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Massive wealth of the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints


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I realize this topic has been discussed and debated over and over and perhaps this topic is redundant.  But I ran across this article and thought it was interesting. I doubt that this will sway anyone's opinion on the subject.  But it seems pretty clear that the LDS Church is fabulously wealthy when looking at all the assets it holds. 

LDS Finances - A Serious Breach Of Trust

What The Church Has Been Hiding From Its Membership And The World

What has been revealed - but mostly not by the church, by Scott Bidstrup

 

"Furthermore, I want to say to you, we may not be able to reach it right away, but we expect to see the day when we will not have to ask you for one dollar of donation for any purpose, except that which you volunteer to give of your own accord, because we will have tithes sufficient in the storehouse of the Lord to pay everything that is needful for the advancement of the kingdom of God. I want to live to see that day, if the Lord will spare my life. It does not make any difference, though, so far as that is concerned, whether I live or not. That is the true policy, the true purpose of the Lord in the management of the affairs of His Church."
    • --Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith (1907)

"...And there is the moral question of the brethren asking church members in Africa and Latin America to pay a full tithe, when doing so would mean their own children would go hungry. 'Pay the church first,' members are counseled - even when the money derived is only being used to make more money - or worse, prop up failing investments. Where is the morality in that?"

    • --my comments in ex-Mormon forums

 

Executive Summary:
Recent revelations from an IRS whistleblower have shown that the Mormon church has, since the 1970s, been squirreling away excess tithing revenues on the order of about $1 billion to $2 billion per year. With reinvestment of results, the wealth has accumulated to the point where the church was known, as of Feb. 2018, to be sitting on a pile of income-generating investments equal to $331 billion. A 7% rate of return was confirmed by Roger Clarke, the head of Ensign Peak Advisers, in a February 2020 interview with the Wall Street Journal. That means the size of the church's investment pool is now $382 billion, as of February, 2020.

The investment results alone, as of February 2018, were known with certainty to be equalling $23.4 billion per year. Since we now know that the investment pool is growing at the rate of 7% per year, that means its returns are growing at that rate, and would now amount to $26.8 billion annually, exclusive of tithing receipts.

Additionally, the church takes in about $7 billion per year in ecclesiastical income (tithing, etc.), yielding a total income of $30.4 billion annually, as of February 2018, or $33.8 billion currently. As of that year, it was spending $5 billion to $6 billion per year on its ecclesiastical operations, yielding a net profit of $25.4 billion to $26.4 billion, all of which is being reinvested. Assuming no growth in either tithing receipts or ecclesiastical expenditures, annual reinvestment would now equal $27.8 billion to $28.8 billion per year.

The church claims to be spending currently about $64 million per year on outside charitable operations, an amount of 0.21% of its annual investment income alone, and says that it pays $40 million per year in taxes on its taxable investments - which is 0.17% of its investment results.

Through its principal investment arm, Ensign Peak Advisers, the church is known to have shipped at least $11.1 billion abroad, through a scheme that was clearly designed to evade detection and/or traceability. Evidence of other dark money transfer schemes has also been found.

According to NBC News, it now owns about $35 billion worth of ecclesiastical properties, yielding a total likely net worth for the church as a whole of at least $366 billion as of Feb., 2018. At a 7% growth rate, that means that the $331 billion investment fund in 2018 is now worth $382 billion. Adding in the ecclesiastical assets of $35 billion, the net worth of the church, as of this writing (Feb. 2020), is now equal, with a reasonable degree of certainly, to approximately $417 billion.

There is a lot more to the article. If you are interested you can read it here.

http://www.bidstrup.com/ldsfinances.htm?fbclid=IwAR0IkgT_Z-U6GphFZVYCWPff7ueFNRvi5UXaXkfqAMFJPWp25vl-Ci_8zO8

 

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5 minutes ago, Traela said:

If children are going hungry “because of tithing”, then there’s a problem- not with tithing, but with fast offerings.  The bishop should have the funds, whether from his own people or Salt Lake, to ensure that no one is in that desperate of circumstances.

