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Looking closely at LDS Church businesses, finances

Published: Thursday, July 12 2012 6:43 p.m. MDT

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Disco Vega
MoTown, CA

This article just shows how utterly bigoted and pathetic those in the media are. Anything that is attacked and vilified so vehemently deserves our attention. If the left despise it with such hatred, it must be right. You go Mo’s! I’m voting for Mitt no matter what the left dredges up…Mitt is right for America and our Free Society!

floridadan
Palm Bay, Fl

There is NO honest journalism anymore !! Mabe they can next do a story about Jerimiah Wright and other mega-church pastors that are now multi-millionares from money taken from tithing.

Full-on double rainbow
Bluffdale, UT

@Red Headed Stranger
If I had my own church I would be more than happy to let everyone know what me and Jesus were doing with their money.

Bill in Nebraska
Maryville, MO

The problem is that once it leaves your hands and is given to a member of the Bishopric or Branch Presidency it is no longer your money. When the leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints stated from the beginning that no tithing money was used in the building of the mall then we have no reason to believe otherwise.

It is no ones business how the tithing money or other offerings/donations are used but those who are in authority to use it. Every six months each ward, branch and stake goes through a very thorough audit of its resources. What truthseeker and others don't understand is that more individuals are excommunicated because of misuse of funds that for any other reason.

I trust the leadership of the LDS Church because I know without any doubt that they have been called by the Lord Jesus Christ to administer and minister the affairs of the Church. If you don't believe it and you want an accounting schedule one with your Bishop. Guaranteed he will tell you exactly or close to what I just said.

This money belongs to the Lord.

A1994
Centerville, UT

Once again proving that hate and extremism come from the left FAR more than the right.

TheWiz41
Logan, UT

Given Romney's campaign and criticism of him, I'm not surprised at the timing of the Bloomberg article. However, this is to be expected with the Church being in the spotlight. It also provides a great missionary opportunity for Church members.

JM
Lehi, UT

Anti-Mormon predecessors drove us from our homes with cannons (and many were killed by exposure). We settled where they hoped we wouldn’t be able to grow food. The survival plan: pray, work, educate, etc, and see if God would open windows in this great land that I love.

We started the first western University, and a newspaper, and what may be the world’s first mall- ZCMI, etc. And, while others were digging for gold in the surrounding mountains, Mormons made the desert blossom.

We rebuilt the mall, using only funds from businesses, and we still run America’s largest private University, etc. And, in our effort to help people better themselves, Mormons donate more of their time, money, etc, than almost any other group.

No one is getting rich off Church funds, but our blessings still seem to offend anti-Mormons, who repeatedly demand that we report everything to them. It’s none of their business what we do with our mall. The openhearted people already know that Mormons are doing far more good than the haters ever will… so the anti-Mormon is left only to dishonestly malign : )

The Balloonatic
Taylorsville, UT

It's obvious that this story is coming out to mock Mormons and make the Church sound greedy...because of the 2012 presidential election. Team Obama and its comrades, the Main Stream Media are doing all they can to "kill Romney."

Outsider Looking In
BOISE, ID

I just finished reading the article in BusinessWeek. As an active Mormon I didn't find it terribly unfair. Critical? Yes, but that is not a bad thing. We should respond to criticism not with a knee-jerk defense, and allege that the author must have it out for the Church. You can quibble with a few things, but the heart of the article is an invitation for us to constantly reevaluate the way we are conducting our affairs. We would be much better off if we stopped to think about what is being said, what impression we are leaving and whether there is another way. This kind of questioning is good and healthy, and helps keep us honest. Many of the responses in these comments simply exhibit a certain immaturity, as if someone had insulted your mother on the playground. Let's buck up, take it for what it is, and move on. And maybe we can improve as a result. The world is not out to get you, and BusinessWeek is not an instrument of the Devil. Let us make sure we are conducting our affairs in a manner that would make King Benjamin proud and move on.

Gr8Dane
Tremonton, UT

The whole premise of the article; that churches somehow should not be involved in any business dealings, is preposterous. We are no longer an agrarian based economy. It costs money to build buildings, to buy land for them, to furnish them, to keep utilites on, to publish curricula, to provide traditional charity-based services... Churches have to (horrors!) have bank accounts to pay for these things. They can't pay for them with chickens.

The "progressive" humanist left in this country are becoming increasingly anti-religion (they always were). Humanism abounds. They will get worse, not better in this regard as it's a race to the bottom.

Common decency and manners are out the window if you get in the path of their political agenda. As Mitt Romney is finding out. As Christ said, "By their fruits ye shall know them."

