Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Paisley Perestroika

Notice: My 30 Sept disciplinary court & excommunication have been canceled! However they reserve the right to reschedule at a future date. 

Mormon members are wonderful people. They work tirelessly, donate profusely, clean meetinghouses and are constantly trying to be happy exemplar members of their church. They do this obediently. We hear they're fasting for Mitt Romney this Sunday. They feel part of something very important. And, perhaps they have been. 

Mormon culture is unique, not only for its beliefs, but its history & cultural idiosyncrasies. I believe it could seriously transform the world through charitable action. But something is standing in the way of that.

The LDS Profits.

The LDS hiearchy is comprised almost entirely of businessmen, lawyers and corporate professionals. Why is that? It's certainly an influence in the direction the LDS Church has taken when investing money. Members are told that constructing City Creek created jobs and protects the area near Temple Square. What isn't said is that it builds & protects profits. What isn't said: Jobs can be created by  building shelters to protect the battered, homeless and heartless instead of protecting a church building. The money-changing at the side of Temple Square are given flashy tables and five-year rent-free contracts to protect the LDS temple.

Mormon 8:37 For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted. 

Plenty of members are secretly sick inside when thinking about the direction MormonCo heads as it deals with the temple-protecting money-changers.  This is not the gospel.  This is the business.
Many members are tired of the corporate takeover of their religion, but afraid to speak out. Understandably when they see that the slightest words can pull you into disciplinary council at the drop of a paisley shirt. But I'm here to tell you, if enough members make a silent statement in a way that cannot be punished, it will be recognized and the corporation will get the message.

A turn from money-changing to heartfelt donation can change the world. Take the $3-4 billion spent on the City Creek Center and solve world hunger for school children for a year ¹. It can be done. The good will the church could receive will outstrip the negativity of a fancy elitist-mall. In just one year. The Mormon church would be esteemed beyond measure.

What can you do? 

If you stand for increasing monies to poverty and hunger, and diminishing the money-changing influence in Salt Lake HQ, then you can stand in solidarity at church by quietly dressing differently.  

We can begin a silent Paisley Perestroika.

White-shirts and dark ties are binary. Stripes are finite. Paisley with the non-ending variants in patterns and volumous numbers of acceptable color combinations is infinite. It represents the diversity of thoughts & hearts in the membership while uniting us in a common range of patterns.

Women, you can show silent support for reform by wearing something as subtle as a paisley scarf, carry a paisley handbag, or being bolder, wear that paisley blouse, or a complete dress. Men, your options could be a kerchief, tie, or shirt.

We're not fighting God, the gospel or the message. We can braid paisley into a silent scourge and overturn the tables of the money-changing. Reform and get back to what was intended: love thy neighbor and treat him as you want to be treated, even if you don't wear the same colors in life.

I ask for peaceful and even silent protest against the actions mentioned here, by donning the apparel that lets them know that love, acceptance, helping others and giving to the needy are what we want with our donations of money, time and talents. 

Overturn the tables of corporate empowerment.  Stop the suppression of dissent.

We understand there is a fast this Sunday for Mitt Romney.  If the members can fast for a wealthy politician, then they can wear paisley for the poor.

Bring back true charity!  

1.  "$3.2 billion is needed per year to reach all 66 million hungry school-age children. Of this, US$1.2 billion would allow World Food Programme to reach 23 million children in Africa." 


  1. I'm so glad they cancelled the court. Its A victory for truth!!!!!
    I agree that its time for transformation in the church. The lawyers and other businessmen leaders of the church need to be replaced.

    Hopefully this will be a part of the change to a more honest and open Mormonism.

  2. Congratulations David!

    Now that your church court been cancelled, what's our little troll Charles gonna do now? He can't challenge you anymore to go there, can he? Poor kid.

    I guess it will take years for some people to realize we don't live in the Gutenberg press era anymore. We live in the internet era, and the internet is a game changer the way the Gutenberg press changed the game some 500 years ago.

    Good luck on your paisley revolution!

