Friday, June 28, 2013

The Spirit Testifies of All Things, Except Financial Secrecy

Most LDS have a testimony by the method of the Holy Ghost, as it’s called. They haven’t seen Jesus Christ or God in their own personal first vision.  On the other hand, Joseph Smith did witness to the world that he had beheld God the Father and his son Jesus Christ. Every LDS apostle since him has been called as a "special witness" (early on as a witness of Christ, and now to the name of Christ).  Since members aren't special witnesses, they must rely on trusting that the 12 apostles (actually 15 with the first presidency) have seen and witnessed the reality of God.  Instead, lay members must trust and verify using the method of the Holy Ghost, which is given in the LDS scripture, D&C 9:8-9.
“study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right. But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong”
The burning bosom is known well in LDS circles, and most members feel it is unique to them.  However, other people the world over have felt a burning heart and enlightened mind when studying and pondering or meditating over their particular doctrines.  Just like the Mormons, the Hindus have the chakras, some of which have manifestations of elation, lifting and pure knowledge while meditating.  For example, during mediation/mantra recitation (prayer), a flame is felt inside of the heart (part of the heart chakra), from which the mantra rings out; and this cooperates with the brow and crown (mind) chakras for realizing the "Clear Light".  Islam has the "hajj experience" and Islamic transformation that are essentially just as strong or more than the Mormon burning, as exampled by those who feel so emboldened as to commit suicide for their testimony.  Other Christian churches have spiritual manifestations in feelings, tongues and miracles.

So if Hindus can have a heart chakra about polytheistic gods like Vishnu that burns so bright and large it feels like a flaming basketball, and if an Islamic fundamentalist can feel so sure of his bosom swelling experience to detonate himself (talk about a burning in the bosom!), how sure can a Mormon be that his experience is truth and the Hindu or the Muslim's experience is false?

To assume you know your feelings are superior to all belief systems across the globe is very prideful.  Most people have many strong feelings all through life.  Some even lose a lot of money because of deep-seated gut instinct and good vibes.  Hundreds of billions of dollars have been lost in financial scams because investors had a really really good feeling worth slapping tens of thousands of their hard earnings on the table of future payback. Everyone of them felt they were onto something most others were missing.  And interestingly, Utah is rated one of the highest states with per-capital financial scams.  Good feelings or not, they've been steered wrong to the tune of a lot of hard cash.   

Religious feelings garner even stronger reactions than the anger of being financially taken.  Wars, terrorism and a boat load of door-knocking irritations have occurred in the name of religions.

If the Holy Ghost method is working in all various world religions and testifying of contradictory beliefs, then what can one trust? 
If such strong feelings and visions can testify of such diverse and opposing beliefs, how can you trust them? 

For that matter, food can alter mood, and medical science routinely alters mood, perception and even the experience of reality with drugs ranging from Prozac to LSD. It doesn't require pharmacology to alter perceptions. Mental illness, brain injury or even just depression does it often without the victim's awareness. How can you believe or trust your feelings to tell you any truth? No, spiritual experience based on warm chests and stupid thoughts are not truth meters.

Mormons are sure their feelings and spiritual experiences are more real, and their special witnesses more trustworthy.  After all, the apostles have literally seen Jesus, right?

Without belaboring it, most of my readers know that there is credible and frustrating controversy surrounding claims made by the first witness, Joseph  Smith, regarding the first vision, how he translated the Book of Mormon and the Book of Abraham, and how he practiced plural marriage with teens and married women.  However, most members dismiss them because they feel strongly that the history is muddled with discrepancies that they feel leaves them a gap large enough to allow the Holy Ghost to work through.  The muddle is a way for God to test faith.  

If you have to muddle through your own history, how can you claim your faith is better than the history and faith of Hindus or Muslims or other Christians?  If your burning bosom is no more powerful than the heart chakra, the hajj or the burning tongue/flame of other religions, how can you feel secure the muddled history is really witnessed by the Holy Ghost?  All your elated, out-of-body spiritual experiences included, you’re not that special.  And neither are your 15 special witnesses.

Trust them?  Let’s study it out in our mind to see if we get a stupor or a burning.  Ok?

Last December I askedIf it is shown that the prophets, apostles, seventy or mission presidents are paid even one senine (whatever that is), would this mean they just might have ulterior motives?

I'll ask it differently:  If the 15 living special witnesses were found to be subsisting very nicely off the benefits of the highest office of their calling, would the Holy Ghost bear witness to that pay-off they get?

Alma ensured that when Korihor protested his doctrine and that Alma preached it only to get rich, then Alma insisted he did not in the least ever get a single senine (dime?) from the church.  This was important to dispelling the anti-mormon Korihor, who raised a huge red flag to the people listening.

Well, I will challenge the 15 modern day Almas to dispel the following information about their wealth, typically at 3x or more than the median family in Utah, and which has left many feeling a stupor and uneasiness about what exactly these witnesses focus their minds and energies on.

These are only in UT. There could be houses owned in Hawaii, CA, ID, AZ, FL and elsewhere.

Here are a few of the homes owned by a cross-section of senior and junior apostles.

