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

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Published: Sunday, Nov. 10 2013 6:30 p.m. MST

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The Taxman
Los Angeles, CA

All: it would be nice if we could lay off the ad hominem attacks (about liberalism, etc.) when people say something you don't like.

According to the 2010 welfare statistics as reported in this newspaper, the Church "rendered" 63,337 tons of food assistance between the years 1985 - 2010. One semi-truck trailer holds 22 tons of food. So less that 3,000 trailers of food were given over a 25 year period. Albertsons probably delivers more food to its stores in a week. I could, but don't need to put up estimates regarding how many billions of dollars the Church brings in (from members and its businesses) or extimates of how many people have died of starvation over the past 25 years. The facts speak for themselves; I don't need to elaborate further.

Salt Lake City, UT

IMO it appears a private corporation, owned by the Church bought some land, to do with as it pleases. According to reports, the care shown in other holdings appears to be positive and in the long term interests of the State of Florida and agricultural principles.

I think people and organizations can spend their resources as they choose, and decide how they will aid, if at all, the poor and needy. Evidently there are some who have tight purse strings who are anxious to loosen the purse strings of others before they loosen their own.

We all need to worry more about the weeds in our own gardens than comment on the size of the weeds in our neighbors garden.

Let's see how this purchase pans out before we comment ad nauseum on who is the most charitable or giving, or how others should give.

Sandy, UT

I wish the church would buy all the federal land in the state of Utah so we can enjoy anytime and anywhere we want. Yes, I know it sounds expensive but we welcome anyone coming to our beautiful place that we live rather than haveing this federal government ever shut the door to our parks.

American Fork, UT

Deals like this or the Deseret ranch are business deals, pure and simple, although I always sense in them a bit of a 'get everything we can before the apocalypse' mentality in it. People have to convince themselves that this is gods will and clearly they do. And to their credit they do manage property well. But I'm not snowed that this is somehow an altruistic or charitable gesture.


As reported by Reuters, David Stewart, A Mormon physician who leads research group Cumorah says
"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". 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 schools and schools and universities and long-term developmental infrastructure around the world," said Stewart. "It's paid off for them."

Salt Lake City, UT

Before you comment further, please become informed on the LDS Church humanitarian efforts around the world. Many are common knowledge, but same happen without much publicity. The Church is not meant to supersede government responsibility for "our American inner-cities have crumbled, medical care (especially the need for rural care) has been in crisis around the world, etc" but the Church is much more responsive to need and do their work more cost-effectively than government bureaucrats. If you want to help, and I'm certain you do, Google Liahona Foundation as a start.


There is a "fairness" issue with these "business deals". If I don't need financing because I have the unlimited ability to borrow massive amounts from my parent company (who happens to enjoy the tax advantage of being a charitable organization) at miniscule interest rates, and you have to go out on the open market and raise your capital (at much higher rates) is this a fair, competitive situation? It's legal, but should it be?

Salt Lake City, UT

Dear Taxman and Hutterite,

Your a priori arguments are not well founded. Yes, this was a business deal and evidently a smart one, too which is good for the environment and charitable efforts of the church. The purpose of the project, which is tax paying, is to benefit the humanitarian assistance programs of the LDS church, not to enrich "share holders." Critics and cynics with their off topic comments seem to find fault in even the most altruistic activities of others.

Provo, UT

Not sure why my comment was denied about the reason why the church is able to buy this land.

Tithing is the reason, pure and simple. Just like when a company goes public, any and all investments and expenses are paid for with money from the shareholders, or those that gave that company money in the first place.

Same goes for the LDS church's ability to buy all this land and build City Creek. They got the money originally to do so from the tithing of its members.

Kjirstin Youngberg
Mapleton, UT

An article in the May 14, 2013 issue of Scientific American discussed the shifting of our earths magnetic poles. If this happens as indications show, that area of the world might also be one of the better places to inhabit. It pays to have a Prophet running things.


The LDS Church does engage in humanitarian work. How significant it is in relation to other religious organizations or in relation to what it receives in donations/tithing is difficult/impossible to quantify with the information that is available from the church. When the church reports figures of humanitarian aid how much of it is monetary donations (fast offerings PEF etc) and how much is from something like me bringing toothpaste, soap etc. for a hygiene kit?

The LDS welfare system in theory doesn't always match the reality. Abuse of the system does occur. The expansive system in UT doesn't necessarily resemble what happens outside of UT. Here the nearest Bishop's storehouse is 2 1/2 hrs away--requiring a great deal more of sacrifice of people's time and money. I also see other churches providing weekly/daily assistance to those in need without regard to one's religious affiliation.

"We have a few income-producing business properties,"

(Nevermind the Church spent billions on a new Conference Center and shopping mall/luxury housing within the last 15 yrs.)

My bottom line:
There is no space or justification for pride regarding the humanitarian aid by the Church.

small town granny
small town, UT

I wish the church could buy the whole state of Utah. And only people who are happy here could live here. Wouldn't that be a wonderful thing!

Salt Lake City, UT

It seems difficult to send foreign aid, such as Indonesia, Japan, the MIddle East and Africa, in semi trucks. Perhaps taxmen can.

Salt Lake City, UT

The LDS Church made a wise investment in the Florida property. The Church's worldwide reach will permit it to use those resources in a very important way.

Nice, CA


I don't know where you get your information but I a the Wad Finance clerk and I enter the funds were the giver has asked the funds to be placed. If they say fast offering then that is were it go's, if Huanatearyne aid then that is were it go's and so forth so get your fact streat it go's were the giver has asked.

Lehi, UT

@1aggie--if you wish to have credibility, I suggest you stop misrepresenting LDS Church humanitarian aid as being the sum total of all LDS Church charitable giving.

Midway, UT

“…much of what is done in the Church is to bless and help those who are not Mormon. The Mormon Church has donated more than $1 billion in cash and material assistance to 167 different countries in need of humanitarian aid since it started keeping track in 1985. Many of these countries have few to no Mormons, but are also non-Christian.” Source: lds.org

Orem, UT

@Dew - I have no problem with most of what the Church does, but if the Church owned all of the state land, I would immediately pack up and move. They would surely ban my beautiful Sunday hikes!


I don't recall Jesus and his twelve disciples making financial investments.

Dietrich, ID

@taxman How is producing more food causing starvation? They grow food and you think that causes people to starve?

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