Mormon friends Do the elite who run the LDS church brother you ?

Hello Mormon friends,

I’m not knocking the church or the faith, but does it bother you that the leaders in your church are all wealthy men or powerful men ? I feel that a lot of the leaders in the LDS church preach from an Ivory Tower. How do you interpret their elite standings in life compared to your own, if you are just a regular guy like me?

I feel its easy to "Accept the gospel" or be "Content in life " if your an Airline Executive or 

World renowned surgeon.

Thank you.

All you have to do is look at their billion dollar shopping center their church created. What business does a church have building a shopping center?

Please pray for them.

Do they read our Bible or do they have their own?

They have the KJV but also have the Mormon edition of it. They don’t put much stock into the bible as long as its “translated correctly”. They have the book of Mormon which is said to be the most perfect book but has had many changes done to it :shrug: Anyone reading this thread can simply look at other threads here on Mormonism and get a feel to what they think and believe about what their leaders are and say.

The economic status of a religion’s leaders is largely immaterial (;)) to me, unless:

They preach a gospel of poverty; the leaders are pictures as living simple or non-materialistic lives; or

The wealth of those leaders (or others) is derived from the treasury of that religion, and those giving into that treasury had been led to believe that their donations were going to programs other than to support those leaders’ lifestyles, or that the amount going to the leaders was greater than was claimed.

For example, Mormons generally believe and boast that their ministry serves without pay, when in fact a large number of priesthood leaders receive salaries (by whatever name - “small stipend” or “humble living expenses” or whatever); furthermore, a vast number of employees, mostly Mormon, work in church offices on church programs, and do so for pay the same way that other office and clerical workers do. Some religions, notably (I have been told) Scientology and the Unification Church, also have leaders who receive nice, sometimes significant salaries (by whatever name), but they also have a large number of employees who serve without financial remuneration. I think the Jehovah’s Witnesses are one of the least mercenary, with most of their leadership really receiving only a small compensation for their full-time work.

But compared to Catholic priests I have known, the others all still come out ahead financially as they “talk their talk”. I have the greatest respect for many Catholic priests not because they are Catholic, but because they are trained in and exercise the most admirable reasoning, and because they “walk the walk” - they do live humble (nonmaterialistic) lives. The ones I have known have had a single room in a house shared with other priests and a Monseigneur, and the dollar value of that house was less than one-eight the value of the houses of Mormon leaders that you can find on the internet.

Jesus said,

The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. … But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi… And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

Is that what you were thinking of?

all lds leaders call “called by God”. Sadly, the lds god is impressed by money and status. This should not be surprising since the lds god changed his mind for financial reasons on the issues of polygamy and blacks holding the lds priesthood.

and the lds apostles and other high leaders are treated like royalty. It is an awesome gig.

Does anyone see the irony of this thread?

The Pope sits on a throne. He CAN live in palacial luxury if he chooses to…many of his predecessors did. The Vatican is a palace and aren’t some places in the Vatican called “palace”?

I understand that the Pope doesn’t really “own” any of the treasures the Vatican houses…but come on guys, talking about the wealth of other religious leaders…wealth they inherited or earned before they answered the call to be an apostle. They stayed faithful to the precepts of their faith community, many of them CEO’s of their own companies before taking office on the Counsel of Twelve.

That their wealth allowed the time and money to dedicate themselves to their community, rising through the various quorums of their faith seems to be an incesential fact not mentioned. Yes the General Authorities for the most part have wealth, but they put that wealth to work for both them and their religious community.

That tthe LDS Church is operated like a business should come as no surprise…most of the GA’s are businessmen or owners of successful businesses. LDS believe in temporal stewardship… Taking quite literally the parable of the Stewards.

The Catholic hierarchy have a vast amount of wealth and power if the choose to exercise it. They can and some do live like royalty, having every need met.

The GC’s of the LDS church are implementing good stewardship over their wealth as their faith instructs them to.

The Vatican and Hierarcy of the Catholic church live in no less wealth and luxury than do the LDS,

seriously? You compare someone raised in austerity like most of our popes who struggle all their lives teaching…than get placed in to the position of Pope with men who are white wealthy men with the birthright of being treated as kings where ever they go?

Wow. Just wow.

