Wow, I love how so many "faithful members" can't handle even a little criticism
or questioning from others (i.e. Watchman). Just because someone dares to
question the GA's or prophet doesn't make them an apostate or ignorant. In fact,
maybe a little more questioning by church members would do our faith a little
good. Once the brethren have spoken DOES NOT mean all the thinking has been
done. We have a right, and an obligation, to think for ourselves and come to our
own conclusion and/or opinion. How narrow-minded for so many of the posters to
the article can't handle a lit bit of disagreement. Maybe they ought to pay a
little more attention to the principle of free agency. Oh how the wicked take
the truth to be hard. By the way Watchman, thanks for speaking some truth. There
are clearly too many "Utah Mormon" mindsets posting on here.
In priesthood a few weeks ago the lesson out of the mandated manual for this
year focused on apostacy. One of Joseph Smith's teachings states that
criticizing church leaders is the first step to Apostacy.
To Watchman,It is also a horrible way for corruption to eat away the
soul of an organization.But I think you agree with that.
Anonymous: I know exactly what you mean concerning corruption and apostasy
through wealth and politics. Money has great influence. The City Creek centre
would not have got the go ahead without a close association between the Huntsman
who want to build Salt Lake and church leaders. Consider the following from
SLT“Thomas S. Monson and billionaire philanthropist Jon
Huntsman Sr. spent months anticipating their annual fly-fishing expedition to
the Snake River in June 2003..... In addition to being a fishing buddy, Monson
also has been Huntsman's partner at Jazz games and one of his best friends.
Huntsman believes Monson will continue Hinckley's legacy of reaching beyond
Mormonism's borders. "He's as comfortable at the Cathedral of the Madeleine as
in the [LDS] Tabernacle," Four Apostles in Attendance as Jon M.
Huntsman donates to USU December 8, 2007President Hinckley spoke at
the dedication of a college building in Pennsylvania named after the
Huntsmen’s, and Huntsman Sr. spoke at the funeral of former LDS Church
President Howard W. Hunter. We all know the family connections
through marriages as well. wealth is a wonderful way to influence others.
As LDS, we have seen this before. The corruption and apostasy of the ancient
Church was partly a function of their getting involved with businesses, wealth,
and politics. The same thing is happening today. The more the Church gets
involved with for-profit businesses, the more corruption creeps in. I know
several people who are friends with people in high positions and because of
that, they get very lucrative contracts from the Church and they milk them for
all they can, often in dishonest and illegal ways. But their families are close
personal freinds with Church leaders, so everybody "trusts" one another and
turns a blind eye. This is how the corruption sneaks in and destroys the Church.
Mark my words.
re: John Pack Lambert | 7:30 p.m. July 28, 2009 I know where you are
going w/ the whole analogy about the Motor City. Though, buuliding chapels in
another state and the Vaticanization of Downtown SLC are 2 entirely different
projects.Truthfully, the only things I care about from Detroit are;
1) Good news about GM & 2) (most importantly) That the Red Wings have won
Another Stanley Cup.
I fully support the Church's investment in revitalizing down town Salt Lake
City. The Church last year dedicated two new chapels in Detroit. While I
can not say that all new chapels that need to be built in all places have been
built, I think some people are over-reacting. I know of one chapel that
has been put on hold in the Detroit suburbs. However, this is largely because
with the down-turn of the economy and the halt in housing growth, the number of
members in that area no longer justifies building a new chapel. This is
especially true because with the economy what it is in Michigan a large exodus
of members in the near future is quite possible. There is no point in building
a chapel and having no one use it.
Yes, surprising, isn't it?Am I wrong? The way I see it, the Church
takes people's money (in exchange for nothing of real value), and then uses it
to pay workers who build and maintain Temples, Church buildings, a worldwide
sattelite network and all the IT acoutrements, and a bunch of administrators,
not to mention BYU, LDS Business College, and the entire Church Education
System, with their employees. Throw in all the health professionals who have to
care for the elderly leadership, as well as all the money those leaders receive
(and spend) for a "stipend", and you have a real wealth re-distribution machine
working in the Utah economy! It is brilliant, really!
re: Non-LDS Opinion | 11:40 a.m. July 28, 2009 //As such, the LDS
Church works as a "wealth redistribution" mechanism that helps add some
stability to the local economy.//A positive thing on this website to
say about socialism? Errr. Ummm. I mean the United order.
The Church has a great gig going. They get a LOT of money from people in
exchange for the illusion of "salvation" and "exaltation"! What a business
model!I will hand it to the Church. They do employ a large number of
people in Salt Lake and Utah counties, and as far as I know, they don't lay off
many people very often.As such, the LDS Church works as a wealth
redistribution mechanism that helps add some stability to the local economy.I don't believe their fairy tales and lies about their history, but they
do make a positive economic impact in Utah, and this project accounts for
keeping quite a few people employed during these tough times.
Say whatever you will about City Creek Center, it will be incomplete until the
food court is 100%finished. As it stands now, mediocre Chinese food
beats the alternative.
