Would it be important to a church organization to divulge its finances to its
members? At my RC church our lay led finance committee does just that yearly.
We know how much is spent for candles and how much is spent on maintenance and
missions. Feels good to have that info!
@summarizerer"If local leaders don't take issue as you do
then why do you sustain them?"When members sustain local
leaders, they are sustaining the leaders to carry out the duties assigned to
them. Nothing more. They are not sustaining the leader's opinion regarding
matters outside of the leader's assigned duties, such as how much and where
humanitarian aid should be disbursed. When you sustain someone for a position,
you are not agreeing with how they conduct their business matters, their
political views, or anything else unrelated to the duties they will be
performing. You suggested above that others "are out of touch with the
comings and goings of the LDS Church" but your comment indicates that
perhaps you should look in a mirror.
@mhenshawObviously the Church does not issue stock, my use of the
term was hypothetical, "IF members are considered shareholders...". Regardless of the actual legal status of members as
"shareholders" in the corporation that is the Church, I think it is
simply a sign of good stewardship to be open and transparent about the budgets
and finances of the Church. It is important that these things be in the open
not only to quell critique and prevent corruption, but also so that the general
membership feels included. You can see that the dollar amount cited
in this article is frustrating to a lot of people because helping the needy is a
core mission of the Church. It doesn't make sense to a lot of people that
spending in any given year is greater by a factor of ten, or more, for one of
the Church's core missions over another.The simple truth, as
others have pointed out, is that financials are disclosed in other countries and
were at one point disclosed in this country; Church leaders routinely offered a
detailed account of church finances from 1915 until 1959. The last fully
detailed accounting was produced in 1947.
@jmort"Requesting good stewardship from our leaders, who
themselves proclaim their fallibility, is just good common sense...""..To imply that we have less faith than you is judgmental and just
plain wrong."Take it however you want. Many of those saying..in
some cases almost demanding that the church should give more are skeptics of the
Church and in my opinion they are demanding such things because they are out of
touch with the comings and goings of the LDS Church.If it is such an
issue / concern to you then why bring it up in a comments section vs. taking it
up with your local ward / stake leadership?You sustain them do you
not? If you sustain your local leadership and they don't have an issue
with how tithes are allocated then why do you take issue with higher
leadership?In other words If local leaders don't take issue as
you do then why do you sustain them?
summarizerer,"The disagreement comes back to differing
philosophies:Faith vs. Skepticism"I totally disagree with, and
resent your characterization. The subject of our faith should be whether Jesus
is the Christ. Requesting good stewardship from our leaders, who themselves
proclaim their fallibility, is just good common sense. Many perfectly faithful
members (some who have commented on this site) have faith in the doctrines and
teachings of the church yet desire complete financial transparency from its
leaders. To imply that we have less faith than you is judgmental and just plain
no debbie downer here . . . I think the Church's welfare system and LDS
charities are absolutely terrific, doing great good around the world. I've
personally seen this happening in third world countries. BUT, as a sympathetic
member, I (like Oragami and mancan) was very surprised (and disappointed) at the
relatively LOW number of $40 million. I would have hoped that 10% of
contributions, something more like $400 million, would be the number. Remember,
this isn't just a feel good side program. Caring for the poor and needy is
one of four-fold purposes of the Church. I'm afraid we too often forget who
will be welcome in the Celestial Kingdom. Jesus said only those who feed the
hungry, clothe the naked, etc shall be worthy to enter Heaven. See
Mathew 25: 31-46
The disagreement comes back to differing philosophies:Faith vs.
SkepticismHow much does the church help the poor, how much should
the LDS church help the poor, etc.Even if a person can see and
understand the others point of view it doesn't mean that they'll come
to any sort of agreement.People have been and will be skeptical of
the LDS church and it's comings and goings. It has been this way
practically since its inception.A skeptic is going to criticize that
is what they do.A member of a faith is going to exercise faith in
things that they don't understand that is what they do.Skeptics
are many respects a dime a dozen in this world.
from fb- It's an awesome privilege to be a part of this. And keep in mind
that "humanitarian aid" is only a small fraction of what the church
donates to charity, welfare, etc. and that is only a small fraction of what we,
the Church of Jesus Christ, donate to bettering humanity. It's what we
do...:). This article clarifies some definitions: It's in the Times
and Seasons and you should be able to find it by searching "Business Weeks erroneous claim about lds charitable donations" The lds church defines humanitarian aid differently than others, the
Church spends BILLIONS a year on educating people, welfare, social services,
service missions, etc. etc. and we donate tons of clothing through the DI etc.
these aren't all considered to be humanitarian aid but they are perhaps
more important contributions, and leading people to Christ is the most important
@UteTrog "as a CPA, I do not require God to prove to me where His money that
I gave back to him is going."Love to hear from fellow
CPA's. So let me get this straight. Every other non profit or other
business entity, you use professional skepticism as a CPA should but when it
comes to the LDS church you are good because you believe it is from God?
