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James huntsman (jon's brother) sues church for 'fraud'


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9 minutes ago, Analytics said:

Out of curiosity, do you think we will still have the three co-equal branches of government in the millennium, basically unchanged from now? Or will there be a series of constitutional amendments to get rid of legislators and presidents and replace them with a theocratic monarchy led by Jesus? 

Some prophets have told us our Lord will continue to allow other governments to function however they see fit but with the added restriction that they not violate any of his commandments.  And they only have to obey what they know he commanded.

So Joe Biden could still possibly be our President of the U.S. if our Lord were to come back within the next 4 years and Joe hasn't died yet.  And he would still have to tolerate the Senate and the House of Reps and the Supreme Court.  While they all try to be good.

Edited by Ahab
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12 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Your honor, I move for dismissal as learned counsel has rested without presenting a credible case. 

Geeze, throw me a bone will yeah. 

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1 minute ago, CA Steve said:

Why does a God who can organize the universe need money in the millennium?

It's more of a convenience than a need.  And something most people require for the work they do.  So for the same reasons God uses money now.

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5 minutes ago, Fair Dinkum said:

Geeze, throw me a bone will yeah. 

What have you done that is bone worthy?

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23 minutes ago, Stormin' Mormon said:

The way I understand it, the Millennium will only be an upgrade from our current Telestial world to a more righteous Terrestrial world.  We shouldn't expect a world living a Celestial law until after the Millennium. 

Is that how it works or are we putting the cart before the horse?

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2 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Has someone on this thread argued that GA's are paid too much in comparison to other corporations? I may have missed that. I have no problem with paid positions in the church. $120K is very low pay for their level of responsibility. They should just say they are paid for their work. That seems reasonable.

However, the more accurate critique would be about continual claims that leaders aren't actually paid. They receive a "stipend". So for whatever reason (probably to avoid accusations of priest craft) the church is afraid to say that the prophet is a paid position and would prefer to call it a "stipend". The silliness of the wordplay causes the problem. I don't know how big of a "stipend" other corporations give their execs. Do you?

I just read this yesterday and was a bit surprised by it. It looks like the LDS prophet is given more money than the pope, it doesn't appear that the pope gets a stipend. Just living expenses paid. https://aleteia.org/2019/07/24/what-is-the-annual-salary-of-pope-francis/

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38 minutes ago, Stormin' Mormon said:

The way I understand it, the Millennium will only be an upgrade from our current Telestial world to a more righteous Terrestrial world.  We shouldn't expect a world living a Celestial law until after the Millennium. 

That is the way I understand it too.  Telestial, Terrestrial, and Celestial are the 3 levels or degrees of glory/intelligence associated with how to live our lives and right now we are living in the least intelligent level of society we could possibly live in.

Well, except for what it would be like to live in outer darkness.  And I'm talking about societies that are apart from the societies of the Church, the regular/secular world outside of the Church.

After Armageddon the societies of the world will function more intelligently than they do now but still not up to par with the society of the Church, or I should say those in the Church who live and abide by celestial laws.

But eventually everyone who lives on this planet will be living by the same celestial laws the members of the Church live by, which we accept in temples of God, whether or not everyone on this planet is a member of the Church.

Our Lord Jesus Christ and our Father in heaven are not members of the Church, for example, and yet they still live by celestial laws.

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22 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

Why does a God who can organize the universe need money in the millennium?

Did it occur to you that blessing His kingdom on earth with material prosperity might be one of the ways in which He organizes the universe? 

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49 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

Wait, so the United States is the true One World Order? Who knew? ;) 

Seriously, though, how is this going to work? How does Jesus Christ reign under the US constitution?

It will become the government of the entire world because it will be adopted by the righteous remnant throughout the world who were in tune enough with God to not be destroyed by divine wrath during the Second Coming. In fact, the capital city of the earthly government during the Millennium will be the City of the New Jerusalem (a.k. the City of Zion) which will be located in the heartland of the present-day United States.

The reason why it’s the Lord’s will that the Constitution of the United Stars should be the system of government that should be adopted by the people of the entire world is because the Lord wants the children of men to be taught correct principles and then be allowed them to govern themselves in righteousness without the heavy hand of dictatorial edicts issuing forth from the despots of a powerful centralized government.

