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Financial Transparency


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Why do you want to be informed? Why do you need to be informed? How will knowing change your life? Will it make it better or worse?

I had asked this same question at the first of this thread. What would you do if you knew the church had 20 billion? What would you do if you knew the church had 100 billion? What would that do? Would it matter in the end?

In the end I believe the money is not being miss used. so until I see that happen Im not worried one way or the other.

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We do not believe that our leaders are infallible.

If a member of the church raised his hand to NOT sustain the current church Presidency, and asked for more information concerning church finances-- claiming he had evidence of problems-- and refused to end his controversy in this matter over time, do you think he should be automatically excommunicated?

If not, how could such a controversy be settled?

Richard

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If a member of the church raised his hand to NOT sustain the current church Presidency, and asked for more information concerning church finances-- claiming he had evidence of problems-- and refused to end his controversy in this matter over time, do you think he should be automatically excommunicated?

If not, how could such a controversy be settled?

Richard

Automatically excommunicated? What does that mean?

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The point I was making was that the minister has a profession, a career in preaching and ministering in the church. This creates a mindset of seeing the church as a source of income, a largess, a profession. This creates, IMO, an atmosphere where there is a great temptation for financial abuse. "Look at how many people are now coming to church. I have increased membership by 30%." etc

The LDS leaders have served in voluntary, unpaid service. In many cases, they are financially independent.

You cannot see the difference in how this would affect their attitude and behaviour? The largess vs stipend mindset?

Of course. That is why the church has financial controls, overseen by multiple individuals including church leaders and financial professionals.

The real issue is not whether there are financial irregularities, but whether it is the public's business how much income the church has and how it spends that income. It then becomes just one more weapon in the arsenel of the enemies of the church using misstatements and distortions.

They do not want to be "informed", they want another weapon.

I do see your point cdowis. I do agree that the mindset of a "profession vs hobby" could create different agenda's. I do think however, that financial abuse can take place in ANY setting that generates money. Religious or not, money can be evil. Again, I feel that the church should disclose what if any compensation is given to "leaders", whether professional or lay. As for the "enemies" use of this information, what could they do with information that is published? For example, if a GA collects $46,000 in stipends or allowances for travel who cares if the enemies exploit that. It is easy enough to compare that to the total compensation of a paid minister of another church. If there is nothing to hide then don't hide. The critics will always be critics.
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First off most smart investors know that there is no such thing as a sure thing. That said, I would choose to give the $1,000 to charity right away. I'll ask you this, would the LDS church criticize a member for investing their tithes instead of giving it directly to the church?

Well, there's a non-answer if I ever saw one. I didn't ask you about a speculative venture, did I? Go back and read the question again, and then answer the actual question rather than your own version of it.

Regards,

T-Shirt

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I am a member of this public. I do want to be informed. I don't want another weapon.

One of life's greatest lessons is that we cannot have everything that we want.

Just because you want it, doesn't mean we are going to give it to you. I wish you all the best in learning that lesson.

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Again, I feel that the church should disclose what if any compensation is given to "leaders", whether professional or lay. As for the "enemies" use of this information, what could they do with information that is published? For example, if a GA collects $46,000 in stipends or allowances for travel who cares if the enemies exploit that. It is easy enough to compare that to the total compensation of a paid minister of another church. If there is nothing to hide then don't hide. The critics will always be critics.

To reveal this information to satisfy idle curiosity is insufficient reason to do so. I trust them.

If I didn't, I would leave.

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If a member of the church raised his hand to NOT sustain the current church Presidency, and asked for more information concerning church finances-- claiming he had evidence of problems-- and refused to end his controversy in this matter over time, do you think he should be automatically excommunicated?

Sounds like you've found a new poll question.

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One of life's greatest lessons is that we cannot have everything that we want.

Just because you want it, doesn't mean we are going to give it to you. I wish you all the best in learning that lesson.

Oh, thank you! Thank you! Life-changing! :P

Are you in a position to give it to me? You are one of The Bretheren? Cool. If not, what's with this "we" and "you" division?