@CH Cougar "As a CPA and a church member--I am sure that opponents of the
church would use whatever specific information the church puts out their against
the church (frivilous lawsuits for one) so I fully support not detailing where
all the funds go."While I disagree with your portrayal of the
general opponents of the church, at large. I appreciate your reply as a fellow
CPA. Sure, there are those that will criticize no matter what. However, I think
there are those that will also join the LDS church if they agree with how the
donation funds are being spent. You could even tell them to pray about it to
determine if that is how God would want their donations spent. Secrecy never was
Sorry Shelama, quite the contrary. The poor are one of the 3 or 4 primary
priorities and responsibilities of a Bishop and a Ward Council. We seek out the
poor and the needy. We prepare for emergencies. We share of our substance our
time, our talents and our finances. This article does not even address the
Welfare efforts of the LDS Church.Sometimes persons criticize the
LDS Church because they think that food goods, services paying bills and even
cash should be given without any expectations whatsoever. Through the LDS
Church the emphasis is on temporary assistance while using the talents and
energies of many to help persons become self-sufficient depending on their
capabilities and circumstances.
Pres. Hinckley said in 1990's that the Church is a money consuming
institution and not money making entity. We all agree that time is more
valuable than money, of course. Anyone can earn money, yet what do we do with
our free time? That is a key question to the heavens. Ironic, those who
don't love money, have it come their way.
For some reason I'd always guessed around $1 million per week. I'd have preferred to error low rather than high but, still, I think
Jesus would be pleased. With large and expensive legal, PR, and
property development arms, having $40 million left over for the poor is actually
quite impressive especially considering that they're not really a top
priority of God's Only True Church. God and Jesus have truly
blessed The Church and it's leaders. And thru them, the poor, whom, of
course, we will always have with us. It strengthens my testimony.
@mhenshawYour argument that being transparent would cause contention
is false. The church currently discloses it's finances in Great Britain and
Canada and there is little contention. The church used to be financially
transparent in the US as well. A lack of transparency regarding its historical
issues caused more headaches than being more transparent has, and the same would
be true regarding financial transparency.There are only very weak
arguments (like the bogus "contention" argument) for continued secrecy,
and strong arguments for transparency (like its the right thing to do).
>>If tithe-paying members are considered shareholders in the corporation
of the Church...We're not shareholders. The Church is legally
incorporated, but it doesn't issue stock. Therefore tithepayers have no
legal right to request access to the Church's financial records.As I said before, when we sustain the Church leadership in General Conference,
we place our implicit trust in them to use tithes and offerings wisely; and if
the leadership opened up the accounting books, everyone would have differing
opinion on just how wisely the money was being spent. It would just be the
source of endless contention, which is what the critics want anyway.Have a little faith that the Lord is in control. Those in charge of Church
funds will someday answer to Him for how they use "the widow's
mite." I can't even imagine the weight of that particular
@summerizererYou are correct in stating that the Church reports on
its internal auditing in conference, but that report is really oversimplified
and severely lacking when it comes to the core issue of all the critical
comments on this article: transparency.If tithe-paying members are
considered shareholders in the corporation of the Church, then in the annual
audit they should expect more than a quick reassurance from the internal
auditing department that the books are good. Maybe the books ARE good, but the
fact that they are hidden and that specifics about income and expenses are
inaccessible to the shareholders is really the concern here. An
external audit should be the basis for a report, and shareholders should have
access to financial reports at the end of each fiscal year. It's not
unfair or unreasonable for the faithful to ask genuine questions about the
organization. What some have offered in their comments is not a criticism of
leadership or of the Church, but a genuine question of why only $40M/year goes
to help others when the Church's estimable assets are so large.
One more thought.Giving to the poor is certainly a worthy purpose
for a church and the tithe money paid by its members. I wonder, however, if the
CHurch leadership look at the commandment to pay tithing and think it should be
used only for the building up of this Lords Kingdom. They might
consider their other welfare programs as sufficient to serve the needy.If they really want to stress serving the poor as the 4th Purpose of the
CHurch as I mentioned previously, then using Tithing money for Humanitarian Aid
certainly is warranted and should be a larger amount.
@Ponderbationre: Surprised?"Can you really not
understand why people both in and out of the church, including on this message
board are a bit surprised at such a low amount donated given the churches vast
holdings?"I can understand that there are people within and
without the church that limit their understanding of a situation.I
can understand that religious organizations operate differently (including in
how they account monetarily for humanitarian efforts, tithes, and so forth).I can understand that people that interact very little / no longer with
an organization can be persuaded to believe the worst about that
organization."Would Jesus really donate such a small amount
(less than one percent) to actually helping people?..."WWJD?
Did Jesus say that the Temple of Herod was too glorious? Did Jesus accept the
Temple of Solomon?Did Jesus go to Church? Did Jesus feed the poor
every day of the week? Did Jesus provide the poor a safety net to get
comfortable in?I understand Jesus did many things but we will as you
said disagree when it comes to how the LDS Church appropriates the tithes of its
"That would account for approximately $1.2 billion on welfare and
humanitarian efforts over the past 30 years."I don't blame
the members of the Mormon Church for the relatively small welfare and
humanitarian efforts of the Church. I am concerned, however, as one devoted to
eliminating world poverty, if the Church leadership would consider $1.2 billion
over 30 years to be an adequate amount spent by the Church on welfare and
humanitarian aid. The Church spent $1.5 billion of a multi-billion dollar
single project to beautiful the area around Temple Square and the Church's
Conference Center, which left many in SLC homeless. As the richest
church in the world per capita and the 4th richest church in the world outright,
I question the priorities of the Church with regard to the Savior's warning
in Matthew 25--regardless of whoever prophesies in Christ's name and does
many alleged mighty works in his name, only those who have devoted their lives
to feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, caring for
the sick and afflicted, and visiting those in prison will be found on his Right
Hand at the Last Day.
