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What Is Tithing Used For? What Is It Not Used For?


cinepro

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In reviewing the lesson on Tithing for tomorrow, some questions have come to mind (based in part on recollections of past conversations on this board).

To what degree do we know what tithing is and isn't used for (and to what degree are these Church-wide rules?) Am I correct in saying that all tithing funds are sent to Salt Lake City, and then the ward receives back their budget based on their attendance numbers, and these funds cover the expenses for the building and programs of the ward?

Are tithing funds ever used to assist the poor and needy, or are those always from the separate "Fast Offerings" account? If a Bishop really wanted to, could he use tithing funds for such a purpose?

Are tithing funds ever used (at the local level) to pay for missionary expenses? I'm assuming that's a pretty big expense at the general level, but when a potential missionary doesn't have enough money, can the Bishop use tithing funds to help make up the difference?

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In reviewing the lesson on Tithing for tomorrow, some questions have come to mind (based in part on recollections of past conversations on this board).

To what degree do we know what tithing is and isn't used for (and to what degree are these Church-wide rules?) Am I correct in saying that all tithing funds are sent to Salt Lake City, and then the ward receives back their budget based on their attendance numbers, and these funds cover the expenses for the building and programs of the ward?

That is correct, that is how it was when I was a Ward Clerk (over 10 years ago)

Are tithing funds ever used to assist the poor and needy, or are those always from the separate "Fast Offerings" account? If a Bishop really wanted to, could he use tithing funds for such a purpose?
No, at least not on a local level (I suppose Church HQ could send tithing funds to cover if necessary, but it would have to aproved at Church HQ. The way I understand it, if a Ward is short on Fast Offering funds then the Stake can make up the difference out of the Stake Fast Offering funds.
Are tithing funds ever used (at the local level) to pay for missionary expenses? I'm assuming that's a pretty big expense at the general level, but when a potential missionary doesn't have enough money, can the Bishop use tithing funds to help make up the difference?
No the Bishop cannot dip into tithing funds, it must come from the Ward Missionary accounts, I suppose if they were short they could go to the Stake. But more likely he would appeal to individual members for funds to help missionaries in the field. In fact we have a missionary currently out and the Bishop has asked the priesthood to assist in the support needed ($400 per month) and it is to be donated to the Ward Missionary fund.

If you want official answers to the above I would suggest you ask your Bishop these questions, he should be able to authoritatively state the Church's policy today.

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Am I correct in saying that all tithing funds are sent to Salt Lake City....

Are tithing funds ever used to assist the poor and needy, or are those always from the separate "Fast Offerings" account? If a Bishop really wanted to, could he use tithing funds for such a purpose?....

Are tithing funds ever used (at the local level) to pay for missionary expenses?

Not prior to being sent to SL, all tithing must be sent to either church headquarters or the assigned administrative offices. Bishops are not allowed to touch tithing funds for any reason according to the handbook (pg.125, vol 1)
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Tithing is not used for City Creek Center. http://www.fairwiki.org/Mormonism_and_church_finances/City_Creek_Center

The Church must be distinguishing from the return it receives from investing tithing and tithing itself. I guess City Creek is being paid on the return from tithing investments. Those must be some big investments!

From your own wiki link you sent.

"The entire project is being financed through the church's commercial real estate arm, Property Reserve, Inc. These funds come through for-profit, tax-paying businesses owned by the Church.

This Deseret News article has more information on the construction and financing:

Money for the project is not coming from LDS Church members' tithing donations. City Creek Center is being developed by Property Reserve Inc., the church's real-estate development arm, and its money comes from other real-estate ventures.

- Doug Smeath, "Downtown renovation project", Deseret News March 27, 2007."

The commercial real estate ventures would of course include the old mall, the ZCMI center, and related businesses which the church has always maintained.

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Just to reconfirm- Bishops actually do not have access to tithing funds- except for what is in the budget which comes from SLC. Those funds are never used for missionary expenses or for welfare purposes.

If there are shortages in those areas, the shortages are covered by the stake- using funds allocated for those purposes which are not tithing funds.

For example, overages in one ward's missionary fund may be applied to shortages in another ward's missionary fund, and likewise for welfare.

And yes, of course, one can always go to the members by asking for contributions.

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From what I recall from a meeting over two years ago, tithing paid by check is to made out to a different entity than fast offering paid by check - see CHI. Though I have never seen anyone enforce this policy.

No, all checks are made out to the ward usually, and allocated as requested on the tithing slip- the funds are allocated in the computer when the batch is entered and later transmitted electronically to SLC. The actual physical funds are taken to the bank by two people- either a clerk and a bishopric member or two bishopric members.

Salt Lake knows how to allocate the funds based on the electronic info they have received in the batch report.

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Its anyones guess as to where tithing goes. The church never discloses it or provides financial statements. How much of it goes back to the wards? How much of it is used to run the church such as COB employees salaries? How much goes to the CES program? Does any of it go to BYU? Was it used to build the Conference Center? Is it used to buy real estate? Is any of it used to purchase securities? Is it used for tv ads and online internet ads? Does some of it go to build the new mall? Does it go to disaster relief? Does it fund government lobbying. Is it used to build temples? Probably all of the above, but again, no one knows.

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In reviewing the lesson on Tithing for tomorrow, some questions have come to mind (based in part on recollections of past conversations on this board).

To what degree do we know what tithing is and isn't used for (and to what degree are these Church-wide rules?) Am I correct in saying that all tithing funds are sent to Salt Lake City, and then the ward receives back their budget based on their attendance numbers, and these funds cover the expenses for the building and programs of the ward?

Are tithing funds ever used to assist the poor and needy, or are those always from the separate "Fast Offerings" account? If a Bishop really wanted to, could he use tithing funds for such a purpose?

Are tithing funds ever used (at the local level) to pay for missionary expenses? I'm assuming that's a pretty big expense at the general level, but when a potential missionary doesn't have enough money, can the Bishop use tithing funds to help make up the difference?

I have always been told that it didn't matter when tithing went or for what, only that it was a commandment to pay it!

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Some countries require that the funds remain within the country in a separate financial entity which then periodically has a vote of officers(Stake presidents)to send funds as required.

I have heard that the company that actually handles the electronic fund movement is separate from the Church itself.True???

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We really do not have any evidence of where tithing funds are use. The books are closed at church headquarters and all spending is at the discretion of the president of the church. So we are told what is happening with the funds and that is most likely mostly correct but only a very few select individuals know for sure.

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I have heard that the company that actually handles the electronic fund movement is separate from the Church itself.True???

JP Morgan, I think.

As for the direction of the money flows, based on the wards I was in (therefore anecdotal evidence) it's about 100:10 (100% of the tithung funds goes to SLC, about 10% comes back). However, that's only cash. Buildings, maintenance, etc. is not financed from the ward budget but handled directly by SLC (I'm guessing it's in the DTA's budget).

As for accountability, as has been stated by previous posters, there is none except to the Lord. The only glitch I see in that arrangement is that the people qualified to speak on church matters on God's behalf are the same people that handle the money. The lack of accountability, therefore, is fundamentally built into the system. And in many countries it's a tax-exempt system too. Maybe that's why there are so many religions.

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