Unworthy Kids? Leave Your Money to LDS Philanthropies

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_Kishkumen
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Unworthy Kids? Leave Your Money to LDS Philanthropies

Post by _Kishkumen »

The website DrW brought to our attention, Zelph on a Shelf, has a disturbing story about a video LDS Philanthropies was using to encourage LDS parents to disinherit children who are unworthy of a temple recommend:

http://zelphontheshelf.com/lds-philanthropies-if-your-kids-arent-mormon-give-your-money-to-the-church-when-you-die/

Here is the video, which is still up on YouTube. The video was taken down by the Church after it received a lot of negative attention.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNRlg6O8ekU

The interesting thing about this to me is that LDS theology is used to encourage parents to judge their children's worthiness of support by their church activity. The thinking goes as follows: "Our Heavenly Father has promised us all he has if we are worthy of his blessings. So, you should emulate your Heavenly Father by passing on your blessings to your children if they are worthy of those blessings."

Ergo, if you judge your children to be unworthy of such blessings (and the standard applied by the parents in the video is a temple recommend and honorable exercise of the Melchizedek priesthood), then you should not give your kids those blessings because those blessings will be used improperly by them. You would be doing them more harm by giving them support as they continue to sin.

That is troubling enough. But what makes this much, much worse is that the Church is through this ploy pitting parents against their own children in order to get money from the parents. Your kids didn't live up to the high standards the Church sets? Well, screw your kids; give to the Church, instead.

We can see why this video was removed. Obviously it backfired. But I think it is also important to note that nothing about this video is at all inconsistent with Church teachings, practices, and priorities. The Church creates this fiction in which you are an autonomous agent who is just trying to follow what God wants. In doing so, it tries to obscure its own role in creating the scenario and then benefiting from it. It is the Church that defines God, and defines what God wants, and then the Church that encourages parents to privilege the Church over family.

We have seen this pattern many, many times. Church first, then family. Not just that, but family contingent upon Church. Here it is, yet again. This is not a mistake. This is not a coincidence. This is a function of the Church's actual nature.
"Petition wasn’t meant to start a witch hunt as I’ve said 6000 times." ~ Hanna Seariac, LDS apologist
_Maksutov
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Re: Unworthy Kids? Leave Your Money to LDS Philanthropies

Post by _Maksutov »

Conditional love. The church replaces the family. But it seems this has been in Christianity's DNA since Matthew 10:37.

I consider the LDS church's doctrines and culture to be not only anti-family but anti-American, anti-science, anti-human...but with a cheerful smile and no bare shoulders.
"God" is the original deus ex machina. --Maksutov
_Fiannan
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Re: Unworthy Kids? Leave Your Money to LDS Philanthropies

Post by _Fiannan »

And yet the vast majority of Mormons would find the video you posted to be offensive. That must tell you that the culture of LDS people is not as wacky as people think when they only judge LDS by the fringe.
_DrW
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Re: Unworthy Kids? Leave Your Money to LDS Philanthropies

Post by _DrW »

On the way home from our family reunion this summer my wife and I were discussing how we were going to set up our estate so it would be fair to everyone in the family. We decided we should probably skip over our own children entirely and distribute the estate among our grandchildren on an equal share basis.

I heard about the video in question, with its recommendation to leave your money to the Church instead of non-TR holding kids, before seeing it on the Zelph on the Shelf website, and it made me a bit angry at the time.

In mentioning this to my wife a few days ago, I asked her to imagine what it would be like to cut a child, or grandchild, out of one's will - especially a grandchild.

- What language would one use to do so?
- Would one just not put the denied grandchild's name on a list?
- Would one need to state why that grandchild was being left out?
- What would a parent or grandparent who did such a thing think might happen to the child denied as a member of the family going forward?
- What if not having the money meant the child denied missed out on an education?

We decided that we could not think of anything much more cruel or potentially psychologically damaging for grandparents to do when it came to grandchildren, especially if they were in their teens at the time of the grandparents' demise.

Worst of all, we decided, would be the fact that the parent or grandparent would not be around / available for any kind of reconciliation with the child denied and there would be no chance to set things right.

