General Authority Compensation

CompensationAs you are probably aware of by now, MormonLeaks recently produced a few financial documents dealing with General Authority compensation: a set of pay stubs from Henry B. Eyring (then an apostle) from the year 2000, and a January 2014 internal memo noting that members of the First Quorum of the Seventy would have their “living allowance” increased to $120,000 that year.

One of the pay stubs for Elder Eyring is for the pay period ending December 8th, meaning it was likely the second-to-last pay stub of the year, and it shows a year-to-date of $83,132.75. This means that, seventeen years ago, an apostle was likely being paid $86K-$87K a year. (This would match what was told to me by a former church tax auditor c. 1998, that the apostles are paid a “high five-figure amount” while the First Presidency is paid a “low six-figure amount.” It would seem that my source from all those years ago was accurate.) The publication of these documents has produced some tension in LDS thought given the common Mormon criticisms of the “priestcraft” of other paid Christian clergy. My thoughts are as follows:

(1) LDS friends, it is time to give up the “priestcraft” accusations, no “ifs,” “ands,” or “buts” about it. It’s nothing but hypocrisy at this point.  While it’s true that you have very few professional clergy—as in people who planned and trained specifically for a paid career in ministry (I would limit this group to LDS chaplains and some LDS educators)—your top leaders are compensated, and they are compensated well. They are compensated much better than the average pastors and other clergymen (and women) whom you are criticizing. Please do feel free to criticize largesse, consumerism, and materialism in our churches when you see it, but the principle of a full-time minister being reimbursed for his or her service is a sound one, and one that you clearly share.

(2) The apologetics drawing comparisons between GA compensation and CEO compensation are not doing you any favors. Modern-day executive compensation is well-known for being bloated, avaricious, and deeply problematic. Saying “but at least they don’t make as much as those greedy businessmen” really isn’t saying anything meaningful.

(3) Where you might be more justified is in drawing comparisons between what GAs make and what other denominational leaders and religious non-profit charity heads make. By that measure, $120K per year is indeed “modest.” For my own part, I have absolutely no problem with these leaders being paid these amounts, I only desire more transparency and openness about it (and less criticism of other Christians for doing the same).

(4) Here’s something about these documents that does puzzle me though: why wasn’t Elder Eyring paying SECA? Religious ministers are considered self-employed, which means they have to pay 100% of their Social Security contributions (SECA) versus most of us, who pay 50% while our employers pay the other 50% (FICA). Clergy from religious orders that have taken a vow of poverty are exempt from SECA, but since Elder Eyring was paid around $87K that year (well above the poverty level), this does not appear to be the case. The only other way for clergy to exempt themselves from Social Security is to turn in an IRS form 4631 declaring themselves to be conscientious objectors to Social Security. Since when does the Mormon church conscientiously object to the Social Security program?

Note that being a conscientious objector does not mean that you think the program is wasteful, or you believe that the program will be dead by the time you retire, or you just want to hold on to your own money. Russell Moore explains it here (as he advises a young Baptist minister on the matter). If you aren’t a true conscientious objector, not paying your SECA is not paying your taxes. So what was/is going on with Elder Eyring? And how many other LDS leaders have opted out of paying SECA?

UPDATE: It’s been pointed out to me that we wouldn’t see his SECA on the pay stub because SECA is not withheld by the employer. We can’t tell from this whether GAs pay into Social Security or not.
That concludes my thoughts on the matter. What are yours?

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About Bridget Jack Jeffries

Bridget Jack Jeffries is a human resources professional living in Chicago. She holds a BA in classics from Brigham Young University with a minor in Hebrew and an MA in American religious history from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. She is a member of the Evangelical Covenant Church and a single mother of two. You can read more of her writings at www.Weighted-Glory.com.

51 thoughts on “General Authority Compensation

  1. Since several of the leaders are a lot better off than many LDS in the US – never mind the 50%+ of the members who live outside of the US – and are likely to have a lot of other perks, the $120K is really a big chunk of spending money, or money to leave to their families, in amounts that most members will never see in their lifetimes.

