this isn't the 1800s. fight fire with fire and let the chips fall where
I didn't see the Church's response as anything but educational; for
people who don't know Church policy, and those who should know better. Not
sure what this article is about, except for the self-absorbed attitude of people
who live in "the bubble." British Prime Minister David Cameron was
right, Utah is in "the middle of nowhere." Church headquarters may be
important to those of us who are members, but a lot of people still don't
know what a Mormon is. Instead of obsessing about what people are saying about
"us," members would do better to focus on living the teachings of Jesus
and thinking about others.
Explain to me how this picture has any relation to the story?
RE: Claudio @ 7:33 pm---Read the caption under the photo, and read
the opening few paragraphs of the article.RE-read both... until you
"see" the connection!IOW: Comedian Jon Stewart (as depicted
in the photo) coined the phrase "No more Mr. Nice Mormon".... Which
TIES IN (as you wondered in your post) to the basic theme of THIS article, ala:
the LDS Church took a much more "assertive" stance in responding to the
Bloomberg cover art and schlocky article.
Another example of why I've abandoned organised religion.
As a member of the LDS church, I'm grateful and proud to be a part of a
church that uses wisdom with it's investments, plans for future expenses
(or emergencies), is not in debt to anyone, utilizes the talents of it's
people, donates millions to humanitarian aid, takes care of it's own,
teaches it's members to be provident in their living, expects it's
member to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ to love one another and allows me
my agency to participate or not. It's marvelous!
The Church gave a measured response, not nasty or impatient. It is rare that the
media crosses the line as drastically as Bloomberg. Sometimes a straightforward
response is best.
The Church's response to the Businessweek story was anything but strong.
The word feckless comes to mind. No facts were disputed, no correcting
information was provided and the thrust of the story (that the Church is very
wealthy) was not rebutted.By responding that the article did not
tell the whole story without further dispute or elaboration essentially confirms
that the part of the story covered by the article is accurate.
When you get a verbal rebuke from the church that responded so calmly to
"The Book of Mormon", the play, you ought to realize that any other
organization so targeted by that kind of 'news piece' would probably
have you in a court case? And as stated before in 'offending
millions of Mormons', are we really back to the day when targeting segments
of the population is now ok in newsprint? Who's next? And I
was sad to read what the connection between the picture and the headline really
was. My initial thought was 'Jon Stewart and Colbert" are now LDS
The article was incomplete but the cover was beyond offensive. Finances are fair
game but the Church needs to respond strongly to blatant irreverence and
disrespect.Had it not been for the cover I believe the "official"
response would have been more measured.
I was very pleased to see this response. While turning the other cheek is good
advise, Christ didn't say what to do after they strike you more than twice.
We have turned the other cheek until we are out of cheeks.There was
a group of people pretending to be interested in joining the LDS church. They
sought out the missionaries, acted interested in our faith and attempted to
destroy the faith of our young full time missionaries. Let's
just say that when we learned what was going on and older, far more experienced
and knowledgeable members accompanied the elders to these
"investigators", the pretenders received an experience they will never
forget, nor shall they repeat this deceit.
The "Media" is only crossing the line because the "Church"
responds as such.When neither of the parties are willing to tell the whole
truth and are back peddling to save face it puts critics on the offensive and
stalwarts on the defense. And nothing gets accomplished. The entire charade
"Let's just say that when we learned what was going on and older, far
more experienced and knowledgeable members accompanied the elders to these
"investigators", the pretenders received an experience they will never
forget, nor shall they repeat this deceit."Good heavens! What
did you do, Rock? It sure sounds like you older, more experianced and
knowledgeable members strong armed them. It sounds like the mob. Do you mean it
to sound that way? Or, heaven forbid, did you actually do that? I would have
thought a responsible organization would have just told its people not to go
back, or had the older members talk to these people with love and compassion and
try to show them the Christ's love. But you guys intimidated them some way?
And you brag about it? Even more so, your church sends out people to
convert people, and your missionaries aren't ready for criticism about
your religion, and don't know how to handle it?
