Updates August 2010:

A.)  Expensive Feature:  The name sake of the project is the City Creek that runs down City Creek  Canyon to the Jordan River. In 1909 the creek was placed in an underground conduit down North Temple Street from outside of Memory Grove to west of the State Fairpark where the water exits into the Jordan River.  The Mormon church decided that a water feature was necessary for the City Creek Project. And only “true” City Creek Water will fit the bill. So the water features in the project will have water pumped up to the feature, run along an artificial “creek” and into a water pond where fish and other aquatic creatures and plants will be on display.  Mormon403a

B.)  The cost of the project is now estimated to approach $4 Billion Dollars.  This is the most expensive mall in the US.   Mormon403b   [This data of $4 billion is unconfirmed, but believed to be reliable based on past experience from trusted Mormon insiders.  The Mormon Church does not open its books for public scrutiny - not even to its members.]

C.)  The world's tallest building, Burj Khalifa, completed in 2009 in Dubai cost only $1.5 billion.  Mormon403c

D.)  LDS welfare stats for 2009 are now available and demonstrate that the mall is far more important than helping those in need.  Mormon403d

E.)  Condo prices at City Creek slashed 50% due to the economyMormon403e


Subject: LDS Inc. now admitting Jesus mall will cost $3 billion
Author: bender
Update by exmormon.org: 2010  (see LD$, Inc. tells members in this recession "Tough luck!"
 but has $25M to buy SLC real estate (below).

The article is about a new unrelated office tower in downtown SLC. But it talks about other developments downtown including City Creek Center. This is from the Lord's own newspaper.


"City Creek Reserve is spending more than $1 million a day on construction, and the project ultimately will cost around $3 billion, said Chris Redgrave, a KSL executive who also chairs the Salt Lake Chamber's Can-Do Coalition, which is looking for ways to jump-start the downtown economy."

 This is the original notice below:


Malls to cost $2.0+ Billion.


Jun 03 12:21 2005 (updated July 2009)




Note: The Mormon Church is more interested in shopping malls and cattle ranches than in helping the poor.  By its own admission, the Mormon Church gave $60,000,000 in humanitarian aid last year.  It is spending 15 times that for shopping malls.  


In Jan. 2006, from the Church PR department, (Deseret News Publishing Company): Edgley said, “that since 1984, the LDS Church has donated nearly $750 million in cash and goods to people in need in more than 150 countries.”   That averages to 37.5 million per year or about $3-$4 per Mormon member went to the poor.   The total of $750 million in 22 years spent in cash in goods to people in need is less than HALF what the church is spending on these malls.    Less than half!!   The Mormon church is spending less than 1% of its income to help the poor.  Is the Mormon church really a charitable organization?


Please Mormons – Do not give your hard earned money in tithing and other offerings to the Mormon church.  It does not need your money nor does it spend what it receives appropriately.  An organization that spends 15-20 times more on real estate to develop malls than on helping the poor is, by any definition, a corporation, not a religion.  An average American Mormon gives thousands of dollars in tithing, yet only a few dollars of that donation is for the poor.

Be sure to read about the experiences of seeing homeless children in Mongolia as lived by a Mormon missionary in the 3rd post below. 


It is time for the Mormon Church to open its books.  Why does a church need to be so secret with its finances? 


An excerpt:

“The LDS Church will invest close to $1 billion when it remakes downtown Salt Lake City's two malls - which will be closed on Sundays - according to Salt Lake City Council members.

The price tag is double initial estimates. And whatever the church is doing with all that money, the preliminary design has impressed mall critic Mayor Rocky Anderson.

The mayor met with LDS Presiding Bishop H. David Burton, who is in charge of the mall makeovers, at Burton's office Thursday. And while Anderson has criticized the church for its secrecy, he refused to discuss what he learned, saying the meeting was confidential.

However, he did release a statement saying "many of the concerns previously raised have been met by innovative design solutions. This will be a unique, exciting project bringing hundreds of new residents to the downtown area and attracting millions of people to beautiful retail, residential and office facilities."

While the church is still publicly mum about its mixed-used design - though it presented preliminary concepts recently to City Council members and business leaders - it plans to seek more public comment than the city requires as soon as this summer.”


Note:  The Mormon Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley recently stated that no tithing funds are being used for these malls.




Subject: LD$, Inc. tells members in this recession "Tough luck!" but has $25M to buy SLC real estate (links).
Date: Feb 1, 2010
Author: Bean Counter

It's well known that tithe-paying Latter-day Saints continue to be told by Mormon 'profits' and other General Authorities as well as regional and local leaders that the church is unable to help them financially as they struggle to make ends meet during what's shaping up to be a shaky economic recovery. Various economists have warned of a 'double-dip' recession (see "Double dip recession risk significant, [prominent Harvard economist] Martin Feldstein warns" at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/double-dip-recession-risk-significant-martin-feldstein-warns/article1430728/).

LD$, Inc. continues to expect members to house missionaries for a small fraction of normal rental rates, clean chapels and temples, use their professional skills at no charge to help the church develop its businesses (e.g., 'serve' a mission for LD$, Inc. as an IT specialist, tradesperson, geologist, etc.), and otherwise donate their finite energy, time, and other resources to build up the 'one, true' corporate-religious empire of Jesus Christ.

On top of the $3-plus-billion 'Jesus Mall'-and-condos project (City Creek) in SLC and the multi-million-dollar (est. $100+ million) 'Jesus Polynesian Hotel' in Oahu (being built this year), LD$, Inc. recently spent a reported sum of $25 million (pocket change for the Mormon Church, really) to acquire 13 acres of prime real estate in downtown SLC (ref. http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_14142357).

One inconvenient truth that Latter-day Saints should be aware of is that starting late last year, international investors like foreign central banks began reducing their participation in longer-term US Treasury securities auctions (of notes and bonds). Why? Because they're getting increasingly worried about the humongous US federal debt ($12.307 trillion and growing at $3.89 billion daily - ref. http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/) and the US government's ability to service that debt longer-term. Their reduced participation is a major warning flag of things to come in the US this decade and beyond.

What's going to happen? Well, according to the latest news reports, by 2017 the Medicare Care Trust Fund will need a cash infusion of $170 billion (ref. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601074&sid=an32Ut5JcW0U). That's money the US government doesn't have - and foreign creditors may not lend. The projected US deficit for this year alone is an unprecedented $1.5 trillion (ref. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aNaqecavD9ek).

According to Forbes.com in December, the total debt of all levels of government in the US – federal, state, local and government-sponsored enterprises – is 141% of GDP or $20 trillion, total household debt is 99% of GDP or $14 trillion, and all US corporate debt is 317% of GDP or $45.1 trillion (not counting off-balance-sheet swaps and derivatives). Total indebtedness in the United States exceeds $79 trillion or 5.56 times the total value of the US economy (see "Trillions of Troubles Ahead" at http://www.forbes.com/2009/12/18/government-budget-deficit-personal-finance-financial-advisor-network-treasury-debt.html). How long America will be able to keep treading water in a rising ocean of debt remains to be seen.

What is certain is that all levels of government in the US will be forced to make deep spending cuts and/or raise taxes as the credit spigot is closed. That means the average American, including Mormons, will be paying more for medical expenses, passports, to use infrastructure such as airports sold to private corporations, etc., in addition to rising household costs (e.g., for food and gas).

