Published: Thursday, Oct. 3 2013 11:45 p.m. MDT
By their fruits ye shall know them!
Utah is generous primarily to one organization: LDS churchIf you
take out the tithing donations to the LDS church then Utah's level of
generosity is average at best.How much of the tithing that the LDS
church members goes towards truly charitable causes such as feed the hungry,
clothing the naked, giving comfort to the distressed and providing health and
medical care to the poor? I understand that most of the tithing money is spent
on buildings, including chapels and temples, missions for those who can't
afford to support themselves and even some real estate ventures including farms
and other cash generating properties. I might be wrong but that is
what I have read in newspapers that have quoted LDS church spokespersons.
Why does Utah get the credit for the Mormons in this community! The difference
between say Colorado and Utah is the Mormons!
The LDS Church does a lot of good, but building churches, temples and malls
seems to take a higher priority over feeding the hungry and clothing the
naked.From 1985 through 2009, the LDS Church provided approximately
$1.2 billion worth of humanitarian aid ($328 million in cash and $884 million in
commodities). Yes, that’s a lot, but let's put that into
perspective.The City Creek Mall cost more than $1.2 billion to
build, and total building costs for the entire City Creek Center project will be
several billion dollars.In 2012, Time magazine estimated the lDS
church receives $7 billion annually in tithing. For simplicity's sake,
let's assume the average from 1985 to 2009 was $5 billion per year.That suggests the Church collected about $125 billion in tithing over that
25-year period. The $1.2 billion humanitarian aid provided over that same time
period is less than 1% of the total received from tithing. Since we
we’ve been married, my wife and I have donated a total of about $50,000 of
tithing. This means approximately $485 of our tithing donations have gone
towards humanitarian aid.
@Fender Bender, ThinkmanDoes it matter where the money goes? I mean
if you believe the church is being run by direct revelation from God, and the
brethren are in tune to that direction, does it matter how your money gets
spent? Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't there a spot on the tithing
slips that can be used for humanitarian aid?On a lighter note, the
Government shut down due to budget concerns. The city of Detroit has filed for
bankruptcy. California as a whole is on the brink of Bankruptcy as well. but the
church keeps plugging along. Focusing on the big three: perfecting the saints,
redeeming the dead, and proclaiming the gospel.The church does good
throughout the world. Don't get money confused with charity. Money does not
correlate into service or charity, members of the church are asked to sacrifice
their means/time/resources for their fellow man which brings forth blessings.
Isn't it a greater sacrifice to use your money to help rather than using
the church's billions to simply "hire out" the service? The church
is perfect, not the members in it.
Irrelevant,If you want to go the the LDS church temples and you
don't make contributions to the LDS church and mark "tithing" on
the donations slip, then you won't get a temple recommend and hence,
won't be able to go to the temple.Money isn't the only way
to donate to charitable causes, but building and maintaining temples and the
"services" that are conducted in those temples isn't charitable.The church keeps "plugging along" and building more temples
because the members who want to attend those temples are required to pay
tithing. The LDS church has in effect assured itself to continue to thrive
because of the the generosity of its members to pay tithing.
Once again, Utah is recognized for its culture of generosity’And yet, people don't have enough food, our elderly sit alone, children
need people to help them read.Where is all that generosity going?
thinkman; According to a study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania last
year, members of the LDS Church donate an average of $1,171 annually to social
causes outside the church, and $650 a year to social causes within the church
that aren't funded by tithing. That means the average member of the LDS
Church gives roughly $1,821 in charitable donations on top of the member's
tithing. this is from the article. it seems to state that the average member
contributes a substantial portion above and beyond tithing, where are your
Criticism against the LDS Church for building the mall and infrastructure and
the amount of money the Church has spent on humanitarian aid have gaping holes
in logic. The critics act as if building more temples and church buildings is
immoral. Also, without the mall, the deterioration of downtown would be
inevitable, in which critics would heap criticism at the Church for not doing
anything about poverty, crime, etc. near its headquarters. Also, the mall has a
net positive effect on the local economy. (How many families avoid poverty due
to this?)Criticism excludes logic that the Church concentrates on
creating charitable people, who in turn contribute to charity. (See the comments
citing the Univ. of Pennsylvania study that cites generosity of Mormons outside
of tithing.) Also, thousands of service missionaries donating their own time and
money isn't calculated in the numbers. Fast offerings are not included in
critics' numbers (granted fast offering info might not be available, but
that hardly justifies not mentioning it.) Also, much of the humanitarian efforts
center on creating long-term solutions such as electricity generators,
clean-water solutions, etc, rather than simply throwing piles of money at
projects that risk corruption.
Interesting how the uninformed all have opinions about things they know little
about. Tithing is specifically targeted to "build the kingdom of God".
Fast offerings, humanitarian aid, and a few other separate donations are
entirely separate funds specifically targeted to feeding the poor and helping
those in need. Just look at who are generally among the first to respond to
emergencies... "the Mormons and the people from the Latter Day Saints"
quoted from Katrina survivors.
I've never lived in a place so obsessed with being on these kinds of
lists...The study is flawed.The definition of generous
is giving when it is not "necessary or expected". Is Mormon tithing
really generosity, then?If the consequences of not giving are
community ostracism and "spiritual death" (no pressure!), can you really
consider it to not be "necessary or expected"? Can't attend family
wedding if you don't give. No sexy callings if you don't give...Gosh, I can't remember the last time Big Brothers Big Sisters
called me in for an annual meeting to review my levels of giving for the year.
If those conducting this study understood the true nature of Utah
giving, they would've controlled for tithing and Utah cities wouldn't
have been at the top of the list...and there would be no glimmering,
self-congratulatory headlines for conference weekend either! Oh, no!
I'd be happy to have any state or any church do their best to exceed the
charitable giving levels of Utahans and the Latter Day Saints in both money and
service.Although there are many commentors who want to question the
motives of those who give, I suspect those on the receiving end of that charity
aren't so quick to do so.I for one promise not to question the
motives of Californians or Texans or Catholics or Lutherans if they want to
exceed the generosity of Utahans and Mormons.And BTW, to say that
building temples and doing temple work isn't charitable is to miss the
entire point of temple work. It is charitable in it's purpose and in its
result and those who perform the work demonstrate charity in doing so.Finally, the for profit entities controlled by the Church don't receive
tithing money and are taxed just like any other for profit business.
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