Quantcast
Faith

Globe looks at Mormonism as a business model

Comments

Return To Article
  • will7370 LOGAN, UT
    Aug. 25, 2011 8:04 a.m.

    As a corporate trainer, I still try to teach and train executives by the spirit. I believe it was Brigham Young who said once that we're not supposed to even teach the alphabet if we can't do it by the spirit of the Lord. I've had my tongue loosed from time to time during presentations in corporate training sessions. It's a marvelous thing to participate in.

  • Wally West SLC, UT
    Aug. 24, 2011 9:43 p.m.

    @ terra nova | 10:39 p.m. Aug. 23, 2011

    Look at the way the hierarchy is structred. Q12 = Corporate board on down to the "grass roots" level.

    Its a reasonable analogy.

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    Aug. 23, 2011 10:39 p.m.

    Read "Approaching Zion" by Hugh Nibley and begin to understand why comparing the church to a business is terrifying. The danger can be simply expressed in the fear that the gospel may equated with "profits" instead of prophets (and the already prevalent myth that possessing a LOT of stuff is evidence of being righteous - when the scriptures make it clear that accumulating more than you need is the way of Babylon not Zion.

  • KC Mormon Edgerton, KS
    Aug. 23, 2011 2:03 p.m.

    Brahmabull
    If you read many original sources from Joseph Smiths time you will find he was often called President J or President Joseph, especially in journals.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Aug. 23, 2011 12:04 p.m.

    @patriot,

    "how could this happen? Well in the eyes of the world it is impossible but with God nothing is impossible. " - Very simple. The followers tithed for years and the Church invested in other real business ventures and thus have made a lot of money. One example: Undergarments, which must be worn, were once made by many small private owned businesses. New revelation stated that undergarments can only be purchased through the church. Those businesses went under and the LDS church monopolized it.

    @Mormoncowboy,

    I never really get your comments since your user name leaves me to believe your LDS, and yet you always seem to point out the churche's flaws. But your statement "The Church does maintain for-profit business interests which naturally compete in the open market. This is not an opinion, it is an undisputable fact." is absolutely true. I'm not sure why the mod's denied that comment originally, I often have to fight to have mine posted when there's nothing wrong with them either.

    @justaguy,

    "You have to remember who is running this church; God." He may be running it but he's doing so through a prophet who is a man.

  • Nonconlib Happy Valley, UT
    Aug. 23, 2011 11:37 a.m.

    @Patriot

    Funny thing, but the history of the law of tithing shows that it has been anything but consistent. For the past 110 years, we have practiced this law pretty much as we do now, but before that, all sorts of approaches were tried. In fact, initially, the law of tithing wasn't a "replacement" for the law of consecration, as we mistakenly believe today. It was just another attempt to implement the law of consecration. If you read D&C 119, you'll find that we do not live it today as it is set forth by the Lord. Lorenzo Snow finally gave up on the most important element of the law of tithing because the people simply would not live it. Mormons, like pretty much everyone else, are quite averse to the idea of equality. Tithing, as it is practiced today, has more in common with Utah's new flat tax than it does with the law described in D&C 119. It increases inequality rather than promoting equality.

  • justaguy Out There in, WI
    Aug. 23, 2011 10:21 a.m.

    All you folks saying "be a church or business, not both", are you telling us that a church has to be poorly run to really be a church? You have to remember who is running this church; God. He has the advantage in knowing the future and is an infinately better organizer than anyone else. Of course this church is going to be well run.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    Aug. 23, 2011 9:54 a.m.

    Bill:

    There are two seperate entities, tithing funds are kept seperate, etc? You do understand that this notion of seperate entities is nothing more than a legal contrivance for the purpose of managing taxes, liability, etc. At the end of the day, when we consider only "entities" that have a pulse, we are talking about all of the same people, ie, your Prophets and Apostles. Secondly, keeping the commodities of money seperate, is again only an accounting contrivance. It's all money, and your Church collects a tithe from you for spiritual purposes, and then competes against you in the open market. Do you think they are better positioned to do that with or without your money?

    Note to DN moderators:

    I am resubmitting this comment as there is nothing wrong with the content. The Church does maintain for-profit business interests which naturally compete in the open market. This is not an opinion, it is an undisputable fact. Of necessity those business interests will compete against the business endeavors of tithe paying Mormons who offer similar products and services. Technically the financial management falls under the duties of the Presiding Bishop, who reports to the FP and Q12.

