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Why isn't the Mormon Church more transparent with Mormon Church finances?

Todd Noall

Todd Noall

Source Expert

Todd Noall is an author and religious scholar at Mormonism Explained with a focus on the history and theology of religion.

Fact Checked by Kevin Prince

Kevin Prince

Source Expert

Kevin Prince serves as the Source Authority at Mormonism Explained. Mr. Prince is a religious scholar as well as a technology industry CEO and entrepreneur.

Updated July 3, 2024

The LDS Church is not a financial or commercial corporation. Its members see it as the Church of Jesus Christ and therefore view their freely given donations as belonging to Him. They entrust their tithing to be allocated through prophets, men called by God. The church complies with all laws that require financial disclosures.

According to a Deseret News article, some Mormon Church officials have said that they don’t share the church’s financial records because they are concerned about people using church investments as a roadmap for their own investments. The church’s investments and strategies may not be appropriate for people’s individual circumstances. Other church officials have said that Mormons and tithing is a private matter for those who donate their money to the Church.

The First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and the Presiding Bishopric of the Mormon Church form a council called the Council on the Disposition of the Tithes. This council creates the Mormon Church’s budget for each year using projected tithing donations. When the council creates the budget, the budget never exceeds projected tithing revenue. So, although the total tithing and expenditures of the church are not shared, Mormons are assured that their tithing donations and Mormon Church finances are guided by wise financial practices.