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Critics Accusations Of Financial Improprieties

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This all could be avoided if the church was a little more transparent with the funds and donations they receive.

 

Avoided?  You wrote that with a straight face?  No, my friend nothing would be avoided. Nothing will suffice those that yammer on incessantly against the Church, its leadership, its doctrines, its history, and its members.  Not one iota of malice, evil word, and hateful remark will cease until the well after Satan has been chained for all eternity.  

 

I guess it is nice to have a positive mental attitude, but in this regards I have long since left off on naivety.  

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Thanks Cal, my info was well out of date.

I hear it all the time. If you grew up with it that way, sometimes one just assumes it always is that way.

When they were on the boards, they earned their income, they weren't just freebie either, so not really an IRS issue. The Church is very careful to avoid those.

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I would hope that the temples and meeting houses are built by construction companies owned by members of the Church rather than our enemies.

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I can't get my mind around an organization that wouldn't recognize that genuineness - the type that might lead someone to a genuine faith - might begin with accountability in all things.

Accountability to whom?

To critics and haters?

To God?

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You don't hear of any living luxuriously, at least I haven't.

Critics and haters don't need any evidence.

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Identifying their professions does not indicate if they are of independent means.

 

These are prestigious positions most usually associated with higher incomes. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Look at the area's of where they lived, look closely at the clothes they wear. Those are neither lavish nor cheap. Independent means is having enough money that you no longer HAVE to work for a living, and still maintain a comfortable lifestyle. You'll never get rich working for the Church, but you won't starve either. The days of not separating Church funds and the personal funds of our leaders.are done. Along with the days of "We thank Thee for this johnny cake, and ask Thee to send us something better"

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These are prestigious positions most usually associated with higher incomes. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Look at the area's of where they lived, look closely at the clothes they wear. Those are neither lavish nor cheap. Independent means is having enough money that you no longer HAVE to work for a living, and still maintain a comfortable lifestyle. You'll never get rich working for the Church, but you won't starve either. The days of not separating Church funds and the personal funds of our leaders.are done. Along with the days of "We thank Thee for this johnny cake, and ask Thee to send us something better"

So God will call those whom he would call.  But if you're poor, don't expect the telephone to ring anytime soon for one of the prestigious positions. 

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So God will call those whom he would call.  But if you're poor, don't expect the telephone to ring anytime soon for one of the prestigious positions. 

 

The Lord can call anyone whom he wants. Poor people and their families have enough problems with just staying alive. Why add in dropping everything to fulfill a life time calling? Paul was a tent maker by trade. Peter earned his money as a fisherman. They used their own money to further the Gospel.

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I personally think the church need to be more forthcoming with financial information.

It is secretive with it's accounts and no longer gives a proper accounting to general conference as it used to and as the D&C requires it to. That is why these rumours are able to fly in my opinion.

 

I believe the church stopped disclosing this information originally (I think it was around the mid 1950's) because it was seriously in debt and didn't want this to be known. Now the opposite it the case; the church has an embarrassment of riches.

 

If they were to make a full disclosure to the Saints now I think they are worried that tithing may dip, or at least other offerings will dry up.

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So God will call those whom he would call.  But if you're poor, don't expect the telephone to ring anytime soon for one of the prestigious positions. 

 

You think Boyd Packer was or is a rich guy?  Seminary Teacher from Brigham?

 

USU "Really?" 78

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Come on.  There is some information out there.  The issue is what to make of it.   

 

Someone has looked at the property owned in Utah by people with the names of the Q12 and listed the houses and their supposed value.  What they cannot say and have not said is what the source of the funds for the purchases were, or whether someone owns three houses because they have elderly parents or children to house.  Or even if there is only one person in Utah with that name.

 

The church publishes for internal use a mission president's handbook (which is available online).  Critics often extrapolate from the financial policies that it contains to other leaders. 

 

In some countries other than the US, the church is required to publish its income and outgo publicly. 

 

And we know that at least one high profile critic was involved in upper regional levels of the church finances before he became a critic.

 

Further, anyone who reads the critics' work regularly knows that virtually all levels of church administration have employees who are closet critics or who do not believe the truth claims of the lds faith.   Every now and again, information is divulged by one of them (though I've never seen any actual proof or even statements by someone who was willing to and did use a verifiable actual name).

 

Michael Quinn's book on church finances was due this year, but does not appear to be on any schedule for publication.  

 

I've not heard the vendor argument before:  you would think if that were true, that would have become public because the vendors are typically businesses who are required to make public some information.    Private people including churches are allowed to contract with whomever they want and sometimes they do so not just based on price.   If the church chooses a vendor because they can be counted on not to ever sue them, then of course the church would expect to pay more in the contract for that.  Or if they choose because of the companies willingness to protect privacy, of course that would require higher payments.   And since the presiding bishopric is the entity that does most of the business of building, it would be relatively more difficult for the Q12 to be involved anyway.

 

Just saying that one can know a lot about finances and continue to believe the truth claims of the church.   I look at whatever compensation the GA's receive as just another form of being taken care of because they cannot take care of themselves --- like any of those who get church welfare.

Edited by rpn

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I personally think the church need to be more forthcoming with financial information.

It is secretive with it's accounts and no longer gives a proper accounting to general conference as it used to and as the D&C requires it to. That is why these rumours are able to fly in my opinion.

 

I believe the church stopped disclosing this information originally (I think it was around the mid 1950's) because it was seriously in debt and didn't want this to be known. Now the opposite it the case; the church has an embarrassment of riches.

 

If they were to make a full disclosure to the Saints now I think they are worried that tithing may dip, or at least other offerings will dry up.

