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2 hours ago, Tacenda said:

Was Tithing a part of the new testament church? Please include a Bible quotation to make your point.

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Former Aerospace Machinist, Fine Artist, With a Degree In Dec 28

No, giving was the New Testament method for funding the Church and supporting the ministers and needy saints. That’s how Jesus funded His ministry too.

Tithing was an Old Testament law that had to do with the Land, the Priesthood and the Temple. They tithed the livestock and produce of the Land, they did not tithe money, or fish, and earning they made by building things.

Jesus did endorse tithing, but only in the context of the Jews, to which He came.

When the prophet Malachi accused the Jews of robbing God, the Temple was the storehouse. The food was real good, meat, lamb, oxen… etc and grain and produce of all kinds. But no fish… Jesus’s disciples were fishermen, they did not pay tithes.

”So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.“

II Corinthians‬ 9‬:7‬-8‬ NKJV‬‬

That Sidney Mozer guy surely loves to attribute things to Jesus that Jesus didn't say. Case in point: "Jesus did endorse tithing, but only in the context of the Jews, to which He came." Where did Jesus endorse tithing? 

As far as tithing being an Old Testament law, what does he mean? Did it suddenly evaporate? Did the Ten Commandments evaporate too? The Law of Moses evaporated, yes, by Jesus's fulfilling of it. But the Law of Tithing and the Ten Commandments preceded the Law of Moses and Jesus didn't fulfill either of them. By not mentioning the Law of Tithing its continued validity is implicit. 

He also loves to mischaracterize Malachi. When it comes to "no scripture is of a private interpretation" Sidney really takes it to heart. He's interpreting the ****ens out of scripture here.

And what does old Sidney have to say about the "United Order" that the apostles instituted? Wherein a person gave everything he or she had into the order and lived in common with the other members? That's far more than tithing.

 

 

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On 3/29/2024 at 6:51 AM, Teancum said:

I think this is a good point.  When it came to EPA there was not transparency even among the top leadership. 

It is an odd thing to me that many of the believing members here seem to object to financial transparency.  It is fairly a given amongst financial experts that interact with tax exempt and government entities that the benefits of financial transparency out weigh the costs and other potential negatives of transparency.

An honest question for the believers.  Why do you object to more financial transparency for the church?

I know for a long time I was against it because there truly are some critics who will whine and criticize every little thing about the church and I didn't want to hear it. I had faith that it was going where it needed to go so I didn't worry.

Some years ago our meetinghouse was burned down by arson and the suspected reason was because the church and police knew someone was stealing. That started changing things for me and I became neutral. As I started getting very involved with charities and I learned that the church at one time did share then I began to feel it a good thing to share, especially when I realized most of the critics of the church wouldn't take issue with it all and I could just put myself in places where they weren't if they were doing so.  

But as shown by several on this thread I think the feeling of unending criticism combined with an underlying belief that if the church isn't sharing it must be because the Spirit is telling them not to share is why people are against it.

On 3/29/2024 at 6:51 AM, Teancum said:

Is it simply because that is what the church does now?  If tomorrow the church decided to hire PWC to audit their financial and publish an annual report, would you object or support it?

 

Edited by Rain
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1 hour ago, Stargazer said:

So, according to your understanding of the New Testament, when I pay my tithing to the church I may be stamping in the face of the downtrodden? That's what you seem to be suggesting.

Well I think most members give tithing in good faith.  The church however seems to use a large part of what it is given and makes off investments each year to grow its portfolio and little % wise to doing the things that the passage outlines.  Is the stamping in the face of the downtrodden?  I don't think so.  But it is not helping them certainly as much as the church has the resources to do.

1 hour ago, Stargazer said:

 

You also seem to be setting one commandment up against another.

Ah well.  Tricky thing those commandments are.

 

 

1 hour ago, Stargazer said:

When Jesus gave what is recorded in Matthew 25:40, that you have cited...

