Is the Mormon church really greedy?

Just wondering what your guys thoughts are on this? I know a lot of people are angry at the apparent lack of charity when you look at the money spent vs estimated tithing earnings and dollars spent on malls, investments etc.

By Ex-Moman Apr 2012

But do you really think the church actively takes peoples money for a malicious/selfish motive? Or is it just that they do have a tonne of expenses and programs that they need the money to support ? After all they never release any financial reports (perhaps for good reason), so its anyones guess as to what their actual income vs expenditure is, and what exactly they are spending your tithing and fast offerings on.

Re: Is the church really greedy?
I believe - with every fiber of my being - that LDS Corp's MAIN interest is in collecting as much money as they can for "malicious and selfish" reasons.

This belief is based on my personal experience with this organization, as well as my observations as to what it has done to my family members (and others).

- They demand 10% of one's income based on gross wages. When you are working, they say that you do not have to pay tithing on your retirement income (because you've already tithed on your gross income). But once you retire, they continue to 'guilt' - or even demand - tithing on retirement income. They did this with my mother, when she was dying of cancer, and they did this with my father, denying a TR because he did not tithe his Social Security (the ONLY source of income he had).
- In addition, they request additional funds for the ward budget, welfare ('fast offerings'), missionary fund, and others. Now, they state that your contributions for these other 'funds' may be reassigned to other uses.
- They request that you give your time and labor performing duties that they previously paid people to do (as evidenced by the building cleaning services and landscaping, and many non-church duties performed by 'senior missionaries').
- They have a specific program to encourage elderly members to give their homes and estates to LDS Corp (they also did this with my father).

This is just a partial list. I'm sure that everyone here has similar examples. A recent poster stated that he was instructed to give the entire proceeds of their lottery scratch ticket ($1,000) to them, because it was ill-gotten gains. Not to give it to a homeless shelter or any other charity - but to give it to THEM. At every turn, the issue is money, and how they can get more of it.

LDS Corp is a money-generating company. They have many divisions, including real estate purchasing/sales, real estate development, agriculture, publishing, media (newspaper, television, and multiple radio stations), banking, insurance, retail sales, education. I'm sure there are others that I've overlooked. The "church" division is only one part of the conglomerate. However, I'm sure the church division is their best money-maker. How else can they collect BILLIONS of dollars in revenue, without having to supply a product in return for this cash? They get this money by providing a 'service' - a religion of sorts. And they do it largely through unpaid, unskilled labor! Get people to teach each other, and get men to be bishops and stake presidents to administer the programs - all without having to pay a penny to them. They even get these people to pay the Corporation for the priviledge of being an unskilled laborer. They even get the church members to pay the expenses of the missionaries, whose sole goal is not to do 'good works' and 'serve others' - their job is to convert and baptize new members, to try to keep and increase the income stream.

Yeah, it's malicious and selfish. And it's ALL about money.

Re: Is the church really greedy?
Ex-Moman wrote:

After all they never release any financial reports (perhaps for good reason)

I'm just curious to know what "good reason" you think a charity might have for keeping its financial records secret not only from the world but from its contributors.

Let's take two churches of the same size. One is local branch of any typical national church, and they pay their clergy, organist, etc. Another is a Mormon church.

A "typical" church manages their own budget, reports it to the members, and are happy to get 2-3% from members. About 50% (it will vary by church) of the money they take in goes to local salaries.

Mormon church demands 10% and pays no local clergy.

OK, if the congregations are the same size, the Mormon church has 4 times the gross income (10% vs. 2.5%) as the other church. Since they don't pay a local clergy, now double that so they have 8 times the income left for everything else.

So, where is all that money going? We know the Morg (from their own figures) only gives about $5 per year per member to humanitarian causes (which is WAY less than most churches).

Re: Is the church really greedy?
So, from what I read, the church is very wealthy but we do not have a damn idea where the money really goes. Yes, there are temples, churches, malls, etc., but there is a great deal more money we have no idea about. Yet, members have to clean the church every week. One of the things that has bothered me so much over the years is not releasing financial information. I could never accept this when they make every member so accountable and guilt-ridden to pay this and pay that. Yet, the church can live by any rules they want. It is totally unacceptable.

Re: Is the church really greedy?
One of my biggest pet peeves. People who are in position of authority that aren't willing to do what they demand of everyone they have authority over.

Tell us how much you make.
Be accountable to us for where its going
Always tell the truth
And on and on.

bona dea
Re: Is the church really greedy?
I suspect the church is greedy, but since they don't publish their financial reports it is pretty hard to say anything wioth any degree of surety.

Re: Is the church really greedy?
I was watching "Brewster's Millions" this week (a funny movie, if you're in the mood). If you haven't seen it, the plot is that Brewster has to give away $30 mil in a month with nothing to show for it.

It occurs to me the LDS church is the opposite of that—they take in money but give nothing.

It's a self-service church. Do you have a spiritual problem? Need someone to metaphorically "hold your hand" for a while? Good luck with that. You'll be told to read, ponder, pray, and (of course) pay your tithing. Local leaders cannot provide spiritual aid, because they have nothing to give. The upper leaders cannot train them, because they wouldn't know what to say, either.

Re: Is the church really greedy?
They have missionaries at their for profit businesses. The Berberian Nut Company is one....

Senior couples are/have been called to serve missions there. I learned that from reading in my newspaper that a couple had served a mission there.

The hunting reserves, the cattle ranches all have missionaries working for free while the church makes money. SKETCH.pdf pg.4)

They call members on missions who pay their own way entirely to work for free instead of employing people in need of work and paying them a living wage. I personally thing that shows greed on the part of the church.

