Sign in to follow this  
Guest Scott

Doesn't sit well with me

Recommended Posts

Guest Scott

This post isn't meant to attack other churches, but things like this just don't sit well with me:
 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest MormonGator

This guy strikes me as sleaze ball too. 

Do the apostles fly commercial or have a private jet? Or, if the church doesn't have a private jet do they use someone elses private jet? In fairness to this guy (and I'm bending over backwards to be fair to a guy who I think is incredibly sleazy) if you fly all time, like daily, it helps out tremendously to have a private jet.  I have no problem with our church having one, given the amount of travel the apostles have to do. 

I know you aren't trying to insult the religion of anyone else, but we need to be careful just the same. Only because if you (generic!) try to gossip about your neighbors dirty laundry you might have them poke around in your own and find some uncomfortable things. 

But again, this guy, and guys like him :: cough cough Joel Osteen :: are slimy. 

Edited by MormonGator

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest LiterateParakeet
19 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

Do the apostles fly commercial or have a private jet? O

I'm pretty sure the apostles fly commercial based on the stories they occasionally share about talking to their seatmate on a flight.  

I had an opportunity to see Pres. Monson's home once (while visiting Utah), and it was a very modest home in a modest neighborhood.  I don't mean poor, but I mean there are a lot of people in my ward/stake and neighboring town with much more expensive homes.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Scott
18 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

I have no problem with our church having one, given the amount of travel the apostles have to do. 

For the record the private jets our church uses were donated free of cost by John Huntsman.   Unless we bought more since then.  

It was more his comments rather than the plane that didn't sit well with me.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest MormonGator
10 minutes ago, LiterateParakeet said:

I'm pretty sure the apostles fly commercial based on the stories they occasionally share about talking to their seatmate on a flight.  

I had an opportunity to see Pres. Monson's home once (while visiting Utah), and it was a very modest home in a modest neighborhood.  I don't mean poor, but I mean there are a lot of people in my ward/stake and neighboring town with much more expensive homes.  

 

8 minutes ago, Scott said:

For the record the private jets our church uses were donated free of cost by John Huntsman.   Unless we bought more since then.  

It was more his comments rather than the plane that didn't sit well with me.  

Good. Like I said, I'm arguing points I don't really agree with. 

However, I still think we need to be careful. After all, if we go down the road where leaders need to live humble lives, all it takes is one member of the 70 or an apostle to live in a mansion and someone could, with some justification, play the "glass houses" card. Especially in under developed countries where all of us in this chat room, every single one, would be considered "rich".

So just be careful opening up this window. 

Edited by MormonGator

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Scott
6 hours ago, LiterateParakeet said:

I'm pretty sure the apostles fly commercial based on the stories they occasionally share about talking to their seatmate on a flight.  

Sometimes.   John Hunstman allowed use of at least two private jets for the Church leaders.  I don't know if they are still in service.

One thing though, church leaders don't all fly together (so if the place crashes, all the keys aren't lost), but seperately.  I don't know how many apostles are allowed to fly together.

(Edited to make a correction)

Edited by Scott

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, Scott said:

This post isn't meant to attack other churches, but things like this just don't sit well with me:
 

 

I'm of two minds concerning this guy. He represents a lot of the reasons I don't like many Evangelical preachers (it's a personal failing of mine, but it's there. They were the ones always condeming me to Hell, or telling their congregants that's where I was going when I was younger). I don't like people using the Lord's name to get gain. I have no problem with wealth, as a free market capitalist I believe wealth can be a very postive good, but when it's taken from people, by promising salvation if they will just send in that check, it really rubs me the wrong way to then see these preachers' driving around in limo's, eating at five star restaurants, and living a life of ease off the toil of others.

That being said, I don't necessarily have a problem with him having several planes. If he is truly using them the way his congregation wants him to, to do his job, it doesn't seem any different to me than our own leadership using private jets. Use whatever tool works the best even if it's an expensive one. And, while this guy sets off my slime meter (especially since he won't answer a simple question about something he admits saying without going in circles) I can't really blame him for not answering perfectly. How would I do, if someone had a camera in my face and was demanding answers about something I said, that I may even regret saying now or was worded poorly? No one cares what I say since I am an insignificant person, but if they did I might have a hard time in this situation as well. Interesting video.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, Scott said:

For the record the private jets our church uses were donated free of cost by John Huntsman.   Unless we bought more since then.  

 

41 minutes ago, Scott said:

John Hunstman donate at least two private jets to the Church.   I don't know if they are still in service.

 

I think this is an urban legend.  I do not believe John Huntsman donated jets to the church.  I don't believe the church owns jets.  If anyone has a reputable source saying otherwise, I'm of course happy to be corrected.

This article from 1996 mentions he has offered use of two jets.  Free flights is different than "here, have this jet".

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest MormonGator
2 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

I’m not a fan of this kind of “gotcha” reporting.  There’s a reason Rita Skeeter was written as a villain . . .

