excerpt – Extensions of Power

The Mormon Hierarchy Enters the Twentieth CenturyCHAPTER 6.
Church Finances

From the 1830s to the 1990s, LDS church finances have experienced many significant transitions.1 This is an overview of highlights during 160 years of tithing, salaried ministry and voluntary service, business activity, revenues, personal use of church funds, church indebtedness, and public disclosure. This chapter shows that LDS finances have not always functioned as they do today and that the financial sacrifices of Mormons have been great, indeed.

To begin, by divine injunction since ancient times, God’s disciples have seen themselves as “not of the world” (John 17:14). This has resulted in various religious communities regarding themselves as outside the ordinary definitions and expectations of society and of the world’s leaders.2

Theologically, Mormonism has never accepted the “worldly” distinctions between secular versus religious, civil versus theocratic, mundane versus divine.3 An 1830 revelation declared: “Wherefore, verily I say unto you that all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal; neither [unto] any man, nor the children of men . . .”4

In reaction to hostile critics, the First Presidency issued this formal statement in 1907: “The charge that the Church is a commercial rather than a religious institution; that its aims are temporal rather than religious; that it dictates its members in their industrial activities and relations, and aims at absolute domination in temporal affairs,—all this we emphatically deny.”5 The difficulty with such a denial is that LDS leaders were stating criticisms of their church in the categories and assumptions of non-Mormons, but answering them in the categories and assumptions of Mormonism. In Mormon terms the LDS church is not “a commercial rather than a religious institution,” but the LDS church is commercial because it is religious. Likewise, Mormonism’s aims are not “temporal rather than spiritual,” but its aims are temporal because they are spiritual. And all questions of dictation and absolute dominion—economic or political—are based on the Mormon view of the supremacy of free will. In other words, whether it is the political dictates of Mormon leaders or the prosperity of an economic institution of the LDS church, Mormonism has dominion only insofar as Mormons choose to allow it (see chaps. 7-10).

Mormons have always been irritated by complaints and hand-wringing about “Mormon power” (whether financial, political, or social). In 1984, for possibly the first time, two non-Mormon writers declared the LDS perspective of the hierarchy’s financial power: “These are money managers, but unlike any other kind of money managers. . . . The wealth and power, in the end, come down to the essentials: The church is in the business of expanding the church. . . . a temporal structure whose major goal is spiritual—the building of the Kingdom of God on earth in preparation for the millennial reign of Jesus Christ.”6

There are both continuities and discontinuities in Mormon financial history since Joseph Smith, Jr., organized a new church on 6 April 1830. The most significant difference involves the definition of tithing.

Tithing

Since 1831 LDS bishop Edward Partridge and his counselors had presided over all Mormons in Missouri, which had equal status with church headquarters in Ohio.7 In December 1837 they defined tithing as 2 percent of one’s net worth, after deducting debts. “Believing that voluntary tithing is better than Forced taxes,” the Missouri bishopric defined it as “two cents on the dollar or one fiftieth of what we are worth after deducting what we owe.”8 Until 1908 Mormons were allowed to pay tithing in labor, personal property, livestock, and produce in addition to cash.9

In July 1838 Joseph Smith dictated a revelation which required a more stringent financial sacrifice from Latter-day Saints. It defined the law of tithing as a donation of all the individual’s “surplus property” at first, and then a tenth of annual income thereafter (D&C 119:1, 4). In November 1841 the Quorum of the Twelve made the first liberalization of the 1838 tithing revelation: the initial donation was reduced to only “one-tenth of all a man [possesses, and] 1/10 of increas[e]” afterwards.10

In August 1844 the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles issued an epistle which required all Mormons to immediately pay “a tenth of all their property and money . . . and then let them continue to pay in a tenth of their income from that time forth.” There was no exemption for Mormons who had already paid one-tenth of their property upon conversion.11 In January 1845 a Quorum of Twelve’s epistle reemphasized “the duty of all saints to tithe themselves one-tenth of all they possess when they enter into the new and everlasting covenant: and then one-tenth of their interest, or income, yearly afterwards.”12 However, two weeks later the Twelve voted to exempt themselves, the two general bishops Newel K. Whitney and George Miller, and the Nauvoo Temple Committee from any obligation to pay tithing. This was due to their services to the church.13

Apostle John E. Page’s enforcement of the full-tithing requirement for the rank-and-file led to his disaffection from his own quorum. Exempted from tithing himself, Page felt guilty about collecting tithing from others such as one Mormon who gave $4 which was “the tenth of all” the man and his impoverished family possessed. Upon abandoning the Quorum of the Twelve in 1846, Page complained that he “believes that many paid tithing & in consequence of [this, were in] want of money enough to procure misc. necessaries of life.”14

Five years later Brigham Young provided a penalty for those Mormons who did not comply with the published definitions of the law of tithing. In September 1851 a special conference at Salt Lake City voted to accept excommunication as punishment for non-payment of tithing and non-observance of the Word of Wisdom’s prohibition of tobacco and spirituous alcohol. Neither requirement was enforced consistently or often.15 Nevertheless, in 1854 the Deseret News printed a notice by the bishop of the Salt Lake City Nineteenth Ward that Enoch M. King was disfellowshipped “for repeatedly refusing to conform to the rules of said Church, in the law of Tithing.” In October 1858 a bishop’s meeting asked Presiding Bishop Edward Hunter: “Are all to be cut off who do not pay their Tithing? Answer, deal according to circumstances, and the wisdom God gives.”16

On this matter Apostle Erastus Snow was more zealous than most. In 1868 he gave orders to southern Utah bishops to excommunicate everyone “who will not keep the word of wisdom, Pay their Tithing & donate of their substance to help bring the Poor Saints from the old country.” A local Mormon estimated that enforcement of Snow’s instruction “would cause 3/4 of this community to be cut off from this church.”17

For the church as a whole, Brigham Young publicly estimated that Latter-day Saints had paid less than 10 percent of their 10 percent tithing obligations from 1847 to 1870.18 In other words, adult Mormons were contributing, on average, less than 1 percent of their net worth at conversion, less than 1 percent of their net worth upon arrival in Utah, and less than 1 percent of their annual income. However, pioneer definitions of tithing delinquency varied radically. In Cache Valley during the same period, local bishops concluded that 90 percent of people who could pay tithing were full-tithe payers. The difference in perspective was due to the fact that these Cache Valley bishops “excused” a large portion of the population from tithing due to poverty. The church president’s report made no such distinctions.19

After President Young’s announcement of tithing delinquency, LDS general authorities gave sermons to remind church members that the law of tithing was “one tenth of all we possess at the start, and then ever after one tenth . . .”20 Apostle Erastus Snow even reinvoked the 1838 revelation’s original requirement to donate all surplus property at first.21 These sermons were futile efforts to reverse a nineteenth-century trend of financial non-compliance. Otherwise faithful Mormons withered before an overwhelming tithing obligation. Young told the October 1875 general conference that neither he nor anyone else “had ever paid their tithing as it was revealed and understood by him in the Doctrine and Covenants.”22

John Taylor tried to increase church donations by liberalizing the law of tithing for the first time since 1841. On the fiftieth anniversary of the church’s organization, he declared a biblical Jubilee Year in which he forgave half of the delinquent tithing and half of the debts owed to the Perpetual Emigrating Fund.23 After the Jubilee year of 1880 failed to bring in the unforgiven half of delinquent tithing, the church president offered a carrot-and-stick approach to tithing in 1881. On 8 January 1881 Taylor said he did not care whether Mormons paid the “one-tenth of the property of the new comers” to Utah, as required by Brigham Young. However, the Presiding Bishopric’s tithing clerk recorded that, on motion of the LDS president, the assembled priesthood holders voted unanimously to sustain the requirement of “one tenth of the property on entering the Church, and one tenth of the increase afterward.”24 At this stake conference in January and again at general conference in April 1881, President Taylor instructed stake presidents that church members now “must be tithe payers” in order to have recommends for temple ordinances.25

The early tithing requirements of Mormonism give added significance to the numbers of immigrants to Utah before 1881 and to the numbers of LDS converts prior to 1899. At a personal level, any Mormon who paid a full tithing by nineteenth-century definitions (like the man who gave $4 in 1845) was deserving of awe and veneration. Then in May 1899 Lorenzo Snow publicly announced a revelation which limited the law of tithing to one-tenth of annual income with no massive payment upon conversion. As an LDS church president, Snow is best known for his emphasis on observance of this new definition of tithing.26 This was the last LDS liberalization of the 1838 revelation on tithing. From then until the present, Mormons have been allowed to decide whether to pay tithing on their gross income or net income.27

Lorenzo Snow’s announcement was undoubtedly the cause for a significant increase in the percentage of Mormons who paid at least some tithing (see Table). In 1890, 17.2 percent of LDS stake membership had paid some tithing, and the percentage hovered around 15 percent for seven years. In 1898 the percentage of stake members who paid some tithing was only 1 percent higher than in 1890. In 1899, the year of Lorenzo Snow’s announcement, the number of tithe payers in the stakes jumped to 25.6 percent.28

In early 1900 President Snow asked the Presiding Bishop to prepare a list “of non-tithe payers and about 10,000 names were in the record.”29 Snow told the apostles that non-payment of tithing “was worse than the non-observance of the Word of Wisdom” prohibitions against tobacco and alcohol. The time had long since passed when general authorities were exempt from the obligation to pay tithing, and one apostle was shocked to learn that Apostle John W. Taylor’s “name is on the Non-Tithing List!”30

In April 1910 the church president announced it was necessary to comply with this greatly reduced law of tithing in order to have temple recommends.31 This 1910 announcement was a reincarnation of the poorly enforced First Presidency announcement in 1881. Since 1910 bishops and stake presidents have given greater attention to the requirement of tithing for temple recommends. Higher expectations of tithing compliance were possible because twentieth-century Mormons have had it easy regarding their tithing obligations compared with nineteenth-century Mormons.