The comparison between "The Book of Mormon" musical and a news article
is telling. One is a parody, not meant to be taken seriously, the other is a
allegedly professional NEWS article meant to be as truthful as possible. Church
leaders and PR held Bloomberg to a higher level of accountability than they did
a silly and childish stage production. I do not perceive a shift in practice or
Good on the Church for refusing to be a passive punching bag.Of
course, the Church is not the real target for the defamation, slurs and
innuendo. The real target is Mitt Romney, and the liberals seek to destroy him
by denigrating his religion.I am not LDS, but I am as offended and
outraged as any member would be from this baseless and calculated disinformation
Let the comedians laugh.The publication misled people about the
church, sacred events, and doctrine; it distorted reality. Only someone
who's already made up their mind will see attempts to redress libel as
being hostile.President Monson spoke of a "metamorphosis of
society’s morals" and an already "wide chasm" growing between
society's morals and our own.Today, we are finding that larger
numbers are finding it easier to ridicule the standards that we know to be true.
Some distort reality, ridicule what is sacred, and mislead others about what
path to follow. Whatever they say, whomever they convince, and however easy it
is to get distracted by such publications and their aftermath- I figure we have
more important things to do instead of dwelling on these things.For
me, I figure the best thing to do is to just let them laugh and move forward.
That chasm is getting bigger and the only place I want to be is where the rod
is; I struggle enough with that as it is. We have enough work cut out for
ourselves to deal with instead of worrying about the pride of those who laugh at
Mark;Believe it or not, our missionaries are not sent out to
"convert" people. They have a very narrow mission, to share the barest
principles of the gospel of Christ with people who are prepared to receive
manifestations of the Spirit. The Spirit does the converting. The missionaries
are a resource, a conduit to find truth. When someone ambushes the
missionaries and attacks them with obscure facts or deep doctrinal questions,
that lands well outside the scope of their missions. Don't know how to
handle it? Possibly. I learned much more about the Church in my 30's and
40's than I knew as a missionary. But the assignment of the
missionaries is not to contend, nor to defend, but to preach, teach, exhort and
expound, and invite all to come unto Christ. And that they do to a marvelous
degree. That they do.
This incident says more about Bloomberg than it does the LDS Church and its
finances. It tells me that they are more than willing to shill for the left
than inform the business sector.Once you take tasteless (and unnecessary)
swings at organized religion, you've lost journalistic integrity.
All churches, including the LDS, should be required by law to give full
financial disclosure. All citizens are made to supplement the churches finance
by the church's non-profit status of not paying taxes so all citizens taxes
are increased to cover what the churches don't pay. Therefore, all citizens
should receive an accounting for what they are giving their tax money for. The
same goes for governments. The federal government should be required to give an
annual audited financial statement to the citizens the same as corporations do
for their share holders.
@ A Voice"The publication misled people about the church, sacred
events, and doctrine; it distorted reality."Oh really Voice?
How so? The Church didn't dispute any of the facts in the article. Which
specifics claims made in the article are you disputing and what is your evidence
that they are wrong?
I think Dr. Reeve is on to something. I've heard several people who work in
LDS owned business express the concern that church members will overreact to the
size of these enterprises and feel they no longer need to support the Church.
As far as the cover art is concerned, I think a little investigation
will reveal that this isn't the first time BW has created something in poor
taste hoping to stir up some controversy. My guest is that all the protests will
only encourage them to do more of it.
skepticYou are welcome to take a few minutes out of your busy schedule to
read about the church's massive welfare system. Better still, take a tour
of a canning facility or one of the other many welfare facilities all over the
country and a few outside of the U.S. Listen to stories about the Bishop's
Storehouse. Financial disclosure will never replace your best opportunity to
learn for yourself. Once you have done that, you can volunteer your time in the
same way that thousands of members do in work that your taxes do not have to pay
for. If, after seeing what is done with your own two eyes, you are not
convinced that it is beneficial to you, attend a few meetings where senior
couple missionaries report on the incredible humanitarian service they perform
so that you tax dollars are not required. And how then go back and read the BW
article again and see if you thing they even scratched the surface near some
truth and completeness. Then you will understand the outrage at such a joke of
an attempt at journalism.
