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Sunday, March 25, 2012

37: BUY ANYTHING IN THIS WORLD FOR MONEY

Here is what a billion dollars looks like:

1,000,000,000.00

Now.. add another
1,000,000,000.00

and another
1,000,000,000.00

and while we are at it,... lets throw in another
1,000,000,000.00

and just one more 
1,000,000,000.00


It was reported on KSL, the church's owned media outlet,  that the entire downtown project including the City Creek Center will ultimately cost upwards 5 BILLION. The shopping mall called City Creek Center was just a portion of the cost (reported at costing 1.5 BILLION)  http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=19428181&title=a-look-inside-as-city-creek-centers-completion-nears&s_cid=featured-1


Here is what was reported in yesterday's LDS Church News:

"The First Presidency participated in Thursday's ceremonial ribbon cutting at City Creek Center, signaling the long-awaited opening of Salt Lake City's newest mall."

"President Eyring spoke on behalf of the Church at Thursday's ceremony, saying City Creek is now open to invite the world to come to downtown Salt Lake City — headquarters of the Church."

"Earlier, Bishop H. David Burton added that it's vital to create an atmosphere in Salt Lake City that people like and remember. "Because Salt Lake City is the capital of Utah, it's important that it is 'dressed appropriately.'" http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/62153/First-Presidency-attends-City-Creek-opening.html



I was able to attend the dedication and red ribbon ceremony of the City Creek Center. It ended with a bang..complete with fireworks and even shiny "glitter" raining down on the festivities.  It is a surreal experience to know that what you are witnessing first hand was actually seen over a thousand of years earlier and recorded for us to read today.  I didn't need to see in vision what Jesus Christ showed Moroni.. we are living it.

We read in Mormon 8:

"Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.

And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts; and there are none save a few only who do not life themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envying, and strifes, and malice, and persecutions, and all manner of iniquities; and your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts.

 For behold, ye do love money and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted.

O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God?"
.............................................................................

Other "beautiful" cites:
Below is a screenshot from a highly anticipated movie that premiered on the same day as the Red Ribbon cutting ceremony of the LDS City Creek Creek Shopping Center. I thought the city portrayed in the movie looked somewhat similiar to Salt Lake because of the mountains and the beautiful architecture of the buildings.  The city in the movie is called simply 'The Capital.' It is a highly advanced metropolis, holding absolute power.


The word decadence is characterized by or appealing to self-indulgence.  However, the root word of decadence is 'decadentia' which means "decay," or "in a state of decline or decay."

It might just be me.. but it doesn't see to bother very many of the  LDS Saints that the Church has spend Billions of dollars to build a shopping center which sells $100,000.00 dollars watches at the new Rolex store or $250,000.00 dollars necklaces sold at Tiffiany's.

.................................



FAIR's Apologetic response to those who are critical of the City Creek project

"Some have insisted that funds would be better if directed to charitable works such as feeding the poor. The Church does have an extensive humanitarian effort. Critics on this point often overlook the fact that Church funds are best managed not by sitting in a bank account, but through prudent investment. Investment in land and real estate development is often a wise and ultimately profitable investment approach It is entirely possible that the City Creek Center Mall will eventually become a money making venture, as the Church collects rent from mall merchants. This investment strategy would allow the Church to, over time, recoup its initial outlay or even make money that could be further dedicated to the Church's religious and humanitarian goals

Critics also overlook the fact that if money is spent to feed the needy, that money is gone . On the other hand, if the Church reinvests in Salt Lake City's downtown core, this provides jobs and economic stimulus, for example, via construction and then the service-industry jobs which will fill the mall upon its completion. While providing fewer short term gains, this long term "teach a man to fish" strategy could ultimately benefit many more people, by allowing them to "help themselves".

............................

Sidenote:

Many didn't know this, but this past weekend just north of Salt Lake, The World Championships in Chariot Racing was held at the Golden Spike Events Center racetrack. Who would have ever thought that Roman chariot races would make a comeback today-- just like their immense popularity and the pleasure they gave the Roman people.

Rome did rise.. but eventually fell.

There is not just one single factors that led to the Fall of Rome, but decadence, pride, and extravagent living help contribute to the Fall of Rome.

The Roman Empire still looked good. Large, rich, with all the appurtenances of power, but it was decaying. The Romans destroyed themselves from within.

27 comments:

  1. The LDS Church built a temple to consumerism next to their regular temple.

    How many temples could have been built with the billions?

