LDS Church welfare, humanitarian efforts average $40 million per year, apostle says

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • redhat Fairfax Station, VA
    July 27, 2017 6:42 a.m.

    Would it be important to a church organization to divulge its finances to its members? At my RC church our lay led finance committee does just that yearly. We know how much is spent for candles and how much is spent on maintenance and missions. Feels good to have that info!

  • jmort SLO, CA
    July 16, 2016 10:42 a.m.

    @summarizerer

    "If local leaders don't take issue as you do then why do you sustain them?"

    When members sustain local leaders, they are sustaining the leaders to carry out the duties assigned to them. Nothing more. They are not sustaining the leader's opinion regarding matters outside of the leader's assigned duties, such as how much and where humanitarian aid should be disbursed. When you sustain someone for a position, you are not agreeing with how they conduct their business matters, their political views, or anything else unrelated to the duties they will be performing. You suggested above that others "are out of touch with the comings and goings of the LDS Church" but your comment indicates that perhaps you should look in a mirror.

  • CSK Gilbert, AZ
    July 15, 2016 4:47 p.m.

    @mhenshaw

    Obviously the Church does not issue stock, my use of the term was hypothetical, "IF members are considered shareholders...".

    Regardless of the actual legal status of members as "shareholders" in the corporation that is the Church, I think it is simply a sign of good stewardship to be open and transparent about the budgets and finances of the Church. It is important that these things be in the open not only to quell critique and prevent corruption, but also so that the general membership feels included.

    You can see that the dollar amount cited in this article is frustrating to a lot of people because helping the needy is a core mission of the Church. It doesn't make sense to a lot of people that spending in any given year is greater by a factor of ten, or more, for one of the Church's core missions over another.

    The simple truth, as others have pointed out, is that financials are disclosed in other countries and were at one point disclosed in this country; Church leaders routinely offered a detailed account of church finances from 1915 until 1959. The last fully detailed accounting was produced in 1947.

  • summarizerer Berryville, VA
    July 15, 2016 9:05 a.m.

    @jmort

    "Requesting good stewardship from our leaders, who themselves proclaim their fallibility, is just good common sense..."

    "..To imply that we have less faith than you is judgmental and just plain wrong."

    Take it however you want. Many of those saying..in some cases almost demanding that the church should give more are skeptics of the Church and in my opinion they are demanding such things because they are out of touch with the comings and goings of the LDS Church.

    If it is such an issue / concern to you then why bring it up in a comments section vs. taking it up with your local ward / stake leadership?

    You sustain them do you not? If you sustain your local leadership and they don't have an issue with how tithes are allocated then why do you take issue with higher leadership?

    In other words If local leaders don't take issue as you do then why do you sustain them?

  • jmort SLO, CA
    July 15, 2016 7:59 a.m.

    summarizerer,

    "The disagreement comes back to differing philosophies:Faith vs. Skepticism"

    I totally disagree with, and resent your characterization. The subject of our faith should be whether Jesus is the Christ. Requesting good stewardship from our leaders, who themselves proclaim their fallibility, is just good common sense. Many perfectly faithful members (some who have commented on this site) have faith in the doctrines and teachings of the church yet desire complete financial transparency from its leaders. To imply that we have less faith than you is judgmental and just plain wrong.

  • elochoop Park City, UT
    July 15, 2016 7:50 a.m.

    no debbie downer here . . . I think the Church's welfare system and LDS charities are absolutely terrific, doing great good around the world. I've personally seen this happening in third world countries. BUT, as a sympathetic member, I (like Oragami and mancan) was very surprised (and disappointed) at the relatively LOW number of $40 million. I would have hoped that 10% of contributions, something more like $400 million, would be the number. Remember, this isn't just a feel good side program. Caring for the poor and needy is one of four-fold purposes of the Church. I'm afraid we too often forget who will be welcome in the Celestial Kingdom. Jesus said only those who feed the hungry, clothe the naked, etc shall be worthy to enter Heaven. See Mathew 25: 31-46

  • summarizerer Berryville, VA
    July 15, 2016 6:51 a.m.

    The disagreement comes back to differing philosophies:

    Faith vs. Skepticism

    How much does the church help the poor, how much should the LDS church help the poor, etc.

    Even if a person can see and understand the others point of view it doesn't mean that they'll come to any sort of agreement.

    People have been and will be skeptical of the LDS church and it's comings and goings. It has been this way practically since its inception.

    A skeptic is going to criticize that is what they do.

    A member of a faith is going to exercise faith in things that they don't understand that is what they do.

    Skeptics are many respects a dime a dozen in this world.

  • Whittling Whistler Lehi, UT
    July 15, 2016 3:57 a.m.

    from fb- It's an awesome privilege to be a part of this. And keep in mind that "humanitarian aid" is only a small fraction of what the church donates to charity, welfare, etc. and that is only a small fraction of what we, the Church of Jesus Christ, donate to bettering humanity. It's what we do...:). This article clarifies some definitions:
    It's in the Times and Seasons and you should be able to find it by searching

    "Business Weeks erroneous claim about lds charitable donations"

    The lds church defines humanitarian aid differently than others, the Church spends BILLIONS a year on educating people, welfare, social services, service missions, etc. etc. and we donate tons of clothing through the DI etc. these aren't all considered to be humanitarian aid but they are perhaps more important contributions, and leading people to Christ is the most important contribution! :)

  • 2close2call Los Angeles, CA
    July 15, 2016 12:45 a.m.

    @UteTrog "as a CPA, I do not require God to prove to me where His money that I gave back to him is going."

    Love to hear from fellow CPA's. So let me get this straight. Every other non profit or other business entity, you use professional skepticism as a CPA should but when it comes to the LDS church you are good because you believe it is from God?

  • 2close2call Los Angeles, CA
    July 14, 2016 11:51 p.m.

    @CH Cougar "As a CPA and a church member--I am sure that opponents of the church would use whatever specific information the church puts out their against the church (frivilous lawsuits for one) so I fully support not detailing where all the funds go."

    While I disagree with your portrayal of the general opponents of the church, at large. I appreciate your reply as a fellow CPA. Sure, there are those that will criticize no matter what. However, I think there are those that will also join the LDS church if they agree with how the donation funds are being spent. You could even tell them to pray about it to determine if that is how God would want their donations spent. Secrecy never was godliness.

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    July 14, 2016 6:51 p.m.

    Sorry Shelama, quite the contrary. The poor are one of the 3 or 4 primary priorities and responsibilities of a Bishop and a Ward Council. We seek out the poor and the needy. We prepare for emergencies. We share of our substance our time, our talents and our finances. This article does not even address the Welfare efforts of the LDS Church.

