interesting article. good comments. Thanks for publishing.
Not a revelation to me, nor a surprise either. I never really thought about where the living allowance came from, but it makes sense that it comes from the secular finances. When i was young (I'm now 64) I read that the 12 sat on boards of directors of corporations in which the Church had significant holdings. The income from those duties was used to support them and other GA's—of course, there were only about 26 GA's at that time. decades ago the Church started divesting itself of hospitals and other concerns and at the same time announced that the 12 would no longer have the responsibilities of Boards of Directors. The Church was too big and their time was needed for the ecclesiastical duties they were called for. So it makes sense that their living allowances are from secular finances, not sacred funds.
I specifically remember being taught about the living allowance or stipend as a child. I also remember being asked about it on my mission by several investigators (logically the GAs have to eat and have a place to live) and I always told them about it.
What I didn't know is that it comes from the business arms of the church and not from member donations. That doesn't really change anything, but I think it does show that they're being good stewards of the member's donations.
What is missing is that the stipend is *in addition to* such things as home paid for, travel first class paid for, children's education paid for, cleaning service paid for. They are not paying for their travel on their own; they aren't paying for children to go to college; they aren't paying for their own living arrangements. At least, that's my understanding from the mission president stipend, and I'd imagine the general authorities receive similar arrangements.
the members of the church are not paid for serving in church callings...I have held as many as 3 callings at one time and had 5 kids and worked and went to college...amazing ...we couldn't give up our jobs...our jobs were more important then our callings in the church because the mans highest calling is to care for his family...family first...but the senior leaders or higher callings are asked to devote all their time in the work of the Lord....they do have families so they have to be supported. I guess they do this until they die...that makes me wonder about investing for their children...I guess they have to give that up as well....life changes drastically if you are a younger apostle and have a large family then an old apostle with kids grown and gone.
I was surprised as I was told when I joined the church in the 1970s that no one was paid in any way by the Church, unlike other churches. I had no idea there were any stipends involved as well.
You may have heard this one, but is is good.
A young boy brought a tithing envelope to his bishop. His bishop asked him, is this for tithing? He said "no, its for you Bishop, just for you. My dad said you are the poorest bishop we have ever had.
Wonderful information. I found myself wondering how they could possibly serve without an income, knowing they were not independently wealthy. I appreciate this!
Heard it years ago, likely seminary, it is no secret, never was. They need a stipend and I have no problem with that. I am a college professor and professors are not paid equivelent to their worth on the open market. These men are not in it for the money. They are in it for love, love for he Savior, love for you and love for me.
Thank you for such a rational commentary backed up by the facts.
I suspect that many of the GAs do not even take the living allowance. Many were already wealthy by the time they were called. But I doubt that will ever be leaked by this group. This group is just another in the long line of apostates and critics of the Church who want to destroy your testimony and convince you to forsake the covenants you made with the Lord. Those who harden their hearts by becoming angry with the Lord and His servants loose their place as His elect (see D&C 29:7). But if you don't harden your heart, it is not possible to be deceived by these false prophets (see JS Matt. 1:22).
I thought only the leaders that needed money support received it from the Church. Not as pay but as a living stipend. I think we are justified in saying our clergy is unpayed. Many of these leaders set on the boards that make the church investments and pay the stipends. It is good to know they are paid for investment profits and not from fast offering like I always thought.
I am 72 years old and a life-long member of the Church. I always knew that many of the General Authorities received "stipends" and the amount doesn't bother me at all. I would like to see a comparison of the income a GA would have gotten in a career setting: 100K+ is tiny. Glassdoor.com reports that the average CEO was paid $13.8 MILLION. The CEO of Target earned over $14 M in salaries and stock awards. Mitt Romney (not a GA but a Church member), earned over $21 M in 2010 from his businesses. I don't know what his income is now. But each of the GAs are capable of leading huge corporations and earning these kinds of salaries. They have given up this lifestyle for a VERY modest income compared with what they COULD have earned. I love and honor them all. I wonder what salary the Mormonleaks guy hopes to earn and just WHO is actual employer is?
Doctrine and Covenants 42:71–73 was seriously taken out of context. This quote about Bishops deciding how goods in his control should be divided, and used whether by himself or by others was said at the time Joseph Smith was revealing the law of consecration. The law of consecration was a program where everyone would equally contribute, and equally partake and it sounds like the bishop was a part of that disctribution process. However, the law of consecration was completely rolled back which in my opinion invalidates this argument. You can say it sets a precedent but it's really a stretch. My dad was a bishop and there was no financial benefit as these scriptures imply and a close personal friend that went on a senior mission to Uganda had to basically "fire" a bishop for embezzling and distributing church funds to friends unappropriately. If you beleive these scriptues, and callings are divinely appointed then what that bishop did was completely within his right.