It's also certain that LD$, Inc., the 'one, true' Christian corporation/church, will continue to increase its commercial real estate holdings even as it continues to systematically indoctrinate children, teenagers and adults to believe that their 'worthiness' and 'eternal salvation' partly depends on them handing over ('donating') at least 10% of their allowance, money gifts, wages, and salary (during adulthood) to the dishonest and manipulative Mormon Church.

Subject: LD$, Inc. won't help struggling members, but does have millions more for SLC real estate (link).
Date: Feb 1, 2010
Author: Bean Counter

A report in the SL Trib. today says:

"The LDS Church on Saturday confirmed it has purchased the KJZZ studio building west of the Salt Lake City International Airport, a deal that represents its third noteworthy real estate acquisition in recent weeks.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints bought the vacant KJZZ building at 5181 W. Amelia Earhart Drive from Miller Family Real Estate LLC for an undisclosed price, spokesman Scott Trotter said in a statement.

The church intends to use the property for church operations, "possibly as an audio visual studio or warehouse," he said.

A listing on the Commerce Real Estate Solutions Web site priced the 67,000-square-foot building at $6.6 million.

KJZZ, the official station of the Utah Jazz, recently consolidated its operations at EnergySolutions Arena.

A Miller Family Real Estate spokesman was not immediately available Saturday.

The KJZZ deal follows the LDS Church's purchase confirmed earlier this month of a 3.76-acre lot on the northeast corner of 400 West and North Temple in Salt Lake City. The church's real estate arm bought the lot from Gastronomy Inc. subsidiary SLH NET for an undisclosed amount.

Trotter said in a statement at the time that the church viewed the purchase as a long-term investment and had no immediate plans to develop it.

The church also earlier this month confirmed it had bought 13 acres in downtown Salt Lake City from Sinclair Cos. The deal, estimated to be worth $25 million, included the block between 400 South and 500 South and West Temple and Main Street.

The church also characterized that purchase as a long-term investment."

(ref. http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_14301754)

The 'one, true' corporation of Jesus Christ continues to make 'strategic' Christian commercial real estate acquisitions while declining to help its members who are struggling to make ends meet, its missionaries who aren't given enough money (by LD$, Inc.) to buy enough food to get through each month without going hungry, etc.

For a church that used to remind its members at every opportunity that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (JC) was just around the corner, why would its 'profits' authorize the expenditure of billions of dollars on "long-term" investments such as the $3-billion Jesus Mall-and-Condos project in SLC, $100+ million Jesus Polynesian hotel in Hawaii, millions on a vacant studio building, and other acquisitions?

After all, according to 'true' church doctrine, after JC comes back (following massive global destruction), LD$, Inc. will head a worldwide government and the 'Law of Consecration' - everyone receiving according to their needs; everyone contributing to the 'greater good' - will be implemented.

Unless, of course, Mormon 'profits' don't believe a word of their own BS about the imminent return of JC and the LD$, Inc.-controlled 'Millennium'!


Subject: And what do they do with the income that is generated?
Date: Jan 30 15:34
Author: 6 iron

It seems to me that they just buy other business ventures with the money. What is their mission statement ????????

They have businesses, that generate $$$$$, so they can buy other business ventures that will eventually generate $$$$$ so they can buy other stuff that will make $$$$$ to buy more stuff.

Wouldn't a mission statement like this make sense. We use 75% of the money from our businesses to help our members, help poor people, help in times on international tragedies, to lessen tithing to 10% of interest, increase, or 10% whatever you have left at the end of the month or whatever you feel you can afford without hurting your family. We make sure that none of our 13 million members ever suffer from lack of food. We also offer subsidized medical insurance for those without. Maybe even a subsidized education savings plan for the members, or how about subsidizing missions, or shortening them and pay for it all. Yes we keep 25% to further grow the business side, to ensure that we help our members (all members, not just those that pay tithing)and others in need.

How about actually helping at least those you count as members. If you are going to count them as a member, you owe them some help.


Subject: Re: And what do they do with the income that is generated?
Date: Jan 30 16:03
Author: Dr B. (Buzzard Bait)

To 6 iron - Dream away- You are talking about a true caring church taking care of it's members not a corporation like most corporations their greatest interest is profit, profit, and more profit, not taking care of people.
Subject: I didn't know the economy was part of the three fold mission?...n/t


Subject: $3B is six times the projected cost back in 2003 when the project was announced. n/t


Subject: Yeah but do you think the GAs are worried? NOT THEIR MONEY!
Date: Nov 06 20:18
Author: Guy Noir, Private Eye

NOT worried, NOT AT ALL!


Subject: I made a comment
Date: Nov 06 14:10
Author: Steve

let's see if it gets censored.

"that's a lot of widow's mites."


Subject: Typical of government projects
Date: Nov 06 14:11
Author: dick

It is typical for the costs of big government projects like this to balloon. Of course, this is a church project not government, but the same dynamics apply. Instead of tax dollars being wasted, it's tithing dollars, but it's just semantics, because it is all the same thing. The biggest difference is there are rules about government contracts. I'm pretty sure some TBMs are getting rich off of the cost overruns of this big fat contract.


Subject: Which really means the total is closer to 4 or 5 billion!!! nt


Subject: You should see how many people are working on this!
Date: Nov 06 14:38
Author: Duffy

We were in Salt Lake for 2 days in August and happened to be staying in a hotel room with a view of the City Creek building site. One morning I looked out the window early and there were literally HUNDREDS of construction workers headed down the block towards the work site. The parade went on for quite a while. I gave up trying to count how many there were.


Subject: CEO Jesus must be so proud.
Date: Nov 06 15:30
Author: Koo Koo for Kaukaubeam

I'm sure that the integrity of the economy of downtown Salt Lake City is one of the most important things to him.


Subject: No Tithing dollars were used in the building of this holy mall, yea even Jesus' mall. Amen and Amen
Date: Nov 06 15:36
Author: NoToJoe

And if you believe that I've got some beachfront property in New Mexico I'd like to sell you....


Subject: I heard on CNBC there is only ONE major shopping mall...
Date: Nov 06 16:29
Author: ramanujam

under construction right now in the entire US of A.

That right, it's the Jesus Mall.


Subject: Bets on whether the final cost will be OVER $5-billion!
Date: Nov 06 18:57
Author: Tiphanie

At the rate they're going, they are not done spending yet.

Should we run a poll on what the final cost will end up being? >;)
Subject: The mind boggles.....
Date: Nov 06 20:04
Author: Shummy

Remembering how William Seward was castigated so severely for spending 7 mil for Alaska.

How can anyone spend so much per sq foot ANYWHERE? And for what noble purpose?


Subject: What noble purpose?
Date: Nov 06 20:25
Author: Dave


Revitalize downtown Salt Lake, the Lard's anointed city.

That's a noble purpose indeed for Jezuz and his chosen band in this "world" religion...


Subject: Problem: We'll Never Know!
Date: Nov 06 20:23
Author: Guy Noir, Private Eye

tscc will NEVER disclose how much $ was spent on Well-Off Square...


Subject: Tallest Building in the world - Dubai.. cost 4Billion.
Date: Nov 06 20:56
Author: Kyle

And this stupid mall cost almost as much as a 160 story building??? This is crazy.


Subject: They are building the tallest building in the world in Dubai for about what God's mall is costing.
Date: Nov 06 21:04
Author: Rubicon

I want to know why the mall is costing so much. Skimming? Kickbacks? Mismanagement? What they should end up with is something more like this than a boring, uninspired mall.



