MG 2.0 wrote: ↑
Fri Mar 03, 2023 8:47 pm
Res Ipsa wrote: ↑
Fri Mar 03, 2023 7:28 pm
And their purported excuse is they were afraid people would stop paying tithing? Even though tithing has always been a commandment and a necessary condition for admission to the temple? Necessary for salvation? That's how much faith they had in their religion? In their membership?
I don't think so.
And that’s where I think we can have an honest differing of opinions. And it’s not really a matter of “how much faith they had in their religion? In their membership?”, it’s the knowledge they have of human nature and the rhymes and reasons human beings can find to take an easier path than to obey a law of sacrifice. Admit it, human beings…or at least a whole bunch of them…are greedy little creatures. We want MORE. Wars have been started over greediness and acquisition of hoped for wealth.
So? Greed existed long before the leaders decided that the church should use tithing funds to accumulate wealth and hide it from the membership. And yet millions of mormons paid a full tithe out of sheer faith. Why would that change simply because the annual amount of tithing started to exceed what tithes had historically been spent on?
Church leaders may very well want members to receive the promised blessings of paying an honest tithe. Even the widow. Of course, Ipsa, that’s all based on belief in a God who can promise blessings in the first place, right?
My post has absolutely nothing to do with my stance toward the existence of God. I was a Mormon. I believed in what the church taught, including that tithing was a commandment -- not a voluntary donation to fund the church. It was taught as a commandment, and, as with all other commandments, I had the free agency to comply or not. But, even assuming that the leaders believe that paying tithing is a quid pro quo for receipt of blessings, that doesn't justify lying to the SEC and hiding the accumulation of wealth from the members.
MG2.0 wrote:I think the church leader’s may have had pure motives. I also am open to the fact that things may have spun a bit out of control. One needs to keep in mind that throughout much of its history the church was literally nickel and diming it. In fact, it’s been par for the course until relatively recently. The church has been on its FIRST learning curve in regards as to how to manage large sums of money. Combine that to wanting NEVER to experience the pain experienced in other periods of church history because of financial hardships, and you have a situation where, along with wanting members to continue receiving the blessings of paying an honest tithe, you see THIS.
I'm not sure that "nickel and diming it" is an accurate representation. It was spending tithing receipts on infrastructure to support the rapid rate of growth in membership -- at least as shown on paper. It was investing in membership growth. And tithing receipts grew until they started to surpass the outlay needed to support the growth. So, it was the first time that had happened. But your leaders aren't financial babes in the woods. It's not like "profit" and "investing" were foreign concepts to them. And the same is true with the concept of "being honest with your fellow man." Making some bad investments could be an understandable consequence of what you describe, but it doesn't explain or excuse the dishonesty.
I think that in a sense the whistle blower was a blessing. It forced the church leaders and financial managers to course correct and accept the possibility that there would have been and will be members that leave because they don’t have a firm testimony of the restoration of the gospel and the blessings that come from paying an honest tithe.
They may have been trying to avoid that or soften the blow. To some extent taking that path may backfire…although, again those that do either leave or go inactive are going to do so out of choice possibly as a result of never having nurtured their testimony of Christ and the restoration of the Kingdom of God on the earth.
It may be interpreted as an other instance of winnowing the wheat from the tares. Apparently the church and its financial advisors may have gone to great lengths to avoid that. As with polygamy and the federal government/Gods law supersedes the laws of man in some instances scenario from the past, they MAY have seen this whole thing as ‘one of those times’. But I don’t know that for sure, obviously. I do like to give them the benefit of a doubt either way. I do believe their main priority is to ‘do good’. And sometimes, like in this instance, it looks bad to some folks.
Here you suggest completely contradictory explanations, which illustrates why I think your moral compass needs calibration. If people have free agency, lying to them or withholding information is the opposite of free agency. People cannot exercise free agency if the truth is withheld from them. If people leave the church by choice as a result of never having nurtured their testimony, there was never any reason to withhold information and lie about the extent of the church's wealth. What law of God justifies, let alone requires, lying to the membership and to the SEC? God's law, as expressed to us by the very same leaders that broke the law, is be honest in your dealings with your fellow man. When I was a faithful member, one of my favorite hymns was "Do What is Right." You know, "Do what is right, let the consequences follow. .... God will protect you then do what is right." We also recited the articles of faith, one of which was something like "honoring, sustaining, and obeying the law." Ironically, this example demonstrates that you have no objective standard of morality at all. You are the embodiment of moral relativism. You can't even bring yourself to admit that hiding its wealth from the membership and lying about it is wrong. This atheist has a more calibrated moral compass than you do.
MG2.0 wrote:It will blow over and the church will continue to move on and accomplish its four fold mission. Albeit, minus some folks that decide that it’s not worth staying. And that’s sad.
Fivefold. Unless you included wealth accumulation as one of the four.
I don't feel sadness over self inflicted wounds.
MG2.0 wrote:I agree that the ‘better way’ would have been to simply be up front and honest to begin with and announce the financial reserves and the investments that were paying off.
I’m not sure that I see the problem that you do, however, in the church managing ALL of its income, including the tithes, with the intent to grow it rather than watch it diminish in value.
I agree that the leadership should be honest with the membership and should not break the law. That's not just a "better way." That's the way that is consistent with clear commandments of your God.
As you know, my criticism was of the lying and hiding of wealth. I never criticized the fact of "management of assets." I question the accumulation of wealth by any organization that purports to follow the teachings of Jesus, but that clearly was not the point of my post. The point is the clear dishonesty, up to the point of creating a fraudulent scheme to conceal wealth from the membership by lying and asking faithful members to lie to the SEC. And the "mental gymnastics" you are willing to go through to excuse reprehensible behavior rather than hold your leadership to any degree of accountability.