Date: September 16, 2020 11:29AM
The recent thread about the Utah Housing Corporation made me think about how the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints views debt, especially how borrowing vs. lending is perceived.
Throughout my TBM days, I remember constantly being reminded of the evils of debt. From the Churches own website: “Since the early days of the Church, the Lord’s prophets have repeatedly warned against the bondage of debt. One of the great dangers of debt is the interest that accompanies it. When it is necessary to incur debt, such as a reasonable amount to purchase a modest home or to complete one’s education, the debt should be repaid as quickly as possible.”
So, if a member wants to follow the inspired words of the Lord’s anointed, they should avoid debt whenever possible. My question is, do they see anything wrong with luring others into the “bondage” and “dangers” of debt? As I understand it, Utah has extremely lax laws when it comes to payday loans, and they allow extremely high interest rates. My TBM brother once owned a payday loan business in Utah.
I understand that payday loans are legal. Liquor stores are also legal. In most places, stores that sell adult videos and sex toys are legal. In many places marijuana stores are legal. I can’t imagine a bishop or stake president owning any of these businesses other than a payday loan place. If a Mormon sold liquor or marijuana, members would probably be suspicious of them, and it’s very unlikely they would be called into leadership positions. If they provide loans that are all but guaranteed to keep people in debt (and away from TSCC’s teachings) there is no stigma in that.