Friday, May 16, 2008

The LDS Churches "Welfare" Program

How much money does the LDS church donate to charity annually? Honestly, I'm not sure what the numbers are, or if they are even available. Say they claim to have donated $10,000,000 last year (just an estimate; I have no idea what the real number is). But as you will see, it doesn't matter if it is just one dollar or a hundred-million dollars. No matter what they give (or claim to give) it doesn't matter because in the long run, when you really think about it, THEY GIVE NOTHING!

How can I claim that they give nothing to charity when I, myself, am a former reciepient of LDS church welfare?

It's true, the church does indeed have a vast and efficient program. The "Bishop's Storehouse" produces all types of food goods and distributes them to the needy. Their system is very clean and efficient and far surpasses government standards for food production. Their food and products are extremely high quality. Honestly, I'd rather eat food produced by the LDS church than most other foods. I'm no fan of the LDS church but I have to hand it to their Bishop's Storehouse food. It's very good.

But in spite of all that, I still claim that the LDS church gives nothing to charity. Not one penny! And there are two reasons...

1) The churches welfare system is funded by a pool of money called "fast offerings". Members of the LDS church are asked to fast once a month (go without any food for two meals), and then donate the cost of those meals to the fast offering fund. Once these funds are received, they are used by the Bishop's Storehouse AND local bishops. Bishops, at their own discression, can use that money to help members of their ward pay bills, rent, etc.

So all the money that is used in this system is donated BY THE MEMBERS. The LDS church, to my understanding, does not toss a single penny into the pot. So the LDS church receives the money and delegates where it will be spent, but the money comes from the members, not from the church itself. So how much does the LDS church donate to welfare? NOTHING!

2) Most reciepients of church welfare are not just handed out a free meal just because they asked for it. In many cases, the church will only help their own; active members. Not only that, but, again, in many cases, the reciepient is asked to work for the church before they can receive help. The churches welfare system is entirely dependant on volunteers to operate and those volunteers are, you guessed it, working for their share.

That's good and I'm all for that, except for one problem. The people are working for the church. They are receiving goods produced with money donated by the members. What's wrong with this picture? These people are working for the church which makes it no longer welfare. They are temporary employees who's paycheck is a grocery cart full of food, which is paid for by the members, not the church.

So the church gives away (to people who have worked for it) a certain amount of money (which is donated by the members) and claim that it is welfare. No doubt, they are helping people. But it is not charity. It is not charity because they make people work for their help and it's not charity (from the church at least) because the money is donated by the members.

How much does the LDS church give out in charity? Nothing!!! It's not charity. It is a scam to get free labor. The LDS church claims it gives so much a year to charity but it's a lie. The members give it and they receive no glory, recognition, no nothing, except an empty belly once a month.

It may be a good system which helps people, but it is not charity.

Just another evil apostate...


Anonymous said...

Please don't spread mis-information. Here are the facts.

In the last 20 years the LDS church has donated over $250 million to non-LDS charities. Additionally, it has provided over $750 million in material goods of humanitarian aid to 165 countries including assistance following 185 natural disasters.

Just another evil apostate... said...

Let's take a look at these mind-blowing "facts".

If the church gives $250 million over twenty years, then that is $12.5 million per year.

The churches estimated income, from tithing only, is ~ $7 billion.

What percentage per year is that?

$12.5m/$7b = 0.001786 = 0.1786%

Wow! 0.1786% of their annual income (assuming it's given from the tithing fund, which it is not). That's less than 2 tenths of a percent!

Then they turn around and demand your 10%!

The money they give to charity is a drop in the bucket. If they really cared, they could solve the world hunger dilemma. But they don't. They won't.

The money they give is given for the main purpose that this anonymous commenter has used it for... to spout out numbers that look impressive.

But take a second look and you will see that the church gives next to nothing. It's main purpose is PR - Public Relations, to make themselves look good.

But the real bottom line is that the church gives nothing. The money used for these statistics is actually donated by the members.

Care to dazzle us with any more of your statistics?

Jo said...

I am not mormon and don't give a damn about them either way. I have worked in the social services field for many years, and I can tell you that any time resources (food, money, anything) is given away for free, con artists and manipulators will swarm. Think I'm exagerating? I have met more than one family where the children have been trained to cry on cue -- all to create a show for naive people so they'll give the parents money.

Many organizations and churches use volunteering as a way to sort through these people, to find the ones who really need help. I worked in a social services office/homeless shelter supported by a thrift store for several years. I cannot tell you how many times people told me "my children are starving", yet refused volunteer for an hour at our thrift store in exchange for rent money, free clothing, etc.

Sadly, people lie. Some people are really good at it. I've learned that most people who are in genuine need are more than willing to work in exchange for assistance, if capable -- most of them appreciate the opportunity. When you have to ask for a handout to feed your child, it sucks away your dignity. Working in exchange allows you to keep some of that dignity.

As I said before, I don't care about Mormons. I have no agenda here, but I can't fault them for asking people to give what they can in exchange for the resources they need to live. After all, entitlements create welfare states...

Mormon411 said...

Hi Jo,

Thanks for the comment. I am all too aware that people lie. I once owed a rental property and people will say and do anything to get the keys in their hands. It's amazing how many "clean" freaks apply to live there and then once they have the keys, they under go this magical transformation from "clean freak" to "super slop hog".

I am constantly amazed at what low standards some people have for themselves. I once had a tenant who let his wife and his dog share a bedroom. The poor little girl had to sleep on a shit covered mattress. Naturally, they left me with a huge mess to clean up.

I know this post sounded harsh. I am not opposed to the churches welfare program. I was simply trying to make a point. I myself am a former reciepient of church welfare and I will always be grateful that they were there when I needed help.

And I totally agree with you that those truly in need would be more than willing to work in exchange for assistance. Those who are just looking for a quick handout don't want to work for it. They are just leeches who will take anything if it is free.

Anonymous said...

did you read your post before you posted it? or is there something wrong with you? your post makes me laugh more than anything.. i dont even know what to say besides that fact that you are ridiculous..

Mormon411 said...

did you read your post before you posted it? or is there something wrong with you? your post makes me laugh more than anything.. i dont even know what to say besides that fact that you are ridiculous..

Hey we're all entitled to our opinions... but I think your comment would have been a little more constructive if you had bothered to explain. Calling me "ridiculous" is not refuting the message.

Zatch said...

The Church has no money except that which it gains through member contributions.
The LDS Church in this case is analogous to, say, the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army doesn't donate to charity, it is the charity.

Mormon411 said...

Nice try, Zatch. Aside from member donations, the LDS church owns businesses all around the world. And guess who the CEO's are?!?!

Let me refer you to a past post where I shared a YouTube video which plainly shows that not only does the LDS church own businesses but they pay their apostles very well.

Cynthia Alexander said...

Im a Mormon, I love my church. Yes our members contribute to the welfare program and others volunteer to receive the things they are in need of. Nothing wrong with that. I don't know numbers and I won't claim too. But when people donate to the red cross and the red cross sends relief to a city or country in need you don't hear them say that anna, billi and cindy donated to a city in need. But the Red Cross did. We are members of the Church donating, so Yes. The church collectively gives to charity. And I am proud to be affiliated with a church welfare program whose blessings touch those around the world.