Financial holdings of the LDS church

60 Minutes did a piece on the LDS church about how they’re spending their money, or more to the point, not spending it. Short version is, a whistleblower talks about how he saw the church taking in large amounts of money but spending very little of it on programs that help people.
Here is the report: Mormon whistleblower: Church’s investment firm masquerades as charity | 60 Minutes - YouTube
Interested in people’s thoughts, especially LDS members, and especially especially LDS members that tithe.

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The tithes are used for more than just charity - building churches and temples, missionary work, food and clothing production, etc. The fact that the Church owns so many assets doesn’t bother me - if the economy collapsed right now, those assets could be sold off or used as payment should money ever become worthless. To me, it’s like investing in a bank that has assets to back its members’ deposits (in other words, it won’t collapse).

The story of Joseph in Egypt is a good parallel. Imagine if everyone in Egypt had thought that storing and holding back all that grain during the seven years of plenty was miserly and uncharitable: Come the seven years of famine, they’d come to find that they were glad they hadn’t used all that grain as it came in, or, if they had, they would have been sorry they thought that way when food was available.

I’ll have to watch the segment when I’m done with work. But for now, I would recommend taking a look at these two articles that are in direct response to it.

The first one is an in-depth look at the financial history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

The second is an opinion piece on the segment itself and what its reporting lacks in substance:

Early in the Church’s history, it had a lot of financial problems. Some of those were caused by outside persecution, but others were caused by decisions made by Church leaders, and later leaders have striven to learn from both. Today, the Church operates completely debt free. It contributes a lot to charitable causes (over a billion dollars annually), and on top of that, it has operating expenses for existing temples, meeting houses, missions, and other religious programs. As Douglas said, the money it holds in reserve is so it can continue operating in the event of future economic hardships, such as what we recently experienced during the pandemic for example.

The articles provided are both published by Deseret News, which is owned by the LDS Church. They’re incredibly biased sources of refutation.

And they offer very little substance in what they say. Maligning the whistleblower and offering an anecdote of financial troubles in the past is a poor response to the allegations of deliberate and wilful tax fraud alleged in the CBS interview.

It looks criminal to people who are not in the LDS, and I suspect that you’d agree if it was any church other than yours engaging in this behaviour.

The allegations of fraud and for-profit activities not only violate their tax-exempt status if true, the public at large is subsidizing fraud for the benefit of LDS church leadership. This isn’t about building churches or keeping a little money in the bank. This is about fraud.