Editor's Note: The Salamander Society endorses humanitian aid but recommends that the LDS Church cease bogus vicarious temple work for the dead and the time wasted by its faithful. Better to spend that money and on reality based humanitarian efforts. Also the money wasted on missionary work could be better spent on humanitarian work.
01/16/2010 - by convertinginreverse
The Mormon church teaches that Jesus Christ is at the head of the church. He leads it. It is His church (and all the others are wannabes, presumably). Most members believe that Jesus has appeared personally to the prophet (currently Thomas S. Monson) and his twelve apostles. Many believe he visits them regularly. Keep these things in mind as you read this post.
The LDS Church refuses to disclose its financial information except for in countries where it is legally required to do so, such as Great Britain (though most other churches have no issue opening their books so that their members, and the public, can see what they're doing with their money). But it is estimated that the LDS Church is worth $80 to $100 billion (yes, that's Billion with a 'B').
It is the wealthiest per capita religion in the world with annual tax-free revenues estimated to be $6 Billion per year. The LDS Church owns 928,000 acres in North America, is the largest ranch land owner in Wyoming, is the 2nd largest land owner in Nebraska (Ted Turner #1), has the largest cattle ranch in 48 states (Adjacent to Disneyworld in Florida), is the largest foreign landowner in UK. The LDS Church owns several businesses, numerous radio and television stations, its own insurance company, and is rumored to be the largest single producer of commercial beef in the USA.
They own enormous properties in Hawaii including a Marriott hotel franchise in Hawaii, the Polynesian Cultural Center (which is the most visited tourist attraction in Hawaii) and more.
The Church is currently building a $3 billion (yes, again, that's Billion with a B) mall/office/condo building in Salt Lake City (a MALL in this economy? Geez, it doesn't take a prophet to know that's a horrible idea). They assure us no tithing money is being used.
And since they refuse to let us see their books we'll have to take their word for it. Of course, any money they make from their business ventures is money that was originally tithing (maybe from a hundred years ago), and then invested. So really, it's a bit moot, don't you think?
The church coughed up at least $189,903 in non-monetary expenditures for Prop H8 in California and after sending a letter to its wards (ward = congregation) throughout the US, it cajoled members into giving around $25 million.
This sad thread of comments (many from former ward clerks who are responsible for local money matters) indicates that a single ward may bring in $500K to $1 million each year but only receive a very small amount back to fund ward activities such as Christmas celebrations, childrenÕs programs, etc.
In one case one ward sent $15k per WEEK to headquarters in SLC and was allotted just $7K (yes, there are NO zeroes on that number) for the entire YEAR.
Members are expected to tithe, and unlike many churches that leave it up to the individual to determine what a tithe is, and if they can afford to pay one, the LDS Church has a strict interpretation. A tithe is 10% of your income (and most "good Mormons" will insist it's 10% BEFORE taxes).
It doesn't matter how poor you are. If you want to be a member in good standing, if you want to be admitted into the Temple (for worship or family weddings) you must be paying tithing. In some wards if you need financial assistance, or food it won't be given unless you're paying your tithing and even then, it's not the Church's job to help members who are struggling.
Every year you'll be hauled in and asked if you've paid a full tithe that year. On top of tithes members are expected to donate extra money to help the poor (wait, extra money to help the poor, what the hell happened to all that tithing they paid?), help pay for the missionary program, and more.
And, since each ward is budgeted so little to pay for its programs, many members end up paying out of pocket for things like photocopying, food, etc. in relation to their callings (callings = assigned, unpaid positions).
OK. Now, stop. Let it all sink in, particularly the $3 BILLION mall. What else could $3 billion buy?
Well, if a mission costs each missionary (yes, those guys in suits are PAYING for the privilege of knocking on your door) $400 USD p/month that is, each young man or woman pays the church $400 then the Church gives them money back based on the expected expense of where they're serving, much like it treats its wards Ð missionaries often struggle to have good meals, toilet paper, etc. and end up spending extra of their own money.
Adam knew missionaries on his mission that depleted their life savings picking up the slack, and if a mission is 2 years (18 months for the women), that's about $9,600. For $3 billion the church could pay for 312,500 missionaries instead of insisting these young men and women VOLUNTEERS and their families be the ones struggling to foot the bill.
Or, better yet, instead of paying for people to go harass us door to door the church could do a lot, and I mean A LOT of good in Haiti. But wait! "The Church IS helping Haiti!" some would protest. You're right, let's take a look at what they've done.
Within 24 hours of Tuesday's quake, the LDS Church joined forces with one of its major partners of late in providing humanitarian aid, Islamic Relief USA, the nation's largest Muslim relief organization. Islamic Relief USA officials announced Wednesday they were flying aid to Haiti in cooperation with the LDS Church.
"Two planes, one departing from Denver as early as Thursday and another leaving from Miami later this week, each will transport to Haiti more than 80,000 pounds of food and emergency resources such as tents, tarps, water filtration bottles and medical supplies donated by the LDS Church", spokesman Scott Trotter said. - Deseret News.
Unfortunately, MONEY not supplies is what is needed right now. And, as of yet, I have heard nothing about the church sending money (though they seem to have plenty to spare). Even Brad and Angelina have pledged $1 million already. But, it is still fairly early I guess? Maybe it's too soon to judge.
So let's take a look at how the church helped in an emergency in the past.
As I mentioned before, we don't know what the church does with its money in the US. But we do have insight to their behavior in the UK. And here is the disturbing summary of what happened after the 2005 tsunami:
The church asked UK members to donate money to help the tsunami victims. Guess how much of the UK members donations went to tsunami victims? No, really, guess.
OK, you ready for the answer? Nothing.
Nothing went to the tsunami victims. See Mormon Think - Tithing
Personally, I think charity fraud is vile. It's the worst kind of people taking advantage of the best kind of people. And, in my opinion, what happened in the UK is charity fraud. It makes you wonder what is happening in the US where the church isn't required to open their books. Some estimates place the church as donating LESS THAN 1% of its income to help the poor.
In Jan. 2006, from the Church PR department, (Deseret News Publishing Company): Edgley said, Òthat since 1984, the LDS Church has donated nearly $750 million in cash and goods to people in need in more than 150 countries.Ó That averages to 37.5 million per year or about $3-$4 per Mormon member went to the poor.
The total of $750 million in 22 years spent in cash in goods to people in need is less than HALF what the church is spending on these malls. Less than half!! The Mormon Church is spending less than 1% of its income to help the poor.
They could prove us wrong. They could be as upfront as other churches, say the Catholic church about their charitable work. They could let us see just where their members contributions are going. But I suspect we wouldn't like what we'd see.
ETA: The death toll in Haiti is expected to possibly be as high as 200,000 people. That's well over the population of Salt Lake City! And yet the church has only helped send a measly $1 million worth of supplies?
