Osama Bin Laden said that when people see a strong horse and a weak horse, they will naturally gravitate towards the strong horse. I’m not sure we should be taking advice from Osama Bin Laden, but in this case, he speaks the truth about human nature. People want to belong to strong organizations, organizations with power. People unite themselves to “strong horses” because they want protection and safety, and also because they want to belong to a powerful cause or follow an inspired, powerful leader. The Church is a strong horse. It’s huge, it has tons of money and property, and it has an enormous influence on the lives of millions.
But- and this is very important- the Church is also a good horse.
What does the Church do with its money? Well, I admit it’s a bit of a mystery. The leaders of the Church don’t really reveal that information. Every once in a while, the secrecy bugs me, but usually I’m fine with it. The Catholic Church keeps their finances a secret, too. There are good reasons for this. I just pray the leaders of the Church are doing good things with the money I give them. And I believe that for the most part, they are.
Here’s a list, off the top of my head, of what the Church does with its money:
Gives money to church members in need
Gives money to non-members in need
Runs Deseret Industries
Runs the City Creek Center
Pays full-time church employees
Pays for missions for those who can’t pay for it themselves
Helps people find jobs
Helps prevent the spread of disease in Africa
Proliferates clean water sources in Africa
Feeds the hungry
Clothes the naked
Provides disaster relief
Lifts people from poverty through the Perpetual Education Fund
Pays utilities and maintenance on church buildings
Stores food at massive food storage facilities
These are all good things. The only item on this list that’s questionable is the City Creek Center. I think the money was spent unwisely on that project. But still, maybe in the long run, the City Creek Center will turn out to be a good investment. Maybe it will eventually make money, and then the Church can use that money to do the type of charity work that Christ instructs his disciples to do.
None of the items on this list would be possible without funds. And right now, the Church has the funds. Boy, does it ever have the funds! And with your help, the Church will continue to have tons of money for decades to come. Doesn’t it feel good to belong to such a financially secure institution?