I'm sure many of you are aware that the Church doesn't just live off tithes and
offerings. It re-invests that money into businesses such as insurance
companies, beef cattle ranches, etc. Then the multiplied income is used for
temple building, humanitarian aid, and so forth. And it makes no apologies in so
doing. Yes the Church is a business, a non-profit business. In fact, it is the
most perfect business on the planet. But its business is centered upon seeing to
it that the fullness of the Gospel and the saving ordinances are extended to as
many people as possible, as well as satisfying the requirements the Lord has
placed upon the quality of the temples. There is no room for argument or
contention. The Lord will command what He pleases. If He wants extravagant
temples, as described in the Old Testament, He gets them. If He commands you
into utter poverty, you will live with it, complaining or not. Ultimately it is
for your own good. Complainers just don't get as many blessing as they could.
Money isn't being burned here people. The money purchases goods and services.
Temple costs are transferred from the church to the original land owner,
excavation crews, architechs, construction workers, building supplies, etc. The
money employs many people which is much better than giving the money away to
someone who does nothing to earn it. The land, meetinghouses, & temples are
primarily used by the church members who are donating the money. The church
should be growing in many ways, including financial growth. The parable of the
talents clearly indicates that the Lord would have us increase what has been
given. Prosperity generally brings condemnation from those who wish it were
theirs. You can be critical all you want, but I'll keep paying my tithing as
I've found it is very well spent.
Well, yes, tithing is used for building temples and for welfare efforts. For
those of you suggesting that the church squanders its money. Consider the
general operating costs of the church. My water bill last month was
$96...that's just for one modest, 2000 square foot home occupied by me, my
husband, and my 3 month old daughter. Imagine what the church must spend in
water bills worldwide? I mean, just for church buildings alone? Then there's
electricity, and gas... lots of bills. Plus, while the church DOES have a lay
ministry, it still has paid employees. I wonder how much tithing money is spent
just on salaries in a year (think about its 3 universities with faculty, staff,
student employees, etc.)? It's no wonder the church makes investments and
business deals...there are a lot of legitimate expenses to cover. And it still
gives millions of dollars in aid - all without going into debt. Tithing dollars
are put to good use. And if you don't believe it, then don't pay tithing. Just
don't knock those who WANT to pay tithing. It's their money, they can spend it
how they want.
It's funny. We all have got it "figured out" so that when somebody else comes
along with a different line of thiking we really dig in our feet. To set the
record straight, somebody else cleverly posted in my name. How very sly of you
:-)Lying for the lord. Nice.
-Fredd -Matt I think both your perspectives and statements are understandable.
Like I said before as far as religious observations go most of the
ones here have been pretty respectful. Hopefully though its understood if even
the politest critic makes us overly-defensive.
we love you Matt.....
I think there is a lot of truth in matt's original line of thinking. And I hold
all religious and/or charitable instutions to the same standard. If an
institution professes to do good works and is worth billions of dollars then
spends its tax free money on glorious edifices and its taxable money on shopping
malls and land, then its fair to criticize them. Sorry.It dooesn't mena their
bad. And to frank: Jesus could feed you, give you wealth, and preach the word.
They are not mutually exclusive. I've learned more about what the church gives
in this thread then I ever knew so don't give my words to much weight.
Instinctively, when a church requires tithing as a condition of heaven, then
uses the money for profit, I have a problem. I think any tax exempt
organization should have to open their books completely.
After some thought, I've decided that you guys are probably right about a lot of
this. Of course, to people like me who don't understand all the intricacies of
any given church, a huge organization like the LDS Church would look like a
business that's just in it for the money and power. If you think about it,
though, the Church is not only helping the spiritual and temporal aspects of
Mormons' lives, but trying to help the spiritual and temporal aspects of
everyone's lives. They have so much to accomplish and they are so big that there
are bound to be critics like me; I shouldn't be so critical.
I was actually expecting a lot worse in this thread. Quite a few voicing their
opinion like -Matt- have been initially repectful. But opinions are opinions,
nothing to act over. All I can say is if I'm starving and homeless
and you offer me a place to live, food and temporary comfort instead of what I
know is offered by the Temples, I would be absolutely furious till the end of my
days(whether that was in the old testament times or now). Comparibly if Jesus
stopped me in the street and gave me a handfull of gold and all the bread he had
instead of the gospel of eternal life, I would curse his name till my death and
beyond. But thats me, maybe some people would prefer the bread.
Matt your missing a point though is that $38 per person in 12 million people
world wide where many of the people in the LDS organization come from a poor
developing nation where $38 dollars can buy more than said money could in the
United States. So explain how this is not enough for the world wide church where
many members make that much in a few weeks of work. Further more what about the
raw hours with opportunity cost at US minimum wage that would account for a few
billion dollars over that twenty year span. Stop picking at a single thread in a
Amen, SC Mormon. All you did is a better calculation of the money that I did.