The priest here in our little burg makes far more than most of the parishioners. About 50K a year. Plus he pays no housing costs, no taxes on a home, no cost for telephone, either land line or cell, no cost for his cable, no heating costs, no cooling costs. He a clothing stipend, he must buy his own food, but he eats at the parishioners homes about 3-4 times a week. He gets his vestments paid for. His health insurance is paid for. He’ll get retirement money from the diocese.
He does pay for his own car and that insurance, but the parish pays for his gas for his car.
This is a VERY small town, his second assignment.
The home provided for him is a beautiful 2 bedroom home, probably 1200 square feet or so, great kitchen, 2 baths and a laundry room mud and a huge yard that’s fenced in and patios, garage etc.

I live on FAR less than he makes and pay all my own bills. So nope, don’t feel sorry for him at all. Back east at my parish our priests were Franciscan. BUT they have a beautiful home (very large for 2 priests) and paid nothing, vehicles were provided, as well as insurance. They had a cook for 3 meals a day. They had no expenses. Their salary went to their order but they did get pocket money for things like haircuts etc.

Priests that I know personally, and was raised around, were raised in upper middle class families to upper class families, in beautiful homes with loving families and great educations.
I think it’s rare that priests live in poverty in the US. The Franciscan priests I know don’t live in total poverty, as in not having anything to eat, living from post to pillar etc. They don’t have much money but their needs are provided for.
Diocesen priests can inherit money and homes and some have vacation homes that they own. They are not bound to any vows of poverty.

A friend I went to school with is a minister. He makes GREAT money, over 100k a year. His wife works and they have most of their living expenses paid for by the church.

So why would any catholic expect that ministers and church leaders of other faiths would be poor? And raised poorly? And make little to no money?

***So why would any catholic expect that ministers and church leaders of other faiths would be poor? And raised poorly? And make little to no money? ***

It’s not about being poor. We know that some priests do get a paycheck. But when your church is buying up land to build houses or businesses that’s a little different. Now if these places are built for the purpose of housing for the poor or a business to feed the hungry then that’s great. But to line your own pocket is different.

And the Catholic church just a few years ago bought the Crystal Cathedral in California for how many millions? 50 Million… THATS A LOT OF MONEY!

How can you fault other churches for acquiring buildings and land? The Catholic church owns a LOT of land and houses and churches that you probably don’t even know about.

I think many churches own stuff you don’t know about, they need to make money just like any business does.

"The Vatican has large investments with the Rothschilds of Britain, France and America, with the Hambros Bank, with the Credit Suisse in London and Zurich. In the United States it has large investments with the Morgan Bank, the Chase-Manhattan Bank, the First National Bank of New York, the Bankers Trust Company, and others. The Vatican has billions of shares in the most powerful international corporations such as Gulf Oil, Shell, General Motors, Bethlehem Steel, General Electric, International Business Machines, T.W.A., etc. At a conservative estimate, these amount to more than 500 million dollars in the U.S.A. alone.

"The Vatican’s treasure of solid gold has been estimated by the United Nations World Magazine to amount to several billion dollars. A large bulk of this is stored in gold ingots with the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, while banks in England and Switzerland hold the rest. But this is just a small portion of the wealth of the Vatican, which in the U.S. alone, is greater than that of the five wealthiest giant corporations of the country. When to that is added all the real estate, property, stocks and shares abroad, then the staggering accumulation of the wealth of the Catholic church becomes so formidable as to defy any rational assessment.

"The Catholic church is the biggest financial power, wealth accumulator and property owner in existence. She is a greater possessor of material riches than any other single institution, corporation, bank, giant trust, government or state of the whole globe. The pope, as the visible ruler of this immense amassment of wealth, is consequently the richest individual of the twentieth century. No one can realistically assess how much he is worth in terms of billions of dollars."

And y’all are worried about a shopping center? The Catholic Church dwarfs any other church regarding money issues.

again, seriously?

He has a 24-hour-a-day job. And he has gone to school as long as I have…and I make 3 times what he does.

He makes less than even school teachers.