I used to wonder about all that cash until I served as stake PFR. It takes a
boatload of cash to keep up the buildings. Roofs, gym floors, HVAC, carpet,
pews, pianos, organs, parking lots, copiers, projectors...From the
ward's perspective it seems like they don't replace these things soon
enough, but you should see the equipment costs each year for a 1962 building.
$300K is not uncommon. Then there's the lights and the gas and the
phone.And knowing the tithing receipts for our ward the members are
getting a good deal.How many chapels did you say the church owns?Then there's the fleet of missionary cars.
RE: Cinci Man,Thank you for your insighs, they support my position
that all churches, (including LDS) should be tranparent in their finances and
disclose all income and expeditures. If as you say, this will permit everyone
interested to share your insights and learn how the LDS church uses its public
tax exempt money, efficiently, honestly and for public good. Thx.
Skeptic, I always marvel at people like you who obviously don't understand
the tax system and how tax-exempt organizations like the LDS church operate.The church owns a number of businesses that hopefully each return a
profit. Those businesses are like every other business that pays taxes. They
have to report everything to the IRS just like everyone else.The
church also has operations that fall under the tax-exempt umbrella. Those are
things like church buildings, temples, and welfare farms. They don't
generate any profits and are not taxed. They don't pay property taxes. The
money that is donated to them by members is also not subject to taxation.Just because this money is not taxed, doesn't mean that the rest of
us have to pay more taxes. When I give $10 of my hard earned (and taxed) money
to the church or to The Red Cross the government does not get yet another
percentage of it.Are you saying that the church should have to give
the government a portion of every donation? If not, what is your beef?
If LDS leaders were living extravagantly off of LDS investments while asking the
people to donate money this article would have a very valid point. LDS top
leadership who require it are given a modest living allowance which allows them
to devote their full time to their calling.Given this the LDS church
has nothing to be ashamed of in this regard.There are many t.v. and
Mega churches where the ministers live very extravagantly on donations of their
often lower middle class followers. It is these churches that need to have a
finger pointed at them.
JoeCapitalist2, Sorry but it is you that is not understanding the economics of
business or taxes. If you read my post I did not refer to the church's for-
profit business. When a non-profit church property is not having to pay taxes
all the other properties that are taxed properties pay extra because the church
property could be used as a taxable property. Nothing is for free.
Two points:1) Police and fire departments (paid for by taxpayers) guard
churches. Churches use electricity and plumbing supported by infrastructure
provided by taxpayers. Why should churches not pay their fair share for
benefits provided by our taxes?2) The Church does not spend every cent it
takes in through tithing every year. The excess is lent to Church-owned
for-profit businesses at low interest rates. The low-interest rate loans
enjoyed by Church-owned businesses give them a competitive advantage over
businesses that must raise capital (at much higher interest rates) in normal
capital markets. Why should church-owned businesses have this competitve
skepticHow does the disclosure of all things financial make you satisfied?
It is my opinion that if they did what you suggest, you would simply move your
objections to another point. And I can say that with all confidence because you
comment negatively on all aspects of the LDS church. If I'm wrong, please
tell us all the good things you see about the Church, such as how many people
are better people through membership or how families can often find a greater
family relationship through living the precepts and following the prophets.
Please tell us how you know of the lives that are enriched and blessed by
membership. Now THAT would be news! One could say that you know a good thing
when you see it and that you are willing to admit to some truth about the
Well, if the church can afford to spend over $1 billion on a shopping, luxury
condo complex they can't be doing too bad. They didn't spend that
much on welfare/charitable work the past 2 (or the past 10 yrs), so the question
becomes to what extent should a religious organization use for-profit enterprise
for commercial purposes vs. charitable purposes?
