I attended the Unitarian Univeralist Church today. I have only attended a few times, as it has taken me many years to overcome my apprehension of attending any worship service since leaving the Mormon religion. I must admit I really feel a sense of belonging here, I enjoy the fact that they include heathens such as myself who do not pray to a god; they accept gays, lesbians, transgenders. They do not pray, but instead have a moment of meditation. This all appeals to me. I did attend several churches when I left Mormonism, but I could not feel at ease.
Today, the topic of discussion was about their sister church in Romania. They spoke about how they made the beginning introductions, how at first it was difficult to communicate with the language barrier. But with time, they have been able to get translators. They spoke about how they made mistakes along the way. At first, the UU church here donated money for a tractor, and even with oversight of the money, the money disappeared and when an accounting for the money was demanded, the minister committed suicide. It was discovered that he was was an alcoholic and the entire story was so very sad.
A lesson was learned, and a part of the lesson learned was that love, friendship and strong ties need to be shared, along with donating money. With stronger ties shared and more oversight and stronger accounting of the funds, the money donated has been used for its intended purposes. Many trips have been made, some of the members from Romania have visited here, and some members here have gone and visited Romania on a yearly basis.
A scholarship fund has been set up to help send the youth to university. What a wonderful way to make church donations work; to send youth to college, to pay for tractors to aid a community in farming and to help build a local community house.
This is how donation funds should be spent. I loved to hear about the strong accountability of the funds, not only in Romania, but also here. All money donated is 100% accountable to the congregations. There is no secrecy about how much is given or how it is spent. There is no need to have trust or blind faith in any leaders. All is known and accountable to those who donate.
When I hear Mormons justify the secrecy of how tithing funds are spent, I wonder how they can feel comfortable about that. There is such a contradiction in what they say. On one hand they say that to question their leaders is to not have faith, and on the other hand they say the church is true, the leaders aren't. How can they put such trust in people who they acknowledge make mistakes?
There was accountability within the UU church, and still the minister was able to squander away $2,000 for his personal gain. As I watch the Mormon church build a multi-billion dollar mall with its business branch, why aren't the members asking how the church built a business branch to begin with, anyway?
Why does an organization that is supposed to be charitable have a business that they started out of tithing funds, since all moneys gained began with tithing? Why does it not use its billions of dollars to build water wells in Africa or safe housing in Haiti instead of Malls? How does the Mormon church justify this, and how do the members justify this? The Mormon church just laid off 8% of its Publishing Department, yet it spent billions investing in the City Creek Mall. Layoffs
Why aren't its members allowed to ask these questions? In the UU church, when the $2,000 disappeared, the members were allowed to ask these questions and get answers, as well as put in place better safeguards to prevent this from happening again.
To me, the building of a multi-billion dollar mall by a charitable organization is the epitome of mismanagement of funds.
If I were donating several hundred or thousand dollars a year to an organization, I would want open accountability. The Romanian words for accounting and accountability are the same. It makes me wonder how much better off the members would be if they meant the same within the LDS church.