--The Money Machine Behind the Mormon Myth: How the LDS Church Has Paid Its Top Leaders While Lying About the Supposed ”Lay Clergyness” of It All--
A RfM poster recently posed the question, “[Is] Thomas S. Monson . . . an employee (i.e. salary)?,” then adds the following details about Monson's book deal earnings:
“Below is the info from the Library of Congress from one of Thomas S. Monson's book.
“As an author myself, I am aware that a 'work for hire' does not require an employer-employee relationship, but an 'employer for hire' on a copyright application often (not always) does.
“It's interesting to note that he doesn't hold the copyright, but TSCC [The So-Called Church] does through its IP arm. Typical book deals have the author holding the copyright, and they license it to the publishing house or whatever for a period of time.
“There are other books that Monson has written where he holds the copyright and Deseret Book published it, so he, like other GAs, probably still draws royalties from said books. But for this project below, it appears he was acting as an employee.
?Nothing earth-shattering here, but it was intriguing to me as I know this process from registering my own works with LOC.
“'Type of Work: Text
Registration Number / Date: TX0005330861 / 2001-05-29
Title: Three gates to open / by Thomas S. Monson.
Description: 1 v.
Series: CES fireside for young adults
Copyright Claimant: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
Date of Creation: 2001
Date of Publication: 2001-01-14
Authorship on Application: Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, employer for hire.'”
(“Thomas S. Monson is an employee (i.e. Salary)?,,” by poster “Oh Tommy Boy...,” on “Recovery from Mormonism” bulletion board, 10 January 2013, at: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,757272,757272#msg-757272
Below is a broader examintion of the long history and recent practice of paid Mormon Church leaders in acquiring wages and other income through their “service” in hehalf of LDS Inc. This bears paying attention to, as it is important to separate the myth peddled by the Mormon Church from the reality revealed by the research,
--General Authorities and Their Sources of Money--
The following is from "General Authority (GA) Salary, Stipends, Living Wages, Stock, Loan Payments, That Have Solid Sources"--which starts off with examaples of foundational-fact-twisting fiction from the Mormon Church itself about money making its way into the hands of its upper echelon leadership:
“[Quote from Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie]:
“'The calling [to be a Mission President] is not a regular remunerative position, . . .The family involved gives of its time and energies with out salary, though there is a modest allowance for living expenses."
(Bruce R. McConkie, 'Mormon Doctrine,' p. 914)
“[Quote from McConkie]:
"Because the Church has no professional clergy, it is administered at every level through LAY PARTICIPATION AND LEADERSHIP, and officials other than the General Authorities contribute their time and talents without remuneration. . . . Because the General Authorities are obliged to leave their regular employment for full-time Church service, they receive a modest living allowance provided from income on Church investments."
(McConkie, '(Mormon Doctrine,' p. 510, emphasis added)
“This is backed up by scripture:
“'And if ye desire the glories of the kingdom, appoint ye my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and uphold him before me by the prayer of faith.
“'And again, I say unto you, that if ye desire the mysteries of the kingdom, provide for him food and raiment, and whatsoever thing he needeth to accomplish the work wherewith I have commanded him.
("Doctrine & Covenants,” 43:12-13)
“And also that bishops should receive a living wage:
“'And the elders or high priests who are appointed to assist the bishop as counselors in all things, are to have their families supported out of the property which is consecrated to the bishop, for the good of the poor, and for other purposes, as before mentioned;
“'Or they are to receive a just remuneration for all their services, either a stewardship or otherwise, as may be thought best or decided by the counselors and bishop.
“'And the bishop, also, shall receive his support, or a just remuneration for all his services in the church. “
(“Doctrine & Covenants,” 42:71-73)
“Now, Thomas S. Monson has a small house still, to be sure, but:
“In the 'Salt Lake Tribune,' Dec. 8, 1988, we read:
“'The $1.2 million condominium at 40 N. State that is home to the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be exempt from property taxes, Salt Lake County commissioners ruled Tuesday.'
“This is also backed up by scripture:
“'And it shall be for a house for boarding, a house that strangers may come from afar to lodge therein; therefore let it be a good house, worthy of all acceptations. . . .
“'And now I say unto you, as pertaining to my boarding house which I have commanded you to build for the boarding of strangers, let it be built unto my name, and let my name be named upon it, and let my servant Joseph and his house have place therein, from generation to generation.'
(“Doctrine & Covenants," 124: 23, 56)
“[Quote from Mormon Church leader Gordon B. Hinckley}:
"'What of the Mormon clergy? . . .There is no paid or professional ministry. 39 general officers and the presidents of missions are given living allowances."
(Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, “What of the Mormons?,” p. 4)
"'For several decades only the Patriarch had a set compensation, while other General Authorities depended on haphazard donations from the rank-and-file or ad hoc appropriations from general Church funds. In 1835 the Presiding Patriarch was authorized a salary of $10 ($200+ in today’s currency) a week, plus expenses.