Thomas Monson
• 4125 Carter Circle SLC ...  Worth:  $441,700 
  (search parcel 22-04-202-080-0000  image )
• 6742 North Fairfax Dr, Sundance ....Worth about ~$193,623  
   (Parcel 540370053007  image  Market valuation image )

• 140 W FARM RD. Midway, UT  ... Worth: $383,734 
   (Parcel  00-0001-3776 image )
3 homes...Total: $1,019,057
(Recall, Monson has been nearly a life-long church employee)

For comparison, the average home  in Salt Lake runs about $260,000 in 2013.  That's rougly a quarter of the total value of Monson's three homes.  Sundance and Midway are swanky resort areas.  The common family would be happy with any one of Monson's three homes.

Dallin Oaks
1813 Yale Ave SLC  ... Worth: $636,700 
   (Parcel 16-09-428-014-0000* image**)
• 40 N. State St. unit #5d  ... Worth:  $538,200 
   (Parcel  09-31-385-064-0000  image1 image2)
Total: $1,174,900

* the Yale home was held for Oaks by LDS company Suburban Land Reserve Inc when it was sold this year.  SLRI is involved in land grabs all along the wasatch front. Why is Oaks' property held by the church?
**The parcel info image above is from late 2012, and no longer matches the current SLCO website, but shows the transition from Oaks to SLRI.

See below for even more interesting connections on LDS ownership/transfer to Oaks.

Boyd Packer
1850 Forest Bend Dr #1 SLC  ... Worth:  $1,292,490  
   (Parcel 22-28-478-001-0000 image )
1850 Forest Bend Dr #2 SLC (adj land parcel)   ... Worth:  $422,200
  (Parcel  22-28-476-006-0000 image )
Total: $1,714,690
(Recall, Packer was a seminary teacher)

Dieter Uchtdorf  (details and photos given here)
• 399 S Aerie Cir, N SLC  ... Worth:  $778,000
   (Serial 012410011)
• 242 N Red Ledges, Heber .... Worth: $637,274
   (Parcel 00-0020-9118)
Total: $1,415,274
(Recall, Uchtdorf was a pilot)

All of these men are living in the safest, cleanest and best served neighborhoods on the Wasatch Front.  Not one of their multiple homes, vacation estates or lodges can even be considered a starter home.  

Later on, I will include more Apostles, such as Eyering, Andersen, Cook, Holland and more.  But one of the most interesting of the list above is Dallin Oaks.  A wealthy attorney by former trade, Oaks wouldn’t need anyone to buy him a house or pay for his expenses.  However, records clearly indicate that his 40 N State Street Apartment, worth $538,200 (not even half of his estates combined value) was deeded to him by the LDS church’s Property Reserve Inc. (See also this Bloomberg Report on PRI.)

The document was obtained by a SLC County insider, and the scan of it is provided here.  A Church Office Building Finance worker who will remain unnamed confirmed to me that the transaction shown was apparently a gift under a Special Warranty Deed transfer of church owned condo to Mr. Oaks.  There are more disclosures coming later.

On 9/8/2010, LDS Property Reserve Inc transferred ownership of condo 5D to the Dallin H Oaks Trust (DHO LV TRST)

Between 2010 and 2012, Oaks held over $1M in real estate. The condo had been owned by LDS owned PRI and transferred to Oaks.  The Yale home was taken over by LDS owned SLRI just late last year.  Why is the church giving and taking land from Oaks?

In following this teaching of our Savior, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members...make generous contributions to charities and give personal service and other gifts to the poor and needy...Using funds donated by generous members, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sends food, clothing, and other essentials to relieve the suffering of adults and children all over the world. These humanitarian donations, totaling hundreds of millions of dollars in the last decade, are made without any consideration of religion, race, or nationality. Our massive relief effort following the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami provided $13 million in cash and relief supplies. In addition, more than 31,000 Church-sponsored volunteers gave more than 600,000 hours of service....Truly, the people called “Mormons” know how to give to the poor and needy.

Several concerns are raised when we see the wealth amassed by these few senior and junior apostles, and at the same time they are patting themselves and members on the back for their donations to the needy.  

The spiritual witness promise in the Book of Mormon says that those who exercise it faithfully and fully will receive the countenance of Christ in their image (Alma 5:14,19).  Even though the physical appearance of the 12 varies (from balding to droopy double chins and from ringed eyes to dim eyes behind glasses) the image of Christ usually is of a hero that defends the down trodden, the poor and the sick against the power and authority of wealth and politics.  Said Jesus: “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”  Not a place, especially not 2 or 3 estates. A quorum of men whose lives have been dedicated to business, law and wealth gathering hardly seems like the countenance the prophet of Alma 5 or of Alma 30 had in mind.  You can very well bet that, like Mission Presidents, the apostles get more than 2 or 3 estates.  They get maids, gardeners, tuition for family, cars and more--all tax free. (See the mission president handbook of instruction for details.)  If only it was limited to nice homes.  The perks of their office include more than homes, cars, tuitions, gardners and more; it includes a guaranteed book-reading fan club to buy Monson's children's book (or this one).  Even if one ignores the ample evidence the church pays for all these niceties and one argues they get the wealth through book sales, none of it would be possible if they didn't exploit their God-given calling for wealth. 

