The church brags about how much they give and donate to humanitarian efforts and welfare. But on the other hand, they do their best to hide how much they don’t give. They have hundreds of billions of dollars siphoned from tithing donations, which they invest and use to purchase real estate and operate their for-profit business ventures.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said that each year The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spends about $40 million on welfare, humanitarian and other LDS Church-sponsored projects around the world and has done so for more than 30 years.https://www.deseret.com/2016/7/12/20591934/lds-church-welfare-humanitarian-efforts-average-40-million-per-year-apostle-says
They have worked recently to even expound their humanitarian aid in prepared reports they now share annually. The reports show a sharp increase in donations or at least a sharp increase in what they count as donations. They’ve been in the spotlight lately regarding money and as Presiding Bishopric Waddell stated on 60 Minutes, they feel that the more money they have in the bank and investments, the more they can do with that money. They have received a lot of critical press recently for misstating their holdings and hiding the amount of funds and we have to wonder, are they creating these reports and donating more only because members (and the world) are watching?
Caring For Those In Need?
Only a tiny fraction of the money is actually spent on charity. This Welfare Services Fact Sheet lists the Mormon church’s humanitarian efforts in 2011 which, on closer inspection, are not the institutional church’s achievements at all but mainly free labour provided by church members to church businesses.The Corporate Structure of the Mormon church: Charity
They do claim the recently touted $1B contributions to humanitarian efforts. This is a complex number that the church is again, not transparent about. They claim for the past 3 years nearly a billion dollars spent on humanitarian and charitable works. But just a few years before, in 2016, Oaks was proud to announce a $40 million average over the previous three decades, amounting to the same amount they contribute annually now roughly $1B. This indicates that humanitarian efforts have increased sharply since 2016. What happened between 2016 when this was applauded and the sharp increase in supposed charitable donations? Ah, that’s right the whistleblower report in 2019! In fact, starting in 2020, immediately after the 2019 whistleblower complaint, the church released annual humanitarian aid reports called “Caring for Those in Need”. This could be a coincidence, but it could also be cause and effect. Just like how after excommunicating Sam Young, they started allowing (not requiring) appropriate interviews with Bishops.Whistleblower News Prompts Vacant Responses from LDS Corp | wasmormon.org
- The church appears to have significantly increased the amount it is donating to charity. Or maybe not.
In a report two years ago, the church wrote that “since 1985, Latter-day Saint Charities and its affiliates have provided over US$2.5 billion worth of assistance in 199 countries and territories. This amount does not include the value of volunteer labor, worth many millions of dollars.”
This means that in the past two years the church gave nearly $2 billion to charitable projects, whereas it reported giving $2.5 billion over the previous 35 years put together.
That’s either a) an astonishing and welcome increase over a short period of time; b) an apples-to-oranges comparison because one entity is LDS Charities and the other is the church itself; or c) an indication that the church has recently changed the way it counts charitable contributions.
I think it is likely a combination of these factors, but with emphasis on the lattermost.In the 2022 report, I’m not seeing a repeat of that earlier language about how the amount “does not include the value of volunteer labor.” Rather, it appears that volunteer labor might indeed be quantified in some way to reach that $1.02 billion figure.For example, the report touts more than 6.3 million hours of service by church members around the world, including donating blood to the Red Cross, serving humanitarian missions, facilitating addiction recovery groups, helping people displaced by natural disasters and teaching language classes to refugees.It also appears that the church is quantifying its own in-house assistance programs that help members only, such as fast offerings (which members contribute in addition to their tithing), bishops’ storehouses, Family Services counseling and church food programs.All of these are worthy and wonderful things. But the only monetary donations to outside charities that I see mentioned in the report add up to $63.9 million:$32 million to World Food Program USA$5 million to UNICEF $5.1 million to the American Red Cross$16.8 million to Ukrainian relief efforts$5 million for temporary housing for displaced persons in North AmericaThat’s not to say there weren’t other donations that aren’t mentioned in the report, which is all we have to go on. (Once again, a commitment to complete and regular financial transparency would go a long way here.) But from the report’s own information it seems that $63.9 million may be the real number, or closer to the real number, of what the church donated in cash to charity.Jana Riess, 6 things we now know (maybe) about the LDS church’s wealth. A new ‘60 Minutes’ interview raised questions about the LDS church’s finances, including whether its wealth now amounts to $150 billion.
What are your thoughts on the Mormon Billions? Are you happy the church is hoarding money and doing little good with it? Should tithing still be required? How are you able to reconcile these issues or have you taken your leave from it all and left?
- Whistleblower News Prompts Vacant Responses from LDS Corp
- 60 Minutes Transcript: Whistleblower David Nielsen Speaks Out After Reporting the Mormon Church to IRS in 2019
- Why the Mormon Church Hid Billions of Dollars of Investments?
- Mixing Tithing Funds and Investments Maybe Legal But Doesn’t Mean Its Right
- Church Finances: Follow the Prophet, He has the Money
- Stop Paying Tithing and Challenge the Tax Exemption Status of the Mormon Church
- Whistleblowing On the Mormon 100 Billion “Rainy-Day Fund”
- LDS Church’s Misstated Filings to SEC Approved by First Presidency
- Welfare Services Fact Sheet—2011 – LDS Church