracked.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan
    Aug. 27, 2010 5:12 p.m.

    But Christ tells us to let our light so shine that others seeing our God works will glorify our Father which is in Heaven.

  • snowman
    Aug. 27, 2010 5:05 p.m.

    Mom of 2: We are not forced to pay tithing.

  • Independent
    Aug. 27, 2010 2:32 p.m.

    "I know of no other church that withholds salvation based on donation. Is that really voluntary?"

    First of all, donation is 10 percent. 10 percent means 10 percent, so there is no minimum amount of money that must be donated for "salvation" as you put it. Someone who makes $1 Million/year pays $100K in tithing per year. Someone who makes $10K in a year pays $1K, and someone who makes nothing, pays nothing. All have equal access to salvation through the Redeemer, Jesus Christ. It's a question of faith, and keeping the commandments. Jesus said "If ye love me, keep my commandments." Do other churches preach salvation without faith and keeping the commandments? If so, what power do you think they have to even offer salvation? The LDS church could offer all of the saving ordinances they practice to anyone, regardless of their willingness to obey the Word of God, but what good would it do? Salvation cannot be bought, but it can't be given to someone who won't receive it either. Follow Jesus and receive salvation. Don't follow Jesus and don't receive salvation. It's your choice.

  • Independent
    Aug. 27, 2010 2:19 p.m.

    I have no problem with (and in fact enthusiastically support) wealth redistribution when A)priethood authority is doing the redistribution, and B) I am not compelled by people with guns under the threat of confiscation of my property or prison to contribute. I have a big problem with wealth redistribution when it is administered by corrupt politicians, of any party, who have shown time and again that they are more concerned about themselves and their own interests than yours or mine. I cannot see how anyone would be comfortable giving the Federal Government as much money as they ask for. Let me put it this way, LDS Liberal: Are you comfortable giving George W. Bush as much money as he asks for?

  • Deportation Glitch Lady
    Aug. 27, 2010 1:41 p.m.

    When you help a dying person, why does it matter how you obtain the relief? Hmm, I don't know. Big moral dilemma. Defending people of all nations from hunger, and other natural disasters is a moral virtue and most churches are always there to assist.

  • GreatScot
    Aug. 27, 2010 1:40 p.m.

    You can donate to the LDS Emergency Response Fund on the LDS Philanthropies website.

  • Humm??
    Aug. 27, 2010 12:41 p.m.

    @ Bill in Nebraska, you are inncorrect about Fast offerings not going to SLC.

    @ Doctor "I know of no other church that withholds salvation based on donation. Is that really voluntary?" Which church are you refering to? If the LDS church, then you would be mistaken.

  • Humm??
    Aug. 27, 2010 12:36 p.m.

    @ Mom of 2 There are "many mansions" in Gods kingdom. So no, no one will be denied, but will be judged by Christ and awarded a "mansion" based on your faithfulness.

  • Mom of 2
    Aug. 27, 2010 12:18 p.m.

    I think what the Church is doing is wonderful and very Christian of them.

    Re: being "forced" to pay tithing...well, of course nobody holds a gun to your head when you fork over that 10%. But in a sense you ARE forced to pay tithing, at least if you want to be sealed or do anything else in the temple. You must be a full tithe payer for this. I just can't picture Christ standing at the entrance of Heaven and denying anybody who wants to follow Him in simply because they didn't donate 10% of their income to any church.

  • RedShirt
    Aug. 27, 2010 11:54 a.m.

    To "LDS Liberal | 3:55 p.m." hint, conservatives don't mind helping other build weath, or even giving to charity. Studies show that conservatives give more than liberals do to charitble organizations that actually help people. Liberals give more to symphonies, art galeries, and other high society venues.

    It isn't the giving and redistributing of wealth that is the problem, it is forcing people to do so that is the problem. If you actually bothered to learn some history, you would find that capitalism has done the most to redistribute wealth and bring people out of poverty than socialism.

  • snowman
    Aug. 27, 2010 11:12 a.m.

    Give Me A Break: Church leaders are not paid.

  • Give Me A Break
    Aug. 27, 2010 12:22 a.m.

    There will always be need. The challenge for us is to see if we will help donate the needed funds. Lets give more to help others. Those in need do need it more than we do. Trust me on that.

    And in case you missed it, the church doesn't use either fast offerings or the humanitarian funds to fund leaders salaries, to build churches, or to pay ministers. 100% goes to the needy. 100%.

  • snowman
    Aug. 26, 2010 10:35 p.m.

    Doctor: The church does not force its members to donate to anything.

  • AZnewser
    Aug. 26, 2010 8:55 p.m.

