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Question

 

Gramps,

Why aren’t Bishops and their counselors paid as instructed by the Lord in D&C 42:71-73 ?

Kathryn

 

Answer

 

Kathryn,

Thank you for asking this question.  It is an often misinterpreted verse resulting in the confusion you’re now experiencing.  Let’s take a look at it.

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;

 

72 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.

 

73 And the bishop, also, shall receive his support, or a just remuneration for all his services in the church.

Notice the bolded portion.  This refers to the Law of Consecration.  It was the economic system prescribed by the Lord.  But we found that we (as a people) simply weren’t spiritually prepared to obey this law as of yet.  So, the Lord has allowed us to obey a different law — the law of tithing.

If we were to live under the Law of Consecration, then the instructions here would hold.  A certain portion of that would be given to the bishop and his counselors because their nearly full-time job would be to manage the affairs of the ward.  This is reminiscent of the Levites who received support from the other tribes of Israel under the Mosaic Law.  But because we now obey the law of tithing (being 1/10th of our income) the bishops and his counselors are not given such support.  They have a regular job to provide their own support just like Paul did in the New Testament.

Under the Law of Tithing, it is a part time job for the bishopric and the financial clerks to keep watch over the financial affairs of the ward.  But this is a minor task.  At the headquarters level, there are professional accountants who keep track of Church funds and perform audits and ensure that we’re following the laws of whatever country the congregations may be in.  So, for their full-time efforts, they are paid for their work.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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