Hamilton Partners just sold 222 Main and were most likely looking to get out of
downtown SLC. The Church, wanting the performing arts center to be completed
probably saw this as an opportunity two accomplish to goals at once. Get the
center built while putting a modern building next to it that will be a long term
Esquire:You want to change the subject to openness and disclosure?
Would you like to start, in goodwill, by reporting how much in tithes and
offerings you have personally donated to the LDS church last year? You stated
you are a member, correct?Keep in mind the church already gave an
accounting of its financial status in the April 2013 General Conference (for the
year 2012). You can read the report from the Saturday session entitled,
"Church Auditing Department Report, 2012" on the church website. Here is all the disclosure you need:"The Church Auditing
Department has been granted access to all records and systems necessary to
evaluate the adequacy of controls for receipts of funds, expenditures, and
safeguarding of Church assets. The Church Auditing Department is independent of
all other Church departments and operations, and the staff consists of certified
public accountants, certified internal auditors, certified information systems
auditors, and other credentialed professionals.Based upon audits
performed, the Church Auditing Department is of the opinion that in all material
respects, contributions received, expenditures made, and assets of the Church
for the year 2012 have been recorded and administered in accordance with
appropriate accounting practices, approved budgets, and Church policies and
Perhaps I'm naive, but IMHO, the Church is keeping our city beautiful,
clean and safe. Everyone I know who comes to visit me always mentions how clean
the city is compared to theirs and how good it feels to walk around town without
fear of life or limb. Of course there are problems, but this is earth, not
heaven. I'm not Mormon so I don't know how things work in the Church,
but I'm glad I chose to live here and I feel right at home. I'll
always welcome a new building as I did with City Creek Mall. Maybe I won't
buy much there, but it sure is nice to walk around. From the few Mormons I know,
they are generally good people, just like other denominations. The Church has
some problems of course, but as long as they learn to keep their nose out of
politics, they will do fine.
@ 1.96 Standard Deviations, I don't need your lecturing. I'm very,
very familiar with the policies and practices. I'm sorry you seem to have
missed the implication. There are some very good comments here suggesting more
openness and disclosure, and I think that is a good thing for a church (and it
is mine) that touts common consent. Questions are good, even though some think
information should be hidden.
Can you imagine what downtown SLC would look like if the Church didn't
invest $$ to keep it nice? I'm sure the likes of Rocky Anderson would have
come up with a great plan to take care of things for the greater good.Also, keep in mind how many other buildings exist on land owned by the Church
and leased back to the building owner for next to nothing: Symphony Hall, Salt
Palace Convention Center, Energy Solutions, etc., etc. The Church leases the
land to these entities for $1 per year. Try finding a private land owner
willing to equal that deal.
It is amusing to see how "concerned" people are, who are not members of
the LDS faith, about how the Church uses their money. It's called
"wisely", so don't worry your pretty little head over it. By the
way a little service never hurt anyone, give it a shot sometime, it could do you
Esquire:Please do yourself a favor and do a Google search for
"Church Finances--Commercial Businesses gospel topics." Click the first
result and it takes you to the Gospel Topics page of the LDS (dot) org. The
article is entitled "Church Finances--Commercial Businesses."The article, on the Gospel Topics page, also has some links to talks given by
President Hinckley about why the church is in commercial business. That page
also includes links to other sources that shed some light on the matter.It is a good read and will give you greater understanding and
background. I highly recommend it.
I love to hear just how little people know about the LDS Church, and how it gets
funding. Most of the money comes not from the members, but from private
industries the Corporation of the Presiding Bishopric owns and manages,such as
Bonneville Communications, which is a probably a billion dollar company by
itself, fully taxable I might add. Most of what Tithing goes to is the Church
Welfare Program. The LDS Church is the fastest relief organization in the world.
whenever a disaster strikes, they load up planes and ships and trucks with food
and water, clothing and toiletries and other essential needs.Tithing is used to
help others. The church uses other means for their real estate.
We don't really know whether tithing originally created the wealth for
these kinds of investments or how money is generated and spent or invested.
Likewise, we have no idea what the compensation is for members of the first
presidency and quorum of the 12. Without the financial transparency that used
to exist, we have to take it on faith that the finances of the LDS Church are as
we hope them to be.
Always going to be critics out there. The funds are going back to the world.
There are no high paid clergy in the church. (except Bronco Mendenhall) Revenues
go to help the less fortunate, fulfilling the mission of the church and running
an organization of 15 million plus. If you aren't a believer, none of it
I'm always surprised when people complain about service they are unwilling
to render (clean the chapel) or about tithes they are unwilling to pay. The
blessings of these actions have been very obvious to me. For example, our
members have treated our sacred structures with increased reverence and respect
since we started cleaning them ourselves.
If that photo has it next to the Zions Bank building on the West Side of the
Street, which it appears it does, then it is putting the building in the wrong
Strange transaction.Is the church trying to save the theater deal?Or
did Hamilton get cold feet? It is an aggressive expansion of office space in
SLC.We'll never know.Go easy on Impartial7. He makes a good
point about church-owned projects. Wasn't there an office tower in Philly
announced recently?Cleaning the chapel is a sidebar; not the crux of the
matter. The point is that the church is involved in serious commercial ventures
with little disclosure about what happens to the profits. Is this real estate
push a signal that property investments are the new stocks and bonds? Perhaps
the profit from these ventures help build temples and support missions.Assuming they are wise investments and the taxes are paid as for-profit
projects, funding the work this way is a noble model.
Downtown SLC is becoming the American equivalent of Vatican City?
@Impartial7I agree that it seems strange, but like has already been
said, these are apple/orange comparisons. The church invests millions into
downtown for several reasons, none of which have anything to do with keeping a
chapel clean. The downtown buildings are meant to increase the quality of
downtown, remove crime and make it nice. It also serves as a sort of asset based
savings account. When you have millions of $ it's not like you can just
throw it into bank accounts.The chapels are used by and for members.
It's rewarding to take pride in the facilities you use. I have spent many a
night cleaning church facilities and always enjoyed it. It offers me a sense of
ownership and makes me grateful for what I have.
It sounds like the Church is in a new line of business.
@Impartial7, no one makes members clean the church buildings. I have helped
clean my ward building on several occasions but no one "made" me. I did
it because I wanted to. The church is an organization of volunteers and cleaning
the buildings is just one thing members volunteer to do.
@ Impartial7You are comparing apples and oranges. Different money
stream/source and VERY different purpose.The Church does not
"make" members do ANYTHING. Having spent much time cleaning in many
chapels and temples across the U.S. and overseas, it has been a tremendous
BLESSING for me and my family.WHY would the Lord's Church WASTE money
on "professional" cleaners when members can do the job? SERVICE...try
it out sometime.
I don't understand all this. The Church is investing 150 million dollars.
This is a few months after they just spent 545 million on Florida real estate
& 2 Billion on City Creek. And they make members clean ward houses because
they can no longer afford professional janitors. Something doesn't add up.