Sunday, June 28, 2009

Temples Are Business Centers For The Church

Temples Are Business Centers For The Church by peter_mary

I have a Brother-in-law who is very strategically positioned in the church (and I have to leave it at that...sorry), who told me several years ago that Temples are essentially "business centers" for the church, and they build them very strategically these days to capitalize on that.

What he went on to explain was that in areas where members had to travel more than a couple of hours to get to a temple, tithing revenues are significantly less than in areas where members have regular access. The reason was simple: You are much more inclined to maintain a current temple recommend if it is likely that you will actually be attending the temple more than on your wedding day. And you are much more susceptible to messages of guilt and coercion when your Bishop can say, "Brother so-and-so, you DO realize what a blessing it is to have a temple right here in our fair city, don't you? The sacrifices made on your behalf, so that you can enjoy the benefits, are hardly ones you should want to waste. Now, if you'll go ahead and make that check out in the amount of..."

So while on the surface, it appears that the church is doing "a favor" to the saints of a city by "bringing them a temple," the truth is, in virtually every temple location in North America, it pays for itself in the first couple of years, and then it rakes in gravy forever after, all in increased tithing revenues generated from people who are now getting temple assignments on a monthly basis at church, instead of the once-a-decade bus trip to the temple six states away.

Temples are good business for the church.

On a related note, the same BIL noted about 15 years ago a real shift in emphasis in where and how missionaries were selected for assignment. For decades, the mindset was that you sent your best and brightest missionaries on foreign missions, because they had to learn a foreign language, and you had to trust them in situations in which they were not otherwise comfortable. The result? A whole bunch of converts in poor nations where the church not only didn't INCREASE COST them money. Their demographic studies showed them that the VAST majority of their tithes and offerings came from North America, and so there was a shift, directing more and more of their best and brightest missionaries to state-side missions, and working ever harder to keep indigenous missionaries in their native land.

Again, it was a savvy business move, not a way to actually build God's kingdom on earth (although Gordon's kingdom didn't do too shabby...)

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