We, as a family, have given a little over three quarters of 1% of our yearly income to help Haiti. So, percentage-wise we've given more to help Haiti than the Mormon Church gives in humanitarian aid TOTAL.
So, remember the first paragraph to this post? You know, the bit about Jesus Christ himself directing this church? What would Jesus do?
Build a mall, apparently.
Mormons, Money and Haiti - by Danny - 01/24/2010
I think it is noteworthy also that when these opportunities for helping others in the midst of crisis, like the Haitians...the church doesn't dip into the existing funds of the church...they ask for additional donations. Where does it end for the (True Believing Mormons) TBM's?
If the church is taking tithing donations and investing them to help the fund base grow, can they not take from some of the profit$$$ and use that money to care for the needy in natural disaster riddled countries.
I have heard it said that the 'church' has the most educated group in the US and maybe in the world for that matter. It is no wonder, because the smart TBM's realize that the only way they are going to be able to afford a roof and a car is for daddy to be a lawyer and mommy to be a doctor. It has nothing to do with the "Glory of God is Intelligence" philosophy.
What about the low income TBM's???They give a much larger percent of their disposble income and now all have the 'opportunity' to give more. The heirarchy is protecting their income base so as not to jeopardze the corporation. Meanwhile the TBM's are asked to give more and more in the name of faithfulness. What about the lower income TBM's own children. Many times when I was a TBM I drove a piece of shiX car while """"I was giving my 10% and fast offerings. We would go for years without a decent memory building vacation. Since we didn't have a lot of money I was always available to take care of businesss on Sundays while the smarter, more educated, two income TBM's, were getting the hell out of dodge to escape their responsibilites in the name of family togetherness.
Now that I am not in the MORG I have a greater ability to give where I see my money can make a difference. Just want to put in a word for the refugees of MORGism that need help as well. In the name of faithfulness there are many who are victims of the MORG and need rescuing themselves. Kids grow up wearing hand me down clothes and eating rice and pasta meals so they can build the corporation. They need rescuing almost as much as the Haitians.
11/12/2008 - by Jesus Smith
I wonder how much TSCC (The So Called Church) pays to build and maintain temples and meetinghouses each year. Also how this compares with tithing income, and to their stated $1.1B in donations over 25 years. I'm just pulling the numbers from church stats and guessing costs.
I estimate that in 2008--
- ~5000 meeting houses
- ~300 seminary/institute buildings
- ~175 mission homes
- ~128 completed temples
- ~5 small education campuses
- 2 medium sized campuses
- 1 large campus
- 1 headquarters (SLC)
I estimate the monthly expenses as
- ~$1,000 per meeting house
- ~$10,000 per seminary/inst (incl salaries)
- ~$2,000 per mission home
- ~$30,000 per temple
- ~$200,000 per small campus (net after tuition income)
- ~$1M per medium campus ( " " ")
- ~$5M for BYU (after tuition income)
- ~$2M for HQ (not including corporated costs)
So total maintenance would approximately be: $22,190,000 per month, and $266M per year.
Now the annual ward budget is under $10k, and stakes are probably around $5k. (these are probably high estimates). With 28,000 wards, budgets would cost $280M at most, and 2800 stakes would cost $14M. For $300M in budgets per year. That brings the total to $566M per year.
Let's give my underestimation's the benefit of Morg doubt and round up to a cool $1-Billion per year in maintenance and budget.
Now, there are a host of other properties, canneries, ranches and farms I don't account for here, so let's assume that they all combined take as much to maintain as all the buildings, temples and campuses. So that would be another $0.5B per year. Add that to the $1B for a total of $1.5B.
From 2007 - 2008, there were about (based on GC statistics) 365 newly created wards, which equals about 90-100 new chapels, and about 3 new temples on average per year.
Estimate that a new chapel is at most $5M to build, and a temple about $100M, that makes $800M in new church construction. Add to that campus constructions (which probably are almost entirely gifted by alumni contributions outside of tithing, but...) estimated wildly to be $800M, for a total in construction of $1.6B.
So we have $1.5B in maintenance, and $1.6B in construction per year, with a grand total of $3.1B.
But the most conservative estimates state the church brings in $5B in tithing.
That leaves ~$2B excess per year.
And they only donate ~$40M a year in humanitarian aide? That 2% of their excess, and 0.8% of their total income. Let's give them the benefit of the doubt, that in recent years the average donation is double the 25 year average. So $80M out of $2B is still 4% of excess and 1.6% of total income. They don't have to pay taxes on their income either.
They don't even live the original "increase" model of tithing for giving to the poor.
I believe the annual ward budget is under $10k, and stakes are probably around $5k. (these are probably high estimates) so that 28,000 wards would cost $280M at most, and 2800 stakes would cost $14M. For $300M in budgets per year. That is a chunk of change.
It is worse than you have calculated. - by annointed one
They (the Church) don't even pay the $40m or $80m (your estimate for recent years) themselves. Humanitarian aid comes out of special donations/restricted funds that are additional to tithing. Sometimes the donors state specific purposes for the funds, other times they are part of the general humanitarian aid fund.
So, they spend little or nothing of their tithing income on humanitarian needs. These usually come from donations that are in addition to tithing. They will, however, pick up the "admin. expense" of distributing those funds and get the P.R. credit for them.
Another Ward Clerk's perspective on budget and tithing
Wow, looks like a lot of clerks that don't understand finances! The $5000 or so budget is just for extra expenses. That usually doesn't include maintenance and upkeep of the building. Most importantly, it doesn't include the cost of the building itself. Buildings are purchased up front by tithing funds. That means no mortgage payment. Where does this money come from? It comes from the tithing funds of other faithful members in other wards. So basically, you are just paying for more buildings just like someone else paid for yours. - 01/18/2010 - clerks998
12/31/2008 - by BobFMFan
It's true that ward budgets are only around 5k, and they often have incomes of 200k+. This seems unreasonable until you compare it with other churches.
One of the local churches in my area (probably about half the attendance of a typical ward) has income of around 150k and really only spends around 10k on "programs" of the type that a typical ward would. The main expenses are facilities (LDS accounts these at the global or stake level) and salary+benefits for their pastor and other staff.
The areas where the LDS is really making the money are:
#1: As a global church they own the buildings, so don't have to pay mortgage interest.
#2: They take in slightly more money than other churches due to their intense focus on tithing. I suspect the effect here is overstated, as I was VERY surprised how few members were full tithe payers.
#3: (This is the biggie) NO PAID CLERGY, STAFF, OR (now) JANITORS.
Basically, the largest expense is reduced, and the second largest expense is virtually eliminated with the exception of higher level administrative staff and general authorities.
That said, I think it's pretty clear the church is fleecing its members. Most smaller churches are barely getting by because they are spending all of their money every year. The LDS church has huge amounts of investment income. Yet, they still treat their members like the church is incredibly poor. This helps keep their expenses as low as possible, so that they don't have to actually use those huge investments to help people. Instead, they take the money that other churches spend on staff and clergy (how evil) and pocket it to just make the church richer.