You think $38.37 per household (knowing how much is actually paid to the church)
is good enough? If you do, that's fine & up to you, but I think that percentage
wise, they can do more aid and less real estate development.Just my
opinion is all.
amen SC Mormon
Just some numbers from the Church website:623,153 hrs donated at
Church welfare sites = $4,673,647.5 donated at $7.5/hr.3,552 welfare
missionaries at 5 days/wk * 8 hrs a day = 7,388,160 hrs or $55,411,200 donated
at $7.5/hr (they probably work longer hrs, and this doesn't count what they
spend on living expenses, etc. while servings these missions).Fast
offerings is not mentioned. I think it is safe to assume this is in the
millions.The Perpetual Education Fund is not mentioned. Humanitarian assistance rendered (19852006) = $906.5 million. The Church was
around 6 million strong in 1985, but assuming it was 12 million strong all 21
years, you can arrive at Matt's calulation of around $3.6/member/year. This
number is assuming we were twice as strong 21 years, and assumes that everybody
is active and contributes equally. I have a wife and four of my 6 children are
baptized. The average would assume my 4 children and my wife are all
contributing $3.6 each despite the fact that I am the only breadwinner. It
also assumes that a family in Africa would be giving the same amount as a family
in Utah. If we go for another between 6 and 12, you get 9, so assuming we
averaged 9 million strong for the last 21 years, and assuming that 50% of the 9
million were not active, and probably not contributing, you have 4.5 million.
Then assuming that the average Mormon family has four baptized members (mine has
6 out of a family of 8), you get roughly 1.125 million households or an average
of $38.37 per household/year. Again, this assumes a family in Mexico and a
family in Africa gives the same $38.37 per household. This number does not
count the donated time, fast offerings, perpetual ed, or tithing.
General Authorities must give full time attention to their callings. They
receive compensation for their expenses. Honestly...do you really begrudge some
form of compensation to them? I 'd bet the ranch they aren't living high on the
hog from the money they are "paid" for their time and efforts in running a 14+
million member church! Yes, the church does have a reactivation program...don't
all churches? The difference is...( I truely believe) the church wants to
reactivate members for their eternal wellbeing....not their money.
loveathome-lay ministry? no salary? All General Authorities get an
allowance, i.e., salary.
loveathome-So you're telling me that you've never heard your church
ever speak of "re-activation" or "retention problems". You've never been
involved in trying to get somebody active in church again. Delusional
I've noticed that the LDS Church doesn't spend its time trying to build up the
attendence each Sunday...after all, in most Protestant churches the more people
at Sunday worship, the more money goes in the offering plate as it passes...the
LDS Church runs on tithes freely given and given privately...only the church
leaders know who does or doesn't contribute...being run by a lay ministery,
money goes to causes particular to LDS people ie: welfare programs, missionary
work, and yes, Temple building and not to minister's salaries...
I couldn't agree more. Its amazing how one person's misguided attempt to
"thwart" the church and its members creates such a stir on the boards. Who
cares how the church uses its money? If you don't realize the amount of
humanitarian aid the church does, you are ignorant and need to rethink your
stand about the church not being more charitable. So they don't give out as
much money as people would like. Not every member of the church is a
millionaire. Some need help themselves. The church helps out in many ways,
some of which don't involve just handing stuff over. They provide jobs and
training to individuals who need extra help. They have set up a scholarship
fund for individuals in other countries to go to school who otherwise couldn't
afford it. They pay for vaccinations, donate food to ravaged areas, etc. etc.
The cool thing about it is they don't go around saying, "oh look what we did,
aren't we the best church for doing our christian duty?!" Once again, this is
just the adversary's way of trying to thwart anything that is good in the world.
For those of you who try to put people of different faiths down and ridicule
them, congratulations, you are fighting for the other side! A true christian
would never put another believer down. I know its not God's way.
sheesh ! All you people must be doing really well if all you all have so much
spare time that you can spend it appointing yourselves monitors over someone
else's money and what they do with it....
Lets stop the childish bickering...I say the members or non-members who choose
to donate their money to tithing, fast offerings, perpetual education fund,
missionary fund etc.. do it with love and reverence. These individuals are
choosing to make this donation with the understanding that the church leaders
will choose how the funds will be distributed. Those who don't like how the
funds are distributed will eventually choose to not donate. Those who choose
not to donate...stop complaining. It's not your money.
