An often repeated (and unfounded/incorrect) statement is, “The missionaries came to do good, and they did very well.” (Suggesting the missionaries personally profited from their services in the Islands.) A simple review of the facts show that the missionaries were forbidden to “engage in any business or transaction whatever for the sake of private gain” and they did not, and could not, own property individually. “No one can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (money.)”
To supply the mission members, a Common Stock system was initiated – it was a socialistic, rather than capitalistic, economic structure. This was a community-based economic system designed to enable the missionaries to accomplish their goals without having to worry about finding sustenance and shelter – funding came from the continent. Mission family members were allowed to keep personal gifts from family and friends as private property, but those gifts were subtracted from what they would otherwise be entitled to receive from the Depository. In 1863, the ABCFM withdrew financial support for the mission and the Missionary Period ended.