Comments about ‘LDS Church makes large timberland purchase in Florida Panhandle’

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Published: Sunday, Nov. 10 2013 11:19 p.m. MST

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jschneidau
Schaumburg, IL

It would have been nice if you put a map and highlighted the area of NW Florida were you made the purchase!

The Taxman
Los Angeles, CA

"The deal is a glimpse into one way church leaders practice financial responsibility with the reserves they set aside against down economic cycles."

Are we not now in a down economic cycle?! I have watched the Church quietly buy hundreds of thousands of acres of American farmland over the years while millions of people have starved to death in the world, our American inner-cities have crumbled, medical care (especially the need for rural care) has been in crisis around the world, etc. When is this hypothetical rainy day coming and who is going to benefit from the stockpile?

1aggie
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

From the article: "Leaders set aside a fixed percentage of church income to build reserves for what late church President Gordon B. Hinckley called "a possible 'rainy day."

At least the Church is coming clean about diverting "church income" (which I take to mean tithing, etc.) to buying land, etc. This is a good first step toward disclosure.

abtrumpet
Provo, UT

@Taxman,

Are you expecting the Church to magically solve all the world's problems?

A1994
Centerville, UT

@The Taxman,

Go Google LDS Church humanitarian efforts.

caf
Bountiful, UT

And our church takes VERY good care of these things. It WILL be of great long-term benefit to the State of Florida!

BigSkies
Issaquah, WA

Taxman - The church is primarily focused on helping others help themselves, not just giving handouts. That being said, the humanitarian and volunteer efforts made by the church and its members is nothing short of astounding.

Entitlement, entitlement, entitlement, sigh...

Our country is going absolutely broke trying to fund the socialist pipe dreams embraced by the majority of liberals (i.e. Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Obamacare, Illegal Immigration, Food Stamps, etc. etc. etc.)

How refreshing it is to see a church run by sound principles authored by God instead of your liberal dogma.

bj-hp
Maryville, MO

All one has to do is to actually go to the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and see what it says about where our tithing and other offerings go. You will find that for years the LDS Church has put a certain amount of tithing to the side for what it calls a rainy day. It is also known that the LDS Church buys solely with cash. That means no mortgages, no debt and no cash problems. The LDS Church operates entirely in the black. This includes all of its operations.

All humanitarian offerings, fast offerings and perpetual education funds go 100% in those areas. Tithing compensates where these areas don't. Tithing builds the kingdom of God on the earth. Until one understands these things and sees it for what it is worth will understand that every year the LDS Church discloses how the funds are discharged. Audits are done every six months to ensure funds are spent by the respective units in accordance with LDS Church practices. Just find it before you start spouting off about full disclosure.

michael.jensen369
Lethbridge, 00

@1aggie

Do you really think that the Church and its' leaders would use tithing money to buy up farms? NO! Of course not, those are sacred funds, and they do feel the sacredness of it. Go read Elder Bednar's talk from last general conference. The Church owns multiple for-profit enterprises, so most likely the funds used to make the purchase would come from those avenues, NOT from funds that the members faithfully donate in faith in keeping with the Lord's law of tithing. That kind of accusation is absurd. And by the way this isn't the Church of Thomas S. Monson, or the Church of Gordon B. Hinckley or Joseph Smith, this is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Whose church do you really think this is?

Little Andy
Tremonton, UT

The church has always paid cash and bought many new investments. They have some pretty good financial experts.And it will all go to the betterment of all..

Ray E.
LITTLETON, CO

How refreshing to find a institution that practices what it preaches. I'm proud to belong to such an organization and I'm happy to support its missions with my tithes. I know my contribution is being used wisely, and I don't need to see an annual report as proof.