12/31/2008 - by 2thdoc
What a joke, isn't it, that I haven't paid tithing or had a temple recommend since 2006, but I'm the one seeing the private financial information for everyone in the ward! The bishop is in denial that I'm inactive since I have such a picture perfect Mo-family. I go to Sac Meeting to keep the wife happy, disappear for two hours, and show up to do the money stuff afterwards.
We are in a lower income area and send in around 400K/year and our ward budget is around 4K/year. Nearly every week the bishop comes in to the clerk's office, anxious to find out what the fast offering total is. I've been doing finance for three years and this is the first year where we are in the red on fast offering and the bishop is catching it from the stake level. More and more people are coming in for help with utility bills, rent, sometimes food. With the economy, that's only going to get worse. But it churns my gut everytime, as we deposit around $10,000 every Sunday, to see how it kills the bishop to consent to pay someone's electic bill.
I was ultra TBM (True Believing Mormon) six years ago but three years on the stake high council, seeing the real workings of the church, did me in. Now, three years of seeing the money sponge that the church is, has finished off any kind feelings I once had for TSCC (The So Called Church).
I don't know yet what my game plan is (other than never paying another cent into it) for making an exit. I lurk here often and take comfort in reading of others in similar circumstances.
01/30/2007 by Jim Huston
Ostling (Mormon America) compared the Mormon Church to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA). They had a similar number of reported members in 1997. At that time, the ELCA had $152 Million in assets that was primarily the pension fund for the employees.
This is compared to the assets of the Mormon Church as reported above. In 1997 the ELCA raised $11.8 Million for humanitarian aid and $3.64 Million for disaster relief for a total of 15.44 Million in cash donations for charity.
In the 14 year period from 1984 – 1997 the Mormon Church reported cash donations for non-Mormon charity at $30.7 Million, or an average of 2.19 Million per year to the Ostlings. This translates to ELCA donating a little over 10% of its holdings in 1997 and the Mormon Church donating approximately .2% of its holdings.
Most businesses in the United States have higher percentage charitable contributions than does the Mormon Church.
04/23/2005 by Surviving in Utah
I was in a planning meeting with support contractors to the Mormon church. In it a list of projects and projected costs were discussed. So how are the sacred moneys of Mormon Jebus being spent.
ZCMI and Crossroads Mall - Current Budget Price $5.2 billion dollars and rising. Damn Satan and his control over the water that caused hurricane Katrina!!!!!
New Planters for the Penis tower (COB) $4.5 Million dollars. It seems the cast concrete with quartz encrusted rocks are "deteriorating" and Gordy wants Granite ones.
Renovations to the Conference Center Roof System - $18.5 Million. The superstructure cannot hold the weight of the water, soil and other items on the roof. While it is not in danger of total collapse, sections are becoming a concern and have to be addressed.
Other projects - $278.5 million. Mind you these are not ecclesiastical facilities but commercial and administrative buildings.
10/22/2005 by Dawkins with reactions by other posters at www.exmormon.org
Source & Summary:
Total income – £31.788 million
Total spent on grants, welfare and humanitarian aid:
£0.948 million (2.982%)
amount spent from earmarked funds- £0.880 million (2.768%)
amount spent from general tithing funds- £0.068 million (0.214%)
I was fascinated by the link to the Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2003 for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Great Britain), referenced in another thread below.
It confirmed something we all knew. The Church (if the GBChurch is representative) spends most of its money primarily on: staff, general administrative expenses and buildings.
F or the year ended 2003, the GBChurch took in £23.3 million in tithing, £5.0 million in cancellation in indebtedness from the Utah corporation, and £0.74 million in other income, totaling about £29.1 million in unrestricted income (tithing and other money that it can spend as it pleases).
The GBChurch, in the same year, also received £2.6 million in restricted income, meaning funds specifically earmarked for specific causes such as missionaries, BoM’s, fast offerings, PEF, temple construction and humanitarian aid.
In that same year, the GBChurch spent £7.3 million in staff costs, £2.0 million in G&A expenses, £8.1 million in physical facilities, £6.3 million in depreciation (not a cash expenditure) and other support and charitable causes, such that the total spent by the GBChurch in 2003 equaled about £28.7 million.
Notice that if the Utah corporation had not forgiven £5.0 million in debt to GBChurch, then the GBChurch would have been in the red (deficit) an amount of £1.89 million.
Of the £31.788 million received only £0.948 million was spent in grants, humanitarian aid and welfare, representing only 2.982% of total income. Of that 2.982%, 2.768% represented monies that had to be used for such purposes because the members designated that it be used as such. Only 0.214% (£0.068 million) of tithing money was spent on humanitarian aid.
If the GBChurch is not representative of these percentages, then it would be nice to have other audited financial statements that show otherwise.
Only 68k £ came from the general tithes by Manos
Everything else came from the portion of donations specifically labelled for humanitarian aid.
68k £ from the entire donation pool boils down to about *ONE FIFTH OF ONE PERCENT*. *ONE FIFTH OF ONE PERCENT OF THE TOTAL UK CHURCH'S TITHING WENT TOWARDS CHARITABLE WORK*.
Let that sink in.
my experience as a stake clerk by rosebud
Consider that if roughly 3% of the church's contributions are restricted funds (FO, Humanitarian Aid, Missionary) in Great Britain, then -- based soley on my experience as a stake clerk -- it is likely that in the US the figure is closer to 5%. If the Church in total takes in, let's say $4 billion a year in contributions, then at a minimum about 200 million a year should be going to FO, Humanitarian, and Missionary, or about 2 billion in the last 10 years. Hmmmm. I wonder where all the extra is going?
tax exempt status by OU812
I firmly believe that any organization should qualify for tax exempt status only if it gives ongoing full and complete financial disclosures. Your analysis shows the need. Now if the elected representatives would only get a clue.
Well at least the church is doing something. What is the point of criticizing the aid that is given? And don't forget the help that is given to individual members (and sometimes nonmembers) in developed countries when they find themselves in financial crisis. Or the youth programs it runs.
Concerning the comments about spending money on temples or printing Book of Mormons as opposed to using all the excess funds to feed the poor, is just as impractical as saying we all starve ourselves to feed the starving in Africa. Granted more aid could be given. But,couldn't we all live on 1,500 calories a day and few less DVDs?
And for the list of the top 20 Charities, that is great, but a church is more than just a charity. The comparison is weak because the contribution base of the Salvation Army and the YMCA is different than that of the LDS Church; for the church it is primarily its members, which are currently over 10 million, a fraction of the US population. And the church does not actively solicit raising funds for charity. There are other purposes for the funds and the church's existence. I agree that one of the main tennets is to provide relief for the poor, but it is not the only reason for its existence.
