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Posted by: peteratreuters ( )
Date: June 13, 2012 12:15PM

Hi folks. My name's Peter Henderson and I'm a reporter for Reuters News. I've been doing some stories about the LDS church -- here's one about the church dealing with people falling away from the faith: http://reut.rs/xCcGs9. Now I'm curious about church finances -- how much money the church has, gets, and spends. I'm looking for everything from lists of assets (I've seen some on this site) to anecdotes. I welcome any help, from tips which I'd follow up to links/documents, which I could use after verifying. My email is peter.henderson@thomsonreuters.com and my phone is 415 677 2541, if you prefer to communicate privately.

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Posted by: Once More ( )
Date: June 13, 2012 12:29PM

Hello, Peter,

Best of luck with your investigations. My bet is that you will find out fairly quickly that True Believing Mormons troll this forum. They will most likely rat you out to leaders of the LDS Church, who will, in turn begin to harass you.

If that occurs, it would be entertaining for you to document the harassment for us.

One aspect of LD$ Inc.'s for-profit arms, like Farmland Reserves, that the media seldom reports is that "volunteer" or "missionary" church members are often assigned to work without pay at the Church's for-profit companies. See this thread:
http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,136666

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Posted by: Once More ( )
Date: June 13, 2012 12:37PM

You may want to look into subsidies paid to AGRESERVES LTD.

Since 1999 AGRESERVES LTD has received €15,893,748 in payments from the European Union. (Total is old info, needs to be updated)

Excerpts below are from farmsubsidy website.

Agreserves Ltd. is the principal British farming interest of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, also known as the Mormon or LDS Church (ref. www.lds.org). Reportedly, the Utah-based LDS Church is the largest foreign landowner in the U.K. The following are other agricultural enterprises owned by the church:

Agreserves Australia LTD: Kooba Station,Australia; Deseret Ranches of Alberta: Raymond, AB, Canada; AgroReservas, S.C.: Los Mochis, Mexico; Deseret Farms of CA: Woodland, CA; Deseret Farms of CA: Modesto,CA; Deseret Farms of CA: Chico,CA; South Valley Farms: Bakersfield, CA; Deseret Security Farms: Blythe, CA; Naples Farms: Naples,FL; Deseret Cattle & Citrus ST: Cloud, FL; Deseret Farms of Ruskin: Ruskin, FL; Kewela Plantation: O'ahu, HI; Rex Ranch: Ashby, NE; Riverbend Farms: St.Paul, OR; Deseret Land & Livestock: Woodruff, UT; Wasatch-Dixie Farms: Elberta, UT; Agreserves: Cottle County,TX; Agrinorthwest: Kennewick,WA; Handcart Ranch: Alcova, WY; Deseret Ranches of Wyoming: Cody,WY.

http://farmsubsidy.org/GB/recipient/GB641044/agreserves-ltd/

Yes, Agreserves Ltd, is the UK based farming arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, farming at Manor Farm, Woodwalton, Cambs. They not only claim huge sums in farm subsidies, but as the church is a registered charity can no doubt claim tax exemptions too. They also operate England Farm Properties in Feltwell, Norfolk where they have a log cabin camp site run for church (Mormon) youth groups. In the last couple of years they have given 2000 tonnes of wheat to Kenya, which when I phoned them at Manor Farm, I was told that the church paid for it and it's transportation.

It's great that they can send wheat to less well off nations, but with the farm subsidies, it really looks as if the tax payers of the EEU have paid for it for them. The company portfolio of the Salt Lake City based Mormon church is massive, and as all members (14 million) are encouraged to donate ten per cent of their income (tithing) to the church it is one of the richest sects in the world. Each year at the General Conference of the church, the church financial auditor stands up and tells the assembled congregation that the finances of the church are in order, without ever, revealing the amount of funds that the church actually owns, and the membership just swallows it!

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Posted by: Heresy ( )
Date: June 13, 2012 12:30PM

Read this old saved discussion among men who used to be ward clerks.
http://www.exmormon.org/mormon/mormon565.htm

The average US ward can send in half a million a year to SLC. They only see a few thousand back for their budget.