The growth of temples around the world has truly been remarkable and a great
blessing to LDS Church members around the world! Many memebers of
the church may not realize the impact President Hinckley has had on the
acceleration of temple growth. In 1981 when he became part of the First
Presidency, there were only 20 temples worldwide. Since 1981, in a relatively
short period of 26 years, President Hinckley has dedicated 85 temples and
rededicated 4 others. 14 other temples have been dedicated by his counselors,
President Monson and President Faust in 2000 when there were 34 temples
dedicated that year alone. So many temples were dedicated that year (some
temples on the same date) that President Hinckley needed his 2 counselors to
help with the dedications. It is conceivable that President Hinckley could have
dedicated 103 of the 124 worldwide temples, or approximately 82% of the
operating temples worldwide.To me it is a miracle to see the growth
of the Church take place so quickly, and I rejoice that many members of the
Church can now partake of the blessings of the temple. It is my conviction that
President Hinckley, now 97 years old, is a prophet of God. His leadership and
vision as prophet and president of the Church has been simply amazing to me. I
rejoice in the blessings of the temple and growth of the Church! I love to see
the Church grow throughout the world and see so many temples of God dot the
Just a thought:Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain...and
most fools do. (Author Unknown)
I don't know when the last time I laughed this hard was. You people in Utah
sure are hard up for contoversies if this is what you choose to argue over. How
a group of people decide to spend their own money is their business alone. How
a group of people choose to worship is their choice alone. This argument is so
stupidly trivial! Go do something useful. If you don't like it too bad. Do
what you want and leave others to do as they will. In other words, put a plug
in it and quit wasting time on something you can't do anything about put sputter
Keep the Commandments, keep the commandments, in this there is safety in this
there is peace, keep the commandments, keep the commandments...and play some
Matt: typical lib!! Always telling everybody else how to spend their money! Go
earn your own money so you can do with it how you choose. As long as the LDS
church doesn't have millionare preachers, that's good by me.
What would Jesus do? Correct me if I am wrong but scripture doesn't mention how
much Jesus gave to the poor. He did feed them at times but for crying out loud
he didn't even use money to do that! The real blessings of the church are
related to peace and love and not money. You don't have to pay to go into the
temple. If you don't make any money there is no tithe. Who is willing to do it?
Hopefully no one does just to get out of paying tithing. The whole purpose of
the Gospel is for those that have received blessings to be in a position where
they can help others who need it. Once those people are helped and have the love
of God they become willing and able to help those who do not. Whether it be
money or a helping hand it doesn't matter. Matt, I
hope some day you can recognize the love of God in your life. Meanwhile, hate
toward any group that is doing good, no matter how little is misguided.
Any humanitarianism should not be scoffed at, however, my aunt and uncle, who
were officers in the Salvation Army were both paid wages when they worked at the
SA store and were out doing there humanitarian work. Check to see how many of
the LDS people get wages for the hours they spend at canning kitchens, bishop's
warehouses, the Humanitarian Center etc., and you'll find the sacrifices are not
only monetary. If you counted the countless hours of volunteerism, I believe
you, and Matt, would find far more than $3.50 per member is provided.
Sigh!! People have been bickering over almost any little thing the Church does
or does not do. One minute people demand an apology for MMM, the next they
demand money after said apology, the next they demand that the Church release
it's figures, and don't get me started over the doctrinal bickering and whether
or not Mormons are "Christians". Etc, etc. Come on people, don't you
all have lives? Move along, folks, there's nothing to see here!!
What would Jesus Build?Sorry, the comments just wont keep to myself. And,
I'm not sorry.The church, of course, can build what it wants, spend,
embezzle, or throw away the flock's wool as it pleases. i don't begrudge them
that. Of course, temples, along with the church and seminary bunkeresque
buildings, are public manifestation in the community as a whole, where even
pagans like me get to exist. And some of them, well they're gaudy. Once again,
I'm sure that, to anyone in the church, it's a lame observation but so
what..it's mine and the comments, as I said, aren't staying home. But they are
gaudy, these things, and kind of over the top. Speaking of which, isn't that
horn player on the top the trademark of a coffee place? Really, the
buildings, especially temples, try too hard to be churchy. Lots of spires,
steeple thingies and the like. And yet, wholly uninviting. Imposed in and on,
but not of the community around them. Again, they're welcome to build them. I
don't care that people willingly give to them, or if they sacrifice frogs in
pentagrams at midnight.
MORMONMONOF4 AND ME- WELL SAID!!!
Who really cares about how much the church is or isn't spending. As far as i am
concerned they can build as many temples as they want. If their members are
willingly donating the funds for it Great! The prophet and his counselors and
their financial advisors know what they are doing and until you have taken care
of the donations of 12 million plus members and know exactly how much is coming
in and going out you should keep your comments to yourself.
I believe that Jesus once said to focus on the beam in your own eye and not the
mote in others' eyes.
There needs to opposition in all things. The sign of a true church or
prophet, some will love it or him and others will hate it or him.
It seems to me that those who have been complaining about the LDS church and how
much it is, or is not donating, would be a lot better off focusing on acutally
DOING more themselves to help someone else, and less time complaining that
others aren't doing enough.Lose yourselves in service for others and you
won't CARE what, or how much, others are doing! and EVERYONE will be a lot
There has always been criticism, comtempt, and hatred for the Mormom church. I
suspect that Matt and others like him would have celebrated the murder of Joseph
Smith had they been living then. It looks like bigotry is alive and well in
I am glad that more and more Temples are been building all over the world! That
fulfills quite a few prophecies:) Being now in Europe, I particularly rejoice
for the Saints in Ukraine.