It's funny to see all these "Rising" banners being placed along downtown Salt
Lake City sreets, with the pretense that it's rising.A little, rinky
dink, teeny, tiny 22 story office building going up on Main Street doesn't seem
to fit the bill, and neither do those fancy condo towers going up at City Creek
either. It all just seems so ironic to me. As near as I can tell,
all I can see that's rising is the unemployment rate, people's pent-up
frustrations, massive home forclosures and rising homelessness in the area.
re: Knowah | 8:07 p.m. July 25, 2009 Ouch & Zing!Is the
church trying to play both ends of the spectrum? God & Mammon.We, in
Zion, don't need the Federal Gov't as a nanny. We are already pacified by an
allegedly omniscient institution.
This is making me laugh. If its not one thing its another. The church can either
do no wrong or will always be wrong. I know that the church is not using
any tithing money for this building, My husband works for the church,
doing the maintenance on the buildings, he has to be aware of how much money he
does use, and gets really annoyed with how members treat the chapels. In New
Zealand alone, they have just closed one chapel, another probably will be closed
soon, Why? because they don't have the numbers, As for church college closing,
it would cost to much to get it up to earthquake standards, and there is no need
for it anymore.
re: Paper tiger | 11:12 a.m. July 25, 2009 Oh Great! Another
infestation. Free Food.
re: Me again | 10:06 p.m. July 25, 2009 I know why its over budget.
Have you ever counted all those workman standing around downtown?
Watchmen can see over the wall. They know what is coming and can make decisions
based on a wider view that everyone below can't see. So you can
keep yelling up at those who can see and refuse to follow thier 20/20 council or
you can keep telling yourself you know better than a prophet, SEER, and
revelator. Use faith and trust that the Lord knows what He is
doing, even if you don't understand what He is doing. "Trust the Lord with all
thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding, in all thy ways
acknowledge Him and He will direct thy paths."
re: Big Red | 7:10 a.m. July 25, 2009 So, it would appear the
Vaticanization of Downtown SLC is going well.
re: Why? | 3:51 p.m. July 25, 2009 Aren't they offically known as
the business entity Corporation of the President?
After reading this thread I see that Mormons can be mean to each other and not
just to outsiders.Members who have reasonable questions about church
decisions are really skewered by the blind faith followers
The Watchman's comic relief is awesome. Speaking as if informed, yet so
clueless. Stating ‘facts’ and figures as if to have the inside
story and a full understanding of every transaction from behind the scenes, and
retaliation with scriptures quoted out of context.The flaws in his
conclusions are so glaring, yet barely worth this comment-let alone arguing
with. Your perpetual faultfinding is the evidence of a cankered soul. Take off
your smoke-colored glasses which find fault with anything the church does. What
a waste of an otherwise potentially worthwhile life.All your
comments do are incite responses like above from ‘ajarizona’ who
thinks that your sentiments are the reflections of an angered and ungrateful
majoriy of LDS in SLC.Let all be assured that the VAST majority of
Saints in the Salt Lake Valley are grateful and supportive of God and his
I remember Dave Blackwell, the sports anchor, originally from Omaha Neb., a
non-Mormon, who once called Green Bay Packer games, he once said on the
radio..."If it was not for the LDS Church, Salt Lake City would be a
dump and a wasteland".To all you "Gentiles" who constantly nit pick
the Church with every move it makes, and desecrate everything it holds to be
sacred, the next time you are going by Brigham Young's monument, the Temple and
Church headquarters, ...Give a tip of the hat, to the "Economic
Engine, which is the LDS Church", it's people and their knack for industry, and
quit your belly-aching!Everybody benefits from their vision.Take every enterprise of the LDS Church out of downtown SLC, and what is
left? zero, zip, nada!Be grateful...ajarizona
The bottom line is the LDS Church keeps its finances as transparent as charcoal.
Their members don't care. If you aren't part of this peculiar culture, you've
learned to equate secrecy with those families that invested in the Las Vegas
Strip when Las Vegas was a small Mormon town.It's their money to
spend. Asking how Jesus invested doesn't change this fact.A in LA,
you're right about jobs, its the WPA of American religions. Must investors
aren't spending on development projects. The Field of Dreams was a
great movie: build it and they will come. This hasn't worked for cars and
trucks. You never know. One thing, is Utah's faithful will be
driving from Trout Creek, Goshen and Mexican Hat to shop there. Normal retail
business model's may not be applicable.
People. Stop this foolish talk. The LDS church is the only charitable
organization in the ENTIRE WORLD that owns the means of production. Everybody
else uses cash, most of it funneled to them by government entities, to purchase
water, food, blankets, dig wells, provide shelders, etc. The LDS church, on the
other hand, owns the farms, owns the meat packing, packaging, food prepeartion,
and cannery facilities. They have their own distribution arm. From seed to
table, the LDS church is the only charity that can do it all without haveing to
hire out anything. No one else does it like that because no one else was inpired
from on high to do it like that.Its a great example of self reliance
and faith. Its also an example to all of us. What should you do to prepare for
the possibility of more economic down turns? Get some land. Buy some chickens.
Get a tractor. Learn how to grow, fertilize, and harvest your own produce.
Become a self sufficient entity yourself. Or you could just save your US dollars
and watch them go up on smoke.