"'Both the Presiding Patriarch and local stake patriarchs charged a fee. In the 1840s the fee was $1 per patriarchal blessing at Nauvoo; by the end of the nineteenth century it had increased to $2 per blessing. Joseph Smith, Sr., gave patriarchal blessings without payment of a fee, but would not record them. 'Uncle' John Smith commented that he "lived very poor ever since we left Kirtland Ohio" in January 1838 until January 1844. Then his nephew Joseph Smith ordained him a patriarch "through which office I obtained a comfortable living."
"'In addition, patriarchs received fees for giving unrecorded blessings of healing to the sick. In fact, Apostle Francis M. Lyman commended Patriarch Elias Blackburn for "doing a great deal of good among the sick, without receiving very much pay for his services."
"'Patriarchal blessing fees ended in 1902, although patriarchs were allowed to accept unsolicited donations. Not until 1943 did church authorities prohibit patriarchs from accepting gratuities for giving blessings.
“So how much is a living allowance? . . .
“[Figures from] Canada, where finances for non-profits have to be reported:
“Compensation: In 2009, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Canada had 248 part-time workers who earned a total of $1,807,140 for the collective. They also had 184 full-time workers who split a total of $15,237,479, of those full-time workers, two of them made between $80,000-$119,999; six of them made between $120,000-$159,999; and two others made between $160,000-$199,999.
(“Registered Charity Information Return,” T30303 form, 2009, for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Canada, at:http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/ebci/haip/srch/t3010form21-eng.action?b=119223758RR0001&e=2009-12-31&n=THE+CHURCH+OF+JESUS+CHRIST+OF+LATTER-DAY+SAINTS+IN+CANADA&r=http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca:80/ebci/haip/srch/advancedsearchresult-eng.action?n=The+Church+of+Jesus+Christ+of+Latter-day+Saints+in+Canada&b=119223758&q=&s=registered&d=&e=+&c=&v=+&o=&z=&g=+&t=+&
“The two who made between $160k to $199k were probably the regional authority Seventies in the area, although it is POSSIBLE that those are high tech jobs.
“Now the rumor that some GAs give back the living stipend started with Joseph F. Smith when Bishops no longer received wages. Back in the 1920’s and before the Bishops were paid a tenth of the total tithe, and Stake presidents one-fifth of the remaining tithe. But the Church cut that payment and as part of the cost-cutting measure, Joseph F. Smith said he would forgo his living allowance. He had over $1.25 million. (sourced from Church Archives minutes of First Presidency meetings) . . .
“In 1884 Church president John Taylor limited bishops to 8% of tithing they collected (now primarily cash), while stake presidents got 2% of tithing collected by all the bishops of the stake. In 1888 Wilford Woodruff established set salaries for stake presidents and provided that a stake committee would apportion 10% of collected tithing between the bishops and the stake tithing clerk. At April 1896 General Conference, the First Presidency announced the end of salaries for local officers, in response to the decision of the temple meeting 'to not pay Salaries to any one but the Twelve.'"
(D. Michael Quinn, “Extensions of Power;” [for more on Mormon Church use of member tithing to pay General Authority living expenses, see the following also excerpted from Quinn, “Extension of Power,” Chapter 6, as found at]: "LDS Church History--A Topical Tour through LDS history. Current topic: The Life of George Albert Smith,” at: http://lds-church-history.blogspot.com/2010/12/lds-history-summary.html
“In addition to this living stipend the Church has 14 (15 if you include the $3 billion City Creek Mall) for-profit organizations:
“City Creek Mall:
(“City Creek Center,” at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_Creek_Center
“The Prophet is automatically chairman of the board of all 14 corporations, with various apostles sitting on the boards of various corporations (Russel M. Nelson is only over one, all the others are over two or more). They are paid as boards of directors both an amount in money as well as in stock.
"In addition to that, all of the Quorum of the Twelve’s children get free educations at BYU:
(“Mormons.Talk: Friends Working Toward understanding,” at: http://mormonstalk.wordpress.com/2007/12/01/byu-has-no-entrance-requirements-for-gas-kids/
“More information here:
(“Finances of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finances_of_The_Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latter-day_Saints
“In addition to all of this, the [Mormon] Church has paid General Authorities' personal loans:
"'. . . [O]n occasion Church presidents have personally benefited from Church finances by simply canceling their indebtedness to Church funds. On 23 April 1834 a revelation ended the Kirtland United Order and distributed its real estate assets among Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, Frederick G. Williams, Martin Harris, Newel K. Whitney and John Johnson. The revelation said, "It is my will that you shall pay all your debts" (D&C 104:78). However, Joseph Smith privately r"quired Whitney to balance "in full without any value received." The $1,151.31 Whitney had loaned to the prophet, as well as $2,484.22 of the other men's debts to Whitney. Bishop Whitney had to personally absorb this loss "because Joseph said it must be done."
