Sunday, July 14, 2013

Real costs of membership

Today I learned something new about the mormon church. When a church member dies, the family has a funeral at the church and hosts a luncheon for the family after. The church used to carry the cost of the main dish for the family and the church members would then add side dishes, thus providing a complete lunch for the family before they have to travel back to their home cities.

The majority of wards have dispensed with this cost, asking the family members to cover the cost of
the main dish while the church members continue to add side dishes.

Once again, my anger goes from dormant to active at the audacity of the coperation known as the LDS church. Do you know how much money the mormon church brings in each year in tithing money? The church refuses to disclose these costs, yet because Canada and European countries require transparency, a close prediction can be made.  My numbers come from two sources. What is the annual intake from tithing each year? Estimates place it at $7 billion. tithing income    tithing income II

In addition, the mormon church has a very profitable corporate arm. Here are a list of its holdings:
*2 billion City Creek Mall and other real estate venues totally over $5 billion
*Polynesian Culture Center which brings in $23 million in tickets sales a year and other Hawaiian      holdings under the name of Hawaiian Reserves
*Largest Rancher in USA called Deseret Ranches worth $1 billion , with other ranches in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico, Australia and Great Britain (the Australian ranches have sales of $267 million a year)
*Insurance Company- Beneficial Life worth $3.3 billion
*Education Division- BYU, BYU-I, BYU-H, and seminary buildings
*Deseret Corporation
*Bonneville International- media outlet
*Multiple stock holdings
It is estimated that the churches holdings are worth $30 billion  businessweek

But the church is a charity and often brags about its humanitarian aid work bragging rights, so this is all good, right? Lets look at the church's own numbers. not to brag about
over a 25 year period:
$1,212.2 million (cash 327.6 + materials 884.6)
Amount of aid per year: ($1,212.2 / 25 yr) = $48.5 million per year
12 million members of the church over that 25 year time span

($80.8 / 12) = $6.73 per member given in charitable aid per year    by the numbers

Walmart and Target give more in humanitarian aid each year than the Mormon church does!

Hard to believe? Want another source? charity?

With all the wealth, what do the members pay for out of their own pockets and with their own time?
*Missionary funds and dedication of own time
*funeral food
*cleaning churches- janitorial own time
*humanitarian materials and dedication of own time
*temple services for cafeteria,veil work, janitorial
*some teaching positions at BYU-I and BYU
*extraction work
*visitor centers are run by dedication of own time
*all church positions at stake president level on down, such as bishops, ward clerks, Relief Society presidents, nursery workers, etc.
*welfare system paid for out of fast offerings, not out of tithing fund

It is difficult to measure the costs that members give over a year or a lifetime to the church, but far more than the 10% they require in tithing to enter their temples and get to heaven.With the billions and billions the church brings in each year, is it too much to ask that the mormon church cover the costs of the food for funerals of those who die each year, who have dedicated their lives, their time and their money to the fucking mormon church?

Gawd damn fucking church.




11 comments:

Unknown said...

Alecia;
Do you really think that posting half truths and exaggerations is the proper method for building stronger relationships with your siblings. You have complained often and long about "why can't my family just accept me for who I am without judging me or my lifestyle," yet you constantly lambast us for our lifestyle and our choices. Perhaps a review of your own actions toward your siblings might give you pause to wonder if you are not the cause of tensions within the family. This represents my feelings only since I have not spoken about this with any of my siblings. I was ready to speak up for you and ask that you have a speaking part on the program for mom's funeral, but I will no longer do so. Leon

Unknown said...

Alecia;
Do you really think that posting half truths and exaggerations is the proper method for building stronger relationships with your siblings. You have completely taken out of context the conversation about the funeral meal, but this isn't a surprise as you already know that.

You have complained often and long about "why can't my family just accept me for who I am without judging me," yet you constantly lambast us for our lifestyle and our choices. Perhaps a review of your own actions toward your siblings might give you pause to wonder if you are not the cause of tensions within the family. This represents my feelings only since I have not spoken about this with any of my siblings. I was ready to speak up for you and ask that you have a speaking part on the program for mom's funeral, but I will no longer do so. Leon

Alecia Harris said...

At no time have I attacked my family or named them in this post. If they are offended, then need to own their offence.

Alecia Harris said...

I speak against a system that I do not support. I am not speaking against my family.

I have done my own research for this article. I am sorry my family takes things personally when no personal offense is intended.

I am sorry. My family is not mentioned overtly or covertly.

Alecia Harris said...

This is NOT about family!

Gretchen. said...

Wait... did I read that correctly? Your brother was going to "speak up for you" as far as you having the opportunity to speak at your mom's funeral?

Since when does ANYONE get to give you permission to speak about someone you dearly loved?

*slowly shakes head* Leon, how sad.

The LDS church is extremely wealthy, however their premise is that "sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven" - and I guess that idea spills over even when you are IN heaven.

I had no idea the church asked families to pay for the meal. I've never been reimbursed for providing a thing.

HUGS to you, my friend

anonymous said...

Thank you, Gretchen. I love my family, and although they cannot see it, it was my love that drove me to write this piece.

Patriarchy is the rule in my family. Always has been. I was not *allowed* to read my poem, either. I am woman. I have opinions. I am an apostate.

A Reader said...

There was an older lady, a widow, in our ward to whom my husband was a home teacher. She was poor, but she had served a mission in her old age, paid her own way, was very devout, never missed a meeting, and of course she paid her tithing, etc., on her very frugal income. She lived in an old mobile home where she took care of a very disabled daughter, who was about 60, and another daughter lived with her also. Her furnace was beyond repair, and she couldn't afford a new one. It was leaking dangerous exhaust back into the interior of her mobile home. My husband suggested to his priesthood adviser that she needed a new furnace ASAP because it could be a deadly situation. No new furnace was forthcoming; this went on for two months at least with my husband inquiring about this regularly. Finally, my husband told his priesthood adviser that if the church wouldn't buy her a new furnace, he would buy her a furnace and take it out of his tithing donation. Very shortly, thereafter, she got a new furnace from the church. But this opened our eyes to how much the LDS church is willing to help those in need!

My husband knew how much fast offerings came into that ward because he was a ward clerk and counted the money every Fast Sunday. He knew they could afford to get this sister, who was so deserving, a new furnace.

anonymous said...

Here is a quote from a Conference talk:if "...a destitute family is faced with the decision of paying their tithing or eating, they should pay their tithing..." http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2005/04/tithing-a-commandment-even-for-the-destitute?lang=eng

It is very hard for me to watch a multi-billion dollar church continue to take the widow's mite.

A Reader said...

Compared to some other churches we've attended, the Mormon church does not seem to want to help members in need. And, I suppose this is because the Mormon church is a corporation, not a church, and their leaders are businessmen, not caring pastors of their congregations who have been trained to know how to help the needy, the poor and the destitute. I'm sure there are some good, caring bishops, but I think they probably have a hard time of it because of the men at the top, and also because they are not trained to be pastors. That makes a huge difference, IMO.

anonymous said...

I agree, A Reader...as I have studied and attended other churches, I have come to appreciate the concept and need of trained and even paid pastors. The church is proud that bishops are not paid and untrained, but I now see this as a disservice to the members. The members seek mental health services from accountants and bankers who are not qualified to give mar%ital advice or parenting advice. The church also gives less than 2% to humanitarian efforts, whereas the Methodist church gives 30%. Both these efforts are ineffective in helping members are are beneficial to a corporation but not to an organization that is supposed to aid its members.