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


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18 hours ago, Tacenda said:

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/

So here is an amazing idea:
 

"The pope is supposed to live after the example of Jesus, who similarly did not have a salary and depended on the generosity of others to provide for his needs during his three-year ministry, as is mentioned in Scripture."

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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

 

I'm not saying the concerns are invalid.  I'm saying the critics are not really situated to have a say in how the Church spends donations when the critics are not making donations.

 

I disagree..

They paid in for many years, my husband and I as well.

Long story and I've told the story before, but my in-laws had a family business and my FIL promised my husband and his brothers that if they stayed with the company he would make it worth it in the end. Well, they all could have made more money with other companies and would have even started their own, but my FIL asked that they stay and help build the company. Turns out my in-laws went to each of their children and made sure that everyone was doing okay financially, including those that didn't have anything to do with the company and then feeling that everyone was doing well, they then donated a huge amount to the church.

I'm thinking it's because my FIL/MIL had seen their close friends, who were very wealthy and died in a plane crash, children not handle the money well, and it caused division and some of them went off the rails. So that is why, I believe, that my FIL/MIL donated a chunk to the church. They didn't want their children going in the direction of their friends that died with having a lot of wealth. So it can be difficult for members that tithe and see their parent's donate their inheritances, but it happens.

Do you remember the video put out by the philanthropy dept of the church. In the video the parents mention that their children's inheritance depends on them staying faithful in the church, and if they aren't, the money will go to the church? https://zelphontheshelf.com/lds-philanthropies-if-your-kids-arent-mormon-give-your-money-to-the-church-when-you-die/

Several years after they donated to the church, my FIL's business went bankrupt (his very LDS partner being the culprit, there were two families that owned the business) and the brothers lost out, and they kind of harbor bad feelings about it, one brother in law even wrote to the LDS business partner and told him that he should worry about it when meeting his maker, this BIL is in a bishopric as a second or first counselor and very faithful, all of my in-laws are. And my husband wishes that instead of going to the very wealthy church that the money could have went to grand or great grandchildren that may need it for medical needs, schooling or ? You can't go to the church and ask for funds for medical needs, or schooling can you? Maybe you can..haha.

 

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2 hours ago, smac97 said:

I think these are fair questions for you.  What do you propose to do with the further-disclosed information about the Church's finances?

I was fairly clear. An financial statement, preferably audited by an independent CPA firm that includes footnote as well as a section that explains in laymen terms the source and use of the funds.  That is it.

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8 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

It is the official policy of the LDS Church, and it has been the practice of the Church to contribute food and money to both LDS and non-LDS charitable causes.  Millions of dollars are expended to non-LDS causes every year.  The odd practices of your own bishop do not determine the actual policy and practices of the LDS Church at large.   Over and above that, we just concluded a food drive in our wards in Utah County to supply the local secular Food Bank with lots of food.

I live on 800 North in Provo.  On my way home on Friday I was driving past a small evangelical church a few blocks up the street from me and noticed, once again, a long line of cars parked on the shoulder and inching forward toward that church's parking lot.  This has been a pretty common site during COVID, as these folks are living up to received donated foodstuffs from that church.  My wife told me that this church is a distribution point, and that it gets the food from the foodbank, which in turn gets food from community donations, including from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints directly.

The next day my wife and I were driving toward Home Depot in Provo and noticed another long line of cars in the turn lane for the foodbank.  My wife reminded me that there had been a city-wide food drive, and it looked like these vehicles were dropping off foot rather than picking up.  Several of the vehicles were trucks with beds loaded down with nonperishable foods.

Of course the Latter-day Saints in Provo were not the only ones to donate, but I'm sure they provided a substantial amount of the donated food.  Our ward was one of many that had an activity earlier in the day on Saturday to go out and collect the donations.  

This is pretty standard stuff.  The Saints aren't doing these things to be "seen of men" (Matt. 6:5), but because the Church teaches us to love and serve our fellow man, and we do it.  

Thanks,

-Smac

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2 hours ago, smac97 said:

But let's get real.  No disclosure of any sort will ever satisfy most critics, 'cuz they aren't trying to find information, they are trying to find fault.  