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

...the Lord commands us to be generous with our wealth and service to his children. Does it simultaneously repeal the law of tithing? I don't think it does. When that law was instituted in the mists of time, is it your belief that it was instituted for the benefit of the poor and downtrodden? As far as I can tell, from scripture at least, tithing was instituted for the purpose of maintaining and advancing God's kingdom on Earth. In Malachi 3:10 it is written:

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

I don't know.  The better question is given the large amount of wealth the organization you give your tithe to chooses to do so little comparatively to relieves suffering is the church doing what it ought with the tithes you give it.  What is someone does like Jana Reise?  She tithes still but does 10% to other organizations that do more to relieve suffering.  Is that a vald tithe. If not, why?

 

1 hour ago, Stargazer said:

It does not say to bring the tithes into the Lord's storehouse so that there may be meat in someone else's house, it says so that there will meat in the Lord's house. Tithing pays for the heating and lighting of meetinghouses and temples, the building of new facilities like them, the expenses which the church normally accrues in the course of its work.

Yep.  And the church has plenty to do that and still do substantially more with tithe and $$ in earns off its investments.

1 hour ago, Stargazer said:

If you don't want to contribute to that purpose, that's your right. 

Well of course. And it is your right to give. I am not trying to talk you out  of that. Just realize very little of what you tithe goes to relieve suffering.  If you are ok with that so be it.

1 hour ago, Stargazer said:

But don't try to claim that by obeying one law one is disobeying the other. Because one can certainly do both, and I'd bet that most of us do.

 

 

 

Well don't try to claim your tithing is doing much of anything to relieve human suffering then. It is not.  

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18 minutes ago, Rain said:

I know for a long time I was against it because there truly are some critics who will whine and criticize every little thing about the church and I didn't want to hear it. I had faith that it was going where it needed to go so I didn't worry.

Some years ago our meetinghouse was burned down by arson and the suspected reason was because the church and police knew someone was stealing. That started changing things for me and I became neutral. As I started getting very involved with charities and I learned that the church at one time the church did share then I began to feel it a good thing to share, especially when I realized most of the critics of the church wouldn't take issue with it all and I could just put myself in places where they weren't.  

But as shown by several on this thread I think the unending criticism combined with an underlying belief that if the church isn't sharing it must be because the Spirit is telling them not to share is why people are against it.

 

I am sorry but I think this is a weak argument or poor reason. The church does a lot of things in spite of criticism.  They could do the same. The church as any organization will always be criticized to one degree or another.  Financial transparency is always better. The positives always outweigh the negatives IMO.

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2 minutes ago, Teancum said:

I am sorry but I think this is a weak argument or poor reason. The church does a lot of things in spite of criticism.  They could do the same. The church as any organization will always be criticized to one degree or another.  Financial transparency is always better. The positives always outweigh the negatives IMO.

You asked "An honest question for the believers.  Why do you object to more financial transparency for the church?" I was not talking about why the church doesn't share. I was talking about why many believers object to transparency. It isn't a weak reason. It is an emotionally heavy reason for many people and while I no longer feel that way, nor do I believe in the church, I completely understand why others might feel that way. Besides I did not put it all on the critics, but included the feeling of an underlying belief/idea that maybe God is telling leaders not to share it. 

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1 minute ago, Rain said:

You asked "An honest question for the believers.  Why do you object to more financial transparency for the church?" I was not talking about why the church doesn't share. I was talking about why many believers object to transparency. It isn't a weak reason. It is an emotionally heavy reason for many people and while I no longer feel that way, nor do I believe in the church, I completely understand why others might feel that way. Besides I did not put it all on the critics, but included the feeling of an underlying belief/idea that maybe God is telling leaders not to share it. 

Ok. Fair enough. 

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24 minutes ago, Teancum said:

Just realize very little of what you tithe goes to relieve suffering.  If you are ok with that so be it.

Again, I point out that relieving suffering is not its primary purpose. Relieving suffering is everyone's job. Not just something to fob off on the church, or on government. 

