LDS billionaire, BYU graduate shares success story

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  • haunyocker Springville, UT
    Aug. 15, 2014 2:19 p.m.

    It's a wonderful story. I don't know how many times I've heard of a returning missionaries or faithful members of the church working in some calling that has helped them say they used the knowledge learned in their calling to start businesses or expand their capabilities and thus their success.

    President Hinkley, if I recall, talked about a man in Mexico who joined the church, learned some lessons doing his calling, I think as a ward clerk or financial clerk, something like that. He took those lessons and applied them to a business opportunity and became successful because of those lessons and faithful service. I believe the man was acting as President Hinkley's driver for an assignment there in Mexico and that's how President Hinkley learned the story.

    One of my closest friends was called to the high council and as a contractor, was assigned to be in charge of the buildings for the stake. He learned a lot about the Church's process of caring for the chapels and buildings and because of that experience and his hard work as a contractor was chosen to be the whole county's buildings administrator.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Aug. 11, 2014 1:27 p.m.

    Only a foolish person claims that money, in and of itself, is "evil".

    It is not "money" that is evil. Do those Christians who claim that really believe that God and Jesus Christ live in a shack? Really?

    No, "money" is not inherantly evil, but it is the "love of money" that is evil.

    Good luck to us all.

  • A Guy With A Brain Enid, OK
    Aug. 11, 2014 1:24 p.m.

    @ IRS Agent - PROVO, UT - "The sin is not in being wealthy, it is in the desire of your heart. The apostles of the church are not paupers, most of them are very wealthy, and leaders in their respective disciplines (surgeons, businessmen, pilots, etc.) The reason is that they have learned to make the most of the talents the Lord gave them. Through dedication, study and perseverance, they have become successful in the eyes of the world, but the focus was in being true to stewardship they were entrusted from above. As I tell my children, if you are the best at what you do, there will always be work for you and you will be comfortable. If your position in life is a farmer, be the best farmer in the valley. It makes no difference what you do, it is "how" you do it. Make the most of whatever talent you have. Make that your focus, and the rest will come. Make money your focus, and you will start to look for an "edge" to beat out the next guy. That is where the downfall starts."

    If I could give you a thousand "Likes", I would.

    Well said!

  • A Guy With A Brain Enid, OK
    Aug. 11, 2014 1:22 p.m.

    From broke newlywed to billionaire. Awesome!

    If he can do it, so can I.

    And, who knows?...maybe I will!

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Aug. 11, 2014 1:20 p.m.

    It doesn't matter if the Lord has blessed you with ten thousand dollars, a million dollars, or a billion dollars. You have a stewardship over that money and a responsibility to use it wisely to bless your family, your community, and even strangers.

    Some here believe that no matter how much you have, you don't deserve it and it should be taxed away from you so that someone else gets to decide how it will be used.

    Sure, some people completely neglect their stewardship and use all their wealth for personal comfort and aggrandizement; but it is uplifting to hear a story like this where someone who is blessed with a lot of money is trying their best to have it also bless as many others as possible.

  • Dr. Lynn Tullahoma, TN
    Aug. 11, 2014 10:55 a.m.

    Thanks be to God for using this brother to help others. God bless him for what he is doing.

  • Just an Observer Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 11, 2014 10:07 a.m.

    I would like to make as much money as I possibly can, in balance with everything else I need to do. If I have a certain amount, I know that I can live perpetually on the interest. Beyond that, the interest or income that can be generated on amounts beyond what I need for the reasonable needs and conservative desires of myself and my family can be used to bless others. As much as I would prefer for the world not to be money-based, it is. So if, by my efforts, I can generate more than I need, I will then be in the position to do for some others what they currently cannot. I hope I get into that position, and I wish there were more people with that mindset in the world.

  • plexippus Parowan, UT
    Aug. 11, 2014 7:50 a.m.

    I know the man. As a missionary, I served in his ward for 7 months. His twins nearly died in a car accident just prior to my arrival. He was also the stake president. I have nothing but glowing words for this man. Even with all his trials and responsibilities, he went on splits with me EVERY Thursday for 7 months. We ate lunch at his house every Monday for 7 months. He bought homes for those that were in need. Every new member of the church was given a subscription to Liahona and every inactive member was also given a subscription, paid for by Carlos Martins. On Christmas Eve, his wife, Vania, dropped off hundreds of dollars of food at our door. The stories go on and on.