Forget for now the controversial history, doctrine and practices of Joseph Smith. Study in your mind the facts and truths about the modern Q12.  Plead with the HG to tell you the truth about them. If you have even the slightest doubt, rest assured that there are indisputable financial histories and documents about their activities regarding taking loans and property transfers from LDS owned corporations and banks. These modern financial histories and bank doctrines are not muddled like the early church documents.  They're just purposely hidden. The 15 sit on the boards as directors and trustees of LDS owned corporations, and they will not open the financial books of the church corporation activities to the members. They do an internal audit with church paid auditors who sign very strict non-disclosure agreements about all of these transactions.    They could open these histories up if the members demanded it loudly enough.  But members are sheep, just as they leaders ask them to be.

Surely a whistleblower, you might say, would have uncovered the ongoings at the church office building financial dept?  Well, one just did open it up a little for you, and some of the data and information is being leaked here.  It’s up to you to decide how you will act.  Perhaps you've dismissed the historical and doctrinal troubles surrounding founder Joseph Smith and other early leaders.  Will you also just wave off the modern controversies of the 15 special witnesses?  Which would you prefer an answer to--the truth behind Joseph Smith, or the truth behind Dallin Oaks or Jeffrey Holland or other apostles?  If you can really wave this off without digging deep into your inner integrity, then indeed, you are just the kind of sheep televangelists and apostles are looking for.

The LDS church is about to publish answers to difficult doctrinal questions.  I say forget that upcoming project for now and ask your first presidency to answer the questions about their own actions and transactions.  If they ignore the membership, then perhaps the spirit of truth will reveal what’s really up to each member in personal testimony.  Most of us only need to study it out and we've got our answer.  Others need a feeling, good or "stuporously" suspicious, to lead them to the truth.

To the Quorum of the 15:  You have some explaining to do. 

Mr. Oaks, you're an attorney.  Please, release all the documents and tap the legal dance for us.

Then maybe you can answer this version of Alma's question: I say unto you--Mr. Oaks, Mr. Monson and Mr. Packer--can ye look up to God at that day with a pure heart and clean hands? I say unto you, can you look up, having the image of Jesus helping the poor engraven upon your countenances?

It must be nice to live in the heavenly homes of apostles.


  1. The GAs deserve to live. While they aren't living in poverty, they aren't super wealthy. Considering how much money the church makes, this is a drop of a drop in a huge olympic pool. There are Mormons like Marriot, Covey and more that make oodles more and they're members in good standing. God blesses those who live the commandments. He said wealth would come to those who will use it for good. Who does more good than the prophet?

    Also, there just isn't enough info on here to really show anything nefarious going on in the case of Oaks. I think it's entirely possible that this was a legitimate property swap where his old house was traded off for the condo. Given their comparable values this doesn't bother me all that much, especially since it's conveniently located near where he should be spending his time as an ecclesiastical leader.

    1. This is the "Seek ye first doctrine" of 3 Ne 13:25-30. Live the gospel, get rich. So God loves the rich more. How do we know? because he gives the apostles more money and takes it from the poor.

      It's not that much? You say... So what you're justifying is: the church rakes in tithing from food-stamp tithers and just because the GAs only take a tiny fraction of it, it's just fine that they live like a king compared with that tither? The reverse-robinhood.
      Interesting logic.

      As for the Oaks-gate, property-swapping would be a good argument, except, the property at Yale was held for two years under Oaks beyond when PRI had already transferred the condo to him in 2010. There was no financing for the condo and all exchanges were done on deed transfers.
      The amount of properties that church employed apostles hold is sickening to those that expect them to live the standards they preach. Muddling the possible loopholes about what coulda been legitimate is no different than the cognitive dissonance about past history.

      If the apostle wants to clear this matter up and show it is legitimate, it is in his power today. No muddling about it.

      Next argument, please!

    2. In response to Bad Carl...these men flat out lie to the members and everyone else when they tout that they are lay clergy who do not get paid. If they deserve it...fine, then be honest and transparent. Liars..every one od them

    3. The vast majority of our clergy are lay clergy, including all bishops, stake and branch presidents and their counselors. No one has ever claim that the first presidency and the 12 are unpaid. They gave up professions as doctors, nuclear physicists, lawyers, university president and such to accept their current callings. Do you really expect that they should go unpaid when the bulk of their wakening hours are spent serving the church?

    4. Actually, on more than one occasion one or more of the GA's have admitted that they receive compensation for their Church service. In a personal letter, one of the GA's even indicated how much that annual compensation was (which did not include additional benefits).

      My issue is not that they are given a salary (or stippend or allowance or whatever you want to call it). My issue is that the Church finances, including GA salary and benefits, are kept in secret. I can quote many scriptures that talk about secret combinations as being evil, but I won't. I think we already understand that secrecy is not a good thing.

    5. In Response to Bad Carl's comments. Just keep the wool over your eyes as an obedient Sheeple Or MoBot. If the Q12 and FPres. have a clear conscience they'd never hide the church church financials, yet this is exactly what they do. I've been in finance and auditing for many over 25 yrs. and this is the first telltale sign on financial deceit when your books aren't open to those that donate. But DCarl, it's okay, you just keep these leaders elevated to beyond the normal members and believe that they are so righteous they deserve whatever they are receiving. I can assure you the Lord didn't run his church this way, nor would he today.

