How the Mormons Make Money

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bridget_night
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How the Mormons Make Money

Post by bridget_night » 10 Jul 2012, 11:18

Have you all seen this?

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/20 ... e-money#p1

Pretty interesting. Bridget

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cwald
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Re: How the Mormons Make Money

Post by cwald » 10 Jul 2012, 11:30

Yeah. I read it this morning.

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bridget_night
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Re: How the Mormons Make Money

Post by bridget_night » 10 Jul 2012, 11:37

Any thoughts cwald?

Minyan Man
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Re: How the Mormons Make Money

Post by Minyan Man » 10 Jul 2012, 11:49

I'm in the process of reading a book about the history of Nauvoo in the 1840's.
JS can't even make interest payments on the real estate loans outstanding.
He relies on converts coming to Nauvoo to help with the financial problems.
As I understand it, he was considering financial bankruptcy.
People within the Church & outside the Church were taking financial advantage.

Fast forward to today. It looks like the Church has learned from history.
I don't know whether to laugh or cry sometimes.

Mike from Milton.

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Bruce in Montana
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Re: How the Mormons Make Money

Post by Bruce in Montana » 10 Jul 2012, 11:51

Holy mackerel.

Well, as long as we're shooting for that "no rich or poor among us", and "all things in common" thing....I don't see any problems here... :roll:
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
-William S.

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wayfarer
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Re: How the Mormons Make Money

Post by wayfarer » 10 Jul 2012, 12:52

bridget_night wrote:Have you all seen this?

Business Week Article, "How the Mormons Make Money"

Pretty interesting. Bridget
Here is a corporate organization that is taking the time, talents, and everything with which the lord has blessed people and is building up a kingdom. 'tis a miracle to behold. Of note is an example where a senior missionary couple spends 2.5 years working on a hunting reserve for no pay (in fact, as I understand it, each senior missionary couple pays their own living expenses as well) to turn this reserve into a profit maker for the "Corporation Sole" of the president of the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints. Such faithful dedication to spend 2.5 years in no-paid service in order to help the church make a profit.

Puts a whole new meaning into "We thank thee, oh God, for a Prophet".

I continue to pay, year on year, a significant amount of money in tithing. My TBM DW asked me when we were passing through Utah a couple of months ago, "What does the church need with a $2Billion Mall?" I answered that it is what the brethren have decided is a good use of "Reserve" funds. She thought I was being cynical, I thought I was being accurate.

She asked how this wasn't tithing money. I said it's quite simple. The church collects perhaps between $5B and $9B per year in tithing. this money goes into a bank, most likely somehow owned by the church. That's why everything has the label "Reserve" in the name. The non-profit money is 'held in reserve' so that the church can weather ups and downs effectively. The reserve funds, being deposited, provide the liquidity and capital for the holding bank of the reserve to use the money wisely, as any bank would, to grow the money. The bank takes the majority of these deposits (depending upon the Federally-mandated "reserve requirements") and loans them out to other investments -- specifically, "for profit investments". Being that it's the church's money, they can say where the money gets loaned to. And of course, this money then goes into the Church's for-profit enterprises in order to "make money" for the bank while the "sacred money" is being held in "Reserve" for future use. (Subsidiaries of Deseret Management Corporation include "AgReserves, Hawaii Reserves, Farmland Reserve Inc., Property Reserve, Intellectual Reserve....)

It's exactly what the lord rewarded in the parable of the Talents, isn't it? Money from lesser profitable enterprises (the members) is being given indirectly to the guy making 10 talents (Deseret Management Corporation) in order to help the church make more money and build up the kingdom of god on the earth. And because the original deposits are held in "reserve" in an 'account' at the bank, they are technically never used for the profit making ventures...or at least, directly. It's the Lord's plan.

But who knows?

The church no longer uses Common Consent as the means to provide accountability for its affairs. It's a black box, into which members faithfully contribute and hope their contributions provide the right protection for their salvation. There are no real questions asked by the faithful, because the promise of exaltation and salvation from the fires are good enough to justify the significant investment.

Another very interesting statistic is the grossing up of all charitable donations to reflect that 1.3 B in 25 years has been donated to humanitarian causes. When put on an annualized basis, this amounts to 52M per year or what might be estimated at 0.7% of total donations. this, compared to the 29% of donations going to relief by the Methodist church. Then the clarification that half of that is in the form of non-monetary relief: a.k.a. missionaries around the world.

The other day, I was contemplating a covenant members make into the church: to consecrate everything they have or ever will have to the church to build up the kingdom of god on earth (the church and its financial empire), and for the establishment of Zion. The last five words, to me, are my motivation for existence in the church: "For the establishment of Zion" -- where people are of one heart and one mind, and there are no poor among them -- quite a relief effort. So far, I've seen a huge amount of money going into the building up of the kingdom of god on the earth.

The church has indeed mastered Babylon, but, where is Zion?
"Those who speak don't know, those who know don't speak." Lao Tzu.
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SilentDawning
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Re: How the Mormons Make Money

Post by SilentDawning » 10 Jul 2012, 13:38

The contents of this article are one reason I have problems with tithing. My wife told me the other day that Ron L. Hubbard, the founder of Scientology said "the easiest way to make a million is to start a church".

The part that gets me the most is how little, comparatively, the church gives to outside organizations compared to other churches. I have read this several times -- in Mormon America, and again in the article.

Again, I believe the local people believe with their soul that paying tithing is important for salvation and do it with a pure heart, but in aggregate, the percent of the funds that flow back to the local wards is astoundingly small.

There was a website in Canada that listed each Ward and its gross revenues, as well as the size of their ward budgets.
Last edited by SilentDawning on 10 Jul 2012, 15:23, edited 2 times in total.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

bc_pg
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Re: How the Mormons Make Money

Post by bc_pg » 10 Jul 2012, 14:04

Reading stuff like this makes me so angry that the Mormon church scammed me out somewhere around $200,000.

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SilentDawning
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Re: How the Mormons Make Money

Post by SilentDawning » 10 Jul 2012, 15:26

bc_pg wrote:Reading stuff like this makes me so angry that the Mormon church scammed me out somewhere around $200,000.
But I don't see it as scamming...I think they honestly believe they are doing the right thing in making the members sacrifice. However, I have to agree that the article really paints a different picture, and the statement that the church looks a lot more like a corporation has merit in my view.

I have settled on the fact that just as the church gets me as member, with all my faults and tolerances, we end up with talented businessment in key positions who bring what they have learned from industry to the church, and so, it looks like a corporation. And that bothers me, unfortunately.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

bc_pg
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Re: How the Mormons Make Money

Post by bc_pg » 10 Jul 2012, 15:41

But I don't see it as scamming...I think they honestly believe they are doing the right thing in making the members sacrifice.
If they'd refund my money I'd be inclined to agree. However since the foundation of the church was fraudulent (first vision / book of mormon) and I was indoctrinated from the time I could barely talk that 10% of my money was their's, and it was used as extortion to be in good standing with the church, e.g. temple recommend, I'm sticking with "scam".

I do agree with your sentiment that most church leaders believe paying tithing is a benefit to the members.

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