It’s been said that if men were as righteous as angels no system of earthly government would be required. Well as it turns out, the very restricted role for the central government, with very few clearly enumerated powers, as enshrined by the original intent of the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, is about as close to a government designed for the governing of angels as is we’re ever going to get before the great day of the final judgement. In fact, I believe it’s not coincidental that John Adams declared that the Constitution of the United States Is designed only for the governing of a highly moral and religious people, being wholly inadequate to the governing of the immoral and wicked. 

Edited by teddyaware
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I guess one can cherry pick which quotes suit one's purposes . There's a lot of cherry picking to do.  If you limited your cherry picking to Ezra Taft Benson, Canada and Mexico and Argentina would be worse than pig's slop.

It just goes to show the fluidity of thought Church leaders had, just like the apostles of the New Testament.  

Edited by Bob Crockett
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55 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

 

Need to compare this balogna with all the threats BY made against Congress and the President, including to assassinate Buchanan.  He went to war against the United States.  Who else has done that on domestic soil?  The Confederacy?  Brigham Young stepped across the Mexican border into the Salt Lake Valley precisely because he thought so ill of the United States government.    The reality is that the Church is an international church and does not particularly respect any government other than to be a good citizen.

In front of Brigham Young, Apostle Heber C. Kimball (a menber of the presidency) declared: "I will fight until there is not a drop of blood in my veins. Good God! I have wives enough to whip out the United States." 

Brigham Young mustered out the Nauvoo Militia precisely to fight the United States Army.  Buchanan labeled the Church's efforts as "seditious and treasonous" in his proclamation of pardon.  

Speaking of baloney, what sense does it make to equate corrupt and/or cowardly politicians, who refuse to properly administer under the law of the Constitution of the United States, with the inspired Constitution itself? The gap in your logic here is wide enough to allow the U.S.S Constitution to sail through.

Edited by teddyaware
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8 minutes ago, teddyaware said:

Speaking of baloney, what sense does it make to equate corrupt and/or cowardly politicians, who refuse to properly administer under the law of the Constitution of the United States with the inspired Constitution itself? The gap in your logic here is wide enough to allow the U.S.S Constitution to sail through.

But it makes no sense to use a document that establishes a constitutional republic as the foundation of a kingdom.

And what form will the Constitution take?  Will it be the original one?  Or will it include all the Amendments or only some of them?  Will some of it be rewritten by Christ to better match the conditions when he is king?  Will his revisions require being voted on like amendments are now?

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1 hour ago, teddyaware said:

I believe this quote from Brigham Young is true because it harmonizes with the Lord’s pronouncements in the Doctrine and Covenants...

 

 

77 According to the laws and constitution of the people, which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of ALL FLESH, according to just and holy principles; (D&C 101)

further...

 

5 And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to ALL MANKIND, and is justifiable before me.

6 Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land;

7 And as pertaining to law of man, WHATSOEVER IS MORE OR LESS THAN THIS COMETH OF EVI. (D&C 98)

Do you use also use vague verses from the Book of Abraham to justify Brigham Young's blatant racism?  @Bob Crockett is 100% correct; you are cherry picking.  None of this is taught in any mainstream way in the Church.  I may be out of the Church (by my own choice), but you're on a fringe speaking as if these things are accepted doctrine and they just aren't.

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25 minutes ago, teddyaware said:

It will become the government of the entire world because it will be adopted by the righteous remnant throughout the world who were in tune enough with God to not be destroyed by divine wrath during the Second Coming. In fact, the capital city of the earthly government during the Millennium will be the City of the New Jerusalem (a.k. the City of Zion) which will be located in the heartland of the present-day United States.

That didn't really answer my question, though. How does Jesus Christ reign within the constructs of the US constitution? What role in governing will He have? A democratic republic and a monarchy are really at odds with one another. The only way I can see the US constitution being the basis of a world government after Christ's return is if Christ has no role in government.

(wait, maybe He'll be the senate parliamentarian... in today's senate, that person certainly has god-lilke power ;) )

Edited by MiserereNobis
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37 minutes ago, Tacenda said:
3 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Has someone on this thread argued that GA's are paid too much in comparison to other corporations? I may have missed that. I have no problem with paid positions in the church. $120K is very low pay for their level of responsibility. They should just say they are paid for their work. That seems reasonable.

