Reuters publishes speculative story on Mormon church finances


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  • I Bleed Blue Las Vegas, NV
    Aug. 17, 2012 9:09 p.m.

    Glad the Lord is in charge and not Reuters.

  • The Taxman Los Angeles, CA
    Aug. 16, 2012 10:44 p.m.

    @Cinci Man

    I agree with you that both churches (Seventh Day Adventist and LDS) do a lot of good. The main difference in focus I see is the bulk of LDS money spent primarily supports and benefits members (church buildings, temples, bishop's storehouses, etc.) while a lot of the Seventh Day Adventist services (hospitals, schools) benefit members and nonmembers equally.

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    Aug. 16, 2012 3:23 p.m.

    I looked at the Seventh Day Adventist website and they do indeed have many admirable pieces in place in serving their fellow man. They can certainly be admired by all for what they accomplish. I also looked at the LDS Church website and they, too, have much to be admired for in their service to their fellow man. Instead of assigning judgement as to which is a better return on investment, why can't a Reuter's or Bloomberg or any other article simply report facts and see the good in things. They often choose to give partial information in a twisted fashion to suit their own agenda and tell you the conclusions to draw from their biased information. That is the level that journalism has lowered itself to. When an article gives partial facts and draws conclusions for you, watch out. There's always much more to the story. Celebrate the good in churches. Dark journalism can only give it a bad name.

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    Aug. 16, 2012 2:55 p.m.

    Like many, you believe an article to be complete that is lacking perspective. How many Seventh Day Adventist temples are there to seal families forever as a unit? How many Bishop's Storehouses do they have? How many farms and ranches do they operate? How many food banks do they supply? How many Canning Facilities do the furnish and manage? Thanks for sharing the whole story of the 'bank for their buck'. How many "for profit" businesses are in place that can be converted into resources for a rainy day? LDS Church buildings are large for purposes that may not be present in some other churches. People are served by far more than membership or church attendance, which is a very large part of the LDS Church goal. Hospitals are very important and helpful to communities as well, and for that, the Seventh Day Adventist Church should be respected and admired, which I do. People being blessed by all that the LDS Church provides is more important than membership because Jesus taught us to bless others with our service.

  • donn layton, UT
    Aug. 16, 2012 1:06 p.m.

    RE:Cinci Man,I'm comfortable with turning over my donations to the Church, whose finances are managed by prophets, seers, and revelators.

    (Reuters)The Seventh-day Adventist Church, which had about 17 million members a year ago, appears to be getting a better return on investment: It builds smaller meeting houses and lots of schools and hospitals, and its numbers are swelling faster than the Mormons', said Stewart. The Adventists claim a million new members join annually, compared with every three years or so for the Mormons.
    "The Seventh-day Adventists clearly have a much more expansive humanitarian project in terms of building hospitals and medical. The Mormon church now has no hospitals.

    By their fruits ye shall know them, true. Fruit can be Doctrine and Christians have the right to inspect the fruit of Mormon Doctrine.( John 1:1-4,14 God becomes man not man becomes God.Bad fruit. see Aseity.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Aug. 16, 2012 10:17 a.m.

    RE: Downtownchrisbrown

    Your statement that you have yet to meet an academic sociologist that wasn't diassociated from reality strongly indicates that you need to get a life and get out a little more into the world: or at least get a library card and do some in house reading and study up a bit.

  • Downtownchrisbrown ,
    Aug. 16, 2012 8:41 a.m.

    I have yet to meet an academic sociologist that wasn't disassociated from reality

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    Aug. 16, 2012 7:20 a.m.

    I'm comfortable with turning over my donations to the Church, whose finances are managed by prophets, seers, and revelators. Jesus Christ runs this Church and one either has a testimony of that or they do not. I, among many, do have that testimony. Judging from the impact of the Church, blessing the lives in ALL the important ways, and given the solvency of the Church, the proof is in the pudding. "By their fruits ye shall know them."

