When Wesley wrote his last letter (it should show up under this one) and because Wes has limited time to write his letter each week, I decided to take a minute to explain some things about our church.
Our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has a tithing system. Faithful members pay a tithing on their income/increase to the church. That money is sent to our church headquarters and used for things like building and maintaining churches, temples and other things that are necessary to run a church.
What is different about our church is that our leadership is not paid. Every responsibility in the church is taken care of by the local members in each congregation (we call them wards or branches).
We believe that we are called to a specific responsibility through inspiration. (Whoever the Lord thinks is the best person for that responsibility for that particular time and situation)
So, if a bishop is called to serve he will continue doing his regular job as a CPA, janitor, businessman or whatever his profession might be, to provide for his family. In addition to that, they will be responsible for a congregation of about 200-400 people for which he is not paid. (this helps to keep from having any conflict of interest)
Every responsibility in each of our congregations (teachers, children's, Women's , Young Men's and Young Women's leaders etc) are a "calling" for which we volunteer and are not paid.
We also have a Fast Sunday each month. This means that we fast (don't eat) for 2 meals. The money that we would have paid for the food for those 2 meals, that we didn't eat, we donate to a fast offering fund which is used to help those in need. The amount that is donated by each individual or family is up to them. Most members donate significantly more than what it would cost them to eat those 2 meals themselves.
There are a lot of other opportunities for donating and volunteering as well.
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ, we feel that it is our privilege and responsibility follow the Savior's example and to help those in need.
I hope this helps you to understand a little better how our church works.
If you would like to understand in more detail how our church is organized, how it is run, and what we believe, please feel free to go to: www.mormon.org and research information there as well.
Love to you all,
Laurie (Wes' mom)