Fredd 2:071. Does God's revelation include where to invest money?
A) I feel God has made such revelations to me. B) It is
somewhat presumptuous to define God in a way that would limit His ability to
reveal.C)Remember the Church employs individuals to operate their
investments, all decisions do not come directly from the First Presidency. They
can fail.2. If someone bequeaths their estate to the LDS church they
are free to use it for profit? Some form of instruction is
typically included in such an arrangement. An estate may be left specifically
for the benefit of a department at BYU, the Perpetual Education Fund, or the
welfare program. I would presume such estates are a minor source of income for
the Church.3. You are saying if the church invests $100K of tiyhing,
earns a million, they are free to take the million for profit investment? I am saying that the Church would not invest $100K of tithing. Tithing
is used for clearly defined expenditures.More relevant to consider
that many of the Church's investments preceed tithing. I presume these would,
quite coincidentally, include the very real estate currently being developed.
Thanks to all who are investing in our capital city. I don't live in SLC, but I
know that a vibrant central city will make every city more prosperous. Thank
you, thank you, thank you.
I actually work for an LDS church entity and the LDS church owns many other for
profit organizations that are run by LDS apostles but their finances are legally
structured so that the LDS church operations, Church education services(which is
the seminary program and the church colleges) are what tithing goes to pay for.
They also own a company called Deseret management corporation. This is a holding
company, with completely separate finances the owns Zions Securities(who i
believe is the company who will officially own City Creek Center) They also own
Bonneville Communications, The Deseret News, and Temple square hospitality.
These company are all for profit and they all pay taxes. By law their finances
are required to be separate for the churches day to day operations. Please
people, I don't even go to church and I can say that i'm 99% positive that they
are not using your titing money for commercial ventures.
So what will heaven be like. Beautiful, one might suppose. But will it be
inflicted with self-centered freeloaders complaining that their needs are not
Over budget, or has the original plan been enlarged? Significant variation
between the two.Happy to see that the LDS Church has the resources
to maintain the environment around Temple Square. I have noticed along the East
Coast of the US that neighborhoods have declined around many historic churchs.
They were built in beautiful areas, but 150 years later they are in slums with
bars covering the stained glass and inadequate resources to maintain them
properly.I want people to visit Temple Square. I want them to be
greated in a clean and modern downtown.Eric: great example with the
Our elected , highly educated, smart, inteligent, wise, and wonderful officials
in our government sure know how to spend money and balance a budget! What if
this big venture turns sour? Then what's going to be said?
Hey watchman, you forgot one big item! This wonderful project has already gone
way over budget!
I hope we do not consider all decisions of economic, political and social
judgment made by leaders of the Church as revelation. Certainly this project is
most likely inspired (and I will sustain the Church leaders as such), but this
project is subject to failure just as Joseph Smith's Kirtland Safety Society
Anti-Banking Company was. Many apostatized as a result of its failure. Let us
not, ourselves, declare with ignorant confidence that this City Creek investment
will not fail "finacially" because it is inspired, for, should it fail, we could
fall prey to the same trap leading to apostasy. Now, with that being said, I am
excited about the prospects of the City Creek Center, both economically and for
the beautification it will bring to the area around Temple Square.
no matter what the church does you will allways have thoes that critisize have
Sorry to pile on, but if you really work for the church, you should know the
different legal entities at play and the very different funding structures they
fall under. The COPB (including your dept, from the sound of your
comments) is funded from tithing. The City Creek project is a totally separate
legal entity and is structured as a for-profit corporation. The closing of the
Church College of New Zealand has nothing to do with the City Creek project.My suggestion: regardless of the implications for your church standing
(that's between you and your bishop), you should stop making assumptions where
you don't have all the facts - it's just making you look bad.
The Church has long maintained a variety of buisness interests. Decades of wise
investments in agriculture, ranching, water rights, real estate, interest,
parking....Examples: Cattle ranches in Oklahoma and Florida.
Purchased with profits from other commercial ventures. They comprise thousands
of acres. Both are maintained as for profit investments. These are operated as
buisnesses with paid employees and management. Also serve as youth camps.I visited the Florida ranch, they control a full 1% of the US beef
market. Both ranches also earn substantial income from sportsmen. Florida
leases lots for bore hunting. Oklahoma ranch gives $5,000/person guided deer
hunts.Church has long received rent for properties they own.
Companies have paid for decades to rent space in their malls. Shoppers pay the
Church to park there. Remember that ZCMI (Zion's cooperaive mercantile) was a
Church owned buisness which was (fairly) recently sold for millions.Church has purchased substantial farmland in the Oakley ID area recently. Some
purchased with welfare money, harvests supply the welfare program directly.
Others are purchased as buisness holdings.The Church is "exempt",
but voluntarily pays taxes on this income.$2 billion cash from
non-tithing sources? Presume billions remain.
Thank goodness the City Creek project is not the symbolic equivalent of the
"large and spacious mansion." It is more like the symbolic equivalent of the
"GIGANTIC AND SPACIOUS MANSION." Just like the meganacle, aka the conference
center. The meganacle has to be the most under utilized building for the money
in the world!