"'The next two Church presidents did likewise. Three weeks before he died in August 1877, Brigham Young obtained a cancellation of his debts in Ogden, Utah, extending back to 1849. Despite the previously stated objections of his own counselor, John Taylor also persuaded the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1880 to allow him a $10,000 claim for sugar machinery, which claim Brigham Young had refused since 1853." By contrast, Wilford Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow, and Joseph F. Smith did not use their office as Church president to cancel their personal indebtedness, yet they allowed tithing funds to serve as a loan pool for prominent Mormons. In a sharply-worded report in 1911, the Church auditors noted:
"If certain members of the Church are entitled to borrow money for private ends, is this not a right of all members, for the same purpose? If this policy is admitted, would it not result in confusion, jealousy, loss and consequent wrong?" The committee observed that "the debtors frequently look upon their obligations as being due to a rich and indulgent relative, to be paid (if at all) at their own convenience." Among the debtors was Apostle Heber J. Grant for a "cash loan of $34,000." In 1913 the committee renewed the subject of Church loans to individuals, and commented that "it is not within the purview of the Trustee-in-Trust to make advances of this kind . . . And any loans made on plain notes are legally uncollectible."
"'It is important to recognize that General Authorities borrowed from the Church's general fund because their living allowances were insufficient to meet their needs. In 1910 Apostle Anthony W. Ivins recorded that the following members of the Twelve were in debt: Francis M. Lyman, George Albert Smith, Heber J. Grant, Rudger Clawson, Hyrum M. Smith, George F. Richards and David O. McKay. Grant was the most candid about his apostolic indebtedness: “A president of the stake begged and pleaded with me to quit paying tithing. He said I did not owe any tithing until I got out of debt. Would not that have been a fine record for a man who now stands as president of the Church, not to have paid tithing for 32 years?”'
(Quinn, "Extensions of Power," from Church Archives Notes [of] First Presidency)
(The above sourced as following website: "General Authority (GA) Salary, Stipends, Living Wages, Stock, Loan Payments, That Have Solid Sources,” under “General Authority Pay,” posted by “Mithryn,” 1 February 2012, on “Exmormon Related")
Below is information on Mormon Church General Authority pay assembled from further data searches:
--Misleading the Mormon Masses & the Mainstream Media: How LDS Inc.'s Leaders Have Historically Siphoned Money from Their Members to Support Their Own Lifestyles & Cover Their Debts--
Anyone who claims that leaders of the Mormon Church have not, as a matter of historical LDS practice, raided member wallets and dipped into Church funds in order to (among other things) cover their personal expenses or to receive a Church salary is either:
(a) deliberately not telling you the truth; or
(b) not up to speed on the truth.
The following comes from D. Michael Quinn, "The Mormon Hierarchy--Extensions of Power," Chapter 6, "Church Finances" [Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, in association with Smith Research Associates, 1997], see pp. 198-225 and footnotes for Chapter 6, pp. 502-513); also, from Richard N. Ostling and Joan K. Ostling, "Mormon America: The Power and the Promise," Chapter 7, "Mormon, Inc." [San Francisco, California: HarperSanFrancisco, 1999]:
--Mormonism's Badly-Kept Secret of a Paid Clergy: LDS Scriptural Excuses for Putting Joseph Smith and Subsequent General Authorities on the People-Provided Payroll--
"Before the Church even had a tithing requirement, it had a paid ministry. In November 1831 a revelation declared: 'He who is appointed to administer spiritual things, the same is worthy of his hire . . .' (D&C 70:12). This was the doctrinal basis for giving financial support to Joseph Smith, and later to a hierarchy of General Authorities."
(Quinn, "Paid Ministry and Voluntary Service," p. 204)
--But Wait There's More!: Mormon Church Justification for Pay-Outs to the First Presidency, the General Authorities and Other High-Ranking Officers--
"In May 1835 an official Church council voted that the Quorum of Twelve Apostles and First Council of Seventy 'have particularly to depend upon their ministry for their support, and that of their families; and they have a right, by virtue of their offices, to call upon the churches to assist them.' When Bishop Edward Partridge gave the first definition of tithing in December 1837, part of the tithing was for 'remunerating the officers of the Church for the time which they were necessarily employed in doing the business of the same.' Six months later the stake high council voted 'to instruct the Bishop to pay the First Presidency, J. Smith, & Sidney Rigdon, whatever sum they agree with them for.' However, there was 'such an uproar' over this decision that the First Presidency dropped its request for a fixed annual salary."
(ibid., p. 205)
--The Laying On of the Wallet: Mormon Church Patriarchs Get Cash and Donations for Giving Blessings--
"For several decades only the Patriarch had a set compensation, while other General Authorities depended on haphazard donations from the rank-and-file or ad hoc appropriations from general Church funds. In 1835 the Presiding Patriarch was authorized a salary of $10 a week, plus expenses.