Tithing isn't my money. Leaders are accountable for tithing
finds. They are accountable to God, not to me.I've committed
to give everything I have to God, tangible and intangible. I'm trying on
the intangible part but have a long way to go. I stand ready to do so on the
tangible part. If and when I'm asked to do so, leaders will
again have accountability for that as well, to God, not to me.
Waistintime,The USA and Canada were where the members traditionally
were. Pharisees had nothing to do with self sufficiency as we are talking
about.Azagthoth,I know many savvy businessmen who have
no desire to see the books.Affinity fraud is about affinity. The
worst recent example was Madoff and the Jewish community.
I am sad to read the cynical remarks made by a few posters. I am with those who
realize that the article was just about donations specifically for humanitarian
services. As for "transparency", I prefer not to know every detail about
how money is distributed. It is not my responsibility to know, and I am glad. I
am also glad that much has been given. I am sure more can be given; that IS a
part of our responsibility, to "perfect the saints," which is all of us,
if we are willing to be part of the great effort.
From what I understand, this article is just referring the Church humanitarian
aid. I'm sure if fast offerings and the perpetual education fund were
included, it would be much higher. Also, the Church keeps it's university
tuition costs by subsidizing substantial portions of its universities'
budgets. And it is important to have buildings to meet in and temples to go to,
not to mention upkeep and utility costs. My sense is that the resources of the
Church are used wisely and a great blessing to the world and to its members.Still, it is true that members (and nonmembers for that matter) could
donate more to the humanitarian fund, thus allowing the Church to do even more.
I know I've recently increased my donations to that end.
@CSK"The Church used to publish financial information and give
an actual accounting to membership regarding its income and budgets. Why
can't that be done now?"It does give an account every April
conference a report is given by the church auditing department.
Thank you 'oragami' for pointing out how astonishingly small $40M is
in relation to the $5-7B/year in tithing income. Are we safe to assume 99.995%
of tithing goes to real estate acquisitions, construction, building maintenance,
and commercial ventures while .005% goes to unspecified "humanitarian"
efforts? There is zero transparency in how money is handled. The Church used
to publish financial information and give an actual accounting to membership
regarding its income and budgets. Why can't that be done now?
@PonderbationPerhaps I came off to harshly when I stated that you
were "clamoring" and directed my comments more towards those that are
making more noise about it. It is a common theme whenever finances of the
Church is brought up (sometimes it doesn't even have to be brought up) that
you get a number of detractors bringing up the fact that the Church does this or
that with the tithes of the Church and then they provide direction on how tithes
of the Church should be spent."I understand you believe God is
in charge of your money once donated, but those billions are delegated and spent
by infallible human beings."As I have stated before the tithes
are used in support of the mission of the Church. It seems that you believe
that the mission of the LDS Church is wrong?It has been clear for
quite some time as to what tithes are for. It isn't until relatively
recently that an additional fold was added to the Churches mission statement.
For years it was the 3 fold mission of the Church.
Reading through these comments it is crystal clear why citizens of Utah are so
easily duped on affinity fraud. It is appalling to me that so many are willing
to trust those they give money to without any oversight or transparency.
That is way too low. Much more should be given to the poor and needy. A few
rich members give that much in tithing every year.
Aren't the USA and Canada two of the richest countries in the world?Why would we be building storehouses and stockpiling resources in the
richest countries in the world (to help the richest people in the world) rather
than donating those same resources to those who are currently needy? I have
never understood this.
To "Wastintime" you do realize that the "charitable"
contributions you list by Gates, Buffett, Soros, and Morre are NOT towards
humanitarian efforts. They are contributing to political campaigns, and their
@BYUalum - not sure why a call to them was needed, the statement made about 2
years of need was clearly based off current outlay of resources. At those
current rates the storehouses could currently supply 2 years of those needs. If
they choose to issue a statement clarifying then that's up to them and
Church PR but I don't see it as necessary.
I am disappointed that this number is so low ($40,000,000) given the amount of
money taken in by the Church in Tithing. It amazes me that Elder Oaks is making
this sound like a lot of money.This disappointment gets stronger if
it is learned that this $40M includes money that Mormons give to Humanitarian
Aid separate from their Tithing and the Church is claiming that as money from
the CHurch. Some time ago the Church leadership discussed adding
"service to the poor" as the 4th purpose of the church. If that emphasis
is correct, the direct money from tithing should be nearly a tithe by itself.
At least 5%. That would then increase this money given to Humanitarian Aid to a
few hundred million based on Tithing estimates of $6-$7 Billion. Now
that would be worth letting people know about. This other number is frankly a
"The Church follows the practices taught to its members of living within a
budget, avoiding debt, and saving against a time of need."See
bible dictionary definition of Pharisees. They were all about self-sufficiency.
A comparison by numbers:Bill Gates: $28 billion in charitable
donationsWarren Buffet: $17 billion George Soros: $8 billionGordon Morre: $6.8 billionLDS Church: $1.2 Billion over 30 yearsCongratulations in giving less that 1/5th as much as some individual
I've never heard of.
