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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

38: MINGLING OF FUNDS at the CHURCH'S SOLE DISCRETION

One of my friends brought this to my attention about a month ago. I had to see if for myself before I posted anything about it. This is a scanned image of the tithing form we recieved this Sunday from the Young Men in our ward collecting Fast Offerings. It is a new form. No longer is it listed to donate to:
  • Temple construction
  • Perpetual education fund
  • Book of Mormon
I wonder if the Perpetual education fund as been disbanded and I am curious why contributions to Temple construction is no longer listed.

Oh, and you also are to put your Membership Record Number instead of your address.


But probably the most interesting change is the fine print. It says:

"Though reasonable efforts will be made globally to use donations as designated, all donations become the Church's property and will be used at the Church's sole discretion to further the Church's overall mission."

What does "reasonable efforts will be made" mean? Who determine's where it goes? Why wouldn't my donation be honored to the fullest in where I allocated my money? Why even list other categories to donate to if only reasonable efforts will be made?

So if I am reading this correctly, if I donate to the humanitarian aid...I am not guaranteed that it will go to help those in need. My money could end up being used for church building projects... or maybe used to beautify sacred surrounding areas of a Temple. Sounds like the money I designate as a faithful and active Latter-day Saint might get mingled into one large sum of money for the leaders to use where they see fit, and not where I would like to see it go. I am sure they know better than me where the money should go. No need to question, because we are promised that they can't be led astray.

Sidenote: I think this is important to point out:

The Church's Provident Living website has listed the combined total about of money given for the past 25 years (1985–2010) to Humanitarian aid of food, clothing, medical supplies,etc.given to the poor and needy in over 178 countries.

From the website:
  • Humanitarian assistance rendered  $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 million

 1.3 billion  in over 25 years?. Some would say that is wonderful. We are a generous people that help the poor and the needy. That is roughly 52 million dollars a year.

However, when you compare that to the 5,000,000,000.00 dollars that we have spend on one shopping mall, luxurious condominums, and office buildings in an already affluent city... it makes you wonder what we love more. I think the Book of Mormon foresaw that we would love more.
"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."

So, it is not that we don't love the poor and the needy, ..  we do! But what do we love MORE? If you take the dollar amount totals as an indication on what is percieved as  more important, (Humanitarian versus the City Creek Center project) it looks like is would be the City Creek Center almost 4 to1.

We commonly attribute in the above scripture as Moroni referring to other religions.. but looking at this more closing, it might be referring to us.