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Question 5


The LDS Church teaches that a paid clergy is wrong, yet the LDS Prophet and Apostles are paid a salary.

Why is it acceptable for LDS leaders to be paid but wrong for Protestant clergy to be given a salary?


I don't know anything about the prophet and apostles being paid salaries? Is that really true? Two bishops told me just the opposite. My husband is still a high priest in good standing and he doesn't know that. I really need to know. Please enlighten. If it's true, I don't see any way [to] justify that. -Anonymous (non-LDS)

Dear person, I am a moromon and have heard no such thing, please send evidence or proof. Thank You -D.C. (LDS)

COMMENT: Following is the information we provided to those asking for documentation supporting our claim that LDS leaders are paid:
The most recent documentation on this issue comes from an article in the Salt Lake Tribune (10/4/97, A1) regarding David Burton, the new Presiding Bishop. The article said, "First, as an LDS general authority, Burton's salary is a fraction of what he could make doing a similar job at a U.S. corporation."
A book that is a dozen years old, The Mormon Corporate Empire by John Heinerman and Anson Shupe, Beacon Press, 1985, revealed that top LDS leaders are paid (pages 87-89).
There is also evidence from an early LDS diary that shows apostles were receiving salaries in 1889 (Journal of L. John Nuttall, pp. 349-350). In the late 1950s or early 1960s a former Church Financial Department employee claimed that Apostles were then given a salary of $12,000.00 per year plus an expense account. D. Michael Quinn found in his research that the Quorum of the Twelve established a fixed salary for LDS leaders which "continued without significant interruption from 1882 onward…" (The Mormon Hierarchy, 1832-1932: An American Elite, Ph.D. Dissertation, pp. 127-133).

Read your scriptures, Say your prayers, have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and help and teach others to do the same And most of all do it in a spirit of love and fellowship. The promises are clear, the scriptures are true, God Lives! Truth is truth. Ask and it shall be given. Do you really ask? Are you filled with the spirit [of] peace and love? Why do you devote all your time to a web site directed at the LDS faith. Are you acting as true diciples of our savior Jesus Christ? Wouldn't your time be better spent in teaching the true and everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ as you understand it? I believe in Christ. I believe that he loves all of his "sheep", even some of us that are Mormons. Does the issue of paid clergy really matter? I choose not to condem those who have a paid clergy no matter what faith they are. Isn't this how our savior would want it? -D.L. (LDS)

Hi…What I have been told is that the prophet and the apostles are not paid…only people who work for social services, or at church headquarters, such as secretaries, clerks, etc are paid for obvious reasons…that is their livelihood…If you have documented proof that they get paid, I would love to see it…Personally, I have no problem with clergymen in other churches getting paid for the work they do…If that is their churches' way of doing things, I totally respect that…thank you :-) -R.A. (LDS)

You have made this statement: "The LDS Church teaches that a paid clergy is wrong." Please support this statement with 1. LDS scripture or 2. Official statements by the living prophets or apostles. -D.L. (LDS)

COMMENT: Following is the information we provided:
Mosiah 27: 5: Yea, and all their priests and teachers should labor with their own hands for their support, in all cases save it were in sickness, or in much want; and doing these things, they did abound in the grace of God.
2 Nephi 26:31: But the laborer in Zion shall labor for Zion; for if they labor for money they shall perish.
Apostle Bruce McConkie: From the sectarian view, the true Church has a lay ministry, meaning that bishops and other church officers do not receive financial compensation for their work; their temporal necessities are provided through secular pursuits. (Mormon Doctrine p. 505)
There are additional quotes from LDS leaders denouncing "hireling priests" and drawing a distinction between the servants of the "true church" and those of other churches. See Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Six 1843-44, p.315; George Smith, "My Journal," The Instructor 81:414; pre-1990 Temple Endowment Ceremony.

What these leaders receive is compensation for the great amount of travel that they must do. The vast majority of them, however, donate this all back to the Church. The majority are already very successful businessmen and do not require any kind of subsistance whatsoever. The difference between these leaders being compensated for travel and a paid ministry is quite obvious. These brethren do not work for the Church, nor do they ask for or solicate donations---But I have attended other religious organizations and witnessed the protestant ministers "chew-out" the congregation because he didn't have enough money to by his kid a new sports car. The vast majority of tithes and offerings that come into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are used for the building of new churches and temples, and too support the poor. If you were to request the financial records of the Church you would see this. But for those who administer directly to the flock, there is no kind of pay or compensation of any kind, just as we are directed in the Bible [check ref. in: Isaiah 45:13; Titus 1:7; 1 Peter 5:2]. -W.H. (LDS)

COMMENT: The following quotes from LDS sources show that General Authorities and Mission Presidents receive more than travel reimbursements:
James R. Clark, Messages of the First Presidency, Vol.6, p.284: "The living allowances of the General Authorities of the Church increased 30 percent retroactive to January 1, 1950."
Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol.2, FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS: "Because the General Authorities are obliged to leave their regular employment for full-time Church service, they receive a modest living allowance provided from income on Church investments."
Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol.2, GENERAL AUTHORITIES: "Unlike local leaders, who maintain their normal vocations while serving in Church assignments, General Authorities set aside their careers to devote their full time to the ministry of their office. The living allowance given General Authorities rarely if ever equals the earnings they sacrifice to serve full-time in the Church."
Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol.2, MISSION PRESIDENT: "The calling is not a regular remunerative position, but interrupts professional employment; whatever financial losses accrue are part of the expected sacrifice. The family involved gives of its time and energies without salary, though there is a modest allowance for living expenses."
Church News, October 13, 1979, p.19: "Elder Richards told stories of men being called as General Authorities who gave up financial success and fame to accept lifelong assignments with only a small living allowance to support them."
A salary by any other name is still a salary. LDS leaders are clearly compensated for their service to the Church, just as full-time non-LDS clergy are compensated for their service to their congregations. While there is no doubt the LDS Church employs a double-standard on this issue, there seems to be no answer to our original question: The LDS Church teaches that a paid clergy is wrong, yet the LDS Prophet and Apostles are paid a salary. Why is it acceptable for LDS leaders to be paid but wrong for Protestant clergy to be given a salary?

no where in the bible does it teach it is wrong for "clergy" to be paid. on the contrary, here are verses that would teach other wise: 1 cor 9:3-14; luke 10:7-8; and for the people who don't accept the bible here is solid proof from D. and C. 42:71-73 71.and the elders or high priests who are appointed to assist the bishop as counselors in all things, are to have their families supported out of the property which is consecrated to the bishop, for the good of the poor, and for other purposes, as before mentioned; or they are to receive a just remuneration for all their services, either a stewardship or otherwise, as may be thought best or decided by the counselors and bishop. and the bishop, also, shall receive his support, or a just remuneration for all his services in the church." many missionaries have told me they support themselves. that is not true, pg 209 of gospel principles says there is a missionary fund set aside by members of the church. if the mormon church is not aware of these teachings or is dishonest, how can members and non-members trust the church to lead them into the truth? please contact me with any questions. (i own all the books i quote from.) [email protected] -- i would love to talk to you. -RB (non-LDS)