  3. Beautiful and strong!

  4. David, did you receive a call or letter that your court was cancelled? Will you publish transcript of what was said?

    Love this article! I really don't know if we lowly members can do much to curb the financial craziness. On paper your idea's are fabulous. If the LDS Church was the NFL and the masses could be heard (umpire fiasco) then maybe. Too many cowards though.

  5. 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NLT)
    You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don't give reluctantly or in response to pressure. "For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.

  6. What you are preaching is Christianity.
    You would do well to take your experience, your spirit, and your drive into the Body of Christ.
    Come check out non-denominational Christianity.
    Your in Florida, right?
    Have a chat with "Adam's Road Band". They are down there also. LDS background.

  7. Giving a grand sum to the poor of the world is useless. Just look at Bandaid concerts by bob geldorf. They accomplished nothing which why they were stopped. To stop world hunger one must have a different globalization process where people come before profits. And this needs a change in the economic system. Capitalism just can't do it.
    The mall provides jobs for many people in the area of the mall. And these people appreciate the work. I think that blogger is off the mark about a corporate church. The lds church does help the poor and yes, it does have money invested in real estate etc. But then again most churches with income do. The lds church is no exception. It is the rule.

  8. David,
    I'm glad for you that they cancelled your court. But if it were me, I would still resign anyway. I understand people wanting to stay to try to change the church from the inside, or wanting to stay for cultural reasons. But I personally believe that the kind of change that is needed will just end up destroying the church anyway, and having resigned myself, I have learned that you don't have to believe or be on their roles to be a cultural Mormon. Obviously whatever you choose is your business and I respect you either way.

    1. I fervently hope David doesn't resign and go quietly away. I would be ecstatic if he could turn the volume up much louder, actually.

      My son was sucked into this religion through his girlfriend. Free will had nothing to do with it. He is driven hormonally only in this "decision" that he made. The goal is the honeymoon, if you get my meaning, I am trying to put it delicately. Of course he can't stop thinking this way, because no sex before marriage, one of those brilliant Mormon methods of control. If he marries her, as I fear he will, once the honeymoon is over, he will wake up and realize what he has gotten into. This church does not play fair. It's insidious and it doesn't just affect Mormons, it poisons the lives of non-mormons too. So I applaud anyone brave enough to do something about it.

      If there is anything a non-Mormon can do to help the Paisley Revolution, David, please let us know. I am considering making a paisley garland to leave at the local LDS building this weekend.

    2. Judy, I really hope that your son does 'wake up and realize what he's gotten into'.My son, who came back from his lds mission, met a girl at college, dated her, she joined the church, they married in the temple and since then she has become as brainwashed as he has. I have left mormonism recently after 40 years, eventually by opening my eyes, by learning aboutit's sordid history, ongoing deceit by leaders of the church and realizing the weird Temple ceremonies are a far cry from Christianity. The girl your son is marrying is probably unaware of the background of the church's true history and deceit. Maybe a few thought inspiring genuine questions from you will send her to research some answers that will open her eyes. I don't know, but I feel for your anguish, best wishes, Bea

  9. Please read:

  10. David,

    I am happy for you and that they called off the 'kangaroo court' that was planned for the 30th. As a non-Mormon, I came to your site because I had questions about Mormonism and a girlfriend who is an inactive LDS (long story). I'm thankful for you and the other writers for your time and putting up a site that has objectively answered many of my questions. Thank you.

  11. Our family donates a measly sum to Save the Children. This organization works to assist and educate children who oftentimes find themselves born in the most oppressive and despicable conditions on our planet. Such lives should be regarded as a failure of the first world. We have to do better.

    The LDS Church, as far as one can calculate, gives #5.38 per member per year in worldwide humanitarian aid (back of the napkin calculation). How many meals would an armored A8 Audi buy?

    Jesus did certainly understand oppression. And his rabble rousing ways did end his life far to early. But he left a powerful message to humanity with his Sermon on the Mount.
    For this non-believer in organized religion, it is one of the most powerful scriptures offered within biblical history.

  12. Forgive me for jumping in here--not fully informed about your "court" experience; however, as an excommunicated Mormon, I am utterly amazed that this is being discussed so honestly. I grew
    up in Utah and I know from experience some "things" are verboten to talk about. Good luck on the paisley revolution. I would like to see another revolution in the Mormon Church (a Christian one), but that is a whole different issue.

  13. I visited city creek earlier this year, it made me physically ill. I haven't paid tithing since. My little brain can't comprehend the god that would want the most expesive mall in the world built, while millions of children die of malnurishment.

    1. A year ago, KSL news in Utahgave the stats of how many hungry and impoverished children there were in Utah, alone. They said, you could fill Rice-Eccles Stadium 7 times and still not have enough room for the number of hungry children in this state. We must all remember, the Preacher/Prophet is just a man with a message. The "Church" is the people and it takes the WHOLE church to make a change. Until "The Church" decides to stand up, this type of sqaunder will continue. But, be careful, remember, these are men running the church and we've seen in the past just how far man will go to protect his ideology and theological ideas Good for you, David and good luck.

  14. The LDS church is trying to strike a balance between saving people both physically and spiritually. Unfortunately in this world both require money which requires good business practices to make some of that money. The other comes from the donations of the members. The welfare system of the church, taking care of its own and others, keeps a lot of people out of the federal and state welfare systems so more of those resources are available to others. The LDS church donates money, materials, and volunteers to help run shelters already established by other faiths and organizations, who like the arrangements they have with the LDS church. I trust and support the leaders of the church and how they handle the finances. Its hard to believe that you can say such things against church leaders and still want to even be a member or wonder why they might want to discipline you for what you say. What you are planning here is simply not going to make any difference.

    1. Unfortunately, the predominant "business model" among many faithful saints is "network marketing," aka MLM's. Research clearly shows that over 95%--or more--of the investors in such "businesses" lose money . That's hardly a recipe for prosperity, and yet church leaders are strangely silent on the practice. Whoops, there I go again, violating Dallin Oaks' maxim, "It is wrong to criticize church leaders even if the criticism is true."

      Let's put a little blow dry on that wet blanket you tossed out and consider that perhaps what Dave did was try to reawaken people's sense of compassion and their consciences. That's a credible alternative to pigeonholing him as an impractical idealist.

    2. Does the TSCC call and set apart "missionaries" to serve in the World Wide Web? Like the post above, I've noticed a lot of faithful, polite testimonies in the comments sections of this story wherever it has been told. Hmmm.

      In any event, I think your idea is brilliant and my wife and I are in! If those with open eyes can shake off their fear, I think it can make a huge difference once it catches on.

    3. "Does the TSCC call and set apart "missionaries" to serve in the World Wide Web?"

      Nope. believe it or not I'm just a regular member who raises my hand at general conference to sustain the church leaders. And there's nothing wrong with reawakening people's sense of compassion, but there are better ways of doing it rather than violating covenants made at baptism or the temple by criticizing church leaders.

  15. > Take the $3-4 billion spent on the City Creek Center and solve world hunger for school children for a year ¹.

    A one time expenditure of $3 billion on food will just raise the price of food for a bunch of poor people. Think about it, it's not going to increase supply at all. 1) Farmers likely wouldn't know about the spending in time to increase supply 2) They aren't going to change production dramatically for a single year. So basically you're just increasing demand without changing supply, which will yield a higher market clearing price. The kids will get free food at school, but their parents, neighbors, and other poor people will have to spend more money for the little food they used to be able to afford.

    Perhaps you'll say "Ok, don't spend it all in one year, spend $100 million a year over 30 years, that way suppliers will see it as a permanent increase in demand and they will increase supply." Well fine, then you have $2.9 billion to invest now while you wait to spend it on food in the future. In which case you look around at possible investments and maybe you determine that the best one is the City Creek mall. In which case you have the policy that you're criticizing.

    1. I didn't argue for not helping people in need. I argued for understanding the consequences of ones actions. And for rationally determining how to use scarce resources to best help the needy.

      I demonstrated the unintended adverse consequences of your flippant proposal.

    2. I have to agree with Mormon Think on this. That is a complete rationalization. The simple answer to your foolish rationalization would be to still spend money to help the poor but do it in a way that you not only temporarily feed them, but also use money to educate them to be able to produce their own food.

      For profit business is totally different from what church should be. A business's goal is to earn as much of a profit as possible no matter if people's livelyhoods are at stake. Business is basically without morals. A church should be there to increase morals and help people earn a livelyhood. They are polar opposites and do not belong together. It would be like God and Satan having a poker night. That is how I would describe the LDS church owning for profit businesses.

    3. Let's justify the small 1-2% charitable expense the church has to make a profit by investing into profit making enterprises, including real-estate holdings and development, agriculture, retail sales, insurance, banking, publishing, and media (television, radio, and newspaper), malls, Polynesian theme parks, etc.

      Yep, the leaders can do no wrong. Evil speaking of the Lord's anointed has never seen such delusions among sheeple.

    4. Nobody is saying the LDS should do everything but the 1-2% charitable expense for the LDS church from all donations is laughable. Anonymous, sounds like your view is the typical LDS leader view(most are business grads and not theology grads). They believe that business and church are just as divine and holy. I see it differently. Business and church has no business co mingling. you do a good job arguing for corporations and their benefits but your not going to convince me that business is just as wholesome and divine as a church should be.

  16. David,
    If I understand the history right, the white shirt, tie and the clean shave all came from David O. McKay's desire for the church to look and function like IBM. Please correct me if I am wrong. We all know what happend to IBM when they ignored a group of very smart and colorful people!

  17. I am an active Mormon and I cringe at the involvement in "politics" the Chruch has shown over the past 5 years. D&C 134:2 is pretty plain to me: "... We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the "free" exercise of conscience..."

    That tells me - whether we like them or not, we have to make, and sustain, laws that allow a person the right to choose their own path. Telling someone; we believe in your free right to choose, then pass laws that prohibit them from making that choice is pretty backdoor and sneaky. Passing law based on "majority", without consideration to "INDIVIDUAL" rights is akin to having 7 Wolves and 1 Sheep vote on what to have for dinner.

  18. Woot - stay of execution! Just think - now you'll be able to continue to attend the chess club as a smiling member, and continue to blog all the seedy underparts of the chess community and advocate for checkers!

  19. When the LDS church is going to make such claims as, "we are god's one and only true church," "Our prophet speaks directly to god," then they are held to a higher standard. It's the same excuse for their racist doctrine, "everybody else was doing it." If the LDS church really was what it claims to be then they would be the leaders in social justice--and they are always the last to catch up.

  20. LMAO!

    I missed the first word "David" and thought it said "Joseph Smith".

    I love it when Mormons say the same things that they claim anti-Mormons say about them. Too much fun.

    But seriously, David's stuff can be verified, truths can be substantiated. I'm still waiting for someone to show me a rock in a hat and let me see the words appear on it for myself:)

  21. Why are they fasting for Romney? Is he sick? Did a loved one die?

  22. This petition might interest those who are concerned about money spent by the church. It does not request that the members have a say in how it is spent, but only in the church disclosing what it does with all of the donations it gets. I signed it a while ago.

    While I don't have the questions the writers have expressed on MormonThink (I've worked through such issues), I believe people have a right to ask questions. Truth can handle scrutiny.

    This is still Jesus' church. His hand is still over it. He intends to clean it up in every area it needs cleaning. The Doctrine and Covenants points that out when it says the cleansing will begin at His house first.

    1. I appreciate that you signed the petition, and that you affirm the right to question. Thank you, sincerely, I respect that. However, regarding your last paragraph, I am going to say that David is one of the few Mormons I am seeing with his sleeves rolled up for Jesus and a bucket of soapy water. Grant Palmer was a one man janitorial service, but of course that couldn't last, could it?. If you as a church want to have any credibility as being actual followers of Christ, give David a hand. There is a heck of a lot of cleaning up to be done.