The Mormon Shell Game of "Tithing Funds"


Jun 03 18:55


Tal Bachman

That any church decides to shift focus from charitable/humanitarian service to money making, is as legal as any business deciding to shift focus on to more ethical or social issues. But defending the church on grounds that their actions are currently legal, is about as lame as defending OJ now on grounds that he was "legally" acquitted. It's amazing how the church can so often mimic the very lawyers that the NT's Jesus criticizes so harshly, guys who take sides no matter WHAT truth or right might be...

There are two problems with this that I can see. Correct me if I'm wrong.

It seems to me that an argument can be made that the church is operating under cover of tax exempt laws which favour it over other business institutions in the project of money making. In addition, its members are not privileged to see any financial statements, as are those participating in other companies as shareholders or interested parties. I don't see how that is fair. Whether you have the words "Jesus Christ" in your organization's name or not, if you're in business, I don't see why you shouldn't have to play by the rules of business.

Number two:

Question: From whom did "the church" originally get the capital and wealth it has used to build up its business enterprises? From the members, paying their tithing. Whether those tithes were paid fifty years ago or five days ago, they have still facilitated the construction of the church's portfolio of business holdings.

If I sell drugs, and then buy a casino with the profits, and then use the profits from that casino to buy a hotel, is it really straight up for me to say that "no tithing money was used for this hotel purchase"? It makes the church look very much like it is playing a shell game. Why not just admit it? Who cares? That would be a lot less lame than pretending tithing had nothing to do with the church's ability to BUY MALLS.

I bet the General Authorities could come out and say, "We each get a million a year and take four month vacations in Hawaii because GOD TOLD US TO", and you'd have RS women crying with gratitude at the pulpit next fast Sunday, bearing their testimonies about how grateful they are to have a prophet, in "these the latter days" and stuff, and how wonderful it is that they get to rest from their incredible pressures, etc.

Not that this would render the last point moot, but even if the church argued that it is now so wealthy that all tithing monies only add up to a minute fraction of all its revenues, and are used exclusively for buildings, and it's been using solely business-generated monies to purchase more businesses for the last forty years, this raises the question of why leave in place a ten per cent tithing requirement.

I paid ten per cent of my GROSS, which added up to like thirty or forty per cent of my income after taxes, expenses, etc., as a young husband trying desperately to keep my family afloat. And I did that because of Church President Heber J. Grant's fanatical pro-tithing comments, and Joseph Fielding Smith's comments that if you PAID on gross, the Lord would bless you in gross - comments that have been allowed to stand by the church. And my vivid memories of La Familia Q*****, in Santa Fe, Argentina, with NINE KIDS crammed into a two room little brick structure, with the dad working for a pittance as a bike mechanic, with the mother staying at home because Pres. Benson had said for mothers not to work outside the home, paying ten per cent of THAT...Those kids would chew (not making this up) on cow KNEES scrounged from the local butcher for lunch. Hunks of cartilage and bone. And I bet Monson's never gone to bed hungry a day in his life.

And...the church is spending a billion dollars buying a mall. Fine - be a cult run by George Orwell's pigs in Animal Farm. BUT...can't they just give the little guys a *little* break, if the church is that wealthy? Are they really still deluding themselves that they shouldn't lower the ten per cent requirement, because families like the Q**** 's need the blessings that only ten per cent can give them"? It's one thing to say that when you're esconced in a high falutin' condo in Utah, or you just swoop in for a regional conference every year or two down in Brazil or Bolivia...but to actually live and eat and sleep and breathe with people who live perpetually on the brink of death from starvation, and then make those comments - well, I don't even think the likes of Thomas Monson could do that. I hope not.

I really hope the one billion the church is spending on their new mall meets with the approval of the ManGod the church claims now, according to Hinckley, to "worship" - the one who spoke of clothing the naked, and feeding the hungry and poor.

People are dying all over South America and Africa from drought and contaminated water. A community well costs about $5000 US to dig and get operating. That's 200,000 wells the church could have funded, which would have saved countless infant and adult lives all over the world.

Does refurbishing a shopping mall for Salt Lake City, for $1,000,000,000, really make sense in light of the church's claims for itself?

No wonder they get accused of being nothing more than a business disguised as a church. They act just like they were.




anger, Anger, ANGER (swearing) [Poverty and Street Children in Mongolia]


Jun 03 23:37



Note: This is in response to the  "The Mormon Shell Game of Tithing Funds" by Tal above.


If you are on the fence at all about the claims of the church to be the only true church of Jesus Christ then I hope this helps you make up your mind.

I cannot understand why members keep paying tithing. I thought Hinckley showed his true colors by spending $300,000,000+ on the new conference center. If there are 12 million Mormons does it really make a difference if a hundred get to see conference live as opposed to a thousand? (I don't know how many the Tabernacle or the Great And Spacious Building can seat) Since almost every Mormon that watches conference watches it on a TV screen is a new building really necessary? What difference does it make how big the live audience is? It strokes Hinckley’s ego and that is what really matters.

Today I find out that the church is spending $1,000,000,000+ on the malls across the street from temple square. Now I am not just confused - I am angry.

In just a few days it will be ten years since the start of my mission. I went to Mongolia and what Tal wrote about tithing and poverty rang true for me. There are gangs of street kids that roam around the city. There were no real charities there to help them out and the Mongolians were always shooing them away like flies. We were natural targets for them because not only were we Americans, we were also pretty much the only people in the entire country that wore suits! We must all be filthy rich, right? They used to follow us around sometimes and beg. Our oh so Christ like MP told us over and over that we were not to so much as talk to the street kids because they were distracting us from our real mission: to save souls. If we felt guilty about it then we were to donate any left-over money to the branch fast offering fund so that it could be administered in "the Lord's way." That was supposed to make us feel better.

Mongolia is a high desert, and so it is cold in the winter. I'm not talking about Utah cold either. I grew up in Alaska and I'll be damned if I wasn't freezing all winter long! During the winter these kids would live under the streets because that was where the hot water pipes were. All of the buildings were steam-heated from central boilers spread throughout town and so there were hot pipes in the sewers. One spring there was a flashflood and hundreds of these kids drowned. Did anyone care? Did Christ's true servants even so much as say a prayer for them?

It was common for these kids to sleep in the entrances of the apartment buildings. If they kept their mouths shut nobody would kick them out. Because they would beg from us our entrances seemed to have more of these kids in them than others. So here I am, a servant of Jesus Christ, with a pocket full of money and a kitchen full of food and starving homeless kids on the other side of my door. I CAUGHT HELL FOR LETTING ONE IN JUST ONE TIME!!!

Like so many missionaries I spent my 2 years feeling guilty. Guilty that my numbers weren't good enough, and all the normal missionary guilt. But on top of that I was made to feel guilty about these kids. If I helped them then I was "encouraging their homelessness." I was told that "if they get cold enough or hungry enough they will just go back home." If I let them be then I felt guilt because doing nothing offended my own human decency. Damned if you do and damned if you don't, you know?

So here are these kids sleeping, starving, and even shitting in my entryway and sure enough, one morning we find one of them dead. Mormonism is responsible for fucking each of us up in our own special ways, and for me this was it. I was really messed-up over this dead kid that we had just ignored on our way into our apartment the night before. I went to the MP and bawled my eyes out to him. He gave me a blessing and it kinda made things better - thats how brainwashed I was. I let a kid starve/freeze to death but it was ok because he was fast-tracked to the Celestial Kingdom.