"Both the Presiding Patriarch and local stake patriarchs charged a fee. In the 1840s the fee was $1 per patriarchal blessing at Nauvoo; by the end of the nineteenth century it had increased to $2 per blessing. Joseph Smith, Sr., gave patriarchal blessings without payment of a fee, but would not record them. 'Uncle' John Smith commented that he 'lived very poor ever since we left Kirtland Ohio' in January 1838 until January 1844. Then his nephew Joseph Smith ordained him a patriarch 'through which office I obtained a comfortable living.'
"Financial incentive is another explanation for the fact that individual Mormons received more than one patriarchal blessing in the 19th century, often at the invitation of the patriarch. In October 1877 John Taylor criticized the monetary motivation of some stake patriarchs. He said they were using their patriarchal office as 'a mere means of obtaining a livelihood, and to obtain more business they had been traveling from door to door and underbidding each other in the price of blessings.'
"In addition, patriarchs received fees for giving unrecorded blessings of healing to the sick. In fact, Apostle Francis M. Lyman commended Patriarch Elias Blackburn for 'doing a great deal of good among the sick, without receiving very much pay for his services.'
"Patriarchal blessing fees ended in 1902, although patriarchs were allowed to accept unsolicited donations. Not until 1943 did church authorities prohibit patriarchs from accepting gratuities for giving blessings."
--Also Eating from the Tithing Table: Local Mormon Church Leaders--
"In the 19th-century American West, local officers of the LDS church obtained their support from the tithing they collected. As early as 1859 Brigham Young wondered 'whether a Stake would not be better governed when none of the officers were paid for their services.' During Young's presidency, ward bishops drew at will from the primarily non-cash tithing Mormons donated. He complained at October 1860 General Conference 'against a principle in many of the Bishops to use up all the Tithing they could for their own families.'"
(ibid., p. 206)
--Tracing the Tithing-Takers to the Tracters: Funding Full-Time Mormon Missionaries--
"Even full-time missionaries benefited from tithing funds in the 19th century. The senior president of the First Council of Seventy commented in 1879 that the families of married missionaries should be supported from tithing funds. However, at best that practice barely kept struggling wives and children out of abject poverty while their husbands and fathers served two-year missions."
--Bellying Up to the Tithing Trough: The Quorum of the Twelve Gets Its Turn, While the Local Leaders Feed Bag Gets Turned Off--
"In 1884 Church president John Taylor limited bishops to 8% of tithing they collected (now primarily cash), while stake presidents got 2% of tithing collected by all the bishops of the stake. In 1888 Wilford Woodruff established set salaries for stake presidents and provided that a stake committee would apportion 10% of collected tithing between the bishops and the stake tithing clerk. At April 1896 General Conference, the First Presidency announced the end of salaries for local officers, in response to the decision of the temple meeting 'to not pay Salaries to any one but the Twelve.'"
--Tithing-Funded Salaries of Stake Presidents: Put on Hold (Temporarily)--
"Nevertheless, ending salaries to stake presidents in 1896 was temporary. For a while stake presidents and their counselors were allowed to draw 'from the tithing fund . . . no more than the limit which had been previously specified, and not to entertain the idea that a stipulated compensation attached like a salary to certain offices in the Church.' By April 1897 the First Presidency spoke about 'the subject of compensation to presiding men' in a meeting with stake presidents and other local officers. The First Presidency urged 'the brethren to give their services so far as possible to the church without remuneration.' In 1898 'the regular 10% of tithing [was] allowed Bishops and clerks for handling the same,' but the First Presidency balked at allowing even more to cover expenses for supplies.
"By 1904 set salaries were back again for stake presidents, who were allowed $300 per year. As late as 1910, local officers continued to receive 10% of locally-collected tithing 'for handling tithes.' Recently a Mormon said that his father received a cash allowance as bishop in the 1920s, which was a later period of such compensation than my own research has verified."
--Raking It in for Retirement: Church Allowances Given to Stake Presidents and Bishops--
"In addition, since the 1880s stake presidents and bishops of long tenure had received retirement allowances in monthly or annual payments. In 1901 even the parsimonious Church president Lorenzo Snow said that a financially-struggling stake president 'ought to receive his remuneration after he was released as well as before.' Retirement allowances for stake presidents continued into the early 1900s."
(ibid., p. 207)
--Regular Payouts for General Authorities: Complaining Rank-and-File Church Members Told to Quit "Whining"--
". . . [F]inancial compensation for Church officers began with the General Authorities in the 1830s but did not become systematic until 1877. During these decades there was evidence of rank-and-file dissatisfaction with the Mormon hierarchy's financial privileges. In 1847 Brigham Young told a public meeting: 'Be contented with your lot and station and stop whining and babbling about the Twelve, saying that Brigham oppresses the poor and lives off their earning and that you can't see why you can't have some of his good living, and so on. Did Brigham Young ever get anything from you, did you ever help him to any of his fine living, you poor curses, or was it through Brigham's influence that thousands of the poor have been fed?' After Young and the Apostles spent the next 12 years directing the expanding settlements of the Great Basin, 'Erastus Snow spoke Concerning the feelings of many of the people against seeing the Twelve prosper in temporal things.'"
