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

Do you recall reading the Bible with financial references in both the old and new testaments? There are several
I think Jesus played the part of financial consultant telling his disciples to give what they had "come follow me."


I just want to point out that this land is NOT in the Florida Panhandle. The Panhandle is the portion of the state that reaches to west under Alabama.

Federal Way, WA

I would be interested to learn if the Church also has a practise of donating a set percentage of income (Tithing) to humanitarian causes. In effect, do they pay a "tithing" for this type of effort? These contributions would not include the value of members volunteering, separate fast offerings, or members specific humanitarian contributions to disaster efforts etc. It would include the cost of providing services to people such as Deseret Industries etc.

I feel that this investment is a worthwile use of the money the churchs has stewardship over.


The parable of the talents comes to mind.

Anchorage, AK

The Deseretnews link to the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper which reports the lands sold are:

The land to be sold includes the majority of St. Joe’s timberlands in Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty and Wakulla counties.

Basically, a majority of the lands between Panama City on west and Tallahassee on east, and the gulf coast on the south and Florida/Georgia boarder on the north.
The Apalachicola River flows through the west portion of the lands.

G L W8

Seems there is a senses among several of the critical comments above that the LDS Church should spend all of its income on humanitarian efforts. That's a position which would ignore the spiritual aspects of the church's mission. Those cost a great deal of money, and the church pays its bills. But for those who don't believe in God, or are too wrapped up in the natural man, as defined by Paul and the Book of Mormon's King Benjamin, that's not too surprising. Pride--Ezra Taft Benson and the Book of Mormon are proven out again!


It's not really that much money. There are individuals who own yachts that cost more than that. There are many buildings in Manhattan that would cost more than 500 million. There are homes in Florida that cost 100 million. This is some inexpensive land. It may or may not turn out to be a good investment. Only time will tell. Apparently the previous owner didn't want to own it anymore.

Walt Nicholes
Orem, UT

I think the real story here is money management, as several have already pointed out.

I don't know where the 7 billion in tithing revenues comes from but let's suppose it was correct. And if the church only needed to spend 6.5 billion of that in a particular year, what are they going to do with the rest? It would be an unwise and slothful servant who would just put it in the bank to gather paltry interest. No, they will invest it in tax-paying properties. And if the day comes that they need that money to do what Tithing does, they will then sell the investment, probably at a profit, and continue on.

All major institutions do this: colleges, businesses, other churches. What is the big deal here?

S. Jordan, UT

What a really great story! It distresses me that such a wonderful event for the State of Florida has to be viewed by many in a political sense. This will ensure jobs, pay taxes and ensure the preservation of natural resources for that area. Our nation needs more groups to take this kind of action to get us back on track.

Nottingham, MD

I am surprised that no one questioned the value of an acre of forest land in Florida as being worth over a million dollars an acre. Could a Floridian comment on the price of land in that area of the state?

Detroit, MI

I worked in the Church's farm management division many years ago. I was impressed with and grateful for how it was run: efficiently, productively and profitably. Paying cash for each property was the key to profitable operations. Debt payments are a tremendous drag on profitability for 99+% of all other agricultural operations throughout the world.

Morgan Duel
Taylorsville, UT

Peace, relax, don't be upset whether on one side or the other. Help those you can personally and be financially responsible for what you have. As was once stated, get your problems resolved first, then help others. Remember the two great commandments.

Maryville, MO

Some posters keep mentioning City Creek Mall that the building and such came from tithing. So you are saying that the brethren are lying when they state emphatically that no tithing money was used in the building of city creek. This basically means they are misstating that members tithing was used to build the mall. Unfortunately, the fact is that no tithing money was used in it. A lot of what the Church buys is done via a normal business which pays taxes to the United States. Just last year the LDS Church in an article put out that what the media reports is not always true. Again the LDS Church buys everything with cash. Meaning that all temples, churches and other buildings are paid for before they are even started. The Church operates entirely in the black, never in the owing money. President HInkley stated emphatically that the Church does buy or build unless there is ready cash to do so. Land is a good investment that generally goes up and the LDS Church has a business that does this. Tithing money is emphatically stated for temples, chapels, books and other things. Listen to the Prophet.