Hutterite said, "Another example of why I've abandoned organised
religion." Sorry, Hutterite, but I haven't a clue as to what you mean
by 'another example'. But, I am not curious enough, really, to ask (or
care) why you've "abandoned organized religion". Let us know how
unorganized religion works out for you.As I suppose, Michael
Bloomberg, Mayor of NY, is the principal stock holder of 'Bloomberg
Corporation" that owns "Business Week" now. I doubt he has any
direct input regularly into what is editorialized by his media outlets. However,
I would bet no major media outlet has done such a blatantly hateful hack job
since against Mormonism since perhaps the early 20th century. I have to ask, is
this the direction "society" is going, is with trash like the crass and
totally distasteful edition cover picture they did?Since Michael
Bloomberg is so big now on "nannyism", (no 32 oz soda drinks in NYC),
you'd tjink he'd have someone keeping the infantile stuff going on at
Business Week in regards to this 'story'. But, whatever they think
will sell issues, they'll do. Perhaps he could learn that self control is
better than other control.
J-tx, they don't seek to convert people? Well, that's fine,
whatever you want to call it. My point was not with the young men and women that
go on missions for their church. It was with the apparent strong arm tactics
bragged about by the previous poster. I would imagine the young missionaries are
taught to politely disengage from awkward situations. But they
are out teaching, right? They give lessons. As such they should be ready to
tackle some difficult questions. Right? But I would be surprised if they were
ready to deal with someone that is knowledgable about early LDS church history
and its many controversies. It never ceases to amaze me that many
intelligent Mormons are oblivious to most of the legitimate issues concerning
Joseph Smith and the early LDS church. 300K a year for
equipment cost? $25,000 each month? Really? Seems high, Say no. I
don't know if churches should have to make public their finances. I would
be curious though about the LDS churches finances. Of course, if they get
involved in politics like the LDS church maybe they should have to.
I thought the cover was hilarious. Lighten up people. The article could have
been more fair, but the cover cracked me up.
Cinci ManYou state that you feel that if I am given a little bit of
truth then I am just going to ask for more truth, Yes; you are correct, I do
want more transparency and honesty from the LDS church so as to know the truth
that I seek. I wish to know the truth through my own experience and knowledge
and not be deceived. Is that so bad. I do see good things with the LDS church,
but is it all true, if so why with hold the information needed to verify. The
church is not god; it is a man made institution subject to inspection.
Skeptic; Your logic is flawed.However, if you wish to change the
laws to have all churches give full financial disclosure, I would welcome that.
I'd like to see how many $M the pastors make at these Megachurches in
Dallas....whereas the LDS Church would have nothing to hide. Good luck with
getting the laws changed, though. Who are you going to get on your side, I
@ J-TX"Good luck with getting the laws changed, though. Who are
you going to get on your side, I wonder?"It sounds like several
posters (I count at least 8) on this site would like to see the (disclosure)
laws changed, and I'll bet if it were on a national ballot over 50% would
approve. In the UK, churches (including the LDS Church) are required to publish
financial statements, so it's not unheard of. If you look at the LDS UK
statements' you can see that the UK LDS Church brings in more than it
spends, and sends the excess to the U.S. (where we cannot tell what happens to
it). There are no valid arguments for nondisclosure in the U.S.;
disclosure has worked fine in the U.K.. Those of us who would like more
disclosure (from all charities) should contact our elected representatives and
express our views.
@The Tax Man "It sounds like several posters (I count at least
8) on this site would like to see the (disclosure) laws changed, and I'll
bet if it were on a national ballot over 50% would approve."Then
all the churches could weigh in and since more people belong to churches than do
not, they could also write their representatives in congress and express their
views. I think those that want disclosure would be in the minority then. BTW I
have never heard of laws being voted on by national ballot. I think that is the
job of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
@Zoar63First, I did not say laws are voted on by national ballot. I was
posing a hypothetical. Please reread my post and you will see that I suggested
people who would like more disclosure should contact our elected
representatives.Second, I belong to a church (just returned home)
and want disclosure. My guess is many churchgoers would also favor disclosure.
In fact, I'll bet many of the people who have already indicated on this
site that they would like disclosure belong to churches. They can speak for
themselves, but your conclusion that people belonging to churches would not be
in favor of disclosure is certainly wrong in my case and is not supportable.Finally, I stated in my post "there are no valid arguments for
nondisclosure in the U.S.". Since you did not comment on or challenge that
assertion, I suppose you agree. So I must ask, why you believe people belonging
to churches would not be in favor of disclosure? What would be the (valid)
@skepticThere is a common misconception that tax exempt somehow equals
receiving tax money. You are not owed an accounting of what your tax money was
used for - it wasn't your money. Churches are not out spending the money
that you paid in taxes. They owe you nothing.