--Mormon Church Leaders Eventual Cave to Protests and Lower Their Demands for Member Money: (They Resume Taking More Soon Enough)--
"Following discussion of this criticism in February 1859, the First Presidency and Apostles restrained their financial activities. For the next five years Salt Lake County's annual assessments showed a steep decline in the wealth of Brigham Young, his Counselors, and the Apostles. By contrast the assessed wealth of the Presiding Bishop and his counselors initially increased and then only gradually tapered off during the same period. The rank-and-file expected the Presiding Bishopric to have extensive financial activity. In fact, the pendulum had swung so far that in December 1865 Apostle John Taylor '[p]rophesied that the Twelve should be delivered from the bondage of poverty under which they have been weltering for years.'"
--Making Out Like Bandits: Brigham and His Inner-Circle Buddies Hit the Jackpot--
"Although the rate of this financial decline had been equivalent for the First Presidency and Apostles, the burden was far less on Brigham Young and his Counselors who had massive personal wealth compared to the Apostles. In 1859 Young's own property assessments were only slightly below those of the entire Church for Salt Lake County. Young's totaled $100,000, while the Trustee-in-Trust's was $102,250.
“First Counselor Heber C. Kimball 'observed that Mormonism had made him all that he was: he was worth $20,000 now; and if he had remained in the States he would have been a poor man to this day.' Brigham Young estimated his personal wealth at about $600,000 in a legal deposition of 1875. That was three years after he paid $100,000 in 'the tithing of his own personal means.' By contrast, during Young's presidency the Twelve's average assessed wealth reached a high of $6,672 in 1874, and several apostles individually had only $500 to $2,000 in assessed wealth annually from 1860 to Young's death in August 1877."
(ibid., pp. 207-08)
--Ringing the Dinner Bell: General Conference Announcement of General Authority Compensation (Overdrafts Follow)--
"At the October 1877 General Conference, the hierarchy announced a policy of 'reasonable recompense for their services' to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and to the First Presidency, when organized. In John Taylor's view, this was actually a way of stopping the previous abuses in the personal use of tithing funds. 'Some of my brethren, as I have learned since the death of President Brigham Young, did have feelings concerning his course,' Apostle George Q. Cannon wrote. 'It is felt that the funds of the Church have been used with a freedom not warranted by the authority which he held.' Of General Authorities still living, Joseph F. Smith wrote in December 1877: 'One man, for instance, who has drawn $16,000 per year from the tithing office for his support, has been cut down to 2,000 per year. Thus some of the leaks are plugged up and we hope to be able by and by to build the temple.' Smith was apparently referring to Brigham's son John W. Young, who served as his father's Counselor for 13 years (first secretly and later with public acknowledgment).
"However, Taylor's 'reasonable recompense' of 1877 did not cover the needs of the Apostles. At an Apostles' meeting on 3 May 1880, '[t]he question of over-running salaries was brought up. Several of the brethren had overdrawn their allowance . . . ' They voted to forgive the overdrafts and to increase their annual allowance. In addition, the Apostles decided to give an allowance to the Presiding Patriarch in addition to his per-blessing fee."
(ibid., p. 208)
--Setting Up a Salaried System of Siphoning: Members, and Even Apostles, Complain That It's Getting Out of Hand--
"In September 1887 this became fixed allotments, which one Apostle opposed Twelve draw a salary.'In April 1888 the First Council of Seventy also began receiving financial allowances, to which one council member replied: 'I would prefer to receive no salary.' A 'permanent' allowance to members of the First Council of Seventy was not established for another decade."
--Pangs of Conscience?: Mormon Church Presidents Start Feeling Guilty About the Gluttony--
"Nevertheless, LDS presidents themselves expressed discomfort about using their allowances. When the First Presidency and Twelve discussed the salary system again in 1896, President Wilford Woodruff said that he had not drawn money from the church until after 1877. Apostle Lorenzo Snow, Woodruff's presidential successor, said that despite the allowance system, he had not drawn from Church funds for 40 years. This resistance to making personal use of Church funds reached its climax in President Heber J. Grant, who rode public street cars rather than use tithing funds to have an automobile and chauffeur for the First Presidency."
(ibid., pp. 208-09)
--Mormon General Authorities Put Aside Their Guilt: Member Money Is Kept Flowing Their Way--
"Despite discomfort over receiving tithing funds for living allowances, a salary system for LDS General Authorities continued without significant interruption from 1882 on. As indicated by Joseph F. Smith's 1877 letter and by Wilford Woodruff's diary, the Apostles received $2,000 to $2,500 annually during the first five years of the salary system. Then significant financial stratification occurred, with the senior apostle receiving $5,000 annually, Apostles of middle seniority $3,000, and junior Apostles $2,000. In September 1887 the Apostles adopted a uniform compensation, with each receiving $3,000. Although there was not yet a fixed allowance for the First Council of Seventy, in 1888 the Presiding Patriarch's 'annuity' increased from $1,000 to $1,250."