    @ Bill in Nebraska
    Your description of church fund distribution is not completely accurate. All church funds are gathered to SLC. There is no "going into the red" on fast offering funds, as there is no holding funds over from good months/years to be spent in lean times.

    My Stake President has instructed us to not outspend our intake, but there are exceptions... my ward has spent more than we have received to this point this year. We do not share our burden nor our largess with our Stake, but with the church as a whole. During my years in the Papillion, NE Stake, it was the same as it is now here in AZ. Regardless, isn't the church financial system fantastic!

  • annie
    Aug. 26, 2010 8:30 p.m.

    I have read over and over that the humanitarian fund is funded by fast offerings but I don't think that is correct. I am fairly sure that it is funded through donations given specifically for humanitarian aid--both in kind and monetary. I am fairly sure the fast offerings the Church collects is less than is necessary to take care of the temporal needs of the members of the church and that feeding our own fatherless and widows has to be subsidized by tithe dollars.

  • Bill in Nebraska
    Aug. 26, 2010 8:08 p.m.

    I would like to clarify something to all Church members. The article states 100% of Humanitarian Aid comes from those funds. It doesn't state that it comes from fast offerings. Fast Offerings are not given to Salt Lake. These funds are maintained at the Ward/Branch level for use within the boundaries of that particular Ward. If a Ward/Branch is in the red for fast offerings then the Stake pulls from other units in the Stake. Only when the Stake is unable to provide for itself is anything pulled from the rest of the Church for fast offerings.

    The money that we donate to humanitaria aid is what is being used to support this aid. It doesn't come from tithing nor does it come from Fast Offerings.

    None of this money is forced upon its members. However, you can't be a member in good standing and not be paying 100% tithing. The decision and the blessings that come from it is entirely based upon one's own faithfulness.

  • Bert
    Aug. 26, 2010 8:00 p.m.

    Wow, so many people jumping in and stating as fact things about Church finances.

    The fact is the Mormon Church does not release specifics of its finances to anyone.

    There are very few people who actually *know* which bucket what money comes out of.

  • Alice
    Aug. 26, 2010 7:38 p.m.

    When you are in the service of your fellow men you are in the service of your God.

  • Not_Scared
    Aug. 26, 2010 7:33 p.m.

    Call me old school. Charity should be made in private. We shouldn't devalue our charity by advertising it.

  • Doctor
    Aug. 26, 2010 7:25 p.m.

    I know of no other church that withholds salvation based on donation. Is that really voluntary?

  • Humm??
    Aug. 26, 2010 7:08 p.m.

    @ LDS Liberal. Are you really LDS?? Go back a read about satan's plan (forced) and Christ's plan (voluntary). Then figure out which way that GOD, the Father of us all, went with those plans. So maybe he really doesn't "see it that way too". He even had 1/3 of his children cast out, so I assume he felt pretty strongly about it. And BTW - I don't think he sees it your way.

    Coercion is one of the biggest sins because it removes agency, which was fought for in a war, from the person - no different than satan doing it. Communisim, socialism, etc. are just another form of coercion. If you didn't vote for it before why are you voting for it now?

  • Joshua1ix
    Aug. 26, 2010 6:54 p.m.

    LDS Liberal always makes me happy :0)

  • Tlingit
    Aug. 26, 2010 6:37 p.m.

    @Dave from Taylorsville

    It's pretty easy to show up late to the party and make a snap judgment about people without knowing what has happened over time.

    Speaking of "truly non-Christian postings," consider these words of Christ:

    "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?"

    "Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye."

    I won't ask you to print it and bring it to your Bishop because that would be condescending and judgmental of me, and not how *I* would want to be treated, so it won't be how I treat you.

  • LDS Liberal
    Aug. 26, 2010 5:48 p.m.

    JayJay | 5:12 p.m.

    And so there is some sort of moral judgement to say that the when the church provides humanitarian assistance - it is good and right and pleasing to God to help our fellow mankind.

    And it is immoral and repugnant somehow when America does it.

    I don't care how it gets there, or who gets the credit for it.

    I'm just over joyed that I had something to do with it regardless WHO gets the credit for it.

    BTW - I think GOD, that Father of us ALL, sees it that way too.

    He knows the intentions of MY heart.

    I will pray for you.

  • Dave from Taylorsville
    Aug. 26, 2010 5:44 p.m.

    TO: xscribe

    Your questions were honest and well asked. As for Tlingit and JayJay. Please excuse their wayward and truly non-Christian postings.

    TO: Tlingit and JayJay

    From reading your postings, it appears that both of you are LDS. If so, I suggest that you:

    1. Print out a copy of @xscribe's posting, and. . .

    2. Print out a copy of your posting, and. . .

    3. Take it to your Bishop. He will sit down with you and have a long discussion.

  • JayJay
    Aug. 26, 2010 5:12 p.m.