This comment is typical and tiresome persecution complex tripe.  Your posts seem filled with them on this thread.  But at this point I have no skin in the game.  I don't contribute to the LDS church anymore except I do give to fast offerings. That is a great program and 100% goes to helping  those in need.  But over the years I did give hundreds of thousands of $ to the LDS Church and never would have thought they were accumulate

a massive reserve of $100 billion. But had I known I likely, as a believer, would have jumped through all the hoops you are able to in order to feel a ok about such things when likely you would not be ok with this for other organizations. On the other hand even as a full tithe paying believer I have for years wanted more financial transparency.  Guess it is the CPA in  me.

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2 hours ago, webbles said:

Could you point me to a church that does that?  I just checked Seventh Day Adventist and Southern Baptist and their financial statements don't have "layman's explanations" and the categories are extremely vague and high-level.

No time.  You can chase it if you are interested.

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19 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

We also have the considerable scholarship of Dr D. Michael Quinn, an excommuncant, saying exactly that.  You can be sure that, if he found a hint of corruption, he would have trumpeted it.

The ultimate question is really, Are the Brethren and their apparatchiki following the Savior's direction in the Parable of the Talents?  The proof is in the very attacks being made on the Church for supposedly hoarding.  What would the critics say if the Church had not managed its monies so well?  What lame hypocrisy.

Too bad he was excommunicated, he is a believer too. 

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2 hours ago, Analytics said:

I'm not willing to concede that it is frivolous, nor that it is driven by hate or vengeance-seeking. Even if the Church's practices of hoarding and secretiveness are legal, this lawsuit is drawing much needed attention to the issue.  

These types of suits have been quite common among anti-Mormons, and will continue to be so -- primarily to draw attention to the LDS Church.  It is a psywar tactic.

2 hours ago, Analytics said:

Likewise, an LDS member might respond by being very distraught, asking for his money back so that he can redirect it towards other organizations that use most of their money for charitable purposes, and even might sue.

I welcome that theoretical LDS member to do so.  He has every right to take his toys and play elsewhere.  However, that does in no sense indicate that he has any real understanding of the issues.

2 hours ago, Analytics said:

That is preposterous from numerous angles. If freedom of religion means religion cannot be taxed, then why doesn't freedom of the press mean bookstores can't be taxed? Giving organizations tax breaks is a form of subsidization. Even if Congress grants that "religion" can't be taxed, how is it Constitutional for religion to be subsidized by the U.S. government this way? And do we really want the government to be in the business of deciding what constitutes "real" religion that is deserving of these tax breaks and what is "fake" religion that does not?

Those philosophical issues aside, the IRS publishes a 36-page book entitled, Tax Guide for Churches & Religious Organizations. If the entire matter is simplistically settled with the declaration "religion may not be taxed," then why is such a long book needed? And why does it say the following in the very first paragraph? 

"Certain income of a church or religious organization may be subject to tax, such as income from an unrelated business."  Publication 1828 (Rev. 8-2015) Catalog Number 21096G Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service www.irs.gov, page 2.

The LDS Church always pays taxes on it's non-religious profit-making businesses.  Such taxes are not an assault on religion, and they carry no indication that a religion may be taxed.  You are confusing two separate concepts.

2 hours ago, Analytics said:

In the USA, there is no such thing as an "illegitimate question." The answer to the question might be that American law grants churches the right to act as for-profit businesses on a tax-free basis and to be deceptive to their members. Those might be the answers. But the questions are still legitimate. And if it turns out a church is abusing the legal rights it was granted, we the people have the right to talk about the issue and change the law. 

Yes, the Constitution may be changed, but that is not an easy matter (as you seem to think).  What is truly problematic is your rejection of that Constitution as presently in force.  There are a lot of Americans, just like you, who accept or reject Constitutional rights piecemeal.  That may be due to ignorance of the nature of the Law, or just out of sheer cussedness.

