Comments about ‘New York Times says City Creek Mall 'breathes life' into Salt Lake City’

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Published: Friday, July 12 2013 4:41 p.m. MDT

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Bebyebe
UUU, UT

"Satan has no shortage of spokespeople."

And Jesus will certainly return to a mall.

1aggie
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Yeah, for sure those who live/work around the downtown area are enjoying the new mall.

But just wondering:

Do other churches have large commercial enterprises?

Should churches been engaged in large commercial enterprises?

If churches are engaged in large commercial enterprises--to what end?

What should be done with the profits?

And, if commercial enterprises become extremely lucrative would there ever be a reduction in donations/tithes required of members?

Big turn-off:
LDS members who proudly (pride is a sin) make the unsubstantiated claim that the LDS church is the most or one of the most charitable organization/church.

It would be interesting to hear of the charitable activities of other churches--those who run soup kitchens, homeless shelters etc etc etc.

maclouie
Falconer, NY

@The Taxman,

One post he says he does not know and wish there was transparency, the next post he knows how much the Church gives to third world countries.

Also, Taxman should know the difference between a non-profit entity and a private entity. All private entities are private. Lack of transparency has nothing to do with non-profit tax status.

Since the definition of Church is a body or group of people, I wonder how much time and effort his billionaire friend has donated.

Seems to me, money does not solve problems, people do.

1aggie
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

@ maclouie

1) "One post he says he does not know and wish there was transparency, the knows how much the Church gives to third world countries."
There is no disclosure on the business side and little disclosure on the "charitable" side.

2) "Also, Taxman should know the difference between a non-profit entity and a private entity. All private entities are private. Lack of transparency has nothing to do with non-profit tax status."

Current U.S. law has nothing to do with this discussion. All tax exempt organizations should disclose their activities and results (as other countries require).

3) "Since the definition of Church is a body or group of people, I wonder how much time and effort his billionaire friend has donated. Seems to me, money does not solve problems, people do."

What a silly comment from somebody who has studied Econ 101, and should realize that if somebody is rewarded money for their time and effort and then donates that money to a cause, that person has labored for that cause. If money does not solve problems, then I suppose we should all stop donating money to churches and humanitarian causes?

ClarkHippo
Tooele, UT

@rhappahannock

You said – “I laugh at helping a few thousand be employed in a prosperous Utah economy.”

Over the last four years, our nation has been through an incredibly painful recession and yes, Utah has been affected to, though luckily not as bad as other places. If Utah has had a prosperous economy, it is because of projects like the City Creek Center. Go ahead and scoff, but in my job working for a Salt Lake City hotel, I can’t count how many times during the last few years I have heard people say, “I wish my city had construction projects going on like in downtown Salt Lake City.”

@The Taxman

If the LDS Church is hiding all its financial records, how do you know about the amount of money the LDS Church has given to third world countries? If you’re so keen on others disclosing their finances, than please tell us your source of information.

ClarkHippo
Tooele, UT

@1aggie

You asked, - “Do other churches have large commercial enterprises?”

Many other churches operate hospitals, universities, secondary schools and recreational centers. All of these would require some type of business arm affiliated with that specific church. In what ways do these churches operate each of these should be left up to the individual church.

“Should churches been engaged in large commercial enterprises?”

Depends on how each specific church decides what is in their best interest. Salt Lake City, Utah is the worldwide headquarters of the LDS Church, so I would say the church has in interest in the economic health of the city. I know for certain if Salt Lake City had poverty on crime similar to some sections of Washington D.C. or Chicago, people would demand the LDS Church do something to help the city.

My last comment is why I find a double standard among those critical of the LDS Church. If the church creates jobs, their attacked for not "helping the poor." When they helped the poor, their attacked for not giving people more permanent help.

ClarkHippo
Tooele, UT

@1aggie

“If churches are engaged in large commercial enterprises--to what end?”