    6. If there was nothing to hide, nothing embarrassing, the church would release their financial information. Because they don't at the very least we must assume that people looking at it would find some things that are troubling. There is no other reason for secrecy. We're not talking about national security secrets here, no plans for the W51 warhead, secret NSA spying on Americans, etc. Just money in, and money out, and where it came from and where it went to.

    7. News flash! The bulk of many members waking hours are donated to church service.

      My sister spends all her waking hours, and many of her sleeping ones, too, caring for the dozen children that she had because she felt that's what the church expected of her. Her husband spends all his time at a job to feed and clothe those future tithe payers, and save enough for their missions. They also spend dozens of hours a week on their church callings, but get paid nothing. For the privilege of participation in this soul-sucking club, they pay 10% of their tithing, will support at least 6 missionaries, add in fast and offerings to help the poor, and bring meals to those in need on a regular basis.

      The majority of tithe paying mormons spend most of their non-working hours on church service of one form or another, but never get a cent in return. Women give up jobs and careers to care for children that the church expects them to have, and they aren't financially rewarded, either.

      Please don't tell me that GA's are entitled to huge financial compensation because of what they have given up. Most of them are well past retirement age anyway, with pensions and 401K's. They receive enormous perks in social status alone. I think it is fair to pay their church-related expenses, but if they were truly following the example set by Christ, they wouldn't need anything extra.

    8. Marriott doesn't get his money from the church. These men are hypocrites saying one thing and grabbing as much money as they can. Nothing changes...they were doing it in the 19C and the 20C. I am a member and refuse to pay the temple tax simply because the corporation (oops I mean church) refuses to disclose their finances. They should have their tax exemption revoked until they do disclose.

  2. Great article and a lot of great points were covered. I am most interested in the "burning of the bosom". You make an excellent point. The article falls flat in that you don't account for the fact that most of these church leaders had lives prior to serving as "apostles". Were these properties purchased before their current post? I am aware that some of them were well off to begin with. I am also aware that their funds are surrendered into a trust. I would like to get this information from an unbiased source.

    1. I take exception to the author's claim that Monson's home on Fairfax Dr. is in Sundance, "a swanky resort." In fact, Fairfax Dr. is in Provo Canyon, closer to the City of Provo than it is to Sundance. If I'm not mistaken, it was owned by his family when he was a child. It is such an obvious error it makes all your claims dubious.

    2. Check the assessor page. It says Sundance.

      It may have been in monson's family, but the taxes are mailed to the LDS church at 47 E South temple... curious...

    3. I concede that the property address has the word "Sundance" in it. For some reason the address has been "assigned" to Sundance, even though it is closer to Provo.

      It says right on the tax assessor page linked above "Legal Description: LOT 17, BLK B, VIVIAN PARK."

      Vivian Park is a campground/park with some OLD family cabins/shacks/homes in it. There is a picture of this one right on the tax assessor page. Or go walk past and see for yourself. You can walk past this 600-square foot 'house' built in 1917 yourself. I did last year.

      Utah County assesses this property as being worth $50,000, and with it being in the family for years, it probably cost President Monson a miniscule amount. I acknowledge that Zillow shows it to be 'worth' $193,000, but that's due to supply/demand, not a reflection of the actual value of this shack.

      So, yes, the author is exaggerating about this one property by calling it an estate or saying it's not a starter home (it's WAY below a starter home), but the rest very well may be legitimate.

  3. I check this site daily as I have learned a lot and crave more. I appreciate the efforts and time to this at mormonthink. But this is throwing noodles seeing what sticks. Other than Dieter, those houses don't look like cooperate executive houses. They look like homes they have owned forever, neither of which look special to me. My home os valued stupid high too. But I know its not worth anywhere close to that. I agree though that the 15 should live in reflection of their post. My goodness. The new pope wont even live in the awarded apartment. They have their own wealth. A pilot at Luftansa does better than ok. I think the focus should be on miss connection in doctrine, history, etc. The current TBMs will look right through this. Serious proof they get money is more substantial and counter to BoM doctrine.

    1. Do you own 3 homes that are overvalued? Sounds like extra noodles to me. Regardless, as is pointed out here over and over, if the church just opened up the financial books and their life-long apostles disclosed honestly with true humility what is going on, then I think you'd have a point. Why are they so reluctant to open the finance records for the members? What are they hiding?

    2. I agree and no I don't own three homes. It would be a miracle for one to be honest but it would destroy their lives, family's lives and in the end TBMs will call him a fallen apostle. I remember when I was in the bubble. There was no way they were fake. Now, I believe them to be just men, who either love money, their religion or the prestige. But not men of true courage though the Ensign would tell us they are.

  4. How is it all possible? Read "The Great Mormon Money Machine" at:

  5. Scandalous! The church is perfect, there isn't one church that can say that their doctrine as a whole makes sense. The religions you mention, they don't make sense. The Mormon doctrine paints an almost complete picture of where we came from, why we are here and where we go when we die make sense. No other religion can claim this. Men everywhere are imperfect, including men of the church. People seeking to live the Lord's commandments, people seeking to live the Lord's covenants will put this first, and everything else second. No church will ever live up to scrutiny when examined under a microscope. It is up to each individual to decide for themselves which religion they choose to follow, or not follow any religion. However, in my opinion it is senseless to tear down any religion, because as I said not one religion would stand up under your type of microscopic scrutiny.

    It all depends on where your focus is.

    1. "not one religion would stand up under your type of microscopic scrutiny."

