The financial base of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the voluntary financial contributions of its members. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints practice the law of tithing as it was taught and practiced in the Old Testament. The word "tithe" means "tenth." Faithful members donate a full tenth of their income for the work of the Church.
Church President Gordon B. Hinckley has said, "Tithing is the Lord's law of finance. There is no financial law like it. It is a principle given with a promise spoken by the Lord Himself for the blessing of His children."
An earlier Church leader, President N. Eldon Tanner, said, "The financial foundation of the Church is its faithful, devoted membership. The great majority of Church income comes from the tithes and offerings of these faithful members."
The greatest portion of Church expenditures goes toward construction and maintenance of chapels and buildings in which to worship, meet and learn. Approximately 600 chapels and other church buildings were under construction in 1999. Substantial funds are also required for the Church education system, which includes Brigham Young University, Ricks College, LDS Business College, seminaries and institutes of religion, and a limited number of Church schools in less-developed countries.
The remainder is spent on other activities, including missionary and temple work, written materials in dozens of languages, and the global administration of the Church.
"It should be recognized," said President Gordon B. Hinckley in 1985, "that all of these are money-consuming assets and not money-producing assets. They do not produce financial wealth, but they do help to produce and strengthen Latter-day Saints. When all is said and done, the only real wealth of the Church is the faith of its people."
All of the funds of the Church are carefully managed. The Church has no general salaried ministry.
The Church has a limited number of commercial properties and investments, which contribute funds to a number of community arts, education, and charitable groups. Income from Church business operations also makes it possible for the Church to participate in local community causes.
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