Finally the Church says something. The folks at this magazine know better than
to put garbage in there. that is one reason I dumped them a couple of years ago.
I could write better. Yes, I could write better.If anyone wants to see financial
report of the church can and do. And I love the Church. I know what I believe an
dI know where the money goes. Could give a great many examples of non-memebers
having their needs met.
In the Old Testament, we learn of a man named Joseph, sold into slavery into
Egypt. He eventually rose to power by interpreting the pharaohs dreams. This led
to Egypt, the most powerful and wealthiest of nations to start a "rainy day
fund", if you will, by storing 7 years of food and supplies to weather out a
forthcoming drought, foreseen by a Prophet. Unlike any other
government or even church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
lives providently, just as it instructs it's adherers. Live within your
means, stay out of debt, give to the Lord through tithes and offerings and save
for a "rainy day", meaning a time when one can't provide.In the churches official response it said,"Today, the Church's
business assets support the Church’s mission and principles by serving as
a rainy day fund." In other words, the church is saving, putting aside the
profits of it's business assets (after paying taxes) for future use in
times of need.I thank Thee, Oh God, for a Prophet, to guide us in
these latter days!
I hope the LDS Church comes out swingin' and sets the record straight when
these attacks are perpetrated on the LDS Church, it’s people or even the
Book of Mormon...personally, I'm sick and tired of all the Mormon bashing,
whether it's in print or over the pulpit by others.
Culture shock is the price of a protracted alienation. For decades, the Church
insulated itself from an outside sphere of worldly ‘gentiles’ it
regarded as hostile to the Kingdom of God restored to Earth. Now times are
changing.Reminds me of the opening scene in Shane when Joey sees
Shane riding in and alerts his father saying “someone’s coming,
Pa!” Joey’s father responds with “let him come.”
The LDS church did nothing wrong by simply trying to set the record straight:
the picture on the magaizine cover was offensive and demeaning and the Bloomberg
article was highly misleading.Tens of thousands of Salt Lake Valley
LDS members will leave the Church but the caravan will keep moving along just
fine without them.
@J-Tx;Did you ever go on an LDS Mission?I did. We were
required to report every single week the number of doors we knocked on, the
number of people we stopped on the street, the number of "lessons" we
gave, the number of referrals we got from members, the number of baptisms
(ESPECIALLY THE NUMBER OF BAPTISMS), etc. We were pushed to "work
harder". It was about numbers, numbers and more numbers. It was about
conversions pure and simple.Looking back now, it was nothing more
than a sales job, without any pay.
Would we really want to see the Mormon religion forever handled with kid gloves?
Treated as something eccentric, quaint, and so fragile and delicate it might
shatter if touched? What dignity is there as America’s religious freak
show huddled away in its own protective little corner?Today’s
media coverage of the Church is mild in contrast to the demonizing of the 1800s
which saw Mormons driven from their homes and across a continent. Our Mormon
forbears of that era knew the meaning of faith. They must be amazed at how
indignant, huffy, and soft much of their posterity has become.
@a voice of reason: I couldn't have said it better. "Fools mock but
they shall mourn" Let those who do not know the deeper meaning of our
doctrine mock, laugh and scorn. We can do what Nephi said, "...heed() them
not" and press on in following the Savior. All we need to do is listen to
the prophet and prayerfully exercise our agency, immerse ourselves in the
scriptures and continue to stand on solid ground in a world in a world of
Mormons have a reputation for being the nice guys, who when getting kicked in
the stomach smile and say "more please!" We should stand up and firmly
call out outright lies and bigoted stereotypes. If we don't we will be
painted by the words and conclusions of others. I thought the Church's
response to the Business Week article was too soft, but then again, I'm not
a public relations expert.
The good news is no one buys and/or reads "BusinessWeek" and everyone
knows that Bloomberg is a die hard liberal who is publishing junk like this in
an attempt to survive. Romney is who they really want, not the LDS Church. The
bad news for Bloomberg and the rest of those who oppose Romney as President,is
that they can't find any dirt on Romney that they can make stick, so they
have to resort to going after the mans faith. I actually feel sorry for
Bloomberg, and agree with "Say No to BO" above....."this incident
says more about Bloomberg than it does about the LDS Church and its
finances". I am a Jon Stuart fan so I hope he didn't get down in the
dirt with Bloomberg.....That would be a waste....He has some talent.
Sow the wind and reap the whirl wind.
Skeptic; members of churches do pay taxes, and if the government can require a
full disclosure of income for a church, then cannot they not control that
church. is that not interfering with an establishment of religion? that brings
up a lot of interesting things even you may not like to have happen.
The article in question was published in an effort to hurt Romney and help
Obama. Almost the entire media and entertainment structure of this country is
geared to be anti-family, anti-religion, and anti-conservative. Honesty and
truthfulness are things of the past with respect to these organizations. Their
agenda about life is all that matters to them. It really is a no-win approach
to respond to them, but perhaps it is something that has to be done. I choose to
not buy their publications, go to their movies, do anything to help them make
money. Newspapers and magazines are loosing circulation in part because people
realize that they are not reporting news but publishing propaganda.
Ilovethejjs,Thank you! I always love reading comments like yours
(whether directed to me or not)."All we need to do is listen to
the prophet and prayerfully exercise our agency, immerse ourselves in the
scriptures and continue to stand on solid ground in a world in a world of
shifting values."Very well said!-------cpafred,The cover portrayal of revelation is contrary in every way
to how members of the LDS Church understand and practice revelation. Whether you
or anyone agrees with the portrayal on the cover or not, it is objectively
apparent that it was designed to patently offend the LDS paradigm of revelation
and in doing so- criticize how prudent and fiscally responsible and such
operations are.Moreover, the official LDS response more than
adequately addressed the most fundamental problem with such a criticism. To
suggest any form of wrong on the LDS Church for making money, spending it, or
managing it- without even slightly examining the beliefs behind being prudent
and what ultimate goal is in mind- is prejudicial. Unless Bloomberg spends its
own money more effectively for the human cause, or can outline a better method-
they have no grounds against the LDS Church.
cpafred,To clarify, by "objectively apparent" I wasn't
trying to say "well duh!" but that to anyone who believes in the LDS
Church, the cover isn't congruous with LDS beliefs on how revelation
functions (for lack of a better word) and the sacredness of it. In this day and
age, and with as much access to information as there is- to design such a letter
means one thing, and it doesn't take rocket science to figure that out.Wayne Rout,"It really is a no-win approach to respond to
them, but perhaps it is something that has to be done."Well
said! That's about how I view it. I see no benefit in any of us worrying
too much about this. It's no-win anyway. For the church, I imagine
addressing these things matters for other good reasons. As for me... I'll
keep moving forward.RanchHand,If you went on a mission
and everything was about numbers, then clearly the focus of the mission for
anyone pushing numbers wasn't congruous with actual LDS teachings.
I've yet to hear anyone push numbers at conference. Although, I do hear
uplifting messages on occasion. ;)
@ A voice of Reason....you sincerely don't think that Mission Presidents
don't "push" numbers? Seriously. It's what they do.
Missions are not only a tool for membership. Which they are. But they're
also the binding force that keeps young men in the Church for a lifetime.
It's so odd that members don't understand the missionary concept of
the Church as is obvious by the responses posted throughout this article.
@Skeptic I see you have bought into the idea that it is only by the grace of
Government that you are allowed to keep anything that you make. Since all that
the Church takes in reduces what the government takes in, government has the
right to demand a full accounting. I think you have confused Government with
God, or maybe Government is your god.The message of the articles by
Bloomberg should be understood: Become a practicing Mormon and become rich. It
is true! The best way to be poor is to not finish high school, do drugs to dull
your mind, and to become a single mom or an irresponsible man who cares not for
the women he impregnates. The best way to be rich is to finish school, learn
good social skills while serving a mission, wait until marriage to have
children, to not do drugs, and to be in a loving long lasting relationship. Some
would say it is simple mathematical probability. Do the right things and your
chance of success goes way up. We call it the Gospel of Jesus Christ.