      Amen. No religion is not man made either.

    2. @Anonymous who claims scandal-ism. I know, isn't it rad??? Open up your mind - it's a sales pitch to 'profit/prophet' exceedingly well off of peoples fears of life after death. The perfect scheme. Wanna know a little secret? (You're already in Heaven) ;-)

      Thou art GOD

  6. Just spent the weekend with my son in Utah to enjoy some great outdoor activities. Everything went well until the last day when I visited my parents. My father made an interesting comment to us. He stated that "one cannot truly know anything in this life, except for things confirmed by the spirit". Essentially he was trying to teach me that facts and evidence against the Church cannot be relied on, but feelings that come to him are the only things reliable. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Rather than get into another argument I let it go. On the plane home, my 14 year old son leaned over and asked humbly and sincerely if my father was delusional.
    I am so grateful I found my way out of that church and delusional atmosphere.

  7. This is an embarrassing article. You guys have to be better than this. And "Eyring" was spelled wrong. You don't stand a chance unless you are way better than they are.

  8. Kind of sucks, if what you print is true. My wife and I are both working and have small children. Where we live the cost of living is incredibly high, we budget and save and one day hope to be able to put a down payment on our own home. We have always put tithing first as commanded, as my parents and grandparents before me. We have even gone without food on occassion, but thankfully, we have extended (non-member) family that have been very kind.

    We were always told that the apostles were not paid in any way.
    I, for one, would like to see somebody refute the story you have written.

  9. In my opinion, this was not an embarrassing article, just one of many issues the Church leaders hide from the members. This issue by itself may not be too incriminating, but look at all the other issues like; origin of BoM, origin of Book of Abraham, why polygamy was started--and stopped, origin of temple rituals, etc., etc. The list goes on and on and anyone who even attempts to support and believe these Church leaders is truly delusional--especially with all the evidence against the Church.
    My father once asked me to just try to have some faith and just believe, even though things don't always add-up. I replied; "that would be like still trying to believe the world was flat when many, like Columbus, had proven it to be round." Time to face the true--even though very difficult.

  10. What more proof could you possibly need? When the piece of property is listed in the County tax records as being owned by "Thomas S and Frances J Monson", how many other couples do you think there are who have the EXACT SAME first names and middle initials? AND happen to have a home in Vivian Park, the exact setting of President Monson's fire story in Conference (wherein he said "my family owned property in Vivian Park")

    Same for the other properties. How many "Dallin H Oaks" and "Dieter F Uchdorf" do you believe live in SLC?

  11. Great article. Impressive work. Please keep the efforts going. Also, let's keep the internal whistle blowers confidential. We need them as we take this fraud down.

    1. Great comment. I agree. Any entity, whether the IRS, a business, or a religion, needs to be exposed if they are fraululant in anyway.

  12. Should an Apostle of the Lord really be writing books for profit? Hardly seems what Peter, James, John and Alma would've done. If its the Lords Word, you print it and hand it out. Not sell it. And action figures, really?!

  13. @ Anonymous, that same standard of logic can just as easily be turned back on you. Who would you trust, people willing to show evidence for finances, regardless if any flaws exist or... a business disguised as a church who are not willing to open up their finances?

    (I'm a clean and sober addict in recovery and if there's one thing I know for fact it'd be that you can't b.s. a b.shizzer)

  14. How many churches besides the LDS church contributed to the tsunami in Japan? Of those churches how many of them contributed 13 million? I suspect that the LDS church was one if not the only top contributor.

    In regards to the homes that they own. If they purchased their homes with the money they earned, what difference does it make to anyone? I suspect it would make you happier if they were living in the streets, or in an average neighborhood so that everyone and anyone can visit them any time they like. People can knock on their doors and request blessings. People who hate the LDS religion can stand in front of their homes with posters telling everyone why they should hate the LDS leaders.

    I came from mainstream Christian churches and I KNOW their doctrine is full of holes, full of missing pieces. More missing pieces than you'll ever find in the LDS faith. If all you're doing is trying to down religion, go for the ones that have the least of the puzzle.

    Do you really think this little blog of yours is going to convince a mass amount of Mormons to leave the church? Hilarious!

    1. Christ was accessible to both the unwashed masses and those who scorned him. Is the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve greater than He?

      Also, there is no benefit to comparing the LDS Church to any other religious organization on the planet. The fact that other churches are "full of holes" does not excuse the LDS church from any and all doctrinal inquiry. The Prophet purports to speak the word of God to the public and the Apostles are all special witnesses of Christ. These claims set the church apart and, as a Mormon, you yourself should hold the church to a higher standard given that they hold themselves out as the true and living church of Christ.

  15. Might want to look in to the precise dollar amount the lds corporation rakes in. Isn't at least 7 billion annually? 13 million is pennies compared to what the institution brings in. Its been proven fact that they give out less than one or two percent to the poor and needy that the BILLIONS of dollars they buy malls with and other churches to rake in EVEN MORE MONEY WITH from unknowing good hearted people. Why not give away the money in secret rather than patting themselves on the back for it publicly???????