Tithing goes to building fundsFast offereings go to helping the poor.isn't this so?And yes full tithe payers are a small number
in some areas. Remember that in some countries a full tithe payer is a very
small amuont of money. And a fast offering is even smaller.Isn't it
wonderful that money from one part of the world, and more prosperous, can go to
a poorer area and help people.Not a welfare state, but a lifting hand.The same can be said for the Perpetual Education fund. wonderful!And
giving to LDS charities gaurantees that 100% of your money goes to the people
There is a precedent for costly sanctuaries in the Bible. Look at what Moses
Tabernacle was built with or what David and Solomon spent on the temple in
Jerusalem. I'd guess that the temple built in Jerusalem at the time of Solomon
was far more costly than any LDS temple.
This is pathetic. What should be the precise cut-off for religious-building
construction costs per square foot? $100? $300? $500? Assuming a
church genuinely believes that temple worship is important, what law says it has
to use the shoddiest possible construction methods? It's all on a continuum,
you know -- if a temple were built to premium standards, the critics would argue
for general-commercial; if it were built to commercial standards, they'd argue
for residential-tract quality; if it were built like a slapped-together Standard
Pacific model, the critics would argue for ... cardboard. Or something. They
can't be satisfied, so why bother arguing.
"as IIII have loooved you..looove ooone anooother.." Sing it with me now!
As pointed out above, your calculation is way off--your underestimating by
atleast 20x. Please share how you arrived at it. For your next attempt, please
consider the following into your calculation: Church growth over time,
adult/child status, inactivity, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, the 5 plus million members
in developing nations who have about $1 for every $100 or so that the average
American/Canadian/Western European has. This will allow you a better
understanding of individual level Mormon donations to the poor and needy.Regards,James
For those who find fault...what have you given lately? Is it more or less than
you should? We each need to look at ourselves and see if we measure up. We
will only be judged according to our own deeds and not the deeds of others. I think it is marvelous that temples are dotting the land. It fulfills
prophesy and shows the Lords work is moving forward. I couldn't be happier.
I wonder if anyone remembers that in the late 80s or early 90s the church
stopped asking for a "Ward Budget" donation to maintain the local ward and stake
buildings. The explanation was that tithing donations had reached the point
where they could cover those expenses. In addition, new church
buildings, including temples, no longer required large building funds to be
collected locally. The reason? Tithing funds were sufficient. Of course, anyone
can donate to humanitarian, missionary, education, and temple funds who wishes,
but it is not required.When the President Hinckley announced the new
Conference Center was going to be built in SLC, he made it very clear that the
funds for it were not coming from tithing funds, rather from investments the
church had made. (I suppose it's evil for a church to make investments? Grow
up!)The funds for the remaking of downtown SLC, to protect the vitality and
value of that area for the church and many others are not coming from tithing
funds. (Of course all that investment must be part of an "apocalyptic vision."
No it's more of a positive expectation of continued growth and prosperity.)My point: Members are expected today to pay a much smaller percent of
their income than just 25 or so years ago in donations to the church, and the
building and humanitarian programs have grown almost exponentially. In my mind,
this indicates excellent wisdom and stewardship on the part of the church, and
as well as a humanitarian concern for people all over the world.
A Chapel in every neighborhood and a Temple in every region. Are we witnessing
a modern day Tower of Babylon? Would not some of these funds be better spent on
the building of private schools for our children? Well funded K-12 schools
staffed with excellent teachers would allow us to send our children into an
educational atmosphere that would provide not only the best education avaiable,
but also provide a good moral foundation for our youth.
Do Matt and Sam have jobs? Your comments seem to show up all over the place
today on all kinds of subjects, and over the whole morning. BTW Folks,
tithing that goes to the "business" or "organization" you speak of gives all
who honestly and faithfully pay it and along with following other principles and
practices, an incredible return on our "investment", if you will. Can't begin to
count the times or ways. Don't knock it till you try it.
I am reminded of this statement, "There are those who will leave the church, but
they will never leave the church alone".What a world it would be if each
of us would look for the good and cease to be critical. Our critisism is often
unfounded because we lack knowledge and understanding. I am saddened by you
remarks, so demeaning and critical of a church you apparently know so little
Now, just who was it that said "sell all you possess and give it to the poor"?
Oh right! Jesus....
its probably best you just didn't talk. I take pride in how well our church is
run and how wealthy it is. Look at our churches, beautiful, the grounds are
kept mowed and clean. Temples beautiful. If we didn't have our building like so,
and they were dirty or unappealing, then you would ask, with all the money you
have, why don't you make your churches Nicer? so for those looking to bash the
church, they'll always think of something to rag on it.
I'll tell you what Jesus would do, he would wipe out all of the ignorant lovers
of sin with vengeance, GO JESUS!
These comments are tedious. All of the back-and-forth arguing accomplishes
nothing. The only point to them seems to be to wrankling writers/readers of
opposing viewpoints. Why perpetuate contention?
