Budget Funds for Temple Assignments

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
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Budget Funds for Temple Assignments

Postby mndrix » Fri Nov 12, 2010 8:13 am

Each year, our ward is given about six temple assignments by our Temple Presidency (via the Stake Presidency). Our ward has about a dozen endowed members and five youth eligible for baptistry assignments. The temple is 230 miles (one way) from our ward building. In the past, members have traveled to these assignments at their own expense and provided rides for those unable to afford the drive themselves. For most of our ward, the fuel expense for the trip is a substantial sacrifice.

One unfortunate consequence is that we've begun to see a division between those who can drive and those who can't. That distinction seems contrary to the spirit of equality which the Temple fosters.

A relevant portion of the Church Handbook of Instructions (Book I, 2006, p. 159) says that ward budget funds should pay for all Church activities/programs. It also indicates that members shouldn't provide long-distance transportation at their own expense.

Does your ward reimburse fuel expenses for Temple assignments? Has this been a positive experience for those attending the Temple? Our goal is to make the Temple the focus of the trips. Removing monetary concerns from the assignment seems one way to accomplish that and it seems in line with instructions in the Handbook.

I appreciate any insights/experiences you may have had.

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Postby crislapi » Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:41 am

Not specifically for temple assignments, but I have reimbursed for gas before for other ward activities. This is generally for leaders who put in a lot of travel time planning, preparing and collecting everything. It's not common, but everything is fairly close by here.

You may want to read this thread, which was specifically about mileage reimbursements.

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Postby jbh001 » Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:13 am

I thought that the above scenario was just one of the rationales given for creating the Temple Patron Assistance category.

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Postby aebrown » Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:28 pm

jbh001 wrote:I thought that the above scenario was just one of the rationales given for creating the Temple Patron Assistance category.

Not the way I read it. According to Donation categories, "Funds contributed to Temple Patron Assistance are used only as authorized by Area Presidencies to assist temple worthy patrons who otherwise could not afford to go to the temple to receive their own ordinances. There is no authorization for a local Temple Patron Assistance fund."

So I suppose that an application could be made to the area presidency to assist in this situation, but it seems more appropriate to simply use Budget funds when patrons can't afford the cost of transportation in order to fulfill an assignment.
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