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


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11 hours ago, Teancum said:

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.

I’m all for cleaning services. I will pay extra if it means I don’t have to clean another church bathroom. 🤮 

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This money (read power) is part of the Lord's plan to keep the restoration of the Gospel from being destroyed once again.  The Lord has a multi layered plan and this getting of power is part of it.  

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On 7/9/2021 at 8:19 AM, CA Steve said:

And question #10 of the temple recommend interview.

...Which is really the bottom line.

Lying to God just doesn't work too well.

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19 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

As I noted in another thread recently, I am literally sick and weary of people intentionally misusing this quote by ripping it from context. Read the whole damn sermon it comes from. I have, several times, and provided quotes to restore the necessary context in this very forum, but it appears no one actually wants to know the truth.

The whole point of Pres. Smith's sermon was the absolute necessity of tithing as the means of funding the Church's activities. In the infamous quotation, his point is that he is looking forward to the day when people will voluntarily pay their tithes at such a level that the Church will not need to ask for any additional money to keep the Church functioning.

Wonderfully, we got very close to that point in the late 1980s when annual budget payments were eliminated. Since then, we've also been able to stop requiring members to help build chapels and temples. As I learnt directly from our former area president in a meeting with him, every single missionary on this planet is subsidised through tithing, with that subsidy reaching 90 per cent or more in many cases, so we're not quite there yet but closer than we've ever been. And so on.

When I was a missionary, I bought every copy of the Book of Mormon I ever gave away. Same with pamphlets. There was a shop in the mission office for such purchases. We don't do that anymore, thankfully! I even paid monthly 'rent' to the Church for the use of a mission car, and then I paid to fuel the car and wash it every week. Do I need to go on?

Seriously, read the whole sermon. In it he talks about being shocked that so many Saints were finding excuses not to tithe because that is the very mechanism the Lord will use to fund His Church in perpetuity, and when voluntary tithes become sufficient, the Church will be able to do what it needs to on the basis of tithing alone.

To paraphrase your OP, yes, the current wealth of the Church is fabulous!

I would be interested to see your past posts explaining how the context supports your interpretation.  To me, this portion of the sermon appears ambiguous enough that both interpretations could make sense, without needing to rip it from its context.  I'm not sure what leads you to believe there was intentional misuse of the quote.  I'm open to correction though.

Also.... it's possible that we are reading different versions of the sermon,  as the one I've read is absent of him talking about "being shocked that so many Saints were finding excuses not to tithe because that is the very mechanism the Lord will use to fund His Church in perpetuity".  Rather, he is praising the members for doing their duty and obeying the commandment of tithing.  The version I read can be found here: https://scripturetools.net/periodicals/conference-report#1906

For what it's worth,  the interpretation used by Teancum and others appears to have some earlier support.  President Smith said the following in an earlier general conference (found at the same link as above) :

"We will say to the people that we have no reason to complain of the diligence of the Saints, so far as we are able to Judge, In keeping the law of tithing. We believe that the Latter-day Saints are observing that law as faithfully as they have ever done, and we beseech of you that you will continue to do this until our hands shall be freed from all obligations, and until we shall have means in the storehouse of the Lord with which to accomplish greater works, which may be necessary to be done. We feel there is much that can be done and much that ought to be done in the interests of Zion and for the benefit of the people of God." Joseph F. Smith, Conference Report, October 1902, p.2

It was interesting reading his sermons where he discusses tithing.  It's clear that some things have changed.  For example,  in those days a portion of tithing was used to aid the poor.  In the accounting that he provided (I only read one) about 10% of the past years tithing proceeds went to help the poor.  Another difference was that they not only offered tithe payers to check their records to make sure all their payments were recorded, but he said they could be shown what was done with their donated tithing. Pres. Smith also invited feedback from tithe payers on how to better spend tithing funds.  In fact,  when the church was considering the possibility of purchasing liberty bonds with tithing funds it was put to a vote in general conference.  Anyway,  it was interesting reading. 