I've said it before, this company, or church if you will, is all about show,
especially in real estate. Fanciest, best managed properties in town. I've drawn
my own conclusions about how and why and what it means; it's not something to
discuss when you're behind the zion curtain.
"You must understand the prophecies of the last days to know why the church is
doing what it is doing right now."Of course, if you don't believe
those prophecies, then the Mormon, Inc., fiasco looks a little foolish and a lot
capitalist.Not that capitalism's bad. But our region's
religiocapitalism ... well, let's just say if you'd rather live in a Salt Lake
that's open to free expression, encourages traditional human activity, and
preserves the individual's ability to chart his own life's path and carry it out
... this whole apocalyptic vision gets more than a little annoying.
I find it so amusing that somebody can take a simple article about the different
temples and when they are to be dedicated and turn it into a battle back and
forth about finances. Do you guys read your own comments. It is an article about
temple dedications, not financial reports. Come on. If there is an article on
the church's financial status, than I believe that would be a good time to
comment, until than, the comment section on this particular article should be
about how awesome it is there are a few temple dedications coming up. Thanks
Did they not blow about that amount on a shopping mall downton SLC all in ONE
year as compared to 22 years?I rather you chose the Salvation Army
for your humanitaran donation. Most or ALL of their work is humanitarian.
Matt, have you found out how many members are actually active and paying
tithing? What would you say if not even a 1/5 of all members pay their tithing?
Yet many not paying recieve of those benefits.I think you have made the
mistake of a statistion. Look at the facts you want, pull your conclusions,
presto, you have the facts you want. Re-calculate with the real facts of how
many pay, how few actually attend the temples, and yet how packed they are.It's sad when you know everything, without knowing all the numbers in the
game.By the way, I am poor, but I pay tithing. Why am I poor? (I make less
than 10,000 a year in the states, under 30,000 is near poverty according to the
US government as I understand it) So why am I poor? I'm a student at a
university, that might be. But I can tell you the real reason. I have no work
ethic. You know how hard it is for me to want to stay at work when I could be
home relaxing or doing whatever? I am poor because I don't care enough. Before
you go and talk about all 'those poor people', realize many are poor because
they don't care enough. There are many who have incredibly horrible things
happen to them. But what about those who have 10 credit cards, max them out,
file for bankruptcy, and then are poor and expect all the aid given to them. No,
my friend, they are not poor in money, but poor in thought. Think about that.
Amused - Matt's batteries are fine. His calculation was per year (for 20
years). It probably would have been better to divide by ten since only a small
fraction of that $1B was distributed between 1985-1995, so $7.50 per member per
year would be a good working number to go with.Mark - it all depends
on which temple you call. Those in the intermountain west are quite busy. I
bet the Rexburg temple will be extremely active as well. Whether that time
could be better spent at an orphanage or something is a different question. It
would certainly be more efficient if one apostle (or other designate) would do
the proxy work for and behalf of 'everybody that is dead' so it could clear out
the backlog. I think the CoC does some variation of that for their work for the
If you think on the eternal nature of the way the church operates and that the
Lord has commanded his people to prepare every needful thing then you would
understand why the church builds these temples (even though they are not
operated everyday). When the time comes when internal conflict engulfs this
nation and all nations these temples will be in place to provide solitude for
those faithful who will enter into their walls and communicate with the devine.
You must understand the prophecies of the last days to know why the church is
doing what it is doing right now.
Matt,It's interesting to me that you are relating the aid as dollars per
member. I am a memeber of the LDS church, and have fortunately not ever needed
the aid, so they spend less than that on me each year. When I give fast
offerings, I give so planning on that money going to the poor. When I pay
tithing, I plan on that going to the upkeep and building of temples and churches
and the general running of the church. I'm sure if you looked over all the
church books, you'll see that the different resources are being used in the way
they are intended to.
Amused -Please check your FACTS.According to the LDS
website, it's a billion dollars SPREAD OVER 22 YEARS FROM 1985 TO 2006.Cheers.
Mark--The fact that a religion operates an orphanage does not, by
default, make that religion charitable. My grandfather, who spent time in a
religious orphanage, could tell you stories about this. Nevertheless, the LDS
church does operate LDS Family Services which places children for adoption.And perhaps you didn't know this, but IHC is the secularized descendant
of a chain of hospitals originally operated by the LDS Church. Even before IHC
became secularized, I'm sure there were people carping about how the Church
didn't "do enough" for the community.At the end of the day, the
issue with many such people isn't that they truly want to see the LDS Church
provide more humanitarian service. The issue is that they want to see the LDS
Church broke and defunct--even if that means that the golden stream of
humanitarian service dollars trickles down to nothing.