    Sometimes persons criticize the LDS Church because they think that food goods, services paying bills and even cash should be given without any expectations whatsoever. Through the LDS Church the emphasis is on temporary assistance while using the talents and energies of many to help persons become self-sufficient depending on their capabilities and circumstances.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    July 14, 2016 4:48 p.m.

    Pres. Hinckley said in 1990's that the Church is a money consuming institution and not money making entity. We all agree that time is more valuable than money, of course. Anyone can earn money, yet what do we do with our free time? That is a key question to the heavens. Ironic, those who don't love money, have it come their way.

  • Shelama SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    July 14, 2016 2:27 p.m.

    For some reason I'd always guessed around $1 million per week.

    I'd have preferred to error low rather than high but, still, I think Jesus would be pleased.

    With large and expensive legal, PR, and property development arms, having $40 million left over for the poor is actually quite impressive especially considering that they're not really a top priority of God's Only True Church.

    God and Jesus have truly blessed The Church and it's leaders. And thru them, the poor, whom, of course, we will always have with us. It strengthens my testimony.

  • UteTrog Phoenix, AZ
    July 14, 2016 1:13 p.m.

    Perfectly written mhenshaw. Thank you for your perspective. I put my faith and trust in the leaders God called to lead His church and, as a CPA, I do not require God to prove to me where His money that I gave back to him is going. It's His business where He spends His money, not mine.

    All that I have is because God blessed me. He asks for 10% back plus other donations. He can have it and do with it as seemeth good in His eyes.

  • jmort SLO, CA
    July 14, 2016 1:01 p.m.

    @mhenshaw

    Your argument that being transparent would cause contention is false. The church currently discloses it's finances in Great Britain and Canada and there is little contention. The church used to be financially transparent in the US as well. A lack of transparency regarding its historical issues caused more headaches than being more transparent has, and the same would be true regarding financial transparency.

    There are only very weak arguments (like the bogus "contention" argument) for continued secrecy, and strong arguments for transparency (like its the right thing to do).

  • mhenshaw Leesburg, VA
    July 14, 2016 12:25 p.m.

    >>If tithe-paying members are considered shareholders in the corporation of the Church...

    We're not shareholders. The Church is legally incorporated, but it doesn't issue stock. Therefore tithepayers have no legal right to request access to the Church's financial records.

    As I said before, when we sustain the Church leadership in General Conference, we place our implicit trust in them to use tithes and offerings wisely; and if the leadership opened up the accounting books, everyone would have differing opinion on just how wisely the money was being spent. It would just be the source of endless contention, which is what the critics want anyway.

    Have a little faith that the Lord is in control. Those in charge of Church funds will someday answer to Him for how they use "the widow's mite." I can't even imagine the weight of that particular responsibility.

  • CSK Gilbert, AZ
    July 14, 2016 11:55 a.m.

    @summerizerer

    You are correct in stating that the Church reports on its internal auditing in conference, but that report is really oversimplified and severely lacking when it comes to the core issue of all the critical comments on this article: transparency.

    If tithe-paying members are considered shareholders in the corporation of the Church, then in the annual audit they should expect more than a quick reassurance from the internal auditing department that the books are good. Maybe the books ARE good, but the fact that they are hidden and that specifics about income and expenses are inaccessible to the shareholders is really the concern here.

    An external audit should be the basis for a report, and shareholders should have access to financial reports at the end of each fiscal year. It's not unfair or unreasonable for the faithful to ask genuine questions about the organization. What some have offered in their comments is not a criticism of leadership or of the Church, but a genuine question of why only $40M/year goes to help others when the Church's estimable assets are so large.

  • Back Talk Federal Way, WA
    July 14, 2016 9:51 a.m.

    One more thought.

    Giving to the poor is certainly a worthy purpose for a church and the tithe money paid by its members. I wonder, however, if the CHurch leadership look at the commandment to pay tithing and think it should be used only for the building up of this Lords Kingdom.

    They might consider their other welfare programs as sufficient to serve the needy.

    If they really want to stress serving the poor as the 4th Purpose of the CHurch as I mentioned previously, then using Tithing money for Humanitarian Aid certainly is warranted and should be a larger amount.

  • summarizerer Berryville, VA
    July 14, 2016 8:15 a.m.

    @Ponderbation

    re: Surprised?

    "Can you really not understand why people both in and out of the church, including on this message board are a bit surprised at such a low amount donated given the churches vast holdings?"

    I can understand that there are people within and without the church that limit their understanding of a situation.

    I can understand that religious organizations operate differently (including in how they account monetarily for humanitarian efforts, tithes, and so forth).

    I can understand that people that interact very little / no longer with an organization can be persuaded to believe the worst about that organization.

    "Would Jesus really donate such a small amount (less than one percent) to actually helping people?..."

    WWJD? Did Jesus say that the Temple of Herod was too glorious? Did Jesus accept the Temple of Solomon?

    Did Jesus go to Church? Did Jesus feed the poor every day of the week? Did Jesus provide the poor a safety net to get comfortable in?

    I understand Jesus did many things but we will as you said disagree when it comes to how the LDS Church appropriates the tithes of its members.

  • ssev Maple Grove, MN
    July 14, 2016 8:02 a.m.

    "That would account for approximately $1.2 billion on welfare and humanitarian efforts over the past 30 years."

    I don't blame the members of the Mormon Church for the relatively small welfare and humanitarian efforts of the Church. I am concerned, however, as one devoted to eliminating world poverty, if the Church leadership would consider $1.2 billion over 30 years to be an adequate amount spent by the Church on welfare and humanitarian aid. The Church spent $1.5 billion of a multi-billion dollar single project to beautiful the area around Temple Square and the Church's Conference Center, which left many in SLC homeless.

    As the richest church in the world per capita and the 4th richest church in the world outright, I question the priorities of the Church with regard to the Savior's warning in Matthew 25--regardless of whoever prophesies in Christ's name and does many alleged mighty works in his name, only those who have devoted their lives to feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, caring for the sick and afflicted, and visiting those in prison will be found on his Right Hand at the Last Day.

  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    July 13, 2016 10:23 p.m.

    Tithing isn't my money.

    Leaders are accountable for tithing finds. They are accountable to God, not to me.

    I've committed to give everything I have to God, tangible and intangible. I'm trying on the intangible part but have a long way to go. I stand ready to do so on the tangible part.