(ibid., p. 209)
--Power and Seniority Rankings: Setting of Salary Levels for Mormon Top Leadership--
"By the turn of the 20th century, the hierarchy's allowances were stratified by ecclesiastical position and seniority. In 1890 the monthly allowances of the Quorum of the Twelve and Presiding Bishop were identical, with the counselors in the First Presidency receiving $50 more a month and the church president receiving another $100 monthly. By 1907 the monthly allowances were stratified into a six-tiered system: (1) the lowest allowance for junior members of the Seventy, (2) the next higher allowance to mid-level members of the Seventy and the Presiding Patriarch, followed by (3) the eight junior members of the Twelve, (4) the Presiding Bishopric, two senior members of the Seventy, and four senior members of the Twelve, (5) the counselors in the Presidency, and (6) the president of the church. In those 1907 allowances, $100 monthly separated the top two tiers, and only $50 monthly separated each of the lower tiers. By 1932 there were only four strata in the monthly allowance system: (1) the lowest allowance was for counselors to the Presiding Bishop and for the entire Seventy, (2) an extra $50 monthly allotment for the Presiding Bishop, the Presiding Patriarch, and all members of the Twelve, (3) an additional increase of $100 monthly for counselors in the First Presidency, (4) and a $150 monthly bonus for the Church president. David O. McKay's presidency (1951-70) adopted uniform allowances for all General Authorities, regardless of quorum or seniority."
--More Riches for the Rulers: Fees Charged for Divorces, Cancellations of Sealing and Setting Apart of Missionaries--
"There were also miscellaneous fees which the General Authorities collected for ecclesiastical services. Brigham Young charged men 'ten dollars for each divorce' or cancellation of sealing, which policy continued until the end of the century. In addition, until 1899 the General Authorities charged a fee for setting apart all departing missionaries."
--Wanting More, More, More: Mormonism's Highest Keep Insisting on Competitive Compensation--
"Periodically the Mormon hierarchy has made a significant increase in monthly allowances to General Authorities. In 1950, for example, there was a 30% increase. Nevertheless, in view of the financial empire administered by the LDS General Authorities, their compensation from Church funds has always been paltry compared to the salaries and perks of corporate America. In 1949 First Presidency Counselor J. Reuben Clark wrote that 'the General Authorities of the Church get precious little from the tithing of the Church. They are not paid as much as a first-class, stenographic secretary of some of the men who run industry.' That disparity was probably the reason for the next year's increase in allowances to the General Authorities.
"For example, as a newly-appointed Assistant to the Twelve in 1941, Marion G. Romney found that his Church 'allowance amounted to less than half of what he was earning from his law practice when he was called as a General Authority.' Appointed an Apostle that same year, Harold B. Lee found that his financial allowance was less than the salary of some staff members at LDS headquarters. As was true in the 19th-century hierarchy, a significant drop in income and personal wealth occurred when a man accepted the calling of LDS General Authority."
(ibid., pp. 209-10)
--Big General Authority Bonuses: The Book Business
"Although not a formal salary, General Authorities can also receive significant income from the books they publish. When he published 'The Way To Perfection' in 1931, Joseph Fielding Smith specified that all its future royalties would go to the LDS Genealogical Society. However, he was not as generous with the royalties from his dozens of other books. For example, when President Smith died in July 1972, his royalties from Deseret Book Company totaled $9,636 for the previous six-month period. Presiding Bishop (and later Apostle) LeGrand Richards set a remarkable example by accepting no royalties for his 'Marvelous Work and a Wonder' which had sold 2 million copies by the time of his death in 1983. However, a president of the LDS church's publishing company has observed that very few General Authorities have declined royalties for their books. Mormons purchase books written by General Authorities primarily because of the church office the author holds, rather than for the book's content. Although many General Authorities do not write books, such royalty income is a direct consequence of being an LDS leader."
(ibid., p. 210)
--Hiding the Financial Facts: Gordon B. Hinckley Fudges on the Extent of General Authority Living Allowances--
"I should like to add, parenthetically for your information, that the living allowances given the General Authorities, which are very modest in comparison with executive compensation in industry and the professions, come from this business income and not from the tithing of the people."
The Mormon apologist outfit, FAIR, carries Hinckley's water further as follows:
"Some General Authorities receive a modest living stipend
Some members of the Church are unaware that at least some General Authorities do receive a modest living stipend. While it is true that some Church leaders receive a living allowance while they serve in a given position, it cannot be said that the Church has a professional ministry in the traditional sense.
