An Unemotional Analysis of the Recent "Whistleblower" on LDS Church Finances

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LookingHard
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Re: An Unemotional Analysis of the Recent "Whistleblower" on LDS Church Finances

Post by LookingHard » 11 Jan 2020, 14:07

hawkgrrrl wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 12:33
But I think it's more likely that we are in the mindset of people who survived the depression. Now that we have money, we can't help but wash and reuse our tin foil "just in case." It's nearly impossible to get people in this frame of mind to realize that they probably went too far to get where they are.
I do think this is part of it. I would say that if they would have been disclosing even at a high level, they probably would have gotten some of the feedback even from TBM members that this may need to be brought under control. Now it has had yet another weight on some people's shelves that top leadership can't always be trusted. And from the book "Bridges" and "The Next Mormons", that loss of trust of the leaders is a huge issue. It is still the main issue I have.

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DevilsAdvocate
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Re: An Unemotional Analysis of the Recent "Whistleblower" on LDS Church Finances

Post by DevilsAdvocate » 18 Jan 2020, 10:59

Curt Sunshine wrote:
17 Dec 2019, 16:58
I still am bothered enough by the claim of the size of the Church's investment assets that I am continuing to consider paying tithing on what I calculate as my "increase" (defining that as my "extra" income after I have paid my essential bills and living costs), but I am nowhere near dismayed anymore...The claim is that the Church receives about $7 billion per year in tithing. The claim is that $6 billion of that is used to run the church and all of its operational costs. The claim is that the remaining $1 billion per year is used to invest and create the investment asset total - which is claimed to be $100 billion currently.
Personally it wouldn't surprise me at all if this report is accurate and they really do have over 100 billion in savings/investments. To me the fact that they spent billions on City Creek Mall and however much on a temple in Rome, etc. was already more than enough for me to feel confident that they already have way more money than they know what to do with. If anything surprised me about this report it's the claim that they actually spend as much of the tithing as they do according to this. I would have guessed that they were saving/investing most of it mostly because of having unpaid clergy at the local level. But, on closer inspection, it makes sense that things like the BYUs and other Church shools, the CES, building and maintaining chapels, stake centers, temples, etc., paying mission presidents, GAs, and for many missions, subsidizing worldwide operations outside the US and Canada where the tithing received is much less, etc. could really start to add up in terms of the overall costs.

However, I don't really see the savings/investments as something malicious, motivated by pure greed, etc. The way I look at it is simply that the Church started emphasizing tithing more as an expected requirement to be a faithful member and interpreting it as based on income in 1899 and again in the 1960s-1970s at times when they really were hurting for money, but once the tradition was established it sort of took on a life of its own. So the leaders continue to preach tithing mostly the same way they always have largely thinking it is for members' own good and that they will be blessed for faithfully obeying this commandment. Meanwhile now that average salaries have continually increased (even if not necessarily enough to make up for inflation) the net result of this is a significant amount of left over money that the Church leaders don't really know what to do with, so it looks like they don't really do anything with it other than saving it and investing it for a rainy day so to speak. There's nothing all that unusual about that by itself.

As far as not disclosing how much they receive and how it is spent I suspect this is mostly because they think it wouldn't be faith promoting and it is easier for many members to faithfully pay tithing year-after-year if they feel like it is going to a good cause than it would be if they knew so much of it was actually just ending up as more stocks, real estate, business investments, etc. for a church that already has so much compared to other churches. My main complaint about this besides them continuing to teach tithing as a percentage of income in the first place which I don't really expect to change anytime soon is that they refused to continue to use some of this available money to pay janitors and are asking members to spend their limited free time scrubbing toilets and such mostly because they know some members will do this if asked to. Just because you can get away with something that doesn't mean you should.
"Truth is what works." - William James

Roy
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Re: An Unemotional Analysis of the Recent "Whistleblower" on LDS Church Finances

Post by Roy » 19 Jan 2020, 17:10

DevilsAdvocate wrote:
18 Jan 2020, 10:59
I don't really expect to change anytime soon is that they refused to continue to use some of this available money to pay janitors and are asking members to spend their limited free time scrubbing toilets and such mostly because they know some members will do this if asked to. Just because you can get away with something that doesn't mean you should.
The official reason for the janitor change was to help the members feel more connection and ownership towards the buildings. However, I strongly suspect that the reasons for the change was because of the difficulties complying with employment laws and OSHA requirements in such isolated and difficult to monitor working conditions. If you make your janitors volunteers then that largely goes away. In short, I think the janitorial decision had more to do with the hassle than with the money.
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DarkJedi
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Re: An Unemotional Analysis of the Recent "Whistleblower" on LDS Church Finances

Post by DarkJedi » 20 Jan 2020, 06:43

Roy wrote:
19 Jan 2020, 17:10
DevilsAdvocate wrote:
18 Jan 2020, 10:59
I don't really expect to change anytime soon is that they refused to continue to use some of this available money to pay janitors and are asking members to spend their limited free time scrubbing toilets and such mostly because they know some members will do this if asked to. Just because you can get away with something that doesn't mean you should.
The official reason for the janitor change was to help the members feel more connection and ownership towards the buildings. However, I strongly suspect that the reasons for the change was because of the difficulties complying with employment laws and OSHA requirements in such isolated and difficult to monitor working conditions. If you make your janitors volunteers then that largely goes away. In short, I think the janitorial decision had more to do with the hassle than with the money.
That's a reasonable argument, and could be. It was likely a combination of things. Having far fewer employees in diverse areas with varying laws is undoubtedly a benefit. A possible solution is to do what they did with other building maintenance activities (like mowing and snow plowing) - contract it out. Even in my rural area there are at least two companies that provide cleaning services to businesses that come to mind.
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Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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