Comments about ‘Elder Oaks to testify on Capitol Hill’

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Published: Monday, Oct. 17 2011 4:00 p.m. MDT

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DeltaFoxtrot
West Valley, UT

Oh Elizabeth...

It's CapitOl Hill.

Capital is the city, Capitol is the building itself.

Lux et Veritas
Draper, UT

It's Capitol Hill, not "Capital Hill." Yes, Washington, DC is our nation's capital, but the actual Capitol Building is spelled with an "o," not an a.

VocalLocal
Salt Lake, UT

I think instead of limiting charitable contributions we should insist that non-profits makes public disclosure of their charitable contributions received. Operating without the cost of taxes and the added benefit of tax-deductible contributions should come with a public trust and disclosure.

LValfre
CHICAGO, IL

"Hatch asked Elder Oaks to speak because of the LDS Church's long history of helping the less fortunate, Karakai said."

Okay a couple things:

-Hatch asked a Mormon to speak because Hatch is a Mormon and wanted to represent his faith. Lets not twist this into who gives to the less fortunate and who doesn't. And that statement is questionable, please see below:

-In regards to giving to the less fortunate, LDS is spending more to build this condo/retail development than they've reported giving in Humanitarian since 1985. They're spending more on a real estate development than they've given to charity in 26 years! I know it's not tithing money but it's still a religious institute using money in the name of God. How do you explain that?

-Lastly, although current business ventures are not funded by tithing money, what originally funded them? Had to have been tithing money.

LValfre
CHICAGO, IL

@VocalLocal,

I completely agree. Tax-exempt corporations, as I call them, run by profits, i mean prophets, should be completely transparent financially. If the money's being used in the best way God wants it to be, why hide it?

Why hide it?

USA
Salt Lake City, UT

The Deseret News seems content to operate without the benefit of copy editors. New business model.

Cats
Somewhere in Time, UT

The LDS Church is extremely wise and frugal in the way it uses the Lord's resources. They are used in the way that the Lord sees fit. And...that is the business of the Church and no one else's.

The Church gives millions for humanitarian purposes. That is for NON members of the LDS Church. The Church also gives many millions in resources to help its members, operate it's programs and conduct missionary work. The Church also refuses to accept donations from anyone but members. If you are trying to imply that the Church exploits people for money, you are barking up the wrong tree. Everything the Church does is to help its members and others.

I get so tired of these people who are always trying to imply that the Church has some kind of nefarious purposes in what it does. The Church uses the Lord's money under the direction of the Lord. That's it. Plain and simple.

Cinci Man
FT MITCHELL, KY

Re: LValfre. When I read the article, I learn the the debate is about tax deductible contributions, not the for profit (taxable and tax-paying) businesses of the church. Let's not get side-tracked from the subject. Elder Oaks will be speaking to the subject at hand and I think we can do the same, can't we?

Liberal Ted
Salt Lake City, UT

LValfre- Humanitarian aid is just one aspect of the donations the members of the church give. There is alot of aid going to those in need in your neighborhood and through out the world.

The condo/retail development is being taxed. That is for profit and not a charity. Which means the government is collecting taxes from it.

When a member gives a fast offering that is then used to help someone with their medical or other bills, that is a charitable donation.

Jim
Mesa, Az

I don't know where people are getting their figures from re charitable work. Alot of charitable work goes unnoticed except by the reciepents. The Church has been helping the needy at the local levels for decades. This is not reported in the newspapers. The Church is usually the first on the scene in natural disasters, whether locally or abroad.

Rifleman
Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: LValfre | 5:35 p.m. Oct. 17, 2011
"I know it's not tithing money but it's still a religious institute"

As you know, or should know, every dime spent on the downtown development comes from their commercial arm and is fully taxable. Obama want to go after the money that the LDS Church gives to the poor and needy which is tax deductible.

Translation: Obama wants to take food out of the mouths of poor people.

RyanWhiting
OREM, UT

It is important that we make sure charitable giving is valued in society. I am glad that these people will testify on its behalf. I hope that charitable giving is always valued.

@LValfre

It is okay if you see conspiracies that is your choice, but I think it is best to believe what people say. If Hatch asked Elder Oaks to speak because of the LDS church's charitable contributions then that is the reason he asked him too, not because they are of the same faith. If we took your thinking further then Hatch asked the man from the United Way to speak because Hatch is part of the United Way. That isn't necessarily the case. He is bring a large swath of Utah society to talk about this important issue.