Syracuse, UT

The churches main asset is the member who pay tithing. Most of the tithing money goes to further the work, whether it is building buildings, helping missionaries etc. The money used to buy this land was not tithing money and is subject to taxes etc like any other company would be. The church will manage this correctly. I hope it works out.

Long Island, NY

Just a quick run down, Tithing-building of the kingdom, which means goes towards missionary programs, help for missionaries who cannot afford to pay their way, missionary upkeep which is more now that we have more missionaries going out. Temples, which again is for the building of the kingdom and church buildings which provides a place of worship to build the kingdom. Fast offerings-go strictly to the poor who do not have enough. Humanitarian Fund- this goes directly to people who have been in disasters like Katrina, Sandy and this new recent storm in the Philippines. Church is already to send food, clean water and other things there. The main reason that the a company that is affiliated with the church is interested in buying this purchase is because it helps a community with their economy and gives the church more land to produce items for the storehouses that are all over the world that give food to the poor, needy and yes helps us all when economic crisis hits. I know because they helped us rebuild, pay our mortgage, get new food, everything after Sandy hit.

moniker lewinsky
Taylorsville, UT

Glad that they're finding ways to spend all that money.

Long Island, NY

@ Taxman, The church happened to send fresh water for thousands on Long island, Staten island and has continued to give aid. As far as only 3,000 trucks, you have no idea how many of us are not starving because of the church. Without the church I would be homeless, would not be able to pay my bills and would not be able to take care of my family on the income that we have. Newspapers don't have all the stats. Only our leaders and God himself knows all the good that is going on and it is not all given by the church welfare program, but by members who willing to give of their time, talents, and resources to help each other. As far as those who commented about Jesus and the twelve making financial investments, the really did make some. They ask us to take care of the sick, the poor and the needy and in Malachi we are asked to pay our tithes to the lord. It is time we stop worrying about what others are doing and just focus on what we can do and how to help.

Richmond, VA

Despite the constant accusatory attacks from enemies of the Church insinuating that it is somehow evil and dishonest in how it handles the tithe and offerings of the members, the Church continues to steadily move on quietly doing good and providing help to millions around the world, Mormons or not. Even if the Church spends every penny they get from tithes and offerings of the saints, the haters will never be satisfied. They will always find something else to accuse the Church of. So the dogs will continue to bark while the caravan steadily moves on, "...boldly, nobly, and independent..." in it's noble goal of caring, nurturing, assisting and lifting the feeble knees of the poor and downtrodden of the world.

Btw, if the Seventh Day Adventists are doing better than the Mormons, then I salute and honor them. God bless them! As for you 1Aggie, Taxman, and others who criticize and hate the Church so much, what have you done lately to help? How much have you given, if ever, to help the poor and destitute in your own neighborhood?

Orem, UT

The fast offerings of the church, which are administered by local bishops (I've been one, I know of what I speak) are not accounted for as humanitarian aid. The dollar amount distributed to members and non-members by bishops around the world is staggering. Although a very few recipients deceive new/naive bishops, most of the funds expended are well spent...and most bishops, if they err in distributing the funds, err on the side of mercy. Critics, please be more informed before you offer negative comments about the church and their genuine efforts to help. Can we do better? Of course. And we are constantly improving our outreach and our effectiveness...but not because of angry critics...because we are truly trying to do God's will.

Two Rivers, WI

I continue to be amazed to see how worldly the LDS Church has become, and how members faithfully contribute tithing funds to this corporation. The shame is that so little of this money actually goes to people in need. How is tithing actually blessing the people, when the great majority of tithing funds is going to build up enterprises that members have no involvement with? Where is the accountability and whatever happened to common consent?

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