By multiplying out the wards, people come to the conclusion that SLC is getting 5-8 billion in tithing alone. On top of that are donations to other funds, donations at death, which they solicit actively, investment income, and for-profit business income.

And no one really knows where it all goes.

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Posted by: Heresy ( )
Date: June 13, 2012 12:46PM

They self report about 100 million a year going to humanitarian causes, and have done so for about 20 years.
http://www.providentliving.org/pdf/2010_WELFactSheet_English.pdf
That's just a few dollars per member, which would shock most members.

They are one of the largest foreign recipients of farm aid in England:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/fat-cats-benefit-from-eu-farming-subsidies-780192.html?r=RSS
They own a huge amount of land and real estate in the US and around the world. They are actively developing large subdivisions. It is held under many different names and is not easy to track.
Old article in Time about how rich they are:
http://www.cephas-library.com/lds_time_magazine_most_prosperous.html

Jim Huston's old article:
http://jhuston.com/Documents/mormon_finances_and_charity.htm

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Posted by: Brethren,adieu ( )
Date: June 13, 2012 12:32PM

Time Magazine did an article on church finances in the mid-90's. This was at a time when the church was still growing. They pegged the church's, I mean, the Corporation of the President's annual tithing income at just under $5 Billion, and their business income at around $600 million per year.
There are some former ward clerks on here that can tell you how much their ward sent in every week to Salt Lake City. Multiply that by the number of wards in the U.S. and Canada,(around 11,000 units) and you'll get pretty close to total tithing revenue.
The church does publish its financial statements in Canada and the U.K. and they are available online. I'm sure there are others here who have the links. Other than that, the financials of the Corporation of the President are top secret.

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Posted by: Southern ExMo ( )
Date: June 13, 2012 12:37PM

For heavens sakes, investigate the funding of City Creek Mall!


What "church" builds a BILLION DOLLAR PLUS mall for luxury buyers?


Is that really appropriate behavior for an institution that calls itself a "church?"


And where did they get billions of dollars for to pay for that mall, and the ajacent office buildings and condos?


They SAY no tithing money was used, but how are we to believe them when they keep their finances locked up tighter than the gold at Fort Knox?


The bottom line is, IMHO: Is LD$, Inc. a "church," or a "for profit corporation" masquerading as a church?

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Posted by: xyz ( )
Date: June 13, 2012 12:44PM

Maybe someone here has a copy of it or knows how to get in touch with him.

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Posted by: Mia ( )
Date: June 13, 2012 12:44PM

If you really go after this information, I hope you find it. I also hope you will share it with us.

I also say to watch who is going to be watching you. I'd like to hear about that too. Mormons are well known to spy on each other, and anyone who may be a threat to them. They are a very secretive bunch. They have no problem lying if they feel it will help the church in any way.

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Posted by: Brethren,adieu ( )
Date: June 13, 2012 12:45PM

I agree with Southern Exmo. Investigate the City Creek Mall and the Condos. Find out how much it REALLY COST to build all of that. As a builder in Southern California, I cannot fathom how 1.5 or 3 Billion dollars, whatever the figure is, could be spent on 2 blocks of downtown SLC. Downtown SLC should look grander and bigger than anything built in Dubai if it cost that much. Where did all that money really go?

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Posted by: Once More ( )
Date: June 13, 2012 12:51PM

LD$ INC. owns 7% of Florida.

http://latterdaymainstreet [dot]com/2009/07/18/lds-inc-owns-7-of-florida/

Spreadsheet and data summaries available at the link.

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Posted by: Once More ( )
Date: June 13, 2012 12:57PM

The LDS Church buys up water rights and often sells them for profit. They also use "Senior Missionaries" to administer their extensive holdings.