  • Mick Stupp Orem, UT
    Aug. 23, 2011 9:44 a.m.

    Back in the early 1960s, when Elder Harold B. Lee and his Correlation committee were refurbishing the organizational side of the Church, they intentionally adopted corporate management practices as part of the do-over. Anyone who has worked in the corporate side of the LDS Church can tell you stories about how corporate values create serious organizational problems in what is supposed to be an ecclesiastical entity. The two just don't mix well.

    If you look carefully at LDS scripture, you find that in the Book of Mormon, one of the groups that repeatedly causes problems for Nephite society is the merchants. Also, among the Nephites, whenever the church is established, one requirement is economic equality. Same with the New Testament church. Same in the book of Moses, with Enoch's people. Same in the D&C. The Lord repeatedly insists that there be no rich or poor, that his people should be equal in earthly things. Based on this, I would say that the Lord is not very pro-business, at least not as we define business in modern America. Seems to me that the parallel between the LDS Church and modern business is both obvious and unfortunate.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 23, 2011 9:29 a.m.

    funny stuff. Go back to the years 1844 - 1847. The church had just had its prophet murdered by a mod and most thought that this tiny church would just fade away... but that didn't happen. The leaders were humble men with no great skills especially in economics but what they did have was a firm belief in God and the laws that God had set forth (tithing). The law of tithing was followed with faith to the present day and that is why you see the incredible business model that has produced great wealth with no debt while still providing for the poor and needy..in and out of the church. People scratch their heads - how could this happen? Well in the eyes of the world it is impossible but with God nothing is impossible.

  • ? SLC, UT
    Aug. 23, 2011 9:16 a.m.

    Lvalfre: Check Malachi 3:10-12. As I see it, tithing is a commandment with a promise. The Lord says something to the effect of prove me, try it and see for yourself.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Aug. 23, 2011 8:19 a.m.

    @?

    Heavenly father is the greatest scientist, business man, and everything else. For these reasons, he has no need for money! So why do the major religions want money? Are they working for god or their own man-made organization/creation? Are we simply doing as we've been told to do instead of thinking for ourselves?

  • ? SLC, UT
    Aug. 23, 2011 8:15 a.m.

    Why shouldn't the City Creek development be considered a humanitarian effort? The project employs many people and in the end it creates jobs for others. Must humanitarian aid always be in the form of giving something away, or can it not also be found in providing means for people to earn a living?

  • ? SLC, UT
    Aug. 23, 2011 7:59 a.m.

    Heavenly Father is often referred to as the greatest scientist. He might also be referred to as the greatest business man.

  • ks5 South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 23, 2011 12:50 a.m.

    Cavetroll, I completely agree that there are many wonderful people who are not LDS. I think it is important to realize that the principles of the LDS church can save the world. Namely, love towards our fellowmen, honesty, obedience to God's laws, unselfishness, kindness, and many other great attributes that are shared by many religions. I wish more people- no matter what religion- would let "their light" of virtue, integrity, and morality shine forth. We can all be working together for the greater good of ALL of humanity through the basic principles of Christianity. I love and respect my non-LDS friends. We might differ on bits of theology, but, together, we have done some great things!

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Aug. 22, 2011 10:16 p.m.

    The business side buys property and also pays the taxes on those buildings associated with the business. Yes, pay taxes for the business side of it. Until you totally understand that the Church side is strickly for the Church and the business side for the business side. Those members who refuse to understand this do so because they refuse to try and understand. They feel it is all one big deal and IT IS NOT.

    Every six months an audit of all Church funds is done. Considering the amount of money donated for tithing and fast offerings, and the amount of buildings built one wonders sometimes how this can be two separate entities BUT IT IS.

    Every building built it done so with cash on the barrel. None of the Church buildings holds a mortgage to it. The Church has been self-reliant since the early 50s and continues today. Those who wish to challenge do so as pawns to Satan.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Aug. 22, 2011 10:11 p.m.

    So many of the so called members of the Church who questions where their tithing goes or want an audit of it really don't understand that once it leaves their hands it becomes the Lord's money and he dictates how and where that money is to be spent/used. Since the organization of the Church has been given by revelation to all prophets and that this organization is perfect but ran by imperfect men makes it even more a miracle as to how it is done.

    Just to clarify one point. No tithing money or donations of such have been used in the building of the City Creek Mall. The Church owns the property and has contracted such with none of the donations being used. To think otherwise is totally foolish on the part of those who do.

