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lostindc

The Church is potentially spending 129 million to purchase a London office building.  

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, rockpond said:

Who is predicting that there won’t be a need for future buildings?  That’s kinda crazy. 

Heaps of online apostates and other critics. Have you not seen any of the spirited discussions about what the Church will be forced to do with its buildings as entire stakes implode, including selling temples off to be used as themed hotels, gambling halls, or even sets for certain kinds of films? It's an entire subgenre of fantasy literature.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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1 hour ago, Joshua Valentine said:

We don´t know anywhere near ¨everything¨,

We don't need to.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Heaps of online apostates and other critics. Have you not seen any of the spirited discussions about what the Church will be forced to do with its buildings as entire stakes implode, including selling temples off to be used as themed hotels, gambling halls, or even sets for certain kinds of films? It's an entire subgenre of fantasy literature.

No, I haven’t see anything that dramatic but I pretty much stick to just this site for church related discussions.

I understand the downward trend in church growth rate but as long as populations are expanding and new developments being built, there will always be a need for new church buildings.  We’ll likely need to divest ourselves of older church buildings as populations shift and age but that’s not a big deal.  I can’t imagine temples ever being sold.  I’ll lay down my prediction right now:  no way will we ever sell a temple. 

Edited by rockpond

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, rockpond said:

No, I haven’t see anything that dramatic but I pretty much stick to just this site for church related discussions.

I like to go slumming on occasion, just to recentre myself.

Quote

I understand the downward trend in church growth rate ...

Yes, though I fully expect this trend to reverse at some point, soon or late. We have had six convert baptisms in our stake so far this year, all six of them university students. The last one was a friend of an earlier convert. This past Sunday, they brought a third friend for his first time.

Quote

I’ll lay down my prediction right now:  no way will we ever sell a temple. 

I agree. The abject failure of the attempted sale of the Nauvoo Temple pretty much laid down a pattern.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan

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9 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

I like to go slumming on occasion, just to recentre myself.

Yes, though I fully expect this trend to reverse at some point, soon or late. We have had six convert baptisms in our stake so far this year, all six of them university students. The last one was a friend of an earlier convert. This past Sunday, they brought a third friend for his first time.

I agree. The abject failure of the attempted sell of the Nauvoo Temple pretty much laid down a pattern.

I hope you’re right but five decades of downward trending rates lead me to believe that something very significant will need to change in the world. 

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1 minute ago, rockpond said:

I hope you’re right but five decades of downward trending rates lead me to believe that something very significant will need to change in the world. 

I'm a professionally trained historian. Changing significantly is what the world does best. We've been in moments very much like this one before.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, poptart said:

Hear how in Chicago they had to shut down because they would not allow LGBT adoptions?  All for LGBT rights, what gets me is when people bash Catholic charities yet aren't willing to step up and help out.  It's almost always the same, our political grudge at someone else's expense.  That's comforting to know, saw Catholic Charities in Seattle, had a funny feeling they weren't doing so well, happy to hear it's the other way around.

 

Just to be clear, they didn't have to shut down because they would not allow LGBT adoptions.  They shut down because the Federal Government would no longer contribute to an organization that discriminated against LGBT. And rightly so. While religion is free to discriminate against whoever it wants, the government can not.  If you haven't learned this yet in your civics class, you might want to take a refresher course. Maybe it is time for church members to stop bashing the LGBT community simply because they want equal protection under tha law that is guarenteed them under the constitution.  And isn't it about time that people started being honest about these situations?  

Too bad the Church didn't step in and offer their support so that those adoptions could continue.  Instead of blaming the gay community maybe the Church members should start asking what they can do to help other organizations fulfill common goals.

Edited by california boy
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It seems to me that the only opinion that matters on what the church spends it's money on are the active members that actually contribute to those funds.  From reading this thread, it appears that the majority of those active members have no problem with the Church's real estate investments.

I couldn't care less what the church spends it's funds on.  They could start putting up solid gold Moroni statues on their temples and it wouldn't make a difference to me.

Those that have a problem with the church not giving enough humanitarian aid should only look to themselves and ask the question, "Am I giving enough to help those less fortunate."  

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8 hours ago, Wade Englund said:

It isn't a matter of superiority or greater wisdom and intelligence. Rather, it is a matter of humility.

Your getting warmer. Try thinking beyond just spending, to also return on investment. Please consider as well the spiritual as well as the physical. The 4-fold mission of the church ought to give you an immense clue.

Thanks -Wade Englund-

Wade - would very much appreciate you showing me how I can be more humble. That is something I need to work on.

