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Posted by: Wowza ( )
Date: August 11, 2019 06:42AM

So I have heard people say that the church loves to invest in property. and that chapels, Temples, etc. stand empty most of the time.

If this is true then how do they make an actual profit? Is it just worth on paper? or does it somehow manifest into anything tangible?

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Posted by: Wowza ( )
Date: August 11, 2019 06:43AM

Sorry that really was a stupid question.

I meant how does it help to own property if they don't plan on selling?

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Posted by: Heartless ( )
Date: August 11, 2019 07:07AM

I can name 4 lots in my area where churches once stood but are now something else.

Temples are constantly refurbished or rebuilt with tithings being shuffled from the church to for profit businesses associated with the church or important church families.

Members meet in the churches send funds directly to Salt Lake, not keeping them locally for local needs.

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: August 11, 2019 07:13AM

It’s not a stupid question at all, I’ve been wondering that myself lately. Especially with the temples. It’s not like they will ever knock a temple down or use it for something else - it’s permanent. There must be an answer, but I don’t know what it is. I only thought that LDS, inc. must have a lot of money to throw away, but I think they’re more clever than that - with the use of money (not anything else).

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: August 11, 2019 07:55AM

thinking that I'm sure they OWN the property and don't have loans on it. But owning the land is valuable even if they don't plan on selling it. Owning real estate is a big deal. The rich own real estate most of the time.

My ex brother-in-law's father owned quite a bit of land in my home town and they were wealthy. Since they haven't sold the land, now my ex brother-in-law is wealthy. They don't live as though they have a lot, but they are worth a lot.

My uncle became a multi-millionaire because of land he owned and then someone wanted it for a mall.

Don't ever say never with the lds church. Just because they haven't torn down buildings and sold the land "yet," doesn't mean they won't. In fact, on main street in Hyrum (where I live), there was an older stake center or chapel that they tore down a few years back. I assume it had asbestos as they tore down the building in Paradise, Utah, too, but they rebuilt it, but not the one on main street in Hyrum. They are building homes on that land now, so obviously the church sold the property that one of their buildings was on. There is also an older chapel in Logan on main street that has been owned by several different churches that the lds sold.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/11/2019 07:56AM by cl2.

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Posted by: Siobhannli ( )
Date: August 11, 2019 09:13AM

My guess is there is a 50-100 year bidness plan to build something tinier and more secret to escape the endless persecution and turn all of the temples I to luxury housing.

While this may not end up being there plan rest assured they do have one.

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Posted by: Siobhannli ( )
Date: August 11, 2019 09:14AM

God. Autocorrect made so many errors I'll log in next time

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Posted by: Shinehah ( )
Date: August 11, 2019 11:34AM

Investment in temples is it's own fundraising scheme regardless of the real estate value. The closer members live to a temple the more likely they are to pay tithing to be 'worthy' to attend the temple.
It would be a challenge to measure that return on investment but I'm sure someone at church headquarters has that calculated.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: August 11, 2019 11:54AM

I agree. I think the church sees temples as being profit centers. Build a temple and tithing revenue will increase in that geographic area. It will be interesting to see if the church ever reaches the saturation point with temple building.

A lot of money can be generated from temple building through construction management, interior furnishings, landscaping fees, etc. It would be logical that the church would keep such contracts "in the family" to reward high tithe paying members.

Ward buildings can eventually be sold to other churches or for the commercial value of the land.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: August 11, 2019 11:56AM

Questions are a sign of being inquisitive and wanting to learn.

As a teacher, I thrived on questions. They let me know exactly how I could promote learning.

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Posted by: jay ( )
Date: August 11, 2019 11:29PM

In my opinion more teachers should be like you!

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: August 11, 2019 01:30PM

I’ve pointed this out numerous times here. Real estate, or anything else that is owned for that matter, does not result in a profit unless and until it is sold. I have never heard of a temple being sold, and if it were, the building would have to be torn down at considerable expense. Temples are also built at considerable expense.

They make money as LDS advertising. They make money via tithing for recommends. They do not make money on the value of the land. If they ever close and liquidate, then the land will be an asset to liquidate. Don’t hold your breathe.

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Posted by: caffiend ( )
Date: August 11, 2019 01:40PM

If I have this right, BrotherOfJerryButNotJared, temples serve as somewhat intangible assets: They serve to motivate members to tithe, and they have public-relations value, impressing the general public with their (ahem!) majesty and spiritual mystery.

Chapels and stakes are more tangible: they are the real-world conduit of tithe revenues, and serve the members directly. Being smaller investments and not sacred, they can be sold at a profit when the church demographics of that region change.