  16. I loved the Church but have recently left for a variety of reasons. But, what would Jesus do, really. If He goes into the temple and turns over the money changers tables, what would He think of the current Church and its wealth? I doubt He would buy hunting reserves and malls. So yes, the Church and its true leaders should be a bit more destitute. I understand the need to worship the Lord with nice Temples and houses of worship. But a Church shouldn't be wealthy. I doubt Jesus would run it at a profit.

  17. This blog post doesn't offer anything useful about the subjects it attempts to discuss.

    I don't have time to take it to task other than to say that since the 1970's the stock market, along with other financial investments, have done very well. Most of the apostles mentioned here have all lived into their 80's. It doesn't take a genius to figure from there how on an individual earning even an average income, invested wisely, could be worth millions by the time they are in their 80's.

    If you're going to find fault at least do it well.

    As for the burning in the bosom diatribe-I'm sorry that the author hasn't qualified for the Holy Ghost-so all s/he can do is resort to tongue in cheek analysis.

    The Lord has shown me in unmistakable manifestations of the Spirit that the LDS church teaching are true.

    1. ... and the Lord has shown me clearly that I have been deceived for 50 long years!!!

    2. "the author hasn't qualified for the Holy Ghost-so all s/he can do is resort to tongue in cheek analysis."

      Judgeth thou me? I have had many deep spiritual experiences. So have billions of others. Instead of feeling smugly superior that yours tops theirs, try humbly to understand other religions.

      As for the stock market, I don't think it explains why the church is paying the property taxes, why they're shifting properties, why they're financing the homes...

  18. Totally agreed!!

  19. There is a high level the General Authorities exist on. I'm not really concerned about a house or two, but the entire level of living that goes beyond the material. Yes, the houses are nice, air-conditioned, plumbed, with nice amenities. I don't fault them for the nice cabinets of fine wood, appliances of first rate quality. I don't fault them for the nice cars they most likely drive, even being driven by a hired driver if that's the case. I don't fault them for flying on private aircraft that are unimaginably expensive, donated by unimaginably wealthy members. They dine on fine food, and are catered to almost every meal. I remember the dissonance back in my believing days when my new young wife, who worked at the Lion House while finishing at the U had to go in to work Sunday Conference to feed the bretheren, taking her from an afternoon that I wanted to spend with her watching conference. These men are thought highly of almost to the point of celebrity. They have the best health care, the best support, unimaginable extended family and church family that would do anything for them. I don't fault this.

    Where I fault them is for their most arrogant presumption, that they are servants and disciples and messengers of Christ. This is the man who was never accepted by this world, never loved, never succored. He was a man whose kingdom was beyond, whose acceptance was beyond, whose family and Father were beyond. He was a man who had no where to lay his head and drank daily a bitter cup, ultimately to drink the bitterest swallows to the dregs. I read about the life of Christ, this dusty, dirty, gnarled of a man who sat with undesirables, who preached a little, hell, a lot off the conventional message, wasn't concerned in the least, yea not one whit what people wore, how they appeared. He forgave those vile sinners who sinned nigh to the sin of murder, and told her to go her way and sin no more. All I get today is an overweight, over air-conditioned, over pomped and over adulated conservative who is obsessed with sex and masturbation and votes to take WIC away from single mothers, and warns me about believing the big bang theory.

    I don't fault them, I just don't see the discipleship in them, no not one whit, and I'll be damned if I take seriously any advice they have to be more like Christ because honestly, they are far from Him and never knew Him.

  20. David T asks: Judgeth thou me?

    Certainly! Men are required to make judgments of others on almost a daily basis--"judge not unrighteously, ... but judge righteous judgment"

    If I need the services of a plumber and find one listed in the phone book I can make an intermediate judgment he is a plumber. Likewise, if David T declares himself an enemy of the church I believe in, then I can make an intermediate judgment about him. I'll leave final judgment with the Lord.

    As for the church paying the property taxes, shifting properties, and financing homes... accusations, I suggest consulting with a corporate lawyer. You have the responsibility as an author to investigate the material you present.

    If you find some glaring wrong doing then point it out with evidence. If what you say it true, then prove it. If not, then find something else to do.

    You're grasping at straws David T when you try to portray LDS church leaders as evil doing, lying, conniving, money grubbing men.

  21. Lack of evidence?!? Really? Seems like you already have your mind made up about the Church and no evidence would sway you anyway. If you want good evidence and are truly open to the idea that the Church leaders might not be as honest as you would like to believe, just do your own investigation on the origins of the Book of Abraham. I'd like to see some proof from you that the Book of Abraham is true.

  22. David T is not judging the Church leaders, he is merely pointing out facts. This issue of the leaders' wealth/finances is just a drop in the bucket compared to all the other lies they continue to promote. This website has done a remarkable job in bringing to light the lies the Church has created to cover misdeeds of early leaders. I have great respect for everyone involved with this website. I like them, after leaving the Church, have been ridiculed by family and friends for standing up and telling the truth about the Mormon Church. I think people that cannot accept the truth are simply feeble minded and weak people.

  23. If Jesus were to come today under the very same guise as he did historically NO ONE would listen to him. If he were to exercise the same miracles he would be scoffed at. People would believe it was just smoke and mirrors. Penn and Teller would devote an entire show on the things Jesus did back during biblical times.

    Imagine what the people would do with the prophets of old. The same thing they are doing with modern day prophets.

