Thursday, September 3, 2015


 Over a year ago I posted that the Church was expanding their multi billion dollar City
Creek project in downtown Salt Lake. Along with the shopping mall (City Creek Center) and upscale apartments (The Regent), the high rise office building called 111 Main will be one of the tallest buildings in Salt Lake. Here is live camera feed in case you want to track the progress of the construction:

Here is the latest rendition of what this office tower will look like . In my opinion, Downtown Salt Lake is looking more and more like Las Vegas.

In addition to all of the building projects in Salt Lake City, the Church has announced their plans to  build a metropolis city with a population of 500,000. I know this is old news for some, but here is the link in case you haven't seen it:

That is like building a city the size of Denver Colorado with their population of 557,917

OR building four of the largest cities in Utah into one jumbo metropolis. Here are the highest population numbers of Utah's cities:

Salt Lake City population: 186,440
West Valley City population: 129,480
Provo population: 112,488
West Jordan population: 103,712
One might not bat an eye if this huge building development project was in Jackson County.. but no.. it is in Florida near Disneyworld. Go figure.

You know, I think the Lord would be just as happy if we used our Church income to feed the poor and clothe the naked instead of skyscrapers and sprawling metropolis that mostly would not welcome the homeless and hungry.


This past weekend we had a General Authority come to our Stake Conference. By profession this Seventy is a lawyer and lives in Utah County. He asked for questions and  answered them in the Saturday Afternoon Leadership meeting.  One of the questions was about the Church's decision to remain in the Boy Scouts. Here is a transcript of how he answered the question:

"The bigger issue came last summer when the decision was made by the Boy Scouts to admit open and avowed, meaning practicing and "in the open about it" gay leaders to scouting. Now within Scout troops, within our troops, if that were to happen, I think everyone would agree that would decimate our young men’s program in what we are trying to teach our young men and the doctrine found in the Proclamation that we have, about when sex should occur and between who sex should occur.

So when the Scout did what they did, the first thing the Church did was it issued a statement from the senior leaders saying, “We are deeply troubled, we need to take a look at this”.

They have taken a look at this and you saw the announcement that came out this past week. The announcement said three things, and I am paraphrasing. If you haven’t read it, read it, don’t let the press read it for you, don’t let the blogs read it for you. Get on and read it for yourself. It says three things. It says scouting has a great history and has produced great young men and the ideals of scouting are very much to be held up as great goals. 

It says second, and I am quoting here three words exactly, at this time, the Church will remain with scouting so long as it can choose it’s own leaders within its own troops, and those leaders reflect the values the Church has. 

And three, the Church will continue to consider how to deal with its youth programs that are now international. The Church is now in over a hundred countries, and Boy Scouts program are for two of them, the US and Canada, and the Church will continue to evaluate how the Church can best serve them. That is the statement. No one goes beyond that statement. 

That is the statement of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve. No Seventy has any authority to go beyond that statement and that would be a very foolish thing to do. 

So I will just say this, if you think why we have prophets, seers and revelators.. why the Lord gave them to us...the reason is they get to see whats behind the corners from time to time.. where the rest of us can’t see. By definition the word 'seer' is to peer into the future and see what is going to happen. In our Church we have always had great reliance and testimony of their ability to do that. You all have and I don’t know why you would stop now. Prophets, seers and revelators have carefully looked into this issue and they have determined that at this time, we will remain in scouting so long as we can choose our leaders while we evaluate our options or other alternatives. 

I don’t know why anyone would want to question that as a good member of the Church other than to say I am so grateful that we have Prophets, Seers, and Revelators and I hope they keep being Prophets, Seers and Revelators."


Anonymous said...

If our modern prophets, seers and revelators can "see whats behind the corners from time to time.. where the rest of us can’t see" and can "peer into the future and see what is going to happen," why couldn't they see that the BSA was going to change its policy. Why were they dismayed and need time to ponder the church's ongoing involvement? Seems to me, lay members could SEE the BSA gay leader policy change around the corner better than the "all-knowing" leaders.

Anonymous said...

So now a "seer" is a fortune teller, a prognosticator and a palm reader....??

The Book of Mormon has something else to say about it:

"Now these [two stones] were prepared from the beginning, and were handed down from generation to generation, for the purpose of interpreting languages; And they have been kept and preserved by the hand of the Lord, that he should discover to every creature who should possess the land the iniquities and abominations of his people; And whosoever has these things is called seer, after the manner of old times."

According to this passage, a seer is one who has possession of the stones which have been handed down and uses them to interpret languages as well as to discover the iniquities and abominations of his people. So are the self-proclaimed PSR's now revealing the abominations of the Scouts? "Deeply concerned" is pretty strong language, I know, but their actions speak the loudest. Apparently, the BSA got a pass. Whew!

Nordyke said...

Ah, yes, again with the idea that certain spiritual gifts are reserved for someone that's not you. Gotta love that. I'm sure that particular elect arm of flesh should be trusted to take care of the bits of your salvation you're just not ready for.

Rob said...

I may be wrong, but I don't think it is out of innovation that the church is orchestrating such dramatic real estate projects--I think it is out of desperation.

I do not know what the financials of the church look like. However, you don't need to be a "seer" to evaluate the likelihood that tithing revenues are probably not only down since 2008, but showing a receding trend.

For better or for worse, the church has, by degrees, constructed an interestingly expensive paradigm for "building the kingdom" since the death of Joseph. This includes building expensive chapels, building lots of expensive temples, and employing a lot of expensive church employees. Under the paradigm, all three of these expenses must expand with any expansion of members. [Sidenote: it is very interesting to note how each of these things became important. They are surprisingly recent developments, despite the sacred cow-esque nature of the costs.]

Unfortunately, only poor people are interested in joining the church these days. You can see the cost curve rising, and the revenue curve falling.

I expect that these massive real estate projects are a hail mary pass to leverage the surpluses of the church while the church still has them, in the face of a downward trend in tithing with no reverse in sight.

It will fail.