Mormonism and church finances

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    Mormonism and church finances

This page is a summary or index. More detailed information on this topic is available on the sub-pages below.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints responds to these questions

"Church Finances—Commercial Businesses," Gospel Topics (

The Church holds business interests that are primarily an outgrowth of enterprises which were begun when the Church was isolated in the West. The commercial businesses owned by the Church help serve the needs of the Church in accomplishing its mission. The money made from these commercial enterprises is relatively small; the majority of financial resources in the Church comes from the tithes and offerings of Church members.

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It is claimed that Mormonism prides itself in having unpaid clergy as one proof of the Church's truthfulness. They then point to the fact that some General Authorities, mission presidents, and others do, in fact, receive a living stipend while serving the Church, and point to this as evidence of the “hypocrisy” of the Church. (Click here for full article)

  • No professional clergy
    Brief Summary: There can be no doubt that the Church does have an unpaid ministry. More precisely, it does not have a professional clergy. (Click here for full article)
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  • General Authorities living stipend
    Brief Summary: Some members of the Church are unaware that at least some General Authorities do receive a modest living stipend. While it is true that some Church leaders receive a living allowance while they serve in a given position, it cannot be said that the Church has a professional ministry in the traditional sense. (Click here for full article)
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  • Scriptural teachings about paid ministry
    Brief Summary: What do the scriptures say about a paid ministry? (Click here for full article)
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    • Priestcraft
      Brief Summary: Church members have a particular sensitivity to issues surrounding paid ministries particularly due to admonitions in the Book of Mormon relative to a practices known as priestcraft, which is "that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion." (Click here for full article)
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  • How is tithing calculated?
    Brief Summary: I've been told that the Church expects or teaches its members to tithe on gross income. What can you tell me about how tithing it taught in the Church? (Click here for full article)
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  • Paying tithing versus feeding your children or paying your rent
    Brief Summary: One critic of the church states, "Would a loving, kind, empathic God really place parents in the horrible position of having to choose whether to feed their children or pay what little they have to a multi-billion megamall owning Church that receives an estimated $8,000,000,000 in annual tithing receipts?" (Click here for full article)
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  • Kirtland Safety Society
    Brief Summary: Critics attack Joseph Smith over the Kirtland Safety Society (KSS) on multiple grounds: 1) they claim the KSS was a "wildcat bank," 2) they claim that the bank was illegal, and that the Church broke the law by founding it, 3) they claim it was a money-making scheme for Joseph, and 4) they claim its failure proves Joseph was not a prophet (Click here for full article)
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  • Missionaries exploited poverty in England
    Brief Summary: It is claimed by critics that LDS missionaries sent to England "capitalized on the intolerable social and economic conditions" in order to gain converts. (Click here for full article)
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