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brown67

General Authorities??? Living expenses???

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I know General Authorities receive living expenses. Heard its somewhere around 80k a year. I also know that the money doesn't come from tithing, but rather from the corporation of the church which handles the businesses and investments of the church. Here is what I don't understand. Do the wealthier General Authorities donate all their money to the church at the time they become General Authorities, at their death, or never at all? Will wealthier General Authorities support themselves and not take money?

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Some General Authorities receive a modest living stipend

Some members of the Church are unaware that at least some General Authorities do receive a modest living stipend. While it is true that some Church leaders receive a living allowance while they serve in a given position, it cannot be said that the Church has a professional ministry in the traditional sense.

Some positions in the Church, namely a call to serve in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles or the First Quorum of the Seventy, are “for life” positions, meaning that the man chosen to fill the position serves until the end of his life. In such cases, if required, they are also given a modest living allowance. While many members of the Church are unaware of these allowances, that they exist and that they are comparatively modest was acknowledged in general conference by President Gordon B. Hinckley: “... the living allowances given the General Authorities, which are very modest in comparison with executive compensation in industry and the professions, come from this business income and not from the tithing of the people.[1] Calls to other Quorums of the Seventy do not require the same full-time commitment, therefore those who serve these positions do not receive a living allowance.

A call to serve as a General Authority usually comes later in life, and none of these men has depended upon their Church service for their "career" or "income." Given the high caliber accomplishments of those called to full-time service, it is reasonable to expect that they could make a lot more money (with less trouble) in some other field of endeavor.

The fact that this stipend exists has not been hidden. As President Hinckley noted in General Conference:

Merchandising interests are an outgrowth of the cooperative movement which existed among our people in pioneer times. The Church has maintained certain real estate holdings, particularly those contiguous to Temple Square, to help preserve the beauty and the integrity of the core of the city. All of these commercial properties are tax-paying entities.

I repeat, the combined income from all of these business interests is relatively small and would not keep the work going for longer than a very brief period.

I should like to add, parenthetically for your information, that the living allowances given the General Authorities, which are very modest in comparison with executive compensation in industry and the professions, come from this business income and not from the tithing of the people.[2]

Many Church General Authorities come from respected professions from which they make a substantial living. Dedicating themselves full time at the sacrifice of substantial careers, these leaders live modestly, work tirelessly, keep grueling travel schedules, and continue doing so well past an age when others retire. They are also demonstrably men of education and accomplishment; one can hardly claim that they were unsuited for work in the world given their accomplishments prior to being called to full-time Church service. No tithing funds provide for stipends; such funds are drawn from business income earned by Church investments.

A Scriptural Basis

Although some General Authorities receive a living stipend, DC 42:71-73 does account for the potential support of individuals called to full time service in the Church. Latter-day Saints care for their members through a resource known as the Bishop's Storehouse. This storehouse is filled through the contributions of members and includes temporal resources to assist individuals who have unmet temporal needs. It is administered through the office of the Presiding Bishopric of the Church and through the local administration of ward Bishop's. While the Church does not currently use the Bishop's Storehouse to provide for the temporal needs of General Authorities, as mentioned above, it does indicate a scriptural basis for them to receive support when warranted and according to their needs.

This is from the fair website. Also, found a website from BYU that explain it. I'll try to go back and find it. I don't think its any big secret that the GA get paid and that the money comes from the commercial side of the church and not tithing money. I just don't know if they donate all their money to the church at the time they became a GA or later when they die.

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Interesting.

But I'd be surprised if where their money goes after their passing is readily available. It seems to be a private family matter. Besides, as far as I know, they're not required to live the Law Of Consecration.

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Do the wealthier General Authorities donate all their money to the church at the time they become General Authorities, at their death, or never at all?

This ends up being a private financial planning discussion for each individual that should be had with their financial planner, insurance agent & estate attorney.

There are charitable trusts that can be set up for income and then donate the assets upon death. There are charitable trusts that do the opposite.

It is their private wealth, and it is up to them to determine what they wish to have done.

Keep in mind that most general authorities have 2-3 generations of family members that can benefit from accumulated wealth.

Jacob 2:17-19

17 Think of your brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you.

18 But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God.

19 And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.

In my opinion, family counts in these verses.

Will wealthier General Authorities support themselves and not take money?

Absolutely, but it should be done with all the tax planning needed. Think about it: A living allowance may be (ought to be) tax-deductible for the Church. If that money is put to greater uses, then so much the better.

But it takes expert planning advice.

President Monson has been in the Apostleship for over 50 years. It would not be possible (except by family inheritance) to have his personal wealth support him for such a period of time.

Living allowances allow the Church and the Lord to choose the best candidates for callings, and not be limited to those of greater financial means.

All that being said, I think it's hard enough to live the gospel standards without wondering what the General Authorities are doing with donated funds or business profits.

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From the church's published figures in Canada, top 10 highest paid in that country were getting 80-200K/year. General Authorities also have the magic charge card for any and all expenses, so from my limited accounting knowledge that would probably be on top of the salary. (yes, yes, "stipend" but might as well call it what it is reported as) Lot of other perks too. It is possible that Apostles are also compensated for their Board service (company Boards owned by the church).

I'm not aware that General Authorities are required to give up any of their own property upon being called. It's a pity that all the figures are not published (as it was prior to 1960), so there wouldn't be any need to speculate. I think members would be fairly surprised at the amount of money the church receives and where it all goes. Statements have always been that compensation is "modest" but that is always stated in comparison to executives. Well, think about how much you hear CEOs make. Even a modest relative number might sound like a lot to the average member.

This is usually the point when my member friends start reaffirming their testimony about living prophets and "the Lord's money". That's cool. All I know is that lots of money without adequate transparency (D&C 104) is a risky business ;) Overall, the Church's financial history is a fascinating subject.