Now we were both pissed at the Church (a sentiment very rarely expressed by DW).

On a somewhat happier note, when this subject came up again earlier today, DW said she would bet money that if we were to do such a thing, our grandchildren would get together, on their own, and re-distribute their inheritance so that each of them had an equal share. That's how we, and their parents, have tried to teach them, she said. That made her smile.
David Hume: "---Mistakes in philosophy are merely ridiculous, those in religion are dangerous."

DrW: "Mistakes in science are learning opportunities and are eventually corrected."
_Jersey Girl
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Re: Unworthy Kids? Leave Your Money to LDS Philanthropies

Post by _Jersey Girl »

Kishkumen wrote: In doing so, it tries to obscure its own role in creating the scenario and then benefiting from it.


Tell me in what way and to what end, the church benefits from it. Roll out the ball of yarn and tell me what's at the end.

More money, yes. But for what purpose?
Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.
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_Jersey Girl
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Re: Unworthy Kids? Leave Your Money to LDS Philanthropies

Post by _Jersey Girl »

DrW wrote:
We decided that we could not think of anything much more cruel or potentially psychologically damaging for grandparents to do when it came to grandchildren, especially if they were in their teens at the time of the grandparents' demise.

Worst of all, we decided, would be the fact that the parent or grandparent would not be around / available for any kind of reconciliation with the child denied and there would be no chance to set things right.



You are a wise one.

Four siblings bequeathed money by their aunt. Two received very large sums. Two received very small sums.

Resulted in 10 years of estrangement of siblings (even though the two who received large tried to make it right) and if the aunt wanted to make a statement, she should have done it face to face, not leaving others to deal with it.

If LDS parents are going with the above video suggestion, they are making a horrible mistake to split up their family. Then, there are those like your family whose children would try to make it right. Not so for all.
Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.
Chinese Proverb
_DrW
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Re: Unworthy Kids? Leave Your Money to LDS Philanthropies

Post by _DrW »

Jersey Girl wrote:
DrW wrote:
We decided that we could not think of anything much more cruel or potentially psychologically damaging for grandparents to do when it came to grandchildren, especially if they were in their teens at the time of the grandparents' demise.

Worst of all, we decided, would be the fact that the parent or grandparent would not be around / available for any kind of reconciliation with the child denied and there would be no chance to set things right.


You are a wise one.

Four siblings bequeathed money by their aunt. Two received very large sums. Two received very small sums.

Resulted in 10 years of estrangement of siblings (even though the two who received large tried to make it right) and if the aunt wanted to make a statement, she should have done it face to face, not leaving others to deal with it.

If LDS parents are going with the above video suggestion, they are making a horrible mistake to split up their family. Then, there are those like your family whose children would try to make it right. Not so for all.

Agreed. Anyone who contemplated doing such a thing should first imagine sitting down with the child who was going to be denied their inheritance, look said child in the eye, and tell the child face to face that she/he was 'unworthy' in the eyes of the grandparent.

I doubt that many who would even consider such behavior would have either the courage, capacity for cruelty, or complete lack of empathy, that would allow them to actually do such a thing.

Even trying to imagine doing such a thing with any of my grandkids is very disturbing, to say the least.

That the LDS Church would even consider such absolutely heartless and cruel behavior as in any way appropriate for a parent or grandparent says a great deal about their true core values and they are corporate - not virtuous, or moral, or even ethical.
David Hume: "---Mistakes in philosophy are merely ridiculous, those in religion are dangerous."

DrW: "Mistakes in science are learning opportunities and are eventually corrected."
_Jersey Girl
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Re: Unworthy Kids? Leave Your Money to LDS Philanthropies

Post by _Jersey Girl »

Maksutov wrote:
Conditional love. The church replaces the family. But it seems this has been in Christianity's DNA since Matthew 10:37.



Matthew 10:37

37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

I missed the part where money=love and that parents should reach out from the grave to push their "unworthy" children even further away from the church they want them to be a part of.

Sounds self defeating and the only winner is the church organization.
Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.
Chinese Proverb
_moksha
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Re: Unworthy Kids? Leave Your Money to LDS Philanthropies

Post by _moksha »

DrW wrote:Even trying to imagine doing such a thing with any of my grandkids is very disturbing, to say the least.


The Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, Sheela and LDSPhilanthropies would tell you that cash is cash and all the rest is reserved for the rubes. Sentiment and platitudes do not build Malls or golden cities in the Sunshine State.
Cry Heaven and let loose the Penguins of Peace
_Gadianton
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Re: Unworthy Kids? Leave Your Money to LDS Philanthropies

Post by _Gadianton »

I was pretty shocked that the Church came right out and said it. It turns out that yes, even I, give the Church too much credit.

The LDS concept of family and wealth is hopelessly broken. Some folks with money I know plan to give the bulk of money to the Church instead of their kids. In a situation where the parents have money and the children are just outright irresponsible, I mean, are you really going to give them open access to millions of dollars to gamble on horses or spend on Ferraris and Cocaine? I figured going into the video this is the angle they'd push. In fact, the lure seemed to be there when wife said that her first daughter parted ways with the family, and she blamed herself for "not engaging" enough. (oops! guess we'll cut her out and fix the problem with the rest of the litter!)

I wasn't fully turned off at this point because in my view, there is a serious problem with LDS families "engaging" with their kids. My experience with wealthy LDS families is that the families are broken due to LDS emphasis on self-reliance and personal achievement. Dance or music lessons? check. private school? check. car? check. college? check. Huge amounts comparing the kids: who has the best grades or got first chair playing the Oboe? Major check. The appreciation of high culture and dabbling in science was never meant to be an end in itself for the wealthy and the spirit of competitiveness detracts from the fraternal experience -- it doesn't matter who wins the race, but that we all row together.

The LDS family does not row together. The children are given advantages, talents, and the faithful ones who make the most of those talents within the free market are given more. They must succeed on their own. And in return, they are given more to succeed with. It's really unlikely that any of the children will reproduce the expected success to reproduce extreme cases of wealth, even with significant advantages, and the question is whether they can responsibly take over the empire. Certainly, excelling at the Oboe wont make a person a good manager.

Going back a couple generations, and I look at one LDS family where the patriarch became extremely wealthy. He had four children, and while they all got the advantages and Oboe lessons, the Patriarch also groomed them carefully for taking over his businesses. Out of the four, two showed interest and promise in managing the businesses and then one of those two apparently had the greater interest and he became the primary steward. The wealth was divided equally among the four but the two ran the businesses entirely and the one made the real decisions. The family is very close and non-competitive and enjoy the life of good manners and leisure together. Interestingly, the main guy was excommunicated under rather eye-popping circumstances, but he's still the main guy, and the family is still very close.

But the next generation took a strange turn. To my knowledge, the next generation while given advantages and high expectations, were never introduced to the enterprise. Not a single one of the children were given a job within the enterprise at any time. In fact, one driven family member was denied an entry level position presumably because there would be no nepotism -- we'll give you a talent, but it's up to you to double it on your own! This is broadly how all wealthy LDS families I know operate. The way a wealthy Mormon family runs is very different from the way a wealthy Italian family operates.

Husband said he would rather have a righteous priesthood-holding son than one who was wealthy but literally, with different beliefs than he held. But what if the priesthood holder had little interest or ability in asset management? Even within the all the broken examples of LDS families I can think of, I can't think of a single case where I can imagine a child going out into the world, leaving the Church, chiseling out an empire with his own two hands, and then the money-driven father not gladly passing the reigns on to his son. The problem is, the talent and luck to produce huge sums of money is rare, and a more likely bet is that out of the children that at least one has the responsibility to be executor for the estate and keep going what's already there. Added to family home evening should be tours of dad's factories and discussions of his business dealings. Get the kids proud of the family brand and make them work low-level jobs for dad when they become teens in addition to taking Oboe lessons and comparing grade point averages. That's the way to engage children and increase the chances of responsibly passing down the wealth, not by liquidating, putting everything under a charity in a shared relation with the Church where the righteous are left to decide under a guilty conscious, how much to take for themselves, and the "wicked", not those doing Cocaine, but those holding different religious views, are totally cut out and the Church cut in.
Last edited by Guest on Sun Sep 06, 2015 11:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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