U.S. & World

LDS Church makes large timberland purchase in Florida Panhandle


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  • Herbert Gravy Salinas, CA
    Oct. 21, 2015 12:01 p.m.


    Please explain EXACTLY what you mean by "cognitive dissonance". Thank you. Oh, and in terms that we mere mortals can "cognitize".

  • Herbert Gravy Salinas, CA
    Oct. 21, 2015 7:32 a.m.


    It is near Wewahitchka. You can look it up.

  • Herbert Gravy Salinas, CA
    Oct. 21, 2015 7:32 a.m.


    Well, He did make a number of statements regarding money (finances): "the widow's mite", "render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's", etc. His apostles never went to Disney World either. Times have changed somewhat, have they not?

  • Herbert Gravy Salinas, CA
    Oct. 21, 2015 7:24 a.m.

    There is always someone who will have a much better idea about how I should spend my money. Sounds like the government. And, if all landowners were as far-sighted and innovative as the Church has been with its farm properties, this country would be much better off. You can do the research on such innovation and the stewardship demonstrated in the management of these properties. I don't care how the Church spends my tithing. The leadership has my trust and know much better than I how the funds should be spent. Thank you very much.

  • JLFuller Boise, ID
    Nov. 15, 2013 2:52 p.m.

    When I first read this story a few ago I wondered when we would see the "Watch out! The Mormons are coming" headlines. So far all I have seen are the always present ugly comments from the usual suspects.

  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 7:53 p.m.

    Christ had the power to feed 3,000 with a couple of loaves and fishes and to have manna appear each morning like dew to feed the children of Israel. With such power, why doesn't he feed everyone, everyday. He certainly has the power to do so and, being perfect, he has perfect charity.

    I believe I understand why...and the explanation is the same that explains how the Church manages it resources.

    For those who truly have ears to hear, the answer is there to understand. Those who truly understand Christ understand the principles that guide how his Church manages its resources.

  • bj-hp Maryville, MO
    Nov. 11, 2013 7:18 p.m.

    Taxman: It is evident that no matter what is said and the answers provided will answer your questions. The statement provided just about a year ago answered your questions but no you still refuse to listen to the answers provided. You feel you have all the answers. One hundred percent of all humanitarian funds goes to the humanitarian efforts of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. A percentage of tithing goes to this as well, but tithing goes to building temples, chapels, providing manuals other things for the edifying of the membership along with the maintenance of the buildings throughout the world. Members alone provide many hours providing service in food kitchens and other things. Fast Offerings are maintained in their units and deseminated by the Bishops/Branch Presidencies. Your criticism is unfunded and is by one who has no knowledge of those funds. Once those funds are given to a member of the Branch Presidency/Bishopric, they are no longer your funds. They now belong to the Lord and are used as the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve deems they should be. Listen to the Prophet of the Lord.

  • Kevin Surrey, BC
    Nov. 11, 2013 5:45 p.m.

    I am not sure what motivates the Taxman to comment about the LDS church when he is not a memeber and most likely does not make donations to the church. How the Lord uses His money is His business. The church is not accountable to the general population and does not need to answer to them. Overall the church does a good job informing its members on how the funds of the church are used. Many conference talks have addressed this in the past.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 4:43 p.m.

    I am not LDS but I understand the basic concept that one cannot give away money that they do not have. One must fist receive/earn it. Ecclesiastical and commercial enterprises operate separately. I don't expect anyone else to divulge their tax forms any more than I am willing to divulge mine.

    Complaints form Truthseeker, The Taxman and Ernest T Bass seem remarkably petty and bitter. But as The Taxman says: "The facts speak for themselves; I don't need to elaborate further."

  • The Taxman Los Angeles, CA
    Nov. 11, 2013 2:52 p.m.

    When we cut through all the name calling and dissembling, two simple irrefutable facts remain:
    1) Money is fungible. People seem to take refuge in the fact that 'tithing' money is used for this and 'other' money is used for that, but the fact remains that the church is sitting on a vast trove of wealth (and the pile is growing exponentially) while people are starving. Just because you can't do everything doesn't mean you should do next to nothing. More can and should be done.
    2) the Church does not disclose its finances but chooses to move in secrecy. Why is secrecy good? I believe if people could see the amount of money coming in and the small percentage used to do good, things would change. But that won't happen without the cleansing light of day.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 12:05 p.m.

    I'm fine with the church making this purchase, it's kinda odd to me for churches to get involved with this sort of purchase but hey, whatever, they can do what they want.