    I was thinking and have been thinking of how LDS people sustain people in their callings, including prophets. I've heard a few people grumble, "If you don't like what they are saying or doing, why did you raise your hand to sustain them?" As a fairly new convert I wonder the same thing, why does everyone automatically raise their hands to sustain someone in their calling, if they truly don't believe that person should be in that calling? If we are raising our hands in agreement, what does one do if we don't agree? And if the majority for some reason were not to agree on that person, then what? What is the purpose of raising our hands for sustaining if no one really uses that opportunity to express their opinion. Was there ever a time when this wasn't done in rote? And then there is another school of thought that I had. Suppose LDS people do use the opportunity to sustain/vote for a prophet? I'm sure at some point people will vote/sustain according to the ways of the world. The LDS church would then look like any other church, going with whatever way the wind blows.

    I'm sure there are things that the prophets and apostles could be doing that are better for the church. However, whose opinions, tastes, ways do we follow? Who gets to choose what sort of house they live in? What sort of planes the GA use? Who gets to choose what clothing they wear, what food they eat? Suppose I want to see them dress in clothing similar to what Jesus wore? (Gosh, just think of how recognizable they'd be if they dressed like Jesus, talk about teachable moments!) Suppose I believe that unless they sleep in straw they aren't fit to tell me how I should morally live my life? To some this may sound silly, to others these ideas sound wonderful.

    We can't have a custom fit church, as much as we may like to. And we can't have perfect GA, because perfection doesn't exist in this world.

  24. Great work David. I recall hearing Packer give a talk about how poor he and his family were when he was appointed to his position as an apostle. I have heard that GAs get 70% of the average of their past 5 years of income when appointed, so as a seminary teacher, he would not have made much money as a GA. Making Apostle seems to have been very good for him!

    A comment above stated that these men could have family wealth dating back to pioneer days - while some Mormon Royalty are wealthy, that wealth is spread around very large families and given polygamy, few descendants would be wealthy due to holdings from pioneer days. The true 'royal' value is in family connections which enable lucrative church contracts for ongoing wealth generation, and paying church positions.

    A further point is that since the very beginning of the church, leaders have been remunerated for their administrative work. For example, this is from the history of the church:

    "The Council investigated the matter, and instructed the Bishop to make over to President Joseph Smith, Jun., and Sidney Rigdon, each an eighty-acre lot of land from the property of the Church, situated adjacent to the city corporation; also appointed three of their number, viz., George W. Harris, Elias Higbee and Simeon Carter, a committee to confer with said Presidency, and satisfy them for their services the present year; not for preaching, or for receiving the word of God by revelation, neither for instructing the Saints in righteousness, but for services rendered in the printing establishment, in translating the ancient records, etc., etc. Said committee agreed that Presidents Smith and Rigdon should receive $1,100 each as a just remuneration for their services this year."

    So Joseph got paid for translating the Book of Abraham, but not for preaching. And the church could claim that there was no paid clergy while still rewarding the leadership very well. It looks like this justification continues to this day.

    1. Spanner,

      Do you have the reference where this is found (i.e., volume, page, etc.)?

      Thank you.

  25. You attempt to make such a big deal of these men's $1million real estate portfolios - what's the big deal?! Not uncommon at all for men their age to have that kind of assets. It's 2013 - $1million in real estate ain't scandalous - good grief!

    And btw, Monson's home in Provo Canyon is not in Sundance as you claim - and it's not elaborate or fancy at all - an extremely modest home in a very simple neighborhood in the canyon. Don't try to equate it with the glitz and glamour of Sundance.

    1. Jonathan, as long as you think the Special Witnesses of JC are the most Christ like men God could find in the LDS church, then you should follow them as you would Christ. He asked that you sell all you have and give it to the poor then come follow him. Let us know when you've done that in your quest to follow Packer and Monson as the closest people to Christ on earth.

      Otherwise, show us how these men truly are the most Christ like men in the LDS church and why they deserve to be Special Witnesses. I just can't see it.

  26. Matthew 23:1-3 "Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not."

    To make more relevant for today's day and age?

    "Then spake Jesus to the the world, and to all the true saints of God, Saying, the president of the church and the apostles sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, and observe and do all that they teach in which is good; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not."

  27. David T.
    Great exposé! Thank you! Please continue revealing this kind of information. In addition, yes, keep your sources concealed, but keep the information coming on the rest of the Twelve.
    I’ve been a member all my life and now I am in the presidency of a stake in Utah County. There is nothing more frustrating than keeping a facade and “belief” in something I don’t believe in, but I do it for family reasons.
    Keep up the great work! We need to expose the truth of this church for what it is, a business!

    1. Keeping a facade "for family reasons"? Please be more courageous. There is a good chance your children's testimonies are partially dependent on their perception of your testimony, and by faking it, you are actually lying to them. Instead of having the courage to make the break yourself, you are leaving that burden to the next generation.

      I wish my father hadn't silenced his doubting heart. Now he has six children with LDS marriages and families of our own, and we all have to make that painful break ourselves, or continue to lie to the next generation. Your children won't thank you if their marriages have to fall apart so that yours could stay together.

      You, sir, are a coward. Man up, so the next generation doesn't have to.

  28. You should also look at their other expenditures. The car that Tommy Monson is chauffeured around in (Audi 8 Security Special), has bullet-proof glass, bomb proof under-carriage, etc.; total cost $1 Million, and he owns 3 of them. That's crazy! From what I understand, just the church itself owns several of these just in case one of the GAs request one, de improviso.