    The LDS Church should have built a casino it would have been cheaper:

    ■$1,700,000,000 - Venetian
    ■$1,600,000,000 - Bellagio
    ■$785,000,000 - Paris Las Vegas
    ■$630,000,000 - The Mirage
    ■$450,000,000 - Treasure Island
    ■$375,000,000 - Luxor
    ■$344,000,000 - Monte Carlo


    Well at least with City Creek, Mormons have a new way of showing financial devotion. Through its rental contract with Taubman, the Church gets a percentage of mall revenue -- and its fortunes rise and fall depending on sales.

    City Creek shoppers can rest assured that their purchases -- a $535 Porsche Design tobacco pipe, perhaps? -- will bring them a little closer to God, or at least Temple Square.

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  2. That piece from the FAIR Apologetic was downright embarrassing. Once you give it to the poor, it's gone. Wow. What a bummer.

    If they gush about all this at Conference next week, I hope I have a pillow handy to scream into.

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  3. A couple scriptures come to mind:

    2 Nephi 9:30 But wo unto the rich, who are rich as to the things of the world. For because they are rich they despise the poor, and they persecute the meek, and their hearts are upon their treasures; wherefore, their treasure is their god. And behold, their treasure shall perish with them also.

    Luke 18:22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

    When we give to the poor, the money might be gone. But when we reinvest and expand our empire, treasure in heaven is forfeited. We can’t have both.

    Another point needs to be considered. When tithe payers find out what their donations are being used for, they might not feel so generous. It brings joy to feed and care for the poor and makes me want to give more. On the other hand, it gives me a knot in my stomach to see my donations (interest on my donations – it’s all the same) being used for this kind of extravagance.

    Tithes and offerings are voluntary donations. People willingly sacrifice to contribute to charitable causes. What are members going to do when they find out that giving to the poor is no longer considered profitable by the prophets?

    Does anyone have any statistics on how much money the LDS Church gives to charity every year?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://www.providentliving.org/pdf/2010_WELFactSheet_English.pdf

      Humanitarian assistance rendered (1985–2010) $1.3 billion
      Countries and territories served 178
      Food 63,377 tons
      Medical supplies 14,345 tons
      Clothing 93,196 tons
      Hygiene, newborn, and school kits 11.1 millio

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    2. So Citi Creek shopping mall got more money thrown at it in 2 yrs than Humanitarian assistance worldwide over past 25 years?

      Ah oh..... I guess "dressing downtown appropriately" was more important than dressing the naked?

      We do need to repent. The Book of Mormon was right on the money. Pun intended. :)

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  4. I have come across several places on the web where people are not happy with this extravaganza. LDSFF has both sides of the issue talking about it: those defending the brethren (and accusing the other side of apostasy), and those who are concerned that so much is being spent for this, money which could be used to help the poor.

    Coincidentally, I was studying Mormon 8 and 9 today (along with Jacob 5) and blogged about it today. Interesting to see that you brought up the same scriptures I had been studying.

    Moroni told us plainly that he saw our day. Nephi said the same thing. Neither had much good to say about us. Nephi talked about being at ease in Zion, and Moroni talks about polluting the holy church of God.

    We seriously need to wake up.

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    Replies
    1. You are so right Toni. We need to awake to our awful situation in our Church, as well as in our nation.

      For as the scriptures warn, 'everyone' today, except a few, has been deceived to support or do evil. Yet they do not realize it. The holy Church of God has become polluted.

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  5. What was wrong with the Gateway mall? Is another mall necessary?

    Jesus ran money changers out of the temple. Yet we bring them closer and closer to our temples.

    I have a good friend who teaches seminary. He's been in the field for just a few years. He doesn't make enough to start a family without his wife working. Yet the Church seems to have 3 billion dollars to spend on shopping malls while those who teach the youth the Gospel make hardly enough to support 1 or 2 kids? The church may not allow alcohol, but as Isaiah said.... we have somehow managed to still have an intoxication problem.

    My issues with FAIR's Apologetic response is that it contains nothing backed by anything scriptural. They use phrases like "it's entirely possible" or "critics overlook that funds do no good sitting in a bank account". I'd like them to introduce me to one person who is advocating that tithing money just sit in a bank account. Their arguments would have been a lot more persuasive if they had been able to use something scriptural.

    The only thing scriptures do with regard to this shopping mall thing is condemn it. So I guess it's fitting FAIR can't use a scriptural basis for defending a 3 billion dollar shopping mall next to a temple.

    To defend Babylon you need to employ tools of Babylon.