I'm a huge fan of this kind of "gotcha" reporting. If you want the truth, sometimes you have to catch people off guard and not give them time to prepare. A sit down, like they do in 60 minutes, isn't always the best way to seek out the truth because it gives people time to spin around the facts. Don't get me wrong, I love Mike Wallace and have huge respect for his tough questions. But this is my favorite kind of reporting. Different strokes. 

I was the only 14 year old who used to look forward to 60 Minutes on Sunday night! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Scott
3 hours ago, Midwest LDS said:

 I don't like people using the Lord's name to get gain. I have no problem with wealth, as a free market capitalist I believe wealth can be a very postive good, but when it's taken from people, by promising salvation if they will just send in that check, it really rubs me the wrong way to then see these preachers' driving around in limo's, eating at five star restaurants, and living a life of ease off the toil of others.

That being said, I don't necessarily have a problem with him having several planes. If he is truly using them the way his congregation wants him to, to do his job, it doesn't seem any different to me than our own leadership using private jets. Use whatever tool works the best even if it's an expensive one. 

The thing is though that all of the above indicates that his church is a business rather than a charity.   That church has tax exempt status.  He also lives in a $6 million mansion (owned by his church).    His six boats and vacation homes are in the name of his church.

Edited by Scott

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

I think this is an urban legend.  I do not believe John Huntsman donated jets to the church.  I don't believe the church owns jets.  If anyone has a reputable source saying otherwise, I'm of course happy to be corrected.

This article from 1996 mentions he has offered use of two jets.  Free flights is different than "here, have this jet".

This is not a picky point. It is a crucial and highly relevant distinction. The Restored Church does not (to my knowledge) own any private jets, for the use either of apostles or of anyone else. The Restored Church does have members who live their covenant of consecration in part by offering the Church the use of the members' private property. In the case of Jon Huntsman, this apparently included the use of his private jets. But again, that's a vastly different thing from the Church owning and maintaining private jets for apostles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest MormonGator
Just now, Vort said:

 But again, that's a vastly different thing from the Church owning and maintaining private jets for apostles.

Even if the church owned a private jet, I wouldn't care. The apostles have to travel a lot and it would probably save money in the long run if the church had a private jet. Frankly, I don't care if a televangelist has one either if he's using it every day. Again, it probably saves money in the long run. 

But I understand how the real world works. It would look terrible if the church, or the apostles, lived lavish lifestyles and traveled around the world on a new Gulstream. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, Scott said:

The thing is though that all of the above indicates that his church is a business rather than a charity.   That church has tax exempt status.  He also lives in a $6 million mansion (owned by his church).    His six boats and vacation homes are in the name of his church.

Oh I get it that's why I mentioned in the first part of my answer that this particular pastor set off my slime meter. I don't really know him beyond the interview you posted, but the additional information confirms what I was thinking that he is a modern day Nehor, setting himself up to get gain. I was just trying to be objective, mainly because I can see attacks like this being leveled at our church (although much less successfully since our leaders don't spend tithing money on personal mansions☺).

I'm always hesitant to use the "you're not really a church you're a business" attack though. It may be true, but so many people have accused us of the same thing that I'm hesitant to throw it at someone else.

Edited by Midwest LDS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MormonGator said:

The apostles have to travel a lot and it would probably save money in the long run if the church had a private jet.

I am no expert, but I doubt it. The upkeep and operating costs on a private jet would be far greater than the cost of mass travel on a jumbo jet. This site suggests an average annualized cost of over $4.5 million per year to own a private jet. If round-trip tickets cost an average of $1000 apiece—and just between you and me, I bet the Church gets much better prices than this for domestic flights—that's 4500 flights per year. That's about 90 flights PER WEEK. Seems more than a little high, and certainly more flights than a private jet would be able to carry on an ongoing basis. And for foreign, especially transcontinental, flights, I would think that private jets would be prohibitively expensive.

Private jets are toys for the super-rich. The apostles do not live and never have lived that lifestyle. It is generous of Huntsman to put his private jets at the Church's disposal, and it's possible they have taken him up on his offer from time to time. But it's a safe bet that the Church does not own and never will own a private jet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Mores
13 hours ago, Scott said:

The thing is though that all of the above indicates that his church is a business rather than a charity.   That church has tax exempt status.  He also lives in a $6 million mansion (owned by his church).    His six boats and vacation homes are in the name of his church.

If he's doing it illegally, he needs to be prosecuted.  If he's doing it all legally, then what's the problem? 

You take deductions and other measures to legally reduce your tax liability as much as possible/practical.  He takes deductions and other measures to legally reduce his tax liability as much as possible/practical.  What's the difference?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Scott
1 hour ago, Mores said:

If he's doing it illegally, he needs to be prosecuted.  If he's doing it all legally, then what's the problem?

Legal and ethical aren't always the same thing. 

Quote

You take deductions and other measures to legally reduce your tax liability as much as possible/practical.  He takes deductions and other measures to legally reduce his tax liability as much as possible/practical.  What's the difference?

The difference is that the business I work for isn't claiming itself as a charity and I'm not claiming mansions and boats as charitable contributions.   

I'm not claiming that it is illlegal, but as the title of the thread indicates, it doesn't set well with me.  

