Talk:Council on the Disposition of the Tithes

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Listing of current members[edit]

I changed the order in which the members of the Council on the Disposition of the Tithes were listed. Accordingly to the organization of the LDS hierarchy, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles forms a quorum that is equal in authority to the First Presidency of the Church when the First Presidency is not fully organized according to revelation. While the office of Presiding Bishop and thus the organization of the Presiding Bishopric preceded the organization of the Quorum of the Twelve, the Presiding Bishopric acts under the direction and counsel of the Quorum of the Twelve and the First Presidency. I changed the order the members of the Council were listed accordingly to reflect seniority in the hierarchy rather than the order mentioned by the cited revelation. Jgstokes 04:11, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

I believe it would be easier for readers (who often come to the article without this background knowledge that you have set out above) to see the members listed in the order they are set out in the text of the revelation. It makes comparing the text of the revelation and its current composition more intuitive and simple. We should aim to create articles that relate to their sources in as intuitive and simple a manner as possible. I believe this should be the governing principle in listing members of a body, not abstract ideas of seniority which come from sources external to the topic in question and not directly referenced in the article. -SESmith 05:35, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
I'll go along with you on that. I didn't even think about that angle of things. Thanks. Never mind, then. Jgstokes 16:54, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
Just to throw another fish into the kettle, in the last General Conference, during the Church Auditing Department Report 2006, presented by Robert W. Cantwell, the Council on the Disposition of Tithes was referenced to in these exact words: (I quote them for you, but I also include the link to it so you can see the complete document. See,5232,23-1-690-2,00.html) "As prescribed by revelation in section 120 of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Council on the Disposition of the Tithes authorizes the expenditure of Church funds. This council is composed of the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and the Presiding Bishopric." If that's the order they're listed in at this point in the Church's history, since that's a verifiable source, I think we ought to list them in that order. However, it's all right to leave it like this. Just something else to think about. Jgstokes 23:42, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
Interesting—however, like this WP article, Cantwell refers explicitly to D&C section 120. When he listed the constituent bodies, he changed the order of how they are set out in the document he was referring to. Using this would be a secondary source. Why not stick with the primary source that the secondary source itself refers to? I don't really think the order of listing the members is important apart from helping people match up sources with the list. -SESmith 00:20, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
I wouldn't mind doing so, however, since there is another source, I will add a note in the article about the hierarchical angle of things, which links to this other source. If that's a problem, it can be reedited later. --Jgstokes 22:45, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
I really don't think it's worth mentioning in the article that sometimes people (an auditor, in this case) list the membership in a different order. This is not sufficient evidence of a "revelation" that has in any way changed what Smith's original revelation says. The primary duties of the Presiding Bishopric of the church involve temporal affairs (money, buildings, etc.) so for all we know the members of the presiding bishopric may be far more actively in control of the council than the members of the 12 are. In the final analysis, I just don't see how this is a live issue to mention in the article at all, nor do I see why it needs to justify changing the order of listing of the members to conform with an abstract concept of church heirarchy that is frankly not relevant to the issues in the article. We are merely creating a list that matches up to the composition of the council as set down in Smith's writings. Let's make it easy for the reader, not harder. -SESmith 00:55, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
I appreciate the discussion as to what order the members of the CODT should be listed. One thing mentioned several times in the disussion is that listing members of the Quorum of the Tweleve as senior to the Presiding Bishopric is just an abstract view that has no basis or is somehow not accurate. Given that 15 men (obviously when there are no vacancies in the Tweleve) are sustained by members of the LDS Church as prophets, seers and revelators, it does not lend itself to being an abstract or dervied view. In connection with providing understanding to readers of the source information, where the LDS Church purports to be built on the foundation of prophets and apostles, as was the original church established in the meridian of time by the Lord himself, it would seem reasonable to help reinforce that view by appropriately listing the 18 members accordingly. The Presiding Bishopric would certainly never view themselves as senior to the Twelve, even given their overall stewardship for temporal affairs. As noted previously, while some aspects of their assignment may engage them in greater detailed oversight of their departments, a great portion of the Church departments do not report to or through the Presiding Bishopric. The Twelve are just as involved - if not more - in the council, which of course is presided over by the First Presidency, than the Bishopric. There are essentially no circumstances when listing these 18 men in order of seniority would not have the 3 members of the Bishopric at the end. Again, while I appreciate the concern over potential confusion when referencing D&C 120, I don't see that as a major concern and as another reader suggested, if it was felt to be so, then it could easily be addressed in the article. This got longer than I expected, but thanks for the opportunity to share these thoughts. ChristensenMJ (talk) 19:02, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

As a newcomer to the discussion, I would object to the bishopric being placed after the 12 apostles. I think the fact that the bishopric is listed first in the original document establishing the group is definitive. All the reasons being provided for other order are completely subjective and if not subjective than WP:OR. Incidentally, I would also strongly question the contention that the 12 are more involved in the Council than the Bishopric. Temporal affairs is pretty much all the Presiding Bishopric do, whereas the Apostles are involved in many other aspects of church administration. The Presiding Bishop is clearly the First Presidency's "point man" on temporal affairs, in my opinion. Good Ol’factory (talk) 21:49, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the excellent expression of feelings. The only thing I would raise some question on is the assertion that the Presiding Bishopric is more involved in the CODT than the Twelve. While it is true that the Bishopric has responsibilty for temporal affairs, it is not as widespread as it might seem. Some of the largest departments and works that go on in the Church have essentially no direct interaction from the Bishopric, with members of the Seventy and Twelve directly involved in those efforts. So, while they are "the point men" on those things in which delegation occurs to them, things from printing and food services of course, but also buildings. Many other things are not directly in their stewardship. —Preceding unsigned comment added by ChristensenMJ (talkcontribs) 23:10, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

I am reviving this discussion. I have to say this: I am uncomfortable with continuing to list the Twelve Apostles below the Presiding Bishopric, because it implies the PB has a greater administrative role in the Church than the QofTA, when we know this is not the case. The role of the Twelve in relation to the president of the Church was set forth by Joseph Smith when he said. "Where I am not [meaning the President of the Church is not], there is no First Presidency over the Twelve. That's a matter of record. The Twelve are equal in authority to the First Presidency when the First Presidency ceases to exist at the death of the Church President, and during the last 30 years at least, if not more, all First Presidency members have been previously members of the Twelve. The implication that the Presiding Bishopric has authority or precedence over the apostles makes me uncomfortable. The Twelve have a direct role in the reorganization of the First Presidency. The PB does not play any role with that, beyond sustaining the new presidency with the rest of the church in a solemn assembly. It is wrong in every respect to imply that the revelation cited above trumps modern practices. As a matter of fact, Elder Bruce R. McConkie made the following statement: "The proper course for all of us is to stay in the mainstream of the Church. This is the Lord's Church, and it is led by the spirit of inspiration, and the practice of the Church constitutes the interpretation of the scripture." (Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrines of the Restoration, pg. 66). Since the practice of the Church constitutes the interpretation of scripture, and since every Church Auditing Department Report lists the Council in the order above, I am going to be bold and change this article. Please post here before reverting. --Jgstokes (talk) 05:42, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
Absent a consensus to change this, I think we should stick with the ordering found in the revelation to Joseph Smith. Good Ol’factory (talk) 06:00, 23 January 2016 (UTC)

One of the most fundamental doctrines taught in the LDS Church is that there is continuous new revelation. The quote referred to above, which you are apparently choosing to disregard or ignore, which points to bias on your part, demonstrates that the relevant "practice of the Church" which constitutes "the interpretation of the scriptures" in this case means that we list the groups in hierarchical order. In October 2013, David A. Bednar talked of the council with these words: "Before my call to serve as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, I read many times in the Doctrine and Covenants about the council appointed to oversee and disburse sacred tithing funds. The Council on the Disposition of the Tithes was established by revelation and consists of the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and the Presiding Bishopric . . .As I prepared in December of 2004 to attend my first meeting of this council, I eagerly anticipated a most remarkable learning opportunity.

"I still remember the things I experienced and felt in that council. I gained a greater appreciation and reverence for the Lord’s laws of finance for individuals, for families, and for His Church. The basic financial program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—for both income and disbursement—is defined in sections 119 and 120 of the Doctrine and Covenants . . .

"Concerning the authorized disbursement of the tithes, the Lord said, “It shall be disposed of by a council, composed of the First Presidency of my Church, and of the bishop and his council, and by my high council; and by mine own voice unto them, saith the Lord” (D&C 120:1). The “bishop and his council” and “my high council” referred to in this revelation are known today as the Presiding Bishopric and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, respectively."

In a revelation given through Joseph Smith, the Lord has said,

"And this is the ensample unto them, that they shall speak as they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost.

"And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation."

So, combining the concepts in these scriptures, new scripture is spoken in every General Conference. And the order in which Elder Bednar originally listed the council members in was in hierarchical order. This matches the current "practice of the Church [which] constitutes the interpretation of the scripture." In light of this, I am changing it yet again, because I feel there has been no valid reason for undoing a doctrinally sound change, other than the fact that you seem to be saying, "A [scripture}, a [scripture], we already have a [scripture]. There can be no more [scripture]." Do you really want to be that guy? If we get a consensus that says to restore the original order, I will accept it. I won't be happy about it, but I will accept it. In the meantime, I am reverting back to the changes I made, because I'm sick of having to wait for consensus that may or may not be forthcoming. Unless and until you can provide scripture or a quote that contradicts the hierarchical place of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, this change should stand. I see you overlooked my other argument that the Twelve are hierarchically only second to the First Presidency if there is a living Church President. It sounds to me like you're just a stickler who doesn't want to make this page hierarchically and doctrinally accurate. I hope I'm just misreading you, but the fact that you overlooked my entire last post and unilaterally changed it back without providing a countersource does have me wondering. Sorry if I misunderstand you. --Jgstokes (talk) 08:47, 23 January 2016 (UTC)

Jgstokes, I appreciate your interest and passion for the discussion topic. It seems clear to me, given prior discussion without consensus on this specific aspect of the article, that is all Good Ol’factory is addressing in restoring the article. I don't think anybody is going out of their way to somehow disregard your efforts, or thoughts, in raising the issue again. While I certainly agree that a church member's view has clear understanding about the correct ordering, it still remains that the original source, which established the council, and the article listing as it was shown are in sync. While there may be other ways/sources used to try and make a case for changing the ordering, I personally didn't find what was listed yesterday as compelling. There is also some feeling of synthesis in the talk page discussion. Particularly if one uses the view or context of a person not familiar with church organization.
Recognizing the concept you have again raised, as I noted above 7 years ago (wow, passage of time): 1) the Presiding Bishopric would never view themselves "above" the Twelve; 2) the 15 men in the other quorums hold all the church's priesthood keys, the Bishopric do not; 3) even with the Bishopric's responsibility for temporal affairs, there are several large parts of church operations, in both the work done and in resources used, that don't report to the Bishopric (such as the Church Educational System, or the church's Missionary, Family History, Church History, and Temple departments) - with respect to earlier assertion that the Bishopric is more involved in the council than the Twelve; 4) The church's Budget Office actually reports directly to the First Presidency in budget matters and preparation of materials for the council; etc.
So, bottom line for me: yes, while I agree that the Twelve should be listed first, but 1) absent consensus, which I know you are supportive of, given your long involvement with WP (even if it may be slow to come at times) and 2) a stronger, more direct source that lays out the hierarchy, or other compelling reason to change, it needs to remain as it's been, in my view. I wouldn't be opposed to a concise, ref note added that identifies the source section listing, but addressing the actual way the church handles the organization. So, I am going to restore the version to what has been there, until such time as these, or other appropriate conditions are met. Thanks for your continuing interest and efforts. ChristensenMJ (talk) 19:13, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
With this question, my concern is not to be "right"—I don't think this is an issue that necessarily has a "correct" outcome, since the various sources vary in the order in which they are listed. It's an interesting issue, to be sure, and I think it's largely tied up in the ways the role of the 12 has changed since J. Smith's day, but I'm not so into debating the issue from a theological standpoint. I am interested though in seeing changes proceed via consensus and this page has long listed them in the "scriptural" order, and I have generally agreed with that, because I think it would cause the least amount of confusion in readers who read the scripture in conjunction with this page. I'm not averse to seeing it change if there is a consensus that doing so would be an improvement. Rather than just waiting here and hoping that more users join the discussion in order to form a consensus, it might be worthwhile to invite discussion. I don't have much to do with the Latter Day Saint WikiProject—is it still active? If so, a request for comment could be posted there. Good Ol’factory (talk) 09:02, 24 January 2016 (UTC)