    If they depend on that paycheck to keep their families in food and shelter, in a regular lifestyle, I have no problem with the amount. I suspect, however, that their total compensation package makes their “stipend” way in excess of reasonable requirements.

    However,

  2. Tim made me laugh.
    The positive here is that the LDS is arguably more biblical concerning rewarding their ministers (1 Timothy 5:17-18) than I had at one time thought. I agreed with Jack when she said, “For my own part, I have absolutely no problem with these leaders being paid these amounts, I only desire more transparency and openness about it (and less criticism of other Christians for doing the same).”

  3. I think that LDS should recognize that pastor salaries are much more like minor-league baseball players (rock bottom) and most would have an similar priestcraft claim against preachers that rake in huge “major-league” salaries.

    $120,000, while well out of the minor leagues, doesn’t really compare to the major leagues of pastor salaries.

    I think LDS should also consider that invoking God to raise money for your tribe is a similar class of behavior as invoking God to raise money for yourself if the gospel is not being effectively conveyed.

  4. Let’s review this claim:

    “your top leaders are compensated, and they are compensated well. They are compensated much better than the average pastors and other clergymen (and women) whom you are criticizing.”

    This statement is not comparing apples to apples. It is comparing a top leader (an apostle compensation) whose responsibility is to oversee and manage the LDS Church in different countries (meaning also thousands of LDS congregations) and a local pastor who oversees and manage just one local congregation.

    What we, LDS people “are criticizing” is your average pastors’ compensation with our bishops’ compensations. This is an apples-to-apples comparison, meaning local leaders in the Christian churches to local leaders in the LDS Church. While your average pastors are nicely compensated, our bishops are part-time volunteers and do not make any money for their service in church, they do not even get reimbursed the cost of fuel they use in their cars to go to fulfill their duties as bishops. zero, nothing, for the volunteer service.

    If you want to compare our top leaders’ compensation, you have to compare them to the top leaders of the Christian churches and we will see the differences.

    Also, as Tim said lines above, they are not paid to perform as clergy, they are paid to perform as administrators, Their ecclesiastical duties as clergy are clearly stated in the Official Mormon Canon and those duties are not considered in their compensations.

  5. In trying to understand LDS Mormons I have come to the conclusion that the requirement for transparency is going to be tied to your understanding of authority. If your believe your leaders have a biblical “thus says the lord” prophetic authority transparency just isn’t important.

    I have never understood the comparison between the compensation of LDS lay leaders and full time clergy. LDS Mormons congregations have local lay leaders supported by a substantial bureaucracy while most Protestant congregations have a mixture of lay leaders and paid clergy with smaller (if any) denominational bureaucracies providing support. The systems are completely different, the roles and responsibilities of local leaders are completely different, the requirements to be in local leadership are completely different.

  6. carlosbyu ~ I compared GA compensation to denominational leader and non-profit charity leader compensation in point #3 — the “apples to apples” comparison of which you call for.

    That said, there is one aspect in which the average Protestant minister and the GA are similar: they are both full-time positions. When defending GA compensation, Mormons inevitably point out that the GAs must have some form of payment because it’s a full-time position that doesn’t leave room for other means of supporting one’s family. Fair enough, but if that’s the case, why is it okay for you to pay full-time ministers in your church, but it’s “priestcraft” if other churches to do the same?

    as Tim said lines above, they are not paid to perform as clergy, they are paid to perform as administrators

    You get that Tim was rolling his eyes at Mormons who say this, right? Anyhow, if they’re being paid for “administration,” why aren’t FICA and Social Security taxes being withheld from their paychecks? Why are they getting a “parsonage allowance”? Both of these things suggest that they are being classified as clergy for pay purposes, not administrators.

  7. The average salary for a Roman Catholic priest in my diocese is about $30,000.00. This is not a palatial sum for individuals with their education and skills. And they do not have the added financial responsibilities of their Protestant brethren in ministry which most likely include spouse and children. Both Protestant and Catholic ministries include administration of their parishes and congregations. It has not been my experience that any of these priests or ministers are living lives of luxury. Au contraire, these priests and ministers, at least the ones I’m familiar, with are living lives of sacrifice and service every single day. “Priestcraft” indeed. For the scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it is threshing,” and, “A worker deserves his pay.” 1 Timothy 5:18. Not a single one of the priests and ministers that I know is in it for the nice compensation so glibly and imho falsely described.