Excerpt:
"WATER RESOURCES SPECIALIST: Individuals or couples with an engineering and administrative background in water resources and water rights are needed to serve Natural Resources Section of the Real Estate Division in the Physical Facilities Department at the Church Office Building in Salt Lake City. The individuals will assist in protecting the Church’s water rights in Arizona, Idaho, Utah, and Washington, and the other eleven (11) western states. The spouse would perform clerical or office support items, unless also qualified on water-related topics. A minimum of 32 hours per week is expected; length of service is negotiable (generally 18–24 months). A technical background in water resource issues in any of the eleven (11) western states is required. A professional engineering license as a civil engineer or other engineering discipline is desirable, but not necessary."

http://www.lds.org/csm/pdfs/MissOpp.pdf See page 7

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Posted by: Heresy ( )
Date: June 13, 2012 01:00PM


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Posted by: Once More ( )
Date: June 13, 2012 01:04PM

Thank you for the correction.

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Posted by: The Oncoming Storm - bc ( )
Date: June 13, 2012 01:00PM

Here's some information. These are likely details that won't be useful for your article, but here goes just in case (and in case anyone on here is interested). There are other funds but these are the big 3.

Church members make donations on donation slips. There are several donations that can be made:

Tithing (10% of income required to hold a temple recommend. Sometimes required to do things like baptize your children, receive financial assistance, etc. depending on the bishop's discretion.)

Fast Offerings (The cost of skipping 2 meals each month. Members are encouraged to give much more)

Missionary Fund (Give whatever they want to support full time missionaries)


More details:

Tithing.
All tithing money gets automatically sent to church headquarters. None of this money stays local. The church provides no reporting on how this money is spent. The church does have an annual announcement in general conference that the money has been audited and that the audit verifies all money has been spent according to church accounting practices and policies. Other than that it is a black box. Members are told it is used to build & maintain church buildings such as temples & church buildings among other things. The church is known for providing nicer church buildings and temples in more affluent areas.

The ward gets a budget back that come from tithing funds. The ward receives $8 per head for each person in average sacrament meeting attending sacrament meeting in the quarterly budget months. So for example, if it is March and a ward has the following sacrament meeting attendance:
Week 1: 100
Week 2: 100
Week 3: 100
Week 4: 100
Week 5: 200

The average attendance for March would be 120. This means that the ward gets 120*8 = $960 of money to spend. The ward gets 4 "infusions" per year for their total money. The expenditure of the money is at the discretion of the bishop. It is spent on things like paper supplies, food for activities, money for youth activities, etc. The bishop will typically give each auxiliary a budget. For example primary will get X dollars to spend while Reliefs Society with get Y dollars to spend.

It used to be a use it or loose it system so wards would scramble to spend any left over money in December. I believe this policy has changed and the money can now carry over year to year.

The stake level also receives a budget - I believe based on the sacrament attendance of the entire stake, but I don't know for sure.

- full time missionaries and/or their families are required to pay the church a set amount each month that they are on their mission - I don't know the current amount somewhere around $450)

Fast Offerings:

Unlike tithing the bishop has sole discretion of how to distribute fast offering funds. Any fast offerings collected in a ward are available for the bishop to use as he sees fit to help the needy within the ward boundaries. This money can be spent on active members, non-attending members, and non-members as the bishop sees fit. Typically active members are given priority - inactive members / non members usually receive assistance with strings attached - for example, if they don't attend church they will not continue to receive assistance. A bishop is under a lot of pressure to never spend more fast offering money to help the needy than is donated by that ward. If there is a less wealthy ward the excess fast offering money is sent up to the stake level. The stake president can then re-distribute these excess funds among the wards as he sees the need - so a more wealthy ward will supplement a less wealthy ward. A stake president is under extreme pressure to not use any excess fast offerings beyond what is collected for that stake. In affluent stakes the excess fast offerings are sent to church headquarters. Again these funds are re-distributed for general humanitarian aid.

Missionary fund:
Full time missionaries are required to pay the LDS church $400 per month regardless of where they server their mission. The LDS church then covers all basic living expenses - rent, sometimes a car, etc. Each missionary typically gets a living allowance to buy food and basic supplies - this allowance varies from area to area - $150 is a typical amount.