Long time ago I got caught up in network marketing. It wasn't a total waste, and in one case it took my wife and I places we wouldn't have gone otherwise. I did learn a lot of things I found valuable. One of those things was to give freely to those who might need it. They taught us to tip your servers generously, donate to charity whenever you got the chance, and to be kind to everyone you meet, no matter who they were. Though not in so many words, they told us that our success in any endeavor in or out of the business we were engaged in depended greatly upon showing love to all. Might be kind of a Pollyanna thing, but it seemed to coincide with what I already knew to be true, namely that scripture you cited. So I took it to heart.

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6 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

Again, I point out that relieving suffering is not its primary purpose. Relieving suffering is everyone's job. Not just something to fob off on the church, or on government. 

I did not say it was just on the church to relieve human suffering. So that is a bit of a straw man. I agree relieving suffering ought to be every.  Just IMO the church proportionality does a small amount. Wasn't assisting the poor added to the three missions of the church by President Monson?

6 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

Long time ago I got caught up in network marketing. It wasn't a total waste, and in one case it took my wife and I places we wouldn't have gone otherwise. I did learn a lot of things I found valuable. One of those things was to give freely to those who might need it. They taught us to tip your servers generously, donate to charity whenever you got the chance, and to be kind to everyone you meet, no matter who they were. Though not in so many words, they told us that our success in any endeavor in or out of the business we were engaged in depended greatly upon showing love to all. Might be kind of a Pollyanna thing, but it seemed to coincide with what I already knew to be true, namely that scripture you cited. So I took it to heart.

Good plan and good for you. 😃

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22 hours ago, Stargazer said:

I get it that you want the church to let it all hang out. I also get that you believe that if there is a god, the church isn't being guided by him.

What if, and I realize that you consider this a very long shot, what if God does exist and is guiding the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS? Maybe it is God's will that the Church keep its finances to itself. That is the purport of the quote I have placed in my signature. You reject the premise, and that's your privilege. But the premise remains the same, whether you believe it or not.

Hi Stargazer. Hope all is well across the pond. Let's say I grant you that God exists, and that His church is in fact the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? How deep in the weeds is he? Does Russell Nelson have daily chats with him? I guess from where I stand, the only model that makes sense to me is Uchtdorf's when he stated:

Quote

Now, brethren, compared to the perfection of God, we mortals are scarcely more than awkward, faltering toddlers.

If I were to accept your model, it would seem that every policy and practice that comes out of Salt Lake is as if directly from the word of God. This critic doesn't see it. In fact, critics are often taken to task for not allowing the brethren to be men who make mistakes? Does your model allow for mistakes to be made? It seems to me, if major mistakes can be made, the brethren's line to God is not as direct as you seem to make out. The apostle Paul said, for now we see through a glass darkly. Does Russel Nelson see more clearly than him?

 

22 hours ago, Stargazer said:

I can certainly see the utility in publishing the Church's complete financial condition for all to see. But the utility is predominantly in favor of the Church's enemies, who will gleefully use the information to the Church's detriment -- even if the information puts the Church in a better light than they had claimed. As you point out, even the limited information that has been uncovered has been joyfully seized upon by the Church's enemies. Imagine what they could do with all of it! The mind boggles.

This is entirely backwards thinking. Transparency is good. You likely demand it of your government. You likely ask it of your spouse. You most likely expect it of each organization you donate to besides your church. Making decisions based on what critcs might do doesn't make sense to me. Critics are going to critic, amiright? So just do what is right. 

22 hours ago, Stargazer said:

Does the saying you so proudly tout also say to raise high one's unfortunate mistakes to the world, and every instance where members have done bad things in the name of the Church, even against the will of the Church? No, it says let the good works shine. Have you done things you were later ashamed of? If you're like me, then you're not innocent either. Do you feel compelled to raise those deeds high for the world to see? Should you raise them high? I imagine that you would rather hide those things from the gaze of the world. Is that wrong of us? Or are we justified in hiding what we know we shouldn't have done? Especially if we have corrected our behavior?

I personally think hagiography's are awful. Show me the real person. If I ever wrote a autobiography, I would for sure want it to cover my flaws as well as my strengths. I am who I am today because I fell down, stumbled, messed up and kept going. Covering up flaws and mistakes serves no one.

