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JAHS

Was My Mormon Ancestor'S Tithing Used To Build City Creek Mall?

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There are so many ways that billions of dollars can help the poor and needy. And yes, if I were poor and needy, I wouldn't care much about where the help came from.

H.

So the value of the LDS Church to you is not its message, but its money? Yet you criticize its message and how it handles its money - even though you would accept money/assistance from it?

Hmmm...interesting. 'night

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Man, It would be nice if the church invested in my community like that!

We have a temple too.

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How does one respond to this?

I would say that even if the Church didn't have a business side to it's finances, sprucing up the Church's front porch and conducting business operations, say with an eye to increasing value, with tithing money would still be a legitimate expenditure. cf parable of the talents, parable of the unjust steward.

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The construction of the mall created jobs for those who were hired to build it, and it created jobs for those who will work there. How is this a poor use of funds? I think the LDS Church has done a good thing.

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OK, I choose 1. Let's talk honest. The Book of Mormon seems to condemn the mall; Mormon 8:37 is an example. Please reconcile.

It's a reasonable question. But I think the scripture is not apt, because the scripture concerns how a church spends its money. City Creek is more about how the church invests its money. The church sees the mall as an eventual source of income, not as a place to spend its money. It's just a place for the church to park its extra cash that is more lucrative than the bank. Moreover, the mall is not a sepulcher; it's a business. You might argue that the church's investments should be more humanitarian-related; however, it is hard to make money from humanitarian organizations. Either you make a profit, or you are doing something humanitarian--it's very hard to do both, because the one interferes with the other. Then again, you might ask whether a church ought to ever be interested in turning a profit. But ultimately, the more income it makes while parking its extra cash, when it comes time to spend, rather than invest, the more the church will have to spend on things relating to its religious mission.

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This is, of course, a cynical bit of false dichotomy- and a tired, trite attack that has been vomited up many, many times in the past.

It is predicated on the idea that the Church must either spend the money on the poor or on the City Creek Center.

This is false (but you already knew that).

As already stated, the investment in the City Creek Center will enhance- not detract from- the Church's humanitarian efforts.

You don't know that; you surmise that.

But since we're engaged in the politics of envy anyway, what percentage of YOUR income has gone to the poor and needy?

I am not a public institution.

Do you spend more per annum on your mortgage than you give to the poor?

More than I spend building malls.

H.

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No need to show you anything. Your argument was the interpretation of scripture from a book you don't believe is true. A small short term investment means nothing when compared to the amount spent on missionary work, which is of much greater value. So you really have no point beyond a rather weak interpretation of scripture and what can only be classified as a dishonest argument.

That 'small, short term' investment is more than what the church spent over the long term. Look at the welfare fact sheet. And I don't consider proselytizing efforts to be humanitarian efforts.

H.

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They hypocrisy displayed by that statement is thick.

There are so many ways the tens and hundreds you hoard that can help the needy and poor, and yes the poor and needy would even accept your money. I somehow don't think you are running to the bank to withdraw it though. But thanks for once again living up to the sullied reputation you have established here.

You know nothing of my income, my savings, or my charitable donations. To insinuate the church is spending all of it's savings and so I should spend all of mine or I'm a hypocrite is just a diversion.

H.

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That 'small, short term' investment is more than what the church spent over the long term. Look at the welfare fact sheet. And I don't consider proselytizing efforts to be humanitarian efforts.

H.

What you consider important and a priority has no relevance. You were merely looking for a reason to complain, and when the hypocrisy of you complaint was exposed, you dodged the issue. Your argument therefore is dishonest (nothing new there).

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This storyline reminds me of the reason mainstream Christians cite for opening their financial books to scrutiny:

It may be true to assert that the public disclosure of financial information is required, in part, to protect the donor public. While this is the reason most often given to justify governmental regulation, the reputation of the Christian ministry in general is at stake. Public disclosure protects Christian ministry from the danger of claiming ownership of God's gifts evident in the investments Christian donors make in His kingdom. It also protects us from the temptation to make assets and the acquisition thereof our lasting companion and goal.

Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability

In one form or another, the capital to build the mall must have come from the time, energy, talents, and money that members have consecrated to the church over the years, and the church's diligent management and reinvestment of those assets. Those consecrated assets are a class much bigger than "tithing" receipts. So while it's simplistic to claim that "tithing money" provided the capital that grew into the funds that were used for the commercial City Creek project, it seems a little disingenous to claim that there is a clear line between the Chruch's sacred tithing-generated assets and the other billions of non-sacred assets it generates from its commercial endeavors.

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I am not a public institution.

Whether or not the Church is a public institution is irrelevant digression- it has no bearing whatever on the discussion at hand.

The Church has met (and continues to meet) its public and private financial and moral obligations.

The expenditures (public and private) are in accordance with local, state, and Federal laws, and have been independently verified to have been handled ethically, responsibly, and consistently with its four-fold mission.

The vast majority of contributors and stakeholders (ie, tithepayers) are perfectly content with the manner and practices of the Church.

Your speculation- baseless and salacious though it may be- is utterly irrelevant.

You have no legal standing, no interest, and no ethical, financial, or personal investment in the operation of the Church- and therefore no right to question or complain.

You have no evidence of wrongdoing- credible or otherwise.

Your scriptural "complaint" has been demonstrated to rely upon a selective and heavily jaundiced reading- and has been answered with a reasonable explanation.

Far from spending the money for prideful or self-aggrandizing reasons, the Church has sound theological and charitable justification for its efforts.

That YOU don't like it is irrelevant.

It is- quite simply- none of your business.

Edited by selek1

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Man, It would be nice if the church invested in my community like that!

We have a temple too.

I'm telling ya!

Throw us a frickin' bone, here....

(sorry - it's way too early for Mike Meyers but that just popped into my head when I read your post - LOL)

Edited by mercyngrace

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While the trail of funding for this project will likely never see more than speculation, I personally am curious to know how they got so little mall for so much money, and will the costs ever be recovered. I doubt I could afford to live there.

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While the trail of funding for this project will likely never see more than speculation, I personally am curious to know how they got so little mall for so much money, and will the costs ever be recovered. I doubt I could afford to live there.

Setting aside the irrelevant digression, could you expand on the idea of "so little mall for so much money"?

Do you have solid data to suggest that other, similar projects were more cost-effective?

Or are you just offering sour grapes?

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Unless a church business was capitalized by divine gift all money, businesses and assets were the result of it's member donations. To the best of my knowledge they church hasn't smelted the golden plates, sold the sword of Laban, or used the peep stone to secretly obtain treasure in the earth. The church was and continues to be capitalized by member donations. It uses those donations for many enterprises but the original funding was all donations.

Here is a great example of how you can make those claims. Steve Job purchased Pixar from George Lucas for $5 million and capitalized the company with another $5 million for a total of $10 million invested. In 2006 Pixar was sold to Disney making Steve Jobs $3.7 Billion dollars. Steve recovered a profit of $3,680,000,000 and he could spend all of that money and claim to never have spent his original Pixar investment.

So yes it's easy for the church to say "no tithing money was used". Just like Brigham Young made the same claims about his personal wealth.

Again this is merely speculation based on the assumption that god didn't provide the church with specific contributions directly. If he did then I'm wrong.

Phaedrus

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I just don’t understand why it’s so offensive to believing posters for me to state the obvious…that the church uses income from investments that originally came from the primary income source that the church has, namely tithing…and reinvested that money in the new City Creek Mall. What is so offensive about saying something that is so obvious. Why is it so important for you to believe that no tithing funds were used in the mall? Particularly since the church has NO other souse of income, other than.

  1. Tithing
  2. Income from investments on tithing
  3. Other non-tithing donations ie…little old ladies who donate their houses to the church rather than her children when they die.