Roy

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In 1996, a policy change in the Church was made so that General Authorities have to quit their jobs and board directorships in any business except for Deseret Management Corporation. In effect, this made it so that only those who are financially secure can become a General Authority. To open up the General Authority to those who do not have the financial means to support themselves without a job, they started the stipend.

The question you should ask yourself is - how do you propose General Authorities support themselves if not for a stipend? And if you propose they keep their jobs, how do you prevent people from accusing General Authorities of conflict of interest when a Church policy crosses the path of businesses interests? And how can you expect a General Authority to be at the beck and call of the Church when he has to keep a job to feed himself?

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In 1996, a policy change in the Church was made so that General Authorities have to quit their jobs and board directorships in any business except for Deseret Management Corporation. In effect, this made it so that only those who are financially secure can become a General Authority. To open up the General Authority to those who do not have the financial means to support themselves without a job, they started the stipend.

Thanks you beat me to it. I had posted this same bit of information recently on another thread and was just in the process of doing it again and noticed yours.

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In 1996, a policy change in the Church was made so that General Authorities have to quit their jobs and board directorships in any business except for Deseret Management Corporation. In effect, this made it so that only those who are financially secure can become a General Authority. To open up the General Authority to those who do not have the financial means to support themselves without a job, they started the stipend.

The question you should ask yourself is - how do you propose General Authorities support themselves if not for a stipend? And if you propose they keep their jobs, how do you prevent people from accusing General Authorities of conflict of interest when a Church policy crosses the path of businesses interests? And how can you expect a General Authority to be at the beck and call of the Church when he has to keep a job to feed himself?

I don't think the OP or Roy is questioning or arguing that a GA should not get a "stipend" but that members would be surprised as to how much this "stipend" actually is. That's how I'm reading it.

M.

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I've never thought about or even worried about how much was received. These men have given years and years of their lives to the church. At a time when so many men have retired and sitting at home in rocking chairs...these men are still going strong. Giving their all to move the work forward.

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How much would you say is an appropriate amount? Who gets to determine that? Especially considering that they're being asked to put their entire lives and energies into these callings, and many giving up successful careers to do so? 80k really isn't that much per year for someone at the tail end of a career.

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But we just plain don't know how much that is, Maureen. I haven't seen the Canadian data, but IMHO its entirely possible that a lifelong Church employee in a managerial role - here or abroad - gets a comp package (including health insurance, etc) in the ballpark previously mentioned and exceeding even the amounts received per annum by the Twelve (who, unlike regular employees or even the Seventy, don't have to worry about budgeting for a retirement).

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The logic is clear: If it's more than I make, it's too much.

Well should you ever make more than you normally make now..please feel free to donate. I'll pm you my address. :lol:

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But we just plain don't know how much that is, Maureen. I haven't seen the Canadian data, but IMHO its entirely possible that a lifelong Church employee in a managerial role - here or abroad - gets a comp package (including health insurance, etc) in the ballpark previously mentioned and exceeding even the amounts received per annum by the Twelve (who, unlike regular employees or even the Seventy, don't have to worry about budgeting for a retirement).

That's true, regular members do not know how much is given to a GA as a "stipend" of "living allowance". But when you think of the words used like "stipend" or "living allowance" I'm going to guess that a lot of members would assume it's a relative amount to what's necessary for living. For example, 80K is reasonable because that seems to be a normal living income. In other forums, some have speculated that GAs receive as much as 400K. But the truth is regular members do not know, because GA's or the church have not shared that information. If they do decide to share it sometime in the future, it would be interesting to see how members respond to that information, whether the amount is anywhere between 80K and 400K, or even if it is less.

M.

Edited by Maureen

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I don't think the OP or Roy is questioning or arguing that a GA should not get a "stipend" but that members would be surprised as to how much this "stipend" actually is. That's how I'm reading it.

M.

Well, the way the Church thinks about it is this way: If these people were now working they would be making quite a great salary (taking into consideration that most of them had successful careers prior to being called to become a GA). The stipends may be a lot for some people but I don't even think it matches what these people were making.

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it would be interesting to see how members respond to that information, whether the amount is anywhere between 80K and 400K, or even if it is less.

M.

And that's probably one of the reasons - if not the only reason - that such information are not for public consumption.

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it would be interesting to see how members respond to that information, whether the amount is anywhere between 80K and 400K, or even if it is less. M.

It would be another topic full of drama. lol

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I don't think the OP or Roy is questioning or arguing that a GA should not get a "stipend" but that members would be surprised as to how much this "stipend" actually is. That's how I'm reading it.

M.

I wasn't responding directly to the OP but making commentary in line to the responses to the thread.

The OP, I thought was asking if the GAs have to give up all their assets to the Church. I have no idea if they do or not. Probably not.

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President Hinckley (acting as a second counselor in the First Presidency) at the time said:

I should like to add, parenthetically for your information, that the living allowances given the General Authorities, which are very modest in comparison with executive compensation in industry and the professions, come from this business income and not from the tithing of the people.

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1985/10/questions-and-answers?lang=eng

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I look at it this way: the Pope lives in a palace, has and armed escort, servants and certainly has access to total luxury.:P

Please point out a GA that lives in a palace paid for by someone that's not him. Doesn't matter what the stipend is, these guys are clearly not leading an extravagant lifestyle. Travel, which a lot of them do a lot of the time is expensive and I would expect the church to pay those sorts of expenses. A decent standard of living here in the US is around $100k per year, and if there are family members involved, I'd expect it to be more. Remember, that thse guys wives are also usually active as far as travel and speeches a lot of the time. Even a decent clothing allowance would be very tight on that amount of $$$. That $100k would really allow no savings account.

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