 

Edited by SeekingUnderstanding
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3 hours ago, Teancum said:

So there you have it.  If SMAC impugns me or Roger with our expectations are vague and we think no matter what the church does for humanitarian aid these critics will never be satisfied he will be making dishonest statements.

What you and I are arguing is quite reasonable, and that really, really, bothers @smac97.

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On 3/29/2024 at 7:51 AM, Teancum said:

An honest question for the believers.  Why do you object to more financial transparency for the church?

I don't.

I object to armchair quarterbacking from random - and self-appointed, and conveniently anonymous - critics who spout off online and put on airs and pretenses about having some sort of moral high ground and inviting the Latter-day Saints to join them there.  I don't think these guys give a fig about trying to help improve the Church, or even that their pronouncements are based on some overarching concern about relieving human suffering.  I think it's about finding fault, about trying to make the Church look bad.  That's all.

I object to critics endlessly fabricating demands for "more" "transparency" from a religious group to which they do not belong (or only have nominal membership), do not contribute to, and to which they are otherwise arrayed against - persistently and malignantly so - on ideological grounds.  

I reject the notion of the Really Really Important and Urgent Moral Imperative our crop of critics are insisting exists relative to the Church becoming "more" "transparent" (whatever that means).  A few reasons for this:

First, after dozens (hundreds?) of posts, spread over years, proclaiming the importance and urgency of this Moral Imperative, our self-appointed watchdogs are now saying they will be satisfied by a two-page financial statement.  And they won't move the goalposts.  And they won't resort to the No True Scotsman fallacy.  I'm just not buying what they are selling.  If there was a way to conceptualize these critics as having been offering constructive criticism all these years, I would give it some real consideration. But having spent years reading hundreds (thousands) of their needlessly offensive and faultfinding and disparaging comments about the Church, I am not willing to given them the benefit of the doubt, or the presumption that they are speaking in good faith. 

SecondI 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.  We also have a notable lack of any evidence of financial misconduct, malfeasance, etc.  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.  And the critics simply don't care.  They breeze on past these, summarily declare them insufficient, and endlessly demand "more."  

Third, 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.  Again, critics simply don't care.  They insist this is utterly irrelevant to any evaluation of the Church's stewardship of its finances.  

On 3/29/2024 at 7:51 AM, Teancum said:

Is it simply because that is what the church does now? 

No.  Part if is because you and yours are indifferent to "what the church does now," except to either ignore its efforts or summarily declare them to be insufficient.

Again, 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.  We also have a notable lack of any evidence of financial misconduct, malfeasance, etc.  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. 

None of this matters to our critics. Such are the noxious fruits of faultfinding.  No matter what we do, our critics will never be satisfied.  Ever.

On 3/29/2024 at 7:51 AM, Teancum said:

If tomorrow the church decided to hire PWC to audit their financial and publish an annual report, would you object or support it?

I would likely be indifferent-to-mildly-curious.  I am presently satisfied that the Church is a good steward of its finances.  

If the Latter-day Saints were presently operating in the dark about the finances of the Church, I think our critics would have more of a point.  But per the above observations, we aren't, so they don't.

If the Church had not previously put in place substantial auditing or other mechanisms for financial controls and oversight, I think our critics would have more of a point.  But it has, so they don't.

If the Church had, in its recent history, a pattern of substantial financial mismanagement / malfeasance / corruption / scandal, etc., I think our critics would have more of a point.  But it doesn't, so they don't.

If our critics speaking on this issue were fair-minded, even-handed and civil in their commentary and criticisms of the Church, I would be give their critiques more substantive consideration, and also grant a benefit of the doubt and a presumption of good faith.  But they aren't, so I don't.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

I don't.

Ok.  Seems the topic triggers you. Let's see.......

Aaaaannddd........here it comes.....

1 hour ago, smac97 said:

I object to endless armchair quarterbacking from random - and self-appointed, and conveniently anonymous -

Another personal jab. You know who I am and you know who @Analyticsis.  So stop it.