A member can donate either to the general fund or to a specific missionary. For example an uncle could pay for a nephew's mission by donating $400 a month. When a missionary or their family can't pay the bishop is expecting to find a way to make up the difference from the ward missionary fund. Again a bishop is under extreme pressure to get all of the needed funds within the ward.

Due to this pressure, bishops will often make announcements in church pleading for additional contributions to the ward missionary found and/or fast offerings depending on where the needs are. Bishops also have an annual tithing settlement where contributions are discussed and the member declares as a full,partial or non tithe payer. In this meetings the bishop will often implore members to increase their ward missionary and/or fast offering funds.

Again if a ward can't cover the costs it goes up to the stake level where the stake can redistribute funds between wards. Again the stake is under very extreme pressure to pay for all missionaries within the stake.

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Posted by: Samantha Baker ( )
Date: June 13, 2012 01:07PM


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Posted by: The Oncoming Storm - bc ( )
Date: June 13, 2012 01:28PM

No it is quarterly.

So that would be the March payout (which comes a few months later, I believe).

So if they had they same average attendance all 4 quarterly reporting months they would get 120 * 8 * 4 for the total yearly budget of $3840. A typical ward would probably have 200-300 average attendance so somewhere around $10,000 is typically at least in Utah County.

Then you would do the same calculation again in June, Sep & Dec.

Also it may be Jan, Apr, Jul, Oct instead of Mar, Jun, Dec - happily some of my memories of the details are beginning to fade :)

So you get a total of 4 payouts per year.

A simple way to think about it is that the bishop gets $2 budget per person attending sacrament meeting 4 months out of the year. (This is accurate unless a month has 5 Sundays).

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Posted by: Once More ( )
Date: June 13, 2012 01:01PM

More on the big bucks the LDS Church makes from water rights:

http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2006/Mar-27-Mon-2006/news/6426264.html

Excerpt:

The Southern Nevada Water Authority has struck a $7.2 million deal to lease water on the Muddy River from what might seem an unlikely source: the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In fact, there's nothing unlikely about it.

Advertisement
The Mormon church owns land and water rights all over the region and the country

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Posted by: anona ( )
Date: June 13, 2012 01:07PM

FYI.. LDS assets are combined under a "corporate Sole"

Then
Matthew 19:21
Jesus said If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

Now

"The Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a Corporate Sole with succession being the subsequent next President. That means he is the sole shareholder and owner of all businesses and holdings.
"The current worth would be conservatively above $60 billion, and if the current market value of holdings was added, it would likely be closer to $100 billion."



Step aside Bill Gates, seems like TSM should be on the cover of Forbes.

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Posted by: elcid ( )
Date: June 13, 2012 01:08PM

The church has been rumored to be offloading church assets (farms, buildings, businesses, etc.) to Ensign Peak Advisors.

FYI.

I was a ward clerk in the 2004-2007 time frame in a Mormon ward in Northern Utah. During one Sunday in December we took in $68,000 in tithing. Now this was unusually high because Mormons are required to do a "tithing settlement" with their bishop in December in which they declare if the paid a "full tithe" or not, so some members "pay up" in December.

Tithing is defined as 10% of a Mormon's income before any expenses.

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Posted by: Once More ( )
Date: June 13, 2012 01:08PM

Another moola and water rights story:

Excerpt:

A legal fight over whether Central Florida utilities must pay Deseret Ranches millions of dollars in fees for drinking water from Taylor Creek Reservoir could stall plans to tap the manmade lake to fuel growth and ease stress on groundwater, wetlands and springs.

Five public utilities, including Cocoa and Titusville, and Deseret itself want 25 million to 40 million daily gallons by 2015 from the 10,000-acre body of water that straddles Orange and Osceola counties.

But the 450-square-mile ranch, run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, wants the other utilities to pay for the water.

The St. Johns River Water Management District asserts the water is a public resource and that it has rights under easements the ranch granted during a government flood-control project in the late 1960s. It has filed a lawsuit.