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16 hours ago, lostindc said:

The Church is potentially spending 129 million to purchase a London office building.

Technically, it isn't the Church itself - it's one of the Church's non-ecclesiastical, for profit subsidiaries (Property Reserve, Inc.) which is potentially looking at making this investment.

PRI specializes in real estate purchases and leasing, so this seems like it falls right within their wheelhouse. 

As near as I can tell, this seem like a solid pick-up for them. Is there something you find especially troubling about this potential acquisition? Do you think it is a bad / risky investment? If so, why?

 

Quote

How much does the Church spend in humanitarian aid each year?  

Can't say with certainty, but it's probably somewhere in the ballpark of around $40 million per year.

If the Church's for profit holdings continue to generate positive returns on investment they'll have more income to spend on things like humanitarian aid each year, so this purchase sounds like a good thing.

That's where you were going with this thread, right?

 

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4 hours ago, california boy said:

It seems to me that the only opinion that matters on what the church spends it's money on are the active members that actually contribute to those funds.  From reading this thread, it appears that the majority of those active members have no problem with the Church's real estate investments.

I couldn't care less what the church spends it's funds on.  They could start putting up solid gold Moroni statues on their temples and it wouldn't make a difference to me.

Those that have a problem with the church not giving enough humanitarian aid should only look to themselves and ask the question, "Am I giving enough to help those less fortunate."  

As a tithe-paying member, I think it is incumbent upon the church to do some amount of wise investing.  And as someone who works in the commercial real estate industry, I like to follow their investments which is why I so often share them here.

However, I can't say if I agree with the level of investing being done because the church doesn't open its books.  And, I've made no secret of my opinion that I believe they need to produce an annual financial report and share it with members.

 

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I suppose we can argue about whether or not purchasing a $129 million dollar office building is humanitarian aid or not, and we can talk about other investments like City Creek, or the expense of temples, and compare it to how much the church spends on humanitarian missions...but why bother?

Some people will approve and think it's great. The prosperity proves the leaders are wise stewards and truly called of God. And God obviously wants more office buildings and wealth.

Some people will disapprove and think the church has it's priorities mixed up. That it is more focused on wealth accumulation than it is in easing suffering throughout the world.

This is the state of affairs in the modern church, whether we like it or not. But regardless of whether we do like it or we don't, it seems that we might as well accept it as reality because there is new evidence of that reality every day/week/year.

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1 minute ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I suppose we can argue about whether or not purchasing a $129 million dollar office building is humanitarian aid or not, and we can talk about other investments like City Creek, or the expense of temples, and compare it to how much the church spends on humanitarian missions...but why bother?

Some people will approve and think it's great. The prosperity proves the leaders are wise stewards and truly called of God. And God obviously wants more office buildings and wealth.

Some people will disapprove and think the church has it's priorities mixed up. That it is more focused on wealth accumulation than it is in easing suffering throughout the world.

This is the state of affairs in the modern church, whether we like it or not. But regardless of whether we do like it or we don't, it seems that we might as well accept it as reality because there is new evidence of that reality every day/week/year.

I think one of the hardest things for humans to accept is that reasonable and good people can look at an issue or action and come to a valid but different conclusion than they do.  We spend a lot of time trying to convince each other than our perspective is the correct one.  You are probably right in that eventually we should probably just accept that because people are different, there is always going to be disagreement on these kinds of things.  

God is the only one who get's the final say and most of us won't know what that final say is for a long long time. 

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17 hours ago, lostindc said:

The Church is potentially spending 129 million to purchase a London office building.  How much does the Church spend in humanitarian aid each year?  

It would be interesting to know.  Different newspaper articles have talked about some of the humanitarian aide the church has given, but it's usually only a report of a specific activity and not all of them together.  For example, we have this article from Nov. 2017 that says that the church has given more than $52 million in eight years ($52 million in cash plus the resources given to the different charities from the bishop's storehouses in the area, which haven't been tracked) to help the homeless in SLC.

When you think of the humanitarian projects that the church runs it's hard to know the dollar amount, but it does seem obvious that the church is very active on that front.

Immunizations

Wheelchairs

Clean Water

Benson Food Initiative

Vision Care

Maternal and Newborn Care

  

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13 hours ago, lostindc said:

I am guessing more money for investments and then maybe at some point decided a day is rainy enough to spend more on humanitarian aid.  

Because saying something costs 129 mil may not be as important as knowing that the return is 300 mil or more . . . just curious.

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2 hours ago, Amulek said:
Quote

How much does the Church spend in humanitarian aid each year?  

Can't say with certainty, but it's probably somewhere in the ballpark of around $40 million per year.