Table 1.
LDS Stake Members Who Paid Some Tithing, 1890-1925

(per capita for total membership)

  TITHE   TITHE   TITHE   TITHE
YEARS PAYERS YEARS PAYERS YEARS PAYERS YEARS PAYERS

1890 17.2% 1900 27.0% 1910 21.6% 1920 21.9%
1891 15.1% 1901 28.9% 1911 21.0% 1921 20.7%
1892 15.8% 1902 28.2% 1912 20.6% 1922 28.4%
1893 14.9% 1903 28.5% 1913 21.0% 1923 27.3%
1894 15.7% 1904 27.6% 1914 20.1% 1924 25.1%
1895 15.3% 1905 26.4% 1915 20.0% 1925 25.3%
1896 15.1% 1906 26.1% 1916 20.1%    
1897 15.6% 1907 26.8% 1917 21.8%    
1898 18.4% 1908 26.0% 1918 21.3%    
1899 25.6% 1909 25.0% 1919 22.3%    

Of course the figures in this Table were significantly higher than the percentage of stake members who paid a full tithing. During the pre-Depression first quarter of the twentieth century, the highest percentage of full-tithe payers was in 1910. In that year 16.5 percent of the church’s total stake membership of men, women, and children paid a full 10-percent tithing.32 However, neither of the above measures adequately assesses individual compliance by Mormons concerning their church’s requirement for tithing.

The annual reports did not regularly list the number of wage-earners or consistently show the percentage of wage-earners who actually paid tithing. The 54,346 full-tithe payers in 1910 were a much higher percentage (though unquantifiable) of the wage-earners among Latter-day Saints in the stakes that year. For example, in the very next year 59.3 percent were full-tithe payers of the total wage-earners. Likewise, the highest percentage (28.9 percent) who paid any tithing in that quarter-century amounted to 74,625 tithe payers in 1901. That had to be an impressive record for the Mormon wage-earners in the stakes that year, for the lowest rate of tithe paying during that quarter-century was 20 percent of total stake population in 1915. In that latter year 73 percent of wage-earners paid at least some tithing.33 The praise of Mormon leaders for the financial devotion of LDS church members has never been exaggerated.

Tithing donations from the widow’s mite to the rich man’s abundance have always been the essential source of LDS church revenues. When Esquire magazine’s August 1962 cover story claimed the church’s revenues were $1 million a day,34 tithing revenues were actually about $100 million that year instead of $365 million.35 This 350+ percent error was due to careless research and a wild guess by Salt Lake City’s non-Mormon mayor, J. Bracken Lee: “I do know that the net income exceeds a million dollars a day.”36 With far more attention to available details, a carefully researched estimate of 1991 was probably closer to the mark in claiming that the LDS church received $4.3 billion in annual tithing revenue.37 The accuracy of this estimate is debatable, since recent tithing figures are unavailable for research.

However, annual tithing revenues for the decade prior to the Esquire estimate are helpful for estimating recent LDS church income. In 1962 tithing revenues were about $56.62 per capita for total LDS membership that year, nearly double the per capita tithing revenues of $28.65 in 1952. In real dollars (a term in economic history), the 1962 tithing equalled $253 per capita in 1990 dollars.38 Therefore, assuming similar tithing observance in 1990 (without including the observable annual growth rate), this would translate to $1.96 billion in tithing revenue during 1990. From that perspective, LDS Public Affairs in 1991 rightly dismissed the estimate of $4.3 billion of annual tithing income as “grossly overstated.”39 However, by including the growth rate of the earlier reports by LDS headquarters, it is difficult to regard $4.3 billion as a “grossly overstated” estimate of annual LDS revenues in the 1990s.

A nearly 100 percent growth rate in the actual dollars of per capita tithing from 1952 to 1962 cannot simply be ignored when estimating the LDS church’s present income. That decade included the explosive growth of LDS conversions outside the United States and Canada. There is no reason to discount similar growth in tithing rates during the three decades since 1962. With the 1952-62 period as a basis of comparison, the church’s tithing revenues for 1990 would be far in excess of the estimate of $4.3 billion. From this perspective that estimate seems conservative.

However, it is important to recognize that tithing from Mormons outside the United States has rarely ever been transferred to church headquarters in America. Except for the early years of the British Mission (established in 1837) and of the Canadian settlements of Mormons (begun in 1887), Mormon tithing funds have remained in the countries of their origin. The first reason for this is that foreign outposts of Mormonism have been financial drains on the church’s general funds, which typically supplement local tithing collected outside the United States. In the nineteenth century it was more practical to use foreign tithing for the immediate needs of the missions and branches in each country where it was collected. Physical transfer of overseas funds required months of travel to and from headquarters in the United States.

The second reason for keeping tithing in the country of its origin was that the church lost money in exchange fees for every transaction involving U.S. dollars and foreign currency. The third reason is that (particularly in the twentieth century) laws of some countries either complicated or prohibited transfers of tithing to the United States. The bottom line is that the net flow of tithing funds has been from Salt Lake City to other countries where Mormons have converted and eventually built chapels and temples.

Both the definition of tithing and the extent of its payment have evolved since 1831. The LDS church could not have become the international organization it is today without the development of regular tithe paying.

Paid Ministry and Voluntary Service

Even less recognized than the change in tithing definitions is the existence of a paid Mormon ministry. Before the church even had a tithing requirement, it had a paid ministry. In November 1831 a revelation declared: “He who is appointed to administer spiritual things, the same is worthy of his hire . . .” (D&C 70:12). This was the doctrinal basis for giving financial support to Joseph Smith, and later to a hierarchy of general authorities.

In May 1835 an official church council voted that the Quorum of Twelve Apostles and First Council of Seventy “have particularly to depend upon their ministry for their support, and that of their families; and they have a right, by virtue of their offices, to call upon the churches to assist them.”40 When Bishop Edward Partridge gave the first definition of tithing in December 1837, part of the tithing was for “remunerating the officers of the church for the time which they were necessarily employed in doing the business of the same.” Six months later the stake high council voted “to instruct the Bishop to pay the First Presidency, J. Smith, & Sidney Rigdon, whatever sum they agree with them for.” However, there was “such an uproar” over this decision that the First Presidency dropped its request for a fixed annual salary.41

For several decades only the patriarch had a set compensation, while other general authorities depended on haphazard donations from the rank-and-file or ad hoc appropriations from general church funds. In 1835 the Presiding Patriarch was authorized a salary of $10 a week, plus expenses.42

Both the Presiding Patriarch and local stake patriarchs charged a fee. In the 1840s the fee was $1 per patriarchal blessing at Nauvoo; by the end of the nineteenth century it had increased to $2 per blessing.43 Joseph Smith, Sr., gave patriarchal blessings without payment of a fee, but would not record them.44 “Uncle” John Smith commented that he “lived very Poor ever Since we Left Kirtland Ohio” in January 1838 until January 1844. Then his nephew Joseph Smith ordained him a patriarch “through which office I Obtained a Comfortable Living.”45

Financial incentive is another explanation for the fact that individual Mormons received more than one patriarchal blessing in the nineteenth century, often at the invitation of the patriarch. In October 1877 John Taylor criticized the monetary motivation of some stake patriarchs. He said they were using their patriarchal office as “a mere means of obtaining a livelihood, and to obtain more business they had been traveling from door to door and underbidding each other in the price of blessings.”46

In addition, patriarchs received fees for giving unrecorded blessings of healing to the sick. In fact, Apostle Francis M. Lyman commended Patriarch Elias Blackburn for “doing a great deal of good among the sick, without receiving very much pay for his services.”47

Patriarchal blessing fees ended in 1902, although patriarchs were allowed to accept unsolicited donations.48 Not until 1943 did church authorities prohibit patriarchs from accepting gratuities for giving blessings.49

In the nineteenth-century American West, local officers of the LDS church obtained their support from the tithing they collected. As early as 1859 Brigham Young wondered “whether a Stake would not be better governed when none of the officers were paid for their services.”50 During Young’s presidency, ward bishops drew at will from the primarily non-cash tithing Mormons donated. He complained at October 1860 general conference “against a principle in many of the Bishops to use up all the Tithing they could for their own families.”51

Even full-time missionaries benefitted from tithing funds in the nineteenth century. The senior president of the First Council of Seventy commented in 1879 that the families of married missionaries should be supported from tithing funds.52 However, at best that practice barely kept struggling wives and children out of abject poverty while their husbands and fathers served two-year missions.