Again, depends on what each church decides is in their best interest. I do not believe churches should or need to be involved in a large number of commercial enterprises, but if no one else is willing to step up and create jobs, why should anyone stop a church from doing so?

“What should be done with the profits?”

After the government gets its “fair share” than any responsible company would use its profits the way profits were intended. Invest it back into the business, add jobs, improve and innovate, give more to their workers.

ClarkHippo
Tooele, UT

“And, if commercial enterprises become extremely lucrative would there ever be a reduction in donations/tithes required of members?”

That would be up to the individual churches to decide.

More than once I have heard people say the LDS Church should exempt people who only make X number of dollars from paying tithing, while at the same time requiring more than 10% from people who make Y number of dollars or more. If you agree, that’s your right to do so, but would it really benefit anyone if in time, the LDS Church had a tithing policy as big and has complicated as the U.S. tax code?

"LDS members who proudly (pride is a sin) make the unsubstantiated claim that the LDS church is the most or one of the most charitable organization/church."

Any LDS person making this claim should know better. Worldwide our church is very small, so even if every LDS person gave 99% of their income to charity, we would not be even close to #1. At the same time, I truly believe the LDS Church does a lot with the resources it does have.

wwookie
Payson, UT

If there is something you know about the lds church, then any argument complaining about the church's "secrecy" is rather silly, isn't it?

The "church" also has many for-profit enterprises, that it pays taxes on. I have no idea if they use tithing money, but I would assume the for-profit businesses are self sustaining and do create a lot of jobs across the U.S. and some overseas.

Why spew lies and hate though? How does it hurt you to have an organization that does good for so many?

jmort
SLO, CA

@wwookie

"Why spew lies and hate though?"

Who exactly are you accusing of spewing lies and hate?

Please point to the lies, explain how you know they are lies, and tell us the truth (and how you know that truth). Also, please support your "hatred" accusation with examples.

abtrumpet
Provo, UT

@rhappahannock

I'm sure the Church contributes a far higher percentage of its income to "charitable causes" than you do. After all, these malls and other endeavors are a great investment, and investment can only do more good. It's not hurting anyone, and what's more is that the Church is doing more than almost any other charitable organization for those around the world who are in need. You know that many charitable organizations fund their administrative costs with a percentage of the donations, whereas no donation money goes to fund administrative costs in the Church welfare system. As a cliche example, of course, we talk about Africa. However, I think it's safe to say that Africa needs a lot more than money. How about some new governments? No amount of charitable donations will change that. Why don't we start with the home front?

jmort
SLO, CA

@ abtrumpet

"I'm sure the Church contributes a far higher percentage of its income to "charitable causes" than you do." ..."and what's more is that the Church is doing more than almost any other charitable organization for those around the world who are in need."

How are you sure of either of those statements? One year ago, BloombergBusinessweek reported estimates that the Mormon Church donates about 0.7 percent of its annual income to charity, and the United Methodist Church gives about 29 percent. Do you have better numbers than Bloomberg? I don't know how much the person you called out donates, but it wouldn't be too hard to donate one percent and thereby beat the Bloomberg reported percentage would it?

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "jmort" why should the LDS church give any of its income to charity? It already has its own charitable programs.

Why should they donate to the Salvation Army thrift store when they alraedy have their own thrift stores? As for feeding people, again, why donate to thers when they already have their own food pantries to feed the needy? They have all sorts of programs to help those in need, so why do they have to give anything to a charitable organization outside of the LDS church?

That figure you quote is just direct cash, which the church doesn't like to give. They prefer to give food, clothing, and direct medical assistance. Tell us, how do you estimate the falue of those things?

jmort
SLO, CA

@RedShirt

"To "jmort" why should the LDS church give any of its income to charity? It already has its own charitable programs. Why should they donate to the Salvation Army thrift store when they already have their own thrift stores?"

First of all RedShirt, where did I claim that the Church should give its income to charity? Please point that out for us. My issue is lack of transparency and the ridiculous unsubstantiated claims (like "the church is doing more than almost any other charitable organization for those around the world who are in need") bred by that lack of transparency. And then of course how certain people accuse anybody who desires more transparency as "haters" or somehow against the Church.