 

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16 hours ago, Peacefully said:

I’m all for cleaning services. I will pay extra if it means I don’t have to clean another church bathroom. 🤮 

You could always pay another church member to show up for you, I suppose. 

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On 7/9/2021 at 12:16 PM, Teancum said:

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.

Would you not think participating in such humbling, unpleasant tasks to be conducive, in a practical sense, to building Zion?  

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4 hours ago, Esrom said:

Would you not think participating in such humbling, unpleasant tasks to be conducive, in a practical sense, to building Zion?  

I'll chime in here. Years ago my dad was asked to help a ward member move. When he asked for details, the "move" involved transferring a warehouse full of business supplies to another location.

This man essentially wanted free help to move his business, and he actually had no need for free help. He could afford to pay people to do the work, and that's what he did, because my dad saw the situation and said no.

The move took several guys several days to accomplish.

A similar thing happens sometimes when affluent members move. Imo it doesn't make much sense for a ward to organise a service project to help wealthy ward members move. Why? Because very frequently, the time spent to help could be needed more urgently elsewhere: with family, or helping someone who can't afford to hire help, or working at their own job, or even sleeping in that one day of the week that they can.

Sometimes in the name of service and charity, members who already serve and sacrifice are asked to serve where free help is not needed. And at the material and spiritual cost to themselves and loved ones.

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3 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

I'll chime in here. Years ago my dad was asked to help a ward member move. When he asked for details, the "move" involved transferring a warehouse full of business supplies to another location.

This man essentially wanted free help to move his business, and he actually had no need for free help. He could afford to pay people to do the work, and that's what he did, because my dad saw the situation and said no.

The move took several guys several days to accomplish.

A similar thing happens sometimes when affluent members move. Imo it doesn't make much sense for a ward to organise a service project to help wealthy ward members move. Why? Because very frequently, the time spent to help could be needed more urgently elsewhere: with family, or helping someone who can't afford to hire help, or working at their own job, or even sleeping in that one day of the week that they can.

Sometimes in the name of service and charity, members who already serve and sacrifice are asked to serve where free help is not needed. And at the material and spiritual cost to themselves and loved ones.

I'd agree with those circumstances being inappropriate. I know a non-member family without men, that the elders quorum helped move, and the family never forgot the kindness.  Everyone is busy, but my thought is we'll never develop Zion if we're all about our own interests. It is true tho that with callings, people already commit a lot of time.  As far as cleaning the church building, sure it could be contracted out, but years ago, it was considered an act of service to the people in one's immediate spiritual community.  I do recall however at work, no one liked the rotating assignment to clean out the office fridge.

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18 minutes ago, Esrom said:

I'd agree with those circumstances being inappropriate. I know a non-member family without men, that the elders quorum helped move, and the family never forgot the kindness.  Everyone is busy, but my thought is we'll never develop Zion if we're all about our own interests. It is true tho that with callings, people already commit a lot of time.  As far as cleaning the church building, sure it could be contracted out, but years ago, it was considered an act of service to the people in one's immediate spiritual community.  I do recall however at work, no one liked the rotating assignment to clean out the office fridge.

I think what is key here is the needful thing, and such awareness is mindful about and responsive to specific needs and resources. It's better ministering, gentler and more personal pastoral care and relationships.

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On 7/9/2021 at 7:46 PM, rpn said:

Perhaps your wards then and now are among the few that didn't dismiss it as work beneath them that should be done by others who need the work that they don't want to do.    I meant humble and teachable in the sense that they do not consider themselves to be above do anything they are asked to do, or anything they see needs  to be done even if it isn't their job.   For men this way too often plays out in not doing equal cleaning and tending and diapering children, too.   And it is unworthy to expect others to clean up after ourselves and our family, when we can do it for ourselves.    If the edict ever changes, it likely won't be until everyone is onboard with pitching in to prevent messes where possible, clean up after themselves, and choosing to be part of the solution makes it clear that whatever lessons can be learned already have been.

