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Bernard Gui

Question About Mission Financing

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5 hours ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

It's like having a checking account.  Sometimes you want to check your balance and see what's going on with your account.  Not everybody keeps track of this stuff, except maybe in the back of their minds somewhere. 

But even if if you have your kid's mission all paid for, and you do keep meticulous track, you still are well-advised to check on occasion.  Wouldn't you like to know some anonymous donor dumped a bunch of money into your kids' account, and now you don't have to pay as much?  Nobody pings you on that stuff, you have go looking.

I would like to see some more emphasis on the idea that we don't really need to worry about paying for the costs of missionaries going on missions.  That the costs will be paid, somehow, eventually, as long as everyone contribute as they can and are able.

Let's take a quick look at what will soon become the average monthly cost of a missionary on a mission, though, to see how easy it is to work out.  Seeing this in print might help some people to not worry so much about it.

$500 a month for 2 years is $12,000.  And let's say it takes about 18 years to raise a missionary.

Now let's say that an average of 50 people per ward donate an average of $20 per month to the ward missionary account fund.  That would be about $1,000 per year in that account, enough in about 18 years to fund about 1.5 missionaries.

Now let's say that a family wants to pay all of the costs of their own children going on missions without using any of the donations of other people in their ward missionary account. The cost of each missionary, $12,000 over 2 years, divided by the 18 years it takes to raise a missionary equates to about $666.67 per year for those 18 years, but parents are not limited to only those first 18 years, are they.  Let's say that each family who sends a child out on a mission saves an average of $20 per month or puts that amount into their ward missionary account for their own child, and let's say they do this for an average of 50 years.  $20 per month is $240 per year and in 50 years they will have saved or contributed $12,000, which is today's money is enough to send out their own child on a mission.

So why worry about it?  Whether people pay the costs for their own child to go on a mission or whether those costs are paid by other ward members, it isn't that hard to get the costs paid.

I think it also would help if we didn't divide the ward missionary account by the names of each child and just considered the fund the account to pay for every child's mission. Better to be one than to be divided, I say.

 

Edited by Ahab

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4 hours ago, Rain said:

 

Totally get it. I have a friend who has to be very careful with church info and her parents trying to find it. 

So if the church just gave the balance on the missionary's account and not the parents I would be fine with that. 

I do all my mom and daughter's medical stuff, so once a year we fill out forms that gives me access to them.  Nowadays it is pretty easy and is incorporated into the digital personal info attached to my records, I can add as many people as I want to it.  When speaking to a person, they apparently have an easily found list as they quickly confirm they can talk to me.

However, to access online I can't get to their health account through my own account, but have to have the password and user id to it.  I think it would be rather complicated to create a system to allow access automatically.  Given the info available in someone's account, is there anything that might be inappropriate for a parent who had a decent enough relationship to oversee paying for a mission see?  I can't think of anything.

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7 minutes ago, Ahab said:

So why worry about it?  Whether people pay the costs for their own child to go on a mission or whether those costs are paid by other ward members, it isn't that hard to get the costs paid.

Things we sacrifice for tend to be more meaningful to us which leads to greater commitment.  That just seems to be a very human way of seeing the world.

So it makes sense if the Church wants committed missionaries and supportive families to emphasize them doing all reasonably possible to cover costs themselves.

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1 hour ago, Bernard Gui said:

IIRC, this came about because of issues with the Internal Revenue Service. I could be wrong. I understand how it could be considered double-dipping if parents claimed support paid directly for a specific missionary who they claim is a dependent as a charitable contribution. I think there could be internal things done to make the process for missionaries and parents more user-friendly.

Its not about double dipping, people can often legitimately claim a child who is a missionary while claiming a deduction for a charitable contribution.

It is about whether the money is going to an individual or going to a charitable organization.  You can deduct the latter, you cannot deduct the former. 

If you money is going strait to your child, its not charity, it is a gift to the child (non deductible).  If it is going to a religious organization it is deductible. 

If your neighbor's house burns down, and you feel sorry for him and give him $1,000.00 , it is not deductible.  If you give it to a church who then gives it to the neighbor then the donation is deductible as long as the church has discretion on how to use the funds.  

If the church were to give back unused mission money because the missionary went home early, then the money probably wasn't a donation, it was just a gift for the child with the church as an intermediary. 