    @LDS Liberal
    Did you know that paying tithing, fast offerings and giving to the humanitarian fund is voluntary? You should if you are really a member. Little different than forced redistribution of wealth. I think it's great to help those in need. However when my money is taken from me and given to those who don't deserve it in order to buy votes, I take exception to that. You should be able to see the subtle difference between how the government operates and the LDS Church operates.

    Perhaps if you are sensitive to ridicule you shouldn't be dishing it out.

  • Tlingit
    Aug. 26, 2010 4:06 p.m.


    Yep, I gave you a LITTLE taste of your own medicine.

    Will it make you think before finding fault and others tearing down?

    Probably not, but at least from now on I'll know that that you didn't like it when it was done to you, yet you still choose to do it to others.

    And good for you for giving to charities. I'd be more impressed if you weren't so anxious to brag about it and turn it into a competition, but good for you nonetheless.

    BTW, to clarify, it's not atheism I find distasteful, it's the lurking around for opportunities to tear down others that I think is sad.

    Not believing in God is one thing, but tearing down those who do is another.

    I just cannot see anything healthy about always looking for the bad in a people.

    For example, why can't you just be glad that Church Church members give like this, rather than look to find fault with their system for collecting donations?

    Atheist and antagonist are not synonyms.

  • LDS Liberal
    Aug. 26, 2010 3:55 p.m.

    I hope none of the ultra-conservatives don't see this another example of the redistribution of their wealth - story.

    You know --
    Haves, giving to the have nots.

    And not having to work for it or have to pay it back, ect.

  • snowman
    Aug. 26, 2010 3:36 p.m.

    xscribe: the money comes from the church members. We are not forced to give our money to cause.

  • mtymouse
    Aug. 26, 2010 3:32 p.m.

    What?! No put downs by LDS hatefuls, or complaints by the darn ACLU about something they can dream up to gripe about--like alterior motives for being helpful?! I love how the Church is always one of the first on the spot to extend help and support after a tragedy, what a great example to others.

  • xscribe
    Aug. 26, 2010 3:12 p.m.

    Thanks to those who chose to explain rather than ridicule, as Jay-Jay did. Hope it made them feel better.

  • Classic Mom
    Aug. 26, 2010 3:06 p.m.

    I love that my money goes to relieve suffering in the world and I whole-heartedly approve any tithing that ends up in a situation like this. But, welfare comes from our humanitarian aid and fast offering donations...We know where our money goes and we spend a lot of time making supplies for emergency relief. Which will end up in Pakistan as well as other places. Thanks for pointing out the possible conspiracies, but I think we're pretty happy with the church's relief efforts. And the "Church" is really us. Because it is staffed by volunteers, like me.

  • maidenwings
    Aug. 26, 2010 2:32 p.m.

    read this other story cure the cause dont get sick.
    The taliBan dont want no one to help Flood Victims/or else> world of nations section?

  • Humm??
    Aug. 26, 2010 2:24 p.m.

    xscribe- Fast offerings are one of the big sources of welfare donations for the LDS church. Church members are asked to fast once a month and donate the money that would have been spent on the food - and encouraged to do more when possible. There is also a humanitarian fund that members (or nonmembers)can donate to. This is all volunatary, as is paying tithing.

    They members also voluntarial work on welfare farms, canneries, factories, etc. to produce food that is used in the welfare system. I have worked on a church hay farm where the hay went to a church dairy, a church grape vinyard where the grapes went to a church cannery to be made into juice and jam, know our ward assignment is at a flour mill where we clean it and then work to produce bread flour, cake mixes, etc. The LDS church owns beef producing operations, the largest in Florida I've heard and even one in Hawaii. So now maybe you have a picture of where it comes from. You should go on a tour of welfare square.

  • Northern Lights
    Aug. 26, 2010 1:57 p.m.

    xscribe, yours is a fair question.

    The LDS Church accepts different categories of donations, including tithing, fast offerings, and humanitarian assistance. Each donation is voluntary and is used by the Church for their designated purposes when needed. It's likely in the case of Pakistan that most of the funds came from fast offering and humanitarian assistance donations since that is their purpose. Members understand up front what these funds can be used for.

    I don't know of any active member who opposses the use of these funds to help releive suffering in the world. I'm grateful that the LDS Church has the ability to contribute to disaster relief world-wide, regardless of nationality, with such speed.

    Aug. 26, 2010 1:53 p.m.