 

The problem I see is this, we are taught to be self reliant. But when it comes to feeding their children, paying medical bills or all bills. Why should the church direct them to pay tithing first and then possibly having to go to the church and ask for help. Which in turn the church asks them to ask family first before going to the church and the domino affect begins. They are felt to be a charity case. And tithing has been many things. In the bible I believe it was to help the pastor so that he could better preside over the congregation and not do outside work, at least that's how I read it. And in the early LDS church it was what was left over after paying the bills etc. or their interest. Now it's 10% of their income, which after reading an analysis of it recently, is much more than the original D&C describes it. Which is deceiving, and why the church could rise to be probably alongside the Catholic church as the wealthiest religions. Sure that would help the end days I guess, but the now days needs some help too, and could prevent the end days. Just my analogy. 

 

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

The problem I see is this, we are taught to be self reliant. But when it comes to feeding their children, paying medical bills or all bills. Why should the church direct them to pay tithing first and then possibly having to go to the church and ask for help. Which in turn the church asks them to ask family first before going to the church and the domino affect begins. They are felt to be a charity case. And tithing has been many things. In the bible I believe it was to help the pastor so that he could better preside over the congregation and not do outside work, at least that's how I read it. And in the early LDS church it was what was left over after paying the bills etc. or their interest. Now it's 10% of their income, which after reading an analysis of it recently, is much more than the original D&C describes it. Which is deceiving, and why the church could rise to be probably alongside the Catholic church as the wealthiest religions. Sure that would help the end days I guess, but the now days needs some help too, and could prevent the end days. Just my analogy. 

 

Good and important points.

The tithing system itself directly syphons funds which could otherwise be spent directly by families for feeding themselves. Perhaps in some cases, they enjoy a multiplication of help from their local unit, if that's how the local unit responds to their needs. But less direct may mean less likely to receive that help sometimes.

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1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

Incorrect.

Yes if you are a full tithe payer and unable to therefore provide as you would like to for your family, guess what?   The church will provide for you and pick up the difference.

AND you will have nothing to worry about because now you are covered by your rich Father who owns the entire earth.

Been there, done that on both sides.  Years and years ago we needed church assistence, food orders etc.

Years later after our situation did a total 180 and I was a full tithe payer for years- NOT with church assistence,  I became a bishop.   I got to see both sides of the situation.

AND that is only looking at it from a balance sheet position- NOT including God's blessings for your faith.

BUT if you don't have the faith and believe garbage like this quote- you will never know either how tithing works, how the church welfare system works NOR will you understand the Blessings God has in store for you.

I am not arguing at all the points the author of the article made. I just shared the article.  I have been a bishop as well and am quite aware of how it works. 

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1 hour ago, Fether said:

Tithing isn’t a principle of “we, the church, need money, so give it to us”. Tithing is a principle of faith in which we acknowledge that all we have comes from God. He asks us to give 10% as a recognition of this. We live this principle correctly, then if we need financial aid, we ask for help.

 

This is incorrect. It is 10% of your interest, which definition is up to you. In the US, taxes are done in such a way that we have the luxury to choose between net or gross income. Other countries have much higher taxes and gross income is simply not an option to reasonably pay on gross income.

Paying tithing is very much a personal matter between you and God.

So how do you reconcile this comment from a prophet:

"Furthermore, I want to say to you, we may not be able to reach it right away, but we expect to see the day when we will not have to ask you for one dollar of donation for any purpose, except that which you volunteer to give of your own accord, because we will have tithes sufficient in the storehouse of the Lord to pay everything that is needful for the advancement of the kingdom of God. I want to live to see that day, if the Lord will spare my life. It does not make any difference, though, so far as that is concerned, whether I live or not. That is the true policy, the true purpose of the Lord in the management of the affairs of His Church."
    • --Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith (1907)

 

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1 hour ago, rpn said:

The whole "why should we clean the church when it can afford to hire janitors" is precisely why we are asked to clean the church --- to help us be humble and teachable, and to encourage us to do our personal part in keeping the building clean (when the boys in my youth ward began participating in building clean up, the marks made by their shoes disappeared and that was my first real understanding that goodness comes from understanding ourselves and stopping our own part of the problem.   Once you have to pick up around the trash can, you make sure your disposal makes it into the can thereafter.