However, the more accurate critique would be about continual claims that leaders aren't actually paid. They receive a "stipend". So for whatever reason (probably to avoid accusations of priest craft) the church is afraid to say that the prophet is a paid position and would prefer to call it a "stipend". The silliness of the wordplay causes the problem. I don't know how big of a "stipend" other corporations give their execs. Do you?

I just read this yesterday and was a bit surprised by it. It looks like the LDS prophet is given more money than the pope, it doesn't appear that the pope gets a stipend. Just living expenses paid. https://aleteia.org/2019/07/24/what-is-the-annual-salary-of-pope-francis/

In the earlier days of the Church the Bishops and Stake presidents were also paid.

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Speaking of baloney, what sense does it make to equate corrupt and/or cowardly politicians, who refuse to properly administer under the law of the Constitution of the United States, with the inspired Constitution itself? The gap in your logic here is wide enough to allow the U.S.S Constitution to sail through.

I think you assume I am some other poster.   I know of no "gap" in my logic as I have said nothing about corrupt and/or cowardly politicians. I give credit to Dems and Republicans who serve their government; as long as they are not corrupt, they have my blessing.  That doesn't make them God.

My comments are limited to the supposed perception of the sanctity of the United States government and its constitution.  

Edited by Bob Crockett
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41 minutes ago, teddyaware said:

It will become the government of the entire world because it will be adopted by the righteous remnant throughout the world who were in tune enough with God to not be destroyed by divine wrath during the Second Coming. In fact, the capital city of the earthly government during the Millennium will be the City of the New Jerusalem (a.k. the City of Zion) which will be located in the heartland of the present-day United States.

The reason why it’s the Lord’s will that the Constitution of the United Stars should be the system of government that should be adopted by the people of the entire world is because the Lord wants the children of men to be taught correct principles and then be allowed them to govern themselves in righteousness without the heavy hand of dictatorial edicts issuing forth from the despots of a powerful centralized government.

It’s been said that if men were as righteous as angels no system of earthly government would be required. Well as it turns out, the very restricted role for the central government, with very few clearly enumerated powers, as enshrined by the original intent of the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, is about as close to a government designed for the governing of angels as is we’re ever going to get before the great day of the final judgement. In fact, I believe it’s not coincidental that John Adams declared that the Constitution of the United States Is designed only for the governing of a highly moral and religious people, being wholly inadequate to the governing of the immoral and wicked. 

I think you are confusing the principles of the constitution with the governmental design of the constitution.

I sincerely doubt the Kingdom of God has the same three branches, the amendments, etc.
How exactly would that work in a theodemocracy where Christ is literally reigning as a monarch and God is directing things personally?

The Constitution is an inspired document, but it is designed to operate a worldly nation. 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:
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See, I think it matters a lot that the Brethren are not enriching themselves.  I also think it matters a lot that nobody is accusing the Church of profligate or wasteful or unwise spending.

This is a Strawman argument.

I don't think it is.  And I don't think a federal judge would, either.

Absent specific provisions, a charitable donation to a religious group is just that: a donation.  Once given, the donor has essentially no say in how it is spent.  Fraud would be an exception to this.  But Huntsman's claim of fraud is untenable. It is facially dubious, and becomes absurd when the complexities of the Church's accounting and finances are taken into account.  No judge is going to penalize a religious organization for using freely-given donations for legitimate purposes associated with that organization.  And yes, saving and investing money is both legal and legitimate.  It is possible that a judge would be more inclined toward a finding of fraud if the organization's inducements were patently fraudulent (not the case here, not even close), or if the subsequent uses o fthe donations were patently improper, wasteful, etc.  Hence my repeated references to the Brethren not enriching themselves, to nobody getting rich from the Church's funds, to no allegations that the Church is being wasteful, etc.

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You're saying the brethren aren't enriching themselves and aren't engaging in "profligate or wasteful or unwise spending." OK, since I didn't say they were doing those things, you win :) 

I wasn't referring to you.  I was thinking of how the federal judge will be looking at this case.

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And yes, I think it is a good thing that the brethren aren't enriching themselves. That would be an additional problem. 