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If you had $1,000.00 that you wanted to give to a charity and then found out that you could invest that $1,000.00 and after a period of time you could give your charity $1,000.00 every month indefinitely as a result of the returns on you original investment, which way would you chose to proceed? In addition, if the person with the $1,000.00 was someone else, would you criticize him for investing the money instead of giving it directly to the charity?

T-Shirt

This question is actually quite complicated. Can you invest it better than the charity can? If your $1000 could prevent someone from dying today or tomorrow or sometime between now and when your $1000 has grown to the point that you can draw $1000 per year indefinitely, would you donate now or later? Are people dying? Or will it just delay getting some houses painted? Is the charity large, or nearly bankrupt?

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Well, there's a non-answer if I ever saw one. I didn't ask you about a speculative venture, did I? Go back and read the question again, and then answer the actual question rather than your own version of it.

Regards,

T-Shirt

WIth all due respect, if you would reread my reply in post #41 I DID answer your question. I would give it to the charity right away, and not bother with ANY investing. That is how I paid my tithes when I was a member. I paid as I earned NOT when I decided the return on some investment was enough to then contribute. ANY investment with the hopes of a return is "speculative no matter how great or small", IMHO.
OMWO2 Yesterday, 07:30 PM Post #41

Member: Moves Upon the Waters

Group: Members

Posts: 117

Joined: 5-April 06

Member No.: 3117

QUOTE(T-Shirt @ Sep 5 2007, 06:56 PM)

If you had $1,000.00 that you wanted to give to a charity and then found out that you could invest that $1,000.00 and after a period of time you could give your charity $1,000.00 every month indefinitely as a result of the returns on you original investment, which way would you chose to proceed? In addition, if the person with the $1,000.00 was someone else, would you criticize him for investing the money instead of giving it directly to the charity?

T-Shirt

First off most smart investors know that there is no such thing as a sure thing. That said, I would choose to give the $1,000 to charity right away. I'll ask you this, would the LDS church criticize a member for investing their tithes instead of giving it directly to the church?

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This question is actually quite complicated. Can you invest it better than the charity can? If your $1000 could prevent someone from dying today or tomorrow or sometime between now and when your $1000 has grown to the point that you can draw $1000 per year indefinitely, would you donate now or later? Are people dying? Or will it just delay getting some houses painted? Is the charity large, or nearly bankrupt?

Why is it it so hard to answer the question as it is written without adding all manner of conditions? Let me ask it in another way:

Which gift do you think would be of most use to a charity?:

A - A one time gift of $1000.00.

B - $1000.00 a month for life.

T-Shirt

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Why is it it so hard to answer the question as it is written without adding all manner of conditions? Let me ask it in another way:

Which gift do you think would be of most use to a charity?:

A - A one time gift of $1000.00.

B - $1000.00 a month for life.

T-SHirt

Keep in mind that Jesus could come any minute. We should always be ready for that. So would it be better if He found the Church contributing to charities that currently need it or making money which may or may not end up being used for those charities? Methinks the Church has taken the parable of the talents a bit too literally.

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WIth all due respect, if you would reread my reply in post #41 I DID answer your question. I would give it to the charity right away, and not bother with ANY investing. That is how I paid my tithes when I was a member. I paid as I earned NOT when I decided the return on some investment was enough to then contribute. ANY investment with the hopes of a return is "speculative no matter how great or small", IMHO.

The question had nothing to do with tithing, nor did the question imply any uncertainty in the investment, you added those conditions on your own.

T-Shirt

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Zoidberg:

He may come "Today" for all we know. But that that does not mean that we should abandon all prudence and thoughtful care. The "Parable of the Talents" does not indicate what the two did with their talent to double it. But it doubtful they gave it all away.

Well, Jesus did say something to the extent of "give to him who asketh of you" (or something; I have a hard time remembering how it goes in English), so I'm sure He would rather the Church gave of its excess to the poor than increase their current possessions. The servants with the talents were not authorized to give them away because they were not theirs to give, they were their master's. The parable's real meaning has nothing to do with money, BTW. I doubt the decision to build the mall came to GBH in a revelation directly from God.