To the person who commented about the temples never having enough attendance, I
respectfully disagree.I can tell you when we lived in the San
Antonio temple district, that temple was so full that we had to get a bus to
attend the bigger Houston temple. When we lived in Oklahoma, there were hardly
enough open chairs in the sessions in Oklahoma City. Now, in North Dakota, the
Bismarck temple (which is 4 hours away)is always packed when we go. Is there a
need for many temples? I would say yes, but I am only speaking from my own
first-hand experiences living in many different parts of the country.
temples might be delayed or moved to a different lot or location but i dont
think it would be scrapped, sometimes it takes years to break ground, prayer.
brings it closer to being a temple
Re what Jesus would so with His resources:Well, today, if He were a)
smart and b) wanted to DO good rather than LOOK good, I suspect He'd invest His
meager resources carefully until they became a serious chunk of change. That
would remain the "nest egg", and the interest would be used to fund humanitarian
work. Most of the Churchs' bottom-line growth has come in the last
50 years (it stopped releasing financials in the late 1950s out of embarassment
about how POOR it was becoming). Since then it has quietly been building its
nest egg while providing limited humanitarian aid (mostly to its own members).
As that nest egg has stabilized and grown--especially over the past 20-30
years--the Church has been able to increase its humanitarian aid
proportionally.I suspect the aid the Church distributes over the
next 20 years will be exponentially greater than what it has distributed since
Matt,Please replace the batteries in your calculator. A billion
dollars would require a donation of $77 per church member, not $3.50.
I think we are all forgetting the fact that God doesn't change. He has always
required sacrifice for certain things. Even the Tabernacle of the Old Testament
was built with the finest materials, and they were constantly on the move. Don't
let us forget the temple of Solomon either, it was full of riches. Why would it
be any different now? Can we offer anything but the best to the Lord? The
early Saints didn't when they sacrificed so much to build the Kirtland and
You have no idea what you're talking about. The church gives hundreds of
millions of dollars (don't know the real number, and it doesn't matter) in aid
and welfare to the poor and needy every year. The church has spent way, way more
on welfare than it ever has on temples.If you want a national
welfare system, go to the government, the church, any church, is not a national
welfare organization. And giving money to the poor through government sources
has proven an absolute failure, it has probably hurt more than it has helped.The church, at least, makes those who receive assistance, accountable,
responsible, and requires them to change some of their practices (budgeting,
reducing expenses, etc). The church "welfare" system is the best in
the world, bar none. It is available to help those truly in need, does not
create an "entitlement" system, counsels those who receive assistance, helps
them get better employment and to manage their money better, and it helps them
spiritually.So let's not talk about the church being a real estate
business (since it rarely sells any real estate), and let's not criticize the
church for not doing more to help the poor (since a huge focus is to do just
that, help the poor), and since you obviously are not a member nor have any idea
how the church operates, you have no basis for criticism. Stick to things you
understand, this obviously is not one of them.
I feel that a temple in Manaus is much needed. You have a country the size of
the continental United States and it has only 4 temples in operation. Having
been to Manaus and understand what it takes to travel there I can understand why
a temple is needed there so much. I feel that Brazil needs about 10 more
temples constructed to serve the needs of the people there.
Joseph Smith said building the nauvoo temple actually helped many poor people.
(teachings of the prophet joseph smith) Think about it our resources are going
over there and look at all the people we are paying to do a job that would
otherwise be unemployed. that is helping the poor and is anything to goood for
the lord.'Individuals and churches should help when needed but it is
not necessary for all income to be given the poor. And temple work actually
helps people that can't help themselves wereas many of hte poor people with help
can eventually tget by without assistance from others.
The Lord is in the real estate business too - is it not why he created the earth
- so he could have some real estate ..... good greif .....
Matt,The kids in Honduras and Ukraine are excited because --------------------------------------------Have you been to the temples
in other parts of the world? Please look into them first before you comment.
Your comments sound racist and discriminatory. Some of these temples are
modest.They are not palaces. But to people in these countries they are
like palaces.FYI, there are different funds in the church contributions
slip. Each fund has a different purpose. Like any other church, money raised
have different destinations. Temples and chapels built in the world are a result
of the faithful tithes. If you want to contribute as a non-member you
can do it through fast offerings. That will really help your cause worldwide.
i.e. The church recently sent a loaded plane to the victims of the church in
Peru.It was not mentioned in papers in Peru or this country. The ones in
Utah were filled with confusing blogs. And now your we have to stand your
comment about a house of worship. What a shame.
Yes, a real estate organization.Hmmmm...That would
explain why the church builds temples, churches, humanitarian aid centers and
the like on all of their "real estate."If I were a real estate
organization I would consider trying to make a profit on my land. I probably
wouldn't let anyone and everyone use the land for free, at no monetary
charge.Now, I know what you're thinking -- "yes, but they tithe
their members! So the members aren't getting it for free!"Good
point. Seems like a reasonable real estate plan: Convince your members to pay
you 10% to fund the free public buildings which the members could use themselves
anyway even if they didn't pay the 10%. And on top of that, give the members of
your "real estate organization" no return on their 10% investment.Brilliant business plan.