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1 hour ago, Danzo said:

Its not about double dipping, people can often legitimately claim a child who is a missionary while claiming a deduction for a charitable contribution.

It is about whether the money is going to an individual or going to a charitable organization.  You can deduct the latter, you cannot deduct the former. 

If you money is going strait to your child, its not charity, it is a gift to the child (non deductible).  If it is going to a religious organization it is deductible. 

If your neighbor's house burns down, and you feel sorry for him and give him $1,000.00 , it is not deductible.  If you give it to a church who then gives it to the neighbor then the donation is deductible as long as the church has discretion on how to use the funds.  

If the church were to give back unused mission money because the missionary went home early, then the money probably wasn't a donation, it was just a gift for the child with the church as an intermediary. 

Thank you.

Yes, that is how so understood it, but apparently I didn’t explain it well. It would be double dipping to claim the missionary as a dependent and took support paid to him/her as a charitable deduction. The workaround is obviously legal or we would not be doing it. 

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2 hours ago, Calm said:

Things we sacrifice for tend to be more meaningful to us which leads to greater commitment.  That just seems to be a very human way of seeing the world.

So it makes sense if the Church wants committed missionaries and supportive families to emphasize them doing all reasonably possible to cover costs themselves.

The way I see it, having never gone on a mission but knowing I would like to someday with my wife after when I am retired and not having to work anymore for money, I would just rather not have to worry about paying the monetary costs.  I'd just like to go and do the work of the actual mission, without any concern at all and not even taking any thought at all for the "money" aspect of it.  It's the work that is important, and the work involves plenty of sacrifice of time and energy and things of that kind.

Sitting around a camp fire and talking about all the things I did that I am glad I did I don't suppose I'll be talking much about how I had to work for money to be able to do the things I really wanted to do.  I'd just like to talk about the things I liked doing, and working for money never has been one of those things for me.

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There are still technical hurdles to making this information available to parents. Not insurmountable ones but I can see why it has not been implemented yet. Most of the budget information has been migrated (or is at least duplicated) on the church website out of MLS but the Other accounts (including individual mission funds) have not been, at least so far. I expect they are coming. The general budget information moved over a few months ago. Once it is built in it should be easy to give parents a way to access the missionary balance, probably through the clerk or the missionary department setting up access.

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2 hours ago, Ahab said:

The way I see it, having never gone on a mission but knowing I would like to someday with my wife after when I am retired and not having to work anymore for money, I would just rather not have to worry about paying the monetary costs.  I'd just like to go and do the work of the actual mission, without any concern at all and not even taking any thought at all for the "money" aspect of it.  It's the work that is important, and the work involves plenty of sacrifice of time and energy and things of that kind.

Sitting around a camp fire and talking about all the things I did that I am glad I did I don't suppose I'll be talking much about how I had to work for money to be able to do the things I really wanted to do.  I'd just like to talk about the things I liked doing, and working for money never has been one of those things for me.

“For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?“

Luke 14:28 🙂

 

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18 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

I think that could be dealt with quite easily.

You have to understand, as the church moves from PC-based MLS to a cloud-driven service, the list of easy enhancements is way longer than this thread will ever be.  Each easy enhancement probably involves upwards of 100 people, code reviews, version control scheduling, forward/backward compatibility testing, the release note/learning products team.  Not to mention the correlation committee and senior leadership or their delegates, to see if it's a thing that should happen in the first place.   Not to mention legal review.

(I'm not a software person, but I go to some of their meetings.)

Edited by LoudmouthMormon
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20 minutes ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

You have to understand, as the church moves from PC-based MLS to a cloud-driven service, the list of easy enhancements is way longer than this thread will ever be.  Each easy enhancement probably involves upwards of 100 people, code reviews, version control scheduling, forward/backward compatibility testing, the release note/learning products team.  Not to mention the correlation committee and senior leadership or their delegates, to see if it's a thing that should happen in the first place.   Not to mention legal review.

(I'm not a software person, but I go to some of their meetings.)

Yep. Priorities.

Edited by Bernard Gui

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On 9/17/2019 at 6:07 PM, ksfisher said:

“For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?“

Luke 14:28 🙂

 

Consider the lilies of the field.  How they grow.  And something something about sparrows.  Oh well, I tried, and it didn't cost me any money to do what I just did.

