Lately, in my informal little series of blog posts on the theme of “LDS Inc.,” I’ve included photographs of the relatively humble homes of recent Church presidents. Some critics have claimed that such photographs are irrelevant, but I regard them as highly relevant: They visibly support the important proposition that, unlike certain Renaissance cardinals and popes and evidently unlike some television evangelists, the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are not becoming wealthy off of the tithes and offerings of faithful Church members.
Another response, though, has been to note that I’m not showing the homes of current Church leaders but, rather, those of long past leaders. Apparently some people imagine that the homes of the prophets and apostles suddenly became gigantic and lavish upon the death of the immediately prior president of the Church, Thomas S. Monson, which occurred way back in 2018. (A color photograph of President Monson’s home — color photography was virtually unknown in that distant era — was featured in “LDS Inc. [Part 13].”)
Now, one might think — and I would of course say — that I haven’t posted photographs of the homes of current Church leaders out of respect for the privacy of living persons. But that obviously can’t be true; my motivations are never honest, honorable, or good. And, as it happens, Church leaders did suddenly become shameless plutocrats back in distant 2018 and their homes did suddenly become enormous palaces in that bygone era before internet transparency. (Witness the accompanying photographs that I reveal here for the very first time. They will eventually appear in my explosive forthcoming Letter to an AIA Architect.)
Here are some helpful new materials on LDS Church finances: