Church 2021 Annual Report - "Caring For Those In Need"

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SincereInquirer
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Church 2021 Annual Report - "Caring For Those In Need"

Post by SincereInquirer » Fri May 13, 2022 4:07 pm

I still get email blasts from the Mormon Church...most of the time I successfully delete them before any review of the content, but I (unfortunately) opened this one that I received this afternoon. A link in the email directs you to a pretty 48 page PDF that purports to be an "annual report on various facets of our work to care for God's children" and is signed by the first presidency. Link is here:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/bc/ ... f?lang=eng

The report says that there were $906,000,000 in expenditures, 3,909 humanitarian projects, 6,800,000 hours volunteered, and 188 countries and territories served. However, it only clearly indicates that the 3,909 humanitarian projects were from 2021...unless I missed it, it doesn't clearly say whether all of the reported number of expenditures, hours volunteered, and countries and territories served were all in 2021 or not.

The report (as per standard Church reporting practice) fails to provide any backup for any of the purported numbers that are provided, but it does have lots of pretty pictures, some faith promoting generalized stories about all the good they are doing, and 28 footnotes that for the most part reference articles from Church magazines and a few bland news articles...

The publication of this annual report is interesting to me. Unless I missed them, I think this is the first time the Church itself has issued an "Annual Report" like this? Does anyone know whether that is the case? Google showed me annual reports from LDS Charities from 2013 to 2020 (that are similar in format), but I didn't locate any other reports for the Church itself.

Every time the Church puts out something like this, I have to take a step back and wonder why? My belief is that they don't do things unless they are reacting to something and/or trying to grease the skids for current members to feel good and use the information as fact when responding to others that aren't quite as believing as them (see, for example, the publication of the "essays"). Maybe this has been issued in response to the recent "last hurrah" report put out by the Truth and Transparency folks on all of the Mormon Church real estate holdings in the US?

If the Church would just realize that opening the books and be accountable for what they were doing with all of the money and real estate that they have, they wouldn't have to keep putting up smoke and mirrors on these sorts of things. Smoke and mirrors works for the faithful I guess.

Then again, if they opened the books and were accountable, maybe they know they would have fewer adherents because everyone would clue in to the fact that the Church is just a very large real estate holding and investment company hording riches and giving very little of what they have accumulated to those in need. They aren't about "Mormon" anymore, but they are still definitely all about "Mammon".

I now can't wait to read their 2022 annual report.
"I don't need the Mormon church to be true, I just need it to not be verifiably false." - something I read somewhere...(help me give proper citation credit if you know where this came from)

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Red Ryder
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Re: Church 2021 Annual Report - "Caring For Those In Need"

Post by Red Ryder » Fri May 13, 2022 11:16 pm

The 906 a million spent:

$906 million
was expended to help those in need through:
■ FAST-OFFERING ASSISTANCE, which provides temporary financial help to those in need.
■ BISHOPS’ ORDERS FOR GOODS, including giving food and commodities from bishops’ storehouses and Deseret Industries stores to those in need.
■ HUMANITARIAN PROJECTS, including charitable relief in communities across the world.
■ DONATED COMMODITIES, including Church-produced goods provided to communities through food banks and other agencies.
■ DONATED CLOTHING, including discounted or free apparel given to Deseret Industries.
■ CHURCH OPERATIONS, including Family Services counseling, employment centers, farms and food-processing facilities, and Deseret Industries.

Interesting to read how they conclude donated clothing in the expenditure number. My professional life tells me this is all lass through and the church is taking credit for expenditures.

I’m not so cold hearted that I have to dispute the goodness the church does for humanity. But I do have to question how much they tweak the data to pay themselves in the back.
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Angel
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Re: Church 2021 Annual Report - "Caring For Those In Need"

Post by Angel » Sat May 14, 2022 1:27 pm

$900/??members? 900/10? = $90/member?
“You have learned something...That always feels at first as if you have lost something.” George Bernard Shaw
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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alas
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Re: Church 2021 Annual Report - "Caring For Those In Need"

Post by alas » Sat May 14, 2022 6:55 pm

Money comes from humanitarian donations and fast offerings. None of the money comes from tithing. So, this is all donations that are on top of tithing. Pretty disgusting when you consider that my husband and I donate more than the $90 per member in fast offerings each year. Oh, and he still pays tithing on my income, even though I no longer consider myself a member. I asked him not to once, but decided it wasn’t worth making him feel like he has lost me for eternity and didn’t fight it.

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moksha
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Re: Church 2021 Annual Report - "Caring For Those In Need"

Post by moksha » Sun May 15, 2022 5:21 am

Almost all of the $906 million (roughly $850 million of the total) relates to fast-offering pass-through, solicited from members and given back to other members via Church welfare and Bishop's storehouse projects. Charity-wise, the amount was 40 million.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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jfro18
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Re: Church 2021 Annual Report - "Caring For Those In Need"

Post by jfro18 » Sun May 15, 2022 6:18 am

moksha wrote:
Sun May 15, 2022 5:21 am
Almost all of the $906 million (roughly $850 million of the total) relates to fast-offering pass-through, solicited from members and given back to other members via Church welfare and Bishop's storehouse projects. Charity-wise, the amount was 40 million.
Do they provide that info anywhere? I skimmed through it but noticed that they were intentionally vague throughout so you could never actually put numbers to any of the sections beyond the generic datapoints they wanted to give.