    You may say what you want about riches, but this man was and still is today the greatest man I've ever personally known.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Aug. 10, 2014 6:35 p.m.

    Sandy, UT

    "You didn't build that!" -- Barack Obama


    Exaggerate much by taking words out of context?

    The president's remark was made in the context of his belief that wealthy citizens should pay higher taxes to serve the public good:

    "There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me—because they want to give something back. They know they didn't—look, if you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own... If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business—you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 9, 2014 10:56 p.m.

    I don't begrudge anyone their wealth as it stands. But this does nourish the irritating assumption among LDS that a church member's wealth is a direct consequence of their virtue - i.e. the more worthy the richer, the less worthy the poorer. This is what we assume in this culture.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 9, 2014 10:47 p.m.

    Some people are driven to accumulate. Most of us are not. Those of us who are not should not feel inferior to those so inclined.

  • Strong Man Eau Claire, WI
    Aug. 9, 2014 10:13 p.m.

    Just a little strange to me that he changed his middle name to Wizard. Not sure I quite follow that but he sure seems to be doing a lot of good out there though, which is very admirable.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 9, 2014 9:52 p.m.

    I am as conservative as they come, but I do not think it is inappropriate or judgemental to quote Hugh Nibley, or even the Savior when questions of wealth arise. They are fair questions. And, the disparity in incomes between the rich and poor is a valid concern. Granted, these disucssions are often polluted with personal political opinions and unfair accusations such as "you're just jealous" or "you're being judgmental".

    God has wealth to give - some receive more than others. That doesn't bother me. It is also that God has given some pretty stict warnings about the pursuit of wealth - probably because so few can pursue it with His purposes in mind. What is really "the love of money"? What did the Savior mean when he introduced the warning about the camel and the eye of the needle? Or the D&C warning about "it is not given to one man to posess that which is above another"? Fair questions.

    Don't ignore fair questions and discussions just because of a mind-set that wealth isn't wrong - sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. I want to have those discussions.

  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    Aug. 9, 2014 9:16 p.m.

    Wow folks, perhaps we should all take a deep breath, take this article at face value, smile and pick fewer nits.

    It's noteworthy when anyone rises from a humble background to be a billionaire. This billionaire happens to be a member of the Church. Newspapers write about things people find noteworthy, No one need believe that notoriety places anyone above another. I certainly don't think so and I don't assume others do.

    I suspect if this same article was in the Finance section some folks would feel compelled to question why it wasn't in the Faith section since the article mentions this man's membership, his mission and his prayers.

    The article reports on a newsworthy aspect of the life of a man who shares my faith. I found it uplifting, the same way I find articles about folks who use their faith to overcome adversity or unite their family to be uplifting. I suppose if I looked hard enough I could have found something to criticize about it...choosing to do so, however, seems counterproductive.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 9, 2014 8:47 a.m.

    Hugh Nibley was not a "poor" man. He had vast wealth, but he used it to further the work of the Lord. Carlos Martins is not a "poor" man. He has used his wealth to help others and he has accepted responsibilities in the LDS Church that require a huge time commitment.

    The Lord is not a "poor" man. He uses his "wealth" to bless the lives of each of us. He charges nothing for the air we breathe, for the sunshine and moisture that enables us to grow our food, for the opportunities that we have in life to better ourselves so that we can assist others to become better.

    In our economic society, wealth is necessary before we have adequate ability to help others. Digging with our hands in the soil is less effective than using a shovel. Using a shovel is less effective than using a tractor. The man with a tractor can benefit many more people than the man who has no tools.

    The Lord blesses those whose hearts are pure and whose intentions include helping others. People of many faiths have been blessed financially and they have blessed many others.

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    Aug. 9, 2014 7:31 a.m.

    If only I had a good work ethic.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 9, 2014 1:50 a.m.


    Your judgement of him is inappropriate. There is no evidence given here that he got his money dishonestly or otherwise inapropriately such as neglecting his family in the pursuit of wealth. For you to manufacture such an assumption is the kind of judgement of others that the scriptures teach is wrong.

  • mattwend IDAHO FALLS, ID
    Aug. 8, 2014 9:10 p.m.