    What I disagree with is some of the comments that suggest that somehow profitable moneymaking ventures is definitely a part of what a church is supposed to be. Though I guess considering how the Prosperity Gospel (i.e. anything based on being against "handouts") stuff seems to come up a lot in any thread about poverty.

  • Just an Observer Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 12:01 p.m.

    My family has required financial assistance more than once, which we were able to obtain through the Bishop's Storehouse. I have also been a ward finance clerk more than once, and can attest that there are those receiving far more than that in the form of payments of mortgages, auto loans, utility bills, and the like for the periods in which they are out of work--wish I myself had known years ago that was possible, frankly; that help would have saved us from getting into a deep hole from which we still have not fully recovered. I find it sadly amusing to see people who have no idea how the LDS Church works, and want to denigrate it. Not surprisingly, the Church tries to take care of its own first. But it does help others, especially those in dire need due to disasters, but also in the form of such things as career training through Deseret Industries and LDS Employment. Trying to find fault with *any* organization that is generally doing good is surely not remotely close to a positive use of time for anyone.

  • Kevin Surrey, BC
    Nov. 11, 2013 10:02 a.m.

    Church owned assests like meeting houses, temples, etc etc are money consuming and not money making. It is just prudent to have an investment arm that operates as a taxpaying business.

    For those who speak negatively, what the church does with its tithes and other donations is of no concern to non-members. As a tithe paying member, I don't give a thought as to how my donations are used because I see it every Sunday when I turn the lights on at 6:00am for meetings. I see it when I enter the temple to participate in ordinances. I see it when the missionaries ( I was one ) greet me each week. There are so many other ways I see tithing being used to further God's work. Besides, who am I to question how the Lord's chosen servants manage His church. There will always be critics who have nothing better to do but write poisonous comments. God Bless..

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 9:41 a.m.

    I think it's really neat.
    It's curious to read the various justifications being spelled out to taxman. It's almost as if there is a lot of cognitive dissonance going on.

  • bellsandbells Columbia, MO
    Nov. 11, 2013 9:07 a.m.

    After reading the negative comments made about the good deeds of the LDS church, one can understand how Christ and his disciples were rejected by their own people.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Nov. 11, 2013 9:04 a.m.

    It is interesting that there are so many people who were not involved in the deliberations regarding the Florida and other purchases, seem to have such amazing insight into what the church really should do. If the church gave a million dollars to Obamacare, its liberal critics would find something to criticize.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Nov. 11, 2013 8:48 a.m.


    Over a million dollars per acre? Did you read the article?

    "The Times said the per-acre price of Thursday's announced deal — $1,475 per acre — appeared consistent with the sales of large timber tracts."

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 8:36 a.m.

    Snarky anti-LDS posters seem concerned that our small, 14-million member Church hasn't solved all the world's problems.

    Well, we're concerned, too.

    But give us a little time. As we grow and extend influence into more and more of the world, fewer and fewer of its problems will be beyond our reach.

  • The Solution Dayton, OH
    Nov. 11, 2013 8:01 a.m.

    Tithing is not used for humanitarian efforts, nor for buying land for business. If the Church didn't meticulously separate, manage, and execute its resources, do you think it would still get exempt status? Every financial action that is remotely tied to the Church is heavily scrutinized.

    I was an intern for MSTART.net, which was the original name for the Church owned websites. When it started, it was a self-sustaining company, meaning that it was not funded by tithing and had to survive solely on its own performance and revenue. While I was working there, the Brethren received revelation to change it and become a non-profit, tithing subsidized service, and changed its name to LDS.org. The difference was the mission changed to building the kingdom and becoming a tool for missionary work and resource outlet for church members. Before that transformation, not a dime of tithing was spent on it. Now it is entirely funded by tithing.

  • elliottpj Two Rivers, WI
    Nov. 11, 2013 7:38 a.m.

    I'm amazed at how many members question the decisions about how their tithing money is being spent by those who work in that great and spacious building in Salt Lake. Repent of your lack of faith in the Corporation that is looking out for you.

  • elliottpj Two Rivers, WI
    Nov. 11, 2013 7:33 a.m.

    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?

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 11:14 p.m.

    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.

  • thebigsamoan Richmond, VA
    Nov. 10, 2013 7:25 p.m.

    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?

  • UnicornL Long Island, NY
    Nov. 10, 2013 5:11 p.m.

    @ 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.

  • moniker lewinsky Taylorsville, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 5:04 p.m.

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

  • UnicornL Long Island, NY
    Nov. 10, 2013 3:51 p.m.

    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.

  • GD Syracuse, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 3:47 p.m.

    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.

  • bj-hp Maryville, MO
    Nov. 10, 2013 2:04 p.m.