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8 hours ago, Ahab said:

Consider the lilies of the field.  How they grow.  And something something about sparrows.  Oh well, I tried, and it didn't cost me any money to do what I just did.

The command to go forth without purse or scrip was rescinded a while back.

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On 9/17/2019 at 4:56 PM, Ahab said:

The way I see it, having never gone on a mission but knowing I would like to someday with my wife after when I am retired and not having to work anymore for money, I would just rather not have to worry about paying the monetary costs.  I'd just like to go and do the work of the actual mission, without any concern at all and not even taking any thought at all for the "money" aspect of it.  It's the work that is important, and the work involves plenty of sacrifice of time and energy and things of that kind.

Sitting around a camp fire and talking about all the things I did that I am glad I did I don't suppose I'll be talking much about how I had to work for money to be able to do the things I really wanted to do.  I'd just like to talk about the things I liked doing, and working for money never has been one of those things for me.

Once you're retired, won't you have retirement income that would allow you to pay for your own (and our wife's) missionary service?

During my mission, I once shared a home with a senior missionary couple.  They had served multiple missions and we planning to do more.  They said that they would rent out their home and it covered any added costs of being on a mission.

 

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On 9/17/2019 at 2:38 PM, Calm said:

Things we sacrifice for tend to be more meaningful to us which leads to greater commitment.  That just seems to be a very human way of seeing the world.

So it makes sense if the Church wants committed missionaries and supportive families to emphasize them doing all reasonably possible to cover costs themselves.

I agree with this.  Next month my ward will send out two more full-time missionaries making a total of 7 young people from our ward out serving.  To my knowledge, all of them are paying their own expenses or their own families are covering their expenses.

However, if there was a kid in our ward who wanted to serve but they or their family truly couldn't afford it, I have zero doubts that the ward members would step up and cover the $500/mo.  I think all the Bishop would have to do is mention it in ward council and it would be handled.

Also, to some degree, what @Ahab is describing in wanting a ward to contribute towards everyone's missionary service is already happening at a church level.  We all contribute tithes and offerings and some portion of those are used to subsidize mission costs (above the $500/mo).

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7 minutes ago, rockpond said:

Once you're retired, won't you have retirement income that would allow you to pay for your own (and our wife's) missionary service?

During my mission, I once shared a home with a senior missionary couple.  They had served multiple missions and we planning to do more.  They said that they would rent out their home and it covered any added costs of being on a mission.

 

That would work well if the mortgage is paid off. 

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4 minutes ago, rockpond said:

Once you're retired, won't you have retirement income that would allow you to pay for your own (and our wife's) missionary service?

During my mission, I once shared a home with a senior missionary couple.  They had served multiple missions and we planning to do more.  They said that they would rent out their home and it covered any added costs of being on a mission.

 

Yes, but it won't be until then that I won't have to worry about having enough money to pay for the other things I need to pay for.  My original point in a post a while back was that I see no reason to worry about paying for the costs of going on a mission, at a young age, since that will eventually be paid for even if only by members of the Church donating to either their ward missionary fund or the general missionary fund. I don't know if Church leadership uses those funds  to pay for senior missionary tours, and even if they do, I will still need enough money to pay for the other costs in my life other than the missionary tour costs.

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3 minutes ago, JAHS said:

That would work well if the mortgage is paid off. 

Probably will be, but I will also need to continue to pay for health insurance and prescription medicines, which cost and will continue to cost quite a bit in our case, and utility bills at home, etc.

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I'm not wading through 4 pages to see if I remember right on this so sorry if it has been repeated.

It seems someone was worried about names showing up on the (not sure what to call it) ledger that can be given to parents to see how the account stands. 

I asked for one yesterday. There are 3 types of contributions that have been made on it. One from us, one from my son and one from another ward member.

All 3 have shown up as "online donation". All have a reference number - each donation has it's own reference number, not each person so our donation in September is different than the one in October etc. 

The only way I know that someone else has made a donation is that I know the amounts that we and my son have donated and there is a donation amount we didn't do. 

So if you want to donate online without the missionary's family knowing you are safe to do it online, provided their family is not in a position (financial clerk, bishop etc) to know.

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