    It is interesting to see the political comments with this story. Once again, Democrats and Republicans can use their typical talking points to completely miss the reality that every last one of us is where we are today not because of our own intelligence, skill, or work ethic. We are where we are wholly and completely because of the blessings of a loving Heavenly Father. Yes, we can choose to use the intelligence, skills and work ethics we have, but we were given those as blessings. Isn't it sad to see someone lacking in work ethic? That is so limiting for individuals! We know there is a wide range of differences in levels of intelligence, and some people obtain greater skills than others based on their life experiences and efforts. Regardless, we are all beggars, and we have all been blessed. I am not wealthy, as is the subject of this story. It doesn't matter! Happiness comes from making good choices and doing the best we can. I believe this story will be great for Monday's FHE.

  • DanB Portland, OR
    Aug. 8, 2014 8:35 p.m.

    When we went to pick up our son in 2000 from his mission in Brazil, we visited several towns where he had labored and met many wonderful people.

    During our time there, our son explained that many of the returned Brazilian missionaries were going inactive because after their missions, they returned to a life without hope of escaping the extreme poverty that many had come from.

    One of the towns we visited was Vitoria. We went to church there and met the LDS Bishop and later had lunch with his family. He was very young (probably late 20's early 30's). They were obviously doing very well financially as compared to some of the other great families we met on our trip.

    Carlos Martins had been his Bishop or Stake President (can't remember which). When this young man got off of his mission, Martins basically set him up in business with the Vitoria Wizard franchise. Obviously it had been a financial blessing in his life and his family's life.

    Not sure how many others he helped out, but this Bishop had nothing but praise for Martins.

  • rickdoctor Chandler, AZ
    Aug. 8, 2014 5:44 p.m.

    I am with Hugh Nibley = brilliant man. The trick is to make money HONESTLY -- the 'trick' is that most people use their own definition of 'honestly', with total rationalizations of every kind imaginable. Every time I think I have heard them all, a new one is spoken right in front of me. And usually by someone I had considered basically 'honest' -- go figure. We make excuses for what we do and think, usually AFTER-THE-FACT! We do not, as we ought, measure what we do and think by the Sermon on the Mount's teachings. It is too simple for most. I was reminded this week from Chapter 16 of Teachings of JFS -- that the Sermon on the Mount is a simple test for whether we will enter into the presence of the Lord -- live it and we will. Disregard any part of it, and we lose out -- as JFS says, we cannot pick and choose which parts of the Gospel we obey. Personally, I see making money at the expense of others = dishonest, making money on money produces no service or product = dishonest; making money for evil purposes = dishonest; making money while disregarding priorities = dishonest;

  • Osgrath Provo, UT
    Aug. 8, 2014 5:11 p.m.

    Malihini found a message in this article that widely differed from what I found. I was enlightened and edified by a story of how a young, disadvantaged man created a successful and abundant life for himself by applying valid and true principles of material success while remaining loyal to his spiritual beliefs and dedication to God. Had the story been simply young, poor man with a family gets a college education, it would have been good. But it goes far beyond that. It became, young, poor man gets a BYU education, enters the corporate world, discovers a good way to serve humanity, it goes well for him, he remains solid in his faith and values and worth emulating.

    I guess Malihini sees the world much different than I do. I will be sharing this story with my 15-year-old son.

    As for Danite, I also seem to have found a who lot of spiritual and faith value in the story than he did, as well. I do like to remain positive.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Aug. 8, 2014 4:16 p.m.

    There are a couple ways to get rich.

    Some get that way by working hard together with a great bunch of people who share a common goal; building value with great products and/or services; and sharing the rewards that come with that success. The reward may not be equal, but everyone's contribution is valued and loyalty between both owners and workers is strong.

    Others get that way by always chasing the cheapest and quickest alternative to fill an immediate need. Loyalty means little where workers never stay long and jobs are outsourced whenever an opportunity presents itself.

    There are plenty of examples of each. Those who see a big problem with "income inequality" seem to think that all capitalists belong in the second category. In an effort to right all the wrongs they see, leftists are using the power of government to try and thwart businesses from gaining too much wealth and power and "exploit workers".

    Unfortunately, this also creates an environment where it is becoming harder and harder for someone in the first category to build a successful business that can be very beneficial to everyone involved.

  • Danite Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 8, 2014 4:01 p.m.

    My concern is not that this brother is wealthy, my concern is that this article is found in a Faith section of a publication. I'm stunned that we take the accumulation of wealth and connected it to things of "Faith". They do not mix, they cannot mix, and we when we try to mix them, we are fooling ourselves.