    There are two different entities here that many don't understand. The part where Church donations go and the other is the business side of the Church. The Church pays very little rent and only of necessity. The LDS Church is self-effecient in that the tithing, donations are used for building chapels, temples, humanitarian aide and many other things.

  • very concerned Sandy, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 10:03 p.m.

    As far as the general authorities being rich, I've heard some are, some aren't. But as I understand it, they are generally very capable people who have dedicated their lives to service. Their talents and abilities are usually quite high, with many of them having accomplished great things in and out of their church roles. Yet they have often given up their lucrative professional positions to serve the Lord. I applaud them for their efforts and sacrifices.

    On another note, I would have been surprised and alarmed if President Monson did not have a bodyguard. I also appreciate the fact that they have drivers and fly all over the world at the church's expense. That is their stated mission after all, to bear testimony of Jesus Christ and His gospel throughout the entire world.

  • very concerned Sandy, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 9:46 p.m.

    The Church's official response to the Time magazine article mentioned above (I think in the form of a letter to the editor in a subsequent Time issue, but definitely as an article in the Church News dated August 2, 1997) indicated the figures were inaccurate. In the response, the church did not deem it necessary to discuss it's finances further, and was under no obligation to do so. But, as an example, the church's response did indicate the 5.9 billion figure was very inflated.

    I too have seen LDS people who use questionable sales/business practices. But by and large, I have also seen countless members who make a sincere effort to follow Jesus Christ and deal honestly with others. Also, remember, the whole have no need of a physician, so our judgment must be very careful and limited.

  • Wally West SLC, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 8:25 p.m.

    re: Richard Saunders | 7:27 p.m. Aug. 21, 2011

    "I hate when the LDS church is compared to a business"

    Then, don't look at the entity that endorses your tithing check.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 6:45 p.m.

    Psalms 73: 12 "It is the ungodly who prosper in this world."

  • donn layton, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 6:41 p.m.

    Mormon Business model:
    Time Magazine gave the following details on Mormon finances. If it were a corporation, its estimated $5.9 billion in annual gross income would place it midway through the FORTUNE 500, a little below Union Carbide and the Paine Webber Group but bigger than Nike and the Gap." ( Time , August 4, 1997, p.52)
    In 1984 the Quorum Of the Twelve were paid in the range of $60 to $80 thousand a year for living expenses, excluding benefits. This does not include any money received by business ventures or sitting on the board of directors for other companies. Most all General Authorities of the LDS Church are wealthy businessmen; most have companies whose income exceeds a million dollars a year. Most General Authorities have bank account balances in the six digit figure. In addition to the modest salary, the Prophet and his Apostles are given living arrangements. Thomas S. Monson lives in a 24000+ square foot condo estimated at a value of $2.8 million. The Prophet and his Apostles all have 24hr limo service provided by private drivers. The Prophet has 24hr "secret service" bodyguards who protect him anywhere he goes.

  • Richard Saunders Provo, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 5:51 p.m.

    @Kitenoa
    Good point about the Savior using parables and comparisons in his teaching. I guess what I should state is that while organizationally, you could see similarities, I don't think it works on a micro level. Most people don't accept the scriptures or latter-day prophets as part of a cost-benefit analysis, they do it because it feels right. The client-business relationship is all about maximizing profit/savings and increasing the bottom line. I know many ex-missionaries who think that selling security systems will be easy because they have done a mission. While some of the door-to-door people skills translate, the goals are completely different. To say that buying a product is like salvation cheapens the salvation experience. I learned from my own experience when you start treating people as clientele and customers instead of brothers and sisters as children of God, you've lost sight of the whole point.

  • Kitenoa Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 5:19 p.m.

    @cavetroll | 10:12 p.m. Aug. 21, 2011
    SANDY, UT
    "Elcapitan, how presumptuous of you. If all the world's ills can and will be solved by the LDS church, does that mean I am part of the problem as I am not LDS?"

    You can extraplate anything you want to assume "presumptuous" and your being a part of the problem, BUT here is the bottom line. The LDS Church model does solve problems effectively and effeciently worldwide, amongst diverse cultures, and social economic situations.

    An attribute that businesses, governments, and even individuals can live for.

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 5:09 p.m.

    "The LDS church and it's business affairs are there to solely serve God. They are of one purpose."

