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August 19, 2022

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JF in MODecember 28, 2019

That a disaffected member of the church is unfamiliar with tax law regarding charitable organizations is understandable. Probably should have hired one then. But for a national paper like the Washington Post to not vet the claims they were publishing is just plain shoddy journalism. And something I really doubt they would do. So then the question is, why does a newspaper publish an article knowing its claims are false? It turns out that while our church’s financial status has changed much in the last 200 years, the tactics of its news paper detractors have not.

HalDecember 27, 2019

Thank you for this article! I already gathered some factual data to assuage the concerns of my less-informed friends and family members, but this article is much better. Another article mentioned that Harvard has a reserve of $41 billion and a student body of only 20,000 which would be over $2 million per student. Dividing $100 billion by 16 million church members would only be about $6,000 per member. I love the final point that has also be reiterated by other posters - I have been tremendously blessed by the payment of tithes, fast offerings and other charitable donations. Those donations, in turn, bless the lives of countless others. If only our government could operate in this manner.

Robert AhnDecember 27, 2019

A great article, thank you. As for tithing or other donations made to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, it matters not if there is $100 or $100 billion in reserve, I'll follow the teachings and commandments. My heart goes out to the whistleblower and their family for not having faith and a testimony in the church's leadership. Even the very elect shall be left astray. I'm thankful each day for Jesus Christ and all that I have been blessed with.

David F. King, CPADecember 24, 2019

Excellent analysis. You covered all the bases. Well done. It is a shame that disgruntled former Church Employees would go after the Church like this.

MikeGDecember 23, 2019

Very well done, thank you! I pay tithing for the same reason I give to those less fortunate...it is the right thing to do. What happens to my donation from there is on the recipient and I have a clear conscience before God and man.

S LindsayDecember 23, 2019

When I first read the allegations, I lamented that they were so convoluted that it would take many carefully reasoned paragraphs to weave through the various branches of argument. But this article does a wonderful job of addressing those many angles in a very coherent, logical order. Thank you so much for your many insights, and for your skill in assembling them!

Robert StarlingDecember 23, 2019

Many thanks to Aaron Miller for the time and effort needed to research and write this article. It is all well said, and something that needs to be said. A couple of other points could be added or expanded: (1) When Joseph in the Bible told the Pharaoh to save grain during the seven years of plenty, it was a divine blessing given to prepare for a coming seven years of famine. I'm sure there were naysayers in his day, too. (2) Some have pointed out that IRS whistleblower laws award a percentage of alleged misused funds to whistleblowers. It's possible that the motives of Lars Nielsen and his brother are not as "pure as the driven snow" as some might believe, but rather that their actions may be the result of a desire for personal gain.

Sasha KwapinskiDecember 23, 2019

The church is doing exactly what was prophesied and predicted for it originally -- it is going forward "boldly, nobly, and independent," and coming forth "out of obscurity."

Kenneth R. Stevens, Jr.December 23, 2019

The church is setting an example to our governments regarding the importance of not spending more than they receive. Imagine the US federal government being as responsible with our tax dollars and having such a financial reserve, rather than the multi-trillion dollar debt that keeps increasing.

Andrew CurrieDecember 23, 2019

In a prior article it was reported that the "whistleblower" and his brother feel that because the Church has such a large reserve, the members should be given a tithing 'rebate'. I don't know how anyone can work for the Church and have such a distorted understanding of the principles of tithing. As informative as this kerfuffle is, it's just some bitter apostates "kicking against the pricks"--unable to leave the Church alone. As Elder McConkie said many years ago, "Despite the yapping dogs nipping at the camels' heals, the caravan moves on."

essayDecember 23, 2019

One thing this article doesn't mention is the context of the so-called whistleblower - he appears to be motivated at enriching himself (and probably his brother), through whistleblower laws and receiving a portion of the taxes he argues the Church "owes." I wonder how disappointed he'll be when he finally realizes that won't be happening.

Sandra HaxtonDecember 23, 2019

T.he US Govt needs to understand our Church is diff frm all others. This money was given by al the Members, for the purpose of taking care of each other and the Church buildings. This is all of Our money, and we trust the Church, guided by Heavenly Father to use these funds for that reason. We can see that the US is going to need our help!!!! I hold a Temple Rec so I know this is true.

GREG MUELLERDecember 23, 2019

Thank you for an excellent look at the other side of this case. I am a life-long member of the church living in the Washington DC area. I know how slimy politics can get. And this "whistleblower" is just another opposition politician trying to get traction with a one-sided story.

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