Comments about ‘Work on temples begins, ends around the world’

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Published: Thursday, Sept. 13 2007 5:14 p.m. MDT

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Matt

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.

Different View

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.

Matt

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?

Curious

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.

Matt

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.

Xavi

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.

Dave - TN

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."

Deseret Dawg

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.

Anonymous

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.

Jason

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.

Gifts for the Poor

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.

WWJD

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.

arc

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!

samhill

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 everything else.

Ed Clinch

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.

Quin

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.

Lee

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 scrapped?

Mark

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?

Anon

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.

Anonymous

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.

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