    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.

  • Morgan Duel Taylorsville, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 12:05 p.m.

    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.

  • BioPowertrain Detroit, MI
    Nov. 10, 2013 11:43 a.m.

    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.

  • Don37 Nottingham, MD
    Nov. 10, 2013 10:32 a.m.

    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?

  • DMG S. Jordan, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 9:49 a.m.

    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.

  • Walt Nicholes Orem, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 7:25 a.m.

    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?

  • ThinksIThink SEATTLE, WA
    Nov. 10, 2013 7:24 a.m.

    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.

    Nov. 10, 2013 7:05 a.m.

    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!

  • LDSareChristians Anchorage, AK
    Nov. 10, 2013 1:35 a.m.

    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.

  • ? SLC, UT
    Nov. 9, 2013 10:40 p.m.

    The parable of the talents comes to mind.

  • Outside-View Federal Way, WA
    Nov. 9, 2013 9:47 p.m.

    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.

  • GeoMan SALEM, OR
    Nov. 9, 2013 7:15 p.m.

    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.

  • NightOwlAmerica SALEM, OR
    Nov. 9, 2013 6:08 p.m.

    SEATTLE, WA said:

    "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."

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Nov. 9, 2013 5:30 p.m.

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

  • ThinksIThink SEATTLE, WA
    Nov. 9, 2013 3:47 p.m.

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

  • zabivka Orem, UT
    Nov. 9, 2013 3:38 p.m.

    @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!

  • Dadof9 Midway, UT
    Nov. 9, 2013 3:20 p.m.

    “…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

  • GmaxD Lehi, UT
    Nov. 9, 2013 3:17 p.m.

    @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.

  • sfcretdennis Nice, CA
    Nov. 9, 2013 1:33 p.m.

    laggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT

    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.

  • Impressionist Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 9, 2013 12:49 p.m.

    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.

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 9, 2013 12:30 p.m.

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

  • small town granny small town, UT
    Nov. 9, 2013 12:09 p.m.

    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!

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Nov. 9, 2013 12:06 p.m.

    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.

  • Kjirstin Youngberg Mapleton, UT
    Nov. 9, 2013 11:03 a.m.

    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.

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    Nov. 9, 2013 10:48 a.m.

    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.

  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 9, 2013 10:40 a.m.

    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.

  • jmort SLO, CA
    Nov. 9, 2013 10:29 a.m.

    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?

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 9, 2013 10:23 a.m.

    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.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 9, 2013 10:18 a.m.

    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."

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Nov. 9, 2013 10:14 a.m.

    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.

  • DEW Sandy, UT
    Nov. 9, 2013 10:13 a.m.

    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.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 9, 2013 10:09 a.m.

    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.

  • The Taxman Los Angeles, CA
    Nov. 9, 2013 9:40 a.m.

    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.

  • MoJules Florissant, MO
    Nov. 9, 2013 9:40 a.m.

    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.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 9, 2013 9:21 a.m.

    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?

    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.

  • Lets check the facts Albuquerque, NM
    Nov. 9, 2013 9:00 a.m.

    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.

  • Newsouth Douglas, GA
    Nov. 9, 2013 8:43 a.m.

    The Church must have great respect for the South.

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    Nov. 9, 2013 8:27 a.m.


    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

    Nov. 9, 2013 8:14 a.m.

    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.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 9, 2013 8:10 a.m.

    @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.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Nov. 9, 2013 7:46 a.m.

    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.

  • glennsmith Sweet Grass, MT
    Nov. 9, 2013 7:29 a.m.

    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.

    Nov. 9, 2013 7:17 a.m.

    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.

  • Little Andy Tremonton, UT
    Nov. 8, 2013 9:47 p.m.

    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..

  • michael.jensen369 Lethbridge, 00
    Nov. 8, 2013 9:19 p.m.


    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?

  • bj-hp Maryville, MO
    Nov. 8, 2013 9:14 p.m.

    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.

  • BigSkies Issaquah, WA
    Nov. 8, 2013 8:27 p.m.

    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.

  • caf Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 8, 2013 8:08 p.m.

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

  • A1994 Centerville, UT
    Nov. 8, 2013 8:04 p.m.

    @The Taxman,

    Go Google LDS Church humanitarian efforts.

  • abtrumpet Provo, UT
    Nov. 8, 2013 7:34 p.m.


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

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 8, 2013 6:23 p.m.

    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.

  • The Taxman Los Angeles, CA
    Nov. 8, 2013 5:49 p.m.

    "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?

  • jschneidau Schaumburg, IL
    Nov. 8, 2013 5:05 p.m.

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