    If this was about this brothers consecration and giving to those in need that would be acceptable in the Faith section, however, I understood this article to be highlighting his accumulation of wealth and not much more. I'm not judging him nor am I jealous of him, but I guess I am judging all of the Saints that read articles like this and say "wow, neat-o, he must be blessed".

  • Malihini Northern, UT
    Aug. 8, 2014 2:56 p.m.

    Why is it that the church, and many of it's members, is so infatuated with the wealthy people and/or the celebrities, i.e., the recent book and marketing efforts of Elder Archeletta. I mean, do you have to be wealthy to be a good member of the church? Is Steve Young and John Huntsman a better, more worthy member of the church because they became famous and wealthy, i.e., blessed with riches? Was David Archeletta a better missionary than others because he can sing?

    I just don't understand what the point of these types of articles is. Spencer W. Kimball once gave a talk comparing the Israelite answer of, "we will have our king" that was given to Samuel in comparison to modern day members of the church. It seems that we must have our Kings as well. We must have our famous people, we must revere our wealthy people and we must attribute adoration as the world does, by outward appearances. Yes, "we will have our king" just as the world has theirs.

  • IRS Agent PROVO, UT
    Aug. 8, 2014 11:55 a.m.

    The sin is not in being wealthy, it is in the desire of your heart. The apostles of the church are not paupers, most of them are very wealthy, and leaders in their respective disciplines (surgeons, businessmen, pilots, etc.) The reason is that they have learned to make the most of the talents the Lord gave them. Through dedication, study and perseverance, they have become successful in the eyes of the world, but the focus was in being true to stewardship they were entrusted from above. As I tell my children, if you are the best at what you do, there will always be work for you and you will be comfortable. If your position in life is a farmer, be the best farmer in the valley. It makes no difference what you do, it is "how" you do it. Make the most of whatever talent you have. Make that your focus, and the rest will come. Make money your focus, and you will start to look for an "edge" to beat out the next guy. That is where the downfall starts.

  • John Charity Spring Back Home in Davis County, UT
    Aug. 8, 2014 11:53 a.m.

    Those who achieve success will always be criticized by those who are jealous. What we need are more people who, like the subject of this article, are willing to give back. Sullivan Ballou have a good example of this when he stated "I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how . . . great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and sufferings of the Revolution. And I am willing—perfectly willing—to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt . . ."

    Those who are willing to sacrifice for what is right will be richly rewarded for doing so.

  • crimendelsiglo sandy, UT
    Aug. 8, 2014 11:49 a.m.

    people of different values have money. the quantity may be great or small. Paul's letter to Timothy wasn't abt money. it IS abt inappropriate love or excessive love of money, what it represents and symbolizes to the person who has it. one can have money and not love it: respect it, use it, work for it, trade it for family needs

    what would you sacrifice, give, surrender to acquire money, more money, lots of money ? KJV Bible uses the word "ALL EVIL"; other translations say "all kinds of evil" Paul wrote "COVETED"; other translations use "longing and "craving"

    money is not the root of evil. evil is self-existent. Satan lies: one cannot buy anything (or everything) with money

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 8, 2014 11:46 a.m.

    He should have to give all the money to his employees - he didn't create this value.

    And to think, instead of working hard and using his ingenuity, he could have sit down and blamed the rich people around him for being in poor financial conditions!

  • John Locke Ivins, , UT
    Aug. 8, 2014 11:45 a.m.

    The intelligence of the individual, given the opportunity to succeed or fail is a marvelous thing to observe. In the collective, ideas of the individual are squashed if the idea does not benefit the whole.

    In actuality, one individual's ideas coupled with the will to succeed and assistance from others to do so, can benefit the entire community, in more ways than financial. Obama does not understand this and insists, like those Socialist/Saul Alinsky followers who went before him, that you truly can fit a 5 lb sausage into a 10 lb bag. Abandoning individuality for the will of the collective is like banning cannot be done. You can only suppress it, like air, but it will always escape.

    Great story of individual success. How many jobs did he provide? Are you listening, Obama?

  • ru1too MESA, AZ
    Aug. 8, 2014 11:36 a.m.

    nice story, very inspiring. A shame people use this for political comments.

  • greatbam22 andrews afb, MD
    Aug. 8, 2014 10:24 a.m.