When you consider that the Church owns 120+ companies which gross billions per
year (in agriculture alone), $40 million sounds comical.I have one
simple question: is the amount of "stipends" and other compensation
awarded annually to Church leaders greater or less than the $40 million donated?
I have to agree with those posting that this seems an incredibly small amount.
All churches claim to be "humanitarian" in nature, but I think the
charitable bar should be set somewhere north of one-half of one percent of
institutional income. And yes, I'm LDS.
As a member and a CPA, I'd like to echo the comments of 2close2call (and
others) above and saythat I would appreciate (as many LDS members would)
knowing how exactly tithing and other donation dollars are being spent. As he
said, many religions and non profits already disclose this but the LDS church
does not except in countries that mandate it by law outside the US.An essential element of good stewardship is to report back. Also, our leaders
are fallible, so we do not mandate or expect perfection from them, but some
information would be good.
I'm glad the Church released these numbers. I'd like to see more
financial transparency. I think this is a reasonable expectation.
Unfortunately, when then-President Hinckley was asked by a reporter about why
the Church doesn't make its financials public as many other Churches do,
Hinckley misled the reporter by stating that those numbers are available to the
membership, which is of course absolutely not true. Here's the exchange
from the interview:REPORTER: In my country, we say the
people’s churches, the Protestants, the Catholics, they publish all their
budgets, to all the public.HINCKLEY: Yeah. Yeah.REPORTER: Why is it impossible for your church?HINCKLEY: Well, we
simply think that information belongs to those who made the contribution, and
not to the world. That’s the only thing. Yeah.So, as a
tithe-paying member of the Church, where can I go to see the Church's
financials? Or was that just a prophet trying to deflect the reporter's
question with a statement that wasn't true?
I don't understand many non members and members of the LDS Church
infatuation with knowing how tithes and offerings are spent. Regarding non
members, I really don't care if they stomp their feet, make threats, or
feign lawsuits to try and force the church to reveal it's numbers.
Regarding members, it is a shame that they would be questioning how tithes and
offerings are spent. Do you believe that the Church is true? If you answer
yes, then why question? If you can't answer yes, perhaps you should
reconsider your faith.
@ponderbationre: Church finances or where my money was goingIs tithing your money? If you think so then it seems clear you never
understood what tithing really is.Your clamoring for details with
regards to tithing funds is akin to those clamoring for priesthood for women. A
majority of active LDS women in the Church when polled were not interested in
holding the priesthood. If you were to poll active LDS families about
"Church finances" I am sure that the results would be similar.The leadership of the Church provide enough details when it comes to tithing
for the majority of its membership.To put it short the members of
the Church have faith in its leadership and the auditing department of the
church even if non-members and minority of LDS members do not.
Hmmm... what exactly is global humanitarian aid? Does it include the time and
efforts of the 8,300 welfare service missionaries? Hiring that many people
would cost upwards of $400 million alone. Does it include the neonatal
resuscitation training? Clean water projects? Measles vaccinations? Is it also noteworthy to note that the LDS Church also supports four
universities and colleges with a combined enrollment of over 50,000 students? Is
the large Perpetual Education Fund included? What about LDS Philanthropies,
which oversees scholarships and other projects? Should we also
consider local efforts like fast offerings? Think about it... there are
approximately 23,000 wards and 7,300 branches. If each ward collected $1000
dollars per month (by Utah standards, that is a modest amount, I guarantee that
my working class ward raises much more per month), local contributions to
helping the needy would easily be $30 million dollars or more per month. Most of
that money is kept locally. And what of services hours per unit?I
guess that the grand total of service and contributions which affect the needy
inside and outside the Church would surprise many, but most of all, the
It would be wise for the Church to open its books. Members have a right to know
where the money goes and how much comes in.
"...provisions to meet the projected demands of members and nonmembers in
the United States and Canada for two years..."I'm pretty
sure the point of the PBS quote was to say that, given the current demands on
the Church welfare system, there is enough in reserve to cover those *current*
needs for two years. It does not mean to say that it could cover *everyone* for
two years, i.e., everyone in the US, or the world, or all Church members, but
rather that the current needs, projected forward, could be covered.Let's not blow the quote out of proportion....
UteTrogI'm sorry, but Jesus taught nothing which you claim.
Jesus was speaking to everyone when he told the rich man to sell his possessions
and give to the poor. Boy, following that advice how many Scriptures could we
disregard if the counsel was directed at a specific person! Besides, I'm
sure we're far richer today than this man ever was.Jesus never
taught to spend time going to college or years of university for advanced
degrees. And he never needed a dime to help people. So this idea that we need
money to help people is purely an excuse to make ourselves feel better.Does the Lord really care that His temples are adorned with expensive and fine
furniture, stain glass windows, ornate decorations? I doubt it. His Kingdom is
not of this world, nor this worlds riches.As for our churches, we
could do with FAR less. We're being counseled to teach as Jesus taught.
Well, my first advice is that we stop sitting in church so much. How many times
did Jesus sit in a Church our building to teach? He wasn't stationary, He
constantly went to the people.