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Aug. 15, 2012 9:16 p.m.

    @Stephen Kent Ehat

    How does your example (of somebody using already disclosed information to support a claim of corruption) prove that those who want disclosure have an axe to grind against the Church? It doesn't.

    I think ALL charities should publish. Take churches for example: we taxpayers build the roads to their doors (making them accessible), we supply the systems to deliver their electricity, provide police protection for them, fight the fire if they catch on fire, etc., etc. It is not too much to ask for some public disclosure in return, so those same taxpayers providing all those free services to them can see which charities are using their donations wisely.

    So, using your reasoning, I have an axe to grind against ALL charities (which of course is absurd).

  • The Taxman Los Angeles, CA
    Aug. 15, 2012 9:05 p.m.

    When you have two entities, one for-profit and one not-for-profit, and one controls the other, there is too much opportunity to gain advantage not intended by framers of the non-profit statutes. Therefore, non-profits should not be allowed to transact with commonly controlled for-profit companies, or at a minimum, all such transactions should be disclosed to the public.

    For example, if a Church or other non-profit, takes in $7 billion (or any other amount), it should not be allowed to loan that money to a for-profit business owned by it. Loans made to for-profit divisions at favorable interest rates give those for-profits unfair advantage over competitors who must obtain their capital from banks. This is a "no-brainer", but seems to be beyond the comprehension of so many.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    Aug. 15, 2012 7:22 p.m.

    Every catholic parish I ever belonged to have published its budget. What it takes in. What it spends on religious Ed. What it spends on the light bill. What it spends on its tithe and where it goes. Volunteer groups that work within the parish like st Vincent and knights of Columbus I know what contributions are made and where there money goes. In fact you can google and see how much has been given to diocese and parishes and st vincents and K of C's over the years.

  • killpack Sandy, UT
    Aug. 15, 2012 7:19 p.m.

    I absolutely claim charitable donations on my taxes! I do not pay my tithing to be seen of men. Nor do I pay tithing to get a tax deduction, which by the way, are two totally different things. Doing alms, simply to be seen of men, can have great economic and social benefits. Paying tithing, simply for a tax deduction, is irrational and in no way beneficial economically or socially. No one would (or no one should) know about it except the IRS. Privately paying tithing as a way to practice my religion is perfectly acceptable as I am free to do. The tax write off as a result is incidental. Remember cause and effect. I do not pay tithing to get a tax deduction; if there was no tax deduction, I would still pay tithing. However, I do get a tax deduction because I pay tithing. Two totally different things. Either way, I didn't ask to file my tax returns in the first place. That action is forced upon me by the federal and state governments on pain of imprisonment and fine. Believe me, if given the option, I would definitely not file my income taxes.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    Aug. 15, 2012 7:13 p.m.

    Every catholic parish I've ever belonged to has printed its budget and shortfall. Including separate humanitarian efforts within the parish like st Vincent depaul. I know what they took in. I know how much they spent on utilities. I know who they gave money to.

    In fact you can find financial information how much was donated to parishes, diocese and related groups like KoC.

  • donn layton, UT
    Aug. 15, 2012 6:28 p.m.

    RE: Jared I see no need for greater transparency and thus do not see a "lack of transparency" as a problem.
    ...the bishop, also, shall receive his support, or just remuneration for all his services in the church.((D&C 42:73)
    … it is meet that my servant Joseph Smith, Jun should have a house built, in which to live and translate.(D&C 41:7) Yet the inspired version is not a standard work? Then somewhat transparent.

    Now,not. Reuters “CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS”, Several countries around the world require religious groups and charities to file financial reports(for transparency), including Canada. The country has only 185,000 Mormon members but a wealth of statistics on them. Taking total reported Canadian donations and dividing by the estimated number of active Mormons and family financial data from the World Bank indicates that active Canadian Mormons give slightly less than 8 percent of their income to the church. Assuming that active U.S. Mormons give at a similar rate and adjusting for higher U.S. income, total U.S. tithing would amount to more than $6 billion, about $6.5 billion annually between the U.S. and Canada.

