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$100 Billion in the Savings Account of the LDS Church Part 5

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
January 30, 2020 8:00 pm

$100 Billion in the Savings Account of the LDS Church Part 5

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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January 30, 2020 8:00 pm

A whistleblower from an investment firm owned by the LDS Church revealed in December that there is $100 billion in cash and short-term investment accounts. Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson take a closer look and give their ideas about this money. Check out Eric’s perspective as well at


One member is examining the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective view .1 Mormonism sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect.

And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism welcomed this additional viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM today we wrap up our look at the church finances and of course if you been listening to the show this past week. This all stems from an accusation that was made by a whistleblower that the Mormon church has $100 billion in investment firm that is just sitting there, or as if he thinks that the money is being used improperly with, segued now from that charge and looking at a book that we've reference during this week that was written by a former Mormon by the name of Dean Michael Quinn Quinn. As we mentioned was excommunicated from the church in 1993 but still considers himself. As he says a DNA Mormon. He still friendly though.

I think at the same time he's honestly critical in some areas of one of the areas where he's critical is in church finances and as we were mentioning yesterday as we are closing out the show. One of the aspects of how the Mormon church operates with its finances is even though it brings in a lot of money.

Three times in business ventures.

It does not have a paid clergy at least on the local level. The upper level certainly are compensated, and Quinn hits this right off the bat on page 2 of his book dealing with the Mormon church is a corporate entity. Yesterday, Eric. We finished the show talking about Brigham Young and a question arises from this myth that the church leadership is not in fact paid but if that's true, how did Brigham Young end up accruing millions of dollars worth in $2010. I might say, how did he do that if he wasn't compensated for all those years that he was president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, pages 174, 175. He goes through a number of leaders who died before 1977 when he was able to get numbers and he said that Brigham Young died with 1.6 million net value, but in $2010. As you mentioned, it's $35 million. Well, how does he get that he owns a lot of things and is documented in Quinn's book and back two thirds of the book just explains all the different businesses that these leaders had input into and then they receive money as well as the church's Church's money being used to supply Brigham Young with $35 million when he dies or Horace Eldridge who was a 70. He had $14 million in $2010. You have Joseph F. Smith. The six president of the church. 6 million. You have George q. Cannon, who had over $5 million, Harold B.

Lee. He had $3.6 million in $2010 and he goes through a list a whole bunch of millionaires and many of these men really did very little else besides being leaders of this church for many many years now. In Quinn's book he mentions as you have stated that Brigham Young seemed to have his hand in a lot of businesses either. He owned them or have had investments in them doesn't really matter, but the fact is his position as church president. I'm sure was a major factor in him being able to take money from those business ventures. This is raised a question regarding the church's purpose and that being is the church really a commercial enterprise or is it a religious enterprise because I've heard people say and my tend to agree with it, that if the church was to cease as a religious enterprise. It would probably still continue with some of the commercial ventures that it invests in. Will this was an issue that was brought up in a first presidency message that came out in May 1907 in this first presidency statement which is titled and address the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to the world which is kind of an interesting title because that's the same kind of title they use when it comes to the family proclamation it was to the world and here's what it says in here the charge that the church is a commercial rather than a religious institution that its aims are temporal rather than spiritual that it dictates its members in their industrial activities and relations and aims at absolute domination and temporal affairs. All this we emphatically deny yet Quinn brings out the fact that the church, especially in the early years in the 19th century had businesses all over the place and that you as a Latter Day Saints living. For instance, in Salt Lake City in the 19th century, there would be scarcely anything that you would need in order to meet your personal needs or even transportation needs that the church probably did not own or had some investment in an page I found to be fascinating. It was on page 62 read from page 62. Eric and I it's a long quotation folks, but you're going to understand what Quinn's trying to get across. He uses a fictitious person would say this fictitious member of the church by the name of Brown and how the church and its businesses would affect his daily living. He starts off by saying many of these enterprises were owned or controlled by the LDS church itself, but it was an individual's free choice whether to link his or her economic life with the hierarchies businesses for those so inclined. There was abundant opportunity.

I think he's writing that tongue-in-cheek. Well, I think, to he's trying to make it clear that yeah we know that there were probably other businesses that did some of these things as well. So the church did not necessarily have a monopoly forcing people to go to them they did in fact have some choices, at least in some of the areas and on page 63 he says to demonstrate suppose that when the first presidency issued its 1907 denial that the church sought quote unquote absolute domination and temporal affairs. What you just read from the improvement Era, a hypothetical young man named Brown lived in Utah shortly after the first presidency denies seeking economic hegemony. Brother Brown left his role Utah farm to serve a proselytizing mission to the Netherlands traveling to New York City on the Union Pacific Railroad.

