December 3, 2012
I have donated thousands of dollars to and spent two years as a volunteer missionary for the Mormon church. Unfortunately, those two years in a third world country were spent almost exclusively recruiting new members for the organization and doing very little substantive service for the poor people around me. I loved the experiences I had there, but I very much wish the Church would train its missionaries to be less like salesmen. The Church is guarded about its financial practices. It is estimated that it has a net worth of at least $40 billion, with annual revenue of $8 billion (http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-07-10/how-the-mormons-make-money#p1). Members of the church are told that payment of tithing (10% of income) is a requirement for admission to heaven, and they will be denied access to Mormon temples if they fail to pay. Growing up I was led to believe that the Church spends millions of dollars each year on humanitarian aid projects around the globe, but these figures are never made public, a fact I now find disturbing. This is especially troubling because the Church recently funded the building of an enormous shopping mall in Salt Lake City (at least $2 billion). The Church owns 928,000 acres of land in North America, is the largest ranch land owner in Wyoming, is the 2nd largest land owner in Nebraska, has the largest cattle ranch in 48 states (adjacent to Disneyworld in Florida), is the largest foreign landowner in UK. The LDS Church owns several businesses, numerous radio and television stations, its own insurance company, and is rumored to be the largest single producer of commercial beef in the USA . They own enormous properties in Hawaii including a Marriott hotel franchise and the Polynesian Cultural Center, which is the most visited tourist attraction in Hawaii (http://mormonthink.com/tithing.htm). As an organization claiming it is God's "one true church," these business enterprises and lack of financial transparency are disconcerting to say the least. This is all important information people should consider before donating their, time, money, or any other resources to this organization.
Would you volunteer for this group again?
For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?
Did the organization use your time wisely?
Would you recommend this group to a friend?
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?