Again, why is there such criticism about a good thing? So what if you feel, President Hinckley is "bragging" or the numbers exagerate the actual contribrution? The World Bank, or any other NGOs/development and poverty alleviation programs will report their projects in the most positive ways.
And President Hinckley has urged it members to do more and give more stating that the aid given is still not enough.
Just a note that these are my personal opinions only. - 02/06/2004 - from email@example.com
I suggest you spend one day at the Humanitarian Center in Salt Lake City, Utah before you start judging the LDS Church - 01/30/2004 - anon
I have a few thoughts for everyone. If we truley believe in Christ, or God, or both-whethere as one or as seperate beings; why do we care what other churches do? Shouldn't we be worried about our very own salvation? The truth is: People starve everywhere! They need assistance. If they do get a lot or a little, what matter is it where it comes from and who's giving the most. What matters is, there are people that care. And if the Mormon church wants to give 10%, 50% or 92%, who are we to complain? We should graciously say thank you to all humanitarian efforts. - 01/15/2004 - from Blair Lewis
Response to Bro. Cheskin, Taking a Bath in England.
Typical spineless Euro whimp liberal response: Lets all be nice and open minded and don't think about this.
We really don't know how much the Mormons spend or don't spend, you are absolutely right about that. Mormons keep that a very closely guarded secret. But if you listen to them in General Conference or read their sleep inducing magazines, it becomes perfectly clear what the Mormon approach is to helping the poor. Convert them all first. And when they are all reading their scriptures every day and praying and paying their tithing , (oh, I forgot about Home Teaching! HT is the key to solving world poverty)God will bless them and poof, all these other problems will simply melt away! So why waste money on the unbelieving stiff necked cretins who can't understand the obvious fact that the Book of Mormon is the absolute truth and the most important book to ever be written. The unconverted are all headed for the Telestial Kingdom, a Mormon version of a nice hell. Except that throwing a few rubles around does help the missionary effort.
Sorry about the opening insults, I have got to stop listening to Rush so much. - 12/20/2003 - from Limbaugh addict
The obvious facts that can be seen after reading the above letters are that no-one knows the facts.
I just think that we should be careful not to berate the mormon church just because we don't like them. We simply don't know what they are doing for the good of other people. When I lived in Latvia I was able to accompny two lds senior missionaries who were serving a humanitarian mission. The projects that they sponsored gave life and hope to a great many people. Their activities went unreported in any press.
I just think that we could all hold our judgements a little.
Mr. A. M. Cheskin
University of Bath
When I was a child, back in the 1970's, my family lived in a number of very poor countries in Africa. Places where there was real, grinding poverty and massive corruption to make things worse.
In one town I lived in, Lubumbashi, in the south of Zaire (now called Democratic Republic of Congo), there were, I remember, four separate missions: one Baptist, one Adventist, one Methodist, and a convent of Roman Catholic nuns. These missions ignored their religious differences and cooperated to relieve some of the poverty. Between them, they ran a hospital, several medical clinics, vaccination programs, schools, and an adult-education program.
In the neighbouring town of Kolwezi, forty miles up the road, there were at least two further missions, Catholic and Scottish Presbyterian, also running medical clinics and education programs, and then further up the road still, in Likasi, yet more missions, offering the same.
All over the third world, churches from the west operate missions relieving the suffering and poverty, for no reason other than because they can, and they feel they should. In some of the poorest countries, practically the only medical and educational services are thanks to the missions of churches in rich countries. By comparison, the LDS Church's "efforts" are miserable, and its boasting despicable.
It is remarkable that the charity of the "great and abominable" church so greatly outshines that of the "true church of Jesus Christ". I would suggest the LDS church concentrate less on temples, conference centres, and other great and spacious buildings. An LDS-funded school or vaccination program in every country in the third world would be a far worthier ambition.
There is an excellent article in Dialogue, recent issue. Talks about fast offerings in church. 90% is raised in developed countries and is used to 'help the poor'. One might then think that most would be used for that purpose. Maybe half spent in underdeveloped countries.
Not quite. spent in the area where it is collected. Help those poor folks on the east bench of Salt Lake City to make payments on their mansions when market drops. - 09/20/2003 - from docbob4
I can't see why anyone would fight against the LDS Church unless they don't like to see good things happen for people all over the world. They have shipped 4.5 million pounds of clothes out of SLC in just the first 6 months of this year. Why would anyone want to stop that? - 07/05/2003 - anon
Julie Andersen-Versteeg writes (Forum, May 1) to say she is ``perplexed'' why the LDS Church spends ``millions'' on chapels, temples and beautiful landscaping while ``hundreds of LDS children'' are dying of malnutrition in Guatemala -- a claim, incidentally, that is utterly false. She evidently does not know that since the mid-1980s, the LDS Church has channeled almost $200 million in cash and material assistance into locations all over the world to redress poverty and give adults and children a better chance in life.
In Guatemala alone in the past 10 years, the church has organized more than 50 humanitarian relief efforts. These include provision of clothing for the needy, drinking water for impoverished villages, health-care training, efforts to help families become self-reliant, equipment for hospitals, basic classroom education, and the establishment of village banks to encourage cottage industries. Most of this aid is rendered quietly and without fanfare, as should be the case. More needs to be done. The dedicated men and women of the LDS Church who are rendering service to lift the people of Guatemala ought to be thanked for their selfless devotion.
BRUCE L. OLSEN
Managing Director, Public Affairs
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Salt Lake City
On these pages Bruce L. Olsen, the managing director of Public Affairs for the LDS church, defended the church against a claim that it spends millions on chapels, temples and beautiful landscaping while LDS children die of malnutrition in Guatemala. He declared the claim to be "utterly false." He did not specify which part of the claim was false, though, and I will assume he meant that there are no LDS children dying of malnutrition. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, I will conclude only that there are church members throughout the world who live in terrible poverty something even he would doubtfully deny. So can we, therefore, accuse the church of spending millions on chapels, temples, and beautiful landscaping while members live in dire poverty? Can we even go further and include starving non-members as well? Perish the thought.
Since the church is secretive about it finances, I am forced to refer to a Time magazine article about the LDS church (David Van Biema, August 4, 1997). In it Van Biema, who claims his source of information is the church itself, stated that the church "spend[s] billions to erect 350 church-size meetinghouses a year and [will be] adding 15 cathedral-size temples to the existing 50." Mr. Olsen may be pleased to note that the article informs us that the church does not spend most of its money on chapels, temples, and beautiful landscaping after all; rather "most of [the church='s] money is invested directly in church-owned, for-profit concerns, the largest of which are in agribusiness, media, insurance, travel and real estate."
Mr. Olsen eloquently comes to the church's defense for how it spends it s money. He informs us that "since the mid-1980s, the LDS Church has channelled almost $200 million in cash and material assistance into locations all over the world toredress poverty and give adults and children a better chance in life."