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Posted by: jacob ( )
Date: August 11, 2019 04:15PM

Imagine it like this.

One ward building with two wards will take about $80,000 in utility bills, upkeep, and cleaning. The two wards will take about $80,000 for ward budgets, books, parties or the like. So both wards will need 10 tithe payers each that make $80,000 a year or over. Every other tithe payer for that ward makes money for LDS inc.


The temples would operate the same way just with more church units to contribute to the pot.

The more temples the more you get to bang on the full tithe payer status since temple attendance is limited to full tithe payers.

Also remember that temple attendance is mandatory for salvation so by the transitive nature so is tithing.

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Posted by: Levi ( )
Date: August 11, 2019 02:25PM

In Tokyo, the mormon temple is in a high end neighborhood full of embassies.

The LDS Church used to own a building next to the temple that was the JMTC or the Japan Mishie Training Center. It was a separate building from the temple itself on it's own parcel, but immediately adjacent.

They closed the JMTC, and sold the lot and building to a neighboring embassy in 2009.

They also closed the Seoul MTC, but that building might have just been re purposed and not sold.

I agree. They will NEVER sell off a temple. They can't, because it would earth shattering to the membership.

But they can and do sell all sorts of other land. IIRC, I remember hearing that from now on, they will remove the LDS church building prior to selling, but I also seem to remember a recent real estate listing that used to be an LDS church building, still standing, and in the listing it stated that after the sale, the LDS church will retain mineral rights on the land even AFTER the sale has closed.

So this whole new shift that the mormon church is taking, less time at the church building (2 hours not 3), focusing on Home Study, focusing on Temple work, I can see how there might be a few more LDS ward buildings becoming available, but never a temple.

And they regularly tear down existing temples and build new ones on the old spot. I can think of 5. Ogden was a 100% tear down, as was Raleigh, Oklahoma, Baton Rouge, Montreal and the one in Samoa burned it's ass to the ground.

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Posted by: olderelder ( )
Date: August 11, 2019 02:34PM

It's not just property for church buildings. It's also agricultural land, commercial land, industrial land, recreational land...

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Posted by: messygoop ( )
Date: August 11, 2019 02:42PM

Where I grew up the church was very active with its real estate. Sometimes, we went to these undeveloped properties for service projects and scouting campouts. The very first church building in my area that was paid 100% by local members (early 1970s) was eventually sold after being leased to a real estate company for 10 years. Another tract of land that was a church welfare farm has since been sold to a local winery. Another tract of land was sold and a baptist church was built down the road from the stake center. Another church owned property has been sold and it looks like Marriott is developing it as a suite-condo affair.

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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: August 11, 2019 04:42PM

people equate property & wealth as success.

that's the Image ChurchCo likes to present as a tool/hook to attract / keep people active & paying $.


That's why all the fixation on numbers, btw



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/11/2019 04:46PM by GNPE.

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Posted by: macaRomney ( )
Date: August 11, 2019 10:22PM

Hinkley use to say that they don't make money on the church buildings, these are the expenses in the ledger. The assets that grow are the cattle ranches, downtown real estate, mountain retreats. But perhaps there reaches a certain point when Billionaires are no longer interested in land, it doesn't produce enough income and the missionary CEOs don't perform anywhere near as good as a private sector CEO. They are ridding themselves of the Florida Ranch of 500,000 acres, and also one in Argentina. They are constantly considering what ventures could produce the greatest capital. In this day and age it's likely venture capital, Ipos, and blue chip stocks.

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Posted by: jay ( )
Date: August 11, 2019 11:28PM

They’re selling that massive tract of land they are down in Florida? I thought they were talking about building a city there

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Posted by: Realisticish ( )
Date: August 12, 2019 05:46AM

jay Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> They’re selling that massive tract of land they
> are down in Florida? I thought they were talking
> about building a city there

Didn't Walt Disney want to build a city there?

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Posted by: Realisticish ( )
Date: August 12, 2019 05:48AM

macaRomney Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Hinkley use to say that they don't make money on
> the church buildings, these are the expenses in
> the ledger. The assets that grow are the cattle
> ranches, downtown real estate, mountain retreats.
> But perhaps there reaches a certain point when
> Billionaires are no longer interested in land, it
> doesn't produce enough income and the missionary
> CEOs don't perform anywhere near as good as a
> private sector CEO. They are ridding themselves of
> the Florida Ranch of 500,000 acres, and also one
> in Argentina. They are constantly considering what
> ventures could produce the greatest capital. In
> this day and age it's likely venture capital,
> Ipos, and blue chip stocks.

Given that we're on the brink of another downturn, maybe stocks aren't that safe.