    2. Oh, I didn't say I wasn't going to wear paisley if I have it. It just seemed like signing a petition might get a little more notice, since the church seems to put much weight on opinion polls. I do agree that we should do what we can but, in the end, it is Jesus who is going to do the major housecleaning.

    3. God and Jesus are nothing more than ways of jeering the scapegoat. This claim can be backed up too in the novel 2 by Evan Lord written by a 2 year RM. Search the book on amazon but its for truth seekers only and one dangerous book. You are... WE ARE GOD.


  23. I used to be a TBM from Taiwan. One and half years ago, I ran across some information about JS and church history on internet, especially from MT, which shoked me terribly. Then, I wrote down all these doubts, resulting from facts and true history of the LDS church that I take reference of MT a lot, in Chinese and emailed them to all the high ranking leaders in Taiwan that I know (includes Stake presidents, several Bishops, one member of the Seventy (Taiwanese) to ask for proper explanation. I wish they can help me restore my faith. Unfortunately, these are something even the GA authority cannot and avoid to answer. Six months later, I post those researches on internet

    This blog is a kind of Chinese-version MT, wherein I describe almost all the issues on the "true" church, such as the BOM, BOA, Temple, etc. However, the Stake President and the leaders in Taiwan are very kind and very tolerant on my apostasy behavior. They have not launched the "Love of Court" against me and has not even tried to ask me closing my blog. I lose the faith on this church, so I don't care anyway. But, I must say, the leadership in Taiwan is very kind and good. Instead, they gave me a lots of their impressing testimonies and tried to get me back on the track. But, what I need is the true and facts, which they cannot offer to me and to themselves as well.
    I am sorry to hear what happened to you. I wish it comes out good.

  24. If the money came from investments, the principal was once tithing. They can launder tithing and call it clean for generating profit, to build malls, radio stations, financial companies, insurance agencies and more, but that is still, as Twede puts it, empire building. The empire is big enough. The few percent in real charity too low.

    His words are poison to those that support the emperors without questioning.

    "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."

  25. ” Without a doubt, the Church plans to use proceeds from its City Creek investments in its continuing humanitarian efforts.”

    Supposition. Unwarranted supposition based on the evidence that they DID spend $3 billion on a mall in a few years, a billion more on failed Beneficial, billions more on building their buildings. And in 26 years a few hundred million in actual monies to charity. That's the evidence. It doesn't support your supposition they plan to use the profits to do charity. That would go against history.

  26. After the LDS Church advertised how much it had given in world humanitarian aid in the 26 years since records were kept, it became a pretty simple matter to calculate that this giving amounted to a little more than $5.00 per member per year. Perhaps they shouldn't advertise their numbers lest one reduce them to the ridiculous. An old Zig Ziglar sales technique, by the way.

  27. "Supposition."

    Not anymore so than yours. Would you like to continue this riveting back and forth?

    "Unwarranted supposition based on the evidence that they DID spend $3 billion on a mall in a few years, a billion more on failed Beneficial, billions more on building their buildings."

    $3 billion which they, no doubt, will recoup. Won't they? And where will that money go? Do you know? Please do show me your evidence of those "at the top" who are running and benefiting from this conspiracy of wealth.

    "And in 26 years a few hundred million in actual monies to charity. That's the evidence. It doesn't support your supposition they plan to use the profits to do charity. That would go against history."

    And how much money would have to go to charity before this would no longer be an issue for you, as a percentage of the Church's profits? Do we get to consider humanitarian aid as charity or is that something different? What about Deseret Industries or the Church welfare program? The missionary program? The Church's efforts to prepare itself and therefore its members for societal/economic collapse? Please, I would love to have an itemized list of what you consider to be the "correct" way for the Church to spend its money.

  28. Was there a global or national call from the pulpit to fast for Mitt Romney? I get so agitated when the church oversteps like this. Yikes, I'll wear paisley all day even though I'm not going to church. AND I'm going to fast for President Obama, so there, hah.

    1. I've come across this since I posted up farther in the thread. Apparently a person got the idea and shared it with their family (which I have no problem with), but it went viral, apparently.

      It seems it's so Mitt will do well in a debate or some such thing. (I don't care for either candidate we have, so I don't keep up on such things, so I've probably got the wrong word there.)

    2. That's good. I'm glad it wasn't from the pulpit. That would've been too much. I have no trouble with 'grassroots'.

  29. This blog is called MormonThink? Hahaha. I don't see a whole lot of thinking going on here. Sounds like the usual emotional and reactionary way most uneducated/uninformed/naive/self-righteous people respond to "evil" words like "profits" and "business." I also love David's use of language like poor starving "school children" in an attempt to make any of his arguments unassailable. Pure foolishness, David. Inject 3 billion into a poor country to feed the poor starving school children and then come back next year only to find more poor starving school children who happened to eat a few free meals the year before. And because of his colorful, paisley and emotionally charged choice of words, anyone challenging his beliefs is without compassion and merely a capitalist pig who loves money. You deep "thinkers" are so charitable with other people's money.

    I'm very proud that in 26 years the church only gave "a few hundred million in actual monies to charity." (If that number is even accurate or truthful.) I believe it's done much greater good, though often imperfectly, with that money than if it had gone to "charities." Why, deep thinkers, do assume that money going to any charity is money well spent for the benefit of our fellow man. Oh, that's right -- it's labeled "charity" so it must be good, just like something considered "profit" is bad. If you pride yourselves on thinking, think about whether giving to often bureaucratic charities is always the most effective way to serve and improve the quality a lives of individuals. Challenge and "think" about your preconceived notions that businesses are amoral, or even immoral, entities that provide little value to the world other than to enrich a few chubby white men who are riding on the shoulders of poor, victimized workers. While you read this on your Mac computer or smart phone (think of all the poor starving children you could have fed instead of buying that, you pig), "think" about these concepts and question whether you're right. From the comfort of your air-conditioned home or apartment, think about throwing out words like "profits" or "business" and replace them with "value created from the collective genius and hard work of individuals" and "individuals collaborating to excel in their chosen field and create something of value." 90-99% of businesses fit within these definitions. I know this sounds like heresy to deep thinkers like yourselves, but I strongly believe that I can help individuals who find themselves impoverished or disadvantaged by (continued below)

    1. "Mormons are blind and distant from reality, playing make believe with their fictional Book of Mormon."

      Actually, the book is not fictional. It is a very real history, warning us that history repeats itself over and over again and that we are headed for the same destruction the Jaredites and Nephites experienced. When we have been wiped out, the Remnant will have their land back.

      Do I know exactly who the Remnant are? No. Do I believe the DNA testing that claims that many who thought they were Lamanites were not?

      Let me answer this way: I've seen science, so-called, come up with a "truth" only to be superceded by some other "truth". Most likely the DNA testing is flawed but we, in our arrogance, suppose that we know everything. We are gods, you see, in our puny, angry, haughty little minds. What we think is fact, is fact, and independent truth be damned! In fact, in our pride and haughtiness we often believe that God be damned! Good thing He is more patient, merciful, and longsuffering than we are.

    2. Tithing voluntary? Not for a Mormon who wants to get into heaven.

    3. You quit after the first broken link? Read the rest. More than 200,000 Mayan were killed between 1962 and 1994. The highest government Mormon in Guatelmala persuaded the United States to provide military assistance to do this. The School of the Americas trained the death squads. Guatemala intellegince officers were on the US CIA payroll despite known human rights violations.

      The people of Guatemala's government are racist toward the Mayan. Right now the poverty level of the Mayans exceeds all other Latin American countries. Malnourishment has made them shorter than their own family members to the North in Mexico. That is the true state of affairs with your mythical "Lamanites". And you want to preach to me about tithing?

      Your silly solution of working with individuals is beyond naive. Your statement "personally helping them through love and persuasion to engage their lives in worthwhile and value-creating endeavors" is not only disparaging, it puts the blame right on the Mayans doesn't it? Your Book of Mormon is racist and your proposed solutions are ridiculous. Your Mormon leadership's influence in Guatemala is meaningless. But it doesn't stop your Mormon tours into Book of Mormon lands does it? And you say you "are proud".