Edited by Scott

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple of things.  I use to see "general" authorities all the time on commercial jets.  Very often in first class and I can understand how a frequent flyer could often upgrade to first class.  Delta maintains means whereby high profile customers can board flights after everyone else has bordered (into first class) and disembark before anyone else.  I honestly do not know if general authorities utilize this benefit which would allow them (for security and other reasons) to not have to wait at gates for flights or obtain their luggage as the rest of us do.  I seldom get a upgrade for domestic flights and I have not seen general authorities on international flights - but the chance of that would be slim.

I am quite certain that whenever the president flies that it is scheduled on a chartered flight.  I do suspect that most flights to a stake or regional conference are commercial flights just because the Church could not own enough plains and crews to go enough different directions each week as needed.  I would add that regular travel is not as glamorous as those that do not travel often think.  I often have said that if it was not for airports, airplanes, rental cars, taxies (UBER), restaurants, hotels, luggage and other inconveniences  - travel would be a lot of fun.

Usually the Prophet lives in an apartment downtown (I believe it is in the Eagle Gate complex) which gives underground access to offices, the temple and other temple square buildings.  I am also aware that the Apostles and first presidency are under tight 24/7 armed security because of constant threats.  It use to be that general authorities were as accessible as a stake president - it use to be Apostles set aside full time missionaries (as I was).   I have in the past greated many general authorities on the streets of SLC and at restaurants.  Not any more.  I miss the old days but as the church has grown and increased in influence things of necessity have changed.

But a couple of notes.  It is my understanding that any personal debt (including credit card debt that is not paid off monthly) will exclude someone from a call to be a general or regional authority.  All the general authorities I have known live well below their means even though quite a few are of exceptional means.  It is my understanding that all our general authorities live the Law of Consecration and maintain a savings (surplus) - some more than others.  Also health care is provided for all general authorities and it is very good care.

To some it may seem that our authorities live in luxury or at least upper middle class.  I am personally impressed with how little our leaders rely of Church funds in their private lives.

 

The Traveler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Mores
1 hour ago, Scott said:

Legal and ethical aren't always the same thing. 

The difference is that the business I work for isn't claiming itself as a charity and I'm not claiming mansions and boats as charitable contributions.   

I'm not claiming that it is illlegal, but as the title of the thread indicates, it doesn't set well with me.  

I believe you misunderstand the thrust of my question.  I understand the difference between legal and ethical.  But on the matter of income taxes, I feel that anything within the law to reduce one's own taxes is also ethical.

I realize now that we're probably not going to see eye-to-eye here.  But I'm coming from the position that income tax is an immoral method of taxation.  It should never have been considered legal.  So ANY LEGAL means of reducing one's own taxes is ethical as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest MormonGator
4 minutes ago, Mores said:

I'm coming from the position that income tax is an immoral method of taxation. 

I agree with you 100%. The only moral methods of taxation are land taxes and sales taxes. To me, that's it. Period. 

But I live in reality and accept that an income tax isn't going anywhere. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Mores said:

But on the matter of income taxes, I feel that anything within the law to reduce one's own taxes is also ethical.

Amen.  AMEN!  You don't even have to believe certain forms of taxation are immoral, to hold this belief.

I'll go one better - if you do not do just about everything in your power to legally reduce your tax burden to it's absolute minimum amount, you are being an unwise, unjust steward of your finances.  If you're the wage earner and the tax payer, your family requires you to do better.  (Everything in your power besides quitting work or refusing to seek to improve yourself because it would give you raises, etc.)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Traveler said:

I have in the past greated many general authorities on the streets of SLC and at restaurants.  Not any more. 

Perhaps you should consider changing your attire and dressing for the occasion...

Image result for uchtdorf spiderman

 

(For the record, I agree with your overall points that things have changed.  No doubt Pres. Uchdorf's casual lunch involved quite a bit of planning and manpower.  Just gotta share this picture whenever I get the chance.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Mores
1 hour ago, MormonGator said:

But I live in reality and accept that an income tax isn't going anywhere. 

Absolutely right.  That's why I'm not in the camp of tax evasion or being a "sovereign citizen" etc.

I follow the letter of the law and that's it.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

Perhaps you should consider changing your attire and dressing for the occasion...

Image result for uchtdorf spiderman

 

(For the record, I agree with your overall points that things have changed.  No doubt Pres. Uchdorf's casual lunch involved quite a bit of planning and manpower.  Just gotta share this picture whenever I get the chance.)

Actually President Uchdorf does not live in SLC.  He lives in Heber because it reminds him of Germany.  I do know where that picture was taken.  I have seen him there as well.  And this is correct - Uchdorf does like to get out and about.

 

The Traveler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

are general authorities required to live the law of consecration?  How can we really know how well off they are?  Our prophet was a cardiac surgeon.  Those guy's make $ almost without limit at the level he was practicing at.  What happened to it all?  Utchdorf likes his Breitling watches......  not cheap.

Pres. Monson was a lifetime church employee, I'm not surprised he had a modest home...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this