    God doesn't need a shopping mall. Shopping mall are for making money.

  • Kitenoa Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 5:08 p.m.

    @Richard Saunders | 7:27 p.m. Aug. 21, 2011.
    "I hate when the LDS church is compared to a business, and its sad to see so many members willingly accept this comparison."

    Why not? Comparison is a natural tool used to understand complex ideas or relationships in society. The LDS Church uses this method appropriately.

    During his ministry, the Savior himself used parables (real life stories, analogies, contrasts, and comparisons)as a teaching method. The common people of his days connected with his messages readily, BUT weeded out those who were not sincere in their quests.

    Just thought you migh want to consider.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Aug. 22, 2011 4:54 p.m.

    readAbook,

    All you need is faith in yourself and your family. God's in your heart, not in a temple. Don't forget that. Be wary of false prophets and especially wary of man-made institutions that are supposed to represent God. Jesus didn't wear a suit and tie to church every Sunday ... heck I don't think he even had a church to go to every Sunday. Yet the culture will lead you to believe you had to dress a certain way to be worthy for God.

    God doesn't need money or tithing. He's all powerful, all knowing. He has no problem paying his rent! (Joke) Just be a good man, do the right thing, and heaven awaits us in the end.

  • JLFuller Boise, ID
    Aug. 22, 2011 4:21 p.m.

    The biggest sin isn't in the committing. It is in not doing something to fix it and learning how to not do it again. We have all seen shady business people who attend church every Sunday and even hold responsible jobs in the Church. But they are not the Church. They are just poor souls who can't do it right. Don't put too much stock in someone just because he is a bishop or stake president. His feet stink too. Just ask him.

  • readAbook Provo, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 3:55 p.m.

    By the end of my mission I came to feel "dirty" for all the manipulation I learned doing "the work". It's taken a long time for me to separate the Gospel from the Suits. The Church is a business no mater how you look at it and many of its members choose to embody salesmanship over sainthood - in my experience/opinion.

    I remember my father once saying "a Mormon is someone who prays in church on Sunday and preys on his neighbor the six". I wish that didn't have some truth in it, but I've seen too many people I know who are dirty businessmen/politicians take sacrament and attend the Temple. It makes keeping the faith very difficult, but in the end I try to only worry about me and mine.

    I for one find the comparison to business disheartening.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Aug. 22, 2011 3:12 p.m.

    It causes one to wonder if this ties in with Utah being a Mormon state and also being the state with the most commercial and business scams. Is it a part of a culture conditioning of success and money at any cost.

  • very concerned Sandy, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 2:15 p.m.

    More than anything else, the church is a church. It is flattering to us that a writer would compare us to a successful business model, but to the believers, the church is the gospel of Jesus Christ, for the benefit of man so he can return to live with our Heavenly Father.

    One can trace the business entities in the church (real estate, media, agriculture, etc.) directly back to it's stated missions if you wish to take the time. For instance, a growing church would do well to have a real estate arm that caters to it's specific needs, that of building new buildings all over the world. Besides, most of the church assets are tied up in "income-consuming" assets (i.e. chapels and temples) than in "income-producing" assets, such as businesses, etc.

    Not only are the leaders of the church "savvy" as to business and legal practices, they also regularly adhere to tried and tested principles such as hard work and honesty (disclaimer, I'm not claiming perfection for all members/leaders), not to mention inspiration.

  • Montana Mormon Miles City, MT
    Aug. 22, 2011 2:13 p.m.

    Vanka: I see you are as caustic and disparaging as ever. Are you that miserable in real life, too? I hope not, for your sake and for the sake of those who live and work with you.

  • Aggielove Junction city, Oregon
    Aug. 22, 2011 1:45 p.m.

    And Christ is my CEO and HR Director.

  • Geneina Bountiful, Utah
    Aug. 22, 2011 11:55 a.m.

    According to full article published in the Globe:

    But the Mormon achievement almost came to nothing as the issue of polygamy exploded in a massive recapitulation of the hatred that had been aimed at the saints from the beginning...

    Instead, the organization adapted. In 1890, the church leader received a new revelation, and the end of polygamy was declared...But a formal capitulation on the issue defined an organizational principle, rooted in a theological assumption: if God can change, so can Gods people; revelation can be a mechanism of change, and change can be a matter of survival. The needs of the organization trumped the ecstatic visions of Smith and Young, and the church went on to flourish...