In 1884 church president John Taylor limited bishops to 8 percent of tithing they collected (now primarily cash), while stake presidents got 2 percent of tithing collected by all the bishops of the stake. In 1888 Wilford Woodruff established set salaries for stake presidents and provided that a stake committee would apportion 10 percent of collected tithing between the bishops and the stake tithing clerk. At April 1896 general conference, the First Presidency announced the end of salaries for local officers, in response to the decision of the temple meeting “to not pay Salaries to any one but the Twelve.”53

Nevertheless, ending salaries to stake presidents in 1896 was temporary. For a while stake presidents and their counselors were allowed to draw “from the tithing fund . . . no more than the limit which had been previously specified, and not to entertain the idea that a stipulated compensation attached like a salary to certain offices in the Church.” By April 1897 the First Presidency spoke about “the subject of compensation to presiding men” in a meeting with stake presidents and other local officers. The First Presidency urged “the brethren to give their services so far as possible to the church without remuneration.” In 1898 “the regular 10% of tithing [was] allowed Bishops and clerks for handling the same,” but the First Presidency balked at allowing even more to cover expenses for supplies.54

By 1904 set salaries were back again for stake presidents, who were allowed $300 per year.55 As late as 1910, local officers continued to receive 10 percent of locally collected tithing “for handling tithes.”56 Recently a Mormon said that his father received a cash allowance as bishop in the 1920s, which was a later period of such compensation than my own research has verified.57

In addition, since the 1880s stake presidents and bishops of long tenure had received retirement allowances in monthly or annual payments.58 In 1901 even the parsimonious church president Lorenzo Snow said that a financially struggling stake president “ought to receive his remuneration after he was released as well as before.” Retirement allowances for stake presidents continued into the early 1900s.59

As previously mentioned, financial compensation for church officers began with the general authorities in the 1830s but did not become systematic until 1877. During these decades there was evidence of rank-and-file dissatisfaction with the Mormon hierarchy’s financial privileges. In 1847 Brigham Young told a public meeting: “Be cont[e]nted with your lot and station and stop whining and babbling about the 12, saying that Brigham oppresses the poor and lives off their earning and that you can’t see why you can’t have some of his good living, and so on. Did Brigham Young ever get anything from you, did you ever help him to any of his fine living, you poor curses, or was it through Brigham’s influence that thousands of the poor have been fed?”60 After Young and the apostles spent the next twelve years directing the expanding settlements of the Great Basin, “Erastus Snow spoke Concerning the feelings of many of the people against seeing the Twelve prosper in Temperal things.”61

Following discussion of this criticism in February 1859, the First Presidency and apostles restrained their financial activities. For the next five years Salt Lake County’s annual assessments showed a steep decline in the wealth of Brigham Young, his counselors, and the apostles. By contrast the assessed wealth of the Presiding Bishop and his counselors initially increased and then only gradually tapered off during the same period. The rank-and-file expected the Presiding Bishopric to have extensive financial activity.62 In fact the pendulum had swung so far that in December 1865 Apostle John Taylor “Prophesyed that the Twelve should be delivered from the bondage of poverty under which they have been weltering for years.”63

Although the rate of this financial decline had been equivalent for the First Presidency and apostles, the burden was far less on Brigham Young and his counselors who had massive personal wealth compared to the apostles. In 1859 Young’s own property assessments were only slightly below those of the entire church for Salt Lake County. Young’s totalled $100,000, while the Trustee-in-Trust’s was $102,250.64 In 1860 first counselor Heber C. Kimball “observed that Mormonism had made him all that he was: he was worth $20,000 now; and if he had remained in the States he would have been a poor man to this day.”65 Brigham Young estimated his personal wealth at about $600,000 in a legal deposition of 1875. That was three years after he paid $100,000 in “the tithing of his own personal means.”66 By contrast, during Young’s presidency the Twelve’s average assessed wealth reached a high of $6,672 in 1874, and several apostles individually had only $500 to $2,000 in assessed wealth annually from 1860 to Young’s death in August 1877.67

At the October 1877 general conference, the hierarchy announced a policy of “reasonable recompense for their services” to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and to the First Presidency, when organized. In John Taylor’s view, this was actually a way of stopping the previous abuses in the personal use of tithing funds. “Some of my brethren, as I have learned since the death of President Brigham Young, did have feelings concerning his course,” Apostle George Q. Cannon wrote. “It is felt that the funds of the Church have been used with a freedom not warranted by the authority which he held.”68Of general authorities still living, Joseph F. Smith wrote in December 1877: “One man, for instance, who has drawn $16,000 per year from the tithing office for his support, has been cut down to 2,000 per year. Thus some of the leaks are plugged up and we hope to be able by and by to build the temple.”69 Smith was apparently referring to Brigham’s son John W. Young, who served as his father’s counselor for thirteen years (first secretly and later with public acknowledgement).

However, Taylor’s “reasonable recompense” of 1877 did not cover the needs of the apostles. At an apostles meeting on 3 May 1880, “The question of over running salaries was brought up. Several of the brethren had overdrawn their allowance . . .” They voted to forgive the overdrafts and to increase their annual allowance. In addition, the apostles decided to give an allowance to the Presiding Patriarch in addition to his per-blessing fee.70

In September 1887 this became fixed allotments, which one apostle opposed with the comment: “it was repugnant to the people to have the 12 [apostles] draw a salary.”71 In April 1888 the First Council of Seventy also began receiving financial allowances, to which one council member replied: “I would prefer to receive no salary.” A “permanent” allowance to members of the First Council of Seventy was not established for another decade.72

Nevertheless, LDS presidents themselves expressed discomfort about using their allowances. When the First Presidency and Twelve discussed the salary system again in 1896, President Wilford Woodruff said that he had not drawn money from the church until after 1877. Apostle Lorenzo Snow, Woodruff’s presidential successor, said that despite the allowance system, he had not drawn from church funds for forty years.73 This resistance to making personal use of church funds reached its climax in President Heber J. Grant, who rode public street cars rather than use tithing funds to have an automobile and chauffeur for the First Presidency.74

Despite discomfort over receiving tithing funds for living allowances, a salary system for LDS general authorities continued without significant interruption from 1882 on. As indicated by Joseph F. Smith’s 1877 letter and by Wilford Woodruff’s diary, the apostles received $2,000 to $2,500 annually during the first five years of the salary system. Then significant financial stratification occurred, with the senior apostle receiving $5,000 annually, apostles of middle seniority $3,000, and junior apostles $2,000. In September 1887 the apostles adopted a uniform compensation, with each receiving $3,000. Although there was not yet a fixed allowance for the First Council of Seventy, in 1888 the Presiding Patriarch’s “annuity” increased from $1,000 to $1,250.75

By the turn of the twentieth century, the hierarchy’s allowances were stratified by ecclesiastical position and seniority. In 1890 the monthly allowances of the Quorum of the Twelve and Presiding Bishop were identical, with the counselors in the First Presidency receiving $50 more a month and the church president receiving another $100 monthly. By 1907 the monthly allowances were stratified into a six-tiered system: (1) the lowest allowance for junior members of the Seventy, (2) the next higher allowance to mid-level members of the Seventy and the Presiding Patriarch, followed by (3) the eight junior members of the Twelve, (4) the Presiding Bishopric, two senior members of the Seventy, and four senior members of the Twelve, (5) the counselors in the Presidency, and (6) the president of the church. In those 1907 allowances, $100 monthly separated the top two tiers, and only $50 monthly separated each of the lower tiers. By 1932 there were only four strata in the monthly allowance system: (1) the lowest allowance was for counselors to the Presiding Bishop and for the entire Seventy, (2) an extra $50 monthly allotment for the Presiding Bishop, the Presiding Patriarch, and all members of the Twelve, (3) an additional increase of $100 monthly for counselors in the First Presidency, (4) and a $150 monthly bonus for the church president.76David O. McKay’s presidency (1951-70) adopted uniform allowances for all general authorities, regardless of quorum or seniority.77

There were also miscellaneous fees which the general authorities collected for ecclesiastical services. Brigham Young charged men “ten dollars for each divorce” or cancellation of sealing, which policy continued until the end of the century.78 In addition, until 1899 the general authorities charged a fee for setting apart all departing missionaries.79

Periodically the Mormon hierarchy has made a significant increase in monthly allowances to general authorities. In 1950, for example, there was a 30-percent increase.80 Nevertheless, in view of the financial empire administered by the LDS general authorities, their compensation from church funds has always been paltry compared to the salaries and perks of corporate America. In 1949 First Presidency counselor J. Reuben Clark wrote that “the General Authorities of the Church get precious little from the tithing of the Church. They are not paid as much as a first-class, stenographic secretary of some of the men who run industry.”81 That disparity was probably the reason for the next year’s increase in allowances to the general authorities.