Legally speaking, it would be the first problem.

There is no evidence of fraudulent inducements.

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Claiming the lack of problem A (profligate spending) doesn't mean there isn't a problem B (investing large amounts of $$$ instead of using it to meet existing needs). 

Huntsman's lawsuit is not about "Problem B."  It's about fraud.

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Instead of profligate spending I think the argument against amassing $100 billion in a rainy day investment fund could be viewed as miserly.  

Huntsman's lawsujit is not about whether the EPA's investments "could be viewed as miserly."  It's about fraud. 

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I don't think anyone begrudges the church taking care of its needs and planning for a rainy day but lets be honest about the necessity of a $100 billion (that we know of) rainy day fund.

Huntsman's lawsuit is not about "the necessity of a ... rainy day fund."  It's about fraud.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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11 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

I sincerely doubt the Kingdom of God has the same three branches, the amendments, etc.
How exactly would that work in a theodemocracy where Christ is literally reigning as a monarch and God is directing things personally?

Think of different realms within one overall kingdom.  Think of the Church (kingdom of God) coexisting within different realms of the world, and even the universe.. 

This world as it is now is within the one overall Terrestrial realm of the one overall kingdom of God, consisting of a total of 3 overall realms.  All worlds of a Telestial order are within the one overall kingdom of God, which also includes Terrestrial and Celestial realms.  The universe includes galaxies with multiple worlds in each of the 3 realms.  

When our Lord returns and unleashes Armageddon this world will be upgraded from a world of Telestial glory/intelligence to a world of Terrestrial glory/intelligence.  The mighty Thanos, excuse me, our Lord, has thus declared it will be so.

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On 3/23/2021 at 3:40 PM, smac97 said:

Yes.  But I think most reasonably-informed members understand that the Church has expenses that are not directly involved with these "religious ways."

I also think that most reasonably-informed members understand and appreciate that the Church is doing what it has been teaching us to do: live within its means, set aside reserve funds, plan for the future, etc.

I also think that most reasonably-informed members understand and appreciate that setting aside reserve funds and planning for the future does not mean simply stuffing money in a metaphorical mattress, but instead involves prudent use and investment of such funds.  The Parable of the Talents not only lauds such prudent use by the "good and faithful servant{s}," but also condemns the servant who buried the talent given to him and did nothing with it.

I also think that most reasonably-informed members understand and appreciate that the people who have access to and control over the Church's finances have put in place numerous safeguards, oversights, checks and balances, etc. so as to reduce the risk of misuse of such funds.  We have the Council on the Disposition of Tithes, the Budget Committee, the Appropriations Committee, the Church Budget Office, the Church Audit Committee, and more.  We get annual reports from the Audit Committee.  Moreover, we see the beautiful temples, the tens of thousands of missionaries, the thousands of church buildings, the Church's humanitarian and philanthropic efforts, the canneries and storehouses, Welfare Square, Humanitarian Square, and so on.

I also think that most reasonably-informed members understand and appreciate that the Brethren are not getting rich.  Their living allowances are static, uniform and fairly modest given the amount of work they do, the skills involved, and the alternatives available to so many of them.

Why would you think that?  I would expect the Church to use sacred funds wisely.  Are you suggesting that the Church's investments are not wise?

I would hope that members who have concerns about this would be circumspect, that they would give this matter some deliberation and study and effort to understand.  I would hope they would not listen to the dissidents and critics who presume to tell us how we should feel about how our Church manages our freely-given donations.

I would also hope they would think that the finances of an organization with members in the millions and resources in the billions are likely to be a bit more complex than, say, an individual's or family's finances.

How much of that invested money is spent advancing the missions of the Church?  

How much of that invested money is spent on profligacies seen on the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous (General Authorities Edition)?

I think "most people" trust that the Church will handle sacred funds wisely.

And that trust seems to be well placed.

Two, actually (Pres. Nelson and Bishop Causse).

Thanks,

-Smac

So in other words if someone disagrees with what you think is reasonable means they are unreasonable.  Got it.  As far as reserve fund that is a wise thing to do.  $100 billion plus for a Church that claims to be Jesus's church as well as all the land and other assets it has seems rather high. A reasonable informed person could easily conclude that such a hoard is rather over the top.  Again for the church that claims to be run by the guy who told the rich man to sell all he has and give to the poor, and that it is easier for camel to go through the eye of the needle than enter heaven. 

