Comments about ‘LDS Church shares financial history, philosophy’

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Published: Thursday, July 12 2012 8:10 p.m. MDT

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JNA
Layton, UT

Let the "slamming" begin!

Caprice
PROVIDENCE, UT

Thank you for the fabulous in-depth article regarding the many aspects of the Mormon Church. It covered so many issues and give excellent answers for those with questions. I am in awe of the meticulous order, as well as the beauty of the brilliance of the philosophy within this great church, and I am inspired by this lovely article. What a remarkable organization, truly founded on sound principles.

no fit in SG
St.George, Utah

Lots and lots of wealthy Mormons out there. This scrutiny about the LDS Church and the latest news/scrutiny about Mitt Romney must be extremely uncomfortable for all of them.

1aggie
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

"Today, the church's business assets support the church's mission and principles by serving as a rainy day fund," the statement says. "Agricultural holdings now operated as for-profit enterprises can be converted into welfare farms in the event of a global food crisis.

Huh? There is not currently a "global food crisis"? According to the World Bank, more than 17 million people are facing possible starvation in West Africa’s Sahel region, the zone skirting the southern portion of the Sahara Desert. Sounds like a rainy day to me.

LVIS
Salt Lake City, UT

no fit in SG

I doubt it. But, you keep on thinking that way.

SP
Salt Lake City, UT

Great response.

One point that wasn't mentioned was the City Creek mall. Previous Deseret News articles have pointed out that mall was financed 100% from other real estate ventures of the church. No tithing money was used in that development.

Rifleman
Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: no fit in SG St.George, Utah
"This scrutiny about the LDS Church and the latest news/scrutiny about Mitt Romney must be extremely uncomfortable for all of them."

Yes, the part the drives me nuts is the way they waste money on welfare programs to help the less fortunate. (Just a little sarcasm for those looking to fuel their fires of bigotry.)

BYUalum
South Jordan, UT

I am sure that Mitt Romney will handle the spotlight just fine.

What a great principled representative for the Mormon Church and for this country. Just what we need!

NedGrimley
Brigham City, UT

When did success and wealth become bad? This country used to be based upon lifting yourself up by the bootstraps and getting somewhere. Individuals were encouraged to excel. Businesses were praised for growth and success. And the successful have always carried far more than their fair share. Now, those who have accomplished something with their lives and their businesses are maligned and scoffed at. While those who do not wish to put forth the effort, because they are "entitled" to the earnings of the successful, whine and cry about that success and why they should get part of it without contributing to it. As a nation, the "entitleds" are bringing about a new civil war, that is far from civil.

Noodlekaboodle
Salt Lake City, UT

@ SP
Doesn't that mean that they spent more money on City Creek than they donated to humanitarian services in the last 25 years?

Noodlekaboodle
Salt Lake City, UT

@Ned Grimley
When your business is classified as a church and doesn't pay taxes that is a different thing altogether. I would be much more successful in business if I didn't have to pay the same taxes my competition.

a bit of reality
Shawnee Mission, KS

Financial transparency is an expected form of accountability for churches and non-profits in modern society. If the church doesn’t want people to speculate about its financial endeavors, it ought to disclose the audited financial statements to the public. Until it does so, it should only blame itself for the resulting speculations and misunderstanding.

LVIS
Salt Lake City, UT

Noodlekaboodle
Salt Lake City, UT
@Ned Grimley
I would be much more successful in business if I didn't have to pay the same taxes my competition

Hmm. Trying to figure this one out. You mean the LDS church pays less taxes than say, the Catholic Church? Or the Southern Baptists? Or the Presbyterians? Or....?

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

Well pllusses and minuses. I have always admired the Church welfare program, and its defense of the family, the only institution which makes life in capitalism remotely tolerable. On the minus side the Church is solidly capitalist and therefore can't fathom leftists/liberals/democrats, is hostile to organized labor, is undemocratic, and is a place where to feel welcome one must be a right wing Republican.

Hellooo
Salt Lake City, UT

Oh, that the US Government were run as well. If it were, no debt, nice public services all paid for, support and a pathway for less fortunate citizens to independence and liberty rather than life as a serf. To marxist, last time I checked Mr. Reid the Senate majority leader was feeling very welcome as a member of the LDS church and hardly considers himself a right wing republican. The LDS church is an amazing success story that mirrors the American Dream.

Midwest Mom
Soldiers Grove, WI

Marxist -- In what way is the Church hostile to labor? We are a strong union family and we have no problem with our views meshing seamlessly with scripture and Church leadership. Where we do have difficulty is with ignorant members who think that Mormon is synonymous with the Republican Party. Unfortunately, the GOP is well aware of that and plays to that audience accordingly.

The Businessweek article was not good journalism. The author had an agenda and achieved her goals. Like all anti-Church blather, it will burn hot, for a moment, and then disappear. Writings and times like these are why all members must be informed and maintain their own testimonies. I feel sorry for all those who deify Mitt Romney. He is already less like the Mormon and more like the world he so fervently courts.

MapleDon
Springville, UT

@a bit of reality

You're right. Sanctity and secrecy are two different things. The scriptures and the temple are sacred, for example. However, maintaining secrecy regarding non-sacred things can stir up curiosity and speculation.

Personally, I believe all non-profits owe their contributors the responsibility to disclose how donated funds were used, including reporting the salaries of top paid individuals. This can be done through an annaul audit report that could be posted on the Church's website.

Many churches and ministries do that today--especially when they have nothing to hide while on "The Lord's Errand."

One reason the Church hasn't disclosed that information is because of their significant concern with liability.

Still, I believe the Church would benefit by letting its members (including the poor potato farmer in the Guatemalan highlands) know how those in responsible position have used their contributions, including reporting the compensation paid (and benefits) to its senior officers. Knowing this information will be reported to donors also helps keep compensation in check.

Currently, the Church's annual audit and this latest press release don't provide that fiduciary information and are woefully lacking and contribute to continued speculation.

MapleDon
Springville, UT

@marxist

The Church has room for a communist like you, too (I'm assuming you're a communist because of your user id). Just leave your politics at the door. The rest of us are supposed to do so as well.

A relative of mine was an active member of the Church all his life--and was also a prominent communist.

NedGrimley
Brigham City, UT

Noodlekaboodle: You totally missed the point of my comment in your effort to complain about the church.

zer28
Ogden, UT

It's sad that we live in a country where we feel like we DESERVE to know everything about everything, like it's our god-given right. It's just fine for churches to be non-profit, oh but not when they have as much money as the LDS Church! Now ALL churches should be 100% transparent and no longer tax-exempt. Nevermind the fact that the church DOES pay taxes on their FOR-PROFIT companies. No, if it's the LDS Church, it's all one in the same.

Answer me this. Name me ONE member of the church that's getting rich, I mean filthy rich, off of this massive empire. Thomas S. Monson? The Apostles? Mitt Romney? Anyone? No. So why all the outrage?

We get mad at corporate America because a few people are getting rich at the expense of the many. The 99% vs. the 1%. How can the wealth of the LDS Church even be compared to that? What is the worth of the City Creek Center if it beautifies downtown SLC, potentially drawing more to the temple and the chance to hear the gospel? Is it worth $2 Billion? Yes.

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