Missionary support

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
carlscpa
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Missionary support

Postby carlscpa » Mon Feb 16, 2009 8:19 pm

We have a devoted young man in our ward who is leaving soon on a mission. Unfortunately, neither he or his family can support him. Ward members have generously donated to his missionary sub-account. He needs approximately $1,000 to buy suits, etc. for his mission. The Bishop plans to pay for the clothing and other necessary items from his ward missionary sub-account. The members who contributed are aware of this. Our reasoning is (1) this is an integral part of the mission and (2) without this assistance he would be unable to serve. Any comments would be appreciated.

jbh001
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Postby jbh001 » Mon Feb 16, 2009 8:56 pm

I didn't think that MLS would let you write a check against the Ward Missionary accounts. But it appears that MLS does permit this as an option.

If there are questions as to the appropriateness of doing this, the bishop should consult the handbook, and then the stake president if needed.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Feb 16, 2009 9:07 pm

Carl wrote:We have a devoted young man in our ward who is leaving soon on a mission. Unfortunately, neither he or his family can support him. Ward members have generously donated to his missionary sub-account. He needs approximately $1,000 to buy suits, etc. for his mission. The Bishop plans to pay for the clothing and other necessary items from his ward missionary sub-account. The members who contributed are aware of this. Our reasoning is (1) this is an integral part of the mission and (2) without this assistance he would be unable to serve. Any comments would be appreciated.


I would emphasize that you should consult the Church Handbook of Instructions. My understanding is that for missionaries on the equalized payment program, the only payments that are allowed are those equalized payments. MLS allows checks to be written against the Ward Missionary account only for transfers of surplus funds, or for support of senior missionaries (but with very specific limitations).

If generous members are not feeling constrained by tax deductibility, they can always feel free to help the missionary out directly. But the Church has to be very careful about what expenses are paid from the Ward Missionary account because of tax issues. Your bishop can also feel free to contact Clerk and Leader Support to get a clarification if the provisions in the Handbook are not sufficiently clear (although I think they will be).

Miknmaur
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Postby Miknmaur » Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:39 pm

The handbook does not specifically say that the funds cannot be used for clothing to get a missionary out on the mission but it does say that clothing is a personal expense not paid from the equalized payments. I am not sure if that is the same thing as clothing on a mission or am I splitting hairs?

wrpdmd
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Postby wrpdmd » Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:19 pm

carlscpa wrote:The Bishop plans to pay for the clothing and other necessary items from his ward missionary sub-account.


Why not pay for clothing, etc. out of Fast Offerings?

allenjpl
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Postby allenjpl » Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:39 pm

Miknmaur wrote:The handbook does not specifically say that the funds cannot be used for clothing to get a missionary out on the mission but it does say that clothing is a personal expense not paid from the equalized payments. I am not sure if that is the same thing as clothing on a mission or am I splitting hairs?


The fact is that the money in the subaccount is not the missionary's. It is not earmarked for his use, except in a very limited fashion for ease of keeping track of contributions. This is a very important point that really shouldn't be overlooked. The funds in the ward missionary subaccount are not for that missionary's use. Clothing purchases and repairs are personal expenses, which are not paid for by the equalized contribution.

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ckmcdonald
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Postby ckmcdonald » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:47 pm

wrpdmd wrote:Why not pay for clothing, etc. out of Fast Offerings?


We recently needed (as a ward) to assist one of our new missionaries with the purchase of a bicycle. It was our belief that use of WM funds was not appropriate for such a purchase. So we purchased the bicycle with FO funds.


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