Let the "slamming" begin!
Thank you for the fabulous in-depth article regarding the many aspects of the
Mormon Church. It covered so many issues and give excellent answers for those
with questions. I am in awe of the meticulous order, as well as the beauty of
the brilliance of the philosophy within this great church, and I am inspired by
this lovely article. What a remarkable organization, truly founded on sound
Lots and lots of wealthy Mormons out there. This scrutiny about the LDS Church
and the latest news/scrutiny about Mitt Romney must be extremely uncomfortable
for all of them.
"Today, the church's business assets support the church's mission
and principles by serving as a rainy day fund," the statement says.
"Agricultural holdings now operated as for-profit enterprises can be
converted into welfare farms in the event of a global food crisis.Huh? There is not currently a "global food crisis"? According to the
World Bank, more than 17 million people are facing possible starvation in West
Africa’s Sahel region, the zone skirting the southern portion of the
Sahara Desert. Sounds like a rainy day to me.
no fit in SGI doubt it. But, you keep on thinking that way.
Great response. One point that wasn't mentioned was the City
Creek mall. Previous Deseret News articles have pointed out that mall was
financed 100% from other real estate ventures of the church. No tithing money
was used in that development.
Re: no fit in SG St.George, Utah"This scrutiny about the LDS Church
and the latest news/scrutiny about Mitt Romney must be extremely uncomfortable
for all of them."Yes, the part the drives me nuts is the way
they waste money on welfare programs to help the less fortunate. (Just a little
sarcasm for those looking to fuel their fires of bigotry.)
I am sure that Mitt Romney will handle the spotlight just fine. What
a great principled representative for the Mormon Church and for this country.
Just what we need!
When did success and wealth become bad? This country used to be based upon
lifting yourself up by the bootstraps and getting somewhere. Individuals were
encouraged to excel. Businesses were praised for growth and success. And the
successful have always carried far more than their fair share. Now, those who
have accomplished something with their lives and their businesses are maligned
and scoffed at. While those who do not wish to put forth the effort, because
they are "entitled" to the earnings of the successful, whine and cry
about that success and why they should get part of it without contributing to
it. As a nation, the "entitleds" are bringing about a new civil war,
that is far from civil.
@ SPDoesn't that mean that they spent more money on City Creek than
they donated to humanitarian services in the last 25 years?
@Ned GrimleyWhen your business is classified as a church and doesn't
pay taxes that is a different thing altogether. I would be much more successful
in business if I didn't have to pay the same taxes my competition.
Financial transparency is an expected form of accountability for churches and
non-profits in modern society. If the church doesn’t want people to
speculate about its financial endeavors, it ought to disclose the audited
financial statements to the public. Until it does so, it should only blame
itself for the resulting speculations and misunderstanding.
NoodlekaboodleSalt Lake City, UT@Ned Grimley I would be much
more successful in business if I didn't have to pay the same taxes my
competitionHmm. Trying to figure this one out. You mean the LDS
church pays less taxes than say, the Catholic Church? Or the Southern Baptists?
Or the Presbyterians? Or....?
Well pllusses and minuses. I have always admired the Church welfare program,
and its defense of the family, the only institution which makes life in
capitalism remotely tolerable. On the minus side the Church is solidly
capitalist and therefore can't fathom leftists/liberals/democrats, is
hostile to organized labor, is undemocratic, and is a place where to feel
welcome one must be a right wing Republican.
Oh, that the US Government were run as well. If it were, no debt, nice public
services all paid for, support and a pathway for less fortunate citizens to
independence and liberty rather than life as a serf. To marxist, last time I
checked Mr. Reid the Senate majority leader was feeling very welcome as a member
of the LDS church and hardly considers himself a right wing republican. The LDS
church is an amazing success story that mirrors the American Dream.
Marxist -- In what way is the Church hostile to labor? We are a strong union
family and we have no problem with our views meshing seamlessly with scripture
and Church leadership. Where we do have difficulty is with ignorant members who
think that Mormon is synonymous with the Republican Party. Unfortunately, the
GOP is well aware of that and plays to that audience accordingly. The Businessweek article was not good journalism. The author had an agenda
and achieved her goals. Like all anti-Church blather, it will burn hot, for a
moment, and then disappear. Writings and times like these are why all members
must be informed and maintain their own testimonies. I feel sorry for all those
who deify Mitt Romney. He is already less like the Mormon and more like the
world he so fervently courts.
@a bit of realityYou're right. Sanctity and secrecy are two
different things. The scriptures and the temple are sacred, for example.
