“LDS Church developer plans to build a 28-story office tower in downtown Salt Lake City”

“LDS Church developer plans to build a 28-story office tower in downtown Salt Lake City” November 12, 2018


Capernaum from the lake
The ruins of ancient Capernaum sit directly on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.


Here’s an item that’s just hit the news:


“LDS Church developer plans to build a 28-story office tower in downtown Salt Lake City”


There will, of course, be a chorus of howls and denunciations lamenting the “corporate church” (“LDS Inc.”) that’s led by allegedly greedy “businessmen” and that, ignoring the example of the itinerant Jesus and his penniless apostles and arrogantly turning its back on the poor, concentrates on major real estate deals in order to line its own avaricious pockets.  Indeed, I’ve already heard the opening bars of this inevitable performance.


But there are a few thoughtful pieces that might help to make actual good sense of this new development.  Among them, I recommend (at least) the following two:


“City Creek and the Choices of Thrift,” by Nathan B. Oman


“Through a Glass Darkly: Examining Church Finances,” by Larry T. Wimmer


Moreover, the poverty of Jesus’ original disciples — often favorably contrasted to the supposed wealth of today’s General Authorities — has probably been considerably exaggerated.  They were actually rather middle class for their day:


“The archaeology of Peter’s hometown”


Finally, it’s only the Church’s prudent stewardship of donated resources that allows it to do the mammoth amount of good that it does around the world, which includes, but is far and away not limited to:


Humanitarian Service


Deseret Industries


LDS Welfare Services


Emergency Response




Temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints




Brigham Young University


Brigham Young University — Hawaii


Brigham Young University — Idaho


LDS Business College


BYU — Pathway Worldwide


Seminaries and Institutes of Religion


Perhaps it’s just me, but, if I’m going to donate some of my money to a charitable organization, I would like to be assured that that money will be managed and used in a prudent and effective way.


From the Presiding Bishopric (who supervise the temporal affairs of the Church) — and whose biographies, including their backgrounds in business, finances, and practical administration, are available at the link that I’ve just supplied — on down, I’m confident that, within the limits of human ability, the Church does in fact both manage and use its funds in a responsible and wise manner, and often, significantly, with dramatically lower administrative and other overhead than is to be found in many other charities.  I’m not unhappy that many high Church leaders have backgrounds in the real world of business, engineering, finance, and both for-profit and not-for-profit leadership; I trust them to wisely administer monies more than I might be inclined to trust someone with just a divinity school background in expository preaching or homiletics — an education that, by the way, the Galilean fisherman Peter and his two businessmen colleagues James and John notably lacked.


Posted from Park City, Utah



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