    4. "Tithing voluntary? Not for a Mormon who wants to get into heaven."

      Okay, Judy, let's examine your logic. These two statements form a tautology:

      A) The Church is true.
      B) Not A (the Church is not true).

      And you have stated tithing must be paid if a Mormon wishes to get into Mormon heaven or, restated, if C) tithing is paid then D) a Mormon can get into Mormon heaven. But we're missing a necessary part of the premise. What we really want to say is that if A and if C then D.

      So if the Church is true then we can conclude that no matter where your tithing is actually going, if you pay it, you can go to heaven. This renders your prima facie argument against tithing meaningless, because a tithe-paying Mormon can still go to heaven so long as the Church is true--what the Church does with the money is irrelevant.

      But we can also say that if not A or not C then not D, that is, "if the Church is not true or you don't pay your tithing then you cannot go to heaven." Clearly, your argument has nothing to do with "not C" because we're talking about a Mormon who pays tithing, so your argument is really meant to imply B, or that the Church is not true. What you are actually trying to say is that "The Church is not true therefore a Mormon cannot go to heaven" (or, if B then not D)--tithing or no tithing. What you're actually against is the apparent waste of tithing money going to a cause you believe to be false. Why the need for such passive-aggressive presentation? Why not just come out and say what you mean?

      Just my opinion, but I think you'd be better served putting your own money to good use than telling other people how they should spend theirs.

    5. No, you did not get it,I was not making that (very convoluted I must say) argument at all. I was just stating what Mormons believe/practice. To quote from an official LDS website:

      "To live in the highest part of the celestial kingdom is called exaltation or eternal life. To be able to live in this part of the celestial kingdom, people must have been married in the temple and must have kept the sacred promises they made in the temple."

      So, (to use your form) if that official quote is number"one", then let us add this fact, and call it number "two":

      In order to be married in the Mormon temple, one must have a temple recommend, which requires tithing.

      So if you add quote "one" and fact "two", then we get the following:

      In order to get into the celestial kingdom, you need to tithe to the mormon church.

      That is all that I was saying.

      (And I will furthermore note that the Mormon church would never put those two things right next to each other in a written statement for all to see).

      If that is how you wish to spend your money, fine, but that is how the Mormon theology actually works in present day practice. So I think it is dishonest to say that tithing is entirely voluntary in the Mormon church. In my mind this selling of the celestial kingdom is similar to the selling of indulgences in the Catholic Church right before the Protestant Reformation. Just my opinion.

  30. (1) personally (I emphasize personally) showing compassion and love to individuals (not just talking about where other people's money should be allocated)and (2) personally helping them through love and persuasion to engage their lives in worthwhile and value-creating endeavors, (like, gasp!, maybe becoming a part of these collective enterprises of value creation I mentioned above). They can then buy food more cheaply from these value-creating enterprises, educate their children at value-creating enterprises that specialize in education, cloth their bodies more affordably by buying clothes from an entity whose efforts and intellects were directed toward making clothing more efficiently. (I know you're struggling here: "How can focusing your efforts on making better cars, or clothes, or homes, or computers be a good thing, you fool! Only "charities" are good!") I think it's amazing that the Church helped build a beautiful, "lovely" and "praiseworthy" building where individuals who spend most of their day to work hard to build something that benefits humankind can sell the fruits of their labors to us so we can benefit from those labors. I know I don't have the expertise to create many of the things I and my family enjoy daily. I can live a healthier life, spend more time with my family, keep in contact with distant family more easily, etc., because of all the creations dirty, filthy, whorish businesses made.

    Final note: The highest form of charity is accomplished on an individual to individual basis, like the Savior showed us. His days weren't spent lobbying the Sanhedrin or Roman officials to allocate more funds to all the poor school children of Bethlehem. He was walking among those children and their families blessing them individually and imploring them to do the same so everyone could feel that individualized love and compassion. That's charity. But that's beyond our money-grubbing Church, right? It's not like the Church could muster the charitable inkling to encourage a bunch of individuals to self-pay their way through two years of charitable, individualized service. "Just show us the money!" shouts the geriatric crowd of 15 men.