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Keep in mind that Jesus could come any minute. We should always be ready for that. So would it be better if He found the Church contributing to charities that currently need it or making money which may or may not end up being used for those charities? Methinks the Church has taken the parable of the talents a bit too literally.

Good grief, you people will say anything, no matter how lame, in order to avoid answering the question. I know you don't have any interest in seeing the benefits from this project, but I will point them out to you anyway.

While continuing to give to humanitarian causes, this project will allow the following:

1 - Revitalizing down town SLC

2 - Provide economic growth

3 - Provide additional jobs.

4 - Provide a residual income that will allow the Church to do more than the initial investment would have allowed.

If you can't see this, then you are blind.

Now you may continue with your ignorant mockery.

My best,

T-Shirt

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Now you may continue with your ignorant mockery.

That was uncalled for. I was only addressing your statement that charities would rather wait, and then get $1000 every month than receive $1000 to help those in need immediately. I was not mocking anybody. I was being civil and not insinuating your ignorance or anything of the sort, BTW. I advise that you do the same.

Love,

Zoidberg.

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Zoidberg:

I have a hard time with English, even though it is my mother tongue. :P

The Church really does have a very good charity program. Of non-members it asks for nothing in return. Of its members all it asks is that you come fellowship with it.

Who ever claimed this was "excess"? This was a business decision to use business funds in the hopes of receiving a business profit. While I hope that thoughtful prayerful considerations went into this, and all, business decisions. There was no need for a Revelation concerning the Church in this matter.

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Zoidberg:

I have a hard time with English, even though it is my mother tongue. :P

The Church really does have a very good charity program. Of non-members it asks for nothing in return. Of its members all it asks is that you come fellowship with it.

Who ever claimed this was "excess"? This was a business decision to use business funds in the hopes of receiving a business profit. While I hope that thoughtful prayerful considerations went into this, and all, business decisions. There was no need for a Revelation concerning the Church in this matter.

saint, I'm okay with the Church investing money per se. I was addressing this strictly in the context of T-shirt's statement about charities, which I have already clarified. Yes, I feel that if it is excess, it should go to charities. If the Church needs more money for building meetinghouses/temples and they are waiting on building a few now so they can build more in the future when they receive the revenue, I'm perfectly okay with that.

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As an active, lifelong, tithe-paying (but admittedly disenchanted, doubting and critical) member, I can only offer these thoughts on the subject:

- The Church has published financial info in the past (until the 1950's?). So there is precedent. I think they should reinstate the practice.

- Church leaders are fallible men. As fallible men, they can make mistakes. Even big ones. Even well intentioned ones. Even ones for which they thought they were inspired. And even financial ones. Public accountability for the money wouldn't eliminate those mistakes, but as has been shown in every other areas, it certainly doesn't hurt.

- "Groups" (be they religions, corporations, businesses etc.) never want to publicly disclose their finances. Why would they? They are usually forced to. The question would be why are they forced to, and do any of those reasons apply to a church (or The Church)?

- Some people feel tithing isn't paid with money, it's paid by faith. I seem to have to pay with money, and I would like more info on this alternate program.

- If Church leaders are inspired by God in their financial direction, then this would make the Church's budget scripture, and should be published to show the world the works of God.

To put it bluntly, if Church leaders are inspired by God in their financial direction, that is the strongest argument for publishing financial reports, not an argument against.

- The best reason I can think of for withholding financial reports is that they they would show when Church leaders make poor spending decisions. It would also show what the average Church member is paying in tithing, which may or may not be a faith-promoting metric.

- As has been shown in England, reporting may illuminate areas of the world where the Church operates at a deficit.

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Why is it it so hard to answer the question as it is written without adding all manner of conditions? Let me ask it in another way:

Which gift do you think would be of most use to a charity?:

A - A one time gift of $1000.00.

B - $1000.00 a month for life.

T-Shirt

Those aren't the same amounts of money to start with, not even in order of magnitude. In this situation obviously B is the correct answer.

Edit: But this wasn't your original question.

If you had $1,000.00 that you wanted to give to a charity and then found out that you could invest that $1,000.00 and after a period of time you could give your charity $1,000.00 every month indefinitely as a result of the returns on you original investment, which way would you chose to proceed?
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