I still get a kick out of all of the whining on the Des News sites about the
economy down there. Do you realize all of the websites outside of Utah are
telling the unemployed if they want to find work to go to SLC? Your 6%
unemployment would be a dream for those of us in Washington, Oregon, Michigan,
etc.Be grateful for only 6% unemployment!
very very very very very very good point i didnt think about that!
If you build it they will come.
RE: Watchman:The only watch you have been given is to watch over
your given stewardship and to spread the gospel and bring souls to the truth,God is the Watchman over his Prophet and apostles, and his
church,and if it or they should ever go astray,it HIS
Job and his job alone to take care of it and the church.NOT yours.
I'm a business owner ready to start anthor business in utah. I already sold one
business in this bad economy and geting ready to start another. I have 100%
trust in our leaders, who are closing to the lord than I am, plus a lot smarter
in the business world than I am. Watch man what type of busniess back ground do
you have? I know we have nothing to worry about. My needs are made. I don't
need a big building to pray in.
As an observer of many years I have seen and read much concerning the
investment/development projects the LDS church is involved with. My understading
is that these projects do not involve tithing funds. Unlike our government, I
appreciate an entity that can keep it's financial house in order. The projects I
am aware of range from commercial to agricultural. From what I have seen, their
projects are well planned, always beautiful and well cared for. If the
development projects of the LDS church were publicly traded, I would be in line
to invest.As for "feeding the flock". Does not the LDS church have
one of the best, if not the best welfare system in the world, that not only
cares for their own, but also many others throughout the world? Recent events have made me take thought about what the LDS church does and
does not do. I am appreciative of what it is contributing to the city.Heaven forbid that there should be a beautuful plaza where "standards" make it
a place apart from the norm. Could'nt we just have a road there!
1. YES, 2. YES, 3. YES. Any other questions?
I don't understand why a church has a place in business at all. It seems to me
that a church should be interested in matters of the spirit, not matters of
Isa 28:1-4: “Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim,
whose glorious beauty is a fading flower.... The crown of pride, the drunkards
of Ephraim, (drunk with worldliness) shall be trodden under feet: And the
glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat (prosperous) valley, shall be a
fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer” Is
the above prophesy referring to wealthy members of the Church living in their
comfort and prosperity in the Salt Lake Valley with their spanking new 2 billion
shopping up market shopping centre on the way? As Isaiah prophesied this will
turn out be a “fading flower and hasty fruit before the summer” in
the fat valley of covetousness. No expense is being spared ‘The retail
streets will have retractable roofs’Maybe the recent closing
of the Church College of New Zealand is now helping to finance the project? Why
has the price already gone up from 1 to two billion? The church department I
work for has been told to cut budget by 20% why? I repeat their are
congregations of saints who have been refused chapels because funds are
Was it the 150's or 1960's that the Church was almost out of money? So all this
wealth has been amassed since then. Just a little history.
To Bear Laker and all the Utahn's who think spending millions of tithing
money on fixing up Downtown Salt Lake City is o.k.. Get real, the tithing money
comes in from all over the world and not just Salt Lake City. That is why
people outside of Salt Lake City should enjoy the blessing of chapels and more
temples, not just you Utahn's should reap the benefits of the tithing money for
your city beautification projects.
I think it was pure inspiration for the church to invest in the downtown area
when they did. With this economic downturn, they are stimulating the economy
and providing jobs. Heck! Obama is probably excited about this also, he can say
we have saved or created "such and such amount of jobs this year" in part by
what the LDS church is doing downtown. So, quit your whining, Anon.
Hopefully the overall economy will be better by the time the downtown project is
completed. Otherwise there will be a lot of empty apartments and office space.
Any reasonable person can clearly see that empty apartments and offices cannot
be a good investment.
Sorry folks, but Harry L. was right. There isn't a cent in tithes in these
projects. I doubt, knowing somewhat how the Church operates, that even very old
originating tithes were used for the basis for the corparations that are doing
this work. Many of them are Church majority owned; some just have church leaders
on board of directors.Since the Church growth started in Nauvoo (their
first place of real settlement and growth) church members have invested as much
as possible in property - I only wish I had been so wise in my lifetime. This practice continued in SLC until members, and the Church itself (through
indowments and non-tith contributions) has, over 100 years latter become a
financial powerhouse - leaving tithes for their intended purposes.Non-eclessiastical projects are NOT built from actual Church coffers. To my
knowledge non of these corparate entities is totally Church owned; but they have
a great enough ownership in them to have substantial say in where to go and what
to do.Unfortunately I lost a lot last year when a downtown project I was
invested in collapsed due to bank failure. The Church has great wisdom in being
I think it's great that someone with a huge interest in the state of Utah puts
their money where their mouth is. ZCMI and Crossroads were blighted junky piece
of crap malls, and the LDS church is actually being proactive and making their
community a better place. Do you not remember how bad downtown SLC was getting
before the mormons stepped up to the plate and did something about it. Also,
relatively speaking Utah still has one of the strongest economy's in the country
and I don't think that they will have a hard time filling up the mall by the
time it is done in almost 2 years.