    @ Baddog

    Dannite comment in no way condemned the Man in the article. It is just simply stating to me that the Lord doesn't really care if you become rich or not in this life.

    I have read a similarly phrased conference talk by General Authorities.

  • Nathan8 Olivehurst, CA
    Aug. 8, 2014 10:15 a.m.

    Good for him! After obtaining a hope in Christ, we are to seek riches so we can do good with them. This saint has done that. Thank you to the saint, to the writer, the assignment editor, and all who contributed to the telling of this story!

  • Born in Bountiful Provo, Utah
    Aug. 8, 2014 10:12 a.m.

    Mountain Man, I am sorry you don't see the wonderful opportunities this country still offers us. The is the home of 1/3 of the world's billionaires. You don't have to be born rich to make it. Sure we pay taxes, but many countries tax at higher rates. Sure several of our presidents have been less than stellar in the last 30 years, but don't give up. You give up on your opportunity and you are giving up on your children's opportunity. Vote strong men into office. Run for office yourself.

  • oddman ,
    Aug. 8, 2014 10:05 a.m.

    re:danite ; Jonathan PDX Oh contrare, my friend. If you will browes the Book of Jacob you might change your mind. I believe he said if you are righteous and seek riches for the purpose of doing good it's okay.
    \Yes, the love of money is the root of all evil.... who loves money more, those who have it or those who don't?

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Aug. 8, 2014 10:05 a.m.

    To "Danite" I think what you are looking for is this:

    Jacob 2:19 "And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted."

    Seems like Martins did just as the scriptures proclaim.

  • JayTee Sandy, UT
    Aug. 8, 2014 9:35 a.m.

    "You didn't build that!" -- Barack Obama

  • Joan Watson TWIN FALLS, ID
    Aug. 8, 2014 9:16 a.m.

    The crux of this man experience and beliefs? Learn, listen, pray, trust, work, obey, share.
    One cant help but be respectful of those such as this man, who have a personal and trusting relationship with God, and who has taken opportunity to not only provide well for himself and has family, but for others as well.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 8, 2014 9:15 a.m.

    Judge not lest ye be judged….

  • JonathanPDX Portland, Oregon
    Aug. 8, 2014 8:52 a.m.

    1 Timothy 6:10 (KJV) "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."

    This was, is, and always will be true and is played out again and again in our lives on a daily basis (just watch the news).

    "My parents...felt people were losing track of the notion of right and wrong, with misplaced principles, values, ethics and a lack of mutual respect..."

    And Carlos and his parents are exactly right, many business leaders have lost sight of the notion of doing what's right in favor of doing what's monetarily profitable, regardless of how it affects others - their employees, their vendors, their customers. It's all about the money.

    Too bad more business leaders aren't about doing what's right for the many (including their employees, vendors and customers) as opposed to doing what's profitable for the few regardless of the long-term consequences.

    Doing what's right may not give back a boatload of profit in the short term, but in the long run, its effects are often incalculable.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Aug. 8, 2014 8:35 a.m.

    He could not have accomplished that in America today! Obama would tell him, "You didn't build that" and the EPA, Obamacare, the Dept of Education and the IRS would destroy his company and all his employees would lose their jobs!

  • baddog Cedar Rapids, IA
    Aug. 8, 2014 8:35 a.m.

    Danite -- Are you jealous?

    At face value, I'd say Brother Martins' camel could thread the eye of a needle.

    As to our judgments, they mean nothing. It is between him and the Lord, your judgment notwithstanding.

  • t702 Las Vegas, NV
    Aug. 8, 2014 8:10 a.m.

    Great story! it is inspiring to see people come from nowhere succeeding and thriving in life on their own without government "help"

  • Danite Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 8, 2014 7:12 a.m.

    "In no place do the scriptures, including the voices of our modern prophets, assent to the goal of amassing the goods of this earth. Such a course is to yield to Satan's Golden Question: "Do you have any money?"

    "From the time of Adam to the present day, Zion has been pitted against Babylon, and the name of the game has always been money -'power and gain'."

    "The trick is to appear rich as a result of being good- to cultivate the virtue of respectability."

    -Hugh Nibley, Approaching Zion

  • Southernmiss kaysville, UT
    Aug. 8, 2014 6:01 a.m.

    Awesome article! Awesome guy! Would love to hear him speak! Please let us know if he comes to the Salt Lake area! Very inspiring!