Yet members also make other charitable donations called “fast offerings,” which go directly toward helping the local poor and needy and the Church’s humanitarian aid efforts.
Otterson quoted former president of the Church Gordon B. Hinckley, who commented on the weighty responsibility of allocating Church funds. “We know that these funds are sacred,” President Hinckley said. “We have a compelling trust to use them carefully and wisely. … I keep on the credenza in my office this genuine widow's mite. … I keep it as a reminder of the sacrifice it represents, that we are dealing with the consecration of the widow as well as the offering of the wealthy.”
Of course, all donations are offered voluntarily and tithing is given on the honor system. “It is an honor system that works very well,” Otterson said, “because each member has a sense of consecrating a portion of his or her means to God’s work. Since the entire Church depends on its members to serve as lay ministers and provide service in a myriad of ways, paying tithing is simply another private yet tangible affirmation of that spirit of sacrifice.”