When one pays tithing it is no longer "their money", it is the "Lord's Money"
used to build the kingdom how he sees fit. The way the tithes are spent is
overseen by The Council on the Disposition of Tithes that consists of the First
Presidency, the Quorum of the Tweleve Apostles and the Presiding Bishopric. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we have
the responsability of paying a full tithe. It is not our concern how those
tithes are spent. The Council on the Disposition of Tithes bears this
responsability. So my advice would be to relax. The Lord is in charge of His
Church. There are 18 people called to oversee how the money is spent. They are
smart, educated, experienced men.
People need to chill out on bashing Watchman. The "holier-than-thou" crap is a
little much. It remains to be seen if it will be a good investment. I hope it
will be. But acting like church leaders can't do wrong in money matters and
investing shows a bit of ignorance of church history.I think it will
come out okay and given the volume of people visiting Temple Square I think it's
good to attempt to have a vibrant downtown SLC. But times are tough and any
recovery at this point is pretty precarious. So you can understand Watchman
being a little dubious. What I can't understand is how people can be so
judgmental and pious. Simmer down a bit, dismount your high horse, and let's
hope time will prove it to be a wise investment.
I have read all these comments (Many of them pathetic in their reasoning) and I
wonder if anyone has given thought to the timing of this building project. I
find it interesting that during this terrible economic time with people being
laid off all over the country, this project is providing many, many, jobs to a
community and people who otherwise might be out of work as well. Maybe these
church officials, whom so many of you feel free to criticize as if you actually
had any knowledge, were more divinely inspired on this project and its timely
construction, than you realize. You should all be a little more grateful for
the economy boost to your area instead of being so quick to criticise.
1. Does God's revelation include where to invest money?2. If
someone bequeaths their estate to the LDS church they are free to use it for
profit?3. You are saying if the church invests $100K of tiyhing,
earns a million, they are free to take the million for profit investment?
"After a while the gentiles will gather by the thousands to this place, and Salt
Lake City will be classed among the wicked cities of the world. A spirit of
speculation and extravagance will take possession of the Saints, and the results
will be financial bondage. "So creating a beautiful, peaceful area
next to temple square is contributing to the wickedness of Salt Lake? Trust me
if nothing is done here economically, extravagance will be the last problem
found amongst an insolvent people.Something tells me watchman that
Pres. Hinkley/Monson understand the ramifications of this project, if they were
afraid of this being the downfall of the Gospel, they'd pull the plug long ago.
Instead of being such a pessimist try reading Daniels vision of the rock cut
without hands. It will make you feel better.
The church has recently had to put half a billion into beneficial life due to
speculation. How much will the church need to put in the upmarket City Creek to
keep it afloat? Where is everybody doing their shopping now? Will they all of a
sudden find extra money to shop at City Creek? How many shops in other locations
in the salt lake area will be fighting for survival and then blaming the church?
Why will alcohol be served on church owned property? City Creek is a 2 billion
speculation of covetousness. Heber C Kimball prophesied: After a
while the gentiles will gather by the thousands to this place, and Salt Lake
City will be classed among the wicked cities of the world. A spirit of
speculation and extravagance will take possession of the Saints, and the results
will be financial bondage. Jeremiah prophesied 8 v 9 The wise men
are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo they have rejected the Word of the
Lord; and what wisdom is in them...for everyone from the least even unto the
greatest is given to covetousness from the prophet even unto the priest every
one dealeth falsely.
Why must they close on Sunday? The church sold coffee and cigarettes in the
Hotel Utah (and booze and prostitutes were also available there). Brigham Young
had no compunction about selling liquor to the gentiles.
Re: "City Creek is where friends meet friends, where work meets play, where the
past meets the future, and WHERE SALT LAKE MEETS NEW YORK."I just
blew coffee out my nose reading that gem. What a hoot!
You say "As for development, that creates jobs which gives people income which
they can in turn spend at stores and restaraunts."But not on Sunday,
which means that businesses in the project will basically lose 15% of their
potential income, when we who DO have the money and spend it, shop and eat
elsewhere.There's lots of us who absolutely avoid businesses that
wear their religion (ANY religion) on their sleeve, and pander to one group.
Why do you think ZCMI Center and Crossroads failed in the first
place? Because ZCMI and many other businesses were closed HALF THE TIME ON
WSEEKENDS when people could go shopping.
Watchmen says "I sustain the brethren because they hold the keys", but TWICE
insinuates they are lying about tithing use (i.e the comment "SUPPOSEDLY
non-tithing"). That pretty much nullifies Watchmen's "sustaining" of the
brethern. So, Watchman, don't insult our intelligence (and perhaps your own) by
saying you "sustain" them, when your posts on this issue show you clearly do
not. Criticize them if you like, but do so bravely, without trying to have it
both ways. (Maybe you could look up some scriptures on being honest?) The church
is true, Thomas S. Monson is God's prophet. The church will continue to grow,
just as it has for 160 years, in spite of those who claimed it would die with
the prophet Joseph Smith. The only safe place to be in troubled times is on
God's side, which means standing with and by the church and its leaders.