    1. The Mormon Church...a giant corporation cleverly disguised as a religion which uses cult-like tactics to deceive and maintain the faithful's allegiance. Signed by: a former Mormon who grew up in Salt Lake, has 8 siblings, entire family served missions, believed in the Church for many years until honorable people were brave enough to expose all the lies the Church leaders have been hiding for many, many years. Thank you

  29. Thanks for the article David! I am a resigned member and yet I think I can still be objective about this. I perhaps agree with TBM's that the information provided about the properties owned by the GA's alone is not that significant as even a middle class worker in the US could amass that much if they worked and saved for years, lived frugally, invested intelligently, remained healthy, and continued working past normal retirement age. Oh, and had a little good luck as well.

    However, I get that the whole point of your article is lack of transparency and honesty. Fact is GA's are paid well. There is paid clergy in the LDS church. Second, the church is not forthcoming on how tithing dollars are spent and therefore I believe I can assume they are spending it in a way that they need to be less than forthcoming about it!

  30. I am very bothered by the money the GAs pay themselves. However, I don't see why it matters that Dieter Uchtdorf owns some nice homes in Salt Lake. He was not only a pilot in Germany before becoming a general authority, he was the chief pilot for all of Lufthansa. So he made plenty of money during his career. It would be easy for him to buy multiple expensive homes in Salt Lake once he moved here when becoming an Apostle. As I mentioned I am not happy about the money these folks pay themselves, but the evidence you provide in this article is quite laughable. Older people naturally have acquired wealth over the course of their lives, and will live in nicer homes than a married couple in their 30s. Also, Vivian park in Provo canyon is a far cry from nearby sundance. I used to go mountain biking near Vivian park all the time. Not a luxury resort.

  31. I can't prove my testimony, nor can I prove the reality of divinity. I live every moment of my life based on faith in many things (gravity, air, shelter, safety, the relative stability of our nation, etc.). I believe in the truth of the restored gospel based on faith, buttressed by personal experiences, which, like the witnesses to the Book of Mormon, I cannot ,nor have I any desire to, deny. The author of this original thread made issue with the properties owned by the General Authorities of the Church. It made me realize I knew little about the professional lives of those men before they became full time committed to the Church. What I found was that every one of them were held in national esteem in their professions, and each of them accepted lifetime service consistent with their belief, leaving behind every one of them highly compensated executive level positions. It is my expectation that such people, before they became general authorities, would have lived in places consistent with their levels of professional achievement. With particular regard to Elder Packer's expensive home: I sold a home in California for a high six figure amount that I bought in 1972 for Thirty Thousand Dollars. I believe Elder Packer has lived in his home for a long time.
    Many people have suggested the Church gets off Cheap in its charitable giving. To each his own, but I sincerely wonder how many of those who criticize the church in this area gave anything to Tsunami Relief in Japan, or Storm relief in our own country. Paraphrasing what one of the leaders said only days ago in public pronouncement, "We're not perfect, we make mistakes, but we're trying to do our best to be what the Lord wants us to be." That's a good enough standard for me.

  32. Great article that has provoked a lot of opinion and thought. It has forced me to ask myself a lot of questions. Does a religion inspire me,and make me a happier person? What do I expect to get from being a member of a church? What is fair to give a church? How shall I judge a church and its wealth? What did Jesus expect? Can any moderately rich person or apostle get into heaven when the poor and needy abound everywhere? Why are expensive, richly decorated buildings and temples so necessary today? A lot more questions than answers I am afraid.

  33. Any evidence that Apostles are required to hand over most of their wealth to the Church when they accept a call with the understanding that the Church will provide for them?

  34. Dieter was head pilot at Lufthansa, owned a home worth > 2 million USD, which he sold after becoming a GA

  35. yeah, I have been doing the research with the parcel numbers and I was able to confirm the information given in this site is so far accurate. the general authorities are mysteriously loaded.

  36. if we were living in the days of Christ, these men would be living more like king Nero than Jesus Christ or the apostles of the day. It is hard to believe their words when their lives don't reflect what Jesus would do.

  37. The church expects you to be accountable for your personal money each year at Tithing Settlement, but they don't have to tell YOU where that very same tithing money was spent?

  38. Actually MORE than some, with the exception of groups like LDS, and JWs and corrupt TV evangelists pretty much ALL churches are transparent financially. Mormonism is not.

  39. It is you who needs to educate yourself. Both Thomas Monson and Gordon B. Hinckley has been receiving church compensation for a very long time. since he became a general authority in 1958 he didn't have TIME to make it rich elsewhere. Same for Thomas Monson. It would be better if they followed their own advise and practiced what they preach. Mosiah 4: 19. Also poor and destitute members are tithed into homelessness and then after the money is gone the church just turns it's back on the needy. Ask me how I know. Don't even get me going on how they treat their Disabled Veteran members... the very people that pay for the freedom that the church operates under with their sweat, blood, tears, bodies and minds for. They are actually the most abused members in the church system .Just seeing that from a personal experience point of vie,.and I'm sure President Monson had no trouble sleeping at night in his million dollar condo while disabled veteran member me and my 12 year old son went homeless last winter. Funny thing...neither did my bishop.