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26 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

It is the official policy of the LDS Church, and it has been the practice of the Church to contribute food and money to both LDS and non-LDS charitable causes.  Millions of dollars are expended to non-LDS causes every year.  The odd practices of your own bishop do not determine the actual policy and practices of the LDS Church at large.   Over and above that, we just concluded a food drive in our wards in Utah County to supply the local secular Food Bank with lots of food.

Your stake Pres probably needs to take a closer look at your bishop to determine whether he actually believes in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Sorry, I wasn't more clear.  There was no one in the ward that required money from the ward last year.  No one was turned away from assistance.  In fact, offers to help pay bills were declined by a few members.  So I'm placing some of the blame for the large surplus the church has on the members for not using the resources the church has made available to them.

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2 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

Essentially the argument for a rainy day fund is that, financially, the Lord's church needs to be preserved first and foremost. Yet the church is supposed to be a benefit not to just itself but all people. So, there must be a delineating line somewhere, where the means used to prevent, protect, and preserve are excessive and the cost of lost opportunities are immoral. There is a line somewhere, right? 

Yes and I think everyone is aware there must be a line with Church needs and the needs of others hanging in the balance.  So the question is Who should determine where that line should be? 

Yes there must be a line, but where, and who should determine where that line should be?

Huntsman apparently believes the secular courts should decide where that line should be.  If he thought Church leaders should decide that then he wouldn't have had secular lawyers take his case to court. 

\But should secular courts be the ones to decide?  Why ask them to decide when it isn't any of their business?

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9 minutes ago, smac97 said:

.........................  My wife reminded me that there had been a city-wide food drive, and it looked like these vehicles were dropping off foot rather than picking up.  Several of the vehicles were trucks with beds loaded down with nonperishable foods.

Of course the Latter-day Saints in Provo were not the only ones to donate, but I'm sure they provided a substantial amount of the donated food.  Our ward was one of many that had an activity earlier in the day on Saturday to go out and collect the donations.  ..................

My bishop announced the food drive over the pulpit, and Relief Society sisters went to every home in our ward to leave a formal announcement of the drive and the pickup time on Saturday morning.  Our bishop not only makes sure that every needy family in our ward has a regular food order to be filled at the Bishop's Storehouse in LIndon, but he uses fast offerings to take care of additional needs.  I am almost 80 and I cannot remember a time in this Church when these have not been our standard policies.  They are so normal that they are hardly noticed.

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Just now, Robert F. Smith said:

My bishop announced the food drive over the pulpit, and Relief Society sisters went to every home in our ward to leave a formal announcement of the drive and the pickup time on Saturday morning.  Our bishop not only makes sure that every needy family in our ward has a regular food order to be filled at the Bishop's Storehouse in LIndon, but he uses fast offerings to take care of additional needs.  I am almost 80 and I cannot remember a time in this Church when these have not been our standard policies.  They are so normal that they are hardly noticed.

My ward didn't do this, I was hoping it would, I will donate on my own. I remember the days when the scouts would do the pick ups. 

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9 minutes ago, gopher said:

Sorry, I wasn't more clear.  There was no one in the ward that required money from the ward last year.  No one was turned away from assistance.  In fact, offers to help pay bills were declined by a few members.  So I'm placing some of the blame for the large surplus the church has on the members for not using the resources the church has made available to them.

Wow.  O.K.  I take it all back.  Those self-reliance classes sure took!!  :pirate:

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12 minutes ago, gopher said:

Sorry, I wasn't more clear.  There was no one in the ward that required money from the ward last year.  No one was turned away from assistance.  In fact, offers to help pay bills were declined by a few members.  So I'm placing some of the blame for the large surplus the church has on the members for not using the resources the church has made available to them.

A ward is a geographic area, not only the members of the Church in that area, and I'd be very surprised to hear that everyone in that area had a steady income stream stream sufficient enough to cover all of their living expenses and bills.  That nobody lost their job or whatever income stream they had due to the effects of COVID or some other problem affecting the economy in that area.  That if someone in the bishopric or one of their representatives asked everyone in that ward if they were doing okay financially nobody would need some financial assistance, or some food, or clothing, or shelter.  No homeless at all in that ward?  Everyone still has their jobs or some other revenue stream sufficient to meet their needs.  That would be amazing if true.