"Now (the Mormon church is) contending that that reservoir, which was constructed with public money, can only be used for agricultural water supply," said Stanley Niego, an attorney for the district.

http://www.rickross.com/reference/mormon/mormon633.html

Also search for suits filed in Orange County in 2009.
"The St. Johns district filed the suit against Deseret's investment arm, Farmland Reserve Inc. of Salt Lake City, in the Ninth Judicial Circuit in Orange County."

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Posted by: southern idaho inactive ( )
Date: June 13, 2012 01:12PM

If you go public with this , go nationwide!! I'm sure it will turn people off from voting for Rommey(or any other mormons seeking office) everywhere!!

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Posted by: Heresy ( )
Date: June 13, 2012 01:13PM

List of for-profit businesses owned by LDS Inc:
http://www.exmormon.org/mormon/mormon410.htm

LDS Inc is a corporation sole, not an unusual form for a church. The President owns EVERYTHING. The church itself is a list of names owned by a subsidiary, Intellectual Reserve.

LDS Inc owns both the for-profit businesses, and the huge investment portfolio of the not-for-profit side. We recently learned that the Mall development in SLC was done with not-for-profit money.

There is little evidence that any leaders are living high off the money. They have extensive perks at the top, but even the mid level managers, the "70s" have well controlled expense accounts.

The whole church works very much like a Ponzi scheme. Those on the bottom pay in, and after you work up to a certain level you can get a stipend. As you rise up the ladder you get more and more.

The leaders insist the members should live in ways that avoid the appearance of evil as well as evil itself. They themselves refuse to disclose financial information, encouraging the appearance of evil.

The main problem is just that the average member thinks their money goes to help people. Very little does.

Educated guesses say that most outgo is for
BYU (about 1 billion a year?)
Mission support
Buildings, new and maintenance
Education materials and the Church Office Building
Salaries and stipends. All 70s and mission presidents are paid.

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Posted by: anagrammy ( )
Date: June 13, 2012 01:17PM

In addition to the above, the Mormon church recently fired all of the building custodians and janitors. They issued religious "callings" for the members to do that work maintaining their buildings.

They also fired all the gardeners who maintained the grounds and, guess what? Members are called to voluntarily maintain the grounds of the temple a few hundred feet from the most expensive luxury malls in the world.

The Mormon Church unabashedly exploits the talents of the retired as well. They have begun a program of "calling" seniors to missions where there job is a business job in one of the Mormon Church's money-making operations. Specifically, I have seen ads for agricultural managers to take charge of Brazilian farms. They want someone with agricultural experience and then say that they will "also" be looking out for the spiritual welfare of the workers on the farm. This is a thin subterfuge for using free labor in money-making operations.

I hope in your research you are able to find the org charts for the multi-billion dollar agribusinesses described above. You will see the General Authorities sitting on all these boards and in management positions.

Please note that all of the General Authorities of the Mormon Church are businessmen--not one has a religious degree. In keeping with the corporate paradigm, their areas of expertise are applied in church businesses, like real estate.

Lastly, a few years ago a most telling announcement was made. The membership was told that the General Authorities would no longer be answering doctrinal questions and that members were to go to their local authorities for resolution of such issues. They said they had no time.

As you may already know, the Mormon bishops are lay persons. My bishop might be the dentist or plumber next door. He certainly has no credentials to be counseling or especially no education or knowledge above the average member to be resolving doctrinal questions.

I believe this last bit is very revealing in what the Mormon Church really is-- a savvy group of predatory businessmen who always make sure they come out ahead--no matter who they exploit or neglect. Just like Mitt Romney.

Anagrammy

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Posted by: WinksWinks ( )
Date: June 13, 2012 01:20PM

Off topic, my suggestion doesn't involve anything financial, but since you or another reporter you know may also be interested in other newsworthy items, and there is currently a thread where the suggestion was made to contact a reporter...