@Taxman: Hypothetical rainy day? Things are bad all over, but we haven't seen anything yet. Conditions will deteriorate dramatically as your liberal coalition continues to destroy the concept of personal responsibility here in the world's breadbasket. Poverty and misery in Africa? I assume that's what you're referring to. No amount of humanitarian aid will solve their problems as long as corrupt governments rule, and yet, the Church still makes an attempt.

glennsmith
Sweet Grass, MT

Taxman,
Re rainy days, you haven't seen anything yet. Did you have breakfast this morning? Supper last night? Sleep in a bed? The real rainy days are still to come.

Cats
Somewhere in Time, UT

Some are just looking for any chance to attack the Church even when they make good decisions and do good things. I guess no good deed goes unpunished.

BYUalum
South Jordan, UT

@Taxman: "When is this hypothetical rainy day coming and who is going to benefit from the stockpile?"

Apparently you do not read of all the humanitarian effort and good the Church does to help people everywhere in the world. Look at the response of the current crisis in the Philippines which will be a perfect example. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be there to quietly help with huge amounts of supplies, food, and relief in any way they can.

And with the poor and needy anywhere, there is a system to help people to be not only taken care of, but be self-reliant (as opposed to the entitlement issue in the U.S. today). There is no dole in the Church. Some type of service is expected for goods received.

G L W8
SPRINGVILLE, UT

What is the hidden agenda of those who demand "full disclosure" of church funds? Based on past experience, the following could be possible reasons: (1) disclosure could provide fuel for those that want to grab at straws to criticize the church (2) disclosure could allow disgruntled people to try to dictate where their donated money goes (though that's already somewhat possible on church donation slips (3) disclosure could provide fuel for those wanting to prove the church should not be tax exempt, and (4) disclosure could provide means for those who just like to find fault about anything the church or any other institution does (think "Friends of Scouting".)
There may be other reasons, even legitimate ones, but past experience demonstrates the wisdom of proceeding with caution with this and other sensitive subjects where the church is concerned.

1.96 Standard Deviations
OREM, UT

1aggie-

Coming clean? This was reported in the April 1991 general conference over two decades ago. You can re-watch the talk or read it on LDS.org if you want.

Here are some snippets below regarding from the talk:

Question 10: Is the Church an organization of great wealth as some have maintained?

[...] We have a few income-producing business properties, but the return from these would keep the Church going only for a very brief time. Tithing is the Lord's law of finance. There is no other financial law like it. It is a principle given with a promise, spoken by the Lord Himself for the blessing of His children.

Question 11: Why is the Church in commercial enterprises?

Essentially, the business assets which the Church has today are an outgrowth of enterprises which were begun in the pioneer era of our history when we were isolated in the West. When there was no longer a need for a number of these, they were disposed of. The remaining number are relatively few.

For more details and insight, read the whole conference talk on LDS.org

Newsouth
Douglas, GA

The Church must have great respect for the South.

Lets check the facts
Albuquerque, NM

Taxman: What's your point?

This is exactly what is needed to help with some of the social problems you mentioned: a competent company making a conservative rate of return as it produces products and jobs. What we don't need is continued flawed policies that the government has tried meddling in over the same 60 years with handouts or speculative companies trying to make a fast buck.

1aggie
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

According to a BYU Digital Universe article published today "Between 1985 and 1998, the LDS Church made contributions of more than $223 million in cash and in-kind assistance (including food, medical supplies, etc,) to worldwide humanitarian relief efforts, according to a church Welfare Services fact sheet."

Let's see... the Church is the largest nut producer in the United States and brings in $7billion per year in tithing, and over 14 years donated $223 million in cash and in-kind assistance to humanitarian relief?

michael.jensen369
I suggest you check out the disclaimer on your new tithing slips which says the church has sole discretion over spending, even though it will make "reasonable efforts" to follow donors' wishes.

MoJules
Florissant, MO

I was on the phone with my daughter when I saw this, I told her and she responded very positively, stating that the church is always doing worthwhile things. She is not involved with the church at all, yet she does see that their ventures are for the good.

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