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2 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

You may be right about that. An objective line would ultimately be subjective and the decision would be made by those in charge, unless they employed a crazy idea like Common Consent.

But there currently is NO line at all. What if the church amassed $1 Trillion, or $10 T, or $50T. When is it enough? Leadership could set a line for themselves by saying something like, "Liquid assets shall not exceed $50 billion $$" or "Liquid assets will not exceed 5 times the church's annual budget" or something similar. There doesn't appear to be any line drawn so right now the sky is the limit and it leaves me wondering about the missed opportunities of blessing peoples lives as the continue to focus on building massive wealth. 

 
But we do practice common consent when we sustain our ecclesiastical leaders. It sounds like you're referring to the democratization of policy making where consensus rules the day. I have no problem with that as I'm sure other religious entities operate under this paradigm though it doesn't seem a necessity for the Church as we've seemed to do quite well thus far without it.
 
Do you question whether the brethren actively seek out inspiration from Deity?  
Edited by Vanguard
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I think there are ample safeguards regarding the Church's funds: The Council on the Disposition of Tithes, the Budget Committee, the Appropriations Committee, the Church Budget Office, the Finance and Records Department, the Auditing Department, the Audit Committee, the Investment Policy Committee, the Deseret Management Corporation and its board of directors, the First Presidency of the Church, the quorum of twelve apostles, and the Presiding Bishopric, "other boards and committees to oversee the management of the Church's investments and reserves," and on and on.

I think there is ample evidence that the safeguards are working....

That's all true, and I ask that you acknowledge that despite your accusations that critics criticize everything no matter what and are never satisfied, critics do not accuse these various committees of embezzlement, misappropriation, financial mismanagement, or fraud.

However, that has nothing to do with financial transparency. 

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We have no evidence that the Brethren are enriching themselves or anyone else.  We have no evidence of financial malfeasance or waste.  We have no evidence that the Church is anything other than an excellent steward of its finances.

Actually, those things are false. We do have evidence that the Brethren are enriching somebody--namely the Church itself. We do have evidence that it is wasting its resources by saving too much and spending too little on its programs. We do have evidence that in this regard, it is being a poor steward of its resources.

Of course those are value judgments on my part, and the Church is free to do whatever it wants with its money. Just as Ebenezer Scrooge is free to refrain from giving a penny to welfare because he doesn't think he has enough assets, the Church is free to be as miserly as it wants with its resources.

The point of financial transparency is to give donors and potential donors enough information to make an informed decision about what they are donating too. If an organization already has a rainy day fund that is by all accounts several times bigger than what experts say is prudent, and if that same organization is directing around 50% of its annual income towards further enlarging that fund, a donor might rightly question whether his charity dollars could be put to better use elsewhere. Or not. Why not give him enough information to make that decision?     

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So I disagree that the "issue" is about the "financial transparency."  Such transparency is not an end unto itself, right?  It's intended to help religious institutions avoid financial missteps/misdeeds.  But the Church has a long track record of avoiding financial missteps/misdeeds. 

Accounting standards, procedures, protocols, checks, and audits are the primary tools for avoiding financial malfeasance. The Church does an excellent job of implementing these tools.

But in at least one specific way, transparency is intended to help churches and non-profits avoid one specific misstep, and in regards to that particular misstep, the Church has fallen badly. 

As I quoted from the ECFA earlier, Churches have a proclivity to save more than they need and face the "temptation to acquire assets as our lasting goal." It is plainly obvious that the LDS Church has fallen to this temptation: Its rainy day fund should be less than about $20 billion, yet is closer in size to $110 billion. It shouldn't be contributing any of its income to further growing the rainy day fund, but is contributing something like 50% of its income to growing it. That is a massive waste of resources.

The ECFA claims that by disclosing their finances to their membership, Churches are safeguarded against this temptation.

Ultimately the Church is free to do whatever it wants with its money. But if it is going to save at such an exorbitant rate, why not disclose that to the members?

Edited by Analytics
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35 minutes ago, Ahab said:

Yes and I think everyone is aware there must be a line with Church needs and the needs of others hanging in the balance.  So the question is Who should determine where that line should be? 