Here is the actual quote from Elder Oaks' remarks:"Care for
the poor and needy is not optional or incidental in our Church. We do this
worldwide. For example, in the year 2015 we had 177 emergency response projects
in 56 countries. In addition, we had hundreds of projects that impacted more
than a million people in seven other categories of assistance, such as clean
water, immunization, and vision care. For more than 30 years the magnitude of
these efforts has averaged about 40 million dollars a year."The
$40M referenced in the article is clearly only referring to worldwide
humanitarian projects, not local fast offerings and charitable donations of
@2close2call:"I realize that would never silence all the critics but
it may help LDS members feel their contributions are being put to good
use."As a CPA and a church member--I am sure that opponents of the
church would use whatever specific information the church puts out their against
the church (frivilous lawsuits for one) so I fully support not detailing where
all the funds go.As far as the $$ and time put to good use in Humanitarian
efforts--great job! To those criticizing--bitterness and cynicism are a disease;
It is amazing at how much ignorance there is in the church and outside of it.
The ignorance outside of the church is understandable.If you want to
know where your donations go, why not search the LDS site to find out? I did
this, and I found the following:Tithing goes to buildings,
education, materials, Missionaries, and Temples.Fast Offerings go to
local needs, not humanitarian efforts unless there is an excess somewhere.Humanitarian Aid donations are what was reported on here.Just go to the LDS Newsroom and read "Humanitarian Aid and Welfare
Services Basics: How Donations and Resources Are Used"
@Reddit..Ernest T. Bass"...The 7th Day Adventists paid out
$291.5 Million in humanitarian aid in 2014. That's more than $250,000,000
more than the LDS church paid out while taking in only a third of the
amount..."re: apples vs orangesWhat the 7th Day
Adventists account for / define as "humanitarian" may or may not be the
same as what the LDS accounts for / defines as humanitarian.This
article is dealing specifically with what the LDS church accounts for as
humanitarian which deals a lot with world disasters.It doesn't
account for the millions of service hours that LDS members give on an annual
basis.Either way the numbers that you have provided seem to be
pulled from thin air.The LDS Church encourages members to
participate in charitable organizations and make charitable donations. Finally where in scripture does it state that tithes will be prioritized
for humanitarian projects? I would love to see where I might find something
about that in scripture or a general conference talk.
Like the BLM protesters who watched the police receive food from Chick Fillet.
The protesters then demanded they receive food water and medicine, because the
police got some. This is liberal progressives at their best.
"You didn't give it to us, we are entitled to all you have."
If the "retail" value, or real value is higher than the $40M why
don't they give us that number? As media savvy and with so many public
relations employees, I would think the $40 is the real number. They are the last
group who would under report good PR. The cost of the mall far exceeded those
numbers over the last 30 years. It does seem that business interests get the
majority of the income.
Johnny Triumph, We called Welfare Square and read the quote from the article.
They said they could not supply the needs for the hundreds of millions of people
in two countries for two years. The Church may make a correcting statement about
this one sentence in this article. The rest of the article is accurate. There
are 115 Bishop Storehouses as stated with one more opening this year according
to the person we called.
@Believeinamerica and othersDo you honestly believe that this
article is speaking of every dime the church spends for the benefit of people?
I wish you critics would expand your thinking to realize that if a person spends
$5 on a hamburger, it does not mean that they spend $5 total on food.I'm grateful for beautiful temple and other things that further the work
of God on earth. The cost of temples and many other things increase our
sacrifice to God and others. Our devotion honors Him. But if that were the
only expense of the Church, we would be out of favor with God. It's the
whole package that brings souls to God.
LDS are "doers of the word" and not just hearers only.
Notice the critics about the humanitarian services are the same that tell us we
are fools for believing and having faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ.Please go after the charities like the Clinton Foundation that spent more than
90% of their outflow for administrative expenses. In the charity review they
say, "We had previously evaluated this organization, but have since
determined that this charity's atypical business model can not be
When you look at the tithes the 7th Day Adventists bring in per year, they
receive about 1/3 of the tithing the LDS church receives. The 7th Day Adventists
paid out $291.5 Million in humanitarian aid in 2014. That's more than
$250,000,000 more than the LDS church paid out while taking in only a third of
the amount.I wish those number were reversed.
Matt 513 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost
his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing,
but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.14 Ye are the
light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.15
Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick;
and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.16 Let your light so
shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father
which is in heaven
The critics of the church will never be happy. If the church gives 40 Million a
year they say it is too small, if they gave $400 million they would criticize
the church for having too much money. I'm guessing that the humanitarian
aid that the church gives is based on what each member donates specifically to
the humanitarian aid fund and doesn't come out of tithing, nor does this
count fast offerings which are an amazing benefit to the members of the church
in need. Thousands of Senior couples give up their time to serve missions that
revolve around humanitarian service in and out of this country on their own
dime!The church does some amazing things. They have buildings for
30,000 wards and branches, 150 temples, operate 3 universities, fund youth
program activities, runs institute programs at many universities and supports
the infrastructure needed for 50,000 missionaries including missionary training
centers across the world. All those endeavors (I'm sure I missed some)
need financial support to succeed. I'm happy to pay my part to help with
the temporal needs of the church.
Estimated 8 billion in tithing taken in annually... 40 million given in
humanitarian aid... where is the rest going?Now you apologists out
there before you get defensive about someone pointing out how paltry this amount
is... isn't it a fair question to ask why the Church doesn't disclose
its financials? Is it really a law of heaven that members be kept in the dark
on this? How does it hurt a person's faith to know what the Church is
doing with his/her contributions? What is there to hide?