However, maintaining secrecy regarding non-sacred things can stir up curiosity
and speculation. Personally, I believe all non-profits owe their
contributors the responsibility to disclose how donated funds were used,
including reporting the salaries of top paid individuals. This can be done
through an annaul audit report that could be posted on the Church's
website.Many churches and ministries do that today--especially when
they have nothing to hide while on "The Lord's Errand." One reason the Church hasn't disclosed that information is because of
their significant concern with liability.Still, I believe the Church
would benefit by letting its members (including the poor potato farmer in the
Guatemalan highlands) know how those in responsible position have used their
contributions, including reporting the compensation paid (and benefits) to its
senior officers. Knowing this information will be reported to donors also helps
keep compensation in check.Currently, the Church's annual audit
and this latest press release don't provide that fiduciary information and
are woefully lacking and contribute to continued speculation.
@marxistThe Church has room for a communist like you, too (I'm
assuming you're a communist because of your user id). Just leave your
politics at the door. The rest of us are supposed to do so as well.A
relative of mine was an active member of the Church all his life--and was also a
Noodlekaboodle: You totally missed the point of my comment in your effort to
complain about the church.
It's sad that we live in a country where we feel like we DESERVE to know
everything about everything, like it's our god-given right. It's just
fine for churches to be non-profit, oh but not when they have as much money as
the LDS Church! Now ALL churches should be 100% transparent and no longer
tax-exempt. Nevermind the fact that the church DOES pay taxes on their
FOR-PROFIT companies. No, if it's the LDS Church, it's all one in the
same. Answer me this. Name me ONE member of the church that's
getting rich, I mean filthy rich, off of this massive empire. Thomas S. Monson?
The Apostles? Mitt Romney? Anyone? No. So why all the outrage? We
get mad at corporate America because a few people are getting rich at the
expense of the many. The 99% vs. the 1%. How can the wealth of the LDS Church
even be compared to that? What is the worth of the City Creek Center if it
beautifies downtown SLC, potentially drawing more to the temple and the chance
to hear the gospel? Is it worth $2 Billion? Yes.
To reach any critical conclusion without looking not only at how the LDS Church
has earned income but how it is spent is distressing. In order to reach such a
position, one could only either adhere to prejudice or boast the criticism on
impulse before having a more complete knowledge of what is true.In
my experience, most criticisms are only ever formed through hypocrisy. Compare
these two examples:1) In a day and age where 'wife
swapping', promiscuity, and infidelity run rampant- only the polygamous
past, despite being organized, faces criticism. Consider it moral or not, it was
functionally constructive and an honest practice (By honest, I refer to the
phrase of 'making someone an honest woman'). Again, my only point is
that criticism is typically formed through hypocrisy.2) Today,
others who do less good for the world (if any) criticize a religion that by
design does everything for the world.Bloomberg L.P. vs The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Both supposedly make around $6 billion a
year. Oddly enough, I don't think they really compare when considering what
motivates both parties to make money and where that money is ultimately going.
laggie,You probably have all your land and possessions tied up with the
world hunger crisis you mentioned. Thanks for sharing with us your exceptional
personal qualities. Now please allow the church to create resources for a rainy
day for those of us who faithfully serve others inside and outside of this
church.Noodlekaboodle. Please write the truth about the church and
taxes. The truth will enlighten you. And for that matter, the same could be
said about City Creek and anything else about which you comment. Humanitarian
aide comes in many forms and the Church's contribution to the same is much
more that the one small fund you mention, each of which addresses needs of
others. You have been told this before but you are not listening.
@ Cinci ManI will ignore your personal attack because I don't
believe they promote the dialog.Regarding your comment "Now
please allow the church to create resources for a rainy day for those of us who
faithfully serve others inside and outside of this church", are you saying
that the "rainy day fund" referred to in the Statement is only intended
to benefit members? If so, where did you get that idea?
Laggie. I'm encouraging you to read and think before you make derogatory
statements about the church. You know what a rainy day fund is, and you are just
trying to make trouble, not have dialogue. If you have a rainy day fund, is it
for you and your family for future needs, or is it for the starving in third
world countries today? The Church has many programs that address the needs of
people all over the world currently and also a rainy day fund for the future
that helps it deal with peaks and valleys. Just like you, it does not spend all
of it's resources today. Please, in the future, if you wish to have
dialogue, do so. But stop wasting space for others who want to discuss things to
just make your digs at the church. That's not a personal attack.