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moksha
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Re: Church 2021 Annual Report - "Caring For Those In Need"

Post by moksha » Sun May 15, 2022 1:01 pm

jfro18 wrote:
Sun May 15, 2022 6:18 am
Do they provide that info anywhere? I skimmed through it but noticed that they were intentionally vague throughout so you could never actually put numbers to any of the sections beyond the generic datapoints they wanted to give.
Here is a further breakdown of info:

https://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/comme ... expended/?
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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SincereInquirer
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Re: Church 2021 Annual Report - "Caring For Those In Need"

Post by SincereInquirer » Sun May 15, 2022 11:10 pm

moksha wrote:
Sun May 15, 2022 1:01 pm
jfro18 wrote:
Sun May 15, 2022 6:18 am
Do they provide that info anywhere? I skimmed through it but noticed that they were intentionally vague throughout so you could never actually put numbers to any of the sections beyond the generic datapoints they wanted to give.
Here is a further breakdown of info:

https://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/comme ... expended/?
Thanks for sharing this link.

Follow the profit, indeed.
"I don't need the Mormon church to be true, I just need it to not be verifiably false." - something I read somewhere...(help me give proper citation credit if you know where this came from)

Cnsl1
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Re: Church 2021 Annual Report - "Caring For Those In Need"

Post by Cnsl1 » Sat May 21, 2022 5:57 am

I remember trusting that what I gave to the church through humanitarian and fast offerings would be used for those purposes, and not get tied up in administrative costs.

I was not thrilled when they changed the wording on the donation slips to indicate they could use any donation at their discretion and for any purpose. With no transparency in finances (at least in the US) it's still impossible to know if every dollar donated through fast offering and humanitarian channels is actually being used for those purposes. The numbers suggest they probably are, but I would hope for a better accounting. Please show us, LDS Inc., how much money is taken IN through fast offerings and humanitarian aid!

My suspicion is that no one could provide that information. How are we to know that after the wording changed on the donation slip, all money does not go into the same pot? How are we to know that the charitable donations the church is making is not but a fraction of what it is given for those purposes?! Show us that the widow's mite given for the poor is really being used for the poor!

The donation slip says the church will make reasonable efforts to use the funds as the donor intended, but that they are now property of the church to "be used at the church's sole discretion to further the Church's overall mission."

RMN says the most important mission is to gather Israel. JS said that the gathering was literal. So.. is the church is amassing a fortune to BUY Israel, pay their neighbors off so they'll leave them alone, and then tell the tribes to come back home? Sounds nuts, but... so does saving up for the millennium.

Is it possible to examine the public records in countries the church has to be more transparent with how they use donated funds, and make estimates for the church at large? England or Australia? Does anyone know?

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Hagoth
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Re: Church 2021 Annual Report - "Caring For Those In Need"

Post by Hagoth » Sun May 22, 2022 5:43 am

Cnsl1 wrote:
Sat May 21, 2022 5:57 am
I remember trusting that what I gave to the church through humanitarian and fast offerings would be used for those purposes, and not get tied up in administrative costs.
Me too. I donated heavily after the Indonesian tsunami and encouraged others to do so because it was the one charitable organization I knew would make sure all of the money went to those in need. Then I saw the tax reports from the UK (charitable organizations there are required to report on such things) where hundreds of thousands of dollars of member donations specifically targeted for tsunami relief was simply dumped into the church's US general fund.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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stealthbishop
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Re: Church 2021 Annual Report - "Caring For Those In Need"

Post by stealthbishop » Mon May 23, 2022 12:25 pm

It's typical for billionaire dollar companies to have some type of charitable or humanitarian foundation or arm of sorts. It's window dressing.

And yes, the church does allow bishops to release fast offerings for those in need but often bishop's are trained in "correct welfare principles" which is code for not giving too much away and some bishops are very tight fisted irregardless.

The reality is that hunger, thirst and poverty could all be a thing of the past in this world (or at least for children) but we lack the moral and political will to do it. Plain and simple. The church is very much like any other billion dollar corporation. They want the tax breaks and they show minimal impact on real world problems in return. Pennies on the dollar compared to how much they bring in and their tax exempt status.

I'm not impressed with their efforts. They could be doing SO much more. And they could actually inspire more energy in the youth and young adults of the church if they actually even tried to make an decent impact. They have the money and the expertise to make a big impact. But they want to keep more and more in the store house for when the "end times" surely come. The modern apostles and prophets don't see(r). They are blind.
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Put me to the test
Things on your chest
You need to confess"

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