Some positions in the Church, namely a call to serve in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles or the First Quorum of the Seventy, are 'for life' positions, meaning that the man chosen to fill the position serves until the end of his life. In such cases, if required, they are also given a modest living allowance.
"While many members of the Church are unaware of these allowances, that they exist and that they are comparatively modest was acknowledged in general conference by President Gordon B. Hinckley: “ . . . [T]he living allowances given the General Authorities, which are very modest in comparison with executive compensation in industry and the professions, come from this business income and not from the tithing of the people.' Calls to other Quorums of the Seventy do not require the same full-time commitment, therefore those who serve these positions do not receive a living allowance.
"A call to serve as a General Authority usually comes later in life, and none of these men has depended upon their Church service for their 'career' or 'income.' Given the high caliber accomplishments of those called to full-time service, it is reasonable to expect that they could make a lot more money (with less trouble) in some other field of endeavor.
"The fact that this stipend exists has not been hidden. As President Hinckley noted in General Conference:
"'Merchandising interests are an outgrowth of the cooperative movement which existed among our people in pioneer times. The Church has maintained certain real estate holdings, particularly those contiguous to Temple Square, to help preserve the beauty and the integrity of the core of the city. All of these commercial properties are tax-paying entities.
"'I repeat, the combined income from all of these business interests is relatively small and would not keep the work going for longer than a very brief period.
"'I should like to add, parenthetically for your information, that the living allowances given the General Authorities, which are very modest in comparison with executive compensation in industry and the professions, come from this business income and not from the tithing of the people.'
"Many Church General Authorities come from respected professions from which they make a substantial living. Dedicating themselves full time at the sacrifice of substantial careers, these leaders live modestly, work tirelessly, keep grueling travel schedules, and continue doing so well past an age when others retire. They are also demonstrably men of education and accomplishment; one can hardly claim that they were unsuited for work in the world given their accomplishments prior to being called to full-time Church service. No tithing funds provide for stipends; such funds are drawn from business income earned by Church investments."
FAIR further insists that there is "a scriptural basis" for GAs sucking from the tithing teat:
"Although some General Authorities receive a living stipend, DC 42:71-73 does account for the potential support of individuals called to full-time service in the Church. Latter-day Saints care for their members through a resource known as the Bishop's Storehouse. This storehouse is filled through the contributions of members and includes temporal resources to assist individuals who have unmet temporal needs. It is administered through the office of the Presiding Bishopric of the Church and through the local administration of ward Bishop's. While the Church does not currently use the Bishop's Storehouse to provide for the temporal needs of General Authorities, as mentioned above, it does indicate a scriptural basis for them to receive support when warranted and according to their needs."
(Gordon B. Hinckley, "Questions and Answers," LDS General Conference, priesthood session, Salt Lake City, Utah, October 1985, at: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1985/10/questions-and-answers?lang=eng
; see also, Hinckley, "Questions and Answers," in "Ensign," November 1985, p. 49; and "Some General Authorities Receive a Modest Living Stipend," under "FAIRMormon Answers," at: http://www.de.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_church_finances/No_paid_ministry/General_Authorities_living_stipend
What Hinckley (along with FAIR) conveniently fail to mention, of course, is that the tithing funds forked over by average Mormon Church members provide the seed money essential to the Church's tax-exempt business ventures. Without that tithing fertilizer, there would be no investment capital to launch Mormon Church business operations in the first place.
Quinn offers more evidence to counter Hinckley's designed deceptions:
"Speaking of LDS Church-owned businesses and stock-portfolio in 1985, First Presidency Counselor Gordon B. Hinckley said that 'the living allowances given the General Authorities, which are very modest in comparison with executive compensation in industry and the professions, come from this business income and not from the tithing of the people. However, tithing was the source of these 'living allowances' from the 1830s until the Church's corporate success in recent years.
"Moreover, President Hinckley's description of the hierarchy's income as 'very modest' depends upon one's own concept of wealth. For example, when Joseph Fielding Smith died at age 95 in 1972, he had worked nearly all his adult life at LDS headquarters, first as a paid employee in the Historian's Office and then as a General Authority with a Church living allowance. At his death, President Smith had $245,000 in bank deposits, $120,000 in cash, $120,574 in stocks/bonds, and $10,688 in uncashed checks (including Deseret Book royalties of $9,636). Even 25 years after his death, few rank-and-file Mormons have such 'modest' amounts of cash and liquid assets available to them in old age."
(Quinn, "Extensions of Power," pp. 210-11)
--Upscale Apostle Homes
RfM poster, "Jesus Smith," provides the numbing numbers on the Top Dog digs:
"These are only in Utah. There could be houses owned in Hawaii, California, Idaho, Arizona, Florida and elsewhere.