 

Pride is a pretty destructive thing.  Certainly it interferes with God's purposes and plans.

Yes you miss my point totally.  No surprise.

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On 7/9/2021 at 9:11 PM, mfbukowski said:

That's your whole problem right here.  They never were supposed to be "infallible" and we are all supposed to be "prophets" for ourselves by seeking our own revelations.

Just think it through.  Suppose a prophet goes astray-- as some think Joseph might have.

Should we follow the prophet blindly?  Does that even make sense??

One man could destroy the whole church if we maintained that attitude, and it was never part of church doctrine.  We HAVE TO have the ability to go to God directly - or Moroni 10:4-5 is worthless to a convert!  For that well known Moroni quote to work it REQUIRES that we can go first to the Lord do see if the whole church is "true"- not ONLY what one prophet has taught.

The idea that prophets are infallible conflicts with the entire idea of personal revelation.   It just doesn't make sense.  We are told to get a testimony of every principle, and certainly that is one of the most important- whether or not the prophet is in error.

Yes it is one of our strongest ideas- that we now have prophets as in ancient times.

But we must not follow anything or anyone blindly.   If that has been taught in the past, it is wrong and contradicts the scriptures.

I have never believed they were infallible. And your comment above are a straw man.  

 

 But I believed, as they teach, that their words mean something and we are expected to follow them.  Apparently though apologists have a different standard and it is not one the brethren have for themselves. Feel free to keep tossing them under the bus. What good are President Nelson's words if a few years after he dies they can be dismissed so glibly?   

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11 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

I'll chime in here. Years ago my dad was asked to help a ward member move. When he asked for details, the "move" involved transferring a warehouse full of business supplies to another location.

This man essentially wanted free help to move his business, and he actually had no need for free help. He could afford to pay people to do the work, and that's what he did, because my dad saw the situation and said no.

The move took several guys several days to accomplish.

A similar thing happens sometimes when affluent members move. Imo it doesn't make much sense for a ward to organise a service project to help wealthy ward members move. Why? Because very frequently, the time spent to help could be needed more urgently elsewhere: with family, or helping someone who can't afford to hire help, or working at their own job, or even sleeping in that one day of the week that they can.

Sometimes in the name of service and charity, members who already serve and sacrifice are asked to serve where free help is not needed. And at the material and spiritual cost to themselves and loved ones.

I have not seen a move as egregious as that one. In my own ward the boundary is one neighborhood. Every home here goes for easily 1/2 million and usually much more. One needs to have a six figure income to be anywhere close to living beneath their means. Rarely is the occasion where someone moves themselves in or out of the ward without the EQ being conscripted to help. Given the financial means necessary to live here everyone should be able to hire a moving service or just man up for the weekend but here we are burning up a sat to hook a brother up.

Edited by secondclasscitizen
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On 7/9/2021 at 6:51 AM, Teancum said:

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

 

It makes me really happy. They're going to need every dime when the US government fails.

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On 7/9/2021 at 9:11 PM, mfbukowski said:

That's your whole problem right here.  They never were supposed to be "infallible" and we are all supposed to be "prophets" for ourselves by seeking our own revelations.

Just think it through.  Suppose a prophet goes astray-- as some think Joseph might have.

Should we follow the prophet blindly?  Does that even make sense??

One man could destroy the whole church if we maintained that attitude, and it was never part of church doctrine.  We HAVE TO have the ability to go to God directly - or Moroni 10:4-5 is worthless to a convert!  For that well known Moroni quote to work it REQUIRES that we can go first to the Lord do see if the whole church is "true"- not ONLY what one prophet has taught.

The idea that prophets are infallible conflicts with the entire idea of personal revelation.   It just doesn't make sense.  We are told to get a testimony of every principle, and certainly that is one of the most important- whether or not the prophet is in error.

Yes it is one of our strongest ideas- that we now have prophets as in ancient times.