That's stating what you are doing when you know the difference. You can
read, write, tie your own shoes, and you know what a rainy day fund is. Your
agenda is showing.
@ Cinci ManWow. A whole boatload of personal attacks just for asking a
couple of questions (neither of which you have answered).If asking
about the starving people of the world (which currently exist in almost every
major city and en masse in Southern Africa) is "making trouble" then
I'm proud to be a troublemaker (and think I belong in pretty good
historical company). By attacking those who question the status quo as
"trouble makers" I believe you belong in not so good historical
company.That said, the Statement says the rainy day fund can be used
in the event of a global food crisis.My two questions (restated)
are:1) Does a global food crisis not currently exist (somebody ought to be
able to opine on this)?2) You seem to think the rainy day fund is for
members only. I want to know how you got that idea. I look at it like personal
food/water storage which I intend to share with my neighbors. Why isn't it
The original Bloomberg Businessweek story claimed that Mormon humanitarian
contributions, at about $52 million per year, were far less significant than
those of the Methodist Church as a percentage of each church's total
expenditures. That is an invalid comparison. The actual humanitarian
expenditures of the United Methodist Church average about $60 million a year,
and when the totals are divided by the US membership of each church, they both
come out to about $8 per person per year. The percentage of methodist
expenditures is inflated because most of the costs of the Methodist Church are
handled at the local level, rather than out of a consolidated central church
account. So Mormons and Methodists both contribute about the same
to worldwide humanitarian relief, and the Fast Offering and Church Welfare
programs to care for needy Latter-day Saints are substantial costs in addition
to that. Education aid in the developing nations through the Perpetual
Education Fund and the support to the BYU and LDS Business College campuses are
also standard "charitable" works in addition to religious worship.
My company had a Federal contract which spent over a billion dollars out of
President Obama's "stimulus" bill, employing for two years about
1200 people. (Yes, that is a million dollars per job. It's a long story.)
This was touted by the Federal government as an exemplary example of creating
employment with government funds. My understanding is that the construction of
City Creek Center on land the Church has always owned, and which has been an
office and retail center for most of that time, also employed a similar number
of construction workers. So why isn't the Church being praised for
creating good jobs for all those people during a time of recession? Don't
you think that if a non-profit organization went into downtown Detroit and
invested in a similar project it would be praised to high heaven? Why
shouldn't the Church's City Creek Center be similarly praised as a
benefit to the community and the nation? Isn't a job better than a handout?
No doubt many have read recent posts. I ask that those who seek for
understanding read and ponder principles of provident living that can be found
on LDS.org. The Church adheres to these principles of living within its means
and setting aside money each year for a rainy day. "World food crisis"
is only an example of what might result one day in dipping into the "rainy
day fund". Please don't think anally about this concept. 9/11, the
recent economic downturn, floods, famines, earthquakes, tsunamis, church
burnings, fires, vandalism, and baby boomers retiring in mass in the coming
years are all unexpected calamities that could one day result in the need to tap
into reserved resources. President Hinckley said a few times that so far, the
Church has been able to deal with economic darts and still put money aside each
year. Hopefully that will continue. May those readers who desire understanding
understand the great work that the Church does and the guiding principles from
which we may all benefit if followed. I am grateful for all that the Church
does for others,.
1aggie,You criticized the LDS Church from the start. The LDS Church
is defending its practices and you claim that it is indeed a rainy day, as if
the LDS Church should be giving every last dollar and asset it can right now.
Not only is it not prudent, but neither does the red cross and other
organizations.Unless you personally are doing more and doing it more
effectively than the LDS Church, you are in no logical position or on any moral
ground to complain.Furthermore, Cinci's replies weren't
personal attacking in the slightest. Your criticism, if not hypocritical, would
rest on your resources 'tied up' as Cinci had illustrated. Also, Cinci
may not know how such funds would be used.Cinci's replies have
not resorted to ad hominem reasoning. I can only reasonable conclude that you
either did not understand or that you are here to stir up a pointless argument.
In any case, I will address your questions in another post. I am simply stating
now that Cinci has responded with a logic that rested on your statements;
whether with an attitude or not, his followed reason- your taking offense does
laggie,My reply:1) Your first question is entirely
dependent on what constitutes a "global food crisis". I don't
consider our current status as such. If a single neighbor is starving, is it?
