On Friday, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement accompanied by three videos detailing the way the Church uses donations from its members, stating that recent media stories have misrepresented the Church’s approach.
The release follows a former church employee's filing of an IRS complaint about the Church’s financial reserves, according to Deseret News.
The statement and video from the Church explains some of the ways the Church uses tithes and offerings, including:
•The Church’s humanitarian arm, Latter-day Saint Charities, has donated more than $2.2 billion in aid in 197 countries since its creation in 1985.
•Funds are also used to support temples (166 operating, 15 under construction, 36 announced), FamilySearch (free genealogical resources to members and nonmembers alike), meetinghouses (used for both worship and civic purposes), missionaries (over 65,000 worldwide), and the Church Educational System (serving around 793,000 students).
Bishop Gérald Caussé, Presiding Bishop of the Church, addressed the reserve that the Church keeps with Ensign Peak Advisors.
“It’s about building a reserve of the Church, and ultimately, all of those funds will be used for Church purposes,” Bishop Caussé said. Putting the money into a reserve ensures the value increases over time, and those increases will be used for the same purposes.
Bishop W. Christopher Waddell, Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, talked about how having the Church set aside funds demonstrates a similar principle taught to the members of the Church.
“The Church has a budget, again from the faithful tithes and offerings of members of the Church, and every year is budgeted portion to set aside for that rainy day that grows to be used so that, if hard times economically do come again, and they will—over time we know there are cycles—that we will have the resources necessary to continue doing this divine work,” Bishop Waddell said in the video. “We won’t have to stop missionary work. We won’t have to stop temple work. We won’t have to stop doing the things we have been commissioned to do because of a lack of resources. That’s why we care for them so carefully.”