 

As for self appointed?  Meh. It just something I am interested in and really only talks about it here. So wow, maybe 20 people see these debates. Whoopy doopie. It is the end of the world as we know it.

1 hour ago, smac97 said:

 

critics endlessly spouting off online, putting on airs and pretenses about having some sort of moral high ground and inviting the Latter-day Saints to join them there.  I don't think these guys give a fig about trying to help improve the Church, or even that their pronouncements are based on some overarching concern about relieving human suffering.  I think it's about finding fault, about trying to make the Church look bad.  That's all.

Well the fig I give it I think it would be wonderful if the church that claims to be Jesus would use its vast resources increase its efforts to relieve human suffering. And Roger and I have already said what that increase could look like so don't say we haven't. And  the church already is doing fine looking really bad  in regards to the topics of transparency and accumulating massive wealth.  They don't need my help.

 

1 hour ago, smac97 said:

I object to critics endlessly fabricating demands for "more" "transparency" from a religious group to which they do not belong (or only have nominal membership), do not contribute to, and to which they are otherwise arrayed against - persistently and malignantly so - on ideological grounds.  

To damn bad.  I gave hundreds of thousand to the church over my life.  That gives me the right to talk about this. But keep whining about it.

1 hour ago, smac97 said:

  

I reject the notion of the Really Really Important and Urgent Moral Imperative our crop of critics are insisting exist relative to the Church becoming "more" "transparent" (whatever that means).  A few reasons for this:

Now you are being dishonest.  You know what Roger and I think more transparent means.  We have spelled it out. Specifically. Stop lying.  Or turn in your temple recommend.

 

1 hour ago, smac97 said:

First, after dozens (hundreds?) of posts, spread over years, proclaiming the importance and urgency of this Moral Imperative, our self-appointed watchdogs are now saying they will be satisfied by a two-page financial statement. 

More lies. I spelled out that in specifics what I thought would be sufficient. The two page summary was @Analyticsproposal. I thought it a good start and far better than what the church does now which is nothing.

 

1 hour ago, smac97 said:

 

And they won't move the goalposts.  And they won't resort to the No True Scotsman fallacy.  I'm just not buying what they are selling.  If there was a way to conceptualize these critics as having been offering constructive criticism, I would give it some real consideration. But having spent years reading hundreds (thousands) of their needlessly offensive and faultfinding and disparaging comments about the Church, I am not willing to given them the benefit of the doubt, or the presumption that they are speaking in good faith. 

Well you certainly don't speak in good faith since you keep lying about our positions.  An odd that when we gave you specifics you now attach us for giving specific. Talk about the No True Scotsman fallacy. Our critics will never be satisfied. Ever.🤣

 

1 hour ago, smac97 said:

SecondI 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.  We also have a notable lack of any evidence of financial misconduct, malfeasance, etc.  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 think you are probably correct.

 

1 hour ago, smac97 said:

 

  And the critics simply don't care.  They breeze on past these, summarily declare them insufficient, and endlessly demand "more."  

Actually you once again misrepresent me and Roger. Do you actually read  what we write or do you just keep cutting and pasting your same chewn up worn out and regurgitated arguments?  We both have said it appears the church has excellent internal controls.  But since you are out of your league and demonstrate constantly your utter and abject ignorance on financial reporting matter you seem to obtusely ignore that these are NOT transparency items.  These are internal control.  The key word being INTERNAL. I believe the church has excellent internal controls.  But you are simply a neophyte on this topic and it is demonstrated what you bloviate about how wonderful the two or three paragraph statement being an annual report when it is really not an annual report of any substance at all.

 

1 hour ago, smac97 said:

 

Third, 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.  Again, critics simply don't care.  They insist this is utterly irrelevant to any evaluation of the Church's stewardship of its finances.  

That is because it is irrelevant to the subject of fiscal transparency.  I have long conceded the GAs are not pocketing a lot of excess $$ and that I think they are way underpaid for what they do. 

