Posts Tagged ‘ Money and Finance ’

The Economics of Service and Welfare

May 12, 2009 | 70 comments
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The Economics of Service and Welfare

A friend of mine suggested a few months ago that ward Elder’s Quorums should stop helping members move. Why, he asks, should we be competing with businesses in our area? Read more »

What to do about Deseret Book?

August 26, 2008 | 48 comments
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For the past decade, I’ve suggested that Deseret Book is one of the significant impediments to the growth of Mormon culture outside those elements involving worship. LDS books, music, film, art and other cultural products, especially innovative ones, are hampered by Deseret Book’s size, focus and control of the market for LDS materials. What can we do about it? Read more »

What is an Association Worth?

August 24, 2008 | 60 comments
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This past week I received a card in the mail from the BYU Alumni Association, asking for my help in “editing” my biographical information in an “Alumni Directory” in preparation. While I’ve certainly given the Alumni Association biographical information in the past, for some reason this time I started asking myself “is this worth my time?” and, in the Mormon context, “is this worth anyone’s time?” Read more »

Who Owns That Church?

June 28, 2007 | 52 comments
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There’s always an owner, of course — there are few concepts more disfavored in the law than real property without an owner. But when it comes to chapels and church buildings, the question of just who owns them can get messy. The latest example: a congregation in Orange County that is trying to leave the Episcopal fold and take its building with it. The congregation just lost the latest round in a fight with the national Episcopal Church and its Los Angeles Diocese over who owns the congregation’s building. [Hat tip: the Religion Clause; see also the Orange County... Read more »

Quadrupling Fast Offerings

November 30, 2006 | 42 comments
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About a year or so ago our stake made a move to improve fast offering receipts. The bishop supported this and urged everyone to donate to fast offerings and, in addition to the general admonition, he reinstituted Aaronic priesthood collection of fast offerings after church. Read more »

On being a bookkeeper in Zion

December 29, 2005 | 57 comments
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As a young missionary, the Lord saw fit to inflict on me one the greatest trials that can afflict a Latter-day Saint: He forced me to become educated about Church financial controls and auditing procedures. Read more »

Platinum Wedding Bells

October 26, 2005 | 90 comments
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The Saints are pretty good at spotting blatant attacks on the family. But, recently, I realized that I had been completely unaware of a subtle yet profound attack on marriage and family. Read more »

Brigham’s Attack on Communal Economics

March 24, 2004 | 16 comments
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One of my most prized worldly possessions is a complete set of the Journal of Discourses. I love these books. I love the way that they look. It probably has something to do with my fascination with law books, which they closely resemble. I also love the sermons. They are a wonderful mass of exhortation, speculation, advice, brow beating, and occasionally sublime testimony. They also have a wonderful ability to surprise you. A couple of Sundays ago, I pulled down a volume at random and started reading a sermon. (I do this from time to time.) While I was... Read more »

Church Members and Financial Scams

December 29, 2003 | 24 comments
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A recent story in Deseret News discusses yet another recent financial scam that victimized thousands of church members. (Link via Dave). This one, according to the news, was a classic Ponzi scheme. Church members are, in my observation, unusually susceptible to Ponzi schemes, multi-level marketing, Amway and similar programs, and other get-rich-quick devices. (I know, there are differences between Ponzi schemes and some types of legal multi-level marketing. As far as I am concerned, they are all dubious devices for removing money from the gullible.) I have wondered over the years why church members are more likely to be... Read more »

Christian Taxation

December 16, 2003 | 35 comments
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We have been interviewing candidates for a position as tax professor, but here is a question that I haven’t dared to ask any of them: So, how do you feel about reforming the tax code to accord with moral principles of Judeo-Christian ethics? If you haven’t heard, this is the premise of Professor Susan Pace Hamill’s still-controversial proposal, published last year in the Alabama Law Review. Read more »

Tithing Settlement

December 7, 2003 | 12 comments
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It’s that time of year when the signup list for tithing settlement goes up on the Bishop’s door. My wife and I always try to get the first appointment, mainly because we usually live some distance from the chapel and we don’t want to make the trek back once we are home. So we had our session right after church today. Every year, as we go through this ritual, I wonder: what is the purpose of tithing settlement? Read more »

Utah, Mormons and Bankruptcy

November 25, 2003 | 5 comments
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Utah has the dubious honor of leading the nation in personal bankruptcy rates. According to the Salt Lake Tribune 1 in 37 households in Utah is insolvent. I suspect that this high level of bankruptcy filings may be what has been behind some recent words on debt in general conference. In 1998, President Hinckley counseled: I urge you, brethren, to look to the condition of your finances. I urge you to be modest in your expenditures; discipline yourselves in your purchases to avoid debt to the extent possible. Pay off debt as quickly as you can, and free yourselves... Read more »

The Confidentiality of Tithing

November 20, 2003 | one comment
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More on Gossip and Tithing

November 20, 2003 | 2 comments
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Gossipping and Tithing

November 20, 2003 | one comment
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Utah, Tithing and Generosity

November 20, 2003 | no comments
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