What could a few tens of thousands of dollars from the church have done? There are places like this all over the world. I don't believe in god or christ but if they had a "true" church on this would, everyone would know it because of its fruits: its number one priority would be taking care of the people that JC ministered to. Maybe the true church of christ is the Ronald McDonald House, or Habitat for Humanity, or Doctors Without Borders. Who knows.

I don't think there is anything that reveals the true nature of Mormonism more than the way the leadership exercises their stewardship over church funds. Like Tal said, that money for the malls may not have come from last years tithes, but the money that started those church run businesses started out as tithing.

Another thing: my grandfather was a bishop just before I was born. When the church burned down he had to interview all of the members, remind them of their temple covenants, and then tell them how much money he expected them to pay towards the rebuilding of the church (this was before the days of money going to Salt Lake to be redistributed). Not only that, but when he didn't have enough money HE GAVE EVERY PENNY OF HIS SAVINGS!!! This story is often told in our family to demonstrate how faithful he was. But then he died and left my grandmother with nothing but debts from his medical bills. She is 79 years old and she still works. It kills me because it is killing her.





Yeah, I read that. My reaction:


Jun 03 12:26



Little Vatican City, here we come. I especially liked the part that mentioned very pricey condos--in the million dollar range. Who is going to live there???? Retired rich mormons? The article stated that these condo's would have a view of the SL Temple...well la-dee-da... hmmmmmm



Re: Looks like the LDS Church is going to have to increase their tithing requirements. Mall to cost $1 Billion.


Jun 03 12:29



Wasn't there a post a couple of weeks ago where someone said the bishop is constantly whining about needing more money?

Expect more of the same. Damn CULT.



If people in the "mission field" knew about this they would be livid


Jun 03 12:32



I just can't imagine a TBM from Missouri being very impressed that church money (no matter where it comes from) is going to subsidize the Salt Lake economy. I know the brethren want to maintain downtown SLC in some respectable style (and I don't blame them), but a $1 billion mall project? I doubt this project gets very much publicity out in the "mission field." People might start lying about how much they are really paying towards tithing. People are smart enough to know the church's business side depends upon funds, which were at some point provided from tithing.



Oh my heck.


Jun 03 17:49



Jesus is spending or has spent over $1 BILLION DOLLARS on the area around Temple Square.

Am I the only one who sees this as screaming of hypocrisy?

Would Jesus REALLY use his funds for THIS? Wouldn't the creator of the Earth want to use these funds to help the sick and poor and destitute of the world?

Wouldn't he?

Unless of course he was a soulless corporate CEO.



Re: Looks like the LDS Church is going to have to increase their tithing requirements. Mall to cost $1 Billion.


Jun 03 17:51



At some point, since the church was broke at one time, the church's "excess money" came from tithing and other donations. The profit can split hairs all he wants (which is what he does so well lately), but any money that f***ing church has came directly or indirectly from people duped by the church. These same people should have something to say about how it is spent.



Forced tithing is called EXTORTION


Jun 03 21:40



certainly the way the morg does it - by guilting and manipulating members into forking over the money.

And by the way, the members do not make bank but the "church" sure does. It gets plenty of dividends for their investments - at the tithe payers' expense.

It's a racket.



And, what I have noticed is...


Jun 03 18:52


Image is everything

That the lay membership is always impressed with whatever the church builds. They come to SLC, and it's such a faith-promoting experience for the members. The fancy, secret temples they are "worthy" to enter, the grounds and music--it's quite a set up! It keeps people giving and trying to be worthy to go. It's a hell of a system to keep the money coming in. It's literally heaven on earth--the promise of the afterlife kept alive in this life. They need to keep up those appearances and never let their image slip to the people who they depend on.



Will the new mall provide clothing for JC at his second coming? Guess it won't happen on a Sunday if the mall will be closed.


Jun 03 21:13



I've always wondered who provided the 'robes' that JS said his angelic visitors wore, including JC. Somebody still had to sew up the seams and tailor it to the size of the individual. Moroni must have been quite a hunk to clothe.
And think of Peter, James, and John....or John the Baptist...quite a wardrobe!

Investing millions in a mall might be the right way to go so the millennial visitors will have something to wear that reflects a more fashionable look. Or, perhaps, they will still need a seamstress from their era to continue the ancient wardrobe trend.

Just had to put in my two stitches worth. I've always wondered about it. Who makes the clothes???




Re: Looks like the LDS Church is going to have to increase their tithing requirements. Mall to cost $1 Billion.


Jun 03 21:32



Wouldn't it be interesting to see their balance sheets at the end of the year. I would guess with a money making venture like this that they have got to be close to hitting the edge of what a 503(c) company can be as far as non-profit / religious. Sure, there are tons of non-profits that run businesses, the girl scouts selling cookies, schools selling popcorn to send the glee club to the Grand Canyon, but, this is simply money making. Where is the profit from this going? It MUST be declared to the IRS, and that profit must be going back into either humanitarian efforts or into approved programs. Is the LDS Corporation living these standards?

The IRS KNOWS full well every penny that the Church is pulling in, it would be amazing to have someone actually publish even an estimate of their books and see what sort of money making schemes they've got going on.

And the point was made that this money most certainly IS from tithing.. maybe not in 2005, but, at some point, the entire Church is built from tithing. Its disingenuous to say otherwise. Of course, many TBM's will just eat it up though. LOVING the fact that they know have Jesus' Mall downtown. ZCMI and Crossroads have been dumps in the past, they've been run down from years ago. I really wonder what anchor stores and small stores will be A) Allowed in, and B)Stay in due to corporate policy. Maybe Sears will say "Sorry fellas, but, we are a publicly held company, and we can't abide by your rules. Find another store." It would be nice.. Let them have 200 stores to sell garmies and inspirational tapes. What fun! I'm going to the Trolly...



It's because of articles like this I wish my TBM parents and family would stop paying LDS Inc their money!!


Jun 03 22:10



Currently my TBM parent pay LDS Inc around $300-400 a month in tithing.
My TBM Dad is semi-retired but is working to help make ends meet. Of course my TBM parents make my younger semi TBM sisters pay the morg their tithing money too(which isnt as much as they pay a few bucks every month). I sometimes wish that my TBM family would wake and see what a the morg really is. A money making scam for the big 15 with no accountability to any one !! Not even the members.

Whenever I see article like these it make my blood boil and makes even madder at LDS Inc or the morg!!



The sad part of it is that people like my TBM mom living


Jun 04 21:27



on social security continue to send in their widow's mite.

Is this a church or a fortune 500 company?



Christianity and the Crossroads Mall: Does the church really even qualify as a church anymore?


Jun 06 11:01


Tal Bachman

Does the church really qualify as a church anymore? This sounds like a stupid question. Maybe it is a stupid question. But it seems to me that the church itself has raised it. What is its answer?

The church itself has raised the question of whether it really even should qualify as a church anymore, for the same reasons that so many other Utah-based “businesses” over the years have raised the question of whether they really qualify as businesses anymore - the ostensible purpose of the thing seems less and less to reflect the real purpose of the thing.

The ostensible purpose of the church is to “bring souls unto Christ”, as the only church fully approved by, and directed personally by, the reputedly still-living Jesus of Nazareth.

