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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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • This is one of the wonders and beauties of the church. Every member and even some not of our faith serve in various capacities to build and strengthen one another in the church. Whether it is to lead an entire congregation or to teach the little ones every member serves without receiving payment. Though no ones gets paid, every member who gives of themselves receives so much in return in the way of spiritual blessings. Every one who dedicates themselves to serving others and heeding the call to serve in whatever capacity the Lord wants them to serve in also learns more of the Savior and how he would serve, love, and lift those around him and thus we all come closer to that desire to become Christlike. Show more

  • When Christ founded his church on the earth during his ministry he taught that there should be no hired clergy in his church. John 10:11-14 says: 11. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 12. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 13. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. 14. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. Here Christ describes why paid clergy are inadequate in the fight against Satan. When the "ravening wolves" of sin come into a flock, a hiring will "leave the sheep" and abandon his duty of keeping his flock of disciples of Jesus Christ on the path of righteousness. He will cave in and begin teaching appeasing, corrupted doctrine in order to keep his numbers, and thus his salary, large. We hope to follow the example of Jesus Christ; who, served his fellow men without expecting anything in return. Also, Christ's disciples were not formally educated in religious theology NONE of the original Twelve Apostles came from Judaic centers of learning. Each had his own profession. Matthew a publican (tax collecter), Peter a fisherman, etc. Each having a profession IN the world, but giving an true, real-life example of how it was possible to not be OF the world. Show more

  • We don't need money to do what we do. It is rewarding work in and of itself. Show more

  • We do not have a paid clergy for several reasons, the main reason is that it allows members to serve, rather than to be served. Or in other words it allows us the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of our Savior Jesus Christ, who went about doing good without any desire for personal gain. Further, much like the Church that Christ established when He was on the Earth, the organization is built up the same way. The clergy of the church are just ordinary men who live ordinary lives and are striving to be like our Savior. When they are called to a position of leadership they continue living their everyday life but glad offer of their time to help build up the Lord's kingdom on the earth today. Show more

  • We don't have paid clergy because we believe that we should have the desire to serve without reward. We don't share a message from our Heavenly Father for money. Did Jesus or the Twelve apostles go around saying,"Hey, I've got a message for you concerning how you can return to live with your Father in Heaven, But it'll cost ya" Show more

  • Because we are all preachers is the Lord's church. Part of the system in church is our faith to lead were we are directed. Show more

  • Christ requested His followers to be selfless and that is why members give their time, talent and resources in the service of their fellowmen. We know that when we are in the service of our fellowmen, we are only in the service of our God.  Show more

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