Changing Patterns of Mormon Financial Administration

Traveling Bishops, Regional Bishops and Bishop's Agents, 1851–88



In the twentieth century, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints relies heavily on two kinds of bishops—Presiding and ward—to help manage its temporal affairs. In the nineteenth century, traveling and regional bishops also played an important role in financial administration. These “other bishops” assume a prominent place in the economic structure of the Church between 1851 and 1888.

The Church administration in the nineteenth century needed to supervise the tithing on income and increase, as well as other religious donations of the membership. The common practice of donating “in kind” (such as pigs, eggs, or butter) rather than in cash compounded the difficulty of the task, since such tithing not only had to be accounted for but also fed or kept from spoiling. The Presiding Bishopric relied on a storehouse system and on traveling and regional bishops to assist them in caring for these resources.


Share This Article With Someone