BOBBY - How and who controls the money eg tithing and other donations within the Church eg. Presiding Bishopric prayerfully considers how much stake/wards budgets need etc then approved by first presidency or some other way? I have some really less.active mates and they think the church is all about money who uses the law of fast and tithing to cover-up money eager businessmen called prophets but really just one very progressing business hence they really hit hard on members about obedience to the law of tithing or else they aren't worthy to hold a recommend. My mates felt while in Church they were given guilty talks and interviews even within temple sessions to make covenants in order to pay consistent money to help build and progress this business called "Church"
JOEL - It sounds like your mates have simply lost faith in the prophets God has called to lead His Church. The Presiding Bishopric is generally responsible for the distribution and record keeping of all tithing and welfare moneys brought in to the church and what it is used for in expenses for the church in general, under the direction of the First Presidency.
In regards to individual wards; the Church pays 100 % for the building of the structures, the maintainance, repairs, utilities, upkeep; insurance, taxes, etc. The amount of budget money a particular ward gets to pay for ward activities and materials is not based on need; it is simply calculated based on the average number of members per quarter who attend sacrament meeting each Sunday; right now $12.00 per person in the US. If an average of 200 members attend Sacrament meeting each Sunday the ward gets $2400 for the following quarter.
This dollar amount increases based on inflation over time. The Bishopric and ward commitee then determines how much of the quarterly money each ward organization gets for the year. It's a fair and balanced way to fund financial needs at the ward level.
There is an extensive internal auditing program within every organization of the Church from the top down to the ward level. There are many auditing commitees composed of many members who conduct quarterly audits and fill out reports to document exactly where all the money goes. The church engages a public accounting firm (currently Deloitte & Touche; not owned by the church) to perform annual audits in the United States of its not-for-profit, for-profit, and some educational entities.There is virtually no chance that the money could be mishandled or that anyone could financially profit fom the money coming in without anyone knowing about it.
Usually the only people who complain about the so-called business aspect of the church or want to know exactly where the money is going are those who are beginning to distance themselves from the Church (like your mates), and are looking for reasons to justify their leaving. Most of the members simply have faith in and trust those who are in charge and therefore really don't feel a need to know. Nor do they feel guilty when reminded of the principle of tithing because they take comfort in knowing that that are already faithfully following the law. They understand that once the money leaves their hands, they have done their duty in obeying the commandment of God. They have paid their tithing; it belongs to God now; and they no longer need to concern themselves with it. God will handle it from there on. Your mates felt guilty because they were not living the law with the right attitude. They were doing it because someone told them they had to, rather than out of love and obedience to God. If a person doesn't have enough money to live on, but is doing their best and paying a full tithing, they are eligible to receive welfare help from the church.
The Church is not a business that people invest in and expect to have a right to know and have a say in what happens with the money they donate. There are some faiths who operate with such an attitude, but it can end up with everyone trying to contentiously impose their own opinion on what should be done with their (not God's) money, leading to discontent within the congregation.
People who have a problem with how the Church does this need to strengthen their faith in God's choice of who He puts at the head of the church. It is unfortunately true that in this world today it really does take some people with a lot of business sense to know how to properly handle income, expense, and investments made by the church. But that's only one small aspect among many other more important purposes; all of which are directed at fulfilling the mission of the church. I trust and have faith in the integrety of the prophets of this Church and what they do with God's tithing.
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