For example, as a newly appointed Assistant to the Twelve in 1941, Marion G. Romney found that his church “allowance amounted to less than half of what he was earning from his law practice when he was called as a General Authority.”82 Appointed an apostle that same year, Harold B. Lee found that his financial allowance was less than the salary of some staff members at LDS headquarters.83 As was true in the nineteenth-century hierarchy, a significant drop in income and personal wealth occurred when a man accepted the calling of LDS general authority.84

Although not a formal salary, general authorities can also receive significant income from the books they publish. When he published The Way To Perfection in 1931, Joseph Fielding Smith specified that all its future royalties would go to the LDS Genealogical Society. However, he was not as generous with the royalties from his dozens of other books. For example, when President Smith died in July 1972, his royalties from Deseret Book Company totaled $9,636 for the previous six-month period.85 Presiding Bishop (and later apostle) LeGrand Richards set a remarkable example by accepting no royalties for his Marvelous Work and a Wonder which had sold 2 million copies by the time of his death in 1983. However, a president of the LDS church’s publishing company has observed that very few general authorities have declined royalties for their books.86 Mormons purchase books written by general authorities primarily because of the church office the author holds, rather than for the book’s content. Although many general authorities do not write books, such royalty income is a direct consequence of being an LDS leader.

Speaking of LDS church-owned businesses and stock-portfolio in 1985, First Presidency counselor Gordon B. Hinckley said that “the living allowances given the General Authorities, which are very modest in comparison with executive compensation in industry and the professions, come from this business income and not from the tithing of the people.”87 However, tithing was the source of these “living allowances” from the 1830s until the church’s corporate success in recent years.

Moreover, President Hinckley’s description of the hierarchy’s income as “very modest” depends upon one’s own concept of wealth. For example, when Joseph Fielding Smith died at age ninety-five in 1972, he had worked nearly all his adult life at LDS headquarters, first as a paid employee in the Historian’s Office and then as a general authority with a church living allowance. At his death, President Smith had $245,000 in bank deposits, $120,000 in cash, $120,574 in stocks/bonds, and $10,688 in uncashed checks (including Deseret Book royalties of $9,636). Even twenty-five years after his death, few rank-and-file Mormons have such “modest” amounts of cash and liquid assets available to them in old age.88

The LDS ministry is still a volunteer, lay ministry. In the twentieth century, church offices have become unpaid to a degree they never were in the nineteenth century. Of more than 160,000 ecclesiastical leaders at the beginning of 1996, fewer than 500 were authorized a living allowance from church funds.89 Many of these LDS officials decline to use their authorized allowances.

However, on occasion church presidents have personally benefitted from church finances by simply cancelling their indebtedness to church funds. On 23 April 1834 a revelation ended the Kirtland United Order and distributed its real estate assets among Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, Frederick G. Williams, Martin Harris, Newel K. Whitney, and John Johnson. The revelation said, “it is my will that you shall pay all your debts” (D&C 104:78). However, Joseph Smith privately required Whitney to balance “in full without any value recd.” the $1,151.31 Whitney had loaned to the prophet, as well as $2,484.22 of the other men’s debts to Whitney. Bishop Whitney had to personally absorb this loss “because Joseph said it must be done.”90

The next two church presidents did likewise. Three weeks before he died in August 1877, Brigham Young obtained a cancellation of his debts in Ogden, Utah, extending back to 1849.91 Despite the previously stated objections of his own counselor, John Taylor also persuaded the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1880 to allow him a $10,000 claim for sugar machinery, which claim Brigham Young had refused since 1853.92

By contrast, Wilford Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow, and Joseph F. Smith did not use their office as church president to cancel their personal indebtedness, yet they allowed tithing funds to serve as a loan pool for prominent Mormons. In a sharply worded report in 1911, the church auditors noted: “If certain members of the Church are entitled to borrow money for private ends, is this not a right of all members, for the same purpose? If this policy is admitted, would it not result in confusion, jealousy, loss and consequent wrong?” The committee observed that “the debtors frequently look upon their obligations as being due to a rich and indulgent relative, to be paid (if at all) at their own convenience.” Among the debtors was Apostle Heber J. Grant for a “cash loan of $34,000.” In 1913 the committee renewed the subject of church loans to individuals, and commented that “it is not within the purview of the Trustee-in-Trust to make advances of this kind . . . And any loans made on plain notes are legally uncollectible.”93

It is important to recognize that general authorities borrowed from the church’s general fund because their living allowances were insufficient to meet their needs. In 1910 Apostle Anthony W. Ivins recorded that the following members of the Twelve were in debt: Francis M. Lyman, George Albert Smith, Heber J. Grant, Rudger Clawson, Hyrum M. Smith, George F. Richards, and David O. McKay.94Grant was the most candid about his apostolic indebtedness: “A president of the stake begged and pleaded with me to quit paying tithing. He said I did not owe any tithing until I got out of debt. Would not that have been a fine record for a man who now stands as president of the Church, not to have paid tithing for thirty-two years?”95

Many general authorities repaid their debts after long years of effort, while others died in debt. On the other hand, some chose to declare legal bankruptcy. In 1842 Joseph Smith, his counselor Sidney Rigdon, Presiding Patriarch Hyrum Smith, and Presiding bishop-designate Vinson Knight sought relief from their indebtedness by filing for bankruptcy.96 Seventy’s president J. Golden Kimball was the next current general authority who filed for bankruptcy. In 1899 he had $11,126 in debts but only $2,031 in assets.97 By 1902 the First Presidency was unwilling for a member of the Presidency or Twelve to declare public bankruptcy, and Apostle Reed Smoot quietly persuaded the creditors of John W. Taylor to settle the apostle’s $140,000 debts at ten cents on the dollar.98

On 27 December 1919 recently sustained Heber J. Grant obtained the approval of his counselors to accept $30,000 worth of his stock (at par) in the Utah-Implement Vehicle Company to cancel loans he received as an apostle from the Trustee-in-Trust.99 However, accepting stock to cancel personal loans caused enormous losses to the church during Grant’s administration. In 1930 first counselor Anthony W. Ivins computed that the church lost $900,000 in personal loans to Presiding Bishop Charles W. Nibley. Upon his appointment as second counselor in the First Presidency in 1925, Nibley had used stocks and bonds to repay his indebtedness to the church.100

Public Disclosure

As early as January 1832, Missouri’s regional bishop Edward Partridge gave a public accounting of church finances to a church conference. The meeting voted that each general conference receive “a regular account of moneys and properties received and expended for the use and benefit of this church.” This continued until the Mormons were expelled from Missouri in 1838, but apparently not during the remaining six years of Joseph Smith’s life.101

Brigham Young gave financial reports periodically, rather than annually. For example, at October 1860 general conference, he observed: “By the cash manifest just read by brother John T. Caine, you perceive there has been expended, during the years 1857, 1858, 1859, and to October 4, 1860, $70,204 in excess of what has been received in money and Tithing.” Then Young added with typical candor, “It has been rather difficult to raise the large amount of cash we have expended over the amount received on money-Tithing . . .”102 Deficit spending was common in nineteenth-century Mormonism.

Following Brigham Young’s death, John Taylor proposed in 1878 to make the financial report an annual event. “He expected to present before the people at least once a year, an account of what was done with their means.”103 However, as the U.S. government increased its anti-polygamy campaign against the LDS church, President Taylor stopped the annual financial report in April 1884 because “it is none of the business of outsiders to know about our financial matters.”104

In 1899 the First Presidency and Twelve discussed resuming the public report of church income and expenditures. “President Young and President Taylor had both made it a practice to keep the people pretty well informed as to the general condition of the Church,” senior apostle Franklin D. Richards observed. He thought such a public accounting should be “presented before the General Conference, thereby correcting false reports and bringing the people to share in the responsibility of the Church’s business.”105

Regular reports of general church finances did not begin until the 1900s, and they were as unrevealing as current financial reports. For example, the April 1907 general conference learned the following information from the General Church Auditing Committee’s report to the First Presidency: “We have carefully examined the accounts of the Trustee-in-Trust, Presiding Bishopric, the Deseret News, the Latter-day Saints’ hospital and other business concerns in which the Church is interested, for the year 1906. We find that the accounting in the various departments is properly done; every dollar received has been correctly entered and disbursements under your direction have been economically and wisely made for the exclusive benefit of the various interests of the Church. And we heartily endorse your judicious and conservative administration.” The currently non-informative financial report reveals no less about church income and expenditures than was true of the bland reports of April general conference in the early 1900s.106

Detailed public reporting of church income and expenditures was of briefer duration than sometimes assumed today. Until April 1915, LDS church presidents made only occasional references to the dollar amounts of church income or revenues. In that year, however, the church released its first report to “show how the tithing of the Church for the year 1914 has been disbursed.”107 For the next forty-four years, those annual reports continued to show total dollars expended in selected categories.

Church Businesses

Almost from the beginning, the business of the LDS church has been business. Established in March 1832, the same month Joseph Smith organized the First Presidency, the church’s “United Firm” included merchandizing, real estate, and publishing.108 In 1841 Joseph Smith printed a revelation to establish a church hotel (D&C 124:59). In 1870 Brigham Young publicly announced a revelation for Mormons to invest in a railroad.109 In 1881 John Taylor privately dictated a revelation to organize an iron company, and in 1883 another revelation to invest tithing funds in a gold mine.110 In the 1890s the hierarchy gave certain men the religious “calling” or obligation to invest thousands of dollars each in a sugar company.111

During the first century of corporate Mormonism, current general authorities were partners, officers, or directors in nearly 900 businesses. Most, but not all, of these were church-owned, church-controlled, or church-invested businesses.112 However, a hierarchy-managed business has not necessarily been church-owned, -controlled, or -invested. Also, general authorities have sometimes been absent from the board of companies owned or controlled by the LDS church. Furthermore, some directorships have been honorary and lacked significant influence on the company.

