Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Early 21st Century Financial Secrecy, Speculation and Salvation


(Hello, I am a guest writer on this blog.  David T is out on sabbatical for personal reasons.)

During the first half of the 20th century, the Church endured financial hardships that encumbered the church monetary means and required revelations on tithing by Presidents Lorenzo Snow and Heber J. Grant.  President Snow increased tithing reserves by maintaining a ten-percent on income (instead of increase) and President Grant renewed Church Sole ownership by chartering the Church as a Sole Corporation in 1923.  Since that time, the Church enjoyed prosperity and return on investment that allowed it to invest excess tithing into non-profit land speculations and business opportunities that overall, on average, yielded a net increase of over 15% annually. 

Critics have often complained that the Church is more about money than about increasing its talents as the Lord counsels in the parable of the talents (See "Parable of Talents").  One of the most beneficial investments happened in the last quarter of the 20th century and through the first quarter of the 21st century with investments in land in Florida, including the Deseret Ranch and Panhandle Forestry Reserve, of Property Reserve, Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Corporation of the First Presidency of COJCOLDS (The Sole Corporation of all incorporated businesses owned by the Church). 

At the opening of the 21st century, the Church held approximately $60 Billion in assets and $15 Billion in liquid cash.  (See this news article for historical context.)  This value nearly tripled in value when development of the Deseret Ranch turned to residential estate management, which was pushed through by revelatory edict and proper inspired management in the Lord’s quorums.   

Media of the time declared that, "The biggest development ever planned in Florida would cause no ‘adverse impacts’ to water, wetlands and wilderness in an enormous part of Osceola County, according to a brief statement by the state's top environmental agency." Further that the development would bring,  "...rise of a Central Florida metropolis of a half-million residents within a 133,000-acre corner of the [Osceola] county."  Premature complaints that a " of concerns about water supplies, transportation routes and population densities proposed ..." were ill advised.

The investment and management by Church financial advisors tripled the Church assets in a mere decade by 2022, from $60 Billion to almost $200 Billion.  The increase represented to most members at the time evidence of inspiration of the Lord’s anointed, but had been the subject of concern for many members of the US LDS congregation.  This investment also marks the turn of membership increase to high levels of third world members (as the US membership diminished) which turned the tide of membership overwhelmingly to other nations outside of Americans. 

Critics had predicted such shifts in profit and wealth, suggesting it would lead to a reduction in Church membership.  Their prophesies proved false given the dramatic increase the Church saw worldwide due to its rapid rise in wealth and small increase in percent dedicated to humanitarian aide (from 1.8% to 2.6% in a decade of the first quarter of the 21st century), which attracted a vast influx of members in foreign lands.  This abundant global wealth is in fulfillment that the word of the Lord would spread to all lands, tongues and people.  Money, and investment, is necessary to spread the word of blessings to all lands.  The Lord provides.


  1. Like it but references? For example the 200b figure?

  2. Dear Mormons:

    Your church is not true. Save your money. Please take a look at your own history regarding polygamy and the racial ban and ask yourselves if God was the author of these silly doctrines. Listen to "My Book of Mormon Podcast" and look critically at the BofM. Joseph Smith invented it or was a part of its invention with others. It clearly was written by a person trying to sound like an ancient native american. Dan Vogel clearly shows this in his his book and podcasts on youtube on Indian Origins and the Book of Mormon. You will be thankful you did and will be 10% richer.


    Your non-believing brother.

  3. You're kidding, right? No apparently not.

    If they always had insufficient donations to manage all the church functions you listed, then where did they get the money to invest in malls, condo highrises, hunting preserves, golf courses, and the new half million residential development in Florida? Your analysis completely missed these.

    The LDS church collects about $8 Billion in tithing a year. That far exceeds the outlays you listed. They invest the excess donations and use the capital gains to fund purchases of property and business. That's why they have over $60 Billion in real estate/commercial properties.

    What if they actually used that money to help improvised, indigent, disabled and the diseased? What would Christ do? Give no care for the poor today.

    It's astounding how much utter crap LDS members will swallow in order to defend the atrocious charity record of their church leaders.

  4. Yeah, you're right, all other church finances should be investigated too. But isn't this blog called MORMON Disclosures? And not Catholic Disclosures or Falwell disclosures...? You should go find what you're looking for in other blogs.

  5. Just curious. The numbers quoted at 8 Billion in Tithing or 10 Billion in Tithing - are just general deductions - correct? Is there not one insider - who is willing to report off the record what the actual number is? It seems very strange outsiders can make their estimates with no actual empirical evidence to back it up - it's only a deduced guess. What also surprises me, is no one ever in the past or recent history who would have seen the information has ever "raised the red flag" or "leaked information" regarding the actual numbers. Now this may be because they are forced to sign some kind of "gag" contract - but I find it hard to believe of all the individuals who actually see the total tithe of the church have never leaked the real story. Why is this? In 2015, it seems to reason there are several who see budgets and review assets. Both in the past and current. What is the church able to do - to keep everyone quiet?

    1. You’re absolutely right. The $8-10 Billion deduced tithing income is speculative. You’re right that if employees at LDS incorporations were accessed to information there would be whistleblowers. If only the LDS leadership would be transparent and not secretive, then we could put this to rest. Employees have revealed that the entirety and complete picture of donations, financial investments, property ownership, salaries of leaders and more are not obtainable even by those at the head of departments. It would seem this compartmentalization of financial information even among those that sign non-disclosure agreements as temple-worthy member employees is overkill…unless…? Why are they secretive? Why do they hide how they “invest” their members’ donations in businesses and church properties? Why do they not reveal straight out how much they are paid, the GAs, mission/temple presidents, etc earn? Why, why, why? The Mission President Handbook states that they don’t want their leaders even talking amongst themselves about their pay. Why? Because of inequality among the leaders themselves? The entirety of their secrecy on all of these matters even among their own trusted NDA-signed, temple worthy member employees seems to be for reasons only the top leaders and their trusted CFOs can know. But those few dozen top executives will never blab. Sounds like a corporation that has more protection (by being a religion) than your typical corporation.