    If and when I'm asked to do so, leaders will again have accountability for that as well, to God, not to me.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    July 13, 2016 9:43 p.m.

    Waistintime,

    The USA and Canada were where the members traditionally were. Pharisees had nothing to do with self sufficiency as we are talking about.

    Azagthoth,

    I know many savvy businessmen who have no desire to see the books.

    Affinity fraud is about affinity. The worst recent example was Madoff and the Jewish community.

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    July 13, 2016 8:50 p.m.

    I am sad to read the cynical remarks made by a few posters. I am with those who realize that the article was just about donations specifically for humanitarian services. As for "transparency", I prefer not to know every detail about how money is distributed. It is not my responsibility to know, and I am glad. I am also glad that much has been given. I am sure more can be given; that IS a part of our responsibility, to "perfect the saints," which is all of us, if we are willing to be part of the great effort.

  • Lermentov PROVO, UT
    July 13, 2016 5:42 p.m.

    From what I understand, this article is just referring the Church humanitarian aid. I'm sure if fast offerings and the perpetual education fund were included, it would be much higher. Also, the Church keeps it's university tuition costs by subsidizing substantial portions of its universities' budgets. And it is important to have buildings to meet in and temples to go to, not to mention upkeep and utility costs. My sense is that the resources of the Church are used wisely and a great blessing to the world and to its members.

    Still, it is true that members (and nonmembers for that matter) could donate more to the humanitarian fund, thus allowing the Church to do even more. I know I've recently increased my donations to that end.

  • summerizerer Somewhere, ID
    July 13, 2016 4:54 p.m.

    @CSK

    "The Church used to publish financial information and give an actual accounting to membership regarding its income and budgets. Why can't that be done now?"

    It does give an account every April conference a report is given by the church auditing department.

  • CSK Gilbert, AZ
    July 13, 2016 4:07 p.m.

    Thank you 'oragami' for pointing out how astonishingly small $40M is in relation to the $5-7B/year in tithing income. Are we safe to assume 99.995% of tithing goes to real estate acquisitions, construction, building maintenance, and commercial ventures while .005% goes to unspecified "humanitarian" efforts? There is zero transparency in how money is handled. The Church used to publish financial information and give an actual accounting to membership regarding its income and budgets. Why can't that be done now?

  • summerizerer Somewhere, ID
    July 13, 2016 3:41 p.m.

    @Ponderbation

    Perhaps I came off to harshly when I stated that you were "clamoring" and directed my comments more towards those that are making more noise about it. It is a common theme whenever finances of the Church is brought up (sometimes it doesn't even have to be brought up) that you get a number of detractors bringing up the fact that the Church does this or that with the tithes of the Church and then they provide direction on how tithes of the Church should be spent.

    "I understand you believe God is in charge of your money once donated, but those billions are delegated and spent by infallible human beings."

    As I have stated before the tithes are used in support of the mission of the Church. It seems that you believe that the mission of the LDS Church is wrong?

    It has been clear for quite some time as to what tithes are for. It isn't until relatively recently that an additional fold was added to the Churches mission statement. For years it was the 3 fold mission of the Church.

  • UteTrog Phoenix, AZ
    July 13, 2016 3:33 p.m.

    BelieveInAmerica,

    The story of the young rich ruler was a story. The Savior instructed him to sell all that he has. Not Peter. Not James. I noticed you conveniently forgot to refute this...because you can't. Nowhere in the Law of Moses, or the New Testament, nor the Book of Mormon does it say everyone must sell all we have and give all to the poor because, NEWSFLASH, you'd be poor. How then can you help others without means?

    Do you believe that God talks to prophets? Do you believe that whether it be out of God's mouth or the mouth of His prophets, it is the same? Because President Hinckley said to get as much education as you can.

    Read the bible to see what the temple of Solomon and Hared were adorned with. The Savior accepted both as His and His father's house.

    Don't sit in church much because the Savior didn't? I'm not the Savior. I'm not that strong. No one is. We need to go to church to fellowship and speak one with another concerning the welfare of our souls. Sorry, I'm not buying what your selling.

  • Azagthoth Clearfield, UT
    July 13, 2016 3:24 p.m.

    Reading through these comments it is crystal clear why citizens of Utah are so easily duped on affinity fraud. It is appalling to me that so many are willing to trust those they give money to without any oversight or transparency.

  • byugraduate las vegas, NV
    July 13, 2016 3:15 p.m.

    That is way too low. Much more should be given to the poor and needy. A few rich members give that much in tithing every year.

  • Wastintime Los Angeles, CA
    July 13, 2016 3:14 p.m.

    Aren't the USA and Canada two of the richest countries in the world?

    Why would we be building storehouses and stockpiling resources in the richest countries in the world (to help the richest people in the world) rather than donating those same resources to those who are currently needy? I have never understood this.

  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    July 13, 2016 3:09 p.m.

    To "Wastintime" you do realize that the "charitable" contributions you list by Gates, Buffett, Soros, and Morre are NOT towards humanitarian efforts. They are contributing to political campaigns, and their own charities.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    July 13, 2016 2:45 p.m.

    @BYUalum - not sure why a call to them was needed, the statement made about 2 years of need was clearly based off current outlay of resources. At those current rates the storehouses could currently supply 2 years of those needs. If they choose to issue a statement clarifying then that's up to them and Church PR but I don't see it as necessary.

  • Back Talk Federal Way, WA
    July 13, 2016 2:41 p.m.

    I am disappointed that this number is so low ($40,000,000) given the amount of money taken in by the Church in Tithing. It amazes me that Elder Oaks is making this sound like a lot of money.

    This disappointment gets stronger if it is learned that this $40M includes money that Mormons give to Humanitarian Aid separate from their Tithing and the Church is claiming that as money from the CHurch.

    Some time ago the Church leadership discussed adding "service to the poor" as the 4th purpose of the church. If that emphasis is correct, the direct money from tithing should be nearly a tithe by itself. At least 5%. That would then increase this money given to Humanitarian Aid to a few hundred million based on Tithing estimates of $6-$7 Billion.

    Now that would be worth letting people know about. This other number is frankly a little embarrassing.

  • Wastintime Los Angeles, CA
    July 13, 2016 2:26 p.m.

    "The Church follows the practices taught to its members of living within a budget, avoiding debt, and saving against a time of need."

    See bible dictionary definition of Pharisees. They were all about self-sufficiency.

  • Wastintime Los Angeles, CA
    July 13, 2016 2:21 p.m.