Nevertheless, during the first third of the twentieth century it was possible for Latter-day Saints in and near Salt Lake City to have a cradle-to-grave economic association with businesses managed by LDS general authorities. Many of these businesses were owned or controlled by the LDS church itself.

To demonstrate, let us suppose that when the First Presidency issued its 1907 statement a young man named Brown lived in Salt Lake City. In sketching the economic environment of this Everyman of the Mormon Culture Region at that time, each BOLD-PRINTenterprise was one in which general authorities currently served as officers or directors.

Shortly after the First Presidency denied seeking “absolute domination in temporal affairs,” Brother Brown went on a proselytizing mission to the Eastern States, traveling there and back on the UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD. Not long after his return from this mission, he bought his sweetheart an engagement ring at DAYNES JEWELRY COMPANY. The newlyweds spent their wedding night in the recently constructed HOTEL UTAH.

The Browns ate breakfast cereals from UTAH CEREAL FOOD COMPANY,with dairy products from MUTUAL CREAMERY COMPANY and sugar from either AMALGAMATED SUGAR COMPANY or U AND I SUGAR COMPANY. The NEVADA LAND AND LIVESTOCK COMPANY raised the beef the family ate for dinner, and Sister Brown purchased fruits and vegetables from GROWERS MARKET. This produce had been grown with the assistance of INLAND FERTILIZER COMPANY, harvested with equipment purchased from CONSOLIDATED WAGON & MACHINE COMPANY, on lands owned by THE WASATCH LAND AND IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION, and irrigated by the RIVERSIDE CANAL COMPANY. She carried groceries in sacks manufactured by UTAH BAG COMPANY and refrigerated perishables with ice from ALASKA ICE AND STORAGE COMPANY. The Browns used dishes and cutlery purchased from ZION’S COOPERATIVE MERCANTILE INSTITUTION (ZCMI), seasoned their food with salt from INLAND CRYSTAL SALT COMPANY, and ate bread made from flour of the REXBURG MILLING AND ELEVATOR COMPANY.

The Browns bought clothing manufactured by SALT LAKE KNITTING WORKSand KNIGHT WOOLEN MILLS and furniture from GRANITE FURNITURE COMPANY. For reading material, the Browns had the DESERET NEWS as a newspaper and bought books from DES-ERET BOOK COMPANY. Some of their books were also published by ZION’S PRINTING & PUBLISHING COMPANY in Missouri.

The Browns financed a new house with a mortgage loan from HEBER J. GRANT & COMPANY. It was built by the UTAH CONSTRUCTION COMPANY with materials from UTAH LUMBER COMPANY, ENAMEL BRICK AND CONCRETE COMPANY, UNION PORTLAND CEMENT COMPANY, UTAH ONYX DEVELOPMENT COMPANY, SALT LAKE IRON AND STEEL COMPANY, UTAH LIME AND STONE COMPANY, and EMIGRATION CANYON ROCK COMPANY. They insured it with UTAH HOME FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY, but later changed to a policy from SOUTHWESTERN FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY. The house was lighted by UTAH POWER AND LIGHT, heated first by coal from SMOOT & SPAFFORD,and later by gas from U.S. FUEL COMPANY, with phone service from MOUNTAIN STATES TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH COMPANY. Within a few years, the Browns decided that their house needed a better roof and insulation, so they turned to LAMBERT ROOFING COMPANY and the INSULATION MANUFACTURING COMPANY. The Browns paid for all of these services from their checking account at UTAH STATE NATIONAL BANK.

For entertainment, the Brown family patronized the ENSIGN AMUSEMENT COMPANY, the GIANT RACER COMPANY, the SALT LAKE DRAMATIC ASSOCIATION, the SALT LAKE THEATRE, the SALTAIR BEACH RESORT, and DESERET MUSEUM. But often the Browns simply listened to radio station KSL or to phonograph records from DAYNES-BEEBE MUSIC COMPANY.

While using the streetcars of the UTAH LIGHT & TRACTION COMPANY,the Browns saved for an automobile by maintaining a savings account with ZION’S SAVINGS BANK & TRUST. They also made conservative investments in stocks and bonds through KIMBALL AND RICHARDS SECURITIES. Finally they were able to buy a Hupmobile in 1918 from HYLAND MOTOR COMPANY, then traded it in for a Ford in 1924 from TAYLOR-RICHARDS MOTOR COMPANY, then traded it in for a Nash auto in 1929 from BALLARD-JACKSON NASH COMPANY. For all their cars, Brother Brown purchased gasoline and oil processed at the UTAH OIL REFINING COMPANY.

As the Brown children grew, they attended LDS HIGH SCHOOL in Salt Lake City. After graduation, one daughter went to LDS BUSINESS COLLEGE, another daughter graduated from the McCUNE SCHOOL OF MUSIC, and a son went to BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY. Those were church institutions, but one son received a scholarship from the UNIVERSITY OF UTAH, where a member of the Quorum of the Twelve served on the board of regents.

The Browns took a vacation to California in 1932 on the WESTERN PACIFIC RAILROAD, but soon returned because Brother Brown had contracted pneumonia. While being treated at the LDS HOSPITAL, he received oxygen from WHITMORE OXYGEN COMPANY. Despite the best efforts of his physicians, Brother Brown died and was buried in WASATCH LAWN CEMETERY. His widow collected his insurance policies from BENEFICIAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY and CALIFORNIA WESTERN STATES LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY.

However, the hierarchy’s participation in this maze of corporations from the 1880s on did not please every general authority. In 1890 Apostle Brigham Young, Jr., wrote: “Bro Jno. H. Smith said our last U[nited]. O[ders]. resembled Communism to[o] much; thought present system of Corporations would unite the people better, perhaps. I could not agree with him but said nothing. There is too much time given to Corporations, stocks, bonds, politics, etc by our leaders to please me. We are in all kinds of business interests [—] even the members of the Twelve represent businesses which are jealous of each other and almost ready to fight each other.”113 In 1919 Apostle James E. Talmage wrote: “Today I was elected one of the directors of the Utah State National Bank, and this, to some degree, against my will.” Two years later he wrote, “In consulting with President Heber J. Grant I was made glad by receiving his consent to my withdrawal as one of the Board of Directors of the Utah State National Bank.”114

Apostle Talmage was willing to lose financially by withdrawing from participation in corporate Mormonism. By the twentieth century it was standard policy to give financial compensation to those serving as officers and directors of LDS firms. Such business leadership was primarily the privilege of the First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve, and the Presiding Bishopric. Their corporate income continued the economic stratification of the hierarchy.

George Albert Smith was a good illustration of the corporate side of the hierarchy’s income in the twentieth century. Appointed an apostle in 1903 without significant business experience, by 1915 he was a director of three church enterprises: Utah Savings and Trust Company, Utah Home Fire Insurance Company, and ZCMI, for which he received a total of $1,260 yearly in director’s fees. His annual income that year was $5,088, of which only $1,800 came from his allowance as a general authority. The same proportion continued throughout his service as an apostle, but his income jumped more than 500 percent in the first year of his service as LDS president in 1945. This was a direct result of his advancement to corporate offices which were part of his new church position. An undated statement shows that before his death in 1951 President Smith’s monthly income of $2,307 came from $650 in general authority’s allowance and $1,657 in director’s fees from nine LDS corporations.115

A decade after Smith’s death, church corporations were providing some general authorities with very lucrative supplements to their church stipends. In 1963 Beneficial Life Insurance Company alone awarded $13,400 in director’s fees to President David O. McKay, $6,750 to first counselor Henry D. Moyle before his death in September, $9,200 to Moyle’s co-counselor Hugh B. Brown for service during the entire year, $1,700 to Moyle’s replacement as counselor N. Eldon Tanner (who apparently accepted less than authorized) for his service from October to December 1963, and $6,200 to the Twelve’s president Joseph Fielding Smith for a full year’s service.116

Nevertheless, non-Mormons have almost always overlooked the reality that the LDS church has rarely had financial profit as the motive for starting even the most ambitious business. In fact, from 1933 to 1961 First Presidency counselor J. Reuben Clark continually cautioned against church enterprises making too much money. Why? Because that would be profiteering at the expense of those whom Mormon enterprises seek to benefit, the average Latter-day Saints.117 Generally, church-owned or -controlled businesses have been a drain on its resources, often helping drive the church to the edge of bankruptcy. This happened first in 1837 during a national depression.

