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Are LDS Church Revenues Really $50 Billion/Year? (Part 2)

In our next conversation with Dr. Michael Quinn, we’ll talk about LDS Church revenues per year.  Would you believe it is as high as $50 Billion?  Dr. Quinn breaks down how much comes from tithing and for-profit businesses, and also states how many church members pay tithing.

Michael:  The tithing has never been 100 percent in payment. And in fact, in the 1990s, a Deseret Book publication said no more than 50 percent in the ’90s, which would be a dramatic improvement over the 1920s.  But, it’s always been a part, even of devout members of the church who have paid a full tithing.

But, the lowest level that I have reported by a member of the Presiding Bishop was 25 percent and that could be the area that it’s hovering around maybe 25 to 40 percent pay full tithing. But it depends, because I’ve heard praise given during the Cold War. For example, I heard praise given by General Authorities for the members of the church in East Germany, which was a communist, very repressive regime that they paid 80; 80 percent of its membership paid a full tithing of what little they had.

So, it varies and I’m sure it varies internationally and people who are very poor give the widow’s mite and this would be true of the poor in many developing countries who barely have enough money to feed themselves and their children. And yet many of them are not exempted from tithing despite that poverty and they do their best and then some succeed to pay 10 percent and still keep their kids from starving. So, I don’t think we should be flippant about the fact that many people don’t pay tithing.

Are LDS General Authorities expected to pay tithing?

Somebody who is a church General Authority, for example, who has no other source of income, but what the church gives him, it’s still expected to pay 10 percent of that back to the church. Otherwise, and I’ve seen the PBO[1] reports. He is defined as a part or no tithe payer.

GT: Do they take away his temple recommend?

Michael: Right, it could happen and it wouldn’t be the first time that a general authority has been threatened with being dropped from office for one reason or another.  But, in the tithing reports that I had access to from the 1890s to 1928, typically a general authority who said he was a part-tithe payer was only in that status for a year or two. And then he became a full time payer. Whether there was pressure applied, I don’t know. But, sometimes it did last more than one year.

Check out our conversation…

Dr. Michael Quinn breaks down the percent of tithing and church businesses that contribute to LDS Church revenues.
Dr. Michael Quinn breaks down the percent of tithing and church businesses that contribute to LDS Church revenues.  Do they invest in Bitcoins?

 

[1] I believe PBO stands for Presiding Bishop’s Office.  The Presiding Bishop is in charge of church financial affairs for the entire church.

Don’t forget to check out our previous conversation where we get acquainted with Dr. Quinn and discuss the Deseret Hemp Company!

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What is the “Order of Enoch”? Reinterpreting Consecration in Today’s World

We’re continuing our discussion with Jim Vun Cannon, a counselor in the First Presidency of the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  In this conversation, we’ll going to compare differences and similarities between the Law of Tithing and the Law of Consecration between the LDS Church and the Remnant Church.  We’ve made a few passing references to the “Order of Enoch.”  What is that exactly?

Jim:  That was something that was set about in the church.  That was, oh goodness, I’d say the 1850s I believe was probably the first time that was there.  Basically it was the idea of consecrating.

GT:  Are you consecrating all of your things together and giving them to the bishop and letting him disburse them?

Jim:  So that’s an interesting part about that.  Having seen some of these, what I would call them, “all things common”, kind of little groups that are out there, it’s not like that.  We interpret “all things common” a little differently, and we interpret consecration differently in the respect that it’s not a common purse.  Certainly we’re to go before the bishop and we’re to get counsel from him on how to spend our monies, but we are still the steward over those monies.  Even when we live in community together, we don’t have that community purse.

Everybody has their own paycheck, has their own monies.  It’s out of their own volition to do so that hey, so-and-so needs this or whatever. They consecrate that surplus to the bishop and the bishop then of course at a greater level look at who needs what and then provide that to them.

It was a fun conversation as we talked about the differences in tithing and consecration between the LDS and Remnant Churches.  Both churches have had to adapt since the days of a “common purse” in Joseph Smith’s day.  Check out our conversation!