One of the covenants that LDS members make in the temple is to “sacrifice anything with which the lord has blessed you, or with which he may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
While this has not actually been asked of the members that I am aware of, the church does require some of its members to sacrifice immensely. The main goal of Mormonism is to get to the temple. Here in Zion, it is a hop, skip, and a jump to any temple, but in other places, it is a MAJOR undertaking to get there.
They proudly publish stories of families living in third-world countries who literally have to sell everything they own just to get to the temple, including their homes. They then undertake a two-week journey through the jungle to the temple. They face starvation, the elements, insect bites, illnesses, and more. Once the precious saving ordinances are complete, they undertake the return, two-week journey home, only they have no home to return to. Some of them do not survive the trip. For all of them, this will be the only trip they ever make to the temple in their lifetime.
Should the LDS church be allowed to encourage their faithful members to sacrifice so much? A lot can be said about the dedication of these members. If the temple truly was what the LDS claim, then these members would surely receive the highest rewards for their faithful dedication. But what kind of a god would want a family to be homeless just for a chance to attend the temple?
The LDS corporation, which is loaded to the gills with cash, could easily finance these members on their journey. Hell, by American standards, these expenses are very low. But no, the members must sacrifice everything in order to go. They must suffer nearly the ultimate price for the privilege of a few hours in the house of god. Again, while their dedication for doing so is truly noteworthy, this just sits wrong with me.
The general authorities of the church fly around the world in private jets and live in lavish penthouses. There is no reason the church could not spare the expense of these humble families to attend the temple.
I have been in a third-world country and I have seen the poverty. A family that does well will only make the equivalent of USD $5.00 a day. And they battle ever increasing inflation, making it difficult to even put food on the table. Americans do not realize how much people in other countries suffer. While we are worried about keeping up with the Joneses, they are worried about where their next meal will come from. And they do not have any welfare programs.
Should people already living in conditions like this be burdened with the extra stress and expense of a trip to the temple? I don’t think so. No loving god would require that much sacrifice from his most humble of subjects.
But when these expeditions to the temple occur, the church uses it as propaganda to the rest of its members, telling them that if the poorest of people in the world can make it to the temple, then they can sacrifice more too. One would think that the church would finance these people. But they won’t. They would rather have families with starving and homeless children so that they can use it to motivate their members to give more.
And that just sits wrong with me.
In fact, it pisses me off!