And yet, on what occasion did Jesus of Nazareth incorporate his reform movement as a business, and start using the donations made by his sincere, often impoverished followers, to purchase the ancient equivalents of shopping malls, city lots and apartment buildings, television stations, ranches, BANKS, shares, etc.? On what occasion did Jesus and his disciples vote themselves annual, executive-level salaries and generous benefits packages (euphemized as “living allowances” by Mormon authorities)? And when did Jesus of Nazareth ever rescind this CATEGORICAL statement to his church “board of directors”?:

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth…

“NO MAN CAN SERVE TWO MASTERS: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. YE CANNOT SERVE GOD AND MAMMON”. (Matt. 6:19-24). (“Mammon” is just a transliteration into English of the Aramaic word “mamona”, which means “money” or “riches”).


Can anyone, no matter how TBM of a lurker you are, really imagine that Jesus - if he returned tomorrow - could have anything to do with the Mormon church as it now exists? It is so totally incongruous with his own life and mission, that I daresay even the most fanatical member would have trouble imagining Jesus showing up briskly in a navy business suit with a file, set to preside over a Bonneville board meeting. Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor sequence, yes; the other, no.

I ask, in all fairness: What is the difference between the church's ostentatious flouting of its wealth, and departure from anything even vaguely resembling the vision outlined by the man they claim to be the sole, authorized representatives of, and the 80’s excesses of Jim and Tammy Faye Baker? From those of Robert Schuller and his “crystal palace”? From the monstrous cathedrals of the Roman church, a church which similarly couldn’t resist the lure of Mammon, and which similarly, constructed their monuments to human vanity (again, under pretence of reverence to…Jesus of Nazareth), on the backs of its poor?

If there is a difference…what is it?

The church, I am sure, now has enough MBA’s and economists working for it, to have heard of something called an “opportunity cost”. The opportunity cost of any decision is simply the opportunities lost because of it. In that sense, the cost of buying and refurbishing the Crossroads Mall, for example, isn’t just ONE BILLION DOLLARS. It is all of the alleviation of human suffering that those ONE BILLION DOLLARS would have achieved, had they not been used up in BUYING MALLS.

What is the church’s explanation for this? The Crossroads Mall cost, by my estimation, 200,000 clean water wells, something which we all take for granted, but which would save - would have saved - tens of thousands of lives in impoverished areas on this planet of ours. Not to be melodramatic, but the truth is - one billion dollars can save a lot of lives.

How many trade schools could that one billion dollars have built? How many tuitions could it have subsidized? How many farmers co-ops could it have organized? How much “good in the world today” could it have done? What would Jesus of Nazareth himself have done with one billion dollars? Would he really - really - have bought a shopping mall, and then had it refurbished?

“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me...

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting dfire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me."

I wrote on my other post about La Familia Q*****, in Santa Fe, Argentina, with nine kids in a two room house, being supported solely by their father who worked as a bicycle mechanic, the mother of whom wouldn’t work outside the home because of ETB’s talks, paying ten per cent of their tithing to the church. Is that fair? Is that fair, when the church is apparently so loaded with money, like a camel staggering under the weight of Ali Baba’s treasure, that it has to keep unloading it on…shopping malls? Can we really keep convincing ourselves that members like the Familia Q**** must keep on paying ten per cent of their meager income, because they need the blessings that "only ten per cent can provide"?

Is it fair for little Elizabeth Q*****, who used to run up and hug and kiss me everytime I saw her, to be gnawing - literally - on cow knees scrounged from the local butcher shop, while the church her family is taking FOOD OUT OF HER MOUTH FOR - read those last six words again - is buying shopping malls and television stations, and whose “General Authorities” (or is it “Board of Directors”?) are being chauffered around in Lincoln Town Cars and living in church-owned condos, not even having enough respect for its members to divulge what kind of salary and bonuses and health benefits they’re taking?

My wife grew up with an alcoholic father in a slum, in northern England. Trying to find enough coins to buy a tin of beans from the corner store for my wife and her brothers to share for supper, was the daily task of her mother - and guess what? Sometimes she failed in that task. Even on “good” days, my wife and her brothers went to bed hungry every night, and left for school hungry every morning. And do you know that, just like with La Familia Q****, my mother-in-law, with the best of intentions, would in effect take food out of the mouths of her children in order to pay tithes and offerings?

My father-in-law might have been an alcoholic, but at least he had the wherewithal to tell his wife she’d been “brainwashed” (his word), and to stop giving money to The Thing. But would she? Of course not. To not pay tithes and offerings was to relinquish her “fire insurance”, and as she was regularly reminded at church, Jesus was just about to return from heaven. And when that happened…well….how could she leave her children, who she loved so much, vulnerable to being fried? So…ten per cent, plus offerings, of what meager money she could ever find, had to be surreptitiously donated to the church, didn’t it? Even if it meant, falling twenty pence short for a loaf of bread.

And by the way - this is in ENGLAND. Not Botswana. England. You really end up wondering sometimes if Mormon General Authorities, for the most part, have any idea what it is like to be in these kinds of situations. They aren’t fictional - these are real people, living real lives, and they are in all parts of the world, suffering in real ways, making real sacrifices - out of love, and fear, and all those emotions we used to feel - for a church run by men who, I’m sorry, seem to be the very last ones to make any kind of serious (like, life threatening) sacrifices themselves. As I mentioned about Monson, I very seriously doubt that any of the Twelve or First Presidency had ever gone to bed hungry a day in their lives. Not so for many hundreds of thousands of members who, literally, sometimes starve themselves and their children for the sake of the church. And that is the honest truth - they starve themselves, and their children, for the church.

An argument could be made that Gordon B. Hinckley has sought to alleviate the suffering of members, by making it less burdensome on them to attend the temple by “bringing the temples to the people”.

Here is one (among many) problem with this argument.

Question: What is the ostensible purpose of the temple?

To bequeath upon members all the ordinances that they will need for their eventual exaltation and deification, in accordance with the laws of eternal progression.

Question: How on earth is that concept not entirely undermined by Gordon B. Hinckley’s DENIAL (there is no other way to put it) that it is a core part of Mormon theology that God was once a man like we are? If eternal progression is the whole point of everything, and is the eternal law of the cosmos for the righteous….like….what? You cannot deny either half of the couplet (“As man is…), without simultaneously denying the other half. So, if God once was a man…then we can become Gods. And if we can through righteousness become Gods, and the laws of heaven are in fact eternal, then God - who is nothing if not righteous - would have once been a man, too, and become God by progressing from grade to grade, just as Joseph, and all those after him until GBH, declared. I mean, take this away, and you really HAVE no Mormon theology - and….you have no purpose, really, to the endowment ceremony, other than the hollowest of rituals, one which looks increasingly to have as its only valuable feature for the church, the scaring of members into remaining active tithe payers.

What I’m saying is - with one stroke, Gordon B. Hinckley has managed the seemingly impossible feat of making the Mormon temple endowment ceremony even MORE absurd than it already was, something, which to me anyway, no longer makes sense even on the CHURCH'S own terms. It has become, like so much else under the withering touch of Gordon B. Hinckley, nothing but form and show, totally hollow and substance-less.

So…how does Hinckley really score points then, for blowing literally hundreds of millions, which could have been used to bless the lives of Mormons and non-Mormons around the world, over the past decade building new temples (not to mention conference centers)? I mean, after all that work by Ed Decker to make the endowments look ridiculous - and Gordon B. Hinckley does the job for him. Who would have ever imagined?

