Date: October 08, 2018 02:04PM
> Not sure when that changed.
The early part of the 20th Century?
"In reaction to hostile critics, the First Presidency issued this formal statement in 1907: "The charge that the Church is a commercial rather than a religious institution; that its aims are temporal rather than religious; that it dictates its members in their industrial activities and relations, and aims at absolute domination in temporal affairs,�all this we emphatically deny."5 The difficulty with such a denial is that LDS leaders were stating criticisms of their church in the categories and assumptions of non-Mormons, but answering them in the categories and assumptions of Mormonism....
Almost from the beginning, the business of the LDS church has been business. Established in March 1832, the same month Joseph Smith organized the First Presidency, the church's "United Firm" included merchandizing, real estate, and publishing.108 In 1841 Joseph Smith printed a revelation to establish a church hotel (D&C 124:59). In 1870 Brigham Young publicly announced a revelation for Mormons to invest in a railroad.109 In 1881 John Taylor privately dictated a revelation to organize an iron company, and in 1883 another revelation to invest tithing funds in a gold mine.110 In the 1890s the hierarchy gave certain men the religious "calling" or obligation to invest thousands of dollars each in a sugar company.111
During the first century of corporate Mormonism, current general authorities were partners, officers, or directors in nearly 900 businesses. Most, but not all, of these were church-owned, church-controlled, or church-invested businesses.112 However, a hierarchy-managed business has not necessarily been church-owned, -controlled, or -invested. Also, general authorities have sometimes been absent from the board of companies owned or controlled by the LDS church. Furthermore, some directorships have been honorary and lacked significant influence on the company.
Nevertheless, during the first third of the twentieth century it was possible for Latter-day Saints in and near Salt Lake City to have a cradle-to-grave economic association with businesses managed by LDS general authorities. Many of these businesses were owned or controlled by the LDS church itself."https://www.exmormon.org/mormon/mormon392.htm