"Most of this information comes from either my own searching . . . or from ['Mormon Insider,' at] http://mormoninsider.wordpress.com/categor
"Taxable values (lower than market value) shown first, then a market estimate by Zillow
4125 Carter Circle SLC $441,700 (search parcel 22-04-202-080-0000 at http://assessor.slco.org/cfml/query/valuationInfo.cfm?parcel_id=22042020800000&nbhd=278&PA=1
6742 North Fairfax Dr, Sundance ~$215,876
140 W FARM RD. Midway, UT $ $383,734
3 properties Total: $941,310
1813 Yale Ave SLC $512,900
398 Aerie Cir N SLC $686,500
(UPDATE . . . )
40 N. State St. unit #5d $538,200 http://assessor.slco.org/cfml/query/ValuationInfo.cfm?arcel_id=09313850640000&nbhd=60&PA=60
"3 properties Total: $1,737,600 <--Weiner #1
1850 Forest Bend dr SLC $1,292,490
Zillow market estimates: $1,329,844
245 Vine St #701 SLC $254,200
245 Vine St #703 $181,700
245 Vine St. #704 $213,500
3 properties Total: $649,400
Zillow market estimates $721,837
171 Third Ave, Apt 506 SLC $354,900
278 A Street SLC $600,500
"UPDATE . . .
Parcel 00-0020-2716 in Heber valley $632,266 ( http://www.co.wasatch.ut.us/On-line_Services/Property_Tax_System_Lookup/CurModuleID/1410/DetailView/True/DetailID/16815.aspx
3 properties Total: $1,587,666 <-- we have weiner #2
1977 Chokecherry Drive, Bountiful $227,474
400 Marina Cir., Saratoga Springs $ ?? (only a zillow estimate of $200,079)
2 properties Total ~ $427,553
399 S Aerie Cir, N SLC $778,000
242 N Red Ledges, Heber $637,274
2 properties Total: $1,415,274
"Bednar's information should be up by the end of the year.
"Zillow reports that median home sales in SLC are about $247,000http://www.zillow.com/local-info/UT-Salt-Lake-City-home-value/r_6909/"
The upscale nature of these GAs' homes notwithstanding, "Jesus Smith" notes that not all of LDS, Inc.'s upper echelon were picked with large chests of material riches in tow:
"Boyd K Packer was not financially successful at his ascension to the Twelve. He taught seminary.
"Dieter was not a millionaire when he entered the Twelve."
Still, the lavish living, house-wise, of some of the Twelve is striking (and hypocritical):
"Holland was a university president but to own so many upscale homes and condos?
"Oaks was a lawyer/judge so perhaps him being the top-dollar dog makes sense.
"Monson has been a Church employee for ages.
"Now, all that said, they can claim that they earned the money through book sales or by position at the LDS corporations as executives. However, this is completely at odds with the following:
"1) Doctrinally it is antithetical to Mormonism as originally preached. Alma 30:31-34: I have labored even from the commencement of the reign of the judges until now, with mine own hands for my support, notwithstanding my many travels round about the land to declare the word of God unto my people. And notwithstanding the many labors which I have performed in the church, I have never received so much as even one senine for my labor"
"2) They use their ecclesiastical positions to sell books, get corporate positions and so forth. Can a woman get the same opportunity? Can a gay man get the same opportunity? Nope. They are excluded by sex and gender from holding the positions these men have as a result of their priesthood.
"3) The members are led to believe these men are humble and self-sacrificing. That they are closer to Christ and an example to the members. However, the truth (and evidence is mounting) that they are the opposite of what the members are led to believe.
("Apostle Homes," by poster "Jesus Smith," on "Recovery from Mormonism" discussion board, 19 June 2013, at: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,928356,928356#msg-928356
; and "Jesus Smith," on "RfM' discussion board, "Re: Apostle Homes," 19 June 2013, at: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,928356,928801#msg-928801
Reaction to these real-estate revelations was understandably swift and indignant. As RfM poster "left4good" observed:
"This is perfect. . . .
"'Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.' (Matt 19:21)
"'And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.' (Matt 19:24)"
("Re: Apostle Homes," posted by "left4good," on "RfM" discussion board, 19 June 2013, at: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,928356,928374#msg-928374
Similarly, RfM poster "anagrammy" responded:
"When you ask yourself what is 'true religion,' you can't help but think of Jesus telling the rich man to sell everything he had and follow him. He did NOT ask him to give him everything he had, or promise to do so in the future.
"Mother Theresa, Buddha, Gandhi, Confucious, Mohammed, St. Anthony,almost all the mystics and holy people you can think of abstained from accumulating wealth. Mother Theresa actually criticized her own church for its greed in capitalizing on her celebrity. They also refused to be worshipped and took action to prevent that.
"The LDS apostles are secretive for a reason. Their whole lives, top to bottom, would crash if the members knew the complete truth."
("Re: Apostle Homes," posted by "anagrammy," on "RfM" discussion board, 19 June 2013, at: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,928356,928403#msg-928403
[continued in Part 2 of this thread, at: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1045527,1045529#msg-1045529
Edited 18 time(s). Last edit at 10/08/2013 03:24AM by steve benson.