Speaking as a lifelong member of the LDS church, I'm not perfect. And I certainly have had my share of disappointments in life, but I would cast my lot with people of faith (no matter what religion) than the humanist left anytime. They're selfish narcissists at the core.

Bro.D
Cornelius, Oregon

So many are calling for the church to be more transparent with it's money and I agree with President Hinkley....this is the Church of Jesus Christ, it is not a for profit business, It is the Lords property, the Lord's purse. The only shareholder of the church is the Lord Himself....he is the only one who "owns" the church and therefore the only one we as members have to answer to when it comes to where church finances are spent.

Non members and detractors are always talking about how "rich" the church is. The church is solvent because the Lords people are taught to get their houses in order, stay out of debt, be financially responsible and give the Lord what is His (tithing) to build up the Kingdom of God. Because of this the church is blessed with much so it can do much good in the world.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

Odd questions always arise from the lack of information. Honestly this would all go away if there were just a little transparency into the churches finances. I do find it odd that these are held behind a cloak of secrecy. I do not believe for one second that there is anything going on with the churches finances that could not withstand any level of inspection.

So this cloak of secrecy is odd to me, and largely unnecessary. From the article, it states that the new mall cost 3x what the church has done in charitable giving over the last 25 years. It may be a true stat. But I am pretty sure it isn't an inclusive stat, nor representative.

I don't want the church boasting of its finances. I don't think we need to be comparing religion to religion, particularly based on finances.

But reality is that secrecy breeds questions... and no one should be surprised that any lack of transparency will foster harsh questions to be raised. The church should have no issues responding to questions about its secular activities, as it should have nothing to hide, and should hide nothing.

donn
layton, UT

RE: JM ,The great wealth of the Mormon Church is becoming very apparent. Neil Morgan, “Business Esquire“, August 1962).The Mormon leaders might do well to consider the which was made by Jesus” “My Kngdom is Not of this world…(John 18:30). The Bible does not say anything about Jesus trying to build a temporal kingdom or manage a large business, instead ,it says that he had to place to lay his head.

woolybruce
Idaho Falls, ID

It is a bit naive to think that after a religious organization invested in such things as Prop 8 and City Creek Mall focused on wealthy elite shopping that someone in the media wasn't going to point out the seeming discrepancies. With regard for Missionary Work someone in the Church's Missionary Department and someone in the Church's PR's Department should take this article to heart. For the last three decades (well before Prop 8 and City Creek Mall) I have listened to similar grumblings from well meaning Christians that choose to send meager church funds to humanitarian causes rather than fixing or expanding worn out church buildings, while watching the LDS Church build new buildings on almost every block in Utah.

This article while being disproportionate, is a clear warning shot of the PR debacle that both Prop 8 and City Creek Mall have been. An astute organization would not whine with a persecution complex about the article's unfairness, rather it would actually address the fundamental problems that are at the foundation of the article.

Wastintime
Los Angeles, CA

For me, one of the most questionable entities the Church owns is Deseret News. The position of the Church is political neutrality yet very clearly Deseret News has staked out a conservative position, promoting Republican candidates etc.

I could understand the Church providing articles for a newspaper to print, but that is different than owning the paper, pushing a conservative agenda and claiming political neutrality.

iron&clay
RIVERTON, UT

Bloomberg's cover illustration was a big blunder exposing themselves as working for the Obama campaign. There can be no other explanation for such insulting ridiculing bigotry.

Terah
San Luis Obispo CA, 00

The sad consequence of Bloomberg's and Winter's bright yellow journalism is that their credibility is gone. Forevermore, I'll question the accuracy of ANYTHING they print, as will myriad others. "A lie is not true simply because someone believes it to be true. Nor does a lie become truth through repetition."

Uteology
East Salt Lake City, Utah

@Lifelong Republican

Romney and the LDS church simply need to stop apologizing for being wealthy..."we are an example of what happens when you are obedient to the Lord and use his money for doing good"

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I didn't know the GOAL of the LDS church was to become wealthy. If it is then it is a for profit organization and thus should not enjoy tax exempt status.

As far as Romney all he has to do is follow his fathers advice and release his last 12 years tax returns. Is he a tax dodger with accounts he had in Bermuda, the Cayman Island, and Switzerland? Isn't it the same demands made by Republicans during the primaries?

Rick LT
GLENDALE, AZ

It is what would be expected from a radical Dem-Lib like Bloomberg who's all-in for Obama, to the point of damaging Romney via the back-door through his Church affiliation.

maximum
Phoenix, AZ

I thought Business Week was supposed to be a reputable magazine. This makes it look like a cheap tabloid.

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