@BYUalum - think about the phrasing used. Projected demand implies that
they're basing that on previous years' output. Based on projections
for future need they can cover 2 years currently. This has nothing to do with
care for those not in need, we've been instructed to build our own cash and
emergency reserves. And even in the case of Elder Oaks' statement we still
don't know exactly what that means since the $40M outlay for humanitarian
work would be separate from what the storehouses supply. The whole picture is
MUCH bigger than $40M.
Quote from this article: "Also recently, PBS devoted a seven-minute report
on the show "Religion & Ethics Newsweekly" to the LDS Church's
welfare system. According to reporter Lucky Severson, the system, which includes
115 bishop's storehouses in the United States, "holds enough provisions
to meet the projected demands of members and nonmembers in the United States and
Canada for two years."This does NOT make sense. 115 storehouses
supplying enough food for millions and millions of people in two countries for
two years? If true, we would not need our food storage, but just find a way to
the Bishop's Storehouse with a Bishop's order if we can get there in a
disaster. I would like some clarification on this statement from PBS
by the Church!
@2close2call - check the comments by @summarizer above. We are asked to pay
tithes and offerings. How the Lord directs the use of those monies is up to the
Lord. Having a statement from the Church Auditors that expenditures were
frugally and economically handled is all we need to know that our donations are
being spent wisely. Have faith and pray for a witness that the words of the
Auditor at General Conference are true and accurate.
Many critics here fail to understand that the $40 million per year is not even
close to what is really spent on aid for people. Fast offerings dispersed
locally, fundraisers, money toward scouting, youth programs that build character
and life skills, relief society, and countless hours of service don't seem
to be factored into this. Members of the LDS Church have been found to be the
most generous of their time and money than any other denomination or non
denomination. Before you criticize, try to see the full picture of what the LDS
church does. Also, giving to the poor is one of four important
purposes of the mission of the church. Therefore, money is also spent on
activities that prepare individuals for exaltation. What's more important
than eternal life?Perfect the saintsCare for the poorRedeem the deadProclaim the gospel
This demonstrates good work by the LDS Church. Indeed in this, and its welfare
program, it can serve as a model for other efforts.That said,
appreciate that organized religion is subsidized by the general public as those
churches receive a host of government services tax free. We should try to see
the whole picture.
my comment continued.......This church will continue to increase in
its impact for good in spite of criticism, praise or indifference. For
centuries, prophets have been killed, the Lord crucified, and modern prophets
slain, but the work moves on. It is the work of the Almighty.
@AS SD "2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet
before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that
they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their
reward."Another of Jesus' teachings not observed by modern
@JoeBlowre: "trust, but verify""The Church
Auditing Department, which consists of credentialed professionals and is
independent of all other Church departments, has responsibility to perform
audits for the purpose of providing reasonable assurance regarding contributions
received, expenditures made, and safeguarding of Church assets.Based
upon audits performed, the Church Auditing Department is of the opinion that, in
all material respects, contributions received, expenditures made, and assets of
the Church for the year 2015 have been recorded and administered in accordance
with approved Church budgets, policies, and accounting practices. The Church
follows the practices taught to its members of living within a budget, avoiding
debt, and saving against a time of need."
@JoeBlowre: "Trust, but verify"I encourage you
to read section 120 of the Doctrine and Covenants. Doctrine and Covenants can
be found on lds dot org under the "scriptures and study section"."The Church Auditing Department, which consists of credentialed
professionals and is independent of all other Church departments, has
responsibility to perform audits for the purpose of providing reasonable
assurance regarding contributions received, expenditures made, and safeguarding
of Church assets.Based upon audits performed, the Church Auditing
Department is of the opinion that, in all material respects, contributions
received, expenditures made, and assets of the Church for the year 2015 have
been recorded and administered in accordance with approved Church budgets,
policies, and accounting practices. The Church follows the practices taught to
its members of living within a budget, avoiding debt, and saving against a time
Such interesting comments... Many trying to do the math. Calculating the avg.
member contributions. Some calling the church's efforts weak. Some
implying that tithing is used for welfare purposes. When it comes down to it,
contributions are one member at a time. It is an offering that is between they
and their God. Those contributions include both the widow's might and the
"offerings given of their abundance." Some are given to be seen of men,
and others are given by the right hand, that are completely unknown by the left
hand. Whatever the individual intent, there is a collective effect. It is that
the needs of the poor, the decimated, the outcasts, the sick, the afflicted, the
victims, the deaf, blind and uneducated and on.. are aided, helped and saved.
This is to say nothing about the hundreds of thousands every year that have
their lives changed in small and great ways for the better by coming to know
"When we sustain the Church leaders, we give our implicit trust that they
will disburse Church funds wisely."A wise man once said,
"Trust, but verify". Always a good idea, even in religion.
Even with people we trust and always when we are talking about billions of
Mancan and Logical-1,What is not considered here are fast offerings
taken in and disbursed at the local ward level. I have seen thousands a month
disbursed in some situations. Those donations and disbursements are key. Also,
the sheer number of volunteer hours.