They keep building and building like there is a need, but most of these temples
operate part-time because nobody attends them. Don't believe me, make a few
phone calls to find out days open and weekly operating hours when you're trying
to plan a temple trip. Instead of a new temple, how about a hospital, or an
orphanage, or something that actually helps people?
Does anyone know the status of the Harrison, New York temple. It was announced,
site purchased, years of legal wrangling, and now nothing. Has it been
If someone donates his computer to a family in Honduras or Ukraine (something
many Hondurans and Ukrainians don't have), then his poking fun of the 'nice
things' in the temple (from the keyboard of a public library computer) might be
slightly less hypocritical.
My mother and stepdad were LDS Charities Supervisor missionaries for a year and
a half in Cambodia. They themsleves saw to between 1 1/2 to two million dollars
of aid in 18 months to worthy Cambodian causes, most of whom were not related to
our faith.They also did a LDSC mission for two years in Java,
Indonesia. Not as supervisors, mind you, but how do you value monetarily all
these hours (years) of humanitarian service?Jesus would approve.I know my prophets, apostles and local stake presidents and bishops do,
as well as the rest of my Christian and Muslim, Jewsih, Buddhist, etc.
communities.God bless the righteous and poor, the meek at heart.Jesus loves you. He loves His Church. He loves charity. He is charity.
There is no price on that.Or maybe the ultimate price.
To curious:You may have noticed that the number of temples is around
124-140 in the world. That may seem like a lot to you but there are many
thousands of other LDS buildings. The difference in the furnishings between
temples and the other buildings are obvious, and for a reason.Temples, LDS and others, are meant to represent and express the highest realms
of spiritual attainment. That such is symbolized with costly materials and
furnishings is something you can thank God for. Meaning, if you read the Old
Testament you’ll find that God demanded that his temples be constructed in
the most expensive manner and with the most expensive materials available. It
was meant to be a sacrifice and an indication of devotion. Solomon’s
trouble with God came because he built his own house larger and more elaborately
than he did the temple he was commanded and instructed how to build by God.Ironically, the LDS church as become so rich that despite spending
enormous amounts on its temples, they don’t represent anything like the
sacrifice they once did. The construction and maintenance of all the early
temples were a vastly greater sacrifice than any of the recent ones, more
numerous though they be. But the idea is the same.Incidentally, it
may be tempting to think that God must be awfully shallow and petty to demand
such symbols from us. But, I think the truth is that it is done because of our
need to sacrifice in order to demonstrate, to ourselves, the object of our
devotion. In other words, it is demanded for our sake, not God’s. Like
Matt, what do you mean this isn't a Church?Of course it is. You may or may
not agree with the teachings, that is you option, but it is a church.That said, it is not uncommon to save money in one area of a building and then
to spend it in an other area.You aren't just showing off you knowledge of
light fixtures, you are looking to make fun of something others believe is
sacred. Grow up!
Jesus allowed the very costly ointments to be "wasted" on His feet. A great
deal of money is spent on that which is of great worth. The Saviour Himself
said that we would always have the poor among us. So, we know what Jesus would
do...It would be unfortunate if someone were getting rich off of the
righteous desires of others, but a judgment day will come for them. Until then,
I believe that The Church attempts to keep costs down. The eternal blessings of
the Temple are much greater than the temporary blessings of feeding the hungry.
Far more than money, the poor need inspiration and training to overcome
poverty.Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day.Teach to
catch fish, you feed him for life.Inspire him to teach others to fish, you
feed a village for life.Church money is not used to indulge the
leaders. The only reason the LDS Church makes money or collects donations is to
feed the poor and inspire all of us to serve.
Well in order to be a worldwide church they would have to own real estate,
wouldn't they? The Catholic church, the Jews, the muslims, they all spend money
or did at one time on elobarate catherdrals, mosques, synagoues (sp). It is part
of the LDS faith to help the needy AND build temples. I believe the LDS church
is trying to accomplish both. With the belief that temples are Houses of the
Lord then they should be built with the finest materials. This has not prevented
the LDS church from helping the needy, regardless of religion, as mentioned in
various on other posts above with millions of dollars given.
Temples are sacred buildings where holy ordinances that make a difference in
time and in eternity are performed. Our Heavenly Father has always had temples
on the earth. Building a beautiful building for spiritual and ordinance work
doesn't limit, but builds, the amount of good that people can do in their lives.
Becoming more Christlike and therefore more charitable and loving, is a
multi-step process. Temples teach and prepare people to be more Christlike.
Until a person has the motivation and will in his/her heart to give and help
others, it doesn't matter how much money he/she has, it just stays in his/her
pockets. Charity, as taught by Jesus Christ, is a matter of the motivation.
THEN the dollars begin to flow to those who need it most, and in the way that
will help them most. In our wicked and perverse world, dollars can feed people,
but the Gospel of Jesus Christ (including temple rites) prepare them to live
their lives in ways that first do no harm, and secondly bless and help everyone
they come in contact with.