If we divide that sum of 200 million by 13 years (1985-1998), it amounts to 15.4 million dollars per year, or 0.26% of the church's reported (by Times) non-taxed annual revenue of 5.9 billion dollars. I would guess the church's income is higher than reported, but even if we assume it is only half of that amount, then the money that the church "channel[s] into locations all over the world" would still only be 0.52% of the church's revenues. Placed in this light, one can see why Mr. Olsen proudly admitted that "this aid is rendered quietly and without fanfare."
A more accurate portrayal of the church's concern for the poor is certainly best illustrated by the solution that President Hinckley proposes for poverty. During a speech he gave to the Cebu Mission missionaries in the Philippines, he informed them that if poor Filipinos, "even living in poverty and misery...will accept the gospel and live it, pay their tithes and offerings, even though those be meager,...they will have rice in their bowls and clothing on their backs and shelter over their heads. I do not see any other solution." (Ensign, August 1997, pg. 7) The piece was titled "Solution For Poverty." And on a more recent visit to Africa he offered that same message of hope to the poverty stricken there.
What does the church's Public Affairs division have to say about that?
03/12/2000 - Sue
There is NO WAY that the church raised 50 million in one year for humanitarian effort. I'm sure GBH's figure has to do with money raised over a several-year period.
It was only when the church decided to have the fast for the famine in Africa several years ago (which raised $6million by the way -- WHY DON'T THEY DO IT MORE OFTEN!!!!!) -- that they began to instruct members that they could donate, using the tithing slip, and designate it for Humanitarian Relief (but made SURE that this was to be over and above the 10% for tithing).
Yours truly just began deducting a certain percentage from my tithing money, and designating it for Hum. Rel. And felt just fine, thank you very much, telling my Bishop I was a full tithing payer. In the last couple of years in the church, I took it one step further. Took 10-20% of my tithing money, and donated it outside the church, and still declared myself a full tith payer. Didn't bother my conscience one bit. One more little step as I tripped up the path to inactivity.
03/09/2000 - James Field
On March 8,2000 President Hinckley bragged to the National Press Club that the Mormon Church had donated 55 million dollars to humanitarian efforts. How does that compare to other non-prophet charitable organizations?
Now for some real facts:
Top 20 Charities in the US in 1998 in private support (forget the rest of the world, "Top Charities" is defined as the charities that raised the most money from Americans):
1. Salvation Army* ° - $ 1,171,801,000
2. YMCA of the USA (Chic.)* - 493,874,000
3. American Red Cross* - 490,158,993
4. American Cancer Society* - 488,512,000
5. Fidelity Invest. Charitable - 456,176,185
6. Harvard Universtiy - 427,603,792
7. Catholic Charities* - 425,262,180
8. Second Harvestª - 400,598,748
9. Boys & Girls Clubs of Am.* - 382,767,534
10. Stanford Universtiy - 312,284,937
11. American Heart Assoc.* - 301,514,000
12. YMCA of the USA (NY)° - 297,664,036
13. Gifts in Kind Internationalª - 289,610,113
14. World Vison* - 279,577,000
15. Boy Scouts of America* - 247,529,000
16. Campus Crusade for Christ - 236,153,000
17. Nature Conservancy - 235,107,172
18. Habitat for Humanity Int. - 233,335,000
19. Shriners Hospitals for Child* - 225,401,000
20. Cornell University - 220,627,995
* Includes affiliates; ° Figures are estimates; ª Non-cash-gifts make up to 50% or more of private support.
Quoted from Time Almanac 2000, p. 813; original source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Nov. 5, 1998
Now, what about the COJCOLDS and BYU?
I can see no place that the Mormon cult gives to charity. Religious cults and all religion are are such a money makers. But people are to blame for giving their money to such a joke of a cult. I have many times thought of creating a religion on the basis of made up visions. It is so easy to con the masses. God has spoken to me, and he wants your money. The guy in Oregon did it, and he could have continued. But he got stupid. - 10/13/2013 - Bing Crosby
I find it humorous that some if you can even complain against the lds church for not giving enough. I highly doubt any of you contribute half of what you should. Hypocrites. - 02/15/2013 - self righteous pious person
Wow!can't wait for my next paycheck to pay my tithe.amormon for life.hung yourself if u think the church lies. - 03/24/2012 - anon
hi, i am a mormon in long beach ,c.a ,originaly from utah. homeless with 3 kids and a wife need assistance. i am a skill bodymen, can find work need help in homeland not over seas , can any body find in your heart to help or think of the kids . - 03/21/2012 - my name is Sinock #(562)326- 4800
Whoever wrote this is an idiot. You don't know anything about the Mormon Church. - 03/11/2012 - anon
As an ex-Mormon, (and current atheist) I don't particularly feel the need to defend the LDS church. However, I see a lot of naivete in here. The Mormon church's primary goal is to expand it's power and influence. This is the goal of all western religion. While I understand that extremely naive people believe that a church's purpose is to help the poor and alleviate suffering, I never had that impression -- even when I was a young and trusting child. I always understood that tithing was paid to help the church grow. As an adult, I see that from a more cynical perspective. Nonetheless, I don't see a lack of charity as any kind of hypocrisy. If there's any hypocrisy, it's that Jesus was allegedly an anti-establishment figure, preaching a personal religion and frequently opposing religious authorities. Structured religion is inherently un-Christ-like. - 03/05/2012 - D99531
After being in contact with the Mormon church, questions came to mind before considering membership for myself. I discovered that some questions have immediate answers and others take time.
It has been my experience recently, that in the light of new information, my questions became concerns and reasons for not joining.
The idea of tithing has never been a point of concern for me, as I have always believed that it is a way to help others anonymously with no expectation of being paid back (the spirit of giving).
I was informed by a prominent Bishop in my area that upon completion of his research that there are ordinances against bestowing their welfare program on non-members of the church that haven't contributed tithes.
This caused real concern for me. As a Christian, it doesn't feel right to give only after being convinced of another person's ability to pay me back. A gift, as far as I am concerned is not a loan or something with preconditions (no strings attached).
Another concern is that if the Mormon church declares that it is the true church of Jesus Christ and that from my knowledge, that Jesus gave without preconditions, then how is this consistent with Jesus' works and teachings?
The Mormon church strongly urged me to become baptized in their church. They wanted to set a short time-frame for me to get baptized and gave me scriptural references and books of Mormon to read. Additionally, they provided missionaries to guide me with getting closer to the Mormon church teachings.
I explained to them that for me to make such a commitment it has to feel right and happen in God's time (when He is ready). The Holy Spirit is always with us to guide us in making better decisions.
The missionaries asked me to pray and ask God if the Mormon church was the true church and make a decision on baptism.
