Have you ever wondered what is done with fast offering money? Here’s a quick look at what happens after you fill out the donation slip.
1. Aaronic Priesthood holders help collect fast offerings and then turn them in to the bishopric. Members also include fast offerings in their donations to the Church.
2. The bishopric then deposits all the donations in a bank account. The funds are carefully accounted for and managed by Church employees. Each ward is then given funds according to the needs of its members. 1
3. With the help of the Relief Society president and other ward leaders, the bishop determines the needs of the families in the ward. Usually the bishop does not give money to the person being assisted but pays directly for the things the person needs. A family can receive help in the form of commodities (like groceries), payment of certain obligations (like rent or medical bills), or other aid.
4. If a Church facility such as a bishops’ storehouse or a Deseret Industries store is nearby, the bishop or Relief Society president can help a family fill out an order form so that the family can obtain specific items from those facilities. 2
5. With a bishop’s order form, the family can go to a bishops’ storehouse to get necessary groceries or to a Deseret Industries store to get clothing and other goods.
6. Those who receive help are expected to work for what they receive, if they are able. For example, they may stock shelves at the bishops’ storehouse, help clean Church property, or perform other assignments from their bishop.
We Give Out of Love
“It is our understanding of the principle of love that encourages us to give generously to the fast offerings, a wonderful, revealed system in which on the first Sunday of each month, we voluntarily refrain from eating two meals and contribute the cost of those meals to our bishop. He then has the resources to help him help those in need. The system is mostly painless, and it raises our appreciation for those who are without and provides a means to satisfy their daily requirements. May the Lord continue to bless us with the desire to love one another and give generously based on the principle of the fast.”
Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Building a Community of Saints,” Ensign, May 2001, 36.
Illustration by Dilleen Marsh
This procedure is followed in many areas of the world, but in some places it is not feasible, so other arrangements are made.
Although ward fast offering funds are not directly used when items are obtained from bishops’ storehouses, the items themselves are paid for in part by fast offering money. If wards and stakes do not spend all of the fast offerings they collect, those funds are used to pay for various welfare programs, such as food for bishops’ storehouses.