Comments about ‘Criticism follows Businessweek cover on Mormon Church finances’

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Looking closely at LDS Church businesses, finances

Published: Thursday, July 12 2012 6:00 p.m. MDT

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Springville, UT

I just read the article. Other than the sensational cover, the article itself seems pretty factual and straight-forward. I would be interested in a factual rebuttal, not the emotional wringing of hands of defensiveness that seems to be evident.

Springville, UT

And for you who think the story is based in politics, get real.

Kaysville, UT

For those that think that the Deseret News reports are biased, go to the BusinessWeek page that the article is and see the 100s of comments that are there. It is not just good people in Utah that see the bias in reporting in this article and especially the gross disrespect of the cover. Good people can see what is written in the article and others will read what is meant by the article and not know that members of the Church of Jesus Christ and their leaders are some of the good people of the world. The DN and their exceptional staff have such a load on their plate to ensure we get the best news coverage and pertains even to our local communities. The article is not written with journalistic integrity and is meant to shown the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the opposite light that it is in everyday. Politics and religion are blended into this article for a reason and it is not for enlightenment of the people who read the BusinessWeek article. It is for sensationalism and spreading non-truth that jeopardizes 150 years of doing what is right and true.

Kearns, UT

Funny how some people get so upset and others just laugh it off. I find the cover to be stupidly funny, and anyone who reads the article and takes it seriously, has major issues anyway.

Just keep doing the good work, and let the naysayers do what they do best.

Common Sense Czar
Sandy, UT

This is tame compared to what will be coming as the election gets closer...buckle up and get some thick skin!!

Mom of Six
Northern Utah, UT

"And for you who think the story is based in politics, get real."

Really...Does Business week explore the businesses of all faith's on a continual basis outside of an election year? Why the sudden interest in the LDS church? The church has been in existance know for 150 years and we are now just finally exploring this faith out of the general public's desire to know more? This piece would never have seen the light of day if Mitt Romney were not a member of the LDS church, to say otherwise is a bit naiive.

Draper, 00

When your only tool is a hammer, you assume everything is a nail. Apparently BusinessWeek can't fathom that a large institution with significant business holdings and competent leadership could apply these resources in a thoroughly altruistic way -- there must be something sinister behind the curtain at the Church. Those of us who have years of volunteer experience in the Church's many forms of Christian outreach have seen what BusinessWeek has failed/chosen not to understand about the motives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


Hummmmm let's see. 2 billion for a mall. If you take that invest it at 5% you get $100,000,000 a year. Let's say a starter home or habitat for humanity home costs $125,000. That would be 800 homes a year divided by 52 weeks you get over 15 homes a week, week in and week out forever fully paid for. Let's say it's only 1 billion so we get 8 homes a week forever. Now imagine what you could do overseas in poor countries. The problem is not the church dosn't do good work it does,, is there a better use for 2 billion dollars then a mall. A church has a different mission then to maximize profits.

James Garrett
Salt Lake City, UT

It's not just the church's business. It's all of Utah's business. Do you ever wonder why our public schools are ranked the worst in the country based upon per pupil funding? Think about how much money is given to the church that is never taxed. For us people that don't pay tithing, we are paying more to help the schools why you are helping build malls and temples. For you that are claiming persecution, lets open the books and then have a discussion. Yes, the church spent 1.5 billion to help the needy since 1985, but they spent that and more on a mall. Couldn't that money be better spent on homeless shelters instead of creating a few jobs for people selling $5,000 watches?

Salt Lake City, UT

@Arm of Orion
"I don't see how employing a bunch of people to build and operate a mall could be anything but helping people"

I don't see how a bunch of people can say this spending by the church creates jobs and helps people and the economy while saying the stimulus didn't create jobs and hurt people and the economy.

"This is all to be expected and I think we are just getting started - Chicago style politics... the worst of the worst of America. "

As opposed to Romney who fundraises with the most well-known birther in the nation? The attacks on Obama's faith from conservatives who can't seem to figure out if they want to call him a radical muslim, an atheist, or a black liberation theologist? The blatant distortions and lies from death panels to Romney's flipflops on everything from immigration to student loans to his own business timeline?

