Now Breaking Doctrine! Feed Poor and “that money is gone!”

Mass Bulletin To All Faithful Believers In The Church [Found at the Oracles of FAIR:]:

“Some have insisted that funds would be better if directed to charitable works such as feeding the poor.  The Church does have an extensive humanitarian effort.  Critics on this point often overlook the fact that Church funds are best managed not by sitting in a bank account, but through prudent investment.  Investment in land and real estate development is often a wise and ultimately profitable investment approach.”  [Note to Brethren: Do not under any circumstances point out that recently some very few investments in land and real estate were not ultimately profitable, because this one is certain to be profitable, despite what anti-Mormon critics have to say using “math” on websites like this one: ]

It is entirely possible that the City Creek Center Mall will eventually become a money making venture, as the Church collects rent from mall merchants.  [Note to Brethren: Do not mention that it will take a thousand years to recoup our $4B investment, as even faithful believers often don’t realize this is a “Millenium-term” investment strategy].  This investment strategy would allow the Church to, over time, recoup its initial outlay or even make money that could be further dedicated to the Church’s religious and humanitarian goals.  [Note to Brethren: “This investment strategy” refers to a possibility, not an actual “strategy”.]

Critics [Note: critics are bad] also overlook the fact that if money is spent to feed the needy, that money is gone (cf. Matt 5:6.  Note to Brethren: a recent retranslation of the Gospels clearly renders “hunger and thirst after Righteousness TM,” which prophetic utterance refers to the new, fabulous values-friendly modest clothing shop, Righteousness TM, and it’s line of exceptional hormon-dampening tunics we are blessed to welcome to the New City Creek On the Mount Shops.)

Yes, that’s what we said.  Gone.  That’s it.  Adios, muchacho.  Doctors tell us it goes into the mouth, and exits immediately through the nether-regions, because “the needy” suffer from inability to extract nutrients from donate foodstuffs, nor do they derive pleasure from such things.  If they did, it leads them into criminal activities, as crime reports possibly show.  It is entirely possible that by giving to the poor, we might subvert the will of the Lord to teach these sorts of people faithful enduring in every footstep in the principle of the righteous fast.   [The preceeding section should be read only to the truly faithful, that is, the “less needy”.]

On the other hand, if the Church reinvests in Salt Lake City’s downtown core, this provides jobs and economic stimulus (for example, via construction and then the service-industry jobs which will fill the mall upon its completion).  While providing fewer short term gains [seriously, what could $4B really do, nowadays?  Sure, it could eliminate child illnesses, most of global hunger, and so on, but then what do we do with all the faithful Saints trained under the graces of the PEF to dispose of children’s corpses, respectfully and prayerfully?  Huh?  By helping you just create more problems.], this long term “teach a man to fish” strategy could ultimately benefit many more people, by allowing them to “help themselves.”  [Note to brethren: by “help themselves” we mean work at low-pay, no-benefit, low-reward retail and restaurant jobs.  In no way does that phrase mean, “help themselves” to anything else, nor do we plan to teach any men to fish, as that investment strategy would leave our burdgeoning fish-mongery shops at the New City Creek On the Mount Shops with a diminished consumer base.  It is a symbol, for “helping” people shop for those too-perfect designer jeans.]



  1. Sorry to state the obvious, but I think you missed this, “All research and opinions provided on this site are the sole responsibility of FAIR and should not be interpreted as official statements of LDS doctrine, belief, or practice.” Oh, and a Christ-like temperament in your criticism.

    1. Dave,
      I think you missed this: I never said FAIR was giving “official statements of LDS doctrine, belief, or practice.” Nor would I, because I’m not one who believes there are, in fact, “official” things in a voluntary religious society. And that is the only defense FAIR (or you, speaking for and in behalf of FAIR) can give of this “feed the poor” doctrine: We’re not speaking official things? With apologists like these, who needs anti-Mormons? What defense (rather than baseless offense) would you dare give of FAIR’s doctrine?

      It is vastly more important to have a Christ-like temperament than to “feed my sheep,” I suppose? Yet what Christ-like temperament are you referring to? How about: Get thee behind me, Satan, Oh ye of little faith, this generation of vipers, for I come not to bring peace, but the sword. But maybe that’s not in the Chicken-Soup For the Soul Pastel-Coloring-Book Jesus that forms the backbone of a spineless defense of usury-based consumerism rather than, say, a defense of giving to the needy? But I suppose you don’t speak for FAIR, either, but merely come here as an Elias to make the way straight for Someone Official.