    A comparison by numbers:

    Bill Gates: $28 billion in charitable donations
    Warren Buffet: $17 billion
    George Soros: $8 billion
    Gordon Morre: $6.8 billion
    LDS Church: $1.2 Billion over 30 years

    Congratulations in giving less that 1/5th as much as some individual I've never heard of.

  • Wastintime Los Angeles, CA
    July 13, 2016 2:11 p.m.

    When you consider that the Church owns 120+ companies which gross billions per year (in agriculture alone), $40 million sounds comical.

    I have one simple question: is the amount of "stipends" and other compensation awarded annually to Church leaders greater or less than the $40 million donated?

  • PGVikingDad Pleasant Grove, UT
    July 13, 2016 2:07 p.m.

    I have to agree with those posting that this seems an incredibly small amount. All churches claim to be "humanitarian" in nature, but I think the charitable bar should be set somewhere north of one-half of one percent of institutional income. And yes, I'm LDS.

  • intlbizman2 SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA
    July 13, 2016 2:07 p.m.

    As a member and a CPA, I'd like to echo the comments of 2close2call (and others) above and say
    that I would appreciate (as many LDS members would) knowing how exactly tithing and other donation dollars are being spent. As he said, many religions and non profits already disclose this but the LDS church does not except in countries that mandate it by law outside the US.

    An essential element of good stewardship is to report back. Also, our leaders are fallible, so we do not mandate or expect perfection from them, but some information would be good.

  • Manzanita Las Vegas, NV
    July 13, 2016 1:54 p.m.

    I'm glad the Church released these numbers. I'd like to see more financial transparency. I think this is a reasonable expectation. Unfortunately, when then-President Hinckley was asked by a reporter about why the Church doesn't make its financials public as many other Churches do, Hinckley misled the reporter by stating that those numbers are available to the membership, which is of course absolutely not true. Here's the exchange from the interview:

    REPORTER: In my country, we say the people’s churches, the Protestants, the Catholics, they publish all their budgets, to all the public.

    HINCKLEY: Yeah. Yeah.

    REPORTER: Why is it impossible for your church?

    HINCKLEY: Well, we simply think that information belongs to those who made the contribution, and not to the world. That’s the only thing. Yeah.

    So, as a tithe-paying member of the Church, where can I go to see the Church's financials? Or was that just a prophet trying to deflect the reporter's question with a statement that wasn't true?

  • amagnetick AV, CA
    July 13, 2016 1:44 p.m.

    I don't understand many non members and members of the LDS Church infatuation with knowing how tithes and offerings are spent. Regarding non members, I really don't care if they stomp their feet, make threats, or feign lawsuits to try and force the church to reveal it's numbers. Regarding members, it is a shame that they would be questioning how tithes and offerings are spent. Do you believe that the Church is true? If you answer yes, then why question? If you can't answer yes, perhaps you should reconsider your faith.

  • summerizerer Somewhere, ID
    July 13, 2016 1:37 p.m.

    @ponderbation

    re: Church finances or where my money was going

    Is tithing your money? If you think so then it seems clear you never understood what tithing really is.

    Your clamoring for details with regards to tithing funds is akin to those clamoring for priesthood for women. A majority of active LDS women in the Church when polled were not interested in holding the priesthood. If you were to poll active LDS families about "Church finances" I am sure that the results would be similar.

    The leadership of the Church provide enough details when it comes to tithing for the majority of its membership.

    To put it short the members of the Church have faith in its leadership and the auditing department of the church even if non-members and minority of LDS members do not.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    July 13, 2016 1:02 p.m.

    Hmmm... what exactly is global humanitarian aid? Does it include the time and efforts of the 8,300 welfare service missionaries? Hiring that many people would cost upwards of $400 million alone. Does it include the neonatal resuscitation training? Clean water projects? Measles vaccinations?

    Is it also noteworthy to note that the LDS Church also supports four universities and colleges with a combined enrollment of over 50,000 students? Is the large Perpetual Education Fund included? What about LDS Philanthropies, which oversees scholarships and other projects?

    Should we also consider local efforts like fast offerings? Think about it... there are approximately 23,000 wards and 7,300 branches. If each ward collected $1000 dollars per month (by Utah standards, that is a modest amount, I guarantee that my working class ward raises much more per month), local contributions to helping the needy would easily be $30 million dollars or more per month. Most of that money is kept locally. And what of services hours per unit?

    I guess that the grand total of service and contributions which affect the needy inside and outside the Church would surprise many, but most of all, the church's critics.

  • runnerguy50 Virginia Beach, Va
    July 13, 2016 1:02 p.m.

    It would be wise for the Church to open its books. Members have a right to know where the money goes and how much comes in.

  • observator east of the snake river, ID
    July 13, 2016 12:41 p.m.

    "...provisions to meet the projected demands of members and nonmembers in the United States and Canada for two years..."

    I'm pretty sure the point of the PBS quote was to say that, given the current demands on the Church welfare system, there is enough in reserve to cover those *current* needs for two years. It does not mean to say that it could cover *everyone* for two years, i.e., everyone in the US, or the world, or all Church members, but rather that the current needs, projected forward, could be covered.

    Let's not blow the quote out of proportion....

  • BelieveInAmerica St George, UT
    July 13, 2016 12:35 p.m.

    UteTrog

    I'm sorry, but Jesus taught nothing which you claim. Jesus was speaking to everyone when he told the rich man to sell his possessions and give to the poor. Boy, following that advice how many Scriptures could we disregard if the counsel was directed at a specific person! Besides, I'm sure we're far richer today than this man ever was.

    Jesus never taught to spend time going to college or years of university for advanced degrees. And he never needed a dime to help people. So this idea that we need money to help people is purely an excuse to make ourselves feel better.

    Does the Lord really care that His temples are adorned with expensive and fine furniture, stain glass windows, ornate decorations? I doubt it. His Kingdom is not of this world, nor this worlds riches.

    As for our churches, we could do with FAR less. We're being counseled to teach as Jesus taught. Well, my first advice is that we stop sitting in church so much. How many times did Jesus sit in a Church our building to teach? He wasn't stationary, He constantly went to the people.

  • Torrey Ellis Kaysville, UT
    July 13, 2016 12:13 p.m.

    Here is the actual quote from Elder Oaks' remarks:

    "Care for the poor and needy is not optional or incidental in our Church. We do this worldwide. For example, in the year 2015 we had 177 emergency response projects in 56 countries. In addition, we had hundreds of projects that impacted more than a million people in seven other categories of assistance, such as clean water, immunization, and vision care. For more than 30 years the magnitude of these efforts has averaged about 40 million dollars a year."