The condo is also not being built in the name of God. It will just be a condo/retail unit just like any other one. The church's name will not be plastered on it. Your sentiments are unfounded.

Before you start spreading unsupported and leading statements like your last one, you should do your homework, not leave it for someone else to do--irresponsible.

als Atheist
Provo, UT

As I commented on another article, the average amount the LDS Church has given to "humanitarian aid", per LDS member, over the past 25 yearts, has been about $4 and change.

The "Tax incentives" given to charitable organizations in this country have made many presidents and boards of directors of such "charitable" organizations VERY WEALTHY.

It is time to close the loopholes and stop the tax evasion that is being carried out under the banner of "charity".

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@LValfre
"Lastly, although current business ventures are not funded by tithing money, what originally funded them? Had to have been tithing money. "

Not necessarily, some people donate more than just the 10% and if you go way back there was the United Order/Law of Consecration which is a different system than the tithing of today.

@Cats
"The Church uses the Lord's money under the direction of the Lord."

Well... that's what the claim is. Obviously if one isn't a member they don't typically believe it's under the Lord's discretion. For the most part (in-kind prop 8 donating excepted) I haven't had much of a problem with what the church does with its money even when I was LDS. The investments like the mall look bad on face value but... what if you invest a billion in business, make an extra 500 million on it to get to 1.5 billion. Donate 100 million, then invest the 1.4 billion. Over time this could generate more than if the original billion were just donated. I don't know how the church manages those types of things but it is possible to have the investments help raise money to donate.

mightymite
DRAPER, UT

This is almost comical. Last I chrecked the for-profit business arm of the mormom church far out-wieghed any non-profit business. Bottom line is the mormon church is a business and contributes a small portion of thier earnings to help others as any business does. This is the bottom line.

LValfre
CHICAGO, IL

Why would a church have for profit arms? What purpose?

How were the profit arms funded? Tithing money at some point in history funded the business arms as they're known now. Have any other answer?

To those saying it's spent the way God wants it. Why hide that? Shouldn't everybody in the world model after they way God does it. I mean c'mon, be reasonable here. There's no reason it's hidden unless they have something to hide.

Northern Lights
Louisville, KY

LValfre,

You seem so preoccupied with how the LDS Church chooses to run its finances. I would ask: if the LDS Church did not have any for-profit entities, where would you propose the Church instead generate enough funding to operate 134 temples, to support over 28,000 congregations in neighborhood meetinghouses, to maintain three universities, countless Bishops Storehouses and welfare farms, historical sites, and so on?

Why do you also fault a Church for taking measures to keep the area around Temple Square in SLC from degenerating into a dive? What do you tell the many thousands of men and women who have found honest employment because of City Creek? What do you tell those around the world who have benefitted from the $1.3 Billion in humanitarian service? That the U.S. Government should have instead taxed that money first? Do you tell them that the Church should not have been allowed to do any of this at all???

Personally, I'm satisfied to let the LDS Church manage its affairs as it sees fit. It's none of my business otherwise. I'm grateful that the LDS Church has helped so many people through so many different ways.

Rifleman
Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: LValfre | 7:24 p.m. Oct. 17, 2011
"Why would a church have for profit arms? What purpose? "

Funds used for humanitarian and missionary are tax exempt. Monies used for commercial ventures which earn income are taxable.

Laws govern what is and isn't charitable, and the LDS Church is careful to keep them separated. Why wouldn't the LDS Church have ventures that raise capital?

CTguy30
Colchester, CT

To LValfre: Using that logic of "why hide it?" Let's look at it this way...Say you had some disease that is shared by relatively few in this world. In order to find a cure, they need to go through and publish your medical records from the past 15 years including any STD tests (all hypothetically speaking), etc...There are, thankfully, HIPAA laws preventing any unlawful sharing of medical info...Why hide it?
For those wishing to remain anonymous in their donations, and to protect personal financial info...why should the public be privy to access someone's personal life and/or the instuitution to which that person donates? Regardless how you view the institution receiving the donations, anyone should NOT be allowed to access private financial info like that. If that be the case, I would like to access your bank accounts and all its transactions with you and the rest of their clients, PLEASE. Why hide it?

Devin
American Fork, UT

To LValfre:

First of all, your comments are false, you obviously don't have the slightest clue as to the many ways that the LDS church gives to the less fortunate. Secondly, here's a thought, "let's go attack a church that gives millions upon millions of dollars to the poor and destitute, that sounds like a great use of my time."

Would you be saying the same thing if your own family were the one's receiving aid from the LDS church after a tornado took down their house? That's what i thought.

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