Not long after his return he moved to Salt Lake City and bought his sweetheart an engagement ring at Dane's jewelry.

Decades later for their anniversary. He purchased his wife a necklace from Decker jewelry that we should stop either because those names probably don't mean a whole lot, but these are businesses that Quinn is including in this story about this fictional character that are either owned or the church as an investment in he's going to give you a lot of these businesses will pay close attention to how many there are. According to Quinn's research. The newlyweds spent their wedding night in the recently constructed hotel Utah and relied on the touring Salt Lake City company for their honeymoon they bought clothing manufactured by the Acme trick company. The Salt Lake knitting works and night woolen Mills trained as a mining engineer, Brother Brown wanted to be employed were general authorities demanded church standards from roughnecks and operators, so he worked at various times with the big Indian copper company bullion back and champion mining gold chain mining Ibex gold mining, iron King consolidated Mining Sue mines trapper mining and Western Utah Copper.

This hypothetical, but representative family ate breakfast cereals from Utah serial food company dairy products from the mutual creamery company and sugar from the Amalgamated sugar. The Nevada land and livestock company, raised beef, the family ate for dinner and sister Brown purchased fruits and vegetables from the growers market this produce had been grown with the assistance of inland fertilizer harvested with the equipment from detachable plowshare edge manufacturing on lands owned by Buckhorn Fruit lands and Wasatch land and improvement Association. It was irrigated by the Riverside canal company she carry groceries in sacs manufactured by the Utah bag company and refrigerated the perishables with ice from Alaska ice and storage.

The Browns use dishes and cooked cutlery purchased from Zion's Cooperative Mercantile institution season. Their food was salt from Delray salt or inland crystal sultanate bread made from flour provided by Rexburg milling and elevator company. The Browns subscribed to the desert retinues Harold Republican improvement Era juvenile instructor and Utah another lender. The church also published a 40 page classified booster directory especially helpful in identifying Mormon own enterprises, just as one individual had done on his own for decades earlier. They bought books from desert book company, some of which were published by Zion's printing and publishing in Missouri. They were proud that ancestors on both sides of the family were featured in a huge volume published by Utah Pioneers book publishing they finance the new house with a mortgage loan from Zion's Cooperative homebuilding and real estate built by Utah construction with materials from emigration Canyon rock enamel brick and concrete mount Nebo marble Salt Lake iron and steel union Portland cement Utah lineman stone Utah lumber and Utah onyx development.

They insured their home with Utah home fire insurance furnished it with purchases from granite furniture and brought household items from Eagle Mercantile with parts from the Utah Mexican rubber company and Utah smelting. Their house was lighted by Utah power and light heated at first by coal from Smoot and Spafford. Their phone service was from the Utah independent Telephone Company and later the much larger Mountain states telephone and telegraph company. The Browns paid for these services from their checking account at Utah State national Bank due to their growing family.

They added rooms there contractor working with Kimball Richards building company using FS Murphy lumber and insulation manufacturing when their house needed a better roof. They turned the Lambert roofing they paid for these with a loan from home benefit building society for entertainment. The family patronize the Desiree gymnasium & amusement company in the Salt Lake dramatic Association. They travel to the great Salt Lake on the Garfield and Western Railroad at salt air beach resort. Their children rode on a roller coaster provided by the great racer company.

They watch silent movies produced locally by beehive film company in Clawson Brothers before broadcast technology arrived they listen.

The phonograph records from Daines Beebe music later the Browns more often use newfangled apparatus from Baldwin radio to hear programs broadcast by the radio service Corporation of Utah on station K SL while using the streetcars of the Utah light and traction company. The Browns say for a car by maintaining an account with Zion savings bank and trust.

Finally they were able to buy a premier automobile in 1916 from Utah Idaho motor company. They traded up a few times and finally bought a Chrysler in 1926 from Richards motor then traded down to a Nash in 1931 from Ballard motor two of those purchases were partially financed through auto securities. Brother Brown purchased Bonneville brand gasoline and diamond oils products bill.

I'm only halfway through this, but it just shows you how many businesses were either owned outright by the church or the church had holdings in let me go back to what was said in this statement by the first presidency in 1907. The charge that the church is a commercial rather than a religious institution that its aims are temporal rather than spiritual that it dictates its members and their industrial activities and relations and aims at absolute domination and temporal affairs. All this we emphatically deny thank you for listening.

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