Yes there must be a line, but where, and who should determine where that line should be?

Huntsman apparently believes the secular courts should decide where that line should be.  If he thought Church leaders should decide that then he wouldn't have had secular lawyers take his case to court. 

\But should secular courts be the ones to decide?  Why ask them to decide when it isn't any of their business?

As it is, there seems to be NO line whatsoever. That could be easily remedied by church leaders setting any kind of limit, even if it seems ridiculously high. I would expect that having a line would aid them in prioritizing goals and missions and how to finance them. It at least signals that they are aware of the staggering investment portfolio and recognize that it's not the end-all.

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7 minutes ago, Tacenda said:
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I'm not saying the concerns are invalid.  I'm saying the critics are not really situated to have a say in how the Church spends donations when the critics are not making donations.

I disagree..

They paid in for many years, my husband and I as well.

So you have an ongoing right to demand explanations from the Church as to how it manages its funds?  Are you sure?

7 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Long story and I've told the story before, but my in-laws had a family business and my FIL promised my husband and his brothers that if they stayed with the company he would make it worth it in the end. Well, they all could have made more money with other companies and even started their own, but my FIL asked that they stay and help build the company. Turns out my in-laws went out went to each of their children made sure that everyone was doing okay financially, including those that didn't have anything to do with the company and then feeling that everyone was doing well, they then donated a huge amount to the church.

Okay.

7 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

I'm thinking it's because my FIL/MIL had seen a family that lost their parents, who were very wealthy and died in a plane crash, and it went badly after. The children didn't handle the money well, and it caused division and some of them went off the rails. 

An understandable concern.

7 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

So that is why, I believe, that my FIL/MIL donated a chunk to the church. They didn't want the children going in the direction of their friends that died with having a lot of wealth. So it can be difficult for members that tithe and see their parent's donate their inheritances...it happens.

So you fault the Church for what happened here?  Why?

7 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Do you remember the video put out by the philanthropy dept of the church. In the video the parents mention that their children's inheritance depends on them staying faithful in the church, and if they aren't, the money will go to the church? https://zelphontheshelf.com/lds-philanthropies-if-your-kids-arent-mormon-give-your-money-to-the-church-when-you-die/

Oi.  You mean the website that attributes the following quote to LDS Philanthropies?

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LDS Philanthropies: "If your kids aren't Mormon, give your money to the church when you die"

If your kids decide to leave the church, you better change your will so the church gets all your money instead of them. That’s the message of a new video put out by LDS Philanthropies. (Edit: The video has now been removed after it received significant negative attention. Here’s another link to the video someone backed up.)

You'll understand if I'm not quite willing to take these folks' characterization at face value. 

It's available for viewing here (apparently a copyright violation, but oh well...).  I watched it.  It's a video of a married couple explaining their life journey.  They talked about one of their daughters and choices she had made.  The choices are kept pretty vague and are not explained.  They talk about the value of helping/serving others, and about the importance of teaching this to your children.  They talk about how humanitarian work begins at home and does not necessarily require a lot of money.  They talked about service projects they did, and re-enacts some of them.  The dad says that he can give his children money, cars, etc., but he can't given them a desire to be good and virtuous.  He then says that if his children want to inherit part of his estate, they need to be good people.  The dad says his metric of success as a father is if his children are worthy of a temple recommend, and not whether they are wealthy.  The parents then talk about the risks inherent in inheriting or coming into large sums of money quickly, how such a thing can be quite damaging (anyone who has watched what happens to lottery winners will agree with this sentiment).  The parents then talk about what happens when someone "who is not living gospel principles" receives a "pile of money."  The father notes that this seldom involves the person returning to Church and turning their life around.  The father talks about how he was nervous about what would happen if he died and left a lot of money to his children.  He spoke with someone at LDS Philanthropies, who suggested that their family start up a charitable foundation.  The arrangement was that his sons would be involved in the foundation.  They later changed the terms so that they could "grow and develop" and build up "good principles," and "if they were worthy of their priesthood, they can handle the inheritance and continue to do good, and if they exercise their agency contrary to my {the father's} beliefs, then the option is that the entire inheritance can still go to the Church."  The mother then adds that she wants her children to be good and kind to others.  The father then talks more about their charitable foundation.  