If you read the article you can see that the LDS Church does MORE with LESS.It is interesting how a decent percentage have essentially said "$40
million that is nothing!"It is interesting how many can't
get understand the fact that not all LDS people are white Utahans with nice
homes. There are more LDS outside the US than in the US (many of them are in
Latin America and South America). Is $8 a lot of money in those places?It is interesting how LDS humanitarian efforts are criticized and yet
consider how much money is often eaten up in other "Charitable"
organizations like the Red Cross.Headline: "Red Cross Spent 25
Percent Of Haiti Donations On Internal Expenses""The
American Red Cross spent a quarter of the money people donated after the 2010
Haiti earthquake — or almost $125 million — on its own internal
expenses, far more than the charity previously had disclosed..."
@criticsre: that comes to $8 per person per year.Yeah?
And? Hasn't the LDS Church encouraged people to participate in any number
of charitable organizations?re: billions in tithingYeah?
And....? Isn't the LDS Church a worldwide organization? Doesn't it
own and operate 150 Temples? Isn't it currently building 16 temples?
Isn't it currently building church building across the world?To
those that can't understand where tithing goes I would refer you back to
the 4 fold mission of the Church.1. Proclaim the gospel2.
Perfect the saints3. Redeem the dead4. To care for the poor and
What is $40 million as a percentage of income?
Jesus commanded, "go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor".40 million is great, but the LDS church is worth 40 billion.
That's 1/10th of one percent, not even close to a full tithe.We
could do a lot better. The Lord commanded we give everything we own to the poor
and the needy and to "Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or
what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on."We could do without our fancy temples, churches, conference centers, cushy
degrees, homes, and cars. "For when ye are in the service of your fellow
men, ye are in the service of your God". God doesn't need
a penny to work his miracles. Where is our faith?
>>There is nothing wrong with members wanting to know how much tithing
is taken in and where does it go....which is promptly contradicted
by ...>>Given the Church makes an estimated 7 billion a year
in tithing, this is an astonishingly small amount....thereby
demonstrating the wisdom of keeping Church finances confidential. In
the absence of public accounting records, it's unhelpful to say that the
Church should spend more on this and less on that because we don't know
what *else* the Church spends money on or why the Twelve have decided to spend
any given amount on any given program. So, lacking the whole picture, criticism
stemming from the Church's budget not matching our personal preferences is
unjustified."So open the books!" critics demand.We know where that leads--more criticism that the Church is mismanaging the
funds and/or tooting its horn from critics always looking for reasons to attack
the Church. When we sustain the Church leaders, we give our implicit trust that
they will disburse Church funds wisely. If you don't trust them, don't
give your money. It's that simple.
"holds enough provisions to meet the projected demands of members and
nonmembers in the United States and Canada for two years.""Projected demands" is based on current demands and doesn't have
anything to do with the total population of the U.S. and Canada.
It is good the LDS Church helps others with the $40 million they spend every
year but clearly the 25 million volunteer hours are the most valuable
contributions each year.I'm hoping the trends of giving and
serving continue to grow in the world.
Oragami, if you'd like to learn more, the LDS Church Newsroom site has an
informative article, "Humanitarian Aid and Welfare Services Basics: How
Donations and Resources Are Used," that may help clarify how funds are used.
As a CPA, I have no issue either way with the amount that the LDS church uses
for humanitarian aid. Their non profit status has nothing to to with how much
charity work they do as religions are also exempt in the US from paying taxes
from donations they use for religious activities. I would however, appreciate as
I am sure many LDS members would, knowing how exactly tithing and other donation
dollars are being spent. Many religions and non profits already disclose this
but the LDS church does not except in countries that mandate it by law outside
the US. I would also appreciate the LDS church disclosing the amount of
"donations in kind" that they are including with this humanitarian aid
as "donations in kind" are not directly from the church but only LDS
members contributing their time(above and beyond their monetary contributions)
that is then being quantified by the LDS church. I would appreciate the LDS
church being more open with their financials. I realize that would never silence
all the critics but it may help LDS members feel their contributions are being
put to good use.
Well done to all the members of the LDS Church who make this happen.I suspect that the actual "retail value" of the Church's efforts
is far more than $40 million and that it is many times more efficient at
delivering help than most government run programs, with low overhead and less
fraud. It should be a lesson for any charitable organization.Again,
well done to all members of the LDS Church.
So, if there are 5 million active members, that comes to 8 bucks per person a
WE can always do better but I am grateful for those who do give. It is nice to
know what help is happening anywhere.
Given the Church makes an estimated 7 billion a year in tithing, this is an
astonishingly small amount.
There is nothing wrong with members wanting to know how much tithing is taken in
and where does it go.
I dont know why it is that there has to be "Debbie Downers" on
everything. At a time when all we here is hatred and anger and violence etc
etc,here is report about something good and there are those that have to take
the negative road. It wouldn't matter if it were another religious
organization or a secular one, there are people that just cant be happy. Its
time to grow up
Don't want to sound too critical here, but lets do some math. $40 million
per year, and the Church has 15 million members. That means on average, $2.66
from each and every member went to humanitarian efforts each year. Of coarse,
not every member contributed to those funds; about half are less active and
donate nothing, and others are kids or just plain poor so they have nothing to
donate. So lets say that 5 million active, able adults contributed to the
humanitarian efforts of the Church, so that works out to $8 per contributor
annually. That is hardly worth tooting my horn about. Seriously, we can and
should do better than that. I once attended a fund raising dinner that Pres.
