Why don’t Mormons have paid clergy?

Official Answer

Members are organized into local congregations called wards or branches. These congregations are organized geographically, and members attend a ward or branch near their home. Congregations meet together on Sundays to worship. The leader of a congregation is a bishop or a branch president. He is not paid for his service, but he donates his time to serve the congregation.

Members are called by their leaders to serve in various positions in their congregation. Leaders seek divine guidance when making such callings. Positions to which one might be called include teachers, youth leaders, clerks, etc. A member’s service blesses others and provides opportunities for the member to learn and grow.

A ward or a branch is a community in which members develop friendships and help each other. Members try to follow the teachings of an ancient prophet who taught that when we are baptized, we are “willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light” and “willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort” (Book of Mormon, Mosiah 18:8-9).

Through service, members lift one another’s burdens and express their love.

  • Isn't this awesome? One of the things I love the best about the Mormon church is that everyone takes a part in teaching and administering in the church. Every member has opportunity to serve, we serve two year missions when we are 18, teach lessons, and organize fun and spiritual activities. The more opportunities I take to teach and serve others the deeper my understanding of the gospel becomes. Serving together in the church makes everyone a participant in the work of the Lord and it brings the message of Christ to life as we take part in His work. I am grateful to be in a church where I am an active participant in teaching, learning and serving. Show more

  • Jesus didn't get paid to serve, why should we?  Show more

  • Latter-day Saints are all expected to generously give of their time to serve in the church. Service opportunities vary greatly and can include being a congregation's pastor, teaching classes, helping congregants gain employment, or helping watch toddlers in the nursery. These volunteer opportunities are temporary and Mormons often gain a wide variety of experiences throughout their lifetimes. Specific assignments are not sought after, but rather delegated out to a congregation's members after those presiding over the congregation have prayed over the matter. No one participating in this service is compensated financially, as we all are personally committed to help one another and assist in the church's growth. I believe that this way of organizing a church is ideal because it allows congregants to become closely acquainted with one another through service, frees up funds given to the church to go to more important projects such as building chapels and advancing missionary efforts, and greatly reduces any potential for corruption in the church by removing financial incentives. Show more

  • The Book of Mormon warns us about a thing called Priestcraft. Priestcraft is preaching for the sake of getting money and power. The Book of Mormon also extensively descripes how the priests, teachers, and even their king, labored with their own hands for their support. Accepting a paycheck for preaching is a disturbing and forgin concept to most Latter Day Saints. There are a number of problems with a paid ministry. A paid priest must answer to both his supervisors and to the local church board, and can't risk being too unpopular. Otherwise may lose his job. He must do all this while preparing a sermon each sunday and trying to personally tend a flock of hundreds, maybe thousands, all by himself. Things shouldn't be done this way. Show more

  • doing the Lord's errands with a willing heart is called service. we do not deem the church as a source of financial support. the blessings we receive every day is enough to fill our efforts. Show more

  • A ward or branch is the local unit of the church. This is the place where members have the opportunity to develop friendships and to help one another. We get support and lessons on the scriptures and how to improve our family relationships. Our Heavenly Father expects us to lift and serve one another in this life. This is the principle behind a volunteer clergy. The local leader of a ward or branch calls on various members on the ward/branch to volunteer their services in teaching and leading the other members. We all donate our time and thus are able to lift and serve on another. The leaders seek divine guidance in making these callings. We who have been called to also seek divine guidance in fulfilling our positions. We each try to follow the teachings of an ancient prophet who taught that when we are baptized we "are willing to bear one another's burdens, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort." (Book of Mormon, Mosiah 18:8-9). Through our volunteer service, members lift one another's burdens and express our love to one another. Show more

  • Paid clergy do not exist in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Members of the Church have jobs in the world to sustain their lives. We believe that all members of the Church are clergy and called to serve in various capacities to serve as God's servants on the Earth. We do this work as teachers, missionaries, clerks and organization leaders. It is taught in the Book of Mormon that we are to serve one another with love and kindness but not for money. While we respect the paid clergy of other faiths, we do believe in the words of Our Lord and Savior when he said "Ye cannot serve God and mammon (money)" Show more

  • the church does not pay for leadership for the same reason Christ did not pay his twelve apostles. Chirst and the 12 gave up their lives to serve to show others the way to God's kingdom, because of that they had the devotion that that was required to know God's will for the people. Show more

  • In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we believe that each member is called to serve in some capacity in the Church. Some may be called to teach a class, or to lead music, etc. Members may also be called to leadership positions. The leaders each serve for a period of a few years and are then released from that position. While serving in any role members continue to hold a regular job outside of church. By giving a piece of the work to each person there is no need for a full-time cleric at any level. We share the work and therefore nobody is paid for their service. A side benefit of this is that we tend to willingly donate our time in other areas of our lives as well, offering to help others on a purely volunteer basis. This helps us to learn to serve as Jesus did during his ministry and to feel charity for others. Show more

  • As a reactivated member of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints. My life has been blessed beyond measure because I have had the opportunity to receive callings in my ward and stake and sacrifice time and talents to help bless the lives of others. Having the opportunity to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ and study the scriptures has changed my life. I now live a more Christ like life and as a family we have witnessed the joy and happiness that serving in the church brings. The blessings that come from service are fulfilling! It was the service of members in our community that gave me the desire to become active. As I have studied the scriptures and understand the gospel of Jesus Christ. My desire to share it with others has strenghtend my testimony and serving in the church gives me the opportunity to continue to learn and grow closer to my Savior, Jesus Christ. What of manner of men ought you to be? Jesus said "Verily I say unto you, even as I am. By serving in the church allows every one the opportunity to become more like Jesus. Show more

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