The growth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from a fledgling band of frontier Americans to a global faith that blesses the lives of millions is one of the great religious success stories of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Why do the Mormon’s feel so strongly about financial independence?
The easy answer to this question is our history and our teachings. As this article outlines, the Mormon’s from a rough start, where we had to survive on our own work and efforts or not survive at all. As a people, we faced persecution by the very government that was supposed to protect us. In part, our desire for and reliance on financial independence came from that start.
However, the historical need to be independent is only half of the picture. From the very beginning, the teachings of the LDS church were that we people should stand on their own. This applies not only to the Mormon church, but we believe to governments, families and individuals as well.
Achieving financial independence as a church took many decades, but today the LDS church is entirely independent, which gives it the ability to donate to humanitarian causes around the globe, and serve as a first responder in many natural disasters.
Does the Mormon church own for-profit businesses?
From the article linked and quoted above:
The key to understanding Church finances is to understand that they are a means to an end. They allow the Church to carry out its religious mission across the world.
Does the Church own for-profit businesses? Yes. In the Church’s earlier history as it was establishing itself in the remote Intermountain West, some of those businesses were necessitated by the simple fact that they didn’t exist elsewhere in the community. Gradually, as private businesses developed and the need for Church-owned businesses diminished, they were sold off, donated to the community or discontinued. Zions Bank and the LDS Hospital system are examples.
Today, the Church’s business assets support the Church’s mission and principles by serving as a rainy day fund.
At the end of the day, our church invests in private business, which helps us do all of the things we wish to do as a church.
Is making money bad?
This is a rhetorical question. Money in and of itself is not bad… the scriptures teach that it is the love of money that is a problem. The Money that the LDS church makes is used for enormous humanitarian efforts around the globe. None of the churches leaders are paid for their service. In my view, you have to look at what is done with the money, before taking issue with having money at all.