  • Mukkake Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 15, 2012 4:48 p.m.


    So do you not claim your charitable donations on your taxes?

    I guess anyone who claims charitable donations on their taxes then are doing their "alms before men".

  • LordPillsbury Mcminnville, OR
    Aug. 15, 2012 3:51 p.m.

    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 governments or even other churches, who spend all that they have and accumulate massive debt, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, led by a living modern day Prophet, 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" or when times get tough.

    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!

  • Jared Average, SE
    Aug. 15, 2012 3:50 p.m.

    Re: Dave D "Calling the article speculative ignores the larger problem of the Church's lack of transparency."

    That begs the question that a "lack of transparency" is in fact a problem. If the LDS Church is Christ's church, then donations are all used wisely (with very few exceptions due to the fact that people are not infallible) and in line with how Christ would use the funds and there is no need for "transparency." If it is not Christ's church, then there could be the need for more transparency. I believe the former so I see no need for greater transparency and thus do not see a "lack of transparency" as a problem (hence my reference to your statement begging the question).

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Aug. 15, 2012 2:14 p.m.

    RE: Killpack and Rifleman,

    There are two issues you are overlooking. One is that the article is not about personal donations of charity. It is about tax free church corporations that receive and manage millions of dollars of peoples tax free money. Second, is that the Church is represented as the Church of Jesus Christ here on earth and to compare its conduct to secular politics is like comparing Jesus to Caesar. Hopefully the church represents a higher standard for all to understand and follow.

  • killpack Sandy, UT
    Aug. 15, 2012 1:49 p.m.

    Dave D, I'm guessing the LDS Church publicizes its humanitarian efforts to appease greedy, sign-seeking, adulterous media men and politicians. They shouldn't. When the Lord was questioned by the 'chief priests and elders, he answered nothing.' The LDS Church church should do likewise. They shouldn't have to answer to these clowns. How would you like it if Reuters or BW came to your house and asked how much money you made or what you did with it? You'd probably tell them to take a hike.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Aug. 15, 2012 12:46 p.m.

    rE: skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    "If it is god's work there shouldn't be any need for secrecy ...."

    Are you suggesting that it would make one iota of difference to you if the LDS Church published a public account of their finances? It is a sure bet that the LDS Church manages sacred funds a whole lot better than Obama is handling the taxpayer's hard earned dollars.

    People who worry themselves over the LDS Church's finances might be better served worrying a little more about our national debt.

  • Dave D Pocatello, ID
    Aug. 15, 2012 12:26 p.m.

    The notion that some of you are presenting that the Church keeps its' finances secret is due to biblical edict seems absurd to me. In fact, the Church publicizes its' humanitarian work. The only figures that we can be sure of--because the Church releases them--are the ones which we are supposedly suppose to keep secret.

  • killpack Sandy, UT
    Aug. 15, 2012 11:29 a.m.

    skeptic, the Bible states, and states very clearly, that when we do alms, we do so in secret. That is straight from the Bible. Doing as you have suggested, that is to disclose charitable contributions, is the exact opposite of what Jesus taught and is what the 'hypocrites do.' The Bible teaches transparency? Are you kidding me? It's pretty obvious to me that, on the contrary, God believes in privacy. What I donate, and what my church donates, is and should be between He and I and He and my church. There is nothing dishonest in doing exactly what Bible says: 'Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them.'

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 15, 2012 11:28 a.m.

    Media, Ivy League schools, Hollywood, and wealthy nations have ignored religion for a long long time and now these powerful institutions are crumbling because their bias is old, stale, dull and colorless.

  • johnnylingo62 Gray, TN
    Aug. 15, 2012 11:05 a.m.