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Posted by: moremany ( )
Date: August 12, 2019 08:41PM

The buildings aren't for prophet
The people are making the profits

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Posted by: Betty G ( )
Date: August 12, 2019 09:44PM

Something I've read here at times is that the Temple building and renovations could be a way to channel money from Non-profit to Profit companies.

I'm obviously unsure, but with the rate they build them and renovate them, it makes sense.

Powerful families in the Mormon Church can't claim the money directly that the Mormon Church owns. A way for them to get that money is to somehow have a contract where the Mormon church is paying them the money for doing something. Thus, the Mormon Church has these building go up and the leaders have their own families own companies which then get the contracts (and hence the money).

It makes the families rich while giving the appearances of being above board. They don't really care if the Church makes or loses money in the proposition as long as they are moving the money to their families own wealth.

That's probably not all of it, and there probably are other reasons they build temples (as many have stated above), but I think this the forum that I read about channeling money to various Mormon royalty and such so they make money as well.

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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: August 12, 2019 11:06PM

The Mormon church sells donated property for top dollar. The temple sites cause the local land value to soar, and church leaders profit from that.

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Posted by: ragnar ( )
Date: August 13, 2019 10:26AM

LDS Corp does "sell" real estate occasionally. But under certain conditions.

When I lived in Mt. Pleasant, Utah, many years ago, LDS Corp was selling a building that had served as a bishop's storehouse. I wanted to convert it into a very large home. I made an offer and put down an amount as earnest money.

While I was reviewing the paperwork, I noticed that LDS Corp was retaining the mineral rights to the property. I asked the realtor about this, and was told that the Corp NEVER sold the mineral rights on ALL real estate that they sold, no matter how small.

Ultimately, I cancelled my offer. I had given them 30 days to accept it, but they hadn't responded within that time. When I asked for a return of the earnest money (since they had not responded in time), LDS Corp refused and kept the money.

I never paid tithing again after that episode.

I don't know how much money the Corp has made from retaining the mineral rights of all of the property that they have ever owned, but there must be some benefit - profit - for them to do business this way.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/13/2019 10:27AM by ragnar.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: August 13, 2019 11:18AM

Mineral rights are not separable from surface rights everywhere. I don't know how common that is, but as I understand it, LDS Inc does retain mineral rights in places where that is an option. Keep in mind that in those same places, they may not have been able to buy the mineral rights because the former owner was only selling the surface rights.

North Dakota allows mineral rights to be sold separately. A lot of ranchers in the Williston Basin oil patch sold their mineral rights. They knew there was oil down there, but it was trapped in the rock and could not be pumped to the surface. Then fracking was invented, the oil became recoverable, and royalties were typically $50,000 per month per square mile.

That worked out well for whoever owned the mineral rights.


As for not getting your earnest money back, I get the feeling there is more back story. If you had a signed contract and a signed withdrawal of your offer, that should have been a slam dunk in small claims court, or regular court if it exceeded the small claims limit. Methinks there were some undotted Is and uncrossed Ts. Bummer, and they should have been good for their word, but Mormons do have a reputation for being real weasels when it comes to slithering out of contracts. The contracts need to be nailed down tight.

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Posted by: ragnar ( )
Date: August 13, 2019 12:13PM

In regards to the earnest money:

I made an offer and gave them 30 days to respond (as per realtor's suggestion, as it had to go through multiple committees within LDS Corp.)

After 30 days, no response.

I did not immediately ask for return of earnest money.

One week later, I was told that the offer was accepted. By that time, I had changed my mind. I asked for return of the deposit, and realtor said that's up to the seller.

Within a couple of days, LDS Corp denied my request and kept the money.

I never gave them another cent for 'tithing' or anything else after that.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: August 13, 2019 02:03PM

Ah, so. If you had notified them at 30 days that you were withdrawing the offer and wanted the earnest money back, you would have had a rock solid case. As it stood, it would have been decent of them to return the money, but it was not legally required. All of which I suspect you are well aware of now, and will make damn sure it never happens again!!

I wouldn't have ever given them another nickel either.

And for all those people who say "I'm not a member when I decide I'm not a member. I don't have to tell the Mormon Church I am resigning."

In your eyes, maybe, but not in the eyes of the church (about which you probably don't care) or the law (about which you should care).

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Posted by: Lethbridge Reprobate ( )
Date: August 13, 2019 02:54PM

Several former Mormon church properties in southern Alberta have sold...one to the Red Cross (years ago) and another to an evangelical Christian congregation.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/13/2019 02:54PM by Lethbridge Reprobate.

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Posted by: snagglepuss ( )
Date: August 14, 2019 01:13AM

Exempt from property taxes?

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