 

 

You plainly have no memories of when they used to announce such things in General Conference . . . the Godbeite boo-birds were all over them over every line item . . . it was ridiculous.

 

The CPAs in the auditing department tell me they've audited in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

 

What more do we need to know?

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This isn't true anymore. The Church pays a stipend instead on having them on boards.

The stipend comes from the business income, not tithing:

http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_church_finances/No_paid_ministry/General_Authorities_living_stipend

We say the stipends and things like mall building, etc. comes from business income and investments that were started in the early days of the church. But then the critics say "but where did that money come from to start those things if not from tithing and donations of the early saints.?" 

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We say the stipends and things like mall building, etc. comes from business income and investments that were started in the early days of the church. But then the critics say "but where did that money come from to start those things if not from tithing and donations of the early saints.?" 

 

Before governmental rapacity reached a certain level requiring intrusiveness into even religions and religious exercise and religious persons' religious activities it didn't matter.

 

Seriously:  it didn't matter and nobody cared.

 

Only when revenooers decided to skate all the way to the edges did we have to worry about what activities were "for profit" and what ones were "not-for-profit."  It wasn't religions that created the distinctions.

 

I prefer G-d's way with such things:  even so unenlightened a time, place and people as Leviticus enjoined against plowing, sowing, and harvesting right up to the edges.

 

Modern illiberal democracies live in the edges.

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The CPAs in the auditing department tell me they've audited in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

 

What more do we need to know?

This statement reflects a misunderstanding of the work of a regular auditor.    Plenty of financial misdeeds in the world went on under the noses of CPA's doing annual audits under generally accepted accounting principles.    If you wanted to identify corruption, you would retain a different firm to do forensic auditing.  http://www.ehow.com/about_5070210_forensic-audit_.html

 

ETA:  And assuming all funds are authorized by the council for the payment of the tithes (I think that is the name of the group that oversees the funds, it is made of of the Q12 and presiding bishop, if I recall correctly),  then by definition none of the expenditures could be fraud.   The body appointed to determine how funds is spent has authority to pay whomever it decides to pay, whatever it decides.   They answer to the Lord, not to us, for their faithfulness in that regard.

Edited by rpn

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Accountability to whom?

To critics and haters?

To God?

Accountability, by its act, includes anyone who wants to know how tithes and donations are spent. 

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This statement reflects a misunderstanding of the work of a regular auditor.    Plenty of financial misdeeds in the world went on under the noses of CPA's doing annual audits under generally accepted accounting principles.    If you wanted to identify corruption, you would retain a different firm to do forensic auditing.  http://www.ehow.com/about_5070210_forensic-audit_.html

 

Actually, I think the statement reflects a reasonable level of trust which renders external forensic auditing entirely unnecessary.

 

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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The IRS requires a paper trail so that if there is any question of financial impropriety it can quickly be resolved. The Church Auditing Committee  maintains a squeaky clean record for a reason. 

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The Lord can call anyone whom he wants. Poor people and their families have enough problems with just staying alive. Why add in dropping everything to fulfill a life time calling? Paul was a tent maker by trade. Peter earned his money as a fisherman. They used their own money to further the Gospel.

One reason I can think of is a 'stipen' from the church is probably waaaayyyy more than what a poor person was making trying to 'stay alive'.  It would probably be a big boost for someone in that position. 

For the record, I am not opposed to a church paying someone. 

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Accountability, by its act, includes anyone who wants to know how tithes and donations are spent. 

Are you seriously asserting that the Church must account for use of its funds to people who do not donate and in fact take an adversarial stance toward the Church and its leaders and members?

 

This is absolutely ridiculous on its face.

 

Can't tell what's driving your thinking on this. Perhaps just one more example of the Entitlement Generation run amok.

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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It has been my experience that members who aspire to leadership positions for reasons of increased power and celebrity and wealth acquisition tend to be self-selected out of the church for lack of desired advancement, and may be numbered among those who have falsely projected financial improprieties and heightened levels of distrust onto Church leaders. 

 

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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It has been my experience that members who aspire to leadership positions for reasons of increased power and celebrity and wealth acquisition tend to be self-selected out of the church for lack of desired advancement, and may be numbered among those who have falsely projected financial improprieties and heightened levels of distrust onto Church leaders. 

 

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

 

I just can not see someone who aspires to being a Bishop for reasons of increased power and celebrity and wealth acquisition doing a very good job at being a Bishop and will probably be greatly disappointed.

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Are you seriously asserting that the Church must account for use of its funds to people who do not donate and in fact take an adversarial stance toward the Church and its leaders and members.

 

This is absolutely ridiculous on its face.

 

Can't tell what's driving your thinking on this. Perhaps just one more example of the Entitlement Generation run amok.

Your statement is correct to a degree.  The IRS is the go-between for a non-member to be assured that monies are being spent in accordance to the laws pertaining to non-profit.  But, the church WILL NOT account for the use of its funds to even members who do not take an adversarial stance.

 

 

But then again.  The IRS......  Well there's an entity with standards and integrity,  or lack there of.

Edited by sdc999

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One reason I can think of is a 'stipen' from the church is probably waaaayyyy more than what a poor person was making trying to 'stay alive'.  It would probably be a big boost for someone in that position. 

For the record, I am not opposed to a church paying someone. 

 

For much of Church leadership it is just a stipend. These are nearly always older gentlemen that are retired or very near retirement. They don't depend on stipend just to make ends meet. I don't believe the Lord expects us to be poor. Poverty is not a sin, but get rid of it as fast as you can.

 

We really are a lay ministry. No one gets paid for preaching the Restored Gospel. The GA's are "paid" for working for the Church in their non-preaching matters.

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