The church leaders are not paid for their service. They are called and set apart, not hired employees. My wife works for the church and is a hired employee and accountable for her hours. She was never called and set apart. She applied for the job. The leaders need to eat and provide the basics for their families. Since they can't work on their own, it makes sense for the church to take care of their needs.
Years ago I observed President Monson, on several occasions, drop shoes off at Broadway Shoe Repair. He drove himself in a modest sedan. Hardly the image of one who lives a luxurious lifestyle. More like one who is living on a budget like the rest of us.
I am glad you acknowledged that there might at least be a "very few of the faithful ones," who are struggling with this. I find myself in this category, and I thank you for your article. The only person, other than God, who knows I am struggling right now is my husband. I do not have a problem with them being supported, and in fact am happy that the Lord does indeed look after his own, but it has been a little unsettling to feel like I've been misinformed about this my whole life, That is the part I struggle with, but I've been struggling quietly, not wanting to add to anyone else's doubt. I do realize that maybe I just misunderstood, or was not misinformed on purpose, but it is still a real struggle, one that I hope to overcome very very quickly, as I am not looking for a reason to leave. Thank you for putting this out there. It is helping me.
An important thing to note that was not in the post, is that the stipend is not paid from tithing funds, but rather comes from the Church's investment and business holdings.
Plainly speaking, the money does not come from member contributions.
I'm surprised that I'm actually posting this, because I'm SO underwhelmed. Is this really the depths to which antagonists of the church will go to in an attempt to foment a transparency "crisis"? Wow, you folks just might have too much idle time on your hands. Like me, right now!
That said, seeing the kind of people that the leaders are, who may be getting a living stipend, with all the traveling, tips and miscellaneous expenses they're often incurring, I'd guess a percentage of that stipend is being spent and not being reimbursed. I just can't get worked up by any of this.
I am 62 years old and I have known all my life and bern taught in church and seminary that the general authorities have given up their livlihoods to be able to serve for the rest of their lives; and that some are financially independent and may not be paid, and that the rest are given a modest living allowance to take care of their needs. This is God's church and it is certainly not priestcraft. So wise up guys and realize that just because you have not been taught this, it is not wrong! Breathe! Now move on and help and love ❤️ your neighbors
Bravo! I am so glad that you wrote this. Thank you. How foolish people are to suppose any wrongdoing from such devout men as our Prophet and those who work directly with him who all devote their lives serving the Church, the members and the world as they fulfill their callings and minister and testify of Christ. Rather than worry about Living Stipends for the General Authorities we had best ponder what our answers will be when we come to stand before the pleasing bar of God and we are asked to explain our thoughts, words, and actions here on earth.
The article is spot on. However, I think the issue is there is a population of members who have no idea GA's receive a living allowance. They've always heard "none of our leaders get paid," and "unpaid ministry," without the nuance of the living allowance. So when these members find out about a six figure living allowance, it comes as a surprise. For members who already knew about the living allowance of course this is "no news". But for members that were understood "unpaid ministry" as literally no GA receives a paycheck, this is news.
I personally knew GA's received a stipend, but I always thought it came from tithing, so learning that it comes from church investments was a nice clarification.
I've been a member of the restored gospel since 1973 and I have NEVER had a problem with our Prophets being supported financially.
The article is spot on. However, I think the issue is there is a population of members who have no idea that GA's get a living allowance. You always hear members say there is no paid ministry, without the living allowance nuance. So, when members find out there is a living allowance it comes as a surprise, and people feel a lack of transparency. This may be "no news" to members who already knew about this, but for folks who had no idea, it is news to them.
Bravo! I am so glad that you wrote this. Thank you. How foolish people are to suppose any wrongdoing from such devout men as our Prophet and those who work directly with him who all spend their lives giving to the Church, the members and the world as they minister and testify of Christ. We had all best worry about what our answers will be when our time comes to stand before the pleasing bar of God.
What MormonLeaks is doing sounds like the same kind of conspiratorial innuendo which has been thrown at Jews and other minorities for generations, if not centuries. Portraying a group or religion as: (1) big, (2) wealthy, (3) powerful, and (4) sinister, is one of the oldest games in the book. ("Protocols of the Elders of Zion," anyone?)
I used to take piano lessons across the street from Pres. Kimball's home. I thought I recognized the picture. Yes - small home for sure in a very middle class neighborhood. It is along a street of the small homes with other homes being bigger.
It does make it clear that senior Mormon clerics receive compensation. It may seem minimum to some who are educated and rich and quite high to those who are poor and live from month to month. It does put to rest the notion that Mormon leaders are not paid.
Wonderful and informative article on a subject most would not think about.
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