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To parents of missionaries


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15 minutes ago, Rain said:

It's the same with missionary funds (or whatever the word is).  Yes, it is a donation, but people can choose not to give to that fund if it has enough money.  But that only works if people know how much was given. And that doesn't mean you get fewer blessings.  It means that you may get different blessings depending on what you do with it.

True. Use your agency. Got enough to donate for the mission but it seems to be covered because you did your due diligence, donate to fast offerings, general funds, or whatever charity you want. The Lord will decide you heart and blessings. Not me, some random dude on a computer eating sunflower seeds.

D&C 58

26 For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is acompelled in all things, the same is a bslothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.

27 Verily I say, men should be aanxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;

28 For the power is in them, wherein they are aagents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their breward.

29 But he that adoeth not anything until he is commanded, and receiveth a commandment with bdoubtful heart, and keepeth it with slothfulness, the same is cdamned.

30 Who am I that amade man, saith the Lord, that will hold him bguiltless that obeys not my commandments?

31 Who am I, saith the Lord, that have apromised and have not fulfilled?

32 I command and men aobey not; I brevoke and they receive not the blessing.

33 Then they asay in their hearts: This is not the work of the Lord, for his promises are not fulfilled. But wo unto such, for their breward lurketh cbeneath, and not from above.

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5 hours ago, pogi said:
22 hours ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

Finance clerk here - @Scott Lloyd speaks the truth.  Although I'd add one thing:  Parents sending missionaries on missions - pay your bills, or make arrangements early.  There's nothing wrong with "Bishop, my kid is ready to serve, but I don't know how we're going to pay for it."   I've seen a handful of cases where parents just let things slide and end up owing several grand.  At best, you're asking for an awkward meeting with the Bishop after your kid comes home, and you've turned him into a bill collector.  I mean, why bother raising your hand to sustain someone you're gonna do that to?  Deal with your embarrassment please - it's only going to grow.   You may get called to do time as one of his counselors for a few years.  The principle of service is alive and well in church welfare programs, and you've just back-ended yourself into needing church welfare because you couldn't deal with a little embarrassment earlier in the process.  You're better than that.

 

Or...some families really can't afford to save or send their kid on a mission and need church welfare to get by.  There is nothing wrong with that either.

Not sure why you said "or...".   With which of my suggestions or statements are you proposing an alternate?

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27 minutes ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

Not sure why you said "or...".   With which of my suggestions or statements are you proposing an alternate?

Were you saying in your previous post that if someone doesn't pay for their kid's mission the money for their mission comes out of church welfare?

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15 hours ago, JAHS said:

Maybe I am misunderstanding but I don't see how it's both ways. None of it is a purchase as the member should see it. They do not receive any goods or services from it. The statement means that the member receives intangible religious benefits in the way of blessings and knowing they are obeying God.  The Church as an organization does receive tangible benefits in that the donations pay for all the church expenses, including missionary work. 

Doesn't the missionary receive tangible goods?  Food, Shelter, transportation? The argument could be made that (especially if the money were "required") that the money paid isn't a charitable donation but just a disguised transfer of funds from parent to child (which is not normally tax deductible).  In fact that was precisely the argument made in the Supreme Court case mentioned above.   The parents in that case were not allowed to take a charitable deduction for their missionary,

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31 minutes ago, Danzo said:

Doesn't the missionary receive tangible goods?  Food, Shelter, transportation? The argument could be made that (especially if the money were "required") that the money paid isn't a charitable donation but just a disguised transfer of funds from parent to child (which is not normally tax deductible).  In fact that was precisely the argument made in the Supreme Court case mentioned above.   The parents in that case were not allowed to take a charitable deduction for their missionary,

Since in most cases, the amount the parenting is paying in is well below the amount the missionary is actually costing the church, could it still be considered a transfer of funds?

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57 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Since in most cases, the amount the parenting is paying in is well below the amount the missionary is actually costing the church, could it still be considered a transfer of funds?

It could be considered a transfer of funds for partial support. 