    As it turns out, networking and community can be seen to have mattered more to this movement than anomalies of creed or oddities of history. The business ideal and the religious ideal reinforce one another. Theologians count for less than entrepreneurs, belief for less than success.

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 22, 2011 11:33 a.m.

    Not all church enterprises are successful. U&I sugar gone; ditto for ZCMI;Beneficial Life, bailed out; D-News,radically pruned; and center creek?

  • Joggle Clearfield, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 11:01 a.m.

    Just as any church can be charitable....so can a regular business (e.g. United Way donations). The LDS Church organization brings in billions annually from its member donation, sales and from the many companies they are directly a part of. As with many companies, they put a majority of that money back into the business through funding missionaries, their training to recruit new members (like Amway or a MLM), sustaining many radio stations and constructing many new facilities. With all the new members that are signed up to the church by missionaries each year, they are given information that is partly correct, but also not the whole story. It is very similar misleading (although often truthful) advertising in other businesses. Members will continue to sign up, thinking this religion will transform their lives and allow them to live forever because they carried out God's work during their time on Earth. Every business has a hook for their product! Attendance numbers will remain low because of how the church is constructed, but in a business it is all about numbers afterall. In the end it is too much like a business to not be called one.

  • donn layton, UT
    Aug. 22, 2011 9:50 a.m.

    Mormon business model: The true Mormon difference, however, lies in what the LDS church does with that money. Most denominations spend on staff, charity and the building and maintenance of churches; leaders will invest a certain amount--in the case of the Evangelical Lutherans, $152 million--as a pension fund, usually through mutual funds or a conservative stock portfolio. The philosophy is minimalist, as Lutheran pastor Mark Moller-Gunderson explains: "Our stewardship is not such that we grow the church through business ventures."

    The Mormons are stewards of a different stripe. Their charitable spending and temple building are prodigious. But where other churches spend most of what they receive in a given year, the Latter-day Saints employ vast amounts of money in investments that TIME estimates to be at least $6 billion strong. Even more unusual, most of this money is not in bonds or stock in other peoples' companies but is invested directly in church-owned, for-profit concerns, the largest of which are in agribusiness, media, insurance, travel and real estate. Deseret Management Corp

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    Aug. 22, 2011 9:18 a.m.

    I suppose if you are going to fancy the Church structure as a business model, then at some point we ought to ask about its products? Let's see, tithing of 10% of member income annually (following the change that interest = surplus move to interest = income) in exchange for "full" membership. Members believe they will go to heaven for paying, or more importantly lose that option if they don't. So the product is potentially deliverable after death. There is no financial accountability to those tithe paying members, no stockholders, and no independent auditing. The Church also holds vast for-profit interests, from which many Mormons are personally benefited at the expense of others. Incidentally those business arms are now self-sustaining, but naturally favor certain entrenched entrepreneurs - and more importantly the Church does not disclose to its membership who/what those for-profit enterprises are.

    A Voice of Reason:
    As for GA lifestyles, Thomas S. Monson, G.B. Hinckley, and B.K.P., are somewhat anomolies as their entire careers were inside of the Church. Many, many of the other GA's do live just as you suggest they don't.

  • byu rugby Crystal Lake, IL
    Aug. 22, 2011 8:56 a.m.

    There is a lot to be said for the direct benefits of serving a full time mission. Young men and women do learn and grow substantially from the experience. Furthermore, two years of service to others during what is generally considered to be the most "self absorbed" period of a person's life helps missionaries clear many hurdles that trip up so many other young people.
    the organizational skills taught and nurtured within the church also do a great deal for it's members.

    All that being said, There are as many "Dirt Bag" Mormons as can be found in any other religion. That is one of the biggest lessons I learned at BYU. unfortunately for many folks in the church, they learn the lesson the expensive way.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Aug. 22, 2011 8:52 a.m.

    To all who are concerned about (or who even enjoy) the comparison of the church with business - the issue is simply good organization.

    The church has an organization model that works well - even with a predominantly unpaid staff. It is one that requires relatively strict adherence to basic principles but leaves the local leaders with generally wide latitude in how they execute.

    Humans are human in all of their endeavors. So, the principles of good organization transcend the various types of organization we engage in.

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    Aug. 22, 2011 8:31 a.m.

    The LDS church does a tremendous amount of good in the world.

    That said, it would be interesting to know how much money the church has.

    Look at any large churches. They have one thing in common.