So, yeah.  The video is not quite what ZelphOnTheShelp says it is (as in nothing like it).  

I'm struggling to see what's wrong with the video. 

A religious couple can be legitimately concerned about an inheritance of large amounts of money having a corrupting influence on the lives of their children.  The Prodigal Son's "riotous living" comes to mind.

A religious couple can likewise feel justified in wanting the fruits of their lifelong labors to benefit their children and the world, such as by setting up a charitable foundation.

A religious couple (or any couple, for that matter) can arrange their estate planning so as to minimize risks and maximize benefits, both financial and otherwise.  

There are all sorts of people who live large portions of their estate to what they see as worthwhile causes.  Churches.  Charities.  Schools.  

There are all sorts of people who condition inheritances on the heirs' conduct.  A drug addict, for example, might receive only limited monetary distributions.  Or an 18-year old might lost the inheritance unless he graduates from college, or else he might only be able to use the inheritance for tuition, or he might receive distributions in metered amounts over a period of years.  Or the inheritance might be put in a trust fund.  There are a million ways to do this, all legal, all above board, all legitimate.  So to fault Latter-day Saints for doing it is, well, weird.

Then there are the people who also have pretty bizarre bequests in their estate planning.  Meet Lulu, the 8-year-old border collie that just inherited $5 million dollars:

210213001623-02-dog-border-collie-millio

Has Zelph on the Shelf railed against Bill Dorris, the fellow who left his millions to this dog? 

Anyhoo, if LDS Philanthropies created a video that, for some, hit an off-key note, that's unfortunate.  But for the love of pete.  The video came out in 2013, was apparently criticized, and was then taken down.  How many people watched it?  Don't know.  Doesn't matter.  It only has value and relevance because you want to make the Church look bad.

Do you see how bringing this up rather exemplifies the point I have made over and over?  That critics are not really looking to find information, but to find fault?  

7 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Several years after they donated to the church, my FIL's business went bankrupt (his very LDS partner being the culprit, there were two families that owned the business) and the brothers lost out, and they kind of harbor bad feelings about it, one brother in law even wrote to the LDS business partner and told him that he should worry about it when meeting his maker, this BIL is in a bishopric as a second or first counselor and very faithful, all of my in-laws are. And my husband wishes that instead of going to the very wealthy church that the money could have went to grand or great grandchildren that may need it for medical needs, schooling or ? You can't go to the church and ask for funds for medical needs, or schooling can you? Maybe you can..haha.

I understand your husband's point.  But you are corroborating the point made in the LDS Philanthropies video.  Money, particularly when A) is acquired quickly, B) is inherited rather than earned, and C) is in large quantities, can have a very corrupting and damaging effect on the recipients.

In the end, the disposition of one's estate is generally the sole province of the individual.  

Thanks,

-Smac

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16 minutes ago, Vanguard said:
 
But we do practice common consent when we sustain our ecclesiastical leaders. It sounds like you're referring to the democratization of policy making where consensus rules the day. I have no problem with that as I'm sure other religious entities operate under this paradigm though it doesn't seem a necessity for the Church as we've seemed to do quite well thus far without it.
 
Do you question whether the brethren actively seek out inspiration from Deity?  

Common Consent wasn't originally designed as rubber stamp for leaders to do whatever they choose once they've been sustained. As I'm sure you're aware Common Consent has also been used (in the past) for policy matters, acceptance of new scripture, etc. It's not used that way currently but that doesn't mean the idea is ridiculous.

As a side note, when you consider what General Conference is in the church versus how other churches use General Conferences, it's easy to see (IMO) that the other churches use common consent, or democratization of policy as you would say it, in more robust ways than we do. In the LDS church it has become an obligatory signal to sustain leaders who are then free to do as they please without further oversight from the membership. I don't believe that is how it was intended to work.

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2 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

Could the LDS church be sued for this same reason but in a different jurisdiction (country) that has fewer legal  protections for religious organizations? I'm wondering how this would work out on the international scene.