  2. So I followed the link to the original FAIR article, and noticed they used a quote from Burton on this affair. Burton mentioned that the crux of whether to proceed as “quickly” was conditioned on creating some 1,700 jobs. Actually, Burton uses the terminology “upwards of 1,700 jobs”, so I’m left to presume that the actual number will come somewhere below that figure.

    But, giving Burton the benefit of the doubt on this one, while doubting the benefit of the same, the City Creek Center costs are coming in at approximately $2.35 million per created job. Yes, it’s costing $2.35 million to create every janitorial job, every floor sweeper job, every retail associate and every high paid bigwig that is managing that development. $2.35 million for each and every one of the 1,700 jobs. If the actual number of created jobs somehow comes down to, oh, I don’t know, 1,250 jobs, then the total jumps to $3.2 million per job.

    Astounding figures, astounding economics, and astounding logic found in that FAIR article. Because, after all, when the money spent feeding some poor fellow in some ridiculously poor country is merely “gone”, what better way than to spend it on an entirely underwhelming structure.

    Me? I’d prefer the Burj Khalifa, and at half the cost. 😉

    1. Well, if you’re going to bring math into the question, we’ve truly entered the realm of the World (see definition in Dictionary). Yet, that seems to be the logic, let’s say, underlying the “and that money’s gone” defense. What is the ROI on feeding a person?

      I believe the current guesses at the number of ‘food-insecure’ humans (starving sons and daughters of God, let’s say) approaches one billion.
      Let’s say the City Creek Mall comes in at a svelte $4B, that would leave us with only $4 to feed all those hungry souls!
      You could, then, purchase (with buy-one-get-one-free coupons) two cheeseburgers, a small fry, and a small soda for everyone, and a certain food purveyor could up its count to another billion served. But what would happen, then? Eat, burp, done. That’s it. It’s gone (though some shareholders would be pleased at the revenue bump).

      But let us imagine that some one of those one billion was one meal from death, and with that one double-cheeseburger happy meal, she did a single good deed, and another, on the other side of the globe, saw an I-Am-A-Mormon-Ad as a result of renewed strength and hope. As our friends at CES are fond of reciting whenever budgets come under review, “How can one measure the worth of a soul?” Is that “gone”? The calories available for purchase at $4B could probably fire more than a few good things.

      Let us imagine another scenario: Fox News reports that the Mormon Church gave away 4 billion dollars in free food today, because, “we had the money sitting around, and we thought there might be some hungry folks on this planet,” Bishop David “Hi-Def” Burton remarked between bites of chocolate chip cookies. Nothing still? Even non-believers in PR (like myself) can see some good reports following.

      My belief about the excessive cost of the Mall…maybe I’ll write something on that, someday.

  3. It is not the Church’s job to feed the rebellious poor (a moral hazard). It is the job of the Church to feed the poor members of the Church. That’s why I don’t believe the Church has any business in humanitarian efforts feeding or aiding those who will not convert. The Church should feed its own. Of course if they got a reputation for doing well at this, they would start getting converts just for the food, which isn’t good either. They would definitely need to be lead by the Spirit about who and who not to baptize.

    I have heard some members say that they’ve seen cases of poor families in the Church coming to the bishop for aid and being told they should seek out government welfare before Church aid. This is insane! The duty of the Church is to provide for its own. Telling them to go on government dole is telling them to be dependent on the arm of flesh. Certainly Church finances should be far more reliable than government finances. Besides, the hand that feeds is the hand that leads. Do we really want a portion of the membership with mixed allegiances?

    1. So, the work of ‘the church’ is to build malls, and let the hungry go hungry, unless they have a testimony of ‘the church’, or happen to show up some times? That’s just like I read in the Book of Mormon the other day…

      1. I personally don’t believe any church dollars should go into building malls. That simply is not God’s work. If the Church was able to take care of its own, then I wouldn’t see as much of a problem with them spending dollars on the poor outside the Church… if spending those dollars was found to help those poor get closer to God.

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