    They all possess and control VAST VAST amounts of wealth.

    Question. Where did the money come from, way back when, for the church to start up the "for profit" side of the business?

    Had to come from somewhere.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Aug. 22, 2011 8:22 a.m.

    The church is organized and run more like a business now then it was in the 1800's. That is why he is called "president Monson." His main duty is to manage the church, not to give revelation. You never hear the "prophet" Joseph Smith being referred to as "president" Smith. It is a corporation, so it is run like a corporation.

  • Quayle Dallas, TX
    Aug. 22, 2011 8:06 a.m.

    Every time we visit Temple Square we're told, with glowing pride, that the musicians and singers are all volunteer.

    My father, an accomplished music professor, responds by saying that we'll know Zion is close when the church speaks with similar pride about how all the accountants and lawyers in the administration building are volunteers.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Aug. 22, 2011 8:05 a.m.

    Re: Honor Code | 6:59 a.m. Aug. 22, 2011

    Some of us pray for God to help the poor .... and then stand back and expect Him to do all the work. The Mormons ask God to help the poor and then step forward to help Him serve our fellow brothers and sisters.

  • Idaho Coug Meridian, Idaho
    Aug. 22, 2011 7:56 a.m.

    Whether you believe in LDS theology or not, you have to acknowledge that LDS leadership is very dedicated and hard working. The top leadership consist of men who almost all should have long ago retired to a life of relaxation and enjoying grandchildren. Instead they log very long hours doing something that they believe helps others.

    But I do think the City Creek Project inevitably reinforces the stigma that the Church is a business. That project will likely cost two to three times more than the Church has spent on humanitarian efforts in the past ten years. I understand the argument that those funds came from non-tithing sources but it is difficult to avoid the perception it creates.

  • JLFuller Boise, ID
    Aug. 22, 2011 7:38 a.m.

    Some folks above apparantly believe God must exist on the margins. LDS theology says God and man are partners. That is a lot different from the traditional thinking of creedal Christianity. One group asks God for inspiration in daily life and the other thinks of God as the favor grantor in times of trouble.

  • Honor Code Denver, Colorado
    Aug. 22, 2011 6:59 a.m.

    Either be a Church or a Business..............you can't be both!!!

  • Red Headed Stranger Billy Bobs, TX
    Aug. 21, 2011 11:28 p.m.

    I loved this paragraph from the piece:

    "But as a written document, the Book of Mormon bespeaks the careful editing of a complex range of prior sources and the keeping of records on family sagas multiplied many times over. Whether the achievement is regarded as Mormons and Moronis or the unlikely young Smiths, the Book of Mormon is a coherent narrative which, while relating a tragic saga, finds redemption precisely in its coherence."

    Thank you Mr. Carroll for your observation as a professional writer. I've never understood why some think that a 23 year old farm hand with a third grade education could create by himself such a sophisticated, subtle 500 page book in 3 months.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 21, 2011 10:39 p.m.

    @joy

    I was merely trying to state what Richard Saunders did later as to how comparing the church to a business is meant as a compliment... but with many that comparison has a negative connotation so it's not entirely good for the church to be compared in that way.

  • cavetroll SANDY, UT
    Aug. 21, 2011 10:12 p.m.

    Elcapitan, how presumptuous of you. If all the world's ills can and will be solved by the LDS church, does that mean I am part of the problem as I am not LDS? I am not saying the LDS church is not a great organization, but there are plenty of other organizations doing great deeds all over the world.

  • tyndale1 Pullman, WA
    Aug. 21, 2011 10:06 p.m.

    I loved the article in the Boston Globe. I too was amazed that they were more spot on with LDS doctrines and ideology than most, and they understood the Church a hundred times better than some who might hail from Chicago or Provo. That is what being open minded will do for you.

    What I like in the Organizational model of the LDS church is there ability to call to action quicker than any other faith, and quicker than many businesses. The Home and Visiting Teaching arms of the LDS Church are powerful. Thanks for the article.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Aug. 21, 2011 8:27 p.m.

    Re:LValfre | 6:32 p.m. Aug. 21, 2011
    "LDS is a huge tax-exempt corporation."

    No, that is incorrect. Are you referring to their tax status in the USA or in other locations throughout the world? In the USA the LDS has a taxable arm used for example to fund the City Creek Project. The LDS Church has a not for profitable religious arm that is used for example to build and operate meeting houses and missionary work.