But we must not follow anything or anyone blindly.   If that has been taught in the past, it is wrong and contradicts the scriptures.

I think Ezra Taft Benson disagrees with your position. As have others who reference this talk in GC.

 

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/liahona/1981/06/fourteen-fundamentals-in-following-the-prophet?lang=eng

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57 minutes ago, rodheadlee said:

It makes me really happy. They're going to need every dime when the US government fails.

If that happens how much do you think their investments will be worth?

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I think the church’s wealth is becoming a liability. Cue the movie “The Hobbit: The desolation of Smaug”.

The inability of the church to use its great wealth to further support the suffering of the world is a sign of immense greed. Many members are leaving the church over this issue.  What people are seeing is church leaders going to Africa and telling people they are poor because they don’t pay 10% of their small income to a nearing trillion dollar business trying to hide behind the name of a church. Or the talks in GC telling impoverished people to give their money to the church rather than feeding their children.  This is truly what the church is saying, and those who don’t see this have been blinded by their commitment to the church.

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On 7/9/2021 at 10:23 PM, Peacefully said:

I’m all for cleaning services. I will pay extra if it means I don’t have to clean another church bathroom. 🤮 

Imagine taking your family to your favorite Italian restaurant. After eating the waiter presents you a check for $150 for the meal, which you pay.  Then the restaurant tells you that the restaurant now requires that before leaving, the patrons of restaurant need to wash their own dishes, and clean the bathrooms and mop the restaurant floor…what would you do in that situation?

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2 hours ago, 2BizE said:

Or the talks in GC telling impoverished people to give their money to the church rather than feeding their children.

oh look, yet another instance of someone ignoring the fact that fast offering (which is for exactly situations like that) exists

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4 hours ago, Teancum said:

If that happens how much do you think their investments will be worth?

A lot less, except for the land holdings will be our source of food. Church properties will be safe places to be,  guarded by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit and Christ will move them to divest the holdings that will lose too much money at the end. This is all prophesied of in the Cardston Temple vision. 

Edited by rodheadlee
dyslexia
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35 minutes ago, let’s roll said:

Imagine children spending the day enjoying activities and food in their home.   Should they expect to clean up after themselves at the end of the day?  Would their parents be wrong to teach them to do so?

If those same children spend a week visiting at their grandparents home, would it be appropriate for them to clean the home (including the bathrooms they used) prior to leaving?  I taught my children to do so with the understanding that doing so was an expression of gratitude to their grandparents for sharing their home as well as demonstration of love through service.

I read your analogy about the restaurant.  It is certainly apt in a situation when I’m paying for a service at a business owned by someone I don’t know. 

However, I don’t view Church buildings as places of business but rather homes opened up to me and all my brothers and sisters by our Heavenly Parents.  

Thus I believe my analogies are more apt.  I consider it a great blessing to use those buildings for which I am most grateful and cleaning those buildings is an opportunity to express my gratitude to my Heavenly Parents for opening their homes to me, and to demonstrate my love for them through service.

Right and we don't just think of it as the Lord's building but ours as well (Hey our tithing paid for it) and because it is partly ours we should take responsibility for keeping it clean. And by doing so we are more inclined to not mess it up in the first place while we are using it. 

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3 hours ago, 2BizE said:

I think the church’s wealth is becoming a liability. Cue the movie “The Hobbit: The desolation of Smaug”.

The inability of the church to use its great wealth to further support the suffering of the world is a sign of immense greed. Many members are leaving the church over this issue.  What people are seeing is church leaders going to Africa and telling people they are poor because they don’t pay 10% of their small income to a nearing trillion dollar business trying to hide behind the name of a church. Or the talks in GC telling impoverished people to give their money to the church rather than feeding their children.  This is truly what the church is saying, and those who don’t see this have been blinded by their commitment to the church.

It shouldn't be such a burden for the members to pay the tithing because they can get help through the fast offering program to make up the difference. All fast offering money goes into one big church account that can be used by anyone any place. 

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