Various apostles (subsequently excommunicated) are traditionally blamed for the financial speculation in Kirtland which preceded the collapse.118 However, Heber C. Kimball laid the responsibility directly on Joseph Smith. When the Quorum of Twelve returned to Kirtland from its first mission in September 1835, the prophet told the apostles, “Now, brethren, it is a good time to get property; now is the time for you to get rich.” Kimball explained the consequences: “Well, it was one of the most trying times the Church ever saw. Most of the Twelve went into speculation, and half of them turned away [from the church].”119 It is no coincidence that these times of severe Mormon financial crisis usually occurred during depressions in the national business community in 1837, in 1842-44, in 1873, in 1893, in the 1920s (in agriculture, mining, and manufacturing), and in the 1930s.120

While it may have worsened the church’s financial panics, the weakened national economy did not create any of them. That was true in the 1830s and also in the 1890s. Official LDS histories describe the $2 million of church debts in the 1890s as a result of the federal raid which had confiscated church properties from 1887 to 1890.121 Instead, the debts resulted from massive losses in the church’s interlocked mining, sugar, real estate, banking, and investment firms.122

For example, despite a national economic depression, the First Presidency in 1894 used $217,000 in tithing funds to establish the Sterling Mining and Milling Company. Within four years the church lost its entire investment in this speculative mining venture.123 In June 1899 recently sustained church president Lorenzo Snow told the apostles that “the Lord was displeased with us for borrowing or going into debt to the extent of nearly two millions of dollars for business enterprises.”124

In 1927 first counselor Anthony W. Ivins calculated that the church had lost $526,900 in transactions involving the church’s Utah State National Bank. Five years later second counselor J. Reuben Clark noted that those losses had increased to $1,374,900.125 In 1930 first counselor Anthony W. Ivins cataloged the church’s loss of “at least six million dollars” in stock and bond transactions during the previous decade.126 A million dollars today is far less valuable in purchasing power than it was in the 1920s.

Deficit Spending and Modern Financing

The combination of bad financial investments, declines in church businesses, and the Great Depression once again pushed the LDS church into deficit spending. First counselor J. Reuben Clark announced to general conferences that the church had spending deficits amounting to $100,000 in 1937 to nearly $900,000 in 1938. In Clark’s view, voluntary disclosure of regrettable deficits was a way to encourage greater austerity on the part of the leaders at headquarters and elsewhere. During the 1940s Clark allowed the church to spend only 27 percent of its annual tithing revenues. The rest went into bank savings accounts as a “reserve fund.”127

Twenty years later the First Presidency’s deficit spending caused the end of detailed financial reports regularly given to April general conferences since 1915. In the period of a few months in mid-1956, the church suffered a loss of $1 million of tithing funds invested in municipal government bonds, yet later that year the First Presidency committed two-thirds of church income to continued investment in municipal bonds.128 The next annual financial report gave fewer details about expenditures of church funds, and the church published its last financial report in April 1959.129

By the end of 1959, the church spent $8 million more than its income that year. This was extraordinary in view of the fact that the church had surplus income of $7 million after 1958’s expenditures.130 To conceal the massive increase of building expenditures in the last half of 1959 which created that deficit, the church stopped releasing even abbreviated financial reports. At the close of 1961, Apostle Harold B. Lee expressed “my stubborn resistance to the principle of `deficit spending,’ supposedly justified in the hope of increasing the tithing of the Church to cover the deficit.”131 To no avail.

At the end of 1962 the church was deficit-spending $32 million annually. New York financiers had to advise against the First Presidency’s proposal “to finance such spending by selling Church securities for the next fifty years.”132 The new year looked no better. By the end of February there was already a $5 million shortfall, and 1963 threatened to equal or exceed the spending deficit of 1962.133

Then in 1963 N. Eldon Tanner entered the First Presidency as the church was struggling to avoid the worst financial crisis of its history. By then, his biographer notes, the building program “had so drained Church reserves that at one point financial officers wondered if they would be able to meet the payroll” for church employees.134

Known as the church’s modern financial wizard, President Tanner’s legacy is an extraordinary success story which deserves separate discussion not possible here. In brief, he responded to Mormonism’s financial crisis of 1963 by declaring “a moratorium” on the LDS building program and by halting investments “until a buffer reserve could be built up.” Five years of deficit spending had wiped out the church’s reserve fund, yet under Tanner’s careful stewardship, “step by step the Church was introduced to corporate financing.”135The task of rebuilding church finances was so daunting that not until 1966 did church administrators conclude that “the finances of the Church are now in a little better shape.”136 Once church finances were comfortably in the black again, there was no incentive to resume the detailed annual reports to general conference.

One example of that success story is the Deseret News purchase of a large bloc of Los Angeles Times stock in 1965. Four years later its valued had increased from less than $1 million to nearly $30 million.137 Silence concealed massive church deficits for years, and later concealed massive financial successes that resulted from N. Eldon Tanner’s impact on church finances.138

Outside observers often wonder why LDS church members do not criticize the end to public accounting of expenditures since 1959. The answer lies in the fact that since local and regional leadership of the LDS church rotates an average of every five years or less, literally millions of LDS men and women today have had experience as stewards over church funds. These Mormons have personal knowledge of the careful accountability for these funds as overseen by superiors in the line of authority and by church auditors.139 More important, these lay leaders in priesthood or auxiliary organizations have regarded their own financial stewardship—large or small—as a sacred obligation. Equally important, rank-and-file Mormons feel no need for public accountability for general church funds in view of the motto of the contemporary church: “When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done.”140

The Hierarchy: From Corporate Management to the Sideline

“Breaking with tradition,” in June 1975 Spencer W. Kimball withdrew as LDS president from being an officer or director of corporations in which the church had significant financial interest. The First Presidency explained: “Membership on the boards has required some time and the presidency has felt its time could be better utilized in building the kingdom.” When the church president withdrew from corporate responsibilities, there were 3 million Mormons throughout the world.141

By implication such priorities applied equally well to Kimball’s counselors, the apostles, and the Seventy. Their callings involved primarily spiritual ministry and ecclesiastical governance, in contrast to the financial domain that has defined the Presiding Bishopric since its beginning. However, not until January 1996 did the rest of the LDS hierarchy follow Kimball’s example by ending the role of all general authorities as officers or directors of any business. They had waited until church membership stood at more than 9 million.142

A profile of the corporate responsibility of the general authorities as of June 1984 helps to assess its impact on their time and attention “in building the kingdom” spiritually. Exactly nine years after Kimball’s business withdrawal, this was about midway toward the decision of the entire hierarchy to accept the same inevitability. It was also seven months after the Wall Street Journal‘s front-page headline: “Leaders of Mormonism Double as Overseers of a Financial Empire.”143

From a variety of public documents,144 this was the business world of the general authorities in 1984, beginning with the First Presidency. Despite his public withdrawal from corporate responsibilities, President Spencer W. Kimball (who had been physically incapacitated since 1982) remained a director of Bonneville International Corporation. His first counselor Marion G. Romney (also physically incapacitated for years) was still chairman of the board of Beneficial Development Co., of Beneficial Life Insurance Co., of LDS Social Services, Inc., and director of Bonneville International Corporation and of Deseret Management Co. The only functioning member of the First Presidency in 1984, second counselor Gordon B. Hinckley was chairman of the board of Deseret Management Corporation Foundation, and director of Bonneville International Corporation, of Deseret Management Corporation, of KIRO, Inc. of Seattle, of Utah Power and Light Co., and of Zion’s First National Bank.

The Quorum of Twelve’s president Ezra Taft Benson was a director of Beneficial Life Insurance Co. Apostle Howard W. Hunter was president of the Polynesian Cultural Center (Hawaii), and director of Beneficial Life Insurance Co., of Continental Western Life Insurance Co., of Deseret Federal Savings and Loan, of First Security Bank of Utah, of First Security Corp., of Heber J. Grant & Co., of PHA Life Insurance Co. (Oregon), of Watson Land Co. (Los Angeles), and of Western American Life Insurance Co. Apostle Thomas S. Monson was president and chairman of the board of Deseret News Publishing Co., vice-president of LDS Social Services and of Newspaper Agency Corp, and director of Beneficial Life Insurance Co., of Commercial Security Bank, of Commercial Security Bankcorporation, of Continental Western Life Insurance Co. (Iowa), of Deseret Management Corp., of IHC Hospitals, Inc., of Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Co., of Murdock Travel, of PHA Life Insurance Co. (Oregon), of Pioneer Memorial Theater, and of Western American Life Insurance Co. Apostle Boyd K. Packer was chairman of the board of Utah Home Fire Insurance Co., while also director of Murdock Travel and of Zion’s First National Bank. Apostle Marvin J. Ashton was president of Deseret Book Co., chairman of the board of ZCMI, and director of Beneficial Development Co., of First Security Bank of Utah, of First Security Corporation, of Laie Resorts (Hawaii), and of Zion’s Securities Corporation. Apostle L. Tom Perry was director of American Stores Co. (which operated Skaggs Drugs and Alpha Beta supermarkets), of ZCMI, of Zion’s First National Bank, and of Jewel Companies, Inc. (Chicago), and trustee of LDS Social Services and of Nauvoo Restoration. Apostle David B. Haight was director of Bonneville International Corporation, of Deseret Management Corporation, of First Security Bank of Utah, of First Security Corporation, and of Valtek, Inc., while also a trustee of Deseret Management Corporation Foundation. Apostle James E. Faust was vice-president of Deseret News Publishing Co., director of Commercial Security Bank, and of Commercial Security Bank Corporation, while also a trustee of Ballet West and of LDS Social Services. Apostle Neal A. Maxwell was director of Mountain Fuel Resources, Inc., of Mountain Fuel Supply Co., and of Deseret News Publishing Co. Apostle Russell M. Nelson was director of Zion’s First National Bank. Apostle Dallin H. Oaks was chairman of the Public Broadcasting System (national), while also director of O.C. Tanner Jewelry Co. and of Union Pacific Railroad.