 

1 hour ago, smac97 said:

 

 

Again, 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.  We also have a notable lack of any evidence of financial misconduct, malfeasance, etc.  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. 

All of which have nothing to do with financial transparency.

1 hour ago, smac97 said:

None of this matters to our critics. Such are the noxious fruits of faultfinding.  No matter what we do, our critics will never be satisfied.  Ever.

Cry me a river.

1 hour ago, smac97 said:

I would likely be indifferent-to-mildly-curious.  I am presently satisfied that the Church is a good steward of its finances.  

Obviously.

1 hour ago, smac97 said:

If the Latter-day Saints were presently operating in the dark about the finances of the Church, I think our critics would have more of a point.  But per the above observations, we aren't, so they don't.

Well until the EPA fund and SEC fine came our you were totally in the dark as to the degree of massive wealth the church has accumulated.

1 hour ago, smac97 said:

If the Church had not previously put in place substantial auditing or other mechanisms for financial controls and oversight, I think our critics would have more of a point.  But it has, so they don't.

As notes, all internal controls. Wonderful tools. But not transparency. Even the apostles did not know about EPE. Elder Packer inquired and was shut down. Bet that ticked him off.

1 hour ago, smac97 said:

If the Church had, in its recent history, a pattern of substantial financial mismanagement / malfeasance / corruption / scandal, etc., I think our critics would have more of a point.  But it doesn't, so they don't.

One could argue that for a church to accumulate a $150 billion portfolio is financial mismanagement.

1 hour ago, smac97 said:

If our critics speaking on this issue were fair-minded, even-handed and civil in their commentary and criticisms of the Church, I would be give their critiques more substantive consideration, and also grant a benefit of the doubt and a presumption of good faith.  But they aren't, so I don't.

Thanks,

-Smac

If the apologists for the church  were fair minded and civil in their commentary and criticisms of  the critics, and if they were honest about what said critics say I would give their defense more substantive consideration.  But they are not so I don't.

Edited by Teancum
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4 hours ago, Teancum said:

I did not say it was just on the church to relieve human suffering. So that is a bit of a straw man.

But that's what your words suggest. Not that you're saying it's all on the church.  You wrote: 

5 hours ago, Teancum said:

Well don't try to claim your tithing is doing much of anything to relieve human suffering then. It is not.  

 I didn't claim that. So who's knocking down straw men?

When you counsel me about my giving to the church, it seems you're very strongly directed towards humanitarian relief. Despite my saying a couple of times already that that is not what tithing is for (although I added "primarily" in allowance for the fact that I have insufficient knowledge). I didn't mention humanitarian aid in connection with tithing. There are a "humanitarian aid" and a "fast offering" account that one can donate to, and these do go towards relieving human suffering. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Teancum said:

Another personal jab. You know who I am and you know who @Analyticsis.  So stop it.

I don't know who you are.  And I only know Analytics' name because he has previously published it here.

3 hours ago, Teancum said:

More lies. I spelled out that in specifics what I thought would be sufficient. The two page summary was @Analyticsproposal. I thought it a good start and far better than what the church does now which is nothing.

"Nothing."

And so it goes.  

We're past the end stages of this discussion.  I will let you have the last word.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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4 hours ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

Hi Stargazer. Hope all is well across the pond.

Yes, it is well. Except I wish it would stop raining for a few days at a time. I need to get some drone photography for my book.

4 hours ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

Let's say I grant you that God exists, and that His church is in fact the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? How deep in the weeds is he? Does Russell Nelson have daily chats with him? I guess from where I stand, the only model that makes sense to me is Uchtdorf's when he stated:

Does Russell Nelson have daily chats with him? I am pretty certain that President Nelson talks daily with the Almighty. Does the Almighty answer every day? Don't know. 

Elder Uchtdorf is quite correct when he says that our best falls very short of the perfection that is in God. I don't know why you think that has significance in respect of your first paragraph, except to possibly emphasize that President Nelson is not perfect -- which anyone should know is the case anyway.