If the Church's for profit holdings continue to generate positive returns on investment they'll have more income to spend on things like humanitarian aid each year, so this purchase sounds like a good thing.

That's where you were going with this thread, right?

According to the charities 2018 annual report they have spent 2.2 billion since 1985 which averages to about 67 million per year.

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11 hours ago, jpv said:

I used to have a huge issue with this kind of thing. City Creek, etc.  Excommunicated historian D. Michael Quinn changed my opinion with his latest book.  Listen to this interview.  He really helped me see it from a faithful perspective. 

https://radiowest.kuer.org/post/mormon-wealth-and-corporate-power

Would you be willing to give a synopsis, or at least a point or two you found unique?  Just curious and not sure I'll take time to listen.

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2 hours ago, Amulek said:

{snip}  If the Church's for profit holdings continue to generate positive returns on investment they'll have more income to spend on things like humanitarian aid each year, so this purchase sounds like a good thing.

That's where you were going with this thread, right?

..., he said disingenuously.

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19 minutes ago, Maidservant said:

Because saying something costs 129 mil may not be as important as knowing that the return is 300 mil or more . . . just curious.

That's also an interesting question.

Is spending $129 million to ease suffering today better or worse than investing that money and having $300 million to ease suffering...in XXXX years? I think people will disagree on that question as well, but it does seem to me to be the crux of the "investing to have more money to contribute" argument.

IF we applied that to our personal lives, how likely is it that we wouldn't donate any $$$ to charity (including the church) this year so that we can invest and therefore donate more $$$$ to the church in a couple of years? Would that seem like a likely plan? Would it seem like a plan the church would approve of?

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16 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:
17 hours ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

I once looked up people who had criticisms of Mother Theresea.  I wanted to see if there was any dirt on her - she seemed so universally accepted as a true disciple of Christ.  Sure enough, people with gripes about her are out there.

When a person is being considered for beatification (sainthood), there often is someone asked to be the "devil's advocate" -- to argue against that person. Christopher Hitchens was asked to do that during the process for Mother Teresa. I find it humorous that the avowed atheist helped out in a Catholic proceeding :) 

It was a good Google Fu workout - but I finally found a 2003 news article about the event.  Christopher Hitchens was quite a popular guy, and I'm guessing him and his anti-Mother Theresa book probably fueled every negative opinion about her that I encountered.  And yep, he's basically ticked that she went about helping the poor in ways that Hitchens didn't like.  Dood sure knew how to mock.  He had a gift.

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3 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Is spending $129 million to ease suffering today better or worse than investing that money and having $300 million to ease suffering...in XXXX years?

Once you start talking about real money, you have to start thinking of it as streams of income.

If you personally had $100 M, you could take that $100 M and give it all to the poor today (which would be awesome).

Alternatively, you could put that $100 M into a trust fund and (conservatively) give $2+ M to the poor forever, while, at the same time, also increasing the size of your trust fund each year which would allow you to increase the amount given to the poor in the future (which is also awesome). 

Which is better?

 

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1 hour ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I suppose we can argue about whether or not purchasing a $129 million dollar office building is humanitarian aid or not, and we can talk about other investments like City Creek, or the expense of temples, and compare it to how much the church spends on humanitarian missions...but why bother?

Some people will approve and think it's great. The prosperity proves the leaders are wise stewards and truly called of God. And God obviously wants more office buildings and wealth.

Some people will disapprove and think the church has it's priorities mixed up. That it is more focused on wealth accumulation than it is in easing suffering throughout the world.

This is the state of affairs in the modern church, whether we like it or not. But regardless of whether we do like it or we don't, it seems that we might as well accept it as reality because there is new evidence of that reality every day/week/year.

If you switch 'church' to 'members' you are correct. Now I think the church could stand to donate from their business ventures as well. Think of the good they could do?!? Their land in Florida and so much more, think of the possibilities. The 4th on the list for the mission of the church, isn't being attended to the extent it could, IMO.

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The real issue is that we are all talking past each other. The primary purpose of the Church is neither to accumulate wealth or to ease the temporal suffering of the world. We do some of both but neither is not how we measure our success.

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3 minutes ago, Amulek said:

Alternatively, you could put that $100 M into a trust fund and (conservatively) give $2+ M to the poor forever, while, at the same time, also increasing the size of your trust fund each year which would allow you to increase the amount given to the poor in the future (which is also awesome). 

I would love it if that's what is being done.

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3 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

Wade - would very much appreciate you showing me how I can be more humble. That is something I need to work on.

Mt. 18:1-6 is a good place to start.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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