Recently, the Deseret News accounted the LDS missionary sales force to peak at 88,000 missionaries. These missionaries work labor-free, at least 50 hours (more likely 60-80 hours) per week when you include weekends. The larger percent of them pay for their own living costs, to the tune of (I believe) $450 per month, and are now asked, according to the Dnews, to pay for their own iPads at $400 each.
That's 88,000 missionaries working 50+ hours per week -- a total of 228,800,000 hours of free annual labor.
It's interesting that the DNews article mentioned iPads. In 2012 I compared the LDS Corporation with Apple Inc, concluding that: "LDSinc is a mind-boggling large, enormously well-fed, tax-exempt privately held company that seems to dwarf Apple Computer. "
I gave more numbers in that 2012 blog to show that, financially, LDS corp has asset holdings and liquid cash estimated to rival Apple Inc. What the LDS corporation has that Apple doesn't shouldn't surprise you: LDS Inc has $4+ Billion in free sales-force labor, if you consider each salesman is about the same age and competency as an Apple Inc store salesman.
How did I get that $4 Billion number?
x 50 hours per week
x 52 weeks per year
x 2 years per mission
x $10/hour wage
Each of these missionaries is hoping to hook new converts that will donate 10% of their lifetime income to the LDS corporation. In the USA, per convert that could total six-figures of donations over a couple decades, not to mention free labor of service by cleaning buildings, selling the gospel for free to new converts and counting the monies in the ward clerk offices. Missionary free labor is still just a drop in the multi-billion dollar bucket when you include all the time individual members give to the promotion and up-keep of the LDS corporation.
Apple wets their collective pants wishing for so much revenue per new customer with all the donated free labor. They might net a few thousand dollars in sold products. Tangible products that the customer can actually hold in their secular hands. LDS products? Mostly beyond the vaporous veil.
An insider at the COB has recently recounted to me that the LDS Corporation has about $15 Billion in liquid cash, not tied in assets, companies or properties. That's a lot of cash to purchase new assets. And they have mostly free labor to provide accounting and upkeep on the ecclesiastical (or sales) arm of the corporation.
Labor is the most expensive outlay for most corporations that produce tangible products. For a corporation selling vaporous veilware, its labor is ... well, it's free. They have nearly zero raw materials to buy in producing their doctrinal product. And they pay no taxes on the promotion, sales and donations received for their veilware.
So where does all the money go?
The old Ogden Temple, torn down because it wasn't pretty enough. Where does that money go?