4 hours ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

If I were to accept your model, it would seem that every policy and practice that comes out of Salt Lake is as if directly from the word of God. This critic doesn't see it. In fact, critics are often taken to task for not allowing the brethren to be men who make mistakes? Does your model allow for mistakes to be made? It seems to me, if major mistakes can be made, the brethren's line to God is not as direct as you seem to make out.

I don't think "my model" requires that.

I am sure that not every policy and practice coming out of SLC is the direct word of God. The Lord made it very clear in D&C 58:26-27 (which I am sure you have read) that "...it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward. Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;"

Of course mistakes will be made. Did I say there's a direct pipeline to the Almighty and that the "Brethren" can't make mistakes? I'm pretty I didn't, and also sure they don't have one, except on rare occasions, and mistakes are possible. It's also possible for the "Brethren" to receive a revelation or inspiration to do something that the Almighty does want, but subsequently the people demonstrate they're not ready for it. So the Lord rescinds it. For example, D&C 56:6 -> "For behold, I revoke the commandment which was given unto my servants Selah J. Griffin and Newel Knight, in consequence of the stiffneckedness of my people which are in Thompson, and their rebellions." And 58:32-33 -> "I command and men obey not; I revoke and they receive not the blessing. Then they say in their hearts: This is not the work of the Lord, for his promises are not fulfilled. But wo unto such, for  their reward lurketh beneath, and not from above."

4 hours ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

The apostle Paul said, for now we see through a glass darkly. Does Russel Nelson see more clearly than him?

So, we're going to duel with scriptures now? Yes, Paul said we see through a glass darkly. But at least he was seeing through a glass, dark as it might have been, whereas the rest of humanity was (and still is) stumbling around in total darkness. But Peter said:

2 Peter 1:19 -> We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

And it's possible that Russell Nelson does see more clearly than Paul.

4 hours ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

 

This is entirely backwards thinking. Transparency is good. You likely demand it of your government. You likely ask it of your spouse. You most likely expect it of each organization you donate to besides your church. Making decisions based on what critcs might do doesn't make sense to me. Critics are going to critic, amiright? So just do what is right. 

There was once a man who was driving down the freeway with his son. They came to the exit that they needed to take to their destination. But the father just continued on. The son said "Dad didn't you see the sign? The one that said that was the exit we needed to take?" The father responded "I don't want to make decisions based on what others expect me to do!" 

In the spirit of your "Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!" attitude, the church should have stuck to its guns regarding polygamy, I suppose. 

You say, do what is right and let the consequences follow. I say, what makes you think the church isn't doing that already? Just because you think the church should do it, doesn't mean the church should actually do it. 

4 hours ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

I personally think hagiography's are awful. Show me the real person. If I ever wrote a autobiography, I would for sure want it to cover my flaws as well as my strengths. I am who I am today because I fell down, stumbled, messed up and kept going. Covering up flaws and mistakes serves no one.

Well, as long as we have people like you, Analytics, Teancum, and the rest of the community of church critics serving up the church's flaws and mistakes, I think we got that covered. So thanks for that.

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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

I don't know who you are.  And I only know Analytics' name because he has previously published it here.

I published my name here before. In response directly to you. Kevin Hill is my name. Live in Palmyra NY.  Used to be a hobby apologist. Grew up in Sandy Utah. Served in almost any position in the church you can imagine. Happy now. Though really the snarky anonymous comments are simply petty and mean spirited.  There are many believers here who post anonymously and never a complaint from you. I only recall you and one other poster here whining about it on a regular basis.

1 hour ago, smac97 said:

"Nothing."

And so it goes.  

That is right. The church does nothing as far as financial transparency goes.

1 hour ago, smac97 said:

We're past the end stages of this discussion.  I will let you have the last word.

Thanks,

-Smac

Wise decisions. You are losing on this one badly.  Tah tah.

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1 hour ago, Stargazer said:

But that's what your words suggest. Not that you're saying it's all on the church.  You wrote: 

 I didn't claim that. So who's knocking down straw men?

