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Radio Free Mormon: 119: Hundred Billion Dollar Baby

Today Radio Free Mormon and Bill Reel work together to discuss the multiple facets of the recent breaking story that the LDS Church has 100 billion dollars stockpiled in Ensign Peak Advisers, and investment arm of the Church.   We listed all the resources of this shared in this podcast below.


7 minute synopsis of the issue

PDF “Letter to an IRS Director

Dropbox version

full 1 hour 17 minute video

Original Washington Post breaking this story 

Religion Unplugged breaking the story

Newsweek’s coverage of the Whistle Blower’s motives

President Q12 Boyd K Packer being declined Access to EPA Financials

Website declaring the actual EPA value at 124 Billion

LDS owned KUTV sharing quotes that the Church did something wrong

President Nelson Advice to avoid God’s vengeance on the day of burning

Wayback Machine Elder Anderson’s “We are not a wealthy people”

Thomas Monson as a spokesman for “Beneficial life insurance”

President Nelson promising tithing as a way to get out of poverty

Old Lorenzo Snow video of his tithing visit to St George Utah

Presiding Bishop H. David Burton and City Creek Mall

Church Newsroom Response to this story breaking

“If paying tithing means that you can’t pay for water or electricity, pay tithing. If paying tithing means that you can’t pay your rent, pay tithing. Even if paying tithing means that you don’t have enough money to feed your family, pay tithing. The Lord will not abandon you.” – Quote 1 to pay tithing before feeding children

One day during those difficult times, I heard my parents discussing whether they should pay tithing or buy food for the children.   On Sunday, I followed my father to see what he was going to do. After our Church meetings, I saw him take an envelope and put his tithing in it. That was only part of the lesson. The question that remained for me was what we were going to eat. – Quote 2 on paying tithing before feeding your children

Among those who do not sacrifice there are two extremes: one is the rich, gluttonous man who won’t and the other is the poor, destitute man who believes he can’t. But how can you ask someone who is starving to eat less? Is there a level of poverty so low that sacrifice should not be expected or a family so destitute that paying tithing should cease to be required? Faith isn’t tested so much when the cupboard is full as when it is bare. In these defining moments, the crisis doesn’t create one’s character—it reveals it. The crisis is the test. – Quote 3 on paying tithing before feeding oneself adequately 

“I repeat that the Church is frequently spoken of as an institution of great wealth. When all is said and done, the Church is wealthy only in the faith of its people. One of the expressions of that faith is the payment of tithing. The Church is spoken of as an institution with great business interests. The income from those business properties would keep the Church going for only a very short time.” – President Gordon B Hinckley –

Furthermore, I want to say to you, we may not be able to reach it right away, but we expect to see the day when we will not have to ask you for one dollar of donation for any purpose, except that which you volunteer to give of your own accord, because we will have tithes sufficient in the storehouse of the Lord to pay everything that is needful for the advancement of the kingdom of God. I want to live to see that day, if the Lord will spare my life. It does not make any difference, though, so far as that is concerned, whether I live or not. That is the true policy, the true purpose of the Lord in the management of the affairs of His Church. – Quote on Tithing ending once the Church had sufficient funds


5 thoughts on “Radio Free Mormon: 119: Hundred Billion Dollar Baby”

  1. Translate “the government expects a charity to spend a certain amount” to “the law requires a charity to spend X $/%”. Can RFM do that?

  2. Hello RFM and Bill,

    Thanks for your podcast. You talked about Deloitte and said you weren’t sure what that company is and why they were looking at the church’s finances. You also acted surprised that BYU receives federal funding.

    Any university where the students receive federal grants or loans to pay for tuition and other expenses is considered to be receiving federal funds. BYU professors may also apply for grants to do research. This obviously applies to >90% of universities and colleges and has nothing to do with the amount of money a university has. Harvard would also be in this same group as their students receive federal grants and loans if they qualify and apply as well.

    It is my understanding that because of this the federal government requires the University to pay for and produce a professional independent audit. The government can disqualify grants and loans to students of a university that doesn’t follow certain government requirements. For example a large percentage of students defaulting on their loans could jeopardize the future loans to students.

    Deloitte is one of the “Big 4” multinational accounting firms that is well known for auditing large companies. It sounds like the church asked Deloitte to violate the best practices of independent auditing by having one of their partners who is a mormon be the one to review the money in the EPA. It’s not independent to have the entity being audited specify who within the auditing firm it will allow to look at their books and to have those restricted individuals be members of the organization.

    It appears from what was reported that after a while Deloitte baulked at this as it is a violation of the principles of auditing they should follow.

  3. Deloitte is one of the “Big 4” accounting firms. Annually, companies need (some are required) to have their financial review completed to verify that the financial statements follow GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principals). They also are to verify that fraud and illegal activities are not prevelant in the organization.

  4. It’s always interesting to look at someone’s bank account. In the name of security, they often keep these records private (not secret), so that people don’t go around misusing or spending from such account.

    Now that the information is almost public, perhaps it’s important to be extra careful.

    It might be interesting to know how having that money in the stock market stimulates the public sector economy in general.

    Something overlooked in the discussion.
    One way to become poor fast is to no longer be frugal with our expenses. Cleaning our own chapel creates a sense of belonging and care. It’s important that everyone learns how to clean toilets and do house keeping.

    It’s interesting how sometimes members of the church may end up being kidnap for ransom (like has happened in Mexico), but the church has a policy of not paying for ransom least this only creates a situation where future members also become targets for ransom.

    The church will not pay off kidnappers for this reason, but making this information public can place high profile church leaders more at risk.

  5. Great discussion. There is another aspect that seems to get left out. Tithing money being invested….in large pharmaceuticals, democracy destroying social media, predatory investment banks, companies that destroy the environment, etc etc.

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