    The $40M referenced in the article is clearly only referring to worldwide humanitarian projects, not local fast offerings and charitable donations of members.

  • CH Cougar PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    July 13, 2016 12:01 p.m.

    @2close2call:
    "I realize that would never silence all the critics but it may help LDS members feel their contributions are being put to good use."
    As a CPA and a church member--I am sure that opponents of the church would use whatever specific information the church puts out their against the church (frivilous lawsuits for one) so I fully support not detailing where all the funds go.
    As far as the $$ and time put to good use in Humanitarian efforts--great job! To those criticizing--bitterness and cynicism are a disease; cure it!

  • UteTrog Phoenix, AZ
    July 13, 2016 11:47 a.m.

    Ernest

    I found the numbers you quoted and saw that the correct amount was $291 of the "value" of the aid, not the amount. Besides, who cares? good for them for expending this amount of value. Who cares that the LDS church didn't expend this same or greater amount of value of aid. Being the CPA that I am, I would have several questions about this number regardless. Such as:

    1. Are these numbers audited or simply stated by the entity?
    2. Less than 9% of total money brought in from 2012 was expended (again in value) for humanitarian aid? Where did the rest go?
    3. How much went to administrative costs?
    4. What was the methodology of the valuation of the humanitarian aid?
    5. What was considered in this valuation? hours worked as well? LDS church did not include this in their numbers.

    See, when we try and compare, we realize that we can't and I say good. Let everyone worship (and donate) how, where, or what they may.

  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    July 13, 2016 11:45 a.m.

    It is amazing at how much ignorance there is in the church and outside of it. The ignorance outside of the church is understandable.

    If you want to know where your donations go, why not search the LDS site to find out? I did this, and I found the following:

    Tithing goes to buildings, education, materials, Missionaries, and Temples.

    Fast Offerings go to local needs, not humanitarian efforts unless there is an excess somewhere.

    Humanitarian Aid donations are what was reported on here.

    Just go to the LDS Newsroom and read "Humanitarian Aid and Welfare Services Basics: How Donations and Resources Are Used"

  • summerizerer Somewhere, ID
    July 13, 2016 11:44 a.m.

    @Reddit..Ernest T. Bass

    "...The 7th Day Adventists paid out $291.5 Million in humanitarian aid in 2014. That's more than $250,000,000 more than the LDS church paid out while taking in only a third of the amount..."

    re: apples vs oranges

    What the 7th Day Adventists account for / define as "humanitarian" may or may not be the same as what the LDS accounts for / defines as humanitarian.

    This article is dealing specifically with what the LDS church accounts for as humanitarian which deals a lot with world disasters.

    It doesn't account for the millions of service hours that LDS members give on an annual basis.

    Either way the numbers that you have provided seem to be pulled from thin air.

    The LDS Church encourages members to participate in charitable organizations and make charitable donations.

    Finally where in scripture does it state that tithes will be prioritized for humanitarian projects? I would love to see where I might find something about that in scripture or a general conference talk.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    July 13, 2016 11:40 a.m.

    Like the BLM protesters who watched the police receive food from Chick Fillet. The protesters then demanded they receive food water and medicine, because the police got some.

    This is liberal progressives at their best. "You didn't give it to us, we are entitled to all you have."

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    July 13, 2016 11:34 a.m.

    If the "retail" value, or real value is higher than the $40M why don't they give us that number? As media savvy and with so many public relations employees, I would think the $40 is the real number. They are the last group who would under report good PR. The cost of the mall far exceeded those numbers over the last 30 years. It does seem that business interests get the majority of the income.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    July 13, 2016 11:17 a.m.

    Johnny Triumph, We called Welfare Square and read the quote from the article. They said they could not supply the needs for the hundreds of millions of people in two countries for two years. The Church may make a correcting statement about this one sentence in this article. The rest of the article is accurate. There are 115 Bishop Storehouses as stated with one more opening this year according to the person we called.

  • Bountiful Guy Bountiful, UT
    July 13, 2016 11:11 a.m.

    @Believeinamerica and others

    Do you honestly believe that this article is speaking of every dime the church spends for the benefit of people? I wish you critics would expand your thinking to realize that if a person spends $5 on a hamburger, it does not mean that they spend $5 total on food.

    I'm grateful for beautiful temple and other things that further the work of God on earth. The cost of temples and many other things increase our sacrifice to God and others. Our devotion honors Him. But if that were the only expense of the Church, we would be out of favor with God. It's the whole package that brings souls to God.

  • taatmk West Jordan, UT
    July 13, 2016 11:02 a.m.

    LDS are "doers of the word" and not just hearers only.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    July 13, 2016 10:52 a.m.

    Notice the critics about the humanitarian services are the same that tell us we are fools for believing and having faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Please go after the charities like the Clinton Foundation that spent more than 90% of their outflow for administrative expenses. In the charity review they say, "We had previously evaluated this organization, but have since determined that this charity's atypical business model can not be accurately captured."

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    July 13, 2016 10:47 a.m.

    When you look at the tithes the 7th Day Adventists bring in per year, they receive about 1/3 of the tithing the LDS church receives. The 7th Day Adventists paid out $291.5 Million in humanitarian aid in 2014. That's more than $250,000,000 more than the LDS church paid out while taking in only a third of the amount.
    I wish those number were reversed.

  • crimendelsiglo where there ain't no freaking snow, UT
    July 13, 2016 10:35 a.m.

    Matt 5

    13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
    14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
    15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
    16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven

  • PacificCreek Puyallup, WA
    July 13, 2016 10:12 a.m.

    The critics of the church will never be happy. If the church gives 40 Million a year they say it is too small, if they gave $400 million they would criticize the church for having too much money. I'm guessing that the humanitarian aid that the church gives is based on what each member donates specifically to the humanitarian aid fund and doesn't come out of tithing, nor does this count fast offerings which are an amazing benefit to the members of the church in need. Thousands of Senior couples give up their time to serve missions that revolve around humanitarian service in and out of this country on their own dime!

    The church does some amazing things. They have buildings for 30,000 wards and branches, 150 temples, operate 3 universities, fund youth program activities, runs institute programs at many universities and supports the infrastructure needed for 50,000 missionaries including missionary training centers across the world. All those endeavors (I'm sure I missed some) need financial support to succeed. I'm happy to pay my part to help with the temporal needs of the church.

  • UteTrog Phoenix, AZ
    July 13, 2016 10:12 a.m.

    BelieveInAmerica,

    "Go and sell, and give to the poor" was spoken to the young rich ruler. Was it spoken to Peter? James? no. It was an individual commandment. Have you sold all that you have?