I wonder why Baptism would be a precondition to getting or providing charitable help. I wonder why tithing would be a precondition for getting or providing help. As a Christian, this does not make sense to me.
Although the missionaries have been extraordinary examples of Christians helping others with their time and labor, the Mormon hierarchical structure and policy makers have left me feeling disappointed and disillusioned.
If this still doesn't make sense, ask yourself this question:
If Jesus Christ were to suddenly appear in front of you right now and you asked Him for help or advice on helping others, would he first ask you to verify their ability to pay you back or their current membership status? - 03/04/2012 - What would Jesus do?
I know that the LDS church does much good and has a highly efficient welfare system. My problem is that tithing is not used for the poor. It is expected of every member in order to be worthy and enter the temple to receive "higher orders of glory." It's blackmail money, in effect. I know of no other church that ties money to one's eternal fate this blatantly. Didn't the entire Protestant Movement happen when Martin Luther objected to precisely this same thing, i.e. the selling of indulgences?? - 02/13/2012 - Rational
Does anybody have any hard evidence? All I see is estimations from bias people on both sides. Anyway, I would appreciate if someone posted a credible report of the LDS Church's budget with a full explanation of purposes for tithing and fast offering. Please include "jj" in your response. Thank you. - 02/16/2012 - jj
I read through the comments from other readers and have a couple points I would like to make. First, many of the facts and figures are not correct. You cannot compare percentages of money given to the Mormon church to how it is spent because the donations go into several different categories. Then you can break it from there.
I have no problem with the Mormon church owning so much. The reason other churches besides the Catholic church do not own so much is they refuse to work with similar congregations. Being proudly non-denominational is also the same as "doesn't work well with others." And for some strange reason, Mormon members are gladly willing to pay tithing where that is often not the case in other faiths. It takes organization to have an organization.
And third, the Prophet lives in a condo owned by the LDS church but that is not the same as taking a salary. If you compared the hours he puts in to what may be given him you might find he is not being paid. Also, take into consideration his age.
Wow! You put a lot of time into research, writing and posting. I am wondering "What would Jesus do"? Well he sure would not waste his precious time on this earth researching and writing negativity. He told us to love all and guess what that includes Mormons. And those you love you don't belittle. I stopped reading at less than half way through your comments because it is a waste of my time to add negative thoughts to my day and life. If people choose to donate to anyone or thing, that is their right without criticism or analytical attack. I pray you get over the anger you are harboring and move forward with your life. - 02/09/2012 - momagain1007
The founder of this site appears to be a very unhappy person that spend a lot of time criticizing organizations that attempt to do good. Strange how people who leave the LDS church can't leave it alone. Get over it and move on. Better yet, why not see if you can start an organization that is as perfect as you think you are. I, for one, would not waste any of my time trying to tear things down. I would rather be known as a builder than a destroyer. Being a destroyer eats at your insides until you rot from the inside out, dying a miserable death.
I am not going to leave my email address because I don't want to waste time arguing with someone who only sees bad where good exists. I don't want to be added to your destroy list. I prefer to be productive, to be a builder. Thank you for your time. - 10/24/2010 - Productive
This page is messed up! You all post like you know something. Let me tell you kids that you need to sound up your numbers and get your facts straight. The Mormon Church actually doesn't use tithing to help for humanitarian aid. The tithe is used to expand the work of the Lord and to expand His church. Fast offerings are collected each month, and are distributed to the needy and homeless in every area where this church has a building. As far as building anything in this economy, it is dang smart to build when the economy is down, because you can build a heck of a lot more for cheaper. I didn't find more than 2% of the information on this sight correct. - 10/12/2010 - If you only knew...
I dont see what the editor of this cite has against the LDS church. Are they or are they not helping other? How much money has the 'salamandersociety' donated recently? Or how often do they volunteer their skills and time to help others? Maybe they should spend less time accusing this amazingly generous world wide organization and start doing a little bit of work themselves. Besides who are you to judge them on how they spend their money? If the want to promote their beliefs then who are you to stop them? - 10/04/2010 - anon
I recently ran across a paper that questioned; "How does one become a Prophet"? The answer of course is nepotism. The article followed the blood and marriage lines of the top leaders to the LD$ church and found that they are a Mafia like "family" with tentacles that reach down into their closed and closley managed group. It has been thus managed for 185 years.
Why won't they open their books? Yeah, why?
I'd love to leave my email address, but my wife is totally into the myth and she's otherwise a perfect mate. Don't want to rock no boat.
Your numbers are spot on. the following web-site is their own LD$ web-site. The numbers you've stated scream----SCAM.
http://lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/statistical-information - Paste it on your browser. - -9/11/2010 - Awik
I am amazed at the ignorance of so many people. I am a single mother who raised three children with very little help from their father. Money has always been a problem, but I have NEVER regretted giving my 10% tithing. Everything I have I owe to my Heavenly Father. He has given us this world and everything in it and on it. I say 10% is a very small amount to pay. If I don't reap the rewards in this life, I will certainly receive them in the next. I am the Humanitarian leader in my ward. Every year we make school bags and fill them with school supplies. These bags go all over the world and benefit those children who, without the bags and supplies, would not be able to receive an education. Knowledge is power, and I am so thankful that we are able to help these underprivileged children. I am so thankful that I am a member of the LDS Church. Yes, I do know that it is true, and would be lost without it. It gives my days and my life purpose. I see how much good my Church does and the great number of people they help. We not only help people around the world, but every ward (people who live within certain boundaries) are helped when they are sick, out of work, etc. The LDS Church is a service Church, and anyone who knows anything about us would realize that. I have all the confidence in our Prophet and 12 Apostles to know that the Lord directs them in their endeavors, both in running the church and using the funds collected. I find great peace and comfort in this Church. I feel sorry for those who feel it is their life-long ambition to find fault in my Church. What a waste of time and effort. - 08/16/2010 - Alice
Show me one other organization throughout the entire world that has the ability to reach out to help those in need to the extent that the LDS church can and has. There is not one. - 08/04/2010 - Fetch
Ignorance and criticism are incredible weakness. What lofty goals! For you such experts, what are you doing to bless mankind? Shooting off your mouths? But go on with the belly-aching against the Church, as that seems the highest peak in life that you will achieve. Meanwhile the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will go on doing much good for mankindÑnot perfect, but doing quite well, and setting a good example for you. You can rest comfortably knowing your effect against the Church will be much like a barking dog chasing a car, lots of noiseÑbut no effect. Then, sitting in your tiny blind world by the side of the road, you eat the dust, for long after the car is gone. Bark on! - 01/18/2010 - Raybo
boooooo!!! I don't like this site. I did a search for something else and came across it. I am a member of the church and have no problem with how the church spends the money. I pay tithing and I am proud of it. Why are you so worried about it, and who are you to judge how we spend our time or money? - 01/17/2010 - Dania
Dollar for dollar, does the mormon church serve it's members as well as other churches?