While I guess it is possible that the accumulated and set aside assets from little old ladies donated houses has accumulated to $5 Billion…I think it’s more likely that the smart investment arm of the Church has invested excess tithing funds in prime Salt lake City real estate.

I guess all of this speculation could be easliy cleared up if the church would merely release an annual finacial statement like other credible charities. Begs the question...what are they hiding (probably nothing) or what are they afraid of....why not allow the donators know what the donation recipiants are up to with their donations.

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Unless a church business was capitalized by divine gift all money, businesses and assets were the result of it's member donations.

...

Again this is merely speculation based on the assumption that god didn't provide the church with specific contributions directly. If he did then I'm wrong.

You're wrong.

I doubt you'd consider it a "divine gift", but the Salt Lake Valley (and most of Deseret/Utah) was essentially a gift from God. The Church owned it and deeded it to individuals and corporations as needed.

The Church was rich in real estate, poor in cash for a very long time. For example, converts in England were traded land in Deseret for their money in England so Europeans could migrate to the Valley. Temple Square was never "bought", nor were the lots for the Bishop's Storehouse or Tithing office.

Much of that real estate was also sold, and much kept, so the Church had a great deal of wealth tied up in that real estate, none of which was from tithing or other donations from the Saints.

The income from those grants from God has financed far more than City Creek Mall.

Further, Saints often give contributions that are not tithing or "charity" donations to the Church. The Church can use these funds for any purpose without infraction of any limit on how tithing is supposed to be used.

And, if we explore this question, how tithing is supposed to be used, there is no restriction any way. Doctrine and Covenants section 120 tells us that the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve, and the (Presiding) Bishopric form the Council on the Disposition of the Tithe, and that they are charged with that obligation. If they wanted to spend the money on IBM stock, that would be both their right and their responsibility. No one else, especially not either of the two groups (those who pay tithing and those who don't), have any stewardship over those sacred funds.

Lehi

Edited by LeSellers

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I just don’t understand why it’s so offensive to believing posters for me to state the obvious…that the church uses income from investments that originally came from the primary income source that the church has, namely tithing…and reinvested that money in the new City Creek Mall. What is so offensive about saying something that is so obvious.

I refuse to give you enough power over me to take offense at your ignorance.

Your position ignores one very important fact: the Church owned Deseret by right of first claim, and the value of that land was not a donation or tithe. It was, in pheadrus' words, a "divine gift" (whether he agrees or not).

Lehi

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I am not a public institution.

Neither is the Church.

Mormon 8:37 is aimed at individuals, not institutions.

Edited by Mark Beesley

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I just don’t understand why it’s so offensive to believing posters for me to state the obvious…that the church uses income from investments that originally came from the primary income source that the church has, namely tithing…and reinvested that money in the new City Creek Mall. What is so offensive about saying something that is so obvious. Why is it so important for you to believe that no tithing funds were used in the mall? Particularly since the church has NO other souse of income, other than.

  1. Tithing
  2. Income from investments on tithing
  3. Other non-tithing donations ie…little old ladies who donate their houses to the church rather than her children when they die.

While I guess it is possible that the accumulated and set aside assets from little old ladies donated houses has accumulated to $5 Billion…I think it’s more likely that the smart investment arm of the Church has invested excess tithing funds in prime Salt lake City real estate.

I guess all of this speculation could be easliy cleared up if the church would merely release an annual finacial statement like other credible charities. Begs the question...what are they hiding (probably nothing) or what are they afraid of....why not allow the donators know what the donation recipiants are up to with their donations.

"Why is it so important for you to believe that no tithing funds were used in the mall?"

It's not that it's so important to me; I trust those in charge to use it wisely for purposes I would agree with. I don't need to see annual financial statements because once I have given the tithing to the church I know I have obeyed the commandment and what happens to it after that is up to God. I am OK with that. But the critics of the church like to complain about it and accuse the church of improperly using the sacred tithing money. I guess we should just ignore what they say.

