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What are donations to the Mormon Church used for?

Donations to the Mormon Church are offered by members of the church in various forms. One way members donate is by paying ten percent of their income to the church. This is called tithing. Tithing funds are used for missionary work, maintaining buildings, caring for the poor and needy, building temples, education, church administration, and various types of financial investments. Investments are made by Ensign Peak, the Mormon Church’s investment firm. 

Additionally, church members fast (don’t eat or drink) for two meals. They donate the amount of money they would have spent on those meals to their ward, or congregation. This is called a fast offering, and the funds are used to help those in need. Church members are asked to do this once a month. Members can also make other donations to the church and specify how they would like the funds to be used. They can donate to the general missionary fund, a ward (congregation) missionary, humanitarian aid, or just give general offerings. These funds are only ever used for the specified purpose. 

The Mormon Church’s Council on the Disposition of the Tithes is made up of the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and the Presiding Bishopric. This council creates a budget from the donations to the LDS Church. The council does this using projected tithing donations and is governed by two principles: first, expenditures will not exceed projected revenue and second, the operating expenses of the church will not increase more rapidly than the projected increase of tithing.

A subcommittee of the Council on the Disposition of the Tithes is called the Budget and Appropriation Committee, which approves and executes the church’s budgets. In addition to this, the church has an auditing department. The auditing department is independent from all other departments and is staffed with credentialed professionals. The department independently audits the global church. Every congregation (both wards and stakes) follows strict financial procedures and does a yearly audit with volunteers from their own congregations.