The following was written by Tad Walch for the Deseret News. To read the full article, click here

“Some people occasionally describe today’s church as a powerful and prosperous institution,” he said. “This may be true, but the strength of the church cannot be measured merely by the number or beauty of its buildings or by its financial and real estate holdings.”

Bishop Caussé shared insights into LDS Church finances and the way church programs run during the keynote address of the final day of the conference, “Financing Faith: The Intersection of Business and Religion” in the Little Theater at the LDS Conference Center.

Guiding principles

The LDS Church does not disclose how much members donate annually, but it uses tithing funds to translate, produce and distribute church publications and to operate five universities and colleges, 159 temples, thousands of meetinghouses, a worldwide program of seminaries and institutes and more.

Bishop Caussé provided insights into the process.

For example, it isn’t widely known that the the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the Presiding Bishopric meet together annually as the council on the disposition of the tithes on the first Friday of December. They “examine and approve the allocation of the church’s sacred funds from tithes and offerings for the following year,” he said.

This council follows two main principles. “First, total expenditures will not exceed forecasted revenue,” Bishop Caussé said. “Second, the budget for operating expenses will not increase year to year at a more rapid rate than the anticipated growth in tithing contributions.”

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