 

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1 hour ago, Danzo said:

Doesn't the missionary receive tangible goods?  Food, Shelter, transportation? The argument could be made that (especially if the money were "required") that the money paid isn't a charitable donation but just a disguised transfer of funds from parent to child (which is not normally tax deductible).  In fact that was precisely the argument made in the Supreme Court case mentioned above.   The parents in that case were not allowed to take a charitable deduction for their missionary,

But the people donating the money do not receive tangible goods, even though the church, which is a charitable organization, and their missionaries do, who are performing a charitable service.   If the money is being used to support a charitable service, it should be called a donation and therefore tax deductible.

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3 hours ago, JAHS said:

But the people donating the money do not receive tangible goods, even though the church, which is a charitable organization, and their missionaries do, who are performing a charitable service.   If the money is being used to support a charitable service, it should be called a donation and therefore tax deductible.

The argument could be made (and was successfully made in the 1990 Supreme Court case) that money given to someone else to provide their support (food, shelter, transportation, etc) is not a charitable donation within the meaning if IRC 170. Just because I take care of my children doesn't let me take a charitable deduction for it. (Even though it feels like charity sometimes with my children).

The way the church avoids this is by making the donation voluntary and the support of the missionary independent of the donations received on his or her behalf.

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20 hours ago, Rain said:

 

I get that this is a charitable gift.  

The charity I am with allows you to make a donation to the general fund, a fund for food, and varies short term things like pots/pans or sheets.   They take those differences very seriously.  If my charity puts out on social media that they are collecting funds for food then we put it on food.  Some people want their money to only go to essential needs so they wouldn't want the money to go to art or a purse.  We are ok with that.  Other people don't care what the money is used for, within reason. So some people may choose not to give more if we have enough food. 

It's the same with missionary funds (or whatever the word is).  Yes, it is a donation, but people can choose not to give to that fund if it has enough money.  But that only works if people know how much was given. And that doesn't mean you get fewer blessings.  It means that you may get different blessings depending on what you do with it.

I think you are referring to a restricted contribution.   The current donation page on the website contains the following language

"All donations to the Church are free-will offerings and become the Church’s property. In furtherance of its overall mission, the Church may shift donations from any designated use to other uses, at its sole discretion."

The makes the donations to the mission fund (fast offering fund, etc) not restricted.  

People who donate to the church through the normal donation process should understand this and not have a problem with funds donated being used for other purposes. 

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21 hours ago, bluebell said:

Were you saying in your previous post that if someone doesn't pay for their kid's mission the money for their mission comes out of church welfare?

No, sorry if it came across that way.  Missionary funds fall into three categories: Directed towards a specific missionary, a ward fund, and the general church fund.   I'm with everyone else, that there's no harm or shame in needing the help of others to send a kid on a mission.  I'm saying that embarrassment/esteem/senses of self-worth can be impacted differently between someone just dealing with that deficit up front, vs not following through on an agreement to pay and ignoring a growing balance and not dealing with it until finally cornered by a bishop and cajoled into a difficult discussion.  As a finance clerk, I've seen the 2nd thing happen a handful of times.  It's like a prolonged sense of shame - folks have a hard time looking me in the eye when they pass me in the halls - not a fun situation to be in.  Never seen that happen with the folks in the 1st situation of which I'm aware.

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On 10/28/2022 at 3:24 PM, Danzo said:

I think you are referring to a restricted contribution.   The current donation page on the website contains the following language

"All donations to the Church are free-will offerings and become the Church’s property. In furtherance of its overall mission, the Church may shift donations from any designated use to other uses, at its sole discretion."

The makes the donations to the mission fund (fast offering fund, etc) not restricted.  

People who donate to the church through the normal donation process should understand this

 

I do understand this.

On 10/28/2022 at 3:24 PM, Danzo said:

and not have a problem with funds donated being used for other purposes. 

 That's not necessarily true. Understanding the legal aspect doesn't mean you feel that way.

Does it matter to me what the Lord decides to do with the tithing money and the missionary money? No. But I feel very different about tithing and missionary donations than I feel about other donations.  With tithing and missionary I felt that the Lord was asking me to give back to him and how much. When someone else donated to my son's fund I felt the Lord no longer was asking that same amount from me.

With other giving I feel like where and how much is up to me. It's like His little gift to me - "go out and choose what to do with those blessings."

And I don't think that many will feel much different than me. In big part because the Lord specifies the amount on both tithing and missionary contributions. 

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