Unfortunately, it appears far too many posters here have a strange and/or
limited understanding of economics, and have little apparent appreciation of how
tithing funds invested long ago can be returned to church coffers--to be used
for church ecclesiastical purposes--with all additional (current and future)
investment income being generated as 'non-tithing' funds. Do you not see the
difference? the distinction? is this rocket science?And I think
Watchman may be making cause and effect assumptions and presumptions regarding
chapel and temple building which may have little to do with reality.
To those concerned about a slow down in temple building and chapel, I might ask
how often you attend the closest temple to you. Temple building has slowed
because we as members do not use the existing temples enough. As for chapels we
could stand to do more missionary work. It is sad to see a new chapel built and
then only have one small ward in it. Temples and chapels cost plenty to build
and even more to maintain. It is very laughable to see people confuse investment
funds with tithing funds. It is so easy for people to be critical of those who
are taking care of things. As for development, that creates jobs which gives
people income which they can in turn spend at stores and restaraunts. That is
how to get the economy going, not by handing out lots of money to people who
screwed up in the first place but that is another story.
As sound as your comments and concerns may be, you're preaching to the wrong
crowd here. The General Authorities could burn a pile of cash in the middle of
Temple Square and people here would still write about how wonderful and inspired
they are and how questioning them in the slightest is apostasy.
All organizations of size receive from time to time donations from a number of
different sources, such as bequeaths, and so on. That money is not tithing
money. Also, interests who build community projects as well as commercial
projects raise capital from lenders specifically to build and develop. That
money is not tithing money and is repaid over time in rent, appreciation, and so
on. This makes the building of a chapel or temple different from a commercial
venture in that the latter is usually referred to as an investment.As a side, President Hinckley made a comment several years ago stating
something to the effect that if the economy weakens it was then unknown to the
Church how (the less tithes because of less income) would affect the building of
temples and so forth across the Church. It only makes sense that if there are
less tithes that the Church will need to cut back on chapels, temples, etc
because the Church ascribes to provident living, meaning you make the best of
what you already have and don't go into debt.
And after the construction cranes have left, you will once again be able to hear
the crickets chirping on Main Street.
This is a good thing. You can bet that if downtown was decaying (like many
urban centers around the nation) the church would be singled out as not doing
enough to help the community of which they are a part. As Elder Holland put it
once, "Even in the Golden Age, someone undoubtedly complained that everything
was too yellow."
Isaiah 2 “O House of Jacob, come ye and let us walk in the light of the
Lord; yea, come, for ye have all gone astray, every one to his wicked ways.
Therefore, O Lord, thou hast forsaken thy people, the House of Jacob, because
they be replenished from the east, and hearken unto the soothsayers like the
Philistines and they please themselves in the children of strangers. Their land
also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures.From the Church Web site on city creek “This is
something entirely new. Only now can you say Salt Lake City and cosmopolitan in
the same sentence. Life at City Creek places you within easy walking distance of
all the finest that Salt Lake has to offer; from symphony and theatre to fine
dining, shopping and deluxe office space. City Creek is where friends meet
friends, where work meets play, where the past meets the future, and WHERE SALT
LAKE MEETS NEW YORK. Will "affordable housing" be part of the City
Creek Center project? NoWhat will be the mix of the retail stores?
"In the upper moderate to better range."
Looks like Temple Square is fighting it out with Cabela's:Forbes
magazine:In spite of a struggling economy, 5 million visitors made Temple
Square the 16th most visited site in the United States....KSL News
(2006):Officials for the Utah store say close to 5-million people have
walked into their store. The number of visitors to the store could possibly
pass those of Temple Square, making Cabelas the number one tourism attraction in
One looking from the outside might think, "this is the worst time to investing
in these ventures". My views reflect what I see is the true inspiration of this
project. Could there be a better time for this type of stimulus? Ten years ago,
if I could glance into our day today, I'd say now is the most critical time to
revitalize Salt Lake, Provide thousands of jobs in a struggling construction
industry, and reap the benefits with of all the infrastructure in 2 years and
on, when this economy turns the corner for the better. This will be a huge asset
for the church both monetarily and aesthetically. 2 Birds with 1
stone. Stimulate economically, Beautify, and turn a profit
God's revelation includes business investments? Can anyone tell me the source
of any church wealth that was not a tithing or donation originally?
Construction materials are at an all time high and the properties were bought
during a boom.
Most investors don't beat on faith but on sound economics. What I would be
inter4ested seeing is how many tenets have sign leases. Good
thought, inflation is -2.13 for this year. Declining demand means people and
companies aren't spending. The business of business is business. With high
commerical real estate defaults who would you build? You can wait and buy a
building for cents on your dollars. Look at the great PR the LDS
Church got buying SLC's main thoroughfare? Like think has killed many a business
and the LDS Church doesn't cultivate innovation.
For the Brethern to approve large building projects when construction materials
and workers can be had for less than 1/2 of what they were 1-2 years ago appears
to be extrordinary wisdom. Additionally, to convert cash in the
bank into developed real estate at this point in time is something more of us
should consider. Why? Real estate is on sale; banks are failing left and right
(another 30 bank equivalents failed yesterday); and money is going to devalue
big time with the governments drunken spending. Best thing in the
world that you could be doing right now with your money is exactly what the
church is doing.