All missionaries surrender their passports upon arrival in their foreign country of assignment. Ostensibly "for their safeguarding" so that the passport is not lost, this is actually in violation of some laws. Passports are held at the local mission headquarters, not on the missionary's person as required, or even at the missionary's apartment or residence.

Here is the thread: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,529375

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Posted by: VultureTamernotloggedin ( )
Date: June 13, 2012 01:29PM

Mission Presidents get paid?!

Ugh.

Good luck to you, Mr. Peter Henderson. May the odds ever be in your favor........

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Posted by: Cynthia ( )
Date: June 13, 2012 01:50PM

One company the church owns is Berberian Nut Company and calls senior missionaries to work there for frrreeeee.

http://www.manta.com/c/mtgq3zp/berberian-nut-company-llc

This is an interesting place too.

http://www.corporationwiki.com/Utah/Salt-Lake-City/paul-c-genho-P3412800.aspx

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Posted by: VultureTamernotloggedin ( )
Date: June 13, 2012 01:59PM

Huh. So looking at the "contributions" section of that link, finding 2.8 million donated to republicans and only $750.00 to democrats is, well, interesting. So if I'm putting it all together correctly, then the church indirectly makes campaign contributions to their political causes, but not in the church's name, in order to maintain their so-called politically neutral stance. And likely to protect their tax exempt status.

I'm a Republican. And it pisses me off to see this happening, regardless of party affiliation.

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Posted by: Once More ( )
Date: June 13, 2012 02:24PM

LDS Church leaders have always had their hands in business affairs. For a good example of how General Authorities and even the President of the church really spend their time it is instructive to look at the Reed Smoot hearings in the early 1900s.

Check out the transcripts for Day 2, in which Joseph Fielding Smith is found to be President of (or otherwise in charge of) dozens of businesses, including:


ZCMI (president), State Bank of Utah (president), Zion Savings Bank and Trust Company, Utah Sugar Company (president), Consolidated Wagon and Machine Company (president), Utah Light and Power Company (directory and president), Salt Lake and Los Angeles Railroad Company (director and president), Salt Air Beach Company (president), Idaho Sugar Company (directory and president), Inland Crystal Salt Company (president), Salt Lake Dramatic Association (director and president), Salt Lake Knitting Company (director and president), Union Pacific Railway Company (director), Bullion, Beck, and Champion Mining Company (vice-president), the Young Men's Mutal Improvement Association (editor), the Juvenile Instructor (editor)

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Posted by: anona ( )
Date: June 13, 2012 02:44PM

Church finances In a nutshell( pic below).. read the disclaimer on the new tithing slips , the slips that you are called in and audited by in a personal interview .. yearly.

New verbage on the lower right.

http://i.imgur.com/3avWh.jpg

Yet they call it a Donation!

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Posted by: Jesus Smith ( )
Date: June 13, 2012 02:48PM

The ecclesiastical leadership of the LDS church are appointed lush jobs that presumably pay very well, given their $30-60B empire.

We don't know their salaries.

In this vid:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzldUAG4Ygs

It is clearly announced that former Church CEO/President/LDS Prophet Gordon Hinckley served as Chairman of the Deseret Management Corp, parent company of Beneficial (at the time). Current President/Prophet Thomas Monson is named too.


Here's Monson's pitch for the job he was paid so much.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiAUIxItWvQ&feature=related


A quick search on corporate wiki shows they do have corp jobs. I'm sure there are a lot more.

http://www.corporationwiki.com/Utah/Salt-Lake-City/james-e-faust/54581192.aspx

http://www.corporationwiki.com/Utah/Salt-Lake-City/thomas-s-monson/82541147.aspx

http://www.corporationwiki.com/Utah/Salt-Lake-City/richard-g-scott/54581190.aspx

http://www.corporationwiki.com/Utah/Salt-Lake-City/jeffrey-r-holland/54581198.aspx


I think that any investigation about the finances of the church should go with the 1%-er type salary-positions the ecclesiastical leaders hold in the corporation of the ("lay-clergy") LDS church.

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