  8. What we, LDS people “are criticizing” is your average pastors’ compensation with our bishops’ compensations. This is an apples-to-apples comparison, meaning local leaders in the Christian churches to local leaders in the LDS Church. While your average pastors are nicely compensated, our bishops are part-time volunteers and do not make any money for their service in church, they do not even get reimbursed the cost of fuel they use in their cars to go to fulfill their duties as bishops. zero, nothing, for the volunteer service.

    And, as a person who grew up Mormon, I can say definitively, in terms of the Mormon level of pastoral care and competence: you sure as hell get what you pay for.

  9. Bridget Jack Jeffries, These are you words:

    “Mormons inevitably point out that the GAs must have some form of payment because it’s a full-time position that doesn’t leave room for other means of supporting one’s family. Fair enough, but if that’s the case, why is it okay for you to pay full-time ministers in your church, but it’s “priestcraft” if other churches to do the same?”

    First off, It is OK for us, because GAs are professionals in different fields of science, business or law. None of them has a degree in theology or divinity from a university or theological school; they were not trained for full-time ministry in any college, seminary or university; they did not choose Christian ministry as a way to make a living, but that is exactly what ministers in the other churches did and that is exactly what we mean when we talk about “priestcraft”.

    At this point, let me clarify, that we cannot stereotype and we cannot generalize that every member of the clergy in the current Christian denominations is in the ministry for the money, but what it is a fact, is that all of them decided to choose Christian ministry not only to serve God but to make a living.

    As for the LDS apostles, they were called to serve God in the same way the early apostles of Jesus Christ were as it was recorded in the New Testament: Peter the apostle was a fisherman, the same was Andrew his brother; James and his brother John, sons of Zebedee, were also fishermen; Mathew was a tax collector, etc. Jesus did not call to the ministry the members of the Sanhedrin, neither call he any doctor of the law.

    As the early apostles, LDS GAs did not choose ministry to serve God, but God chose them to serve him and the church and they left their successful careers where they could make even more than the compensation they receive from the Church. Mostly this is not the case of clergy in other Christian denominations, (there might be some exceptions, that is why I wrote the word “mostly”)

  10. Katy L,
    Thank you for sharing your personal opinion when you said:

    “And, as a person who grew up Mormon, I can say definitively, in terms of the Mormon level of pastoral care and competence: you sure as hell get what you pay for.”

    Very true, “you get what you pay for”. If your statement is a complain about the low level of care and competence of LDS bishops in the LDS church, then, take your complain to Jesus in a personal prayer, because that is the way he established his church in the early times with part-time volunteers bishops that had no training in pastoral ministry.

  11. I’m trying to understand why it is OK to have paid, full time, uneducated, and untrained clergy, but an educated and trained vocational ministry is priestcraft. Am I missing something?

  12. Yes, you are missing the point.

    These are my words lines above:

    “they (meaning LDS GAs) did not choose Christian ministry as a way to make a living, but that is exactly what ministers in the other churches did and that is exactly what we mean when we talk about “priestcraft”.

    Do I need to clarify more?

  13. “Do I need to clarify more?”

    Well I wish you would because your description means the BYU religion professor or Salt Lake CES employee or the LDS Mormon military chaplain are all practicing priestcraft.

  14. carlosbyu ~ It sounds like you haven’t spoken to very many non-LDS Christian ministers. “I chose to become a minister and God’s call in my life had nothing to do with it” is something almost none of them would say. Most of them have stories of how they were unwilling or uninterested in becoming ministers, but God kept on asserting his will in their lives in different ways. For example, my pastor has a story about how she was at a youth meeting where those interested in ministry were asked to step forward. She was strongly opposed to going into ministry, but felt a hand shove her forward from behind, even though no one was standing behind her. This was one of the things that happened that made her realize God was calling her to ministry.

    Likewise, one of my professors at TEDS said that she was walking into her church one day when she was young and the elders of her church were all waiting for her. They stopped her and said, “We believe that you are called to ministry. We want you to go to seminary, and we’ll pay for it.”