Gordon B. Hinckley would deserve credit if he came right out and said explicitly what it now takes, unfortunately, a full three or four seconds of thinking to grasp: he does not believe what Joseph taught in his King Follett sermon (still published by the church), and so, does not believe in core Mormon theology, the very theology that justified Joseph’s endowment ceremonies. Beyond this, he ought then to say that he does not believe, therefore, that one more penny of church money (let alone MILLIONS), whether donated directly or generated by the church's business holdings, should be used to build temples, since he believes that, in reality, they are utterly pointless.

But he doesn’t say that last bit, because, it seems, he has managed to convince himself, like Questing Beast and Thomas Stuart Ferguson and hundreds of other self-styled Mormon intellectuals, that the church is “the best thing out there”, that “everyone needs something to believe in”, that “our traditions and heritage are precious”, and that it’s quite okay for hundreds of thousands of families around the globe, to make the most heart-rending sacrifices for the church, because “it’s good for them”.

Bottom line is: the GA’s preach a cliché-ridden, self-aggrandizing-story-soaked, bland version of Christian ethics twice a year at General Conference, and at regional/stake conferences. But from what I can see, they have no one to blame but themselves for the view that the church has ceased in reality to be anything like a truly Christian church at all (not that it ever really was), and instead increasingly gives itself over to money making enterprises (though all justified - of course - with reference to “the gospel”), the profits of which are enjoyed most disproportionately by the men at the top while my friends in Argentina are still gnawing on beef cartilage for dinner; seeking the adulation of the world; the reinforcement of tradition for tradition’s sake; and shameless attempts at legacy (via temple and conference center) building.

I don’t really know if all that disqualifies the church from being, well, a church. Maybe in the end, that’s really all that being a church boils down to. All I know is, I’m glad I don’t have to be part of it anymore, or try to make all of that okay in my mind.

I believe there is a truth in the universe, and there is joy, and there is duty. I don’t know what is up in heaven, though I think there is probably something. But whatever it is, I cannot imagine now that it would ever endorse the vast majority of things which the Mormon church does, or really, what most churches do.

And I am incapable of imagining that Jesus of Nazareth, he who called the ancient Jews back to the true spirit of righteousness, the spirit of humility and love, the spirit of alleviating human suffering, would ever endorse spending




(that could have done so much, for so many underprivileged people out there, Mormon and non-Mormon)

buying - and refurbishing - shopping malls!

(And I don't want to hear about how "every year, the church donates X million to charity", etc. I already know that - the entire world hears about it every time some ward in Idaho sends a box of T shirts to Romania. The POINT is - if the church has a billion dollars for MALLS, and hundreds and hundreds of millions for buildings and monuments and parks, why doesn't it have ONE BILLION PLUS HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS for alleviating human suffering? The point isn't whether the church donates money - every single business in the company donates money: GE, GM, CBS, everyone. It's how much, and its priorities. Does it do more than any other corporation? Shouldn't it - IF it is Jesus's "one, true church"?).

I would say this all was a sick joke - but it's just not funny. It isn't a joke.

It is just sick.

Glad to be gone,




Man, Tal, you hit the nail on the head with your 'opportunity costs' comments...


Jun 06 11:23


MBA guy

...the 1 billion could be better 'leveraged' on tech vocation schools to help the poor in third world areas get out of poverty. This could be the 'seed money' for even a greater humanitarian effort the chruch has ever done!

Instead, the Church will leave a legacy of a bunch of poorly-paid, part-time individuals working in a mall.



Tal, this is an AWESOME post!!


Jun 06 11:28


Victory & Freedom

The LDS church reminds me of the "church" of scientology.
They are both scams that became 'cults of personality' (L. Ron Hubbard/Joseph Smith) that are really nothing more than businesses....BIG TAX-FREE businesses.

The leaders throw in enough religion/spirituality/doctrine/theology to keep the sheeple happy and willing to contribute their money, time and devotion.

No matter what terrible truths surface about Joseph Smith and L. Ron Hubbard the starry-eyed and devoted members/groupies will defend them no matter what.

I think it's time for the LDS church to pay taxes on it's investments. Open up the financial books and let the individual investors (tithe payers) see where their money is going and issue stock certificates to them all!!



Amen! n/t


Jun 06 11:35


No Moniker




Silly, Tal Don't you know women have their


Jun 06 11:50



greatest religious experiences in malls? They are just trying to get a little piece of the action and keep us at church on Sunday! Can you blame them?



Tal, this is great!!!


Jun 06 12:10






I agreed with most of what you said, but ...


Jun 06 12:19



The temple has more to do with men and women becoming gods and goddesses than it does with Heavenly Father once being a man. In the San Francisco Examiner article, Hinckley endorsed the idea that men and women would become gods and goddesses and have eternal progress without completely denouncing the idea that God the Father was once a man. I don't see what his doubts about God the Father once being a man really do to make the temple ceremony irrelevant since the temple ceremony is about us, not about God the Father's previous existence.

But the rest of your statement was right on ...

, nothing but form and show, totally hollow and substance-less.



Re: I agreed with most of what you said, but ...


Jun 06 12:23



they are not the only church with extensive business interests, the Church of England has MILLIONS in property which has nothing to do with its church interests.



Re: I agreed with most of what you said, but ...


Jun 06 12:31



gezzie1962 wrote:
> they are not the only church with extensive business interests, the Church of England has MILLIONS in property which has nothing to do with its church interests.

I expect that is true. I expect the Catholic Church does too. I do not expect that either church is the major developer of a shopping mall (or other major retail interests) in either Rome or London.



Re: I agreed with most of what you said, but ...


Jun 06 12:37



More on the Church of England's assets can be found here:


I wonder how the size of the Church of England in relation to its business assets compares to similar figures for the LDS Church?



playing the role of Mormon Advocate, but only a bit:


Jun 06 13:24



Your post brings up some good points. Just for effect, I will argue a few other points in hopes that you can improve your argument.

First and foremost let us discuss Opportunity Cost. It is not as simple as you would make it. It is indeed true that money spent building malls could have been used to build wells instead. On the surface this argument seems compelling (and knowing how the church really works it is). What you fail to consider is the possibility that investing a billion dollars may be a better option because that money could grow and then be used to build even more wells later on. In fact the choice between investing and consuming can be very difficult. One could also argue that building wells would be an investment of sorts.

Secondly there's the point of the scriptures. While it is true that Moroni speaks harsh words about those who care more about adorning buildings and themselves than about the poor, Jesus says that you always have the poor with you, but you don't always have Him with you. That seems to indicate that there are things more important than helping the poor.

Again I point out the question of how to best help the poor. Handouts can be cruel in a way. When people become dependent on handouts, what happens when handouts stop coming? I know that's not what you're advocating. I'm just saying that the question is a complicated one.

Now to stop playing Mormon Advocate I would like to ask TBMs just what they think Moroni was condemning when he talked about not helping the poor. What was Jesus condemning when he talked about the prayer of the Pharisee? Do general authorities live the life of Jesus by getting all the benefits they do? I can understand the need for them to have extra security, and probably the need for them to have good health-care since GAs in poor health make it difficult to perform the Lord's work. I just question whether they need so much, and why do their relatives get to share the benefits?

I don't think life is fair, but I think a Christian organization could do a better job of trying to be fair. I don't want more money or anything myself. I just wish that an organization that keeps trying to make me feel guilty for not donating enough would stop being hypocritical about charity itself. Is that too much to ask? If I really thought the church was donating lots to charity, I would not feel bad about the tithing and fast offerings that I pay, even now.