When I think about how much I paid in tithes and offerings, compared to service I received as a member of a mormon congregation, I think I got ripped off.
Dh and I donated thousands of dollars every year. However, we had to clean the building ourselves, bring food to tons of events, donate 10-20 hrs. per week in volunteer work, provide a lot of our own materials, had virutually no activity budgets...and if anything happened to us we would have been discouraged from receiving any kind of charity.
Compare that to other congregations. Members donate much less and EXPECT a full-time professional clergy to visit them, be kind and respectful to them, provide good programming for their children, have charity on-hand for nearly anyone (member or not) who needs it, give an interesting and engaging service, provide fun social events, etc.
There are so many churches with nicer facilities, paid staff, and fun events.
If you were terribly sacriligious, like me, and you looked at your donations like your membership dues for a social organization, the mormon church appears to be one of the biggest rip-offs you could buy into. It's expensive, a lot of work, and not much fun, or even very interesting.
And, remarkably, some TBMs (True Believing Mormons) would twist that into some sort of selling point, like, "Isn't it marvelous...all that, and the one true gospel, too." - 01/06/2010 - by Punky's Dilemma
As an active member of the church of Jesus Christ of later day saints, I would like to express my disapproval on the accuracy of this website. I'm sorry if you feel this way about our church and that lying has become a last resort.These figures are dramatically inaccurate along with the idea that some people seem to have about our church. Our humanitarian aid is a NON profit organisation. We spend millions and millions of dollars world wide every year helping those in need. members of our church give up 2 years of their life to serve missions, one mission is a humanitarian aid mission. when natural disasters occur, it is not uncommon for us to be the first ones there helping!!! Honestly I don't see how someone has the nerve to complain about how our church isn't giving enough. Maybe someone created these false figures through jealousy, maybe they got just a little too bored. - 11/09/2009 - anon
Reading this site, I found many people against the church using ad hominem attacks and straw man arguments, while those for the church using red herrings to avoid certain facts. That is pretty sad on both parts. You lose credibility by resorting to those tactics. But to elaborate on one of the final thoughts; the church is a church, not a charity. I am sure the name salamander society is to allude to the salamander letters that the church bought to cover up, and later found to be false, just as the church doesn't disclose their finances to the public. But don't make the assumption that because they don't disclose that information means that they have something to hide. The former doesn't prove the latter. It is also conceivable that the church, being first a religious institution, wants to concentrate on their religious side, rather than getting all their attention from donations, and don't tell the public what they earn and how much they donate. Also, since worshiping in temples and church buildings is kind of an important part of their beliefs, it does make sense to spends tons of money on it to provide the best they can for the growing membership.
And as for the apostles being paid, they do get money, but it isn't exactly falling backwards into money. Many of them lost money by taking the position, such as Neil L. Anderson, who was a very successful business owner. Don't assume evil from lack of publicized information. - 07/31/2009 - anon
Several parts of this debate miss the point. If a church is a charitable organization and enjoys tax-free status because of it, that church has to live under a different set of rules. I am troubled by the idea that an organization that pays no taxes owns profit-making entities like KSL, the Deseret News, and billions of dollars in commercial downtown property through its development arm. I hope they do pay income and property taxes on those. Can someone tell me if they do? I expect a religious organization to give a lot to charity, certainly more than one fourth of 1%.
When the questions become too uncomfortable, I can count on numerous letters to the editor stating that Mormons "just want to be left alone". Live those words, folks, and get your church out of my life and the life of others. Stop taking political stands. Stop being the final yea or nay on legislation. Lighten up on the blue laws. If you want to be left alone to practice your faith, leave others alone too. The reaction to your highly visible support of Prop. 8 in California should have been expected. - 02/01/2009 - Tom Iarossi
The church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints has contibuted over a billion dollars in humanitarian aid. The church also pays for all its beautiful temples and churches with tithing money. If there are businesses owned they are usually owned by individuals who happen to be Latter Day saints. The reason why we have so many churches throughout the world is because all the tithing goes to build them etc not in one pastors pocket. Our apostles and our prophet President Thomas S Monson doesn't make a dime off of the church so please get the facts straight first before you start with the rumors and trashing us. Have you ever thought of working with other religions instead of against????? By the way, we work with catholics and have donated to their charity and many other religions charities including Lutherans. For questions go to lds.org and put in humanitarian aid in our search box. - 08/22/2008 - anon
Editor's Note: Monson is a paid employee. The percentage of the annual LDS Church budget going to provide humanitarian aid is pathetically small.
Thanks for the information. I had been looking for these statistics. - 04/15/2008 - jinxidoru
the part of the buget ment for humanitarian aids goes to humanitarian aids whatever the money is for that is what it is used for
people spend their money on what they want but the actual church gives what they can
any money given for humanitarian aids will go to humanitarian aids
DON'T JUDGE SOMETHING UNTIL YOU ACTUALLY KNOW IT NOT GUESS IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - 04/01/2008 - SALAMANDER SOCIETY - SUCKS
Mormons always tend to defend the churches businesses and financial holdings with "THEY ARE ONLY THERE TO HELP PEOPLE!" How do you know? Did the church recently start sharing what it does with it's money to members? That would be rich (no pun intended} The simple fact is churches don't need so many financial investments, and no one knows what they do with their money aside from the board of directors (I mean apostles) and the Ceo (president/prophet).
IF they had nothing but good fruits from their financial holdings and were not doing anything fishy, they would share their information, like other "evil" churches do. The fact is, they are secretive, even to their members, about what they do with their members money. That is fine by me, I would never donate money to a charity that didn't release detailed records of what they do with it, regardless of whether or not I read them, I feel safer in the fact that they have nothing to hide and they are putting it all on the table.