Matt - It's obvious that you're a chronic cynic trying to stir things up by
taking a cheap shot at the LDS Church.Not all contributions can be
measured in dollars and cents. Of the 700 volunteers who showed up daily to help
search for Camille Cleverley, many of them were undoubtedly LDS. And of the
volunteers who sandbagged Salt Lake and Bountiful streets during the 1983
floods, undoubtedly many of them also were LDS.And quite frankly, I
grow weary of people who play the "What Would Jesus Do" card to try to trip our
guilt levers. You want to know what Jesus would drive? An SUV, if he needed it.
You want to know what Jesus would wear? A mink coat, if it got too cold. Jesus
wasn't some pot-smoking hippie who lived in a cave like bin Laden, dispensing
loaves and fishes 24/7. He was practical. So what would Jesus do?
Whatever is necessary to get the job done. Our temples are well-appointed to
promote reverence and respect for the Lord. There is no equality or democracy in
heaven, thank God, and our temples are designed to make people think and act
more heavenly. Tell you what, Matt. If you want to start your own
personal crusade against churches that don't meet your personal and unique
standard of accountability, visit the www.ministrywatch.com website and review
their report about 30 ministries who got a letter grade of "F" in transparency.
That ought to keep you gainfully occupied for a while.
What would Jesus do? In response to Matt's rhetorical question about "what
Jesus would do"... that question has already been answered. See Matt 26:7-13.
In this story, some disciples are indignant about the apparent wastefulness of a
woman's gift of expensive ointment to Jesus. Jesus replies, "Why trouble ye the
woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. For ye have the poor always
with you; but me ye have not always. For in that she hath poured this ointment
on my body, she did it for my burial."
I fully agree with Matt's comments. Perspective and open-minded are keys to a
full understanding of what is true and what's not. If you are 'indirectly force
to pay' to enter the temples, then, something is not quite right. Doesn't
self-cleanliness suffice to enter the kindgom of God? I honestly think that
Jesus would be appalled by the luxury and expensive items you can find in those
beautiful terrenal buildings. I like the church a lot and I think it has some
very good things to offer, but I do not like blind obedience to rituals nor
someone's selfish created ideas in the name of god.
to Curious:I guess my hang-up is that this is not a church as much
as it is a Real Estate Corporation. It is admirable that your local
group gives freely of its resources. It has always been my understanding that
that is what the 'fast offering' is for. You have a good group there.
To: Matt.Honestly Matt, why the hangup? If you have been a member
you know that the church does so much more than the "visible" stuff. There is
rarely a week that goes by in my church group that we aren't providing food,
making house or rent payments, or providing other assistance to the needy. Last
year our local church group even paid for the funeral of a member who passed on,
whose family, incidently, were not members. I really don't think you know the
extent of which the church has reached out, which is much further than you see
on that website. I'm guessing that the business side of the church feels
obligated to make charitable information public knowledge but not so that they
can pat themselves on the back. I'm sure that in order to maintain their tax
free status they need to disclose the use of their donations.
I'm not bitter. Why would you say I'm bitter? How do you know I'm bitter?
I've always enjoyed temples. I'm a huge fan of the Schonbek line. I'm a huge
fan of Baccarat & Lalique. I think that temples can be quite beautiful.I do know, Mr./s View, all about the aid and contributions that the
mormon church has made worldwide. According to the LDS website from
1985 to 2006 the TOTAL contributions were $1,000,000,000 (one billion) US
dollars. On average that equates out to less than $3.50 per member/per year.
This figure is flawed. This organization never divulges income, but
when it comes to PR for humanitarian activity, they will divulge contributions.
It has posted info from 1985-2006. 1985 saw very little aid and 1995-2006 saw a
much greater contribution, so the only thing you can do is average.Let's just say the organization is being modest. Let's say they actually gave
3 billion in aid over the last 22 years. That would equate to $10.49 per member
per year. Out of all the donated money that you have given to this
organization, I think it's safe to say that less than you thought ended up as
humanitarian aid.Let's be honest with ourselves.Please
dont get me wrong. I do think its great that your group does this. It is a
help where help is needed. I only ask that things really be put in perspective.
Dont think pro/anti, but think perspective. What would Jesus do
with these resources? Would he build these monuments to himself or would he
give all he could to the needy?
Bitter Bitter Matt.....You are right on one point, the children in Honduras and
Ukraine will will be blessed because the temple will be build there. Obviously
you know nothing about the aide and contributions that the church has made,
worldwide. The LDS church is always the first to step up and help in many ways
including financial, which makes us able to build beautiful temples without a
conscience about the nice things inside. When the wise men visited the infant
Jesus they brought the best gifts they had to offer. The temples are a token of
our giving the best we have to offer, to the Savior.
Man, the Schonbek company is making out like bandits on this one account! One
celestial room chandelier can cost upwards of $80,000 and the larger Trilliane
ones can push $120,000 each. Not to mention the Baccarat and Lalique vases &
bowls that are $2,500 and I've seen some over $5,000 each. The kids in Honduras
and the Ukraine are excited because they will be blessed because the temple will
be built there.