Wednesday, March 8, 2017


including some interior photos

Above is a photo of the Thomas S. Monson Center which serves as an upscale exclusive community gathering place in downtown Salt Lake. I posted about the dedication and ribbon cutting event of this mansion HERE. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints owned this historic mansion building and recently restored it to it's original splendor. It can be rented out for public events, weddings and corporate parties. While the details were not made public, the building was recently given to the U of U.

In the entry room of the mansion there is a large oil painting of Thomas S Monson, This portrait of the prophet hangs above the fireplace mantle with a plaque dedicating the building to his name.  If you go to the website you will see other locations on the property that are named after Monson. The Monson Center Lawn and the Monson Center Plaza. Both of these venues can be rented for social gatherings. On the website it states that the Monson Plaza is a "great space to set up a cocktail hour, a reception or host a fun party"...(bet that would be interesting to have cocktail hour on the Monson Center Plaza)

The rooms inside the mansion remind me of Versailles where the ruling classed lived in opulence. 

Sorenson Dining Room which seats 10 people.

These rooms in the mansion have specific names which read like the Who's Who of the Mormon Elite and Wealthy. Here is the list:
  • Ivory Ballroom (named after Ellis Ivory (CEO of Ivory Homes, Deseret News board member) 
  • Eccles Room (named after the Spencer Eccles, CEO of First Security the largest banking organization in the Mountain West before selling to Wells Fargo) 
  • Sorenson Parlor (James Sorenson, richest man in Utah with 4.5 billion at the time of death) 
  • Boyer Carriage House (largest real-estate development firms in the Western United States) 
  • Gail Miller Reception Hall (widow to Larry H Miller's who was a owner of the Utah Jazz and successful businessman)
The Ballroom.
I find it so interesting that we spend billions on malls, theaters, office space and donate mansions to the universities but when it comes to building homeless shelters that are desperately needed in Salt Lake we will SELL property to the city instead of donating to the causeHERE was a recent article about the financial transation of the Church selling for a price (not donating) to the homeless center. From the article, "The city is purchasing the 131 E. 700 South South property (currently a Deseret Industries store) from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, although a final price hasn't been settled on."

I think a Church that carries Jesus Christ's name would be able to retain their members if it did some of the following. 
  • Use tithing for the poor, instead of for spacious buildings.and six figure salaries. 
  • Receive no financial compensation for anything we do to serve. 
  • Be willing to sacrifice which alone proves the sincerity of our motives. 
  • Remind ourselves constantly that no one of us is greater in God's eyes than any other. 
  • Worship Christ only and not leadership. 
  • Avoid the ambitions, vanity and foolishness that has trapped others in the past. 
  • Know everything we have comes from God, and therefore all we can offer is our choice to freely return to Him anything He asks of us.


Three quick sidenotes without commentary: 

Sidenote 1:
A friend of mine sent me a passage from an LDS fiction books called Standing in Holy Places, Book Two – The Celestial City by Chad Daybell. I found this quote interesting:

“Following the meeting, the prophet invited each of the Saints to pass by and shake his hand. It was a long process, but Doug sensed what the prophet was doing. When the resurrected Savior appeared to the Nephites, he allowed each person to feel the wounds in his hands and in his side. In a similar manner, the prophet was allowing the Saints to have an experience that would stay with them throughout their lifetimes. Many people were weeping openly, and the Spirit was burning into their hearts the testimony of a living prophet.” From Chapter 28 (pp 163)

Sidenote 2:

In this month's Church magazine there is the following story entitled: "Seeing God’s Prophet" By Elder Kim B. Clark Of the Seventy. Instead of the bar being raised, it has been lowered. Interesting that we have become more enamored with seeing a man than seeking God.
Oh how I wish we could read articles entitled, 'Seeing God'... instead of 'Seeing God's Prophet'

Sidenote 3:
While on a business trip last week in Minnesota.  I went to the Cathedral of St.Paul on Ash Wednesday. It is a beautiful church. Inside there are larger than life marble statues of the early Saints. It has a shrines to Saint Therese, Saint Cyril, Saint Boniface, Saint Patrick, and Saint Anthony. I noticed many church patrons entering in the cathedral and lighting candles in front of these Saints and showing respect and/or praying to them. In the corner of the Cathedral there was a statue of Christ. Not one person was there. Everyone was kneeling before statues of deceased mortals that can not save.