    @ xscribe

    The funds used by the Church for humanitarian efforts do not come from tithing donations. Tithing goes toward building construction and maintenance, missionary work, and the church-owned universities, among other things. The funds used to provide humanitarian relief are called Fast Offerings. These are offerings made voluntarily each Fast Sunday (thus the name 'Fast Offering'; Fast Sundays are every first Sunday of the month) by members of the church and vary in amounts based on each member's desire/capacity to give. To date, members of the church have donated millions of dollars in Fast Offerings that have gone directly to many humanitarian efforts, including, most recently, Hurrican Katrina victims, the Indonesia Tsunami, and the Earthquake in Haiti. Fast Offerings are distinct and separate funds from tithing donations.

  • JayJay
    Aug. 26, 2010 1:41 p.m.

    You mean all these years the church has been forcing me to pay tithing against my will and I didn't even know it? Wow, thanks for enlightening me. You must be really smart because you know more about tithing than I do and you are not even a member.

  • huntt
    Aug. 26, 2010 1:39 p.m.

    In answer to xscribe's question, the money that the church uses to help comes from those who voluntarily pay fast offerings. Fast offerings are a donation that is usually made at the beginning of the month to help those in need. Members of the church will fast and pay fast offerings just as Isaiah taught to do in Isaiah 58: 3-8.
    Members of the church also pay tithing as taught in the scriptures. Tithing is used to pay for temples, churches, and other church supplies. Church leaders recognize money from tithing as sacred, and are very careful on what it is used for. Also, no member is forced to pay tithing. Tithing is a commandment that when followed brings blessings as taught in Malachi 3: 8-10. Similar to all commandments you are not forced to follow them. I know that the sacrifice I have made to pay tithing, has been a great blessing for me. It has increased my faith in Christ. When I pay my tithing I feel like I am giving up something, for something greater. I also believe that the Lord blesses people temporally when they pay their tithing.

  • Roboto
    Aug. 26, 2010 1:29 p.m.

    Good to see my fast offering money go to a good cause! (like always)

  • Sargon
    Aug. 26, 2010 1:24 p.m.

    The article describes where the money comes from. There are various categories for donating to the church including Humanitarian aid, to provide food to others (fast offering), tithing, and more. It is completely up to the individual to contribute in any capacity.

    Nobody is forced to pay tithing or to make any donations to help others out. We are definitly encouraged to serve others, but nothing is forced in any way.

  • LuVePacifica
    Aug. 26, 2010 1:19 p.m.

    that is mentioned And thank you LDS faithful church we all in this BigWorld on a tiny Ship :)

  • Summerdonna
    Aug. 26, 2010 12:59 p.m.

    To xscribe... Mormons are not forced to pay tithing!! The church also has a humanitarian fund that members may freely donate to and do!

  • LuVePacifica
    Aug. 26, 2010 12:53 p.m.

    Last sentence is made to show where the money is from-Donatuions and Church sales more enough people that are willing to go out of thier way of Human kindness)

  • xscribe
    Aug. 26, 2010 12:36 p.m.

    First a question, not intended to offend, just curious: Where does the money come from that the church uses to help? Is it from tithing monies? Again, I'm just curious, so if someone could explain, that would be great. I ask because if it's tithing monies, then obviously those who pay tithing are then technically forced to give their money to this cause, which seems to go against what a lot of people don't like about taxes, etc.

    @Tlingit: A, you're really going to compare Pakistan to Utah and worry about whether or not they would care if Utah had a flood? Maybe you should try living over there for a while. B, I'm an athiest, and I give to multiple charities. Do you, or do you just wait to see what the church does and call it good? C, you talk about people "lurking around the internet" and taking "cheap shots" at the church, yet in your brief post you make two cheap shots at two different groups. Amazing!

  • Tlingit
    Aug. 26, 2010 12:18 p.m.

    I am GLAD my church is helping these people...

    Even though we all know that had the floods happened in Utah, these people wouldn't care less about it, much less think to help out.

    There are a lot of people who like to lurk on comment boards around the Internet and take cheap shots at the Church...

    But for all their superiority complex and fault finding... I don't think I've ever read about atheist organizations giving humanitarian relief -- or doing much of anything constructive for the world for that matter.

    No matter.

    I'm glad we can help and are helping -- not because we may impress them and one day be allowed to proselyte, but because we truly are our brothers' keepers.

    Good for the Brethren!

  • LuVePacifica
    Aug. 26, 2010 12:09 p.m.

    they are human LDS church Helps everyone..

    Im not LDS but they are some that are amazing in world we live in.
    Fortunate to have known them besides the point good)

  • ardmore
    Aug. 26, 2010 11:59 a.m.

    Great Job, the church could use more stories like these as opposed to all the prop. 8 stuff...