    1. "Final note: The highest form of charity is accomplished on an individual to individual basis, like the Savior showed us. His days weren't spent lobbying the Sanhedrin or Roman officials to allocate more funds to all the poor school children of Bethlehem. He was walking among those children and their families blessing them individually and imploring them to do the same so everyone could feel that individualized love and compassion."

      Excellent. We *should* be doing such things. Many LDS people are doing such things. Many other churches are doing such things. Many nonreligious people are doing such things. Many in each group are not. It behooves us to look at ourselves and see what we, personally, are contributing. Excellent comments.

    2. Read up on the Native American-Turkey trade bill that congress just voted down. Read up on Mitt Romney's attempted extortion of Native Americas outside of Massachusettes to restrict economic freedom and growth of the tribes in his state. Read up on the destruction of all hemp crops on the Pine Ridge. Don't preach to me about charity and individual responsibility. As long as governments restrict certain peoples while favoring others, your tithing is of no value to humanity.

      Go shop in your Salt Lake City Creek Mall and pretend that Lamanites are real while humans are starving and dying. Alma 4:12 is from a work of fiction anyway.

  31. Anonymous said, "If the money came from investments, the principal was once tithing."

    In response to this, I've had people point out nontithing donations (like willing one's estate), so I have changed my words to say, "The money originated from donations, if you go back far enough."

    Also, the Doctrine and Covenants plainly says that all things are to be done by common consent in the church. The leaders are not supposed to do anything without our actual vote. Even the leaders are supposed to be put in by our actual vote (and taken out, as well).

    God never intended for this to be a dictatorship nor for us to be punished if we chose to vote against putting someone into a church position. He intended for us to be equal. Equal financially. Equal access to the face of Christ. Equal spiritually. Equal in every way. But He will not force us to be this way.

    However, there is an end to what He will allow. And He has promised us that when we have reached that point as a people, and as a country, He will begin to clean house - beginning with those who have professed to have known Him but who have not.

  32. I'll be wearing paisley tomorrow and every Sunday afterward, great idea David! I do hope that this starts something! Is it time to Occupy the LDS Church? Is Mormon Spring upon us? Signs need to be made and protests must be organized at Temple Square for General Conference next week! I believe there are many Latter-day Saints who would rise up and tell our leaders that we expect more from them, if only they knew they weren't alone!

    There are many ways that the LDS Church can use its huge tithing funds for good in the world, and it doesn't necessarily mean subsidizing meals for children (which to me is admirable but as other people noted, it wouldn't be a game changer). How about ending modern slavery? 27 million people live in slavery worldwide, forced to labor all hours of the day for years and years without hope of rescue. The cost of the elimination of slavery worldwide? 10.8 billion. The LDS Church could begin a crusade against modern slavery and accomplish some real change for the world in only a few years... such actions would amaze the world and truly prove to everyone that this the the Church of Jesus Christ.

    We can do it! We can reform the LDS Church and make it into an amazing institution! I don't think the Prophets and Apostles aren't bad or manipulative, but they are oh so human and it can't be easy to lead a world church when the members are so unwilling to help. Let's fulfill the divine mandate! Let us show the world that Jesus Christ does indeed lead this church!


    1. Brendon. Read Buzzfeed. It might open your eyes. If you asked David, I think he might confirm for you that he doesn't agree with you about who leads this church. He has professed to be an atheist. Do yourself a favor and do some more research before you jump on David's bandwagon. He means harm.

  33. The Sept 30 court will be rescheduled directly after the election.

  34. Fasting so he wins a debate, apparently. Well, to each their own.

  35. Did anyone notice Pres. Monson's paisley tie this morning at GC? I had a good chuckle over that!

  36. I love this idea. My husband and I will be wearing paisley to church. Whether clothes, scarf, tie or bag, I love the idea of supporting people who want honest truth in the church.