Re: Is the church really greedy?
I feel the same as almost all posters but its hard to talk to TBM family members about this kinda stuff as they just throw it back in your face with some sort of mental gymnastics about how much good the church does. I grew up in a family that went to a baptist church and thought the very same thing that scarecrowfromoz said in that I'm sure people paid much less than 10% on average, yet we had a comfortable church building, a paid minister and a few part time church staff and still had money to pay for community programs such as a food bank, after school care and a community Councillor service.

I also think about it like this, im from a small country called New Zealand - population 4 million. we pay on average around 25% tax to the government (equivalent to 10 million people on comparable incomes paying 10%). We are a very socialised country and have universal medicine, free education, all the roads, government services, etc that the government pays for through our taxes. An entire country. Now I know probably less than half the claimed 14 million LDS faithful pay a tithe, and even less of those are from a wealthy country, but still you'd have to think that the church should be providing a sh*t load more than it does. I just dont get how my family can't look at the situation like this without alarm bells starting to ring in their head.

Re: Is the church really greedy?
The GAs' are like ENRON executives in the last few months. They are going to pull every last nickel to feather their nests before the coming crashes.
Re: Is the church really greedy?
Personally I don't see any of the GA living a greedy life, in fact, if they would be greedy they could have stay in their professions a make even more money, but I believe somehow they give away more than take when they accept their callings. I also hear that they have to live the law of consecration when accepting their call. I think there are more riches outside the church than inside to look after.
Re: Is the church really greedy?
I looked on the SL and Davis county assessors websites. Packer's home was worth 1.something million, two other apostles had homes in Bountiful and they were worth 6-7 hundred thousand dollars. Now those aren't Beverly Hills mansions, but they are really nice houses, way more than mine is worth. FYI, they live a bit better than we might think...
Re: Is the church really greedy?
Magical 8 Ball Says:


Re: Is the church really greedy?
Exactly Mia!

Re: Is the church really greedy?
I would like to see a number on how many friends and relatives of GA's are making their living from church affiliated businesses. I think that is where the real money is. They are making many people in their families very wealthy at the expense of members.
Re: Is the church really greedy?
Re: Is the church really greedy?
Ex-Moman Wrote:

Believe me, if there was anything, *anything*, good in those financial reports, they'd trumpet them as loud as they could till Kingdom Come.

LDSinc hides their finances as best they can because they know that revealing them would prove them fraudulent and corrupt (perhaps); but most obvious to all, including believing members and especially those believers in financial straits, unchristian, to put it charitably.

Right. Exactly.
The executives at LDSinc should at the very least lead by example, and tithe-paying believing members should at the very least demand this from their leaders. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

just a thought
It's more than just money.
It's the combination of power, admiration and money.

Mostly it is the ability to hold sway over people's lives. Don't like what the SL Tribune publishes in the newspaper? Call the publisher. Don't like a bill on capital hill? Signal your disapproval or organize the troops. Don't like what's on the internet? Get your minions to flood it with your side of the story. That kind of power is addictive.

And there's perks too. Besides great insurance, there's book deals, fees for sitting on corporate boards and opportunities for international travel on the Huntsman G5. Plus with all the contruction going on, you can make your friends rich, and they in turn can help you and your extended family in so many ways that are easily hidden.

And your kids get free tuition at BYU. Plus the unquestioning admiration of the the poor and the depressed true believers who are willing to devote all of the meager posessions and even their very lives to your cause. What a kick!

Re: Is the church really greedy?
If we have any questions about the motivation of the LDS church, a visit to the official bookstore in the new mall should settle the issue.

$30 to $40 for most items? If the mission of the church was to "save" our souls and the word of the living prophets was a great way for us to experience the light given to God's servants wouldn't the books all be sold at cost?

The "Kingdom' is not a religion it is a business empire and the bookstore is used to fleece the un-washed of their money, it also keeps them busy so they don't have time to read any real books.

My Take
I see them more as a bloated bureaucracy with NO ACCOUNTABILITY or TRANSPERANCY to the general public or its members. I think that is why they are such a money sucking black hole for tithe paying members. If you think the government is a wasteful and bloated bureaucracy, imagine if they had no accountability and that they didn’t have to publish their financial statements for anyone to see.

Because they have no accountability they are able to spend wastefully on things such as advertising, great and spacious temples, monuments, and malls, perks for the insiders, etc. They can make bad investment decisions or overspend on opulent buildings because no one can crunch the numbers since no one can see the numbers. It’s all secret.

I don't think they are intentionally malicious, but I think their priorities are FAR different from the average person. Their leaders are businessmen and lawyers and their MAIN priority is GROWTH and IMAGE, NOT helping people. They think and run LDS Inc more like a business than they do a church. They probably cringe when they have to give money to real “charitable” causes because they see it as an expense that does not give them any kind of return (financial or growth in membership).

In addition, because most of the GA’s come from a well to do background, they probably have a sense of entitlement more than the average Mormon does (especially those in 3rd world countries). They see no problem using church funds to provide for themselves a $1million house or staying in luxery hotels, and paying themselves a healthy living “stipend,” because in their eyes they ARE living a “modest” lifestyle, especially compared to other CEO’s.

Re: It's more than just money.
This is true. It is more about status than about money. But that's not saying a lot. Status is more important than money if you are a man.
Any large corporation becomes a machine far more interested
in sustaining itself than in following a mission statement. It's a basic tenet of management that you have to fight the tendency for the machine to become self perpetuating.

Throw in the utter lack of accountability and the sordid history of the early leaders, and you get what you'd expect.

As for the members' claims that 'they do so much good'? The one number that LDS Inc cheerfully admits to is that they spend about 100 million a year on humanitarian causes each year.

It sounds so grand, until you divide it by 14 million and get a few bucks per member. Or until you compare it to what truly generous corporations give each year - and they aren't even religions.

"Recovery from Mormonism -"