    The LDS Church should be entitled to operate under the same rules as every other church in the United States.

  • Richard Saunders Provo, UT
    Aug. 21, 2011 7:27 p.m.

    I hate when the LDS church is compared to a business, and its sad to see so many members willingly accept this comparison. I tried to be a decent, hard-working missionary, but I'm a terrible salesman. People should accept the gospel because they are converted, not convinced. We do harm to the sacred nature of the gospel when we believe if you can sell pest control, you can 'sell' the Book of Mormon.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 21, 2011 7:24 p.m.

    "Just like Amway or any of the other similar business models that operate on hype and glorify those at the top at the expense of those masses at the bottom."

    Yeah, you know Vanka, if you count how many penthouses, second and third homes, how many personal jets, and how much vacation time President Monson and his other business buddy apostles have, you'll realize how much a statement like that is utter nonsense.

    The leaders of this church do more than you or I do for humanity, with even religious causes excluded. How these men spend their day is a night and day contrast to how many others in wealth live.

    You have mentioned that you have gone to an LDS Church for 20+ years with your spouse. I would suggest trying to keep an open mind and avoid assuming something about other human beings. I know about only some of their responsibilities and how busy they often are and they certainly do not live at the expense of the members of the church. This work is designed to uplift everyone.

    It is a rather disappointing view. Despite my inability to convince, I hope that can change.

  • defibman Syracuse, UT
    Aug. 21, 2011 6:58 p.m.

    @ Vanka

    I am one of those at the bottom, but I just don't see where those at the top have operated on hype and glory at my expense. Perhaps you could enlighten me?

  • joy Logan, UT
    Aug. 21, 2011 6:33 p.m.

    @atl134

    The LDS church and it's business affairs are there to solely serve God. They are of one purpose.

    Please ponder that hopefully you can wrap your mind around it.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Aug. 21, 2011 6:32 p.m.

    LDS is a huge tax-exempt corporation. So yes, the followers have a business knack. The missions certainly help train young men to not by shy, be go getters, and tell people what they 'need' to hear but nothing they 'don't need' to hear. Give them the "milk" before the "meat". That's called sales.

    So they learn to be disciplined, sober, go getters with sales skills. That's fantastic for business. It's a shame their selling dreams ...

    Their used to be small businesses making the LDS undergarments. They were private enterprises. New prophecy stated they can only be purchased through the church. The LDS undergarment industry went under and the Church monopolized it.

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    Aug. 21, 2011 5:37 p.m.

    "A business model... made perfectly for the 21st century."

    You got that right. Just like Amway or any of the other similar business models that operate on hype and glorify those at the top at the expense of those masses at the bottom.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 21, 2011 5:29 p.m.

    WOW! I just read through Carroll's article. Most publications don't have nearly this much insight into LDS theology, doctrine, and belief, especially from someone who I assume isn't LDS.

    Very impressive. I certainly wish more articles were written with such detail and open-mindedness.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 21, 2011 5:19 p.m.

    It's like it's a compliment... that just fosters the "LDS Inc." stereotype.

  • RRB SLC, UT
    Aug. 21, 2011 5:15 p.m.

    Is it a Church or a business model? One cannot serve both masters.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Aug. 21, 2011 5:12 p.m.

    From the very beginning, we have been an amazingly organized people. The organization was instituted by the Saviour and it is what has enabled us to survive and succeed against insurmountable odds.

    Whatever needs any member of the Church has, the Church has a program and the "manpower" to address that need. The ability to execute these programs is based in the faith and committment of the members. The Lord clearly knows what he is doing. His work goes forward.

  • Elcapitan Ivins, UT
    Aug. 21, 2011 5:02 p.m.

    Excellent journalism with real insight by the Globe. The little Kingdom (stone)
    seen by Daniel in Daniel ch 2 is growing because, as Daniel prophecied, "There is a God in Heaven that revealeith secrets, and Daniel goes on in the seventh chapter giving us more ligtht on the subject by writing, "and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the saints of the most high". The little stone becomes a great mountian and shall stand forever.

    One of the tasks assigned to the Latter Day Saints is to preach a restored gospel of Jesus Christ to all the world. that task is under way headed up by an inspired leadership unequalled in all the world. All the worlds troubles and ills could be solved, and will be solved under the inspired leadership of this great organization and those who freely choose to join in and assist. Of course, because of freedom to choose, there will always be distractors causing waves.