 Unfortunately, we glorify and give honor to men. We trust them and don't believe they are capable of leading us astray. We rely on the arm of flesh. I am concerned that we don't talk of Christ, rejoice in Christ, preach of Christ, prophesy of Christ, and write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins. 2 Nephi 25:26. Instead, all of our eyes are on the prophet. We talk of the prophet, we rejoice in the prophet and we preach of the prophet and doing this it gives the impression to our children that they may look to the prophet to have him tell us what to do instead of seeking out the Lord since he is the ."keeper of the gate,... the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there...",

A large red seat for the local religious leader to sit and preside at  before he gives his sermon.


Sam said...

Don't forget this video:

It talks about how what a leader decides is the will of the Lord and how people remember their entire life how they felt while shaking teh hand of an apostle.

James said...

If a leader of a church is profiting from his or her service in a church, it is priestcraft, which is condemned by the Lord, plain and simple, end of story. They are then their own servants and not true servants or prophets of God. People need to realize that and wake up. Yes, Joseph Smith's livelihood was often supported by donations from the Saints, but he never profited from his service and was never wealthy. Wide-scale profiting from the LDS religion started with Brigham Young, who died with an estate worth $1.6 million (about $34 million in 2016 dollars; see The Story of the Latter-day Saints, James Allen & Glen Leonard, 2nd ed. 1992, Deseret Book, p.385); this, while thousands of Latter-day Saints lived in desert squalor. Same thing today, as demonstrated in this post...the leaders profit off the backs of the membership and are treated like royalty, while thousands suffer and toil in poverty and homelessness.

Jim O'Rullian said...

Just wanted to chime in on the idea that Joseph Smith received a living allowance (stipend) from the tithing dollars of the church in the formative years of the restoration. This old and tired argument has been advanced endlessly over the years by anti-Mormons on the one side to diminish the character of Joseph Smith as well as Mormons on the other side to legitimize current financial practices. It’s nauseating.

A careful and neutral review of the history of Joseph Smith era Mormonism reveals the life of a man who spent all of his days in manual labor much like all other Colonial families clearing farm land, planting and watering crops, harvesting food, digging wells, raising barns, milking cows, tending farm animals, cleaning house and building homes. Unique to Joseph’s life, however, was the constant need to pick up at a moment’s notice and either run from his enemies or endure days or months in their prisons leaving behind his wife and children to fend for themselves rendering them among some of the most needful and deserving of the tithing dollars of the Saints (which were always in short supply in those years). In the brief moments they did have peace in their home, Joseph and Emma had an open door policy for any and all who needed a place to stay while getting settled. It is also a historical fact that Joseph Smith spent considerable time and resource serving his Mormon and non-Mormon neighbors, usually without payment, for civic duties irrespective of ecclesiastical function. These labors include virtually every aspect of public service works from Post Master to Mayor.

To make the suggestion that somehow the assistance Joseph and his family received from the general membership of the church in his day is comparable to the financial offset provided to the leadership of the modern church of our day is absolute nonsense. The current algorithm for financial reimbursement of services rendered for and in behalf of the Church (which itself is anti-scriptural) is wholly derivative from the Brigham Young administration and bears no resemblance whatsoever to what was expected and experienced by The Prophet Joseph Smith.

This one issue alone gives a just God all the reason He needs to clean His own house first when making one last effort to reclaim His lost sheep before the vineyard is utterly destroyed. Unfortunately, the list of qualifying abuses runs deep and spans decades.

Sandy said...

Isn't there a difference between receiving help and receiving wages while doing nothing but promoting themselves and their organization?

Sandy said...

I hope people realize the difference between someone needing help and someone using position to get gain.