NeedleinA

Efficiency is good, but not at Church?

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36 minutes ago, LDSGator said:

 that people give their hard earned money to us.

So...  finally the end recipient of tithing funds reveals himself!

Edited by NeedleinA

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14 hours ago, laronius said:

At some point the church stopped receiving tithing in kind. If that wasn't for efficiency's sake I don't know what it was. 

Well, to be honest, the church just is happy that most members believe that isn't a thing any more.  But it still is.  My hope is to someyear hit it big enough in the stock market, that I can pay my entire year of tithing with a single stock donation.  Which will net me a tax break.  Which I must also pay tithing on, hopefully in stock.  Which will net me another tax break.   I'm sure there's some sort of fancy math I can do to figure that out - I'm sure @Vort can help me.

 

 

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1 hour ago, LDSGator said:

Both you guys @NeuroTypical and @NeedleinA make interesting points, but let’s not forget the big picture here. We as a church should he thankful and humbled that people give their hard earned money to us. How they give it, while interesting, is irrelevant. 

Oh, absolutely.  Let not the clerkey passion you see here, give you the impression that any of us have forgotten that.

I think finance clerk is one of the best callings in the church.  I get to see genuine Christlike charity at work every week.  Better than that, I get to have a hand in it.  Over the decade, I've written checks to cover funeral costs, medications, housing, medical bills, counseling, roof repairs so a home remains habitable, and more.   It's humbling.  

And yeah, the good I see it doing, makes me sort of passionate about those envelopes from kiddos that jangle with coins.  

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1 minute ago, NeuroTypical said:

And yeah, the good I see it doing, makes me sort of passionate about those envelopes from kiddos that jangle with coins.  

As it should. Nothing wrong with that at all. 

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5 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

Well, to be honest, the church just is happy that most members believe that isn't a thing any more.  But it still is.  My hope is to someyear hit it big enough in the stock market, that I can pay my entire year of tithing with a single stock donation.  Which will net me a tax break.  Which I must also pay tithing on, hopefully in stock.  Which will net me another tax break.   I'm sure there's some sort of fancy math I can do to figure that out - I'm sure @Vort can help me.

Yep, it still exists. We had a brother desire to do this about 2-3 years ago. Bishop asked SP, SP asked area authority, and they said no. The member was just an average joe, and really had no legitimate reason to do it in that fashion. (he is the type who likes to stand out, and methinks he just wanted to be seen as "cool" or different, but I really don't know) It really is the exception to the rule for the uber rich whose wealth is tied up and/or those who actually cannot make a traditional donation.

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I myself was a branch finance clerk at one point, and so I've been on both sides of this particular issue. 

On one hand, it's daunting, period, to handle any sort of in-person donation, be it cash, check, money order, or so on. There are very strict protocols that must be followed to ensure that everything is handled properly and nothing is embezzled. If it tells you anything, I was the clerk when the California State Democratic Party discovered that their finance officer had embezzled them into near-bankruptcy, and I was shocked to discover that the church had far stricter standards than what these officials had going. That we get any physical donations at all puts whoever handles them under a very bright, hot spotlight. Every penny has to be accounted for, every document kept in a designated fashion, and so on. 

On the other hand, there are many reasons why a person would still prefer to do physical donations. You have people who either do not have regular access to the internet or who are, for one reason or another, very hesitant to direct-deposit their donations; remember, computer crime is a very big deal, and a lot of folks are afraid. There are folks in society who don't even have bank accounts or the like, especially those living at the lower financial rungs. Many younger individuals need the practice and physical discipline. Then there are individuals like myself who either wouldn't remember to pay or otherwise do it to help them better manage their finances (remember, I've had a *lot* of head trauma over the years). 

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20 minutes ago, scottyg said:

It really is the exception to the rule for the uber rich whose wealth is tied up and/or those who actually cannot make a traditional donation.

Yeah, the uber rich, folks stuck with no other choice, or people who know how to google.  https://tech.churchofjesuschrist.org/wiki/Donations_in_kind

(It does not surprise me that out of a member, a Bishop, a SP, and an area authority, none of them knew how to google.  Not everyone can be an internet superstar like the folks here at thirdhour.)

 

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33 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

Well, to be honest, the church just is happy that most members believe that isn't a thing any more.  But it still is.  My hope is to someyear hit it big enough in the stock market, that I can pay my entire year of tithing with a single stock donation.  Which will net me a tax break.  Which I must also pay tithing on, hopefully in stock.  Which will net me another tax break.   I'm sure there's some sort of fancy math I can do to figure that out - I'm sure @Vort can help me.

lim(Increase/10) = 
(Increase→∞)

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1 minute ago, NeuroTypical said:

It does not surprise me that out of a member, a Bishop, a SP, and an area authority, none of them knew how to google.  Not everyone can be an internet superstar like the folks here at thirdhour.)

That will also change when the boomers pass away. Not an insult, how time works. 

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52 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

Well, to be honest, the church just is happy that most members believe that isn't a thing any more.  But it still is.  My hope is to someyear hit it big enough in the stock market, that I can pay my entire year of tithing with a single stock donation.  Which will net me a tax break.  Which I must also pay tithing on, hopefully in stock.  Which will net me another tax break.   I'm sure there's some sort of fancy math I can do to figure that out - I'm sure @Vort can help me.

 

 

I did this a few times in years past - and am not a wealthy individual, just had some mutual funds that had appreciated nicely.  It isn't hard and doesn't take a math major.  The big advantage is by donating shares one can avoid the capital gains on those shares and associated tax (US-centric, consult your tax advisor for specifics).  The Church has a Donations in Kind Office who is happy to work with you.  Just call the general COB phone number and they can connect you with the correct folks.