    On the same token, LDS leadership callings are hardly random. There’s a fair degree of nepotism that takes place with most of the men called being related to other GAs. That doesn’t prove that God isn’t involved in the process (several of the original apostles were related), but it’s not like “be called by God” is the only requirement. Those who don’t have some kind of familial or personal tie to current GAs stand little chance of ever being called.

    I’m having a hard time understanding why the distinction re: “being professionally trained” matters. We professionally train our ministers because we want them to be good at what they do. That doesn’t mean they were not called by God. And as Gundek says, some LDS ministry options are professionally trained, like seminary instructors and LDS chaplains. Are they engaging in priestcraft?

  15. Gundek, since you need more clarification, then I will proceed, these are your words:

    “Well I wish you would because your description means the BYU religion professor or Salt Lake CES employee or the LDS Mormon military chaplain are all practicing priestcraft.”

    The difference between practicing priestcraft or not is not based on what they do, or what kind of education they had, but in why they do it.

    It is well known that some people study a profession, not for the love or passion they have for that particular profession, but for the monetary compensation they think they can get, In other words, they are in for the money.

    The same is with paid ministry, some are there for they feel God has called them into ministry, others are there for the money and the prestige, respect, privileges and benefits that comes with the title. They are not in there to serve God and his people but to serve themselves from the position. That is what we call priestcraft.

    Now, answering your queston: If an LDS Mormon military chaplain is in that position for the money, for securing a job, for the benefits of the position and not for serving God and his people, yes, he would be practicing priestcraft.

    BYU religion professors or Salt Lake CES employees are professional educators and educators cannot get involved in priestcraft, even if they teach only for the money. Technically speaking, they cannot get involved in priestcraft.

    Do you still need more clarification?

  16. Bridget,

    Let me answer your questions, these are your words:

    “On the same token, LDS leadership callings are hardly random. There’s a fair degree of nepotism that takes place with most of the men called being related to other GAs. That doesn’t prove that God isn’t involved in the process (several of the original apostles were related), but it’s not like “be called by God” is the only requirement. Those who don’t have some kind of familial or personal tie to current GAs stand little chance of ever being called.”

    Again you are comparing apples to oranges, how a GA is called and how a local Christian denomination minister is called. You should compare how LDS local leaders like bishops, branch presidents, elders’ quorum presidents in our congregations are called with local leaders of Christian denominations, like yourself, and then come out with your conclusions about nepotism if you still find any. As far as I know our stake presidents do not have family ties to GAs, neither our local bishops have family ties to our stake presidents (who call them to ministry), nor to GAs.

    About how LDS GAs are called is the same as it was in the New Testament in Acts chapter 1 when Peter and the other 10 apostles chose Matthias to fill the vacancy that Judas left. The replacement was taken from a pool of very well-known men to them. Was that also nepotism?

  17. “Do you still need more clarification?”

    I think your idea that a CES employee cannot practice priestcraft is distinct from the basic LDS Mormon teaching, but You’re no closer to explaining your criticism of the average pastor. Unless you are implying that the average pastor chose vocational ministry for the benefits of the position and not the service in God’s kingdom.

  18. gundek,
    Professional educators are not part of the clergy, they are paid for being educators not for being ordained ministers. That is why I said:

    “Technically speaking, they cannot get involved in priestcraft.”

    Do you know what “technically speaking mean”? Or, do you also need more clarification about its meaning?

    Now, if the average Christian pastor is the ministry only for the money or not, I cannot tell, each of them know the reasons they are in ministry. Therefore, they are the ones who know if they are in priestcraft or not. The same applies to LDS chaplains.

  19. Technically speaking, David Bednar, in a speech to CES employees taught that “In fact, anything you or I do as instructors that knowingly and intentionally draws attention to self—in the messages we present, in the methods we use, or in our personal demeanor—is a form of priestcraft that inhibits the teaching effectiveness of the Holy Ghost.” So, I think the teaching of your leaders on priestcraft goes beyond clergy.