I was very excited about your thrift store revelation above, so I called my aunt in Orlando who is a needy frequenter of thrift stores and told her that the church has stores. Although there is a Salvation Army thrift store nearby, she is having trouble finding an LDS thrift store. Perhaps you can direct her to the nearest one?

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "jmort" if it isn't important to you that the LDS church give money directly to charities, why do you complain about it?

They really are quite transparent. Read the article "Humanitarian Aid and Welfare Services Basics: How Donations and Resources Are Used" at the mormonnewsroom web site.

The church is quite transparent in how it uses the money, and accounting practices. Are you unable to find out anything on the welfare system, how it operates, and how money is used? The researchers at Businessweek were able to get the information you seek. Just look at their article "How the Mormons Make Money". Another person who wanted to find out about the LDS welfare system was able to get quite a bit of data. See "LDS welfare system is 'a model that works'" in the DN.

What does it matter where the stores are located. I simply stated that the LDS church already has thrift stores, so the burden is on you to tell me why they must give money to support thrift stores that are not part of the LDS welfare system?

jmort
SLO, CA

@ RedShirt

Why do you make up red herrings and continually attempt to place words in others' mouths?

To wit: you have not answered me as to where I claimed that the Church should give its income to charity, but rather tried to place another red herring (it being important to me that the LDS church give money directly to charities) in my mouth.

You brought up the whole "thrift store" topic (not me) and equated the Church's thrift stores with the Salvation Army thrift stores. The fact is, you cannot substantiate the existence of one LDS thrift store within 2,000 miles of my aunt's Florida house because there isn't one.

Here is a question (actually on-topic rather than a red herring) for you to consider. We know from the Church's UK financial statements (because they are forced to be transparent in the UK) that some of the funds collected for tithing, humanitarian relief, etc. are loaned to the US church rather than used within say 5 years for the purposes collected. If there is the transparency you claim here, what happens to U.S. unused funds? Are below market rate loans made to the for-profit side?

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "jmort" if you don't want the church to give more money to charity, why do you even care how much the church gives away in cash other other charitable organizations?

Would you complain about how poor the DMV is if you didn't think they could do a better job? That is what you are doing here. Simply by the fact that you are complaining about it, shows that you think that the LDS church should be spending money differently.

Again, does it really matter where the DIs are located? The Church already has a thrift store/job training arm in its welfare system, so why should they pay another organization to do what they already do?

Now, for the UK financial statements you should read the church's general policy regarding funds. If they are not used locally, then they are sent up the ladder until they reach the general funds, at which time they are re-allocated and sent elsewhere to do good. For example, if the LDS in the UK had $4,000,000 left over, that money could be sent to LDS HQ, then re-allocated for the continent of Africa.

Pianoman
Salt Lake City, UT

@jmort

The reason you will not find an LDS thrift store in Florida or anywhere close to there is because most people do not like the LDS church due to misconceptions and what not. Just like any minority, they have to establish business and do good in their home territory where misconceptions are less frequent and where they have support.

I'm not quite sure what your problem is or why you are trying to start an argument. The LDS church does good. Period. It can't compete with the likes of Catholic charities or provide as much assistance as it would like because it goes back to the misconception issue and not having support outside of its "home territory". So sometimes the church will team up with other churches to help out.

I remember as a Scout I would do canned food drives and people would ask me what church I was affiliated with and I would tell them and then they would slam the door in my face all because of misconceptions they heard about.

PS
Look up "Mormon Helping Hands" if you're not satisfied with the church trying to help out with what it can do.

Rikitikitavi
Cardston, Alberta

Ever heard of the perpetual education fund? Brilliant and inspired program where needy members get higher learning and skills to help themselves and their families. Hugely successful in helping so many better themselves. No hand-outs here. Just loans to get skills training and higher education. Wow!! Give it a rest already!!

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