    I think if you're a member of the LDS Church and voluntarily donate money to the Church, then you believe that this is done in "good faith" according to your testimony of the blessings you personally receive by giving this offering to the Lord.
    If you are a member of the LDS Church and you choose to NOT donate money to the Church you can still attend and receive all the blessings the gospel provides, but without the opportunity to attend the Temple.
    At Ward Conferences (local congregation meeting held once/yr) you have the opportunity to "Sustain" the Leadership of the Church, including the prophet and all General and Local Leaders. This your vote to show, or not show if you abstain, your support for the leadership decisions.
    It's a free agency church - you can give or not give according to your own intentions.

  • Just an Observer Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 15, 2012 10:49 a.m.

    @nick humphrey:
    I won't pretend to be an expert on LDS Church finances compared to those of other religions, but you asked "what is the UMC doing that the mormon church can't seem to do?" I would change the question to, "what is the LDS Church doing that another church might not be doing?" If that were the question, at least two things come to mind (and there are probably many more): the building of temples, at a cost of millions of dollars each, and the subsidization of education at BYU and other church-sponsored universities and schools.

  • donn layton, UT
    Aug. 15, 2012 10:21 a.m.

    RE: Baccus0902 ,Not so in the mormon church, where members, regardless their economic power can enjoy an equally modern and up to date chapel.
    For the love of money is the root of all evil:(1 Tim 6:10). When a church regulates the giving of its people or requires a certain amount of financial giving in order to receive certain privileges related to salvation(Celestial kingdom). Like the Church of Scientology teaches that people need to discover their true nature through a process called "auditing." This is accomplished by "clearing Engrams" from one's life. One L. A. Times article on Scientology, estimated that it would cost a full "Operating Thetan 8" participant between $200,000 to $400,000 from the beginning of the lessons to the completion. Without these courses, the adherent is unable to clear himself of these unwanted "Engrams." Using finances as a requirement to reach salvation goals is much different than what Jesus, Paul, and Peter preached.

  • killpack Sandy, UT
    Aug. 15, 2012 8:52 a.m.

    nick humphrey, you don't know how much the LDS Church gives away nor does Businessweek. And that is how it should be. The Bible teaches us to do things not to be seen or to be rewarded of men, but to glorify God. Otherwise it turns into a petty contest, as you have just attempted. "My church pays more to charity. No, my church does." Petty and childish bickering. No wonder the LDS Church doesn't disclose financial information.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Aug. 15, 2012 8:45 a.m.

    The LDS Church has as one of its mottos: Do what is right and let the chips fall where they may. In god's work the Bible teaches the right thing is honesty, transparency and truth. So why are so many supposed righteous LDS posting opposition to doing things god's way because they fear others may see weakness in their ways. If others find weakness in your ways then be thankful for the opportunity to better your ways. Trust in your god, not n your weakness..

  • Stephen Kent Ehat Lindon, UT
    Aug. 15, 2012 6:22 a.m.


    Of Utes Fan you ask: "What evidence do you have to back up your claim that 'those who are demanding that the Church open up its financial information for all to see are those who have an axe to grind against the Church'?"

    Consider the mind-boggling lunacy of trespassers who call themselves "tenants" (the Occupy San Francisco activists) and how they seize upon the financial disclosures of the Archdiocese of San Francisco to make the absurd point that: "As of June 2010 the Archdiocese of San Francisco reported $176,337,895 in assets. It is a century's old criticism to point out that the Catholic Church upholds property, wealth, and position above humanity, humility and ministry. They are no different than the religious bureaucrats and charlatans who opposed Jesus when he taught 2000 years ago. This is one of the many reasons that The Rebellion is on the streets." (That's a quote; Google it.)

    What a bunch of hogwash. No one can seriously dispute that such a diatribe of slander would not be leveled against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- in spades -- by those with similar axes to grind.

  • nick humphrey kent, WA
    Aug. 15, 2012 2:34 a.m.