Be wise enough to acknowledge that the GA's of the faith were mostly successful
business men and they probably know FAR more than you people about it. Also,
they het a thing called REVELATION which guides their choices. Dissent amongst the members. Hasn't changed much since Joseph's day. How dId I
turn out for them?
My iPhone did autocorrect. I mean bringing in people for missionary work.
Watchman clearly doesn't understand what "sustain" means. Also, by the title of
tour comment and the quotation of Ezekial I think you may be overstepping your
bounds. I wouldn't set myself up as a prophet if I were you, and especially by
calling out the real prophets and apostles. Funny that you think you know better
than them. I would say you are approaching dangerous ground, but you
are already there. Pride was the word of the day for that comment, or ignorance,
both of which are equally ominous!I have faith that revelation is
leading the GA's decision and they are deciding to invest in the downtown area
(one if the biggest tourism, and therefore missionary work, centers in the
world). Seems like a good idea to have a hand in crafting the environment that
you share the gospel in while also bribing in people to share the gospel
with!Humble yourself and don't make torself a false prophet who
kicks against the pricks!
Watchman also doesn't understand - or perhaps care - that it is in the church's
interest to keep the downtown area vital. The church has demonstrated through
its history that it will make the right moves in planning its interests.
Get over yourself Watchman. Your self-righteous indignation is exhausting.
It sounds like Watchman is skeptical that only non-tithing money is being used.
Of course he can believe the Brethren are liars, but that would put him on shaky
ground, no wouldn't it?
It's too bad that downtown couldn't have had this attention upfront instead as
an afterthought with Gateway Mall (the Gateway for the rich) having had to be
developed. At least Down Town Salt Lake City won't die now.
This is just another response to Watchman. I mean no offense and hope this
helps a little. Think of the parable of the talents. (Matthew 25) Rather than
keeping the church's resources to itself, it uses these resources to help
others. The church helps those abroad and it's ok to help the area locally.
Watchman, you claim to "sustain the bretheren because they hold the keys."
However, your criticism of their actions indicates otherwise. If one sustains
them as being inspired, then criticizing them is being critical of their
inspiration from above. Your quote from Ezekiel is the Lord being
critical, not members of the House of Israel being critical of their leaders who
they are obligated to sustain. The Church is not a democracy, like secular
society. Authority is not bottom-up, but top-down. In a democracy transparency
and accountability come from the people. Not so in the Church, especially if we
sincerely believe that God is running the show. The role of a
'watchman' is more appropriate in relation to those from whom accountability is
appropriate, such as elected officials. Church officials are accountable to
God, who has called them.
Talk about an investment in the future, I wouldn't be surprised if City Creek is
found flourishing and bustling through the Millennium.
Well, Watchman . . . looks like you have an axe to grind. You really do not
have a clue how the LDS church works, do you?!
This all started before the downturn but it has to be helping with holding down
the costs. This is a very wise use of the investment funds of the church.
These properties could have become a liability to the church but with the new
projects it will return many times over the cost to renovate. It also will
provide a beautiful downtown thereby protecting the church's non comercial
downtown properties, maintaining a safe, unblighted area for the church to
showcase temple square. Wise, indeed, my shortsighted brother. Also what is
your reference for the slowdown of temple and chapel build worldwide?
"Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good..." I
have full confident that the shepherds Watchman mentioned did counselled with
the Lord. The question is did Watchman counsel with the Lord as to the cause of
the "cut back in expenditure" mentioned? The Lord will never reveal what my
shepherds should be doing to me, and vise versa.
Watchman makes me LOL.Yeah the church is cutting back on temple
expenditures so they can become real estate tycoons in SLC.LOL.
Watch out watchman! Your quoted scripture was completely out of line.
The LDS church which had already owned several properties downtown, bought the
remaining properties that it needed for this project at the height of the real
estate boom back in 2004-2006. Thus paying a premium for the properties. The
church needs to remind itself, that all monies that it currently has comes from
tithing. Tithing is the source from which all other investments and holdings are
derived from. In these most difficult times, I wish the church would spend more
money on helping it's faithful members in the U.S, than 2 billion dollars on
Expenditures: Shopping malls are struggling all over the US. This must be the
only new one being built.Since the church is now a worldwide organization it
need to take care of its member with basic needs such as meetinghouses. members
in a neighbouring stake in a major city to mine use our stake centre because
they have never had one built. They have to travel long distances down the
motorway for stake conference at what cost!I know of several congregations which
do not have a chapel.v Some LDS meet in chapels housing three wards, meeting at
very inconvenient times especially for their children. The members should be the
investment that the church is interested in. An independent analyst
after looking at all the church projects in Utah stated the following:“Remember all these projects are to be completed by 2011. Total costs
$10.1 billion. If you include the Conference center ($1.1 billion) the total
spending in Utah not to include chapels and stake centers $11.2 billion
If one is not moving forward or upward, then one will be going backwards or
downward. Simple stuff. Unless one wants to ford through urban decay and
decrepit, morose blocks to get to Temple Square, something has to be done to
revitalize the area. "vital-ize"Recent articles pointed out that
Temple Square is still highly ranked as a tourist attraction, and from amongst
the curious, the work will grow in distant destinations. Seems like a worthy
investment to me.Non-Utahn, non-suffering, non-needy, 'mission
Yea, I agree with you it's more important for the church to curtail temple
and chapel building so the money can be put to use for the building of shopping
centers and encourage new pubs to locate around the downtown area(close to the
temple). I live some 2,000 miles from Salt Lake City and know the effects of
temple and chapel building curtailment. Looks like somebody new needs to
oversee the church's financial department.
