Comments about ‘Mormon Media Observer: Are Mormons really more successful in business?’

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Published: Monday, May 21 2012 10:08 a.m. MDT

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Brahmabull
sandy, ut

Mormons aren't more successful in business, but they are more successful in ponzi schemes. They are able to establish trust through church connections and gather thousands, some cases millions of dollars from people who think they can trust them because of their affiliation with the church. Sad thing is most people who invest in these types of scams from people in their church lose their money and never get it back. People don't seem to learn from others mistakes.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Brahmabull,

A rather strong generalization. Perhaps this is true where you are. Not where I have lived.

What I have observed (and it is just anecdotal) is more folks in the middle class.

Certainly not all are successful. But I perceive a heightened success (given the native abilities of the individual in question) due to following gospel principles.

Assuming we are talking about observant LDS, the positives are obvious - no drinking, drugs, etc. An ability to work independently but still within a structure. A generally stable family life, etc.

There are some negatives as well. The time for callings and family involvement may make some career paths less likely (I have certainly seen folks choose a career to avoid 80 hour weeks or excessive travel). The lack of drinking may foreclose some social activities - though I think that is a very small negative.

Overall, I have seen it work for both corporate types and entrepreneurs.

What pleases me most is some of the folks I know who truly are well off are incredibly generous. Now THAT is success at its finest.

Brahmabull
sandy, ut

Twin Lights - well said. Although I do see more and more mormons (in my area at least)who are getting into heavy heavy debt and seem to be playing the "keeping up with the jones'" game. The fancy cars, the huge houses, and all of the toys... only to file bankruptcy or get foreclosed one a short time later. The prophets advice with regard to finances and living within your means is one of the most useful yet ignored teachings of our time in my opinion.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Brahmabull,

I certainly agree reference the debt issue. Though I don't think we have been too guilty of keeping up with the Jones, we have had lots of family issues and debt is something we constantly have to keep in mind to avoid.

As you note, the prophets have certainly warned us reference this and have counseled us to have a modest home and to keep expenditures reasonable (and via cash whenever possible}.

Even if living the gospel does not work to increase a particular family's income, it can help to control expenditures and thus make us more financially successful over the long haul.

Tithing is an odd thing. Though it decreases cash flow, I think I benefit from the discipline imposed. I also believe there have been insights given to me in my work life that were available to me due to tithing. I know it seems illogical. But that has been my experience.

Reference you original point of affinity fraud, that too has been warned against over the pulpit. I recently attended a conference where the issue was delved into. It hits the old tremendously hard. I do not think our system punishes this enough.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@Twin Lights
"Tithing is an odd thing. Though it decreases cash flow, I think I benefit from the discipline imposed. I also believe there have been insights given to me in my work life that were available to me due to tithing. I know it seems illogical. "

Considering that tithing is roughly the equivalent of a tax (heck you can even set it up to be deducted automatically in some areas) it does seem a bit... peculiar a description seeing as I don't think anyone talks about taxes that way.

Ms Molli
Bountiful, Utah

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY
Brahmabull,

A rather strong generalization. Perhaps this is true where you are. Not where I have lived.

Twin Lights - just as an FYI. It is true in Utah. The State Attorney General's office is spending way too many tax dollars trying to help out the mormons who are falling for all of these get rich quick schemes here. And it is occurring by people stupidly trusting someone simply due to their church affiliation. Not sure why so many fall for these get rich quick schemes -- one would think if you were living in a way to have the spirit with you that you would be warned. Draw whatever conclusion you want to from that.

Cats
Somewhere in Time, UT

I think it's so sad that some people can't wait to grab any chance they have to criticize the members of the Church. I guess they need to do this to feel better about themselves.

I'm not sure there is any way to know how many execs and CEOs there are out there that are LDS. I don't think we can know how many entrpreneurs there are that are LDS. I just don't think this article is based on any reliable data that is available about what percentage of sucessful business people are LDS. So.....we don't know whether the LDS are over represented or under represented in business.

Midwest Mom
Soldiers Grove, WI

These are the kinds of discussions that make those of us who live outside the "bubble" crazy. I am a convert and I was amazed at the amount of homemade doctrine and self-justification that members passed for truth, when my husband and I were at BYU. The Gospel is true, but the people are easily led astray, obsessing about worldly evidence of God's blessings. There is so much societal and traditional pressure out West, that members, like the Pharisees of old, frequently "look beyond the mark" in an attempt to keep their faith relevant. It has been so much easier for us to raise our children here, "in the mission field." Growing up in a tiny branch, they had to gain their own testimonies, not just go through the motions, because of family and peer expectation or competition.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

atl134,

I would be lying if I said no one ever thought I was a bit different . . .

However, I disagree that tithing is the rough equivalent of a tax given that it is purely my option as to whether or not I pay it. I can stop writing the checks whenever I want. Hence, its value as a discipline.

Ms Molli,

From the DN and other news sources I understand that affinity fraud is a problem in the state. It is not just get rich schemes but bad investments as well. Wherever there is affinity, there is affinity fraud and churches (of all stripes) are a strong basis for affinity (note Bernie Madoff).

I was simply responding to Brahmabull’s remark noting that, in the several states where I have lived, this has not been true. Further that I have observed some amount of success (in the traditional meaning) due to living the gospel.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@Twin Lights
"However, I disagree that tithing is the rough equivalent of a tax given that it is purely my option as to whether or not I pay it. I can stop writing the checks whenever I want. "

Technically you have an option as to whether or not you pay taxes. I mean sure, not paying them means you could go to jail, or worse... be made treasury secretary, but if not paying tithing means you can't get married in the temple and the celestial implications that would mean... there's still ramifications there of not paying. I'd think a completely pure option would have 0 consequences for not paying. I'll accept that the tax-tithing thing isn't a perfect comparison though (which is why I used the word roughly). I guess it begs the question of... is it really the tithing that is teaching you financial discipline or is it just having less money (regardless of reason whether it be tithing/losing a job/medical expenses/penn state being horribly expensive and giving you a lot of student loans... the latter being my cause of course) that is making you have more financial discipline?

Cats
Somewhere in Time, UT

There is NO comparison between taxes and tithing. Tithing is COMPLETELY voluntary. Taxes are coerced. You know the old joke about death and taxes?

Larry Lawton
Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Gee, I had to look at the article. No, it wasn't about taxes, tithing or affinity fraud. Here in Hong Kong, a number of motivated returned missionaries are using their language skills -- as well as other skills learned on missions -- to do business and do it well here. More power to 'em!

Go Utes!
Springville, UT

In my experience Mormon businessmen tend to be crooks. Want proof? Look at all of those silly "summer sales" jobs that RM's are so prone to do. Not only are the pest control and security systems they sell overpriced and faulty, the billing methods are flawed and often times customers are charged fees and subscriptions that were not disclosed to them by the seller.

mary-mary
Houston, TX

Using the top position in the countries top corporations is not a good way to judge success. Very few of us have the advantages to even get close to a position like that let alone achieve it.

It would be more practical to compare people of similar backgrounds. I grew up in the projects, the child of a single mother who drove bus when she was able and was on welfare when she wasn't. I have a college degree, am a published writer and despite being a stay-at-home mom for 25 years, now a small business owner.

All of the skills that I have used to achieve my rather modest successes I learned through the church. I had no other role models than the people at church and no other way to learn leadership except through the church. I'll never be the head of a large corporation, my business will remain small because that's how I like it, maybe I'll get that best seller published but even if I don't what is remarkable is that I have gone so much further than my peers.

ILOVEJESUS
kaysville, UT

By the way JESUS is the TRUTH not a building. Jesus is for everyone not a small group of people. Remember that please. He is the Door and we must go through that door to have everlasting life with Him and He said that no one who enters will be snatched out of His hand. That's saved forever. That's my King and God. That's LOVE my friends.

ClarkKent
Bountiful, Utah

Its too bad when any kind of large group of individuals don't have enough good in reality to talk about the group that they have to turn to making up "facts" to try to look good or better than someone else.

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