    "The church teaches its members to live within their means and put a little money aside for life's unexpected events," Purdy told Henderson. "As a church, we live by the same principle."

    how much is "a little"? in a Businessweek article, dated July 10, 2012, it stated that the mormon church only gives 0.7% of it's annual income to charity, whereas the United Methodist Church gives 29%. what is the UMC doing that the mormon church can't seem to do?

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Aug. 14, 2012 9:10 p.m.

    Like so many others, I have read these articles and have been quite disappointed by them. The underlying tone is always that of the socialist / communist - Money is bad.

    Money is neither good nor bad -- it's a tool. It can be used for good, for selfish desires, or to pay the rent. So many seem to think that if the church has the means, it must have come by them dishonestly -- that if anyone has means, they are obviously a crook. True, some do scheme to extract their fortunes, but not everyone and a good many people and institutions do wonderful things with their finances.

    In addition many seem to feel that the Mormon church and others (though they are rarely specific with which others) should be donating every penny to the poor. It is not in the volume that is given, but in how money is spent that makes the difference. Sure, the church can hand everyone a hundred dollar bill and consider itself generous. But what would be accomplished? Instead, the church digs wells, educates thousands, promotes lasting business ventures, invests in futures. But you'll not hear this story in the news.

  • JRJ Pocatello, ID
    Aug. 14, 2012 9:08 p.m.

    Notice that it is seldom the Church who is "complaining" about the media. It appears to be those with a rotten attitude or an ax to grind. It is enough for me to know that all buildings are paid for upon completion, humanitarian aid that is donated is 100% used to help those in need (there is no one paid to take care of that), missionaries, both young and old, are volunteers and know what they are volunteering to do, untold hours and dollars are constantly being channeled to disaster areas such as currently the Philipines, Iran (probably through the Red Crescent organization) and other areas. We just need to help, we don't need the notoriety. None who are 'converted' are in the dark. In fact, it is just the opposite. In a world of disasters and discouragement, we have light and joy.

  • The Taxman Los Angeles, CA
    Aug. 14, 2012 7:42 p.m.

    We can trifle about the authors motives or whether they nailed the numbers correctly, but I'd rather discuss the real issues raised by the article.

    For example, the Church owns a substantial (I believe the word "vast" was used) amount of U.S. ranch and farmland. How much (food producing) land should be owned by a Church? For example, would we be comfortable if the Church of Scientology owed 90% of U.S. farmland?

    How many small U.S. farmers and ranchers have been bought-out by the for-profit branch of the Church and how many more will be bought out in the future?

    How do the remaining small farmers and ranchers compete with the huge for-profit Church-owned agribusiness that receives low interest rate loans from the non-profit branch?

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Aug. 14, 2012 7:26 p.m.

    @Utes Fan
    What evidence do you have to back up your claim that "those who are demanding that the Church open up its financial information for all to see are those who have an axe to grind against the Church"?

    Church leaders and those managing funds are human beings (i.e., fallible), so I don't think it unreasonable for members to have an accounting of how mortals have spent the money they contributed.

    Our religion is not a democracy, but stewardship (including reporting back) is practiced in matters not involving money, so why not in matters involving money?

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 14, 2012 6:51 p.m.

    As usual, those who are demanding that the Church open up its financial information for all to see are those who have an axe to grind against the Church. It is obvious to me that those people would love to see all the financial information of the Church so that they can spend their every hour finding ever more to criticize and scrutinize.

    It is obvious to me to think that the Church would never give in to such demands.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Aug. 14, 2012 6:42 p.m.

    I'm a liberal. I don't believe in organized religion and that includes the LDS church.

    Having said that and while I do not agree with many of the LDS church social and political positions. I do believe that I have never seen a more honest group of men in the leadership of any organization, religious or secular, as the men leading the Church of Jesuschrist of Latter Day Saints.

    I come from a country 90% Catholic, you can see reflected in their buildings the economic power of the members of that congregation.

    Not so in the mormon church, where members, regardless their economic power can enjoy an equally modern and up to date chapel. Raising the goals and standards of its members as well as the neighborhood where the LDS buiildings are located.