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  6. Though the Church has given 'some' humanitarian service & does help 'some' of it's poor, I do not believe God would ever put a mall or any other building or financial project before making sure 'all' of the widows & the fatherless (single mothers & their children) in the Church are completely supported financially for life.

    As long as widows, single mothers & children in the Church suffer & are neglected by men & leaders, especially financially, no mall, chapel or temple will save the Church or it's members.

    "Pure religion...is this, To 'visit' (to deliver from trouble, to support & comfort) the fatherless and widows in their affliction." James 1:27

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The church now asks you to go to the government for any help, before you go to them. The relief society now asks, have you gone to the government and tried to get help from them? ie. food stamps, cash assistance, medicaid.

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  7. FAIR's "teach a man to fish" argument is horrible logic. I guess the only "poor" that need to be taught live in and around Salt Lake, or at least those are the only ones that need to be cared for.

    If you really were concerned about teaching a man to fish, you would put all of that money in the perpetual education fund. THAT is how you begin to teach a man how to fish. And maybe you could use some of the surplus to forgive some loans from that program too, to help folks get a little extra leg up.

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    Replies
    1. Amen anonymous!

      The perpetual education fund no longer appears on the new tithing slips. You have to write it in yourself in the "other" box. Why they took that off the new tithing slips is beyond me. IMO by having the pre established line on the slip for perpetual education it always reminded me that I wanted to donate to it.

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    2. They took it off the donation slips because they didn't need any more. The original goal for the endowment fund was $250 million and I understand they went well beyond that and simply didn't need any more.

      Delete
  8. I am uncomfortable with City Creek myself.

    I was just reading in Words of Joseph Smith recently and came across this entry from Joseph Smith's Diary, 6 April 1843 that did give me a bit of pause:

    "--It is important that this conference give importance to the N. House. as a prejudice exists against the Nauvoo House in favor of the Lords House--"

    "There is no place where men of wealth & character & influence can go to repose themselfs. and it is necessary we should have such a place."

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  9. Saw this at LDSFF:

    At face value the City Creek mall gives a conflicting message about the goals/principles of the Church. However, I believe I now understand why this happening. My neutral perspective changed Saturday evening. I have learned some disturbing things from multiple sources about what is going to transpire in the next 6-18 months. In fact my hands are still shaking with what has been made known to me backed by the confirmation of the spirit…. all this, followed by an unjustified feeling of peace. In simple terms, the Church is likely looking for ways to remain financially viable after the “FORMAL” removal of the US dollar as the world reserve currency. Clues/indicators are now beginning to appear globally.

    1) Think of blatant betrayal from our leaders; 9/11 will be forgotten…. The current US President is not an American, either literally and figuratively. Deals have been struck; a formal restructuring is underway.
    2) Think Government police powers being ramped up to preserve some degree of control/order.
    3) Think Jews under puppet king Herod subservient to Rome (global government of its day).
    4) Think 1st world, with a global reserve currency suddenly replaced by 3rd world status with a gutted regional currency.
    5) Think of cash as king, but not American dollars….
    6) Think of Global Government with heavy Chinese (Yuan) influence.
    7) Think of desperate and broke Americans serving wealthy foreigners coming as tourists and investors.
    8) Think of the Church restructuring itself for the new financial order…The “Mall” isn’t really for our lavish shopping habits in the mid to long term.
    9) Think of the Church scrambling to be in a position to establish good relations with the overseers of the new political/economic order. Think of the Church being in a position to possibly participate/negotiate some degree of peace, even against foreign invasion.

    I know this sounds rash and crazy, but the sun is about to set on the Gentiles. The Church needs a financial way forward with its American contributors and investments in jeopardy. In short, the Church is not preparing for what could have been, or should have been, but what will be. Do your own research, and take it to the Lord. I don’t care to prove anything or debate what I have alluded to…...In regards to City Creek, I would actually prefer that this simply be the result of MBA ambition within the Church. I hope I’m dead wrong and the status quo will continue for years to come….

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  10. I think its great that the church is investing its money wisely, shopping malls are one of the most stable and best investments to make. It might seem as if its extravagant, but really it is purely and simply an investment for the future. This will position the church financially in the future to help more people around the world. I like it is a good move.

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  11. Anonymous, youre not crazy, ive seen it too.

    Thanks so much for this post, and all the work you are doing at Barerecord! this voice must be heard. You are ridding your garments of blood, with love.

    Keep it up, I rely much on you to hear what is going on in the valley.