    Practically speaking, Bednar’s take on priestcraft seems to go beyond formalism and is closer to the New Testament ethic of the Sermon on the Mount where motivations of the heart cannot be separated from our external acts. Teaching the gospel motivated by either personal gain or personal praise and reputation cannot be an ethical act.

    Personally speaking, I find Bednar’s take on priestcraft instructive to both ministers and laity. I think a parallel can be seen in Matt 5:23 Where an act of worship is made unacceptable by holding hatred in the heart. When you take priestcraft beyond the mere formality of receiving a paycheck for vocational ministry and apply it to the heart of our motivations in all of life there is a valuable lesson. But if priestcraft is only a theological alter used to exalt ourselves, we are no better than the pharisee condemning the tax collector (Luke 18).

    Frankly speaking, I understand your reaction to having the amount of the modest stipend paid to apostles made public. As long as it was private any judgement about the propriety of the amount was merely speculation. Now many Mormon apologists feel compelled to justify the amount by making comparisons to secular salaries. This has to ring hollow when compared to the New Testament apostles (Luke 10:4; Mark 6:8). It is much easier to criticize the compensation of average pastors… Squirrel!

    Tangentially speaking, I don’t have an issue with Salt Lake Mormons paying their leaders handsomely any more that I have an issue with paying the pastors in my church. As I see it, members of the LDS church decide of their own free will to make donations to the church. As a voluntary organisation financial transparency is an issue for the members. Personally I wouldn’t be a member of a church that was not 100% transparent financially (including salaries) but that has more to do with my understanding of stewardship than anything else.

  20. The problem in this conversation is that the term “priestcraft” is a Mormon theological term that has largely been left as undefined. This allows its use to conform to whatever practice any Mormon wishes to accept or condemn at the time.

    Also. . . I’m pretty sure Jesus led his church’s early followers around for three years, teaching them how to be ministers of his Gospel with both theological teaching and practical experience. This coincidentally is exactly what most Christian seminary programs consist of.

  21. carlosbyu ~ It’s not apples-to-oranges because we’re talking about paid ministry in each church. But if you want to compare what you call “apples-to-apples”: the top leaders in my denomination have very little familial relation to each other.

    There were different ways of being called by God in the New Testament (and the Old Testament, for that matter). Not everyone received a hierarchical call to ministry from established religious leadership. Paul, for example, effectively had a personal revelation of his call to ministry. A central theme of the synoptic Gospels (esp. Mark) is that anyone can be what the apostles are, regardless of gender, race, or pedigree. That is the system that Protestants adhere to (at least, some of us do).

    It sounds like your definition of priestcraft boils down to asserting that someone is in it for the money rather than because they sincerely feel God’s call in their lives. Given that the average Protestant minister salary is between $40,000 and $90,000 (depending on church size and pastoral type/rank), I think you will find very few Protestant ministers who decided to do it for money.

  22. Tim ~ Also. . . I’m pretty sure Jesus led his church’s early followers around for three years, teaching them how to be ministers of his Gospel with both theological teaching and practical experience. This coincidentally is exactly what most Christian seminary programs consist of.

    Jesus made them all go to seminary and get MDivs. Lol, never thought of it like that.

  23. gundek,

    “David Bednar, in a speech to CES employees taught that “In fact, anything you or I do as instructors that knowingly and intentionally draws attention to self—in the messages we present, in the methods we use, or in our personal demeanor—is a form of priestcraft that inhibits the teaching effectiveness of the Holy Ghost.”

    Bednar is entitled to share his own personal opinions about priestcraft or any other topic whenever he wants. I do not have to agree with him on this or in any other of his opinions about anything. Even more, I do not support neither back his personal comments on anything.

    Also, thank you for sharing your own personal opinions about priestcraft, you are also entitled to them, but that does not necessarily mean you are right. Actually, I disagree.

  24. gundek,

    Absolutely, I know who Bednar is and what I said about Bednar’s personal opinions counts for all of the members of the Quorum of the Twelve, even the First Presidency of the Church. They are entitled to share their own personal opinions, I do not have to agree with them, I do not have to back neither support any of their own personal opinions. I have my own ones as well.

