Next time Mormons pay tithing, they may notice something new
New donation slips being used by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have fewer categories than in the past and now contain this caveat: "Though reasonable efforts will be made to use donations as designated, all donations become the church's property and will be used at the church's sole discretion to further the church's overall mission."
The LDS Church has redesigned the slips members use to pay tithing and other donations, eliminating several of the line items.
Until recently, church members could check a box in front of the Perpetual Education Fund (which helps Mormon students in less-developed nations), the Book of Mormon (to pay for publication of the Utah-based faith's signature scripture), or temple construction in addition to tithing, fast offerings (for the poor), general and ward missionary funds and humanitarian aid.
The current form now has spaces only for tithing, fast offering, humanitarian aid and general and ward missionary fund. The education, temple and scripture funds have been removed.
A line remains for “other,” which members can use to specify these various funds where they want their money to be spent, but there is no guarantee that the church will honor any particular request.
“Though reasonable efforts will be made globally to use donations as designated,” it now reads on the bottom of the form, “all donations become the church's property and will be used at the church's sole discretion to further the church's overall mission.”
The reason for the change?
“We feel a sacred obligation to make sure that tithing and other donations made to the church are used prudently and wisely,” church spokesman Scott Trotter said. “The new language on the donation slips simply gives some flexibility to meet the changing needs of a growing, global faith as circumstances require.”
The new slips eventually will reach every Mormon congregation.Peggy Fletcher Stack
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