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SALT LAKE CITY — Changes are coming to the tithing settlement process of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the First Presidency announced Thursday in a news release.
The church outlined the following adjustments:
- The term "tithing settlement" has been changed to "tithing declaration."
- Members can now begin tithing declaration interviews with bishops or branch (congregation) presidents as early as Sept. 1 of each year to allow local leaders additional time to meet with families and individuals.
Tithing comes from an ancient Biblical principle (Malachi 3:10) in which church members voluntarily give "one-tenth of one's income to God's church," according to the church's General Handbook. This principle is not unique to Latter-day Saints.
Tithing is an essential practice of Latter-day Saints, Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé said in the news release.
"What a great blessing to have a time dedicated to discussing the divine law of the tithe," he said. "Tithing is an essential practice of Latter-day Saints, regardless of where they live, their social standing, or their material circumstances. By keeping this law, church members receive spiritual and temporal blessings in their lives and help further the church's divine mission on earth."
Tithing settlement has been an annual meeting held toward the end of each year in which a local bishop or branch president meets with individual Latter-day Saints and families to discuss their tithes. This allows members to demonstrate obedience to the principle of tithing and review records of their contributions.
The move is also intended to bring focus to the principles and blessings of tithing, the news release said.
"Tithing declaration is primarily a teaching experience — especially for children and youth — and is a special opportunity to minister to families," the release said.
Tithing is an essential practice of Latter-day Saints, regardless of where they live, their social standing, or their material circumstances. By keeping this law, church members receive spiritual and temporal blessings.
–Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé
What is tithing and how is it used?
President James E. Faust described tithing as a "fundamental" principle in his 1998 general conference talk, "Opening the Windows of Heaven."
"Tithing is a principle that is fundamental to the personal happiness and well-being of the church members worldwide, both rich and poor," said President Faust, who served as second counselor in the First Presidency until his death in 2007. "Tithing is a principle of sacrifice and a key to the opening of the windows of heaven."
Tithing funds are carefully protected, accounted for and used to support the Lord's work, according to the church's General Handbook. Uses include:
- Building and maintaining temples, meetinghouses and other church buildings.
- Supporting the activities and operations of the church and its local congregations.
- Sharing the gospel throughout the world.
- Supporting church programs, such as education and family history.
- Providing humanitarian aid and welfare.