    "We could do without our fancy temples, churches, conference centers, cushy degrees, homes, and cars."

    Temples - Can't do without those. Saving ordinances and all. And if you think we should go on the cheap end on that, then you should remember that they are designed and approved by the Savior.

    other buildings - I doubt there are any churches that are adorned with significant valuable property, though I haven't visited them all. Have you?

    cushy degrees - Ah, education. Get more education, make more money, give more to the church/poor. Makes perfect sense to me to get those degrees.

    homes and cars - I agree with you on this. President Hinckley said "Buy a modest home and pay it off quickly."

    However, everyone still has their freedom to choose. Since satan wanted to take that away from everyone, I don't want to advocate that and be on his side.

  • Thucydides Herriman, UT
    July 13, 2016 10:10 a.m.

    Estimated 8 billion in tithing taken in annually... 40 million given in humanitarian aid... where is the rest going?

    Now you apologists out there before you get defensive about someone pointing out how paltry this amount is... isn't it a fair question to ask why the Church doesn't disclose its financials? Is it really a law of heaven that members be kept in the dark on this? How does it hurt a person's faith to know what the Church is doing with his/her contributions? What is there to hide?

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    July 13, 2016 10:02 a.m.

    @BYUalum - think about the phrasing used. Projected demand implies that they're basing that on previous years' output. Based on projections for future need they can cover 2 years currently. This has nothing to do with care for those not in need, we've been instructed to build our own cash and emergency reserves. And even in the case of Elder Oaks' statement we still don't know exactly what that means since the $40M outlay for humanitarian work would be separate from what the storehouses supply. The whole picture is MUCH bigger than $40M.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    July 13, 2016 9:55 a.m.

    Quote from this article: "Also recently, PBS devoted a seven-minute report on the show "Religion & Ethics Newsweekly" to the LDS Church's welfare system. According to reporter Lucky Severson, the system, which includes 115 bishop's storehouses in the United States, "holds enough provisions to meet the projected demands of members and nonmembers in the United States and Canada for two years."

    This does NOT make sense. 115 storehouses supplying enough food for millions and millions of people in two countries for two years? If true, we would not need our food storage, but just find a way to the Bishop's Storehouse with a Bishop's order if we can get there in a disaster.

    I would like some clarification on this statement from PBS by the Church!

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    July 13, 2016 9:46 a.m.

    @2close2call - check the comments by @summarizer above. We are asked to pay tithes and offerings. How the Lord directs the use of those monies is up to the Lord. Having a statement from the Church Auditors that expenditures were frugally and economically handled is all we need to know that our donations are being spent wisely. Have faith and pray for a witness that the words of the Auditor at General Conference are true and accurate.

  • blackattack Orem, UT
    July 13, 2016 9:40 a.m.

    Many critics here fail to understand that the $40 million per year is not even close to what is really spent on aid for people. Fast offerings dispersed locally, fundraisers, money toward scouting, youth programs that build character and life skills, relief society, and countless hours of service don't seem to be factored into this. Members of the LDS Church have been found to be the most generous of their time and money than any other denomination or non denomination. Before you criticize, try to see the full picture of what the LDS church does.

    Also, giving to the poor is one of four important purposes of the mission of the church. Therefore, money is also spent on activities that prepare individuals for exaltation. What's more important than eternal life?

    Perfect the saints
    Care for the poor
    Redeem the dead
    Proclaim the gospel

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 13, 2016 9:11 a.m.

    This demonstrates good work by the LDS Church. Indeed in this, and its welfare program, it can serve as a model for other efforts.

    That said, appreciate that organized religion is subsidized by the general public as those churches receive a host of government services tax free. We should try to see the whole picture.

  • goosehuntr Tooele, UT
    July 13, 2016 9:04 a.m.

    my comment continued....

    ...This church will continue to increase in its impact for good in spite of criticism, praise or indifference. For centuries, prophets have been killed, the Lord crucified, and modern prophets slain, but the work moves on. It is the work of the Almighty.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 13, 2016 9:03 a.m.

    @AS SD "2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward."

    Another of Jesus' teachings not observed by modern Christians.

  • summarizer andrews afb, MD
    July 13, 2016 8:54 a.m.

    @JoeBlow

    re: "trust, but verify"

    "The Church Auditing Department, which consists of credentialed professionals and is independent of all other Church departments, has responsibility to perform audits for the purpose of providing reasonable assurance regarding contributions received, expenditures made, and safeguarding of Church assets.

    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 2015 have been recorded and administered in accordance with approved Church budgets, policies, and accounting practices. The Church follows the practices taught to its members of living within a budget, avoiding debt, and saving against a time of need."

  • summarizer andrews afb, MD
    July 13, 2016 8:53 a.m.

    @JoeBlow

    re: "Trust, but verify"

    I encourage you to read section 120 of the Doctrine and Covenants. Doctrine and Covenants can be found on lds dot org under the "scriptures and study section".

    "The Church Auditing Department, which consists of credentialed professionals and is independent of all other Church departments, has responsibility to perform audits for the purpose of providing reasonable assurance regarding contributions received, expenditures made, and safeguarding of Church assets.

    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 2015 have been recorded and administered in accordance with approved Church budgets, policies, and accounting practices. The Church follows the practices taught to its members of living within a budget, avoiding debt, and saving against a time of need."

  • goosehuntr Tooele, UT
    July 13, 2016 8:47 a.m.

    Such interesting comments... Many trying to do the math. Calculating the avg. member contributions. Some calling the church's efforts weak. Some implying that tithing is used for welfare purposes. When it comes down to it, contributions are one member at a time. It is an offering that is between they and their God. Those contributions include both the widow's might and the "offerings given of their abundance." Some are given to be seen of men, and others are given by the right hand, that are completely unknown by the left hand. Whatever the individual intent, there is a collective effect. It is that the needs of the poor, the decimated, the outcasts, the sick, the afflicted, the victims, the deaf, blind and uneducated and on.. are aided, helped and saved. This is to say nothing about the hundreds of thousands every year that have their lives changed in small and great ways for the better by coming to know Jesus Christ.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    July 13, 2016 8:03 a.m.

    "When we sustain the Church leaders, we give our implicit trust that they will disburse Church funds wisely."

    A wise man once said, "Trust, but verify".

    Always a good idea, even in religion. Even with people we trust and always when we are talking about billions of dollars.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    July 13, 2016 7:36 a.m.