Monson spoke at and he talked all about the Church humanitarian fund, and
basically concluded by saying that we have the means to give, so we should
increase what we are giving.
Lucky Severson's quote about meeting the projected demands of members and
nonmembers in the U.S. and Canada for two years needs some clarification by
someone in the church who is in the know. Lucky's statement would lead some
to misunderstand the capability of the church's welfare system. Most of
the help given to people, both LDS and those of other faiths or no faith at all,
has to be temporary out of necessity. It is there to help people get through
short range difficulties that may last days, weeks, or a few months. My
understanding is it was never intended to be long range help. As wonderful as
the welfare system of the LDS church is, and it is AMAZING, it couldn't
possibly help 350 million people for very long in any kind of major economic or
natural disaster. The real strength of the welfare system has to be with the
individual members efforts to prepare themselves as best they can for future
difficulties, donate a generous fast offering, give to the humanitarian aid
program when possible and willingly volunteer to serve where and when they can.
It would be appropriate for the LDS church to ask our state legislature to
consider extending full health care to all deserving citizens of Utah.
Critics of the church ask why is the Church doing more to help people if they
are christian as they claim. They an article like this comes out and then they
ask Why does the church have to advertise when the help people. Maybe it's
not enough to feed 350 million people for two years and I am positive no one has
ever claimed that. But it sure is nice to see this level of help in the world
" According to reporter Lucky Severson, the system, which includes 115
bishop's storehouses in the United States, "holds enough provisions to
meet the projected demands of members and nonmembers in the United States and
Canada for two years."Well except most of them are located in Utah or
Idaho, and there are 350 MILLION people in those countries... not including
Mexico. 2 years? That is like saying that less than 3 dollars per member and 2
hours per year is putting a dent in it all. I'm sorry, I know this is a
fluff piece and you have published comments about why liberals are at fault, but
my comments keep getting ignored and all I've done is point out the
Do we 'wail' of it? No. As a raw number, it's a great statistic.
Look at the good we do. And, to be truthful, none of it is my money, except
maybe whatever gains come of not paying taxes on it. This church and every other
should be more accountable there. It's tough to say, though, much
about it. It has no context. If that's half what the church takes in every
year, it's a fantastic statistic. If, however, the church takes in eight
billion in tithing every year, this isn't much of the budget, is it? It
isn't wailing or being 'hypercritical' to offer an opinion on
what they're up to. We see the assets. We see how full the parking lot is
on Sunday, and we know how much each of those families is supposed to kick in
every year. When you truly buy in, you defend unquestionably the actions
of the leadership. Including finances. It's the same if you're in
Amway or NuSkin. So it's great, this money they spend in the welfare
sector. Wondering what it really means makes me a hater. OK.
@AS SD>>Matthew 6>>1 Take heed that ye do not
your alms before men...Critics of the Church wail that it should
open its books so everyone can see how much it receives in tithes and offerings,
and how it disburses the money, all while insinuating that failure to do so
means something sketchy is going on. Then the Church reveals a single number
about a single expense, and critics wail that it's "doing its alms
before men," thereby insinuating hypocrisy, that its humanitarian efforts
stem not from charitable impulses but rather to buff up its public image.People are smart enough to see the game the critics want to play.
It's the critics who are being disingenuous, not the Church. If they
can't criticize the Church for one thing, they'll criticize it for
another; and that's why the Church will always ignore the critics. It is
simply a waste of time trying to please them.
Fantastic! It is so impressive what can be done with just the donations that
were volunteered. To think that there are two years of provisions for all
people in North America regardless of religious affiliation, and that they would
be shared... is not this a testament of the truthfulness of the work? No profit
there, just sharing, charity.As far as sounding a trumpet, Jesus was
speaking to those who, as INDIVIDUALS, would brag or boast, he was not speaking
about organizations... in fact, organizations as corporations and entities
officially recognized by their local government are actually obligated to report
on the details like this. It has nothing to do with the Sermon on the Mount,
teachings that Jesus was using to help individuals recognize that they need to
do good things for the right reasons. Like those donors who gave all the money
to make this possible, NOBODY knows who they are... so Sermon on the Mount is
still obeyed there...
"Ye are the light of the world", the Savior said. "Let your light
so shine that others may glorify the Father."
AS SD, truth is clear and not hidden; Peter and Paul collected money on
missionary tours; Jesus spoke on money perhaps more than any other topic.
@ AS SDMatthew 5:14-1614 Ye are the light of the world.
A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.15 Neither do men light
a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light
unto all that are in the house.16 Let your light so shine before
men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in
It is important that facts like these get out into the mainstream. It influences
how people view the world and how they treat each other. We are constantly
bombarded with violence, hate, low moral values, poor ethics etc on TV, all
news, books, radio etc. These influence the human animal negatively. Doing
positive, kind deeds, no matter how small, influence others to want to do the
same types of things. Go out and do something nice for someone
Matthew 61 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of
them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as
the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory
of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 3 But when
thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: 4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret
himself shall reward thee openly.
Yet another part of the comprehensive service the Church gives to the world.
Though not LDS I defend the Mormons in many situations.Undoubtedly
on articles like this the liberal haters will come on and bash the LDS church
for talking about the good things they do.These same bitter liberals
are the same ones who bash the LDS church when they dont hear enough good things
the church is doing.
I'm not LDS but this is a job well done!Keep up the good work