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Presiding Bishopric Gives Rare Interview Explaining Church's Financial Reserves, Tithing

Earlier this week, the Presiding Bishopric of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sat down for rare interviews with Deseret News and Church NewsDeseret News highlighted some of the misconceptions portrayed by other news organizations about Church finances. Church News discussed how the Church’s reserve fund helps them accomplish the four purposes of the Church. A summary of both articles is provided below as well as links to both of the articles.

Misconceptions 

Deseret News reporter Tad Walch discussed how the Church has spent double the amount of money on humanitarian needs over the past five years and now provides nearly $1 billion annually for humanitarian and welfare aid.

“It’s no surprise we are talking about billions of dollars,” Bishop Gérald Caussé, Presiding Bishop, told Deseret News. “Nobody should be surprised, given the number of members, millions of members, 16 million members in so many countries. This is a Church that has become quite large, and so there’s a large budget, and we are grateful for that because that’s an opportunity to expand the reach of all the good that the church can do around the world.”

A report in the Washington Post claimed that the Church’s investment arm, Ensign Peak Advisors, had grown to $100 billion. The Presiding Bishopric did not confirm whether that amount was accurate. However, they acknowledged the expenditure needs of the growing membership of the Church and rejected the claim that they are hoarding money for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

“When we talk about preparing for the Second Coming, that doesn’t mean we’re hoarding money so that we have it when the Second Coming takes place,” Bishop W. Christopher Waddell, second counselor of the Presiding Bishopric, told Deseret News. “In preparing for the Second Coming, we’re talking about building temples and providing places of worship and temples where people can receive sacred and exalting ordinances so we can gather Israel, we can do the missionary work in preparation for that day.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT Deseret News.

Church's Priorities

The Church has “four divinely appointed responsibilities” in addition to the education of Latter-day Saints, Church News reported. These include “helping members live the gospel of Jesus Christ, gathering Israel through missionary work, caring for the poor and needy, and enabling the salvation of the dead by building temples.”

According to Bishop Caussé, most of the Church’s funds are allocated towards those four responsibilities. Here is a brief look at a few of its expenditures.

  • • $1 billion to care for the poor and needy
  • • Supporting 30,000 congregations
  • • Educating 850,000 seminary and institute students
  • • Maintaining 167 temples, with 50 additional temples announced or under construction
  • • Sustaining universities—approximately $1.5 billion per year

Bishop Waddell told Church News of the importance of saving resources as the prophet Joseph did in the Bible, because “there will come a time when these resources, reserves, will be necessity.”

Additionally, Bishop Dean M. Davies, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, spoke of how paying tithes and fast offerings is a covenant or a spiritual commitment, and that the Lord blesses those who do so. Caring for those in need, Bishop Causse added, is at the core of the Church’s mission.

“We are all sons and daughters of God upon the earth, and we are committed to take care of one another,” he said. “And this is one of the ways that, as disciples of Lord Jesus Christ, we care for those in need.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT Church News.

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