    A different situation is when they are teaching official Mormon theology, as long as it is correctly taught, then I may agree, otherwise I will also question it.

  25. Or the personal opinion of a General Conference talk… “That section also warns us of those attitudes and actions that will cause us to lose our priesthood power. If we “aspire to the honors of men,” attempt to “cover our sins,” try to “gratify our pride” or “vain ambition,” or seek to “exercise control” over others, we lose the priesthood power (see vv. 35–37). From that point we would be practicing priestcraft. We would have left the service of God and would be putting ourselves in the service of Satan.”

    https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2006/10/he-trusts-us?lang=eng

  26. Inquisitively speaking, has not carlosbyu reduced religious belief and doctrine to mere opinion? Although his underlying opinion is that his opinion about opinions is correct, he gives no reason why any opinion would have greater weight than any other. No amount of factual or reasoned material can sway someone whose opinion is based on complete subjectivity.

  27. “None of them has a degree in theology or divinity from a university or theological school; they were not trained for full-time ministry in any college, seminary or university; they did not choose Christian ministry as a way to make a living, but that is exactly what ministers in the other churches did and that is exactly what we mean when we talk about “priestcraft”.”

    I’ve read through all the comments, and Carlos’s explanations still leave me confused. I do not think he has ever talked to a Christian pastor about why he does what he does. I also think he sees them all as televangelists of the Jimmy Swaggert sort.

    I suggest he actually go out and talk to Christian ministers to find out why they do what they do, actually review the pay most receive, and what they actually do. Its been said in this thread, but very few makes large amounts of money– most, very little. Additionally, paying them something allows them to put their full efforts into God’s word: weekly sermons, working people through their problems, making sure the church is clean, making sure music is going on, etc. The job is full time and holds a lot of administrative duties.

    Right now, I am not sure Carlos has helped his cause, as I do not think he has a clue about what it is he calls priestcraft and what Christians pastors actually do.

  28. I’m beginning to wonder why the Mormon church bothers having General Authorities or instructional manuals at all. Clearly, they should just ask Carlos.

    Thank you for sharing your own personal opinions about this, you are also entitled to them, but that does not necessarily mean you are right.

  29. A question for anyone who knows.

    Does Mormonism have any equivalent to the doctrine of vocation taught in Lutheran and Reformed theology?

  30. Mormonism has the idea of a “calling,” but it’s not something you discern yourself and it’s not for life (with some exceptions). Basically any job you do in the church from nursery leader to apostle is a “calling” that you get called to by the church hierarchy, and then set apart by laying on of hands, and then you serve in your calling (and do your best to “magnify your calling”) until you are released.

    I suppose that’s roughly analogous to the Reformed/Lutheran doctrine of vocation, but obviously different in a lot of ways.

  31. I’m a little late for this conversation but it’s a good topic.

    Our society has become so structured on money, no one can exist in it without a financial income. These aren’t the days of Peter and Paul where you travel and set up a tent and eat wild honey for food. So, of course, ministers, LDS or not are going to need money.

    Tim is right in that there is no true definition of priest craft. McConkie references to the modern version were usually, radio ministries, where the preacher, if he had a successful show, made plenty more than any LDS leader today. This goes to motivation. My favorite line from the Star Wars movie is Han Solo saying “I’m in it for the money”. Very often when I go to work, that is 99% of my motivation, even though I really like my type of work. Any one can do too much of the same thing and get tired of it after many years.

    If one’s purpose in any ministry is to make serious money at it, then it’s probably priest craft. ($10,000 a month is great for the working man but it is not serious money). For those of us working and pointing hypocrisy towards LDS leaders for the amounts they “earn” I would say there may be envy involved here. I am sure many of these LDS leaders made far more money in their lay careers than as GA’s. In these cases, it shows their dedication.

    But should LDS ever make the accusations of priest craft of other churches? I think not.

  32. Ray, could envy run the other way, too, in that there is envy that non-LDS pastors get paid, sometimes what may seem like large amounts?

    I urge caution with your claim, that is all.

    And, I would agree that there are supposed ministers who took, and still take, advantage of people. This should be condemned, but the fortunate part is that these people are large minority. The vast majority of Christian pastors due because, like you, they love their job, and they love the Lord. They wish to serve their calling and serve the Lord.