Is it correct to refer to this council as a quorum?Isaac Crumm 07:23, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

I've wondered about that and am not sure. I would think no—it's more of a council (hence the name). Quorums are generally a gathering of priesthood holders who hold the same priesthood office. Quorums also generally have a president at the head. Although these rules can presumably be bent, as when Patriarchs meet with the high priests quorum. I would be open to not calling it a quorum in the article unless someone can find a reference where it is called that (I can't). Some people would argue that a quorum and a council are the same thing (e.g., the Council of the Twelve), but I think this group is more analogous to a ward council or a stake welfare council than a quorum. What do you think? --SESmith 07:28, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
That's what I was thinking. It should be changed unless someone can find a reference.Isaac Crumm 22:43, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree. -SESmith 09:03, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
I would say it is incorrect to call it a quorum because in the revelations and in the following source, it s referred to as a council.,5232,23-1-690-2,00.html. If it's good enough for the Lord, it's good enough for me. --Jgstokes 22:36, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

"As of" date[edit]

What is the rationale for changing the date (in "As of _______, the members of the Council are:") from May 2007 back to April 2007? I don't think the membership in the Council has changed since April, has it? If it has, we should update the name instead of retrodating the statement in the article. -SESmith 01:10, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

I did that, and I did so (I believe) because the members of the Council on the Disposition of the Tithes were listed in the latest Church Auditing Department report, which came during the April General Conference. However, come to think of it, by that rationale, I should have technically switched the date to the final part of December 2006 or the first part of January 2007. Whatever the reason was, it's not important. My question is, are we going to leave this date as-is in this article, or update the "as of" date every month? I think that may have been what was going through my head when I changed it back to April 2006. However, inasmuch as the council membership does not change, I think it's safe to leave the "as of" date as May 2007. Whatever the reason for the change I made, I'm glad you fixed it. Thanks. --Jgstokes 03:39, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
I see. I think someone (or I?) originally put a date to the list because it said something like, "currently, the members are...", and that was seen as unacceptable because the reader would not know if it was up to date or not. Is there another way around the problem? -SESmith 04:17, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure. I don't see any way to fix this without making more problems. So, I imagine, unless it's objectionable, it would be all right to leave the date as "May 2007," unless, of course, the members of the council change anytime soon, which may or may not be likely --Jgstokes 20:37, 19 May 2007 (UTC), Edited by the above on 5/20/2007 at 9:15 PM

Removal of President Faust's listing as a member of this council[edit]

Friends and Fellow Editors, Because President James E. Faust, who died on August 10, 2007, cannot as a dead man be a member of a living council, I have removed his membership listing in this council. As soon as a new 2nd Counselor is called, his name can be put in President Faust's place. For now, though, I have removed him. --Jgstokes-We can disagree without being disagreeable 02:00, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Published records[edit]

The council did publish its financial records, at least into the 1950s. I don't know the exact date in which it stopped, but I could probably find out. Anyway, it's incorrect to state that it has never published its financial records. Good Ol’factory (talk) 04:13, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Stopped in 1959, according to this article. Good Ol’factory (talk) 04:20, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

New Presiding Bishopric needs to be added.[edit]

Based on changes made to the Presiding Bishopric on March 31, 2012, this list needs to be updated. But I don't have sufficient knowledge of the templates to take care of it myself. Please help! Thanks. --Jgstokes-We can disagree without being disagreeable (talk) 03:33, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

As you can see, I took care of this problem myself. The list is up-to-date as of March 31, 2012. Thanks. --Jgstokes-We can disagree without being disagreeable (talk) 17:37, 3 April 2012 (UTC)