Franklin D. Richards, senior president of the First Quorum of Seventy, was president of Laie Resorts, chairman of the board of Deseret Trust Co. and of Richards-Woodbury Agency, was director of Beneficial Development Co., of Deseret Management Corp., of Utah Home Fire Insurance Co., and of Zion’s Securities Corp., while also trustee of Deseret Management Corporation Foundation and of Wasatch Lawn Cemetery Association. Seventy’s member J. Thomas Fyans was trustee of LDS Social Services. Carlos E. Asay was director of Laie Resorts, while M. Russell Ballard was director of Deseret Book Co. Seventy’s member Royden G. Derrick was chairman of the board of UI Group, Inc. (formerly U&I Sugar) and director of Utah Home Fire Insurance Co. Paul H. Dunn was director of Consolidated Capital Corporation. Robert D. Hales was president of Deseret Management Corporation and trustee of Deseret Management Corporation Foundation. Adney Y. Komatsu was a director of Laie Resorts. Vaughn J. Featherstone was director of Utah Home Fire Insurance Co. Hugh W. Pinnock was director of First Interstate Bank of Utah. Ronald E. Poelman was director of Consolidated Freightways and of Deseret Trust Co. Robert L. Backman was chairman of the Deseret Gymnasium.

Presiding Bishop Victor L. Brown was president of Deseret Title Holding Corporation, vice-president of LDS Social Services, chairman of the board of Deseret Trust Co. and of Utah Hotel Co., and director of Deseret Farms (Utah), of Deseret Farms of Texas, of Deseret Management Corporation, of Deseret News Publishing Co., of Deseret Ranches of Florida, of O.C. Tanner Jewelry Co., of Pioneer Memorial Theater, of the Utah Symphony, and of Western Airlines. His first counselor H. Burke Peterson was vice-president of Beneficial Development Co., director of Zion’s Securities Corp., and trustee of LDS Social Services. The Bishopric’s second counselor, J. Richard Clarke, was chairman of the Board of Deseret Mutual Benefit Association, director of Deseret Healthcare, and trustee of LDS Social Services.

Emeritus general authority Bernard P. Brockbank was trustee of Wasatch Lawn Cemetery Association. John H. Vandenberg was trustee of Nauvoo Restoration, and emeritus O. Leslie Stone was director of Utah Opera Co.

That was the corporate world of the LDS hierarchy in 1984. Why would the First Presidency’s two counselors (sometimes with only one or two able to function) and the twelve apostles (often with one or two incapacitated) continue to shoulder such enormous burdens of business administration while church membership tripled in the twenty years after 1975? There seemed to be three considerations—financial, personal, and administrative—which jointly operated to delay the hierarchy’s surrender of corporate management. One factor may have weighed more heavily with an individual leader than another.

Those who had corporate positions did not want to give up the money. A general authority’s 1992 biography stated that such management positions, even if honorary, “provided him with extra income to help augment the slender living allowance he received from the Church.”145 The unspoken inequity involved general authorities who had to support their families on “the slender living allowance,” without the financial windfall of a corporate assignment. Thus the hierarchy’s financial inequality continued on another basis for decades after the decision to give standardized allowances, regardless of quorum or seniority.

The other personal reason for clinging to these corporate positions was that many general authorities enjoyed the world of business management. For example, Gordon B. Hinckley’s authorized biographer regards it as “a wonder that he accepted” one corporate directorship after another as an apostle in view of the fact that “he raced from one [church] assignment, appointment, committee, or board meeting to another.” She the explains that Hinckley “did enjoy affiliating with businessmen of talent and influence and was eager to be tutored in the art of industry.”146 When another apostle’s entry in Who’s Who in America listed eight business corporations he was serving, this expressed status, not just activity.147 Giving up the tokens of status is rarely easy for anyone.

There were two basic administrative factors which prolonged the hierarchy’s role as business managers. As previously demonstrated (see chaps. 2 and 4), the Quorum of the Twelve, in particular, has never easily surrendered any of its privileges or functions. For example, at the formation of a new holding company for the church’s income-producing properties in 1966, “There was criticism from members of the Twelve,” second counselor N. Eldon Tanner commented, “because they couldn’t see why the First Presidency would hand that [power] over to the Deseret Management Corporation.”148 Moreover, if the hierarchy gave up its role in the church’s businesses, this would increase the power of the central bureaucracy. The First Presidency had expressed misgivings about the LDS bureaucracy since the late 1940s.149

At some point the crushing responsibilities for 9 million Mormons overwhelmed all other personal and administrative considerations within the hierarchy concerning the management of LDS businesses. The hierarchy resisted Spencer W. Kimball’s example for twenty years, and only time will tell whether a new combination of the above factors will cause a return of at least some general authorities to business management.

Conclusion

The diverse and increasingly far-flung business world of the Mormon church has one real motivation. Viewing itself as surrounded by a hostile world, the church has used business as part of a multifaceted effort to provide security by controlling the environment in which Mormons live. Historian Marvin S. Hill has called this the Mormon flight from pluralism and “Quest for Refuge.”150

In the nineteenth century this quest for security had five features. First, a coordinated and centrally-financed immigration to LDS headquarters which expanded to the entire Great Basin of the American West. Second, a church military force to provide physical security for Mormons and their communities. Third, control of elected political offices within this domain through bloc voting and central direction by the church hierarchy. Fourth, the creation and maintenance of Mormon economic and business structures to avoid, as much as possible, Mormon dependence on the economy of an alien world. Fifth, duplication of all the social and cultural structures of the outside world so that Mormon culture was outwardly similar to mainstream society, at the same time the internal dynamics of Mormon culture were alien to the larger society it mimicked.151

By necessity, much of this has changed. LDS church leaders have surrendered theocratic militarism to national sovereignties. Mormonism no longer has a central gathering place, but has redefined itself as a headquarters culture with national and international satellites of growing importance. Salt Lake City is no longer polarized between competing Mormon and non-Mormon social structures, but both camps have acquiesced to joint participation in a cultural life and social order which are infused with Mormon church influence. In the political realm, LDS general authorities no longer fill the Utah state legislature in person. Instead, the hierarchy orchestrates a political agenda through loyal Mormon proxies, as well as fellow-travellers of various religious persuasions who share specific political goals with the LDS hierarchy. Mormon lock-step partisanship and interfaith partnership also operate in every large satellite population of Mormonism throughout the United States. It will undoubtedly continue wherever international Mormons gain a population sufficient to wield political power within democratically governed regimes (see chaps. 9-10).

The Mormon hierarchy now uses its corporate influence more selectively and more influentially than ever before. It is difficult to examine the Arizona Republic‘s two-page chart of the “Mormon Financial Empire” of the 1990s without a sense of awe.152 Here there is no possibility of exaggeration, because these organizations are legally registered. LDS church-owned corporations in at least twenty states currently conduct everything from insurance to retail sales to broadcast to real estate.153 That study excluded LDS church ownership of large blocs of stock in such enterprises as the Los Angeles Times. This analysis also did not even touch on the LDS church’s non-U.S. corporations which are scattered on five continents and throughout the Pacific islands.154

To the eye of the unbeliever, the Mormon quest for security smacks of hegemony in the nineteenth century. On the eve of the twenty-first century, many outsiders in the United States and other countries regard the LDS church as engaged in colonialism and religious imperialism.155 However, to the converted Mormon view, LDS finances are what the Lord has done for his people, church, and kingdom. The perspectives are irreconcilable.


Notes

1. The standard work on nineteenth-century Mormon economics is Leonard J. Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom: An Economic History of the Latter-day Saints, 1830-1900 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1958, reprinted in paperback by University of Nebraska Press since 1966). There is no equivalent for the twentieth century. However, as a balance to Arrington’s institutional focus, more demographically and econometrically focused studies have appeared in Marvin S. Hill, C. Keith Rooker, and Larry T. Wimmer, “The Kirtland Economy Revisited: A Market Critique of Sectarian Economics,” Brigham Young University Studies 17 (Summer 1977); Lee Soltow and Dean L. May, “The Distribution of Mormon Wealth and Income in 1857,” Explorations in Economic History 16 (Apr. 1979): 151-62; James R. Kearl, Clayne T. Pope, and Larry T. Wimmer, “Household Wealth in a Settlement Economy: Utah, 1850-1870,” Journal of Economic History 40 (Sept. 1980): 477-96.