When you counsel me about my giving to the church, it seems you're very strongly directed towards humanitarian relief. Despite my saying a couple of times already that that is not what tithing is for (although I added "primarily" in allowance for the fact that I have insufficient knowledge). I didn't mention humanitarian aid in connection with tithing. There are a "humanitarian aid" and a "fast offering" account that one can donate to, and these do go towards relieving human suffering. 

I am at the end of a long day so I will respond  tomorrow and try to clarify. I appreciate your kind tone. Would love to meet you someday.

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57 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

Well, as long as we have people like you, Analytics, Teancum, and the rest of the community of church critics serving up the church's flaws and mistakes, I think we got that covered. So thanks for that

Well I am happy to serve some useful purpose. 🤣😁🤪😉

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11 minutes ago, Teancum said:

I am at the end of a long day so I will respond  tomorrow and try to clarify. I appreciate your kind tone. Would love to meet you someday.

It's nearly 1:30 am where I am. Must get to bed...

I'd enjoy meeting with you, too! You'd be my third IRL MDDB met-with-in-person person. Morningstar and Bernard Gui are the other two. We all used to live within 70 miles of each other in Washington state. Nowadays BG is back east someplace I forget where (Tennessee?), and I am in England.

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16 hours ago, Stargazer said:

There was once a man who was driving down the freeway with his son. They came to the exit that they needed to take to their destination. But the father just continued on. The son said "Dad didn't you see the sign? The one that said that was the exit we needed to take?" The father responded "I don't want to make decisions based on what others expect me to do!" 

In the spirit of your "Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!" attitude, the church should have stuck to its guns regarding polygamy, I suppose. 

You say, do what is right and let the consequences follow. I say, what makes you think the church isn't doing that already? Just because you think the church should do it, doesn't mean the church should actually do it. 

I wish I had more time to respond, so my apologies. I do wish to clarify this. Apologists state the church is damned if they do damned if they don’t. Apologists state critics are critical because of lack of transparency. Apologists state your church isn’t transparent because critics will criticize the church’s decisions. 
 

I’m saying, stop worrying about the critics. Do what is right. If a complete lack of financial transparency is God appointed. Own it. Say it’s the right thing to do and why.  Don’t pretend it has anything to do with church critics. It’s speaking out of both sides of your mouth. “We can’t be transparent because of critics”. Also: “Nothing we do will please critics. They are criticizing me!” Just do what you think is right, hold your head up and forget the critics.

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16 hours ago, Stargazer said:

It's nearly 1:30 am where I am. Must get to bed...

I'd enjoy meeting with you, too! You'd be my third IRL MDDB met-with-in-person person. Morningstar and Bernard Gui are the other two. We all used to live within 70 miles of each other in Washington state. Nowadays BG is back east someplace I forget where (Tennessee?), and I am in England. [Emphasis added by Kenngo1969 to show to what I am responding.]

That would be the idyllic rolling hills of Kentucky! :D  Does Kentucky have idyllic rolling hills? :huh: :unsure:  @Bernard Gui?  "Bueller?  Bueller?" :D   Perhaps Kentucky has hills, but they are not idyllic.  Or perhaps Kentucky has idyllic hills, but they do not roll. :huh: :unknw: :huh:  Perhaps I shall have, one day, to visit the hills of Kentucky to determine whether they are idyllic and whether they roll!

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I wonder, if anyone has the where with all, how much money does the church earn from interest alone from the Ensign Peak account. And if it's a lot, could that possibly go to feed the poor and hungry or provide shelters, or more help for those that are in extreme poverty. Or even, helping keep the world from destruction. 

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40 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

I wonder, if anyone has the where with all, how much money does the church earn from interest alone from the Ensign Peak account. And if it's a lot, could that possibly go to feed the poor and hungry or provide shelters, or more help for those that are in extreme poverty. Or even, helping keep the world from destruction. 

I recall having seen figures on this - and it wasn't much. Interest doesn't provide anything meaningful because most of the Ensign Peak account stuff isn't liquid assets (of the sort that would draw interest). It's mostly securities and while you might get profit sharing (dividends) for the shares you hold - but this wouldn't be interest.

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