When the Washington Post article, and then other articles, came out yesterday about the Mormon Church hoarding over 100 Billion dollars of tithing derived money and possibly using, or not using, the funds illegally, I saw many members upset.
Again, it seemed to many, the Mormon Church was being persecuted by outsiders. Or perhaps Satan was again attacking the Church and making it look bad. Perhaps people are thinking: These kinds of negative stories are upsetting. Why can’t people just focus on the good things? And there are so many good things, done by the Church and the members, to focus on.
Today things seem to have calmed down with members seeming to feel reassured that the Church and the leaders are doing what they should. I have heard amongst other things that: They are saving for a rainy day. They are practicing what they preach by being prepared for anything by having that enormous amount of money sitting there. That we don’t need to worry where our tithing goes because we have the Lord’s servants directing all of that. And that the beautiful buildings and wonderful programs are all run by it, and the rest is there for whatever need arises (that might require 100 billion plus).
But what if the news stories coming out aren’t persecution, and aren’t Satan attacking the Church again?
What if it is actually a blessing from the Lord?
What if the Lord has been trying for years to get us to wake up? What if he wants his children to awake and arise and realize some things? But he doesn’t want to take away our agency to do it, because he won’t do that. That is what Satan does. Maybe God is just helping some hidden things come to light, so that we will hopefully realize some things.
What if God wants us to remember the scriptures and what he has taught us in them? What if the Book of Mormon really is for us to learn from and to apply to ourselves (the people who actually read it), and not to use to judge the rest of the world. What if we are the ones who have “polluted the holy church of God?”
Mormon 8:37 For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted.
38 O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God?
What if King Benjamin really was speaking the Lord’s words when he said this?:
Mosiah 4:16 And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.
17 Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—
18 But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God. . . .
21 And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another.
22 And if ye judge the man who putteth up his petition to you for your substance that he perish not, and condemn him, how much more just will be your condemnation for withholding your substance, which doth not belong to you but to God, to whom also your life belongeth; and yet ye put up no petition, nor repent of the thing which thou hast done.
23 I say unto you, wo be unto that man, for his substance shall perish with him; and now, I say these things unto those who are rich as pertaining to the things of this world. . . .
26 And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you—that is, for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God—I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants.
What if the Lord wants us to remember that the business of the Church is supposed to be open and transparent and that things in the Church are to be done by common consent? What if he wants all the members to know exactly what the Church does with all its tithes and offerings, and profits from business ventures funded by those tithes and offerings?
What if the Lord wants things to be out in the open? What if God does not like secret works of darkness, and is having this and many, many other things come to light over the past several years so that we would start to wake up to these problems?
What if the Lord wants us to remember that having “no poor among them” is the state of Zion, and that 100 Billion + is way more than enough to make that true for all Mormons, and arguably enough to go a long way towards eradicating poverty in the whole world?
Maybe the Lord is trying to remind us that we are not to follow the arm of flesh, as he has told us over and over. What if the Lord really does want us to think about what Jesus would do, and not just say “All is well.”
2 Nephi 28:21 And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.
Maybe this news, about one of the companies owned by the Church having 100 Billion+ sitting there doing nothing but making more money and the possible illegalities surrounding that, and all the other things that have been coming out over the past few years, such as the protection of sexual predators and defaming of victims, historical cover-ups, gaslighting, paid clergy, other financial secrets, etc., will be enough to shake us to our core hard enough to save us from destruction.
What if these “revelations” are to save us, not to make us entrench more fully into our belief in our own specialness, and our surety that we are the wheat amongst tares, and that we will never fail, and that our leaders cannot lead us astray. Maybe all these revelations are to wake us up, shake us up, just as the voice of the angel did to Alma the Younger. That was not pleasant for him. But he listened, and cried out to God in his anguish, and was saved. Let’s not be like the Pharisees who were harshly admonished by Christ (who called them vipers, etc., and who cleansed the temple with a whip), but saw no fault in themselves or the other religious leaders of the time, only in he who admonished them.
Maybe we should listen when our sins are shouted from the rooftops, instead of digging in and insisting on our continued righteousness even in the face of obvious moral failings.
Where will we draw the line? What will have to happen before we admit there is a problem? How much more will we explain away or ignore? How much will it take to cause us to awaken?
What if God does actually want us to think for ourselves about what is right, and not follow anyone but him.
I hope we don’t continue to make excuses until Christ appears and says he never knew us.
Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.