Anyone that has followed the City Creek development story from the beginning had
information presented to us on the reasons behind the "investment". Watchman
would do well to review some of those early news stories before casting stones.
I certainly hope it is a wise investment for the sake of church finances.
However notice the following comments; NEW YORK TIMES 31 Jan 2009
“There are roughly 1,500 malls in the United States, according to the
International Council of Shopping Centers, many of them ailing, some of them
being converted into office buildings, and others closing their doors for
good.” New York Times 4 April 2009 Landlords are
scared,” said Suzanne E. Mulvee, a real estate strategist with Property &
Portfolio Research. “Part of the reason they’re scared is dark space
doesn’t pay.” When the nation’s stores report March sales
results this week, the numbers are likely to be down yet again –
especially for department stores and mall chains, which have been the weakest
performers for months. That does not bode well for mall owners. As more
stores have closed, mall vacancies are at their highest point in almost a
decade, according to Reis, a research company, which said the vacancy rate at
the end of 2008 was 7.1 percent.How can the church risk so much
money at a time when it leaders are teaching prudence?
It is important to maintain a good, clean environment around our temple.
So why don't you just say the leaders "are acting stupidly" and make yourself
look as much of an idiot as Obama does right now. You don't have the faintest
clue so please keep your lame critiques to yourself. The church leaders have
that kind of money because of wise investing over the years. I would venture to
guess that they still know how to invest wisely. At least they are investing in
the community while many others are pulling back or looking for a high return in
oil, speculations, or whatever the "fast buck" scheme of the day is.
It looks like politics has become a part of the religion now. Were it not for
tithing this religion would not have the funds to invest and call it non tithing
funds.As for the downtown, its a place to stay away from because it
is not intended for Utah citizens to use, but our taxes keep getting spent for
non citizen use. The only jobs in downtown are for the illegals being harbored
and hidden from the feds. Illeagas in SLC are getting our taxes to provide
welfare and food stamps and education. The good news is that as long as SLC
keeps and harbors the criminals from mexico, the rest of the states crimes get a
reprieve.All this money being spent and not one cent is for the
citizens of Utah. Downtown has segregated itself from Utah and created its own
little empire feeding off of all tax paying citizens of Utah.
When will downtown Salt Lake City and Park City and their leaders learn that we
active "Mormons" have money to spend and that we are NOT the enemy?
Watchman, you seem genuinely concerned, but your evidence consists of a laundry
list of conjecture. (Are you a church employee, with access to the financials,
or do you just speculate and talk like you actually know something?) Where are
you that you assert that members' needs aren't been met, with new buildings,
etc? Any definative evidence that the Calagary Temple isn't being built,
because of the downtown renovation?The Church (for all the criticism
from anti'a it gets in Utah) is the most influential player in the community.
It is doing its part to develop and maintain the city. Your assumptions are
off, in that you seem to think the Church is burning cash on this, and won't get
any return. The Church is run be very knowledgeable, experienced in business,
leaders. They know what they are doing... The Church will have a return on its
investment, and importantly, SLC downtown (by the Temple) won't be an abandoned
The Church is also dedicated to maintaining the integrity of the downtown area.
Temple Square is the number one tourist attraction in the state and an important
resource for missionary work. It serves the ecclesiatical work of the Church to
have a vibrant downton area in SLC.
...and what gratitude does the Church get for pumping 2 Billion into the economy
and for beautifying down-town? All they get is profane, drunken violators of
common decency/respect trespassing on their property and calling the church
bigots for violating their civil rights?
Watchman obviously doesn't understand the difference between spending money and
investing money. The Church has always been interested in investing their
non-tithe money, while they have always been very careful about how they spend
tithing money. The Church leaders don't have a private slush fund, they are
merely investing their interests in the down town area, also with a chance of
receiving a large return. The Church is smart to invest in commerce and real
estate while the economy is down.
For those members of the LDS faith like myself outside of Utah the constant
spend on non-church essentials in Salt Lake City is galling. Chapel building is
being scaled down in many nations (I have direct evidence of this that members
needs are not being met) Temple building is being put on hold such as the
Calgary Temple, all church departments are cutting back on expenditure, and yet
the church can pump 2 billion into a shopping centre with supposedly non-tithing
money. It has just pumped half a billion into Beneficial Life to meet its
obligations.The General authorities must have the largest private slush fund of
any organization in the world to spend as they desire. Of course all
non-tithing. Although I sustain the brethren because they hold the
keys I feel to quote the words of Ezekiel “And the Word of the Lord came
unto me, saying, Son of Man, prophesy against the Shepherds of Israel, prophesy,
and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God unto the Shepherds: Woe be to the
Shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! Should not the Shepherds feed the
flocks?” Ezekiel 34