And tithing is not about money.   It is about joining Their tribe.  Money is probably used as the token precisely because it is the most powerful motivator in our earthly state and so hard to quit thinking of it as ours.    But those who don't tithe get burned not because the money matters but because freely tithing changes our hearts and minds to become like Them and thus impervious to all the flames of the world. 

Members do enough.  Adding cleaning the church on top of all that is asked is really silly and even egregious.  Especially given the fact that the church is not hurting for $$.  THe idea that members need to clean the church to be humble and teachable is well, ludicrous.

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Teancum said:

So how do you reconcile this comment from a prophet:

"Furthermore, I want to say to you, we may not be able to reach it right away, but we expect to see the day when we will not have to ask you for one dollar of donation for any purpose, except that which you volunteer to give of your own accord, because we will have tithes sufficient in the storehouse of the Lord to pay everything that is needful for the advancement of the kingdom of God. I want to live to see that day, if the Lord will spare my life. It does not make any difference, though, so far as that is concerned, whether I live or not. That is the true policy, the true purpose of the Lord in the management of the affairs of His Church."
    • --Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith (1907)

 

A mistake

From what I understand, the church during that period was struggling financially so tithing was a “we need money” principle. Additionally, I don’t think the church was in a position to fully realize it’s role in the last days until it was in a place to start growing financially. You aren’t thinking about building a multi-billion dollar organization to prepare for Armageddon when you are struggling to keep church buildings running.

I don’t, nor should anyone (except someone who is trying to trip up the church) take every word spoken from the pulpit as the exact word of God.

Edited by Fether
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, CA Steve said:

To a priesthood leader who may or may not accept it. (I know most do.)

And you are right. I haven’t had a situation where I have been questioned so I can’t speak on that. I imagine it is extremely rare though

Edited by Fether
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25 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

So what is different about this article? Same story. Same sources used. Same general conclusion in the article.

I think it puts in perspective the MASSIVE amount of wealth the LDS Church has. Not just its stock portfolio. But also its property and not just ward buildings and temples. The sums are huge especially given the size of the church.  So maybe nothing new. But interesting.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Fether said:

A mistake

From what I understand, the church during that period was struggling financially so tithing was a “we need money” principle. Additionally, I don’t think the church was in a position to fully realize it’s role in the last days until it was in a place to start growing financially. You aren’t thinking about building a multi-billion dollar organization to prepare for Armageddon when you are struggling to keep church buildings running.

I don’t, nor should anyone (except someone who is trying to trip up the church) take every word spoken from the pulpit as the exact word of God.

Yea it sure is nice to simply dismiss what a prophet says when it does not fit into what one concludes on their own.

Edited by Teancum
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13 minutes ago, Teancum said:

Yea it sure is nice to simply dismiss what a prophet says when it does not fit into what one concludes on their own.

it sure is nice to simply quote one prophet’s comment when it fits into what one concludes on their own.

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13 minutes ago, Teancum said:

Yea it sure is nice to simply dismiss what a prophet says when it does not fit into what one concludes on their own.

What was the context for the given quote?  Was he giving his opinion or defining doctrine for the church from that time forward?

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5 minutes ago, Fether said:

it sure is nice to simply quote one prophet’s comment when it fits into what one concludes on their own.

Yea I used to believe having access to prophets meant something. Thank you for confirming that they really have no better information access than you or me.  

It sure is fun to watch LDS defenders toss their prophets, seers and revelators under the bus.

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