No. What about a thousand, or one person on each continent?. Webster defines
Crisis as "a significant event or radical change of status". It's
an event, not a condition. We have seen no such dramatic change that upsets the
balance of who has food and who does not. Logically, we are not seeing a crisis
taking place.2) "You seem to think" and "you got that
idea" are logically fallacious. It's a loaded question.3)
Why don't we just share everything? Because people don't share back.
U.S. welfare fails for this reason where the LDS system succeeds- teaching
people HOW to fish. Educated and intellectual examinations of how the LDS Church
spends typically conclude with praise. Therefore, if there is any doubt
regarding how the LDS Church operates or how effective it is in comparison to
some other design- the burden of proof is on you or others, not the LDS
Church.Those are quite reasonable and not personally attacking.
"Lots and lots of wealthy Mormons out there. This scrutiny about the LDS
Church and the latest news/scrutiny about Mitt Romney must be extremely
uncomfortable for all of them." St.George, Utah.There are also
lots and lots of hard-working middle-income mormons (most of the ones I know) as
well as some who are down on their luck and are receiving temporary assistance
with living costs from the church. There are also many in developing countries
who, with the help of the Perpetual Education Fund, are able to invest in their
education and therefore the future of themselves and their community. I'm not sure I get the point you are making.
@ A Voice of ReasonThanks for the laugh.Your statement
"Unless you personally are doing more and doing it more effectively than the
LDS Church, you are in no logical position or on any moral ground to
complain" is in itself an ad hominem attack. But in the future, when you
make comments about a person, country, or organization, I will expect you to
observe your rule and first list what you have personally done to exceed that
person's, country's, or organization's achievements or
contributions.Regarding using the word "crisis", in my first
post I noted that more than 17 million people are now facing possible starvation
in West Africa’s Sahel region. They were not starving before. This meets
every definition of a "crisis" and 17 million is hardly a trivial
number. Regarding world hunger:According to estimates by the
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, there were 925 million
undernourished people in the world in 2010. The same organization reports there
were 923 million malnourished people in the world in 2007, which in turn
represented an increase of 80 million since 1990. In conclusion,
debating ideas is fine, judging intent is not.
To:., Nevermind the fact that the church DOES pay taxes on their FOR-PROFIT
companies. No, if it's the LDS Church, it's all one in the sameThe great wealth of the Mormon Church is becoming very apparent. Neil
Morgan, “Business Esquire“, August 1962).The Mormon leaders might do
well to consider the which was made by Jesus” “My Kngdom is Not of
this world…(John 18:30). The Bible does not say anything about Jesus
trying to build a temporal kingdom or manage a large business, instead ,it says
that he had to place to lay his head.
"NedGrimley- When did success and wealth become bad?"When
uneducated Americans started believing socialism (communism) was good.
I have been taught that if I don't do my hometeaching, I will share a
portion of the sorrow of the families I didn't visit. I
can't help but wonder if we, as church members, will share in the portion
of the pain and loss of people who starve to death in the world each day as we
sit on our piles of gold?
The LDS Church needs to file tax returns to the IRS. Then, we'll see some
element of the truth.
My advice to Mormons and non Mormons alike: Get wealthy. Stay wealthy. Be a good
steward of that wealth. Enjoy the wealth. It is a blessing from divine
Is a church professing to be acting in God's name more accoutable to God or
man? The Apostle Peter posed this question to the Jewish leaders after healing a
crippled man in the gates of the temple and being critisized for it. If there is
a living God with a church on this earth lawfully acting in his name, should
non-believers have the right to vote on how his personally-chosen
representatives manage his resources and affairs? Perhaps a more meaningful and
important activity for all of us would be to find out for ourselves if there
truly is a living God and what he expects of us in this life.
Collectivism, and Keynesianism, have failed, and continue to fail. Austrian
economics is alive and well, and will rebuild this country when the Keynesianism
of the globalists implodes upon itself.
I believe that when you aren't forth coming with your financial in a church
you must be not honest. I come from a very smal church and all our financial
records are always open to inspection by anybody who cares to look at them. I
also give to all funds raising at my church and I don't place a percentage
on what I give. I have never read in the bible about building big fancy
buildings for worship no were in the bible does it say, but it says to be honest
about all you do. I believe that the LDS are afaird to be 100% honest with the
public and I don't believe it's because Mitt Rommey is running for
president, but people are starting to questioning their ways.