I'm so ignorant that I don't know the church helps people in my ward with donations. I've seen it in several of my wards. I think a lot of that has to do with local leaders having their hearts in the right place. Is it too much to ask the top dogs in the corporation to take a pay cut? What ever happened to the good old Book of Mormon days when Alma wasn't paid for being a general authority, but only for being a judge? I guess my big beef with the church is that it seems to exist to benefit the children of royal blood rather than the masses. Is that why most of us don't get a second endowment?



Response to Imagination


Jun 06 14:09


Tal Bachman

Good points. The question about at what point buying the West Edmonton Mall, Disneyland, MCA, NBC, CBS, ABC, Time Warner, CNN, Microsoft, and every company or asset on earth, becomes counterproductive, in that the constant acquiring is actually inhibiting the erection and maintenance of service programs, relief efforts, etc. (I wasn't advocating mere handouts), is a question I can't answer.

I can't answer it, because the church acknowledges absolutely zero responsibility to the many millions of its members who are donating their time, goods, and money, to open up its books. It prefers to stick with, instead: "Trust us". And meanwhile, we are left knowing about its seemingly insatiable appetite for blowing hundreds of millions on temples and conference centers, and buying multimillion dollar properties, distribution companies, media conglomerates, shopping malls, etc.

It may be that the church focuses more on Christian service than any of us realize. It may that for the one billion it will use to refurbish the Crossroads Mall, it will set aside two billion to, say, immunizing poor children, etc.

But if it did, can anyone doubt we would have heard about it? As I said, when some ward in Burley, Idaho, sends a box of busted Barbies and deflated basketballs for Chechnyans to play with, it's in the Ensign (okay, maybe a slight exaggeration lol). Do you really believe the church could donate one or two BILLION to building vocational institutes or whatever, and not trumpet it all over?

Anyway, one point is: I think every member of the church (or anyone) is absolutely justified in forming the disturbing impression that the church - just like every other church out there - can get, and has gotten, rather enamoured of something other than what is supposed to be its true mission. And the way the church could show that that is a misimpression would be to open up its books, just like every other corporation with which it is in competition, to disabuse the world of it.

But they won't do that. Why won't they?

Whatever the reason, I don't see how they have anyone else to blame for this impression, but themselves.

The church might defend itself by quoting Jesus to the effect that his disciples should make friends of the Mammon of unrighteousness, and by arguing that Matthew 5 and 6 lay out a guide to life which is totally impractical, and impossible to follow. But all that would really suggest is that the Bible appears very much to contain contradictory messages, or that Jesus was alright as a pie-in-the-sky religious philosopher, but that in "the real world, the church has to get down to the brass tacks of surviving", etc.

But this line of defense would only undermine the whole project of Biblical Christianity itself, which in turn of course would cast doubt on whether the church could really be all it claims.

All I can really expect from the church, whenever someone acknowledges questions that the church itself demands be raised, are insinuations that "concerns for the unfortunate" are hypocritical, an "old standby", and that "every year, the church donates millions of dollars to...blah blah blah", and that a "pretended solicitude for the poor" is only the mark of someone who never really wanted to pay their tithing, etc. Johnnie Cochrane, Dallin Oaks, what's the difference?

Why not open the books, and shut every last wonderer up?




Read how they do it: "The Great Mormon Money Machine" Short Topics #392! n/t


Jun 06 13:33


Fed Up




Do the GA's (excuse me, Board of Directors) even have a conscience?


Jun 06 13:47



I mean are they really THAT FAR GONE that they don't see the hypocrisy of this?

This sickens and disgusts me. If I were still TBM this alone would cause me to question the church.




Quick response to comments


Jun 06 13:50


Tal Bachman


One of the points of my essay is that the Mormon church is acting pretty much like every other "Christian" church out there. That includes the Roman Catholic, the C of E, the gargantuan evangelical churches, etc. I think that is relevant because the Mormon church claims to be distinct from those churches.

It claims to have superior authority, superior (more complete) truth, superior access to heaven. But if its fruits are no different - not really any better, not really any worse - than those churches, it appears much like a boy in your math class who claims to be guided by the God of Math himself, who has superior insight into all things mathematical and is the "one, true math student", but who never gets any better grade than anyone else in the class. If his claims are true, how long can everyone believe them when they are repeatedly confronted with every reason to believe that they are simply ego-driven boasts, with no basis in reality whatsoever?


The temple endowment ceremony (think of the movie) tells the story not just of this world, but in a way, of other worlds, too, and how men fell and were redeemed on those worlds. This is why Satan objects to being punished: he is merely "doing that which has been done" on other planets.

The whole theological justification for the temple is that the signs and tokens and, well, penalties (before they were "de-eternalized"), are part of an eternal, unchanging system of laws and ordinances, the purpose of which is the deification of man. The references in the text of the movie to this, plus the many references in the standard works to eternal progression and an eternal system of laws which even God must abide by, and through obedience to which he became, and remains, God, PLUS the many references by all sitting church presidents and apostles for like, going on 200 years, should be enough to convince you that you can't erase the "God used to be a man" without erasing the other half. I mean, even in Gordon B. Hinckley's Orwellian Mormonism, you just can't made two and two equal five, or erase almost 200 years of doctrinal teaching, with everything built on top of it, with two or three comments.

I mean, think of it this way. There is a whole system of ordinances and laws which, the church still says, humans MUST obey if -

if what?


Why would they have to do X and Y and Z, unless it were necessary to becoming "like God"? How could doing them be necessary, if God hadn't done them himself, to become God?

It doesn't make any sense to start saying, "Well, maybe God became God because he bought 'God' status, just like a wealthy medieval guy could buy a baronetcy or a dukedom 500 years ago". It's absurd. The whole point is, and only has ever been, that THIS IS THE WAY. This is how God became God. God became God because he obeyed all the laws we have to. He lived on an earth, and was baptized and got his endowments and passed by the angels who stand as sentinels, etc.

There is no provision in Mormon theology, anywhere, for any other means whereby any other human being could ever become a God except through this means - and that includes God himself. You mentioned the temple movie - there is an implied endorsement of Satan's utterance to Eve, that "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man", there is:

"No other way"

other than to come to earth and enter a fallen state.

Humans fall, must be redeemed, must work themselves up grade by grade, line upon line, to Godhood. There is no other way. And the whole endowment ceremony supports that, as well as all Mormon cosmology. One of the many questions Joseph suggested answers to was: How did God become God? His answer, for 170 years, served as the bedrock of Mormon theology, and the bedrock for the very next logical step: that all human beings may become God in exactly the same way.

Anyway, I'm repeating myself. If there is a way through which Mormons can turn their God into the Existence Which Had No Beginning And No Cause, without simultaneously destroying every last theological principle which has followed from that (namely, ALL OF THEM, and in particular, that "as God is, man may become"), I would like to hear it. I sure can't imagine what it would be. And I hope the adminstrators will let people post that explanation, presuming it deigns to attach itself to the generally accepted norms of logic and discourse.

If I'm wrong, I'm happy to eat my shorts, but I need more than you just saying you can divorce the two things. I don't see how you can, without blasting away the whole foundation of Mormon theology, and the whole edifice on top of it.