As a bishop one of the things I enjoyed was having kids hand me donation envelopes; some would shake my hand, some would give me a quick hug, some would hand it off at arm's length.  As for adults, them handing me envelopes at least gave me the opportunity to shake their hand and say hello and thank you.  That may be the only time in some period of time that I actually would speak to them.  The on-line donations eliminate a lot of this, unfortunately.  Even so, I like to use the on-line function myself.

I had lunch last week with a friend who works in the Church's IT and operations department.  On the topic of efficiency it was initially proposed that on-line donations could be set up as a repeatable event so the member could set it up once and be done with it.  That suggestion was immediately and completely shot down with the rationale that each donation needed to be made intentionally and freely given.

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1 hour ago, NeuroTypical said:

Yeah, the uber rich, folks stuck with no other choice, or people who know how to google.  https://tech.churchofjesuschrist.org/wiki/Donations_in_kind

(It does not surprise me that out of a member, a Bishop, a SP, and an area authority, none of them knew how to google.  Not everyone can be an internet superstar like the folks here at thirdhour.)

 

We can google. Perhaps I should have unjumbled my thoughts a bit better...it made sense in my head.

The member in question wanted to donate in kind through the local ward/unit...hence my suspicion (again, possibly wrong) that he just wanted to be perceived as different or better than others. He wanted those in leadership positions to know about him and how well he was doing. If you make your donation directly to the church, then sure, you can use the method you referenced, and it is completely anonymous. Although anyone can do it, the church discourages paying tithing or other donations in kind. If it goes through the ward/stake level though, you need area and/or headquarters approval...most likely for the protection of those local leaders.

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1 hour ago, LDSGator said:

@NeedleinA & @NeuroTypical-don’t you think we will eventually move to a society where physical money is obsolete as well? Not in our lifetimes, but future generations for sure. 

My problem, often, is that I focus on the church in the United States and forget many other places around the world. We could reach it in the USA but decades behind for our friends to the south of us. 

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2 hours ago, LDSGator said:

@NeedleinA & @NeuroTypical-don’t you think we will eventually move to a society where physical money is obsolete as well? Not in our lifetimes, but future generations for sure. 

The human condition practically guarantees that there will always be a place for physical things of value as a medium of exchange.  No matter where you go, there'll always be some sort of off-the-grid or black market thing happening.   Cryptocurrency is an attempt to move such things into electronic transactions, but I doubt we'll ever do away with money, or at least barter goods like gold, until the good Lord wills it.

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18 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

The human condition practically guarantees that there will always be a place for physical things of value as a medium of exchange.  No matter where you go, there'll always be some sort of off-the-grid or black market thing happening.   Cryptocurrency is an attempt to move such things into electronic transactions, but I doubt we'll ever do away with money, or at least barter goods like gold, until the good Lord wills it.

Agree, there will always be a black market. 
 

However, I think (like all gradual changes, really) eventually people will only use apple pay/debit cards/apps, etc.  Cash will be largely forgotten about. 

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3 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

Judging from the number of TikTok videos of people trying to pass dollar coins and $2 bills to disbelieving cashiers, we're already there. :)

You know the old saying: Phony as a $2 bill. And a "dollar coin"? Don't let's be ridiculous.

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On 6/29/2021 at 3:18 PM, NeedleinA said:

Is the Lord interested in efficiency? If he is, then his Church should be too... right?
I recently had two interesting interactions with members in councils. After I presented what I thought was something efficient and for the benefit of members involved, to my surprise some members of the council stated, "The Lord is not interested in efficiency".

I'll share one example.

Example: In many of the units in our Stake, tithing has shifted almost exclusively to online donations with the exception of children and one elderly hold out. This means each Sunday at least two priesthood holders are stuck at church doing 'tithing' AND then driving to the nearest bank drop off. Many Sunday's those drop offs consist of <$10 in change, the kind you know is change in the envelope before you even open it. I suggested that unit leaders either offer to collect tithing 2 times a month OR that the Bishop securely holds donations and they count it only twice a month.

Why?  To allow brethren the opportunity to not stay late, drive 40 minutes round trip and call for rides. These brothers will have already been at church of several hours in other meetings beside block meetings.
To my surprise I was met with, "The Lord is not interested in efficiency".


Have you ever heard this response before? Have you ever given it, if so, why?
One time was weird enough, but it just came up again in another council.

 

I think He is interested in efficiency when it is "expedient" (He uses this word a bit in the D&C). Those who are learning to pay their tithe and/or cannot use the online systems need to have the Lord receive their offerings immediately. His servants represent Him and need to convey this sense of immediate blessing (Mosiah 2:24).

Slothfulness (the oft-cited "Mormon Standard Time" wink-wink) is not expedient in my book at all.

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The primary focus is and has always been each and every son and daughter of G-d rather than the easiest, quickest and most efficient way.  Reading through this thread; I am of the general impression that things are being interpreted from what is most efficient for an affluent society.  There are members throughout the world that survive at a level of poverty that few in more developed nations think possible.

 

The Traveler

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4 hours ago, CV75 said:

Those who are learning to pay their tithe and/or cannot use the online systems need to have the Lord receive their offerings immediately.

Is this represented in the Church's Handbook, the need to 'receive offerings immediately' part?
If this is the case, should each member go to the Bishop's house, not wait until a Sunday and turn over their money immediately?

Edited by NeedleinA

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