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The vast majority of the income used to manage The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly called the Mormon Church) comes from tithing. Following the Biblical principle of paying a tithe (see Malachi 3:8) or donating ten percent of your “increase,” has helped the Church achieve financial independence.
Tithing has been an enormous blessing to the Church and its people. Along with tithing, the Church teaches and practices sound economic principles such as avoiding debt, living within one’s means, and setting aside funds for a rainy day.
How the money is spent
The Church uses money to support its mission: to bring people to Jesus Christ and to follow His example by helping those in need.
Expenditures fall into 5 major categories:
1. Providing buildings or places of worship for members around the world (there are thousands of such buildings and the Church continues to open more, sometimes several in a week).
2. Education programs, including support for its universities, seminaries, and institutes.
3. The Church’s worldwide missionary program.
4. The operation of nearly 140 temples, and administration of the world’s largest family history program.
5. Our humanitarian aid and welfare programs, which serve nonmembers as well as members.
Because the Church has "lay" or unpaid leadership, funds that would otherwise go to salaries are used to bless the lives of its members.
Helping Those in Need
In addition to tithing, members donate fast offerings. Each month, members go without food for two meals and give the money that would have been spent to help those in need in their congregation. Mormons also make generous donations to the Church’s humanitarian program. These donations go to aid those who need help; not towards overhead and administrative costs.
All funds given to the Church by its members are considered sacred, because they represent the faith and dedication of members. Contributions are used with careful oversight and discretion, and are audited regularly by independent, certified auditors.
Articles in the media
You may also call to speak with a missionary over the phone. Please call: 1-888-537-6600 (in U.S. and Canada only).
A voluntary religious contribution of 10% is a tithe or tithing. This type of offering is mentioned many times in the both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. In the book of Genesis, chapter 28 verse 22, the ancient patriarch Jacob covenanted with the Lord, "and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee."
Everything we have, our lives, the earth and everything in it, have been given freely to us by a loving Father in Heaven. He asks only a small portion in return to help build his kingdom on the earth.
The principle of tithing was introduced in Old Testament times. In Malachi the question is posed, "Will a man rob God?" Then goes on to explain that they have robbed him in tithes and offerings.
We know that God has created everything for us, and therefore everything belongs to him. All he asks is for 10% of what he has given us for the building up of his kingdom. In turn, again in Malachi, he promises us that he will "open you the window of Heaven and pour out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."
When I was investigating the Mormon church, missionaries taught me the "Law of Tithing", a law wherein one contributes 10 percent of one's increase to the church. I was a commercial airline pilot, earning a good wage, so it meant contributing what seemed to me to be a goodly part of my income. "Do you mean that I have to give one-tenth of my income to your church to become a member?", I asked. The missionary, a very young man who was nervous to teach me the principle for fear that I would reject the teaching replied, "I am not asking you to pay tithing, sir. The Lord is."
At that time, his words sunk deep into my heart. I knew that Jesus required great sacrifice from his followers anciently, even to the giving of their lives for his sake. To contribute a tithe to assist in establishing his church in our day would be a small sacrifice in comparison...I knew that a church that made no demand of its members to obey his commandments and laws had no power to lead them to salvation. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints taught a correct gospel principle - tithing. Mine would be the privilege to help finance the work of Jesus Christ on this earth...Tithing has been a blessing in my life.
As Christians, we have been asked to help one another not just by word but by example. Jesus gave everything he had to help others. In the Bible we read so many stories about people that were blessed by giving what they were asked to help the church and other people. We as Mormons know those principles haven't changed at all. We still have people who need help and we are still learning. By sharing 10 of our income we learn to be less selfish and we know that we are helping others and that we are building the Kingdom of God by doing that.
We give a tenth of all we receive for many reasons. One reason it to show that we are willing to sacrifice in a material way, not just in deed.
Another obvious reason is to help further the cause of the organization. With this money, the church builds new church buildings and Temples, send its members on missions to help spread the gospel...
However, I believe the most important reason we give is to try and emulate Christ. We cannot come close to the type of sacrifice He gave the world, but through his example, we can learn to give with joy and celebrate our ability to help and serve other we most likely will never see.
Giving a full tithe blesses me in so many ways.
Mormons donate 10% because God commands us in the Bible to pay a tithe of our income. We pay tithing because we follow the Bible.