If God became God in some other way other than through eternal progression via obedience to all the laws and ordinances of the gospel, then why would it ever be "necessary" for US to do the same? It would be "optional", not "necessary", and receiving the endowment would be more like deciding whether to attend the church 4th of July picnic or not, or whether to get to the Crossroads Mall using city streets versus the freeway. But that's not what the church says about the endowment, and eternal progression, is it? It is a sine qua non of eventual deification, something NOT "invented" by Joseph Smith, but REVEALED. The eternal order was REVEALED.

But if it IS necessary, and those laws and ordinances are expressions of eternal principles as they are claimed to be, and there are no other "options", then God became God in exactly the same way that we could become Gods. This is why that has always been "official church doctrine", and why it is STILL in official church manuals.

I don't see how you can take away one half, without destroying the other; and then all of Mormon theology falls apart, inexorably.




On becoming gods and goddesses


Jun 06 14:28



Eastern Orthodoxy and a number of Protestant commentators talk in terms of men becoming gods. Again, if you will actually refer back to the San Francisco Examiner article you will find that GBH raises questions about the first part (God having been man), but goes out of his way to emphasize the second part (man becoming like God). Having been through the temple several times a year for several years, I can't really say there is much in there if anything that requires God to have once been a man. Even Satan's talk of other worlds doesn't necessarily mean that God was anything less than a creator of those other worlds. The temple, as the place where sealing occurs, is the place where men and women prepare to become gods and goddesses, but says nothing about God having done the same thing. I don't see that GBH has done anything to renounce any essential aspect of the temple. I am simply suggesting that getting into this aspect of GBH and money is probably useless and really adds nothing to the rest of your argument which is sound.



undeniable temple PROOF that God was a man


Jun 06 15:27



From the temple ceremony Satan says to Eve:

"I want you to eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, that
your eyes may be opened, for that is the way Father gained his knowledge."

Of course this is only until the brethren realize this and change the eternal unchanging temple ceremonies again.



I stand corrected


Jun 06 15:38



I had forgotten this part. So Tal is right, but of course GBH made a big joke of this at the General Conference following his San Francisco Examiner interview. He in effect said he knew he was lying to them. I remember being kind of happy when I read the San Francisco Examiner interview and then being mad as a hornet when he backtracked in General Conference. He simply lied in the interview about Mormon beliefs about the Father.



you're mischaracterizing theosis


Jun 06 16:13



A small nit to pick, but I'm not sure you are defining theosis in accordance with christian orthodoxy. Whether RC, Greek/Russian Orthodox or protestant, theosis is not at all like mormon exaltation (or deification, if you prefer). To the contrary, the mormon conceptualization of eternal progress is heretical.

Go here for a quick thumbnail sketch on the various beliefs:



Eastern Orthodox:
The statement by St. Athanasius of Alexandria, "The Son of God became man, that we might become God", indicates the concept beautifully. What would otherwise seem absurd, that fallen, sinful man may become holy as God is holy, has been made possible through Jesus Christ, who is God incarnate. Naturally, the crucial Christian assertion, that God is One, sets an absolute limit on the meaning of theosis - it is not possible for any created being to become, ontologically, God or even another god.



Wow! Now that's a Jeremiad. And I like it. Seriously, good stuff.


Jun 06 13:54



Perhaps what LDS, Inc. needs is a homegrown poverty movement. If such a thing could gain any momentum, which is, of course, very doubtful, it could cause disruptions of the sort the Franciscans caused in Catholicism.




ok givens, isn't it relevant, though, if...


Jun 06 16:00


Tal Bachman

Isn't it relevant if Gordon B. Hinckley has, with his comments denying the idea that God was once a man, which in turn can only cast doubt on (though this is not admitted by him) the claim that "the endowment is an eternally necessary step in achieving godhood", dealt a blow to the whole theological foundation of the endowment, obviating any "need" for a temple at all?

I mean, we could still argue, convincingly or not, that even if, within the parameters of Mormon theology, temples were absolutely necessary, that too much money was being blown on them.

But what if they are ceasing to be necessary even within the parameters of Mormon theology? Then every cent spent on the them would be superfluous, wouldn't it?

You might be right, I don't know - but I am curious to know how you, and the church, could seriously maintain that man could become like God by doing all those things that God did to become God (which the church did for 170 years, and which at least is logically consistent), while at the same time denying that...God was once, necessarily, a man? That makes no sense, bro.

If God wasn't "necessarily" a man, then he didn't "necessarily" ever live a mortal life during which he had to receive endowments, baptism, etc. This means - and can only mean - that he would NOT have done the very things that Mormons are told they must do "to become like God". That blows up the whole thing, the whole rationale for everything.

Like, check this out. This all totally undermines, as far as I can figure, another fundamental theological claim of the Mormon church:

That Jesus Christ had to come to earth, and become mortal, and suffer and grow "grace upon grace", in order to receive HIS final crown. So to say that mortality is NOT (necessarily) necessary to Godhood, is to render God the Father a SADIST, since it was he who told Jesus that he had to come to earth, because there was "no other way" for him to complete his mortal mission (which included a crucifixion) and receive his own crown.

So, in a real way, I think (please show me how I got this wrong), denying that it is "official church doctrine" that Godhood can only be achieved through a sojourn through mortality, is to cast Jesus' life and crucifixion as NOT (necessarily) necessary AT ALL (at least for Jesus). Why should he have had to come to earth to receive his crown, if you can become God in some other way? Can it really be imagined that God would have preferred his only begotten son to hang around in the dirt, being scorned and persecuted, and hang on a cross for hours, barely respirating, being spat on and speared, unless a stint as a mortal was absolutely necessary to ultimate exaltation?

This is the thing: the doctrine of eternal progression can't be halved without killing the whole thing simultaneously. It is a Siamese twin, conjoined at the lungs.

And I don't see how it can be severed from the Mormon doctrine of the atonement. Erase it, and you've caved in the logical foundations of all Mormon cosmology and doctrine, and the rationale for even having temples in the first place. The church ends up pretty much on the same ground as every other Christian church which doesn't quite see any necessity for a temple, since God is The Unfathomable Being Without Beginning. Temples only make sense, within the logic of Mormonism, if eternal progression, both its foundation ("As man is, God once was"), as well as its logical extension ("As God is, man may become"), is left intact.

And if they no longer really make sense even within the parameters of the "logic" of Mormon theology, doesn't that make temples just another waste of money?

How am I wrong, man? Lay it on me.




I'm not going to defend GBH


Jun 06 16:11



GBH told the San Francisco Examiner one thing and then turned around at the next General Conference and said he had been misquoted. He lied twice. He lied to the San Francisco Examiner when he said that Mormons didn't teach that God was once a man. Then he lied at General Conference by claiming he had been misquoted.

Essentially, GBH really does believe that God was once a man. He just was not leveling with the San Francisco Examiner. So I think the straw about the temple simply isn't a good angle. As far as I'm concerned the money spent on temples, on the conference center and on this mall are all poorly spent. I think most active Mormons understand (wink, wink) that GBH was simply "lying for the Lord" when he was talking to the San Francisco Examiner. In that respect, I don't think your comments on the temple really hold water. Mormons have not changed their doctrines about God once being a man -- they are just unwilling to state it publicly to the media because they know it just sounds so nutty.

In any event, the rest of your essay makes lots of sense.




Gordon went down to the Crossroads and sold his soul to the devil.


Jun 06 16:31


Stray Mutt

I imagine there's a parody song in there somewhere.



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