Orem, UT

If the church's finances are not transparent, the motives of the Businessweek journalists are very transparent. People will see this for what it is, a snarky attempt to "dis" Romney by "dissing" his church. No harm, no foul.

All you libs, go have a big gulp...oh, you can't, right? Bloomberg wouldn't like it.

Pocatello, ID

Counter Intelligence @ 9:56

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! Probably the most intelligent comment made so far. May I add a big AMEN!!!

Orem, UT

The cover picture is an unfortunate distraction because it taints the story and diverts useful discussion from an important topic: Is it possible to serve God by serving Mammon? Does the LDS Church, with its many business interests and heavily business-credentialed hierarchy, "serve" mammon in order to bless others? Is this what restored Christianity looks like in modern times? Why or why not?

I think that "outsiders" have a very particular view of the LDS Church as a capitalist business franchise church. The Church responds indignantly to articles like this one, but then doesn't proceed to offer anything more substantial than a protest and various "trust us" claims that all this secret money flying around is actually ideally beneficial for God's children. Most people wouldn't deny that the Church and its members are known for very visible charitable activities; but why the need (as an example) for an Enron-esque investment firm in the offing?

For those looking to evaluate Truth claims, these things matter. The Church needs to come down very clearly on what constitute just and godly economic practices, as other Churches have done. Is God really a capitalist like His church?


The article brings up an interesting element in our society. Media has power. The Church is very sensitive to possible misperceptions or misrepresentations the article might convey to those who read it. No doubt this is one reason it maintains ownership of DN. I think the gay community probably had similar feelings during the Prop 8 campaign.

Provo, UT

I care about where my tithing moneys went. We members of the church demand an accounting and not the pat on the head and assurance that all funds are used wisely.

We will know the funds are used wisely when we see just how much things cost.

The LDS church should probably be audited.


A person cannot be forced to join a church or to pay tithing or serve others.

A person, if he lives in the US can be forced to pay taxes, or penalty if you do not have health insurance.

The only institution that citizens of the US need fear is the government when it oversteps it's bounds as outlined in the US constitution.

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

** sigh **

While I question the taste of the cover art, I thought the Businessweek article itself was very well researched and fairly presented. The Church was given the opportunity to participate and apparently did. I would encourage anyone to read it and judge for themselves.

While I'm not LDS, I have had dealings with LDS businesses and they have nothing to apologize for. They are well-run and have principled managers. I wish the Church's Public Relations Department could be equally as well run. Instead of using this as an opportunity to teach, they have chosen to give the usual shrill angry response that suggests that religious bigotry is at the heart of the article. This does not serve the Church well. Doing some research on Church Businesses would.

The Businessweek article references AgReserve, an entity that I am familiar with. Does the Deseret News even know what they do? They help farmers, most of whom are not LDS get better yields from their land. This is about feeding the hungry for crying out loud. Go find out about them. Tell that story. It will serve you better than the usual rant on religious persecution.

Dave D
Pocatello, ID


Brilliant post. People can dismiss the article and "anti-Mormon" as much as they want. But to me, as an active Mormon, this stuff matters. The Church Newsroom came out with a statement, which said, in part, "The key to understanding the Church is to see it not as a worldwide corporation, but as millions of faithful members in thousands of congregations across the world following Christ and caring for each other and their neighbors." If this is truly the case, than we need to do a better job of it. Not only are there Latter-day Saints starving to death throughout the world, but our mission goes beyond helping only Latter-day Saints. I recommend reading "Working Toward Zion: Principles of the United Order for the Modern World" for those interested in the topic. In reality our Church should neither be capitalist or socialist. Our economic order is the Law of Consecration. Until we do better at living this law, the "world lieth in sin" (Doctrine and Covenants 49:20).

Nan BW
ELder, CO

I like DonO's question.

Cottonwood Heights, UT

The church is fine in many respects. So why is there a persecution complex?

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