Comments about ‘Reuters publishes speculative story on Mormon church finances’

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Published: Monday, Aug. 13 2012 7:00 p.m. MDT

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DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

NO rational or truthful person can believe that the fact we have a Mormon businessman running for President is not the motivation for the arrogant, condescending and denigrating tone of this "news" story from Reuters. Or the widespread repetition it will receive among the mainstream media/Obama acolytes.

The investment arm of the LDS Church is beholden to its members and leadership, and it is NONE of the government's, nor Reuters, business what they do with their money. (Nor mine, since I am not LDS.)

Say,what has Rev. Jeremiah Wright's church done with it's money over the last 20 years? Bet Reuters never looks at that at all, let alone print anything about it.

This political season is the most truth deprived ever, and instead of seeking truth, many in the media are those farthest from it, with no curiosity about what is fed to them.


DN article:
“It suggests-inaccurately-that ALL of the church's senior missionaries "volunteer for its for-profits,"

Reuters article:
“It counts more than 55,000 in its missionary forces, primarily youths focused on converting new members but ALSO seniors who volunteer for its NONPROFITS, such as the Polynesian Cultural Center, which bills itself as Hawaii's No. 1 tourist attraction, AND for-profit businesses owned by the church.” 

Mr. Walker,
Not seeing the word ALL in describing seniors work in the Reuter's article. It appears as a list of various volunteering activities.


@DN Subscriber
The investment arm of the Church certainly is NOT beholden to the members (or most of the leadership). The U.S. Church is a corporation sole, with no shareholders or board of directors. I suggest you read about corporations sole and perhaps restate your comment.

You complain about the tone of the article, but I didn't find it arrogant or condescending at all. And I note you did not point out any errors.

I will point out one inaccuracy in the DN article. The Reuters article did not say all seniors work for the "for-profit" branch. Ironic that you would get the facts wrong when complaining about the speculative nature of the article.

Springville, UT

Don't be so thin-skinned, The Church is secretive. If a big institution is so secretive, there will be speculation about it. There are then two choices. Open up, or accept the speculation.

@ DN Subscriber, when you say "the LDS Church is beholden to its members and leadership", as a Mormon, I'll tell you that is dead wrong. I have zero, and I mean zero, say over the financial affairs of the Church. The concept of common consent is lip service only, having gone from the idea of consent to unquestioned acceptance of decisions made by the leadership. We don't even see a financial report in general conference any more.

We can debate where and how the Church makes money and spends it, but it is indeed speculative. And as I said, live with the speculation, including any errors or misunderstandings that come from speculation. It seems to me that more openness would be a better way to advance the mission of the Church rather than have the focus be on some of this other stuff. But then, no one asked me, not even the church that goes through the motions of asking for my consent.

San Diego, CA

What a deal! Pay tithe, my job, I answer to: Father in Heaven. Now, if I didn't believe this I might not pay tithe, however, I like helping out my fellow humans, and I can trust my Church to help me with this. My hope is that whoever helps you with this is as trustworthy.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

Romans 15:1-2
1 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.

Joan Watson

One who is in a position to know what is needed for the L.D.S chruch to do all it does to uplift and bless mankind, knows that it takes, among other things in todays world, money. But it is money wisely and with just cause allocated. Even before the church was organized in 1830 it had its dissenters, vocal disgruntled apostates, and violent or snide critics. Have such stopped or destroyed its progress? Hardly.

Cedar City, UT

Does anyone think Reuters would be doing a hatchet piece on the LDS Church if Romney wasn't the presumptive nominee? Three guesses, and the first two don't count. Religious bigotry IDENTIFIED.

Liberal Ted
Salt Lake City, UT

I suppose one can give to one of thousands of charities in the US. Where 75% of the money goes to overhead costs and paying the CEO, and 25% of your donation goes to the needy.

Or we can pay 35-40% of our income to the federal government. Where they borrow 40% on every dollar given to them and plunge us further in debt.

Or pay into the social security system, where they send notices out (The one I receive states that everything goes as planned, I will get 75% back of the money I invested). Isn't that a steal! I automatically lose 25% of my money on that investment. And that is if everything goes as planned. Which we know it's going to be out of money before too long.

Who cares what the church has. Harry Reid needs to open up his records and show us the taxes he has paid. Same with Nancy and others of this regime. The president needs to stop protecting Holder with executive privelage.

Huntsville, UT

The comments here are so sickly sweet I need to go take a shower to get the sticky off.


Well, what is up with the money? Why is it a secret? If it is all on the up and up, why don't they proudly come forward with the details? It reminds of a guy in the news recently who said he would only show latest two years of taxes, and so far has only showed part of 2010, and none of 2011. If you are a church or if you are running for president, why are you keeping your money details hidden? Can anybody think of a GOOD reason?

Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: Esquire Springville, UT
"Don't be so thin-skinned, The Church is secretive."

The money in your pocket belongs to you right up until the moment you put it in an envelope, give instructions on the category where you want it applied, and give it to a member of your bishopric.

I am reasonably comfortable that the LDS Church spends their funds more judicially than the Federal Government spends my tax dollar.

Dave D
Pocatello, ID

"Instead, Henderson draws mostly from what he calls "concerned or disgruntled current and former Mormons" who claim that the church "spends too much on real estate and for-profit ventures, neglecting charity work." His primary source for information and analysis is Dr. Ryan T. Cragun, a sociology professor at the University of Tampa and a returned LDS missionary who disassociated himself from the church during his graduate studies and who no longer considers himself a Mormon."

Dr. Cragun may be a former Mormon, but the Henderson did not draw on this particular characteristic of Cragun, he drew upon his academic research. Just because somebody left the Church it doesn't mean that they can't provide accurate information about the Church. Is the article speculative? Of course, but it uses the resources available to present as accurate a picture of the Church's finances as possible. Calling the article speculative ignores the larger problem of the Church's lack of transparency.

Salt Lake City, UT

What does the church expect when it has something called the "Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints"?

Churches are absolutely fair game in economic reporting.

Salt Lake City, Utah

"Well, what is up with the money?"

I'm not quite sure why you think you have any need to know who the sacred funds are spent. You can rest assured that the LDS Church hasn't had any $820,000 parties in Las Vegas like the GSA did ..... on the taxpayer's dollar.

If I lived in California I'd be less worried about how the LDS Cnurch spends their money and a whole lot more concerned about your cities that are going bankrupt and the billions of dollars in new debt the State of California is adding on top the the billions they already owe.

Tooele, UT

Re: "Churches are absolutely fair game in economic reporting."

Sure they are. No one's suggesting otherwise.

The point of the article was that Reuters "reporters" are speculating about Church finances, and that talking to a few disgruntled axe-grinders is unlikely to give them an accurate perspective.

Don't blame the Church for their sophomoric speculations. Or for pointing out how a couple politically-motivated hacks got it wrong.

It actually IS considered journalistic malpractice -- at least among real journalists -- to represent, as true, the "investigative journalist's" speculation, and the bile of the disingenuous disgruntled.

And, that's true, even when the story's target has what the media consider the unmitigated effrontery to refuse to comment.

Though it might jeopardize a "reporter's," or a "news" outlet's chances of making a buck -- or a political point -- we still have a right to force them to make up their own fiction.

And to complain about it afterwards.

No one died and left the media in charge.

Riverdale, UT

I think it interesting that separation of Church and State is shouted from the rooftops when it comes to any Church taking a position in the public arena, yet those same individuals blowing the whistle and calling foul, become the Gladys Kravitz or for those who can't remember back that far, the Nosey Ned's that feel entitled to stick their noses in and rummage through someone else's affairs. How would any of us like someone going through our personal finances, yet there are people who would lick their chops at the chance and typically it's so they can look down their noses and tell themselves how much better they are. It's a thin line I'm drawing, and yes I'm well aware of all the boundaries my critics will want to paint me into for my opinion, when a charitable donation is made that's then end of it. You either trust it to be dealt with properly or you find a different means to donate, and as long as there is separation of church and state then it's time to..."Move along folks...there's nothing to see here".

Johnny Triumph
American Fork, UT

Let's continue to blow the world away by building more Chapels and Temples, by continued offering of Church sponsored university educations, by expanded welfare and humanitarian aid efforts. As the world honestly analyzes what the Church does in bringing good to those suffering and in need it will change its tune. Except that forces of evil don't want that to happen which will lead to continued attempts to show the Church as unethical in its efforts.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Sounds like the source for the story would have made a good member of the editorial board of the Nauvoo Expositor.

Kathy Riordan
Fort Myers, FL

The following statement from the article is misleading and at least partially incorrect: "Since U.S. law does not require religions to provide full disclosure of their finances, many U.S. faith groups — including the LDS Church and the Catholic Church — do not."

In fact, most, if not all, U.S. Catholic dioceses do publish their financial statements regularly for the faithful of the diocese and others to see, and most, if not all, Catholic parishes do the same.

Phoenix, AZ

The Church preaches a gospel of the light and truth of Jesus while keeping members in the dark with the slogan ignorance is bliss. If it is god's work there shouldn't be any need for secrecy or the need to impose ignorance when the church teaches that the light of god is intelligence. Transparence and truth are god's way; cover up and ignorance is the devil's tool.

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