I'm glad the church shares the members money with humanitarian aid, which I think is important to a lot of their members, I just wish they didn't hide what they do from everyone. - 10/26/2008 - anon
doesn't surprise me! Once a TBM after reading about the way the church gave temple Recs to owners of casinos who were Mormon while not allowing the poor workers at the casinos to get ones is where I started to take a hard look at the church. I wish i had done this 25 yrs ago before joining oh well! I at first asked my bishop about what i had learned no responce ,then went up the ladder till I found my self talking to the office of the first president. I would learn that they changed their stance but not in the way I thought they would , instead of just doing what was right and deny those involved with gambling ,they would allow all who worked in the casinos to access the temples. In hind site and after researching the real history of the churh is doe not surprise me at all. You could say they sided with the Almighty on the issue , the Almighty buck ! like so many others I had been had by one of the best con games going religion and the LDS is at the top of the listgoerge . - 09/14/2007 - george
Money, money, money.... Someone is missing the point of welfare particularly. Most Christians know that as you give a man a fish he will hunger the next day. If you teach that man to fish he will no longer hunger. All too many still believe (be they Mormon or not) that "measurement" of efforts is based on some monetary value. The one who maintains this web site should spend their time raising money with this web site and giving it to those who are in need if relevance of worthwhile efforts are placed upon monies as a true measurement of value. - 09/06/2007 - anon
I recently read that the church is goingto spend 6-8 BILLION on a retail mall at the same time are cutting the missionary FOOD BUDGET by 15%. Whats up with that? Does Jesus need a new rolex more than feeding the hungry children of the world? I am ashamed by its actions, what ever happened to FEED MY SHEEP? looks more like they are taking the lead form the Pharoahs of Egypt by wasting moneys on Pyramids and letting the poor suffer for it> Looks like nothing has changed the church was started by a convicted con man and is still being run by one - 09/03/2007 - george
Your efforts are also being wasted as you claim others are also wasting time and money. why don't you focus your efforts in helping others. who is the bigger hypocrite. - 08/01/2007 - bb
Well, thankyou for that list of contributions from the 1998 Top 20 Charities. It's good to know that there are still charities out there doing what charities do best. But let me reiterate that the LDS Church is not a charity. I don't know how many times this needs to be addressed. The LDS Church is just that: a church. Before you look at all those numbers and say, "wow, $55 million is nothing", keep in mind that the sole purpose of most of those organizations is to raise humanitarian funds. The only church organization on that list is the Catholic Church. And I am fine with them donating far more than us seeing as how their membership worldwide is 1,114,966,000. That's one sixth of the world population. LDS membership is barely 13 million. In the US the Catholic Church membership is 69,135,254 compared to the US LDS membership of 4.9 million. I'd say we do pretty good with our mere $50 million in donations.
Once again, why can't we just be grateful for the donations being made. Also, just so you know, a lot of the properties that the church buys and owns are under development. They are either used for agriculture or are being held for future needs (saved for a rainy day if you will). The church is all about preparing for harder times and being ready when they come. That's why a lot of effort goes into teaching self-sufficiency. I have seen first hand the quality of life improvements that people in Argentina have experienced through these efforts as they have also come closer to Christ. And yes, that is the primary objective whether you like it or not. We bring people closer to Christ. We are a church afterall. If we focused only on the temporal needs of the poor, then we would be the Red-Cross. How hard is this to understand? - 05/30/2007 - Will
I just did the same thing--resaerched humanitarian aid for the LDS church and found this site. Amazing but understandable lack of information on exactly what the LDS church is all about. The teaching and redeeming work for the living and the dead within the LDS temples are vital, just as missionary work and humanitarian efforts in which the LDS church are actively engaged. I believe the LDS doctrine teaches that the spiritual welfare of every man, woman and child is just as important as their physical welfare. No one has mentioned that the clergy of the LDS church is unpaid. This sets the LDS church apart from other religious organizations, which means assets DO NOT line their clergy pockets. The successful investing of the LDS church is due to the wisdom and inspiration of those who know that this church will not fail. It has an important message for the world and will continue to grow and spread truth and humanitarian and spiritual relief until the return of Jesus Christ, who stands at the head of this church forever. - 02/17/2007 - anon
That's what I do, sit around and worry about what religions do with the funds that their members who volunteer to donate. I think there are bigger fish to fry people. People who leave the church can't seem to leave it alone. If you don't believe in something then why sit around using your time wastefully thinking about. A new form OCD? Move on............................ - 02/09/2008 - wrongo
I was stunned to find this site as I was researching the Humanitarian efforts of the Church. Couldn't believe how so many can bash the good things that the Church has done. Look at every Major Natural disaster around the world in the last ... how many years. The Church has been there on the front lines with food, clothing, and supplies quicker than the Red Cross, or any of the other organizations. These supplies didn't just go to it's members. They went to everyone affected by the disasters.
The church has investment in many different areas, such as farming, for the purposes of producing food goods for the humanitarian aid, and for the Church Walefare Program. If people worried more about what THEY are doing to help the humanitarian efforts around the world, rather than what everyone else is doing, perhaps more could be done. I feel good about the 10% that I give every month for Tithing. And for what I give for fast offerings. I trust that my money is well spent. But it doesn't stop there. I also do other things with my own time, and my own talents to further the efforts abroad as well. And I would never bash another church for what they are, or are not doing. - 10/29/2006 - anon
In Richard Ostling's book "Mormon America: The Power and the Promise" published by Harper San Francisco, 1999. the author devotes an entire chapter to the subject, estimating the church's assets at near $30 billion, with more than $5 billion in annual tithing.
If the LDS Church were a U.S. corporation, the Ostlings write, it would land in the middle of the Fortune 500. As a religious entity, the church's economic resources dwarf denominations of similar size. The Seventh-day Adventists, with comparable global membership, reports total revenues around $1.6 million; The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, with similar American membership, comes in at $1.7 billion.
"Mormons don't realize how unusual it is to have investment capital of $5 billion to $6 billion," said Ostling, promoting his book in Utah this week. "The typical American religion has assets in just three areas: church buildings, pension plans and cash-and-carry money in the front door and out the back for expenses."
The Ostlings estimate the LDS Church held $6 billion in stock, bond and church-controlled business investments in 1997. Agricultural and commercial real estate holdings accounted for another $5 billion.
"I don't know of any religion that is so invested in stocks, bonds,
cattle ranching, etc.,"
- Book Probes LDS Wealth, Power. Saturday, November 13, 1999 (Steve Griffin/The Salt Lake Tribune)
In order to estimate how much of the LDS Church's annual budget goes to the poor one would have to know who much money goes to Deseret Industries, The Bishop's Storehouse, Fast Offerings, Welfare Square and transient assistance at Church Headquarters along with the Humanitarian Center annually. A comparison to other denominations budget to the poor percentages would give some point of reference in spite of the LDS Church's disdain for being compared to any other religious body. Can any of you help out with this forumula? - 11/15/1999 - by cricket
To be sure, Mo Aid is better than No Aid, but why can't they just once, help the general population or do something truly "humanitarian" for all people and children? I'm sure they could trade food for baptisms. It's pretty easy to accept the scriptures when nothing else is filling your belly. - 10/12/1999 - BT
Elder Wirthlin also noted the church's humanitarian-aid record: In little more than a decade, it has shipped more than 27,000 tons of clothing, 16,000 tons of food and 3,000 tons of medical and educational supplies to 146 countries.
This continues to amaze me. What on earth is the big deal here? Holy cow, my FAMILY has probably donated ONE TON of clothes to the Good Will! 16,000 tons of food? That is a total of 400 cargo bins of potatoes!!!!! Not even a shipful!!! IN TEN YEARS!!!!
3000 TONS OF BOOKS? THATS 75 CARGO BINS OF BOOKS!!! For a church that produces billions of Books of Mormon... it hardly seems like much. And what were the educational suplies? Briggy books? - 04/04/1999 - anon
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