Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Corporation Known as the LDS Church

by Brig Bagley

3 June 2014

A friend of mine share this article concerning the corporate nature of the church. I quote his comments: 

"The LDS church reported its financials to the membership (and therefore to the public) up until 1959. Since then, it has ceased to give any account for its financials. Through data collected in other countries, however, where churches are required to report them, we have a good idea about what it is worth. 
The LDS church is owned and by the "Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" which also owns a long list of for-profit entities. The quorum of the 12 and the first presidency is the board of directors for all of those entities. In 1997 Times Magazine estimated the corporation's worth at $30 billion with $6 billion of tithing money coming in annually. Today it is estimated to be worth $40 billion with an estimate of $8 billion of tithing being paid annually.

To put that in perspective, a $7 billion company would be a mid-range Fortune 500 company if it was listed as a corporation instead of a church. Bill Gates- the wealthiest man in 2013 is worth just under $80 billion. However, while the church reported that from 1985 - 2009, it's humanitarian efforts amounted to $327.6 million in cash and $884.6 million in commodities of aid (given throughout 178 countries), Bill Gates and his wife have given $28 billion (28x that of the church's donations over the span of 24 years even though Gates is only worth 2x what the church is worth) to charity and plan to give 95% of their entire wealth to charity when they die. 
The Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began with the actual religion. Many people would like to believe that this massive corporation was not funded by tithing, but where else did the church originally get the money to invest and buy the property, stock, business entities, and other for-profit endeavors? At the very least, members deserve stock in the corporation their money was used to build don't you think? But the real question is, why? Why is so much of the church based on for-profit endeavors. If there wasn't anything concerning about the financials, why did the church stop telling their members about them in 1960? And if it is all for Christ, would he really use that money to pay for things like the $4 billion City Creek mall built across from the Salt Lake Temple and another $3 billion for luxury condos and office space in a year when no other malls were built in America because no one else had the cash to fund such a project? Food for thought." - Jonathan Adamson

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