    The church spends millions in countries that may take a long time before they will be able to finance themselves. But the spreading of the gospel continues.

    As a good liberal I have to be truthful with the facts.

  • Stephen Kent Ehat Lindon, UT
    Aug. 14, 2012 5:32 p.m.

    Ms. Riordan is partially correct. The quoted sentence from the article uses the word "full." It indeed is true that many U.S. faith groups do not provide "full" disclosure, just as the article states.

    Many entities within the Catholic Church do disclose much. But not all and apparently none "full." The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints happens, in fact, to be one of the largest contributors to Catholic Charities and often the two join forces for the good of mankind. But neither Church seems to make a "public scene" of it.

    As an example of some of the disclosures of which Ms. Riordan speaks, the Archidiocese of San Francisco discloses much (Google: "Central Administrative Office of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco for FY2010") though it is not "full." (See page 5.)

    Similarly the Diocese of Venice, which includes Ft. Myers, FL. (Google: "DOV Audited Financials 2009-2010"; see page 7.)

    The Ft. Myers parishes of Blessed Pope John XXIII, The Resurrection of Our Lord, St. Cecilia, St. Columbkille, Our Lady Of Light, St. Francis Xavier, and St. Therese, do not seem to publish any of their finances, at least not on their websites.

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    Aug. 14, 2012 5:01 p.m.

    Shopping malls don't build themselves.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Aug. 14, 2012 3:06 p.m.

    RE: skeptic, Transparence and truth are god's way. True,

    Paul advises the church at Corinth about the proper handling and distribution of church funds—and the need to do so in an aboveboard and accountable fashion. The Corinthians were collecting a substantial offering to be distributed to the poor in distant Jerusalem. Paul assures them that Titus, whom they knew to be a man of integrity, and another highly regarded man (unnamed in the text) had been "chosen by the churches to accompany us as we carry the offering" (2 Corinthians 8:19).

    Paul assures the Corinthians that his group would administer the funds "in order to honor the Lord himself and to show our eagerness to help" (2 Corinthians 8:19). Paul did not resent the direct participation of the other two character-approved men in this process of watching over the funds. he welcomed it. In fact, it is likely he initiated their involvement.

    Any Christian or Mormon leaders who resist financial accountability make themselves suspect. Leaders who put too much trust in themselves should not be trusted by others.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Aug. 14, 2012 12:30 p.m.

    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.

  • Kathy Riordan Fort Myers, FL
    Aug. 14, 2012 12:29 p.m.

    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.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 14, 2012 11:47 a.m.

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

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Aug. 14, 2012 11:12 a.m.

    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.

  • Pugsley53 Riverdale, UT
    Aug. 14, 2012 11:10 a.m.

    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".

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Aug. 14, 2012 11:06 a.m.

    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.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Aug. 14, 2012 10:35 a.m.

    Re: HotGlobe SAN RAFAEL, CA
    "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.

  • Mukkake Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 14, 2012 10:35 a.m.

    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.

  • Dave D Pocatello, ID
    Aug. 14, 2012 10:33 a.m.

    "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.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Aug. 14, 2012 10:29 a.m.

    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.

  • HotGlobe SAN RAFAEL, CA
    Aug. 14, 2012 10:08 a.m.

    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?

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Aug. 14, 2012 9:33 a.m.

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

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 14, 2012 8:54 a.m.

    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.

  • JohnH Cedar City, UT
    Aug. 14, 2012 8:51 a.m.

    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.

  • Joan Watson TWIN FALLS, ID
    Aug. 14, 2012 8:32 a.m.

    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.

  • path6 San Diego, CA
    Aug. 14, 2012 8:11 a.m.

    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.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Aug. 14, 2012 7:19 a.m.

    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.

  • cpafred SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Aug. 14, 2012 12:05 a.m.

    @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.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Aug. 13, 2012 11:53 p.m.

    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 Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 13, 2012 8:51 p.m.

    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.