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8 hours ago, Analytics said:

I have a feeling James Huntsman knows something about managing money. 

Which is why one must question his personal integrity in this matter.  A frivolous lawsuit is a sign of hate and vengeance-seeking.

8 hours ago, Analytics said:

As has already established, watchdog groups and advisors generally say rainy day funds for churches and charities should be between 6-12 months of the budget, with two or three years of the budget being the absolute maximum. And we know from the whistleblower that the church's rainy day fund is something on the order of 20 times its annual budget.

Of course the Church can do what it wants,

An LDS member might respond that the LDS Church is managed the way the Lord wants, and for the Lord's purposes, not subject to second-guessing by infidels.  Watchdogs and advisors may of course say anything at all, and set whatever standards they desire.  The First Amendment protects those claims just fine.  I have no problem with them saying whatever they like, even if it is entirely frivolous.

8 hours ago, Analytics said:

but this situation does raise some legitimate questions:

  1. Should a church or charity that acts more like a hedge fund than a  religious or charitable institution be taxed like a hedge fund rather than like a religious or charitable institution?
  2. Should churches or charities be required to disclose to their membership how they spend money? 
  3. If a church misleads its donors about how the money they donate is spent, does that constitute fraud?

By dint of a U.S. Supreme Court decision, question #1 is illegitimate:  A religion may not be taxed.  At least not in the USA.  Perhaps you have some other country in mind.

Questions 2 & 3 are likewise illegitimate (at least in the USA), unless one can show a substantive violation of fraud statutes.  I assume you understand the rule of law.  The law, not emotion, governs our society.  Moreover, religious organizations are to be strictly differentiated from secular non-profit charitable organizations: Each state regulates such non-profits in its own way, but has very limited control of religious organizations.  You may want to consult a lawyer.

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On 3/23/2021 at 5:03 PM, smac97 said:

I meant that the IRS not investigating the Church merits attention.  The IRS reviewed Nielsen's complaint - the same one on which James Huntsman's federal lawsuit is based - and apparently either A) never investigated, or else B) investigating and found no evidence of wrongdoing.

Well, I think we should care to an extent, while still working within the stewardship framework you reference.

Thanks,

-Smac

Things with IRS can take a long, long time. I have a an appeal on an issue with IRS for a client that has been going on for almost three years. Covid has slowed things down even more. Your assumption above does not take these things into account. They very well could still be investigating.

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7 minutes ago, Teancum said:

So in other words if someone disagrees with what you think is reasonable means they are unreasonable.  Got it.  As far as reserve fund that is a wise thing to do.  $100 billion plus for a Church that claims to be Jesus's church as well as all the land and other assets it has seems rather high. A reasonable informed person could easily conclude that such a hoard is rather over the top. 

There is not now and never has been anything reasonable about Christianity.  Andre Schwartz-Bart declared that Jesus taught "an impossible love."  No one can prove that Jesus was resurrected from the dead, or that He raised Lazarus from the dead.  No reasonable person can prove that any of His miracles actually took place.  Christianity is preposterous, except to those who have faith.  For the faithless, of course the entire enterprise will be taken to be unreasonable.  That is a given.  So what else is new?

7 minutes ago, Teancum said:

Again for the church that claims to be run by the guy who told the rich man to sell all he has and give to the poor, and that it is easier for camel to go through the eye of the needle than enter heaven. 

Jesus directed that to an individual (to test his commitment), not to a corporation which has responsibility for preaching the Gospel to the entire world and for building and maintaining church bldgs and temples worldwide.  Indeed, that corporation is owned by the Lord and does His bidding, not the bidding of the secular busybodies who mock Him and His Father.

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10 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

I think the reasonable expectation is that tithing funds will go to the fulfillment of the missions of the church and the covenants of helping others. 

Of course, and that is what they do.  That the Parable of the Talents enters into that ought to be acceptable to all those who have that reasonable expectation.  Jesus insists that those silver talents (money) be invested and grown so that they are even more efficacious for charitable acts and missionary purposes.  The mismanagement of tithing funds by just spending them thoughtlessly is the wrong thing to do.

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