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You're wrong.

I doubt you'd consider it a "divine gift", but the Salt Lake Valley (and most of Deseret/Utah) was essentially a gift from God. The Church owned it and deeded it to individuals and corporations as needed.

Interesting. I'll let the local Ute, Paiute, Goshute, and Shoshoni tribes know it wasn't an invasion of their land by Europeans it was actually a gift from God. Brilliant!

Phaedrus

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If the Church receives 10 dollars in tithing, puts that money in a bank and receives interest, is the interest also considered to be tithing, or could the Church use the interest for "non-tithing" purposes? And would that quiet the critics? If an angel from heaven appeared and told them to quit complaining, would they? :)

Edited by Mark Beesley

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the church has NO other souse of income, other than.
  1. Tithing
  2. Income from investments on tithing
  3. Other non-tithing donations ie…little old ladies who donate their houses to the church rather than her children when they die.

First, as I explained above, there are other sources (not "souses", we don't drink) of income beyond your three.

Second, the "smart investment arm of the Church" has made wise use of the wealth God gave His Church. I suggest that your snide insinuation that the Brethren are misusing sacred tithing funds is wholly inappropriate and, from your vantage point, counterproductive. While that smart investment arm has done its job well, it does not generate all that much income. According to President Hinkley, that income would not fund the Church for any significant amount of time.

The real estate and other investment wealth of the Church is dramatically cash-flow negative. Church buildings do not generate positive income, not the Temples or Chapels, not the universities or academies. The ranches may, the new (unfinished) mall will, but they are anomalies. The Church burns through cash at a fantastic rate just paying the light bill, not to mention all the other bills and expenses she has.

Let us not forget, either, that we Saints now get off very lightly. When I was a child, it was far from uncommon for a Saint to donate 25% or more of his income to the Church for tithing, Fast Offerings, ward building funds, Temple funds, welfare assessments, ward (and stake) budgets, Relief Society and Elders' Quorum budgets, Scouting assessments, et cetera, etc, &c. We don't give as much any more as we used to. For a Church whose primary goal is, in the eyes of many critics, "to get gain", we seem to be going about it backwards: asking less and less rather than more and more.

I reject your ignorant attack, and substitute facts instead.

Lehi

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If the Church receives 10 dollars in tithing, puts that money in a bank and receives interest, is the interest also considered to be tithing, or could the Church use the interest for "non-tithing" purposes? And would that quiet the critics? If an angel from heaven appeared and told them to quit complaining, would they? :)

The LDS Church can spend its money on whatever it wants, regardless of source of the funds. Its a free country.

Frankly, as a SL resident, I am glad they spent $5billion to construct luxury condominiums and a downtown mall. Its been great for the local economy. When I get older, I might even look into moving into one of the condos.

However, when its spends that kind of money, on that kind of project, you can't reasonably expect the critics not to say something. That is just silly.

BTW, I would note the LDS Chuch's statement that no tithing money was used to construct the mall was more likely made to appease the tithe payers than to appease the critics.

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I refuse to give you enough power over me to take offense at your ignorance.

Your position ignores one very important fact: the Church owned Deseret by right of first claim, and the value of that land was not a donation or tithe. It was, in pheadrus' words, a "divine gift" (whether he agrees or not).

Lehi

While I'll agree with you that the church did gain great wealth from land taken from Mexico and Native Americans....and I'll also grant you that that wealth could be part of the seed money that funded the City Creek Mall...I think, despite President Hinckley’s admonition to the contrary...that investment funds from tithing were also used....and since the church doesn’t make its financial records available I guess we’ll really never know. But I can't imagine that the church would go to the lengths to keep separate books within its general funds ledger…on original source income from land acquired 150 years ago and its subsequent distributions there from…at least they didn’t keep those records separated the last time they disclosed their financial records

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