“Mormons to build 32-story tower near Center City [Philadelphia]“

 

 

The temple in Philadelphia, which is now well under construction, and the proposed tower to its right

 

Now this should inflame still further those who insist that “LD$ Inc.” is a business, not a church:

 

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140213_Mormons_to_build_32-story_tower_in_Center_City.html

 

Posted from Ka’anapali, Maui, Hawai’i

 

 

  • Brock Lesnar

    Dan, interesting article.

    For me, I’m a little conflicted about this. I can see the good a project like this can have, but I also have an issue reconciling this type of activity with the Savior’s life/teachings.

    I’ve been reading several forums where this is being discussed. One of the comments is worthy of repeating and brings up some really interesting points:

    “My concern is with a religious organization that, on the whole, arguably aims much of its energy at managing real estate, buildings, and now a shopping mall, much more than one would imagine is appropriate for the Church of Jesus Christ, the poor carpenter, who made the poor one of the the central foci of his teachings and faith.

    What does the Son of God, who came among the lowliest and served them, have to do with selling Gucci in upscale malls or purchasing genetically engineered trout? Yes, the Son of God did not disdain to call fishermen to be fishers of men (for which I am ever grateful), but he did not buy a block next to the Temple at Jerusalem and build upscale housing for publicans as an urban renewal project. He told the wealthy young man to sell all he had to give to the poor. He did not ask the wealthy young man for investment advice.

    I am sorry that these are inconvenient truths. I would like to understand how they square with what I see the LDS Church doing. I simply do not see how.”

    http://mormondiscussions.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=33240&p=794492

    • Jeremy Alleman

      I believe the Church did something similar in SLC, where they cleaned up the area, put in pedestrian green belts, and helped reduce the urban sprawl that was creeping into the area around Temple Square.
      Here they are improving the surrounding area, providing potential jobs for people living there, and ensuring a better environment for the temple being built and local monuments/historical sites.
      I see no problem with improving the conditions of the people in the area. People have a hard time thinking of God when they are worried about physical needs. This provides employment, shelter, and safety. And the Church didn’t ask for a dime of State or local money. (Unlike the Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, TX…) :-)

    • brotheroflogan

      But are those things bad? The point is that the church wants Salt Lake City to be a nice place, so it is doing what it can to revitalize the economy there. I know that the Salt Lake City government is thankful for the investment that the church has put into city projects.

      • mike

        As President Hinckley readily acknowledged in General Conference in 2006, “The Church is undertaking a huge development project in the interest of protecting the environment of Temple Square. While the costs will be great, it will not involve the expenditure of tithing funds.”

      • Brock Lesnar

        brotheroflogan,
        Great points, and I agree.

        However, I still find myself conflicted over this project and several other recent projects. I just can’t think the Savior would whole heartedly support these projects. But, I guess that’s my problem.

        I’ll bow out and let you guys debate infrastructure projects, investments, construction and why the Savior would approve.

    • http://plonialmonimormon.blogspot.com/ Stephen Smoot

      “Why was not this real estate sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?”

      Paraphrasing John 12:4–6.

    • kiwi57

      And Jesus also counselled his followers to “make friends of the mammon of unrighteousness.”

      There are those who think that the proper way to help the poor is to give them handouts. Jobs in successful commercial ventures seem for some reason to be unacceptable. Perhaps that’s because such jobs are much more sustainable. They let their employees be actually independent and feel good about themselves, and consequently much less likely to support left-wing political philosophies which encourage dependence.

  • RaymondSwenson

    The Church of Jesus Chrst of Latter-dasy Saints is a not-for-profit organization. No person owns stock in the Church and gets wealthy as Church assets grow. By far the vast majority of real property the Church owns is operational, used for congregational meetings on Sundays and activities other days of the week. Unlike many other churches, we don’t use our meetinghouses for businesses during the week, like private schools or daycare centers. There are temples, used.on days other than Sunday for special religious ordinances, such as marriage for eternity. There are religious education buildings for high school and college students near public secondary schools and publiuc and private colleges. There are the campuses of BYU in Utah, Idaho and Hawaii, and LDS Business College. There are the Bishop’s Storehouses used to store, prepare, and retail food to people in need, all over the US and Canada. There are missionary training centers in Utah and several other countries for the 80,000 missionaries currently serving. There are offces and homes for the several hundred mision presidents worldwide, plus administrative offices for the Church. The area around Temple Square in Salt Lake has a combinastin of a temple, the 22,000 seat Conference Center, other meeting halls, museums, visitor centers fr millions of tourists, and the administrative.offices of church HQ.

    Because the Church is a solvent non-profit, rather than an insolvent one, it controls is spending so it has a surplus of assets that can be used if there is a rise in operational costs and operational construction.Until then, the Church saves some of its.income. While much f those savings are in bonds and equity investments, because the Church has suficient assets it can also save its funds by.investing in commercial properties such as apartment buildings and retail and office buildings. They provide a better return than just plunking it into a bank savings account.

    The Church provides millions of dollars in aid to the needy every year, and donates.cash, clothing and food to communities hit by natural disasters like earthquakes,

  • RaymondSwenson

    Every responsible and enduring non-profit organization has to ensure that its income is above its expenses, and when that is so, it must save the surplus so that it can cover the inevitable occasional surge in expenses. That is true for the Red Cross, for the Sierra Club, for the Ford Foundation, for Columbia University, for the Salvation Army, and for every religious organization.

    Liquidating your assets so you can give it all away is fine if you intend to go out of.business, and you are not planning on doing charitablke work next year, and next decade, and next century. That is fine when a person dies. But if you are an institution that plans on helping people for the ongoing future, you need to be financially solvent, and keep assets in reserve against both acute and longer term contingencies, like recessions, wars, etc.

    Unlike some nonprofits, people working for the LDS Church don’t receive million dollar salaries or stock options. The vast majority of people who do the work at the local and regional level are part time volunteers who donate 10-30 hours a week on top of working full time to suppirt their own families. No individual in the Church gets rich if the Church assets grow. Only the Church as a whole benefits. And the Church’s ability to do its work of spiritual support and aid to those in need grows, as its membership grows.

    And here’s the thing: If you are not a Mormon, it does not involve your money. If you are Mormon, the Church is ensuring that funds are used reasonably so the Church can continue to operate as long as it needs to.

    If the Church were investing in revitalizing Detroit, lots of people would think that was great. Right now, Phillie is a better.investment site, and so is Salt Lake.

  • joseph peterson

    “Now this should inflame still further those who insist that “LD$ Inc.” is a business, not a church.”

    Yes, Dan. Exactly.


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