As a leader in our Ward I am aware that our fast offerings are being used to pay traffic tickets, high speed internet bills, late fees and other bills that are not considered necessities. I know members who can’t even afford internet service and are struggling but pay a good fast offering. Its hard for me to see fast offerings of members who are struggling have their fast offering used for such purposes. I am thinking I will give my fast offering to some other category but I know I am to support the Bishop and pray about the matter but it still bothers me. Any comment?
I can understand how you feel, however I want to point out some things. First of all, it is the Bishopric that determines how fast offerings are to be used within the ward. There is a chance you don’t hear the whole story of why they are being used on such items. For instance, The traffic ticket could have been paid to avoid jail time and further struggle for the family/individual. The internet bills and late fees could have been paid to similarly alleviate damaging consequences such as avoidance of late fees (in the case of the internet) and the late fees could have been paid to utility companies to keep the heat on in the coming winter.
I could see the sense, and appropriateness, of paying such items on a one-time basis to level off or prevent debt if possible. However I would be concerned if such items were being consistently paid to the benefit of the same individuals over time.
In the end, as I stated at the start, it is the bishop that makes these decisions. As you are not the bishop, it is not your duty to 1) know all the details about any ward welfare situations. and 2) render any judgements about the bishop in his duties, especially based upon partial information. Remember that the bishop’s councellors DO have a duty and voice in these decisions. That is why there are actually three priesthood holders set to lead the ward rather than just one.
Were I in your shoes, I would likely feel just as uneasy as you do. However I would suggest continuing prayer, and faith that your fast offerings are given in the proper spirit. How they are used is no reflection on you, or your willingness to sacrifice for the good of those in need. Heavenly Father knows your heart and you will receive the blessings from obedience to Christ regardless of where your donations end up.