School teachers here make a lot less than 50k, the beginning teachers salary with less than 5 years experience is $33,550.00 with a masters degree.
Average salary in our burg is less than $25,000.
Average salary in his home town is $23,000 for his education level.
He has less than 100 families in his parish, 90% are retired and many are one person families. There are 3 families with children. He only answers the phone from 7am until 5pm.

By the time you would add utilities and house payments and insurance and taxes and phone bills and such, he makes a lot more than $50,000.

For a low key job, I’d take that kind of money, I make a lot less and have the same education. :slight_smile:

You make 3 times as much, you probably have a family and house payments and utilities, and such to pay as well. :slight_smile:

Mormon here!

In response to the original question- no, I’m not bothered at all, and here’s why-

The examples you mention- airline exec, heart surgeon, (and you could add nuclear engineer, state court justice, business execs, etc.) illustrate that many were very successful in their careers. The thing is, many didn’t become LDS apostles until they were of retirement age- and this new position lasts for life, like the pope. They work as apostles full time, but given that many were quite successful earlier in life, they actually are taking a “pay cut” when they become apostles, considering they could have simply retired and lived much more luxuriously off their retirement savings.

On the other hand, a few of the apostles didn’t have such lucrative careers (school teacher, newspaper editor) but the contributions from the other apostles more than compensates.

Hope this helps!

I don’t see that Kount C’s point is how much LDS leaders (or Catholic leaders) make a lot of money so much as that it appears that in the LDS church the only people who are called to the highest leadership positions are those that have been successful businessmen. Does being a successful lawyer, (and there are many in the LDS leadership) or businessman make for a qualified spiritual leader? To me it seems at first glance the qualities that make for success in worldly endeavors are antithetical to success in spiritual endeavors, but that of course is my opinion.

No, I don’t see the irony and I don’t think you do either.

Yes, the Catholic clergy makes less the any other clergy on average.

It was built by Protestants for $54 million [2013] dollars.

I have no problem with a church acquiring buildings to worship in or house their clergy in or operate their charitable works in but I have a problem with a church purchasing income property

Quotes invented by an anti-Catholic in 1983 and repeated by anti-Catholics since.
You might start fact checking the people you have decided to submit to; they are off by a factor of 100.

The Catholic Church dwarfs any other church in size. Is has over three time the population of the United States.

The White House has a budget of $1,400 million. The Vatican has a budget of $300 million.

Ah yes. The more you have the more likely you will be given a “calling”. I have yet to see a local bishop living a humble life with very little possessions. And for the guy posting on here. My priest makes 22,000 a year. Not what I would call living good or well in this day and age.

A Mormon bishop is working two full time jobs, and only being paid at his secular job. His pay as a bishop is zero. His calling as a bishop typically lasts five years. It is impossible to make a comparison to the life or lifestyle of a priest.

My dad was a bishop, many years ago, and was neither wealthy or from a wealthy family. He was raising 6 children. His sacrifice was that we seldom saw him for more than a few minutes every day, as he went from work to the church to do more work and was gone by first light in the morning to work his outdoor job.

I worked with numerous men who are bishops, none have been wealthy. All nine to fivers with families to provide for.

The main difference I see is in the approach to wealth. LDS view wealth as an indication that one is favored by God. So it makes sense to them that their leaders are wealthy, maybe even should be wealthy.

We have had Mormon posters here express their belief that poverty in Catholic countries is a sign of the Catholic Church not being in favor with God. Poor Catholics in these countries are led to believe poverty is eliminated by becoming Mormon, as God will bless a faithful Mormon, and no faithful Mormon is ever in poverty. A person in poverty obviously does not have God’s favor, in the Mormon view

How a Mormon reconciles.this approach to the teachings of Jesus, is beyond me and what I think underlines the original question of the thread.

What you will never see in Mormonism, is anyone who has renounced all worldly possessions. Not a single Mormon exists, anywhere that I know of, let alone in a leadership position. Mormons I know would call such a person lazy and a free loader!

The irony is in the OP, where it is claimed by Mormons that successful business men have left lucrative work for…lucrative work. There is not a single Mormon leader who would or has renounced their worldly possessions, including the sacrifice of not having a family, to serve God. Not one who has showed their solidarity with the poor by having and keeping nothing.

The idea is so foreign to a Mormon they cannot answer the question being asked. The question isn’t about what one has, but what one does not have.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit