MormonLeaks Releases Financial Documents on Latter Day Saints Church
MormonLeaks.io has published previously unseen documents purporting to reveal the “living allowance” designated for General Authority members serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS).
An internal document reveals LDS’s Presiding Bishopric corresponding with Elder Bruce D. Porter about an annual increase in “the General Authority base living allowance,” from $116,400 to $120,000, as of 2014. The General Authority officials take home an allowance that must be “modest,” according to the Encyclopedia of Mormonism.
Since officials must exit career roles to hold top Mormon posts they “are given a living allowance. The living allowance is uniform for all General Authorities. None of the funds for this living allowance come from the tithing of church members, but instead from proceeds of the church’s financial investments,” Eric Hawkins, an LDS spokesman, said.
The investment activities apparently comprise a substantial operation. Public church records show that there were 103 General Authorities as of March 2016. For fiscal year 2014, General Authority compensation levels would have required institutional investments of at least $1.2 million, just to cover expenses.
Matthew Bowman, a history professor at Henderson State University, commented that “those totals are not dissimilar to what Protestant clergy make.” The practice of paying LDS General Authorities annually has long been promulgated by top church officials, but the sums allocated for the purpose were unknown prior to the leak.