    Mancan and Logical-1,

    What is not considered here are fast offerings taken in and disbursed at the local ward level. I have seen thousands a month disbursed in some situations. Those donations and disbursements are key. Also, the sheer number of volunteer hours.

  • summarizer andrews afb, MD
    July 13, 2016 7:36 a.m.

    If you read the article you can see that the LDS Church does MORE with LESS.

    It is interesting how a decent percentage have essentially said "$40 million that is nothing!"

    It is interesting how many can't get understand the fact that not all LDS people are white Utahans with nice homes. There are more LDS outside the US than in the US (many of them are in Latin America and South America). Is $8 a lot of money in those places?

    It is interesting how LDS humanitarian efforts are criticized and yet consider how much money is often eaten up in other "Charitable" organizations like the Red Cross.

    Headline: "Red Cross Spent 25 Percent Of Haiti Donations On Internal Expenses"

    "The American Red Cross spent a quarter of the money people donated after the 2010 Haiti earthquake — or almost $125 million — on its own internal expenses, far more than the charity previously had disclosed..."

  • summarizer andrews afb, MD
    July 13, 2016 7:23 a.m.

    @critics

    re: that comes to $8 per person per year.

    Yeah? And? Hasn't the LDS Church encouraged people to participate in any number of charitable organizations?

    re: billions in tithing

    Yeah? And....? Isn't the LDS Church a worldwide organization? Doesn't it own and operate 150 Temples? Isn't it currently building 16 temples? Isn't it currently building church building across the world?

    To those that can't understand where tithing goes I would refer you back to the 4 fold mission of the Church.

    1. Proclaim the gospel
    2. Perfect the saints
    3. Redeem the dead
    4. To care for the poor and needy.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 13, 2016 7:23 a.m.

    What is $40 million as a percentage of income?

  • BelieveInAmerica St George, UT
    July 13, 2016 6:26 a.m.

    Jesus commanded, "go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor".

    40 million is great, but the LDS church is worth 40 billion. That's 1/10th of one percent, not even close to a full tithe.

    We could do a lot better. The Lord commanded we give everything we own to the poor and the needy and to "Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on."

    We could do without our fancy temples, churches, conference centers, cushy degrees, homes, and cars. "For when ye are in the service of your fellow men, ye are in the service of your God".

    God doesn't need a penny to work his miracles. Where is our faith?

  • mhenshaw Leesburg, VA
    July 13, 2016 6:02 a.m.

    >>There is nothing wrong with members wanting to know how much tithing is taken in and where does it go.

    ...which is promptly contradicted by ...

    >>Given the Church makes an estimated 7 billion a year in tithing, this is an astonishingly small amount.

    ...thereby demonstrating the wisdom of keeping Church finances confidential.

    In the absence of public accounting records, it's unhelpful to say that the Church should spend more on this and less on that because we don't know what *else* the Church spends money on or why the Twelve have decided to spend any given amount on any given program. So, lacking the whole picture, criticism stemming from the Church's budget not matching our personal preferences is unjustified.

    "So open the books!" critics demand.

    We know where that leads--more criticism that the Church is mismanaging the funds and/or tooting its horn from critics always looking for reasons to attack the Church. When we sustain the Church leaders, we give our implicit trust that they will disburse Church funds wisely. If you don't trust them, don't give your money. It's that simple.

  • Kralon HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA
    July 13, 2016 12:29 a.m.

    "holds enough provisions to meet the projected demands of members and nonmembers in the United States and Canada for two years."

    "Projected demands" is based on current demands and doesn't have anything to do with the total population of the U.S. and Canada.

  • Kralon HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA
    July 13, 2016 12:24 a.m.

    It is good the LDS Church helps others with the $40 million they spend every year but clearly the 25 million volunteer hours are the most valuable contributions each year.

    I'm hoping the trends of giving and serving continue to grow in the world.

  • Utah Native Farmington, UT
    July 12, 2016 11:23 p.m.

    Oragami, if you'd like to learn more, the LDS Church Newsroom site has an informative article, "Humanitarian Aid and Welfare Services Basics: How Donations and Resources Are Used," that may help clarify how funds are used.

  • 2close2call Los Angeles, CA
    July 12, 2016 11:19 p.m.

    As a CPA, I have no issue either way with the amount that the LDS church uses for humanitarian aid. Their non profit status has nothing to to with how much charity work they do as religions are also exempt in the US from paying taxes from donations they use for religious activities. I would however, appreciate as I am sure many LDS members would, knowing how exactly tithing and other donation dollars are being spent. Many religions and non profits already disclose this but the LDS church does not except in countries that mandate it by law outside the US. I would also appreciate the LDS church disclosing the amount of "donations in kind" that they are including with this humanitarian aid as "donations in kind" are not directly from the church but only LDS members contributing their time(above and beyond their monetary contributions) that is then being quantified by the LDS church. I would appreciate the LDS church being more open with their financials. I realize that would never silence all the critics but it may help LDS members feel their contributions are being put to good use.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 12, 2016 11:03 p.m.

    Well done to all the members of the LDS Church who make this happen.

    I suspect that the actual "retail value" of the Church's efforts is far more than $40 million and that it is many times more efficient at delivering help than most government run programs, with low overhead and less fraud. It should be a lesson for any charitable organization.

    Again, well done to all members of the LDS Church.

  • Logical_1 Provo, UT
    July 12, 2016 10:53 p.m.

    So, if there are 5 million active members, that comes to 8 bucks per person a year.

  • Freetochoose San Diego, CA
    July 12, 2016 9:39 p.m.

    WE can always do better but I am grateful for those who do give. It is nice to know what help is happening anywhere.

  • oragami St. George, UT
    July 12, 2016 9:36 p.m.

    Given the Church makes an estimated 7 billion a year in tithing, this is an astonishingly small amount.

  • runnerguy50 Virginia Beach, Va
    July 12, 2016 8:55 p.m.

    There is nothing wrong with members wanting to know how much tithing is taken in and where does it go.

  • JNA Layton, UT
    July 12, 2016 8:52 p.m.

    I dont know why it is that there has to be "Debbie Downers" on everything. At a time when all we here is hatred and anger and violence etc etc,here is report about something good and there are those that have to take the negative road. It wouldn't matter if it were another religious organization or a secular one, there are people that just cant be happy. Its time to grow up

  • mancan HC, UT
    July 12, 2016 8:50 p.m.