My diocese publishes the yearly audit report on its website. The most recent one is here.

Does this report contain satisfactory information to be deemed transparent?

It was tried in the UK a few years back. Didn’t work.

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55 minutes ago, Teancum said:
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But let's get real.  No disclosure of any sort will ever satisfy most critics, 'cuz they aren't trying to find information, they are trying to find fault.  

This comment is typical and tiresome persecution complex tripe. 

And your comment is typical of critics who, when their endless faultfinding is noted, resort to the tiresome gaslighting accusation of us having a "persecution complex."

55 minutes ago, Teancum said:

Your posts seem filled with them on this thread. 

Calling a spade a spade is all.

And I've commented in many substantive ways in addition.

55 minutes ago, Teancum said:

But at this point I have no skin in the game.  I don't contribute to the LDS church anymore except I do give to fast offerings. That is a great program and 100% goes to helping  those in need.  But over the years I did give hundreds of thousands of $ to the LDS Church and never would have thought they were accumulate a massive reserve of $100 billion.

Nor I.  The difference, though, is that I am thrilled at the skill and success of the Church in managing its funds.

55 minutes ago, Teancum said:

But had I known I likely, as a believer, would have jumped through all the hoops you are able to in order to feel a ok about such things when likely you would not be ok with this for other organizations.

Well, no.  I would be thrilled if other charitable organizations were as successful and competent as the Church, particularly when I see the exhorbitant salaries of the leaders of some of those organizations and compare them to the comparatively modest amounts given to the Brethren.

55 minutes ago, Teancum said:

On the other hand even as a full tithe paying believer I have for years wanted more financial transparency.  Guess it is the CPA in  me.

I understand.

Thanks,

-Smac

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58 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Too bad he was excommunicated, he is a believer too. 

Well, he's always welcome to return.  I sure would be happy to see him back in the Church.

Thanks,

-Smac

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4 minutes ago, Analytics said:

We do have evidence that the Brethren are enriching somebody--namely the Church itself.

Rich?  For a global society?  Hmm.  You really think so?  Just curious, how much money do you think we should keep stored away, untouched, to be used only for catastrophic events, while giving everything above that level to others?

Personally, I don't think of myself as rich, financially, or the Church who stores money for all of its members rich, either.  It is a large amount of money, for all of us, which we have on hand to help ourselves and others, but not excessive for a global kingdom.

4 minutes ago, Analytics said:

We do have evidence that it is wasting its resources by saving too much and spending too little on its programs.

Saving too much and spending too little?  And you are basing that on what standard?  $100 billion divided by 18 million people is only about $5,555 per person, and that would be if we only used that money for us, the members, which we don't.  We have it on hand to help the whole world, globally, when those in stewardship of that money determine they should use it rather than continue to save it for a more drastic need. 

4 minutes ago, Analytics said:

We do have evidence that in this regard, it is being a poor steward of its resources.

That is only your own subjective opinion along with others who agree with you.  I and others who see things as I do do not agree with you or those who agree with you.  I know you think you are right, in your perspective, but we do not agree.

And we don't have to agree.  You can continue to believe whatever you want to believe and see things as you see them.

 

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30 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

These types of suits have been quite common among anti-Mormons, and will continue to be so -- primarily to draw attention to the LDS Church.  It is a psywar tactic.

Yes, as smac, myself, and others have noted, the primary purpose of the lawsuit certainly appears to be something other than a legitimate attempt at legal redress. 

 

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15 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

As it is, there seems to be NO line whatsoever. That could be easily remedied by church leaders setting any kind of limit, even if it seems ridiculously high. I would expect that having a line would aid them in prioritizing goals and missions and how to finance them. It at least signals that they are aware of the staggering investment portfolio and recognize that it's not the end-all.

Right now the line seems to be at right about $100 billion dollars for that particular purpose.  If that amount grows to much more than that amount, then I think that would indicate our Church leaders wanted to have more than that amount for that purpose.

I'm pretty sure they are at least shown the balances in all Church accounts and that they approve of where the money is being used rather than saved.

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