  33. For those of us working and pointing hypocrisy towards LDS leaders for the amounts they “earn” I would say there may be envy involved here.

    I think the problem is not simply that the GAs are paid a salary (however you label it), but that the Church, through its members, teachers and published materials, has historically congratulated itself awfully loudly about its unpaid lay ministry, and assigned a lot of virtue to that, while criticizing other churches (implicitly and explicitly) for having paid ministers.

    Any defense of GA salaries rings a little hollow in that light. I mean, on the one hand, I agree that the church should support them for devoting their lives to ministry. But why shouldn’t Bishops and Stake Presidents also be supported?–they run themselves ragged doing what is essentially a full-time ministry job on top of their regular job, and the church has more than enough money. And why don’t the defenses for GA salaries apply equally to the pastors at my church, who also devote their entire lives to the ministry?

  34. Kullervo ~ But why shouldn’t Bishops and Stake Presidents also be supported?–they run themselves ragged doing what is essentially a full-time ministry job on top of their regular job, and the church has more than enough money.

    I wouldn’t be too sure of this. A friend of a friend does contracting for the LDS church, so I’ve been told that contractors used to love working for the church because invoices were paid immediately. Now invoices are being paid in excess of 120 days out. There are some other indicators of less cash on hand (like the cuts to paid cleaning staff at wards).

    And why don’t the defenses for GA salaries apply equally to the pastors at my church, who also devote their entire lives to the ministry?

    I’ve always said the same thing myself. Even the “but these are mostly administrative positions” defense applies because pastors do plenty of administration for their part.

  35. Well, insufficient cash on hand is not the same thing as not enough money to pay people. The church has massive investments that could be liquidated.

  36. You liquidate an investment – it stops paying out over the long run.

    This is just basic investment common sense.

  37. TLDR version

    Go ahead and brag about the work Mormons do on a volunteer basis.

    But stop criticizing your average Protestant pastor for being paid reasonable amounts.

    (But go ahead and keep sneering at Joel Osteen if you must).

  38. And stop making comparisons between celebrity megapastors and the overwhelming majority of overworked and underpaid pastors.

  39. You liquidate an investment – it stops paying out over the long run.

    This is just basic investment common sense.

    Of course, but if you have immense wealth in investment properties, you can’t be like “oh I can’t afford to pay you” because you are momentarily cash poor.

    The issue is whether the church has “more than enough money” to pay Bishops. It certainly does, regardless of its cash position. It just doesn’t want to.

  40. Hello all
    I was awestruck by Gundeck pulling out that awesome quote from Bednar, and even more awestruck by Carlos ignoring it… While it is technically true that the Venue Bednar used to express this teaching showed it was not ExCathedra teaching, it was still true.

    There is a scriptural definition for priestcraft, and it is not receiving money for teaching, it is setting oneself up as a light to the world. So it’s not the LDS fault for not having a definition k, it’s their fault for not using it

    So good to see everyone converging on an agreement to stop throwing stones at LDS general authorities and Lowly paid protestant ministers… So when do we get together to burn Osteen at the stake?

  41. Iow, please see the topical guide…

    Jack, feel free to add the wo to the men as necessary

    Men preaching and setting themselves up for a light to the world that they may get gain and praise of the world; they do not seek the welfare of Zion (2 Ne. 26:29).

    Feed the flock of God, not for filthy lucre, 1 Pet. 5:2.

    Churches which are built up to get gain must be brought low, 1 Ne. 22:23 (Morm. 8:32–41).

    Because of priestcrafts and iniquities, Jesus will be crucified, 2 Ne. 10:5.

    Were priestcraft to be enforced among this people it would prove their entire destruction, Alma 1:12.

    The Gentiles shall be filled with all manner of priestcrafts, 3 Ne. 16:10.

    Having done my scriptural duty, there’s still a lot of anger at the bullying Christians who act like their guild is under attack, it makes cultural attacks and claims of priestcraft easier ( but unhelpful).

    However, it’s not hard to pull up lots of examples of bad apples in the Christian clergy.

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