    Regards, Dan Mead

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  12. Even if the new mall is a beautiful & great investment, where is it taught in the scriptures that Churches should be using it's money, tithing or not, for investments & businesses, especially when their are so many poor among them who are still not being taken care of?

    Where does it say 'take care of 'some' of the poor', but then you can use the rest of your money for other things, like building beautiful sanctuaries & businesses?

    Should members also just help out the poor a little bit & use the rest of their excess money to build expensive beautiful homes, gardens & businesses?

    Even if such beautiful places do draw non-members to temple square, what good will it do, unless the Church teaches by example how to give all it's excess money to the poor?

    If the LDS Church teaches it's members to give 'all' their excess money to the widows & the fatherless & other poor among us, as the BoM & Christ commanded us to, shouldn't the Church set the example & also give 'all' it's excess to the widows & the fatherless?

    Shouldn't the Church be giving most, if not all, of it's money to the needy?

    If leaders & members ignore the needs of the widows & the fatherless & leave them to suffer, what good will a beautiful temple even in every city do?

    Church & Temple worship is all in vain & not accepted by God, unless it's backed up by giving all our excess money to the poor & needy among us.

    What would have a more righteous & saving effect on the Church & it's members, building this new mall, or using those billions to financially take care of hundreds, if not thousands, of widows & the fatherless for their entire life?

    What does God care more about, making money & malls or the care & protection of widows & the fatherless?

    What are Churches created for? Building businesses & making money or taking care of the widows & the fatherless & helping it's members to be humble & charitable & give their excess away to the poor?

    How will we ever achieve Zion, where there are no poor among us, unless Church leaders & members become willing to give away 'all' their excess money to the poor among them?

    We don't achieve Zion by building beautiful buildings & sanctuaries. We achieve Zion by, 1st & foremost, caring for the needs of others around us.

    I believe that the widows & the fatherless in the Church would rather be cared for, so their children don't continue to suffer, than have a beautiful mall or garden or Church or even a temple square to visit.

    When we start taking care of 'all' the poor among us, we will not even need churches anymore, for their only purpose is to teach us to do that.

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  13. City Creek Mall was probably someone's pet project with plenty of influence and access to Church funds. I think we're truly witnessing the signs of the last days. May God have mercy on us and the few among us who can see the truth and spot the clever deceptions that have been going on. I hope no one is in that mall when Utah's Earthquake strikes. Must be nice to sit in the great and spacious building overlooking their pet project from their corner office windows. Just like the Vatican.

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  14. We're watching the Ten Commandments on TV (it's Easter, and yes, I know it's a dramatization) but at one point, Moses in the movie, when Moses finds out he is Hebrew, he has a choice to either continue on his path, knowing that he will become Pharoah or join the Hebrews, the slaves. One would say, what an idiot, he could free the slaves as Pharoah and if Ramases becomes Pharoah, he will make it way worse. The same people who defend the mall for the most part have two points

    1)do whatever the leaders say, it will be good for us 2)it's a smart/wise financial decision because it will make more money and put us in a better position

    Moses chose to be with the slaves. If he was someone else, other than Moses, we'd say he was a complete fool and blew a God guided plan.

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  15. Oh ya, then Moses wants to go up to Sinai, and his future wife, tells him no man can step up on that mountain. He asks if any man has seen God face to face and she tells him no. He asks why and why he won't free his people. She tells him it is not up to us to question God. He says he won't stop till he hears the word of God from God himself.

    That is Moses. That is a man of example. The mighty and strong one the scriptures speak of that will come in the last days is going to be like unto Moses. There will be few among Christians and Mormons who would follow such a man.

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  16. goingtozion,

    Great points! Only those who have searched for & can discern the real truth will recognize a 'man like unto Moses' in these last days.

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  17. I'm sure you've already seen this but...
    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865553960/Elder-Dallin-H-Oaks-dedicates-new-home-of-Utahs-largest-law-firm.html

    That's just weird.

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    Replies
    1. Isn't this blasphemy? "offered a dedicatory prayer on the firm's new building at 50 E. South Temple."(from Brett's link)

      I mean, homes and buildings built to worship God are all that should have dedicatory prayers said - I thought.

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  18. looks like a reissue of the Battle Star Galactica home cities.

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  19. I find the top photo with President Monson to be, interesting? Is it just me, or is that "GOD" looming in the background?

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    1. Wow. I didn't notice that the first time around. It make the photo feel kinda creepy . . . like the wrong thing it out of focus . . .

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