    Don't want to sound too critical here, but lets do some math. $40 million per year, and the Church has 15 million members. That means on average, $2.66 from each and every member went to humanitarian efforts each year. Of coarse, not every member contributed to those funds; about half are less active and donate nothing, and others are kids or just plain poor so they have nothing to donate. So lets say that 5 million active, able adults contributed to the humanitarian efforts of the Church, so that works out to $8 per contributor annually. That is hardly worth tooting my horn about. Seriously, we can and should do better than that. I once attended a fund raising dinner that Pres. Monson spoke at and he talked all about the Church humanitarian fund, and basically concluded by saying that we have the means to give, so we should increase what we are giving.

  • sam1 Washington, UT
    July 12, 2016 8:37 p.m.

    Lucky Severson's quote about meeting the projected demands of members and nonmembers in the U.S. and Canada for two years needs some clarification by someone in the church who is in the know. Lucky's statement would lead some to misunderstand the capability of the church's welfare system. Most of the help given to people, both LDS and those of other faiths or no faith at all, has to be temporary out of necessity. It is there to help people get through short range difficulties that may last days, weeks, or a few months. My understanding is it was never intended to be long range help. As wonderful as the welfare system of the LDS church is, and it is AMAZING, it couldn't possibly help 350 million people for very long in any kind of major economic or natural disaster. The real strength of the welfare system has to be with the individual members efforts to prepare themselves as best they can for future difficulties, donate a generous fast offering, give to the humanitarian aid program when possible and willingly volunteer to serve where and when they can.

  • ray vaughn Ogden, UT
    July 12, 2016 8:23 p.m.

    It would be appropriate for the LDS church to ask our state legislature to consider extending full health care to all deserving citizens of Utah.

  • superdmil Centerville, UT
    July 12, 2016 8:11 p.m.

    Critics of the church ask why is the Church doing more to help people if they are christian as they claim. They an article like this comes out and then they ask Why does the church have to advertise when the help people. Maybe it's not enough to feed 350 million people for two years and I am positive no one has ever claimed that. But it sure is nice to see this level of help in the world today.

  • MoreMan San Diego, CA
    July 12, 2016 7:08 p.m.

    " According to reporter Lucky Severson, the system, which includes 115 bishop's storehouses in the United States, "holds enough provisions to meet the projected demands of members and nonmembers in the United States and Canada for two years."
    Well except most of them are located in Utah or Idaho, and there are 350 MILLION people in those countries... not including Mexico. 2 years? That is like saying that less than 3 dollars per member and 2 hours per year is putting a dent in it all. I'm sorry, I know this is a fluff piece and you have published comments about why liberals are at fault, but my comments keep getting ignored and all I've done is point out the obvious.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 12, 2016 6:52 p.m.

    Do we 'wail' of it? No. As a raw number, it's a great statistic. Look at the good we do. And, to be truthful, none of it is my money, except maybe whatever gains come of not paying taxes on it. This church and every other should be more accountable there.
    It's tough to say, though, much about it. It has no context. If that's half what the church takes in every year, it's a fantastic statistic. If, however, the church takes in eight billion in tithing every year, this isn't much of the budget, is it? It isn't wailing or being 'hypercritical' to offer an opinion on what they're up to. We see the assets. We see how full the parking lot is on Sunday, and we know how much each of those families is supposed to kick in every year.
    When you truly buy in, you defend unquestionably the actions of the leadership. Including finances. It's the same if you're in Amway or NuSkin. So it's great, this money they spend in the welfare sector. Wondering what it really means makes me a hater. OK.

  • mhenshaw Leesburg, VA
    July 12, 2016 6:17 p.m.

    @AS SD

    >>Matthew 6
    >>1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men...

    Critics of the Church wail that it should open its books so everyone can see how much it receives in tithes and offerings, and how it disburses the money, all while insinuating that failure to do so means something sketchy is going on. Then the Church reveals a single number about a single expense, and critics wail that it's "doing its alms before men," thereby insinuating hypocrisy, that its humanitarian efforts stem not from charitable impulses but rather to buff up its public image.

    People are smart enough to see the game the critics want to play. It's the critics who are being disingenuous, not the Church. If they can't criticize the Church for one thing, they'll criticize it for another; and that's why the Church will always ignore the critics. It is simply a waste of time trying to please them.

  • Grant Pa Johnson Rancho Cordova, CA
    July 12, 2016 5:45 p.m.

    Fantastic! It is so impressive what can be done with just the donations that were volunteered. To think that there are two years of provisions for all people in North America regardless of religious affiliation, and that they would be shared... is not this a testament of the truthfulness of the work? No profit there, just sharing, charity.

    As far as sounding a trumpet, Jesus was speaking to those who, as INDIVIDUALS, would brag or boast, he was not speaking about organizations... in fact, organizations as corporations and entities officially recognized by their local government are actually obligated to report on the details like this. It has nothing to do with the Sermon on the Mount, teachings that Jesus was using to help individuals recognize that they need to do good things for the right reasons. Like those donors who gave all the money to make this possible, NOBODY knows who they are... so Sermon on the Mount is still obeyed there...

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    July 12, 2016 5:13 p.m.

    "Ye are the light of the world", the Savior said. "Let your light so shine that others may glorify the Father."

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    July 12, 2016 5:10 p.m.

    AS SD, truth is clear and not hidden; Peter and Paul collected money on missionary tours; Jesus spoke on money perhaps more than any other topic.

  • Silvex Salt Lake, UT
    July 12, 2016 5:01 p.m.

    @ AS SD

    Matthew 5:14-16

    14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

    15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

    16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

  • Truthfully Eagle Mountain, UT
    July 12, 2016 4:35 p.m.

    It is important that facts like these get out into the mainstream. It influences how people view the world and how they treat each other. We are constantly bombarded with violence, hate, low moral values, poor ethics etc on TV, all news, books, radio etc. These influence the human animal negatively.
    Doing positive, kind deeds, no matter how small, influence others to want to do the same types of things.

    Go out and do something nice for someone today.

  • AS SD San Diego, CA
    July 12, 2016 4:28 p.m.

    Matthew 6
    1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

    2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

    3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

    4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

  • Bountiful Guy Bountiful, UT
    July 12, 2016 3:53 p.m.

    Yet another part of the comprehensive service the Church gives to the world.

  • Christopher B Ogden, UT
    July 12, 2016 3:27 p.m.

    Though not LDS I defend the Mormons in many situations.

    Undoubtedly on articles like this the liberal haters will come on and bash the LDS church for talking about the good things they do.

    These same bitter liberals are the same ones who bash the LDS church when they dont hear enough good things the church is doing.

  • Christopher B Ogden, UT
    July 12, 2016 3:25 p.m.

    I'm not LDS but this is a job well done!

    Keep up the good work Mormons