How Much Do Mormons Pay Bishops?

Brief Answer: In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, neither bishops nor any other ecclesiastical leaders—nor missionaries— are paid for their services.

Detailed Answer: In his first general epistle, Peter reminded the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ that there was to be no paid ministry: “The elders which are among you I exhort [to] feed the flock of God . . . not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind” (1 Peter 5:1–2). Paul echoed the same warning in his letter to Timothy, noting that bishops and deacons were to be “not greedy of filthy lucre” (1 Timothy 3:1–8). And to Titus, Paul wrote: “For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God . . . not given to filthy lucre” (Titus 1:7).

Clearly, Jesus had established his Church with a lay ministry—not a paid or professional ministry—and the Lord’s apostles intended to keep it that way as long as they lived. But when their voices were silenced by mar- tyrdom, the forbidden gradually became the common and the accepted. This unauthorized change in the doctrine and practice of Christ’s ancient Church—paid clergy— has continued across the centuries, hence today’s paid ministries throughout mainstream Christianity. (Paid ministry is merely one of many unauthorized changes that took place in Jesus’ ancient Church as a result of the “falling away” that was prophesied.

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