This article was actually useful. It spelled out the priorities of the church,
to build buildings (Chapels and Temples) do Missionary work, and ensure that
church members are self sufficient and at the very bottom is humanitarian
outreach. So no one including church members should be surprised when the media
reports that the Church spends much less in proportion than do other Christian
Denominations who has a priority of humanitarian outreach. As a Missionary 3
decades ago I turned away the homeless because I didn't have the resources
to assist that homeless man. And now my son 30 years later had to do the same
thing because as an LDS Missionary he doesn't have the resources to assist
the homeless. There are some Christian Denominations that send Missionaries out
to actually help the homeless.
If you're a member of the LDS Church and you don't like the way
it's run, talk to your bishop. If you're not a member of the LDS
Church, then why should you care whether members of the church choose to pay
tithes and offerings, whether the church chooses to help people world-wide and
whether the church uses its talented people to run tax-paying businesses? Would
YOU rather handle the burden of humanitarian care world-wide? Would YOU rather
do without the goods and services that the government provides because of those
taxes on church businesses? Or, do you just like to complain when you see
people doing worthwhile things with their time and God-given talents?Somehow, I suspect it's the last assumption that has your shorts tied up
in knots.Good people do good things. Those not listed in that
"good" group gripe and complain. In the Book of Mormon, it's
Trooper55,I think you are making a big assumption with your
assertion that Churches that don't fully disclose financial information
must be dishonest. I personally don't know which other churches do or
don't share their financials. I figure that is between them and their
members who donate. If the members don't trust those that administr the
funds, they should donate elsewhere. My questions for you include:-
Do you have the same assertion for all charities that don't disclose their
finances? - What about goverment agencies supported by your taxes?
I trust where my money is going because of how I see how the money i
donate is used (temples, churches, education, seminary, humanitarian aid,
missionary work, etc...). Do i know where everythign goes? No. However, if I
didn't trust the church...i would choose not to donate. If there have been
scandals and misappropriation of funds I have donated to the LDS church, i would
be interested to hear about about them. However, you will find it is
practically non-existent. However, to some that just means they are good at
covering it up. To each their own.
I do have to say this is funny dialogue. The Anti-mormon movement is in full
swing (at least by laggie). No matter the article, they will find negative
baseless points of view. Of all things I noticed that the Catholic
Church is never mentioned. We are but a drop in their bucket and yet their
financial empire is never brought into question. Wonder why that
is........nope, I don't. Truth is what it is no matter how much sugar you
put on it.
Lots more proof here that you can't reason with a closed mind. I will gladly keep paying my tithing and paying my fast offerings with
complete confidence that the money is used prudently to help those in need and
support vital functions of the Lords church. And I don't feel the need to
know how much the church is worth financially or where all of my donations go.
The Mormons should be given credit for sincerely believing that their vast
corporate wealth is, indeed, for the 'Kingdom of God' as they
understand it, and for "preparing individuals and the church community for
life with God" as they envision it.Still, it's hard to
imagine that a multi-billion dollar corporation is what the real Jesus had in
mind as he ministered hope and consolation and healing to the poor and the
sick and the downtrodden in the dusty backwater of the Galilee and sent out his
disciples without purse or script or sandals (ok, Mark has his Jesus sign-off on
1aggie,You are absolutely right, it is ad hominem. However, anyone
who even knows what ad hominem is should also know that not all ad hominem
arguments are fallacious.Saying that "His economic plan is
obviously wrong, he doesn't even have a job" is a fallacious ad hominem
attack. But there is a clear and obvious difference in saying "If a jobless
man is criticizing how other people get jobs, the burden of proof is on them to
show a more effective approach to job-hunting." If you are questioning the
effectiveness of someone else's practices based on a comparison between
your own ideals and their own, then your ideals and how you act on them have
been brought into question. Karl Marx's theory wasn't simply economic,
it rested on premises that men wouldn't be greedy, would welcome hard work,
and other good ideals if they truly believed in that system- that that belief
would come from destroying capitalism. For him to not even lift a finger, but
rather spend his days in museums and jobless while his daughter didn't have
medications they couldn't afford, logically shows that his theory was
What a great opportunity for the church to share its mission! Good for them for
taking all the criticism in stride and publishing a great article that's
both inspirational and helpful--sharing ideals that could help all people if
they'd base their lives and personal wellbeing upon similar principles.
So much of the speculation, so much of the misunderstanding, so much of the
innuendo could be eliminated if the brethren would just publish financial
reports to the membership.Why don't they?
It is good to see that the church is admitting that it runs The Dessert News and
KSl to serve as the political and theological arm of the church and not to
present news. No other religion in the US owns and dominates a state's
media like the LDS church. No wonder the state is 95% Republican.