The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement on Dec. 20, highlighting the many ways the tithes and donations made to the Church by its members are used.
The statement came just days after an initial First Presidency statement on Church finances came out on Dec. 17. Both Church statements were made in response to recent media stories, which the statement said “have misrepresented the Church’s approach” to handling its tithes and donations.
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints uses the sacred tithes and generous donations of its members in worldwide efforts to love God and neighbor,” the statement read.
An inside look at how Church finances fund humanitarian efforts, temples, worship, missionaries and education
The principles the Church follows to manage its finances are “the same sound principles it teaches to its membership,” the statement continues. These principles include avoiding debt, operating within a budget and preparing for the future.
Funds donated by members of the Church are “a sacred expression of faith, devotion and obedience to the biblical law of tithing and a desire to build Christ’s Church through living the two great commandments to love God and neighbor.”
In a series of video clips accompanying the statement on Newsroom, Bishop Dean M. Davies, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, stated that the Church is very careful in how they use the tithes and donations given to the Church.
“We’re so careful, so very, very careful to make certain that those funds are expended in a way” that the members who give them would feel good about, Bishop Davies says in the video.
Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé added that because the Presiding Bishopric, under the direction of the First Presidency, has the responsibility for managing and distributing the Church’s funds, he and his counselors “try their best to be instruments in the hands of the Lord.”
According to the statement, Church funds are used and distributed in the following ways:
— Helping the poor and needy
— Building temples and connecting families through genealogical work
— Providing worship and gathering space for its members
— Supporting a global missionary program
— Investing in education