General LDS Information
Basic LDS Beliefs
LDS Videos
Critics' Questions
Submitted Questions
Scriptures/LDS Literature
LDS Temples
Music and Arts
LDS Online Stores
Priesthood, Humor, Miscel.
Site Map

Suggest a Site
Now accepting banner ads!

Bookmark and Share

JON - There are members in our ward that is upset with the way the funds are used by the church to buy property of great amounts. They see members and non-members in need. They know how the system works. But they choose to anonymously help the needy. Which is great and probably fulfills the Law of Consecration. But I feel that the Law of Tithing is separate. If they choose to give up money (a lot, in some cases I know one member who gives 25% of his income to help the members in the ward, when the ward can't help in some areas. (Policy). They feel they meet the requirement of both Fast Offering and Tithing. How do you feel about that? Can someone give liberally of their materials and money and will God recognize that as Tithe even though it does not go directly to the church. Why does it have to be the church who decides who gets it? I don't have the answer to why the church purchases these properties of millions or billions of dollars, when the saints in the area are in need so badly. Also, they ask, if the Lord's coming is at hand and close, why invest in these things instead of (like the old days) buy farm land for crops. Store houses and stock them with millions and billions of dollars for food and such.

JOEL - Tithing is described as ten percent of our income. Fast offering or contributions to help the needy should not be counted as Tithing. When the members faithfully pay a full tithing they will be blessed and the church in general will be blessed; including those who are in need. We are also supposed to pay as much fast offerings as we can. So it's great that those members are helping the poor, but Tithing should be paid first.
It takes faith to know that the way God has set things up is the way that works best. President Lorenzo Snow found this out when the saints were suffering a terrible drought and the church was in debt. He was inspired to encourage the members to pay their tithing. The windows of heaven were opened as promised in the Bible and the rains fell and watered the crops and debt was paid, a blessing that all saints enjoyed. In the same way today the more members who pay a true honest tithe the more God will bless all members, including the poor.
Having said that, what a member calls a full tithe is between him and the Lord. If the member declares himself a full-tithe payer to the Bishop, he will have to answer to God for his declaration and what he calls tithing, and it's nobody elses business.
The Church does not use tithing money to buy nonchurch related properties or businesses. It uses money from investments that started from the begining of the restored church history. These monies are kept separate from Tithing and fast offerings donated by menbers, which are used for church related expenses and assisting the poor. Also the church today does buy farmland that grows crops and has cattle ranches etc. that it uses to fill the Bishop storehouses.
We don't know when the end will come. Therefore, the church has to strike a delicate balance between helping the poor and keeping the church growing and reaching more people with the gospel. I have faith that they know much more about the economics of running the religion than I do. No single member of the church is going to know all that is involved well enough to make judgments like you say some are doing on their own. Still, unless you are the Bishop it's not your job to tell a member he is wrong in the way he is doing things. All we can do is teach correct principles and let the member govern himself.

Return to top
Return to Questions