2. Cornelius Krahn, Dutch Anabaptism: Origin, Spread, Life, and Thought (1450-1600) (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1968); Kennelm Burridge, New Heaven, New Earth: A Study of Millenarian Activities(New York: Schocken Books, 1969); Norman Cohn, The Pursuit of the Millennium: Revolutionary Millenarians and Mystical Anarchists of the Middle Ages, rev. ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1970); B. S. Capp, The Fifth Monarchy Men: A Study in Seventeenth-century English Millenarianism (London: Faber, 1972); Claus-Peter Clasen, Anabaptism: A Social History, 1525-1618 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1972); Lowell H. Zuck, ed., Christianity and Revolution: Radical Christian Testimonies, 1520-1650 (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1975); James M. Stayer, Anabaptists and the Sword, 2d ed. (Lawrence, KS: Coronado Press, 1976); Stephen A. Marini, Radical Sects of Revolutionary New England (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1982); Lawrence Foster, Sexuality and Religion: The Shakers, the Mormons, and the Oneida Community (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1984); D. Michael Quinn, “Socio-Religious Radicalism of the Mormon Church: A Parallel to the Anabaptists,” in Davis Bitton and Maureen Ursenbach Beecher, eds., New Views on Mormon History: A Collection of Essays in Honor of Leonard J. Arrington (Salt Lake City, University of Utah Press, 1987); Abraham Friesen, Thomas Muentzer, a Destroyer of the Godless: The Making of a Sixteenth-century Religious Revolutionary (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990); Michael G. Baylor, trans. and ed., The Radical Reformation (Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge University Press, 1991).

3. Concerning the conflicts caused by these Mormon views in the nineteenth century, see Stephen C. LeSueur, The 1838 Mormon War in Missouri (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1987); Marvin S. Hill, Quest for Refuge: The Mormon Flight from American Pluralism (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1989); Kenneth H. Winn, Exiles in a Land of Liberty: Mormons in America, 1830-1846 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989); D. Michael Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power (Salt Lake City: Signature Books/Smith Research Associates, 1994), 79-141; John E. Hallwas and Roger D. Launius, eds., Cultures in Conflict: A Documentary History of the Mormon War in Illinois (Logan: Utah State University Press, 1995); chaps. 7-8.

4. The Doctrine and Covenants of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, published at Salt Lake City in various editions, sec. 29: 34, hereafter cited as D&C with numbers of section and verse(s); Leonard J. Arrington, “Economic History of the Church,” in Daniel H. Ludlow, ed., Encyclopedia of Mormonism: The History, Scripture, Doctrine, and Procedure of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 5 vols. (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1992), 2:435.

5. James R. Clark, ed., Messages of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-71), 4:147-48.

6. Robert Gottlieb and Peter Wiley, America’s Saints: The Rise of Mormon Power (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1984), 97, 128.

7. Quinn, Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, 13-14, 59-61, 70-72. Except when otherwise indicated, biographical sketches of all general authorities named in this chapter can be found either in the above book or in an appendix of the present volume.

8. Donald Q. Cannon and Lyndon W. Cook, eds., Far West Record: Minutes of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-40 (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983), 131; compare to Howard D. Swainston, “Tithing,” in Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 4:1481.

9. Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom, 134-36, 409.

10. Meeting of seven members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles with English immigrant Joseph Fielding at Nauvoo, Illinois, 31 Nov. 1841, minutes, archives, Historical Department, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah (hereafter LDS archives); Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom, 18, and Swainston, “Tithing,” in Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 4:1482, overlooked this as a liberalization of the requirement in the 1838 revelation.

11. Joseph Smith et al., History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Period I: History of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, and . . . Period II: From the Manuscript History of Brigham Young and Other Original Documents, ed. B. H. Roberts, 7 vols. (Salt Lake City: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1902-32; 2d ed. rev. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1978]), 7:251 (hereafter History of the Church). Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom, 18, 428n58, overlooked the double-jeopardy dimension of the epistle’s tithing requirement.

12. History of the Church, 7:358.

13. Heber C. Kimball diary, 29 Jan. 1845, in Stanley B. Kimball, ed., On the Potter’s Wheel: The Diaries of Heber C. Kimball (Salt Lake City: Signature Books/Smith Research Associates, 1987), 94; Nauvoo Trustee-in-Trust Tithing and Donation Record, 220-222 (29 Jan. 1845), LDS archives. For the term general bishop and its meaning in early LDS history, see Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. (Liverpool and London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-86), 22: 34 (O. Pratt/1880); D. Michael Quinn, “Evolution of the Presiding Quorums of the LDS Church,” Journal of Mormon History 1 (1974): 34; Dale Beecher, “The Office of Bishop,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 15 (Winter 1982): 103; Quinn, Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, 69-71.

14. John E. Page statement at meeting of Strangite high council, Voree, Wisconsin, 6 Apr. 1846, Document 6, James J. Strang Manuscripts, Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. For a history of Strang and his schismatic alternative to Brigham Young, see Roger Van Noord, King of Beaver Island: The Life and Assassination of James Jesse Strang (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1988).

15. Hosea Stout diary, 9 Sept. 1851, in Juanita Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier: The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1844-1861, 2 vols. (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1964), 2:403; Robert J. McCue, “Did the Word of Wisdom Become a Commandment in 1851?” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 14 (Fall 1981): 66-77. For enforcement of the Word of Wisdom, see Lester E. Bush, Jr., “The Word of Wisdom in Early Nineteenth-Century Perspective,” and Thomas G. Alexander, “The Word of Wisdom: From Principle to Requirement,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 14 (Fall 1981): 46-65, 78-88.

16. “Notice,” Deseret News [weekly], 26 Oct. 1854, [3]; Bishops’ meeting minutes, 28 Oct. 1858, LDS archives. Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom, 456n21, argued that excommunication for delinquent tithing was an unfulfilled threat.

17. John D. Lee diary, 25 Jan. 1868, in Robert Glass Cleland and Juanita Brooks, eds., A Mormon Chronicle: The Diaries of John D. Lee, 1848-1876, 2 vols. (San Marino, CA: Huntington Library, 1955), 2:96.

18. Journal of Discourses, 13:279 (B. Young/1870).

19. Leonard J. Arrington, “The Mormon Tithing House: A Frontier Business Institution,” Business History Review 28 (Mar. 1954): 29, and Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom, 137. Larry M. Logue, A Sermon in the Desert: Belief and Behavior in Early St. George, Utah (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1988), was a demographic analysis that gave brief discussion of tithing (18, 120).

20. For example, Journal of Discourses, 15:308 (O. Hyde/1873), 15:359 (O. Pratt/1873), 16:157 (O. Pratt/1873).

21. Journal of Discourses, 19:337 (E. Snow/1878).

22. Brigham Young sermon, 8 Oct. 1875, in “Semi-Annual Conference,” Deseret Evening News, 9 Oct. 1875, [2].

23. Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom, 355.

24. Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1830-1972), 246 microfilm reels, Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah (hereafter cited as Marriott Library), 8 Jan. 1881, 5, quoted John Taylor’s statement about the lump-sum tithing requirement of Utah “new comers,” but did not mention the similar requirement for new converts; George Goddard diary, 8 Jan. 1881, LDS archives, emphasized the lump-sum tithing upon conversion, but did not mention the tithing requirement for new immigrants to Utah; Journal of Discourses, 22:5-16 (J. Taylor/1881), was the church president’s sermon on 9 January 1881 as an addition to his “remarks yesterday afternoon, in answer to certain questions which have been put to me in relation to the principle of Tithing.” This second sermon did not refer to the obligations of tithing upon baptism or emigration to Zion.

25. Journal History, 8 Jan. 1881, 5; quote from Heber J. Grant diary, 2 Apr. 1881, LDS archives; Journal of Discourses, 22:207-208 (Woodruff/1881); Swainston, “Tithing,” in Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 4:1482. While “diary” is the standardized term I use to identify personal documents with daily entries, Grant kept several different kinds of such records, which must be identified separately in order to locate the quotations.

26. Richard O. Cowan, The Church in the Twentieth Century (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1985), 16-17; Richard Edgley and Wilford G. Edling, “Finances of the Church,” and Maureen Ursenbach Beecher and Paul Thomas Smith, “Lorenzo Snow,” in Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 2:508, 3:1370; E. Jay Bell, “The Windows of Heaven Revisited: The 1899 Tithing Revelation,” Journal of Mormon History 20 (Spring 1994): 45-83.

27. Swainston, “Tithing” in Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism,4:1481.

28. Presiding Bishopric 1909 cumulative report, 58, LDS archives. Before 1894 the report did not itemize the percentage of tithepayers in the stakes. The PBO did not receive tithing from missions. I calculated those percentages by comparing itemized numbers of tithepayers from 1890 through 1893 with stake membership for those years as contained in Deseret News 1995-1996 Church Almanac (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1994), 419.

29. Journal History, 29 Mar. 1900, 2.

30. Anthon H. Lund diary, 2 May, 27 June 1901, microfilm, LDS archives, available to all researchers by stipulation of its donor.

31. William H. Smart diary, 5 Apr. 1910, Manuscripts Division, Marriott Library. Smart was a stake president in Utah.

32. Presiding Bishopric Office 1909 cumulative report, 58, 1910 report, 32, 1915 cumulative report, 1916 report, 1924 cumulative report, 1925 report.

33. Presiding Bishopric Office cumulative report for 1915. The rest were “exempt” by reason of being non-wage earning children or adults, impoverished, or full-time missionaries. By this time the PBO reports implied (but did not specifically state) that the itemized figures applied to tithepayers for the stakes only. Each report compared those numbers with the total church membership of stakes and missions. Percentages here consistently reflect the population of the church’s stakes and wards, rather than its missions and branches.

34. Neil Morgan, “Utah: How Much Money Hath the Mormon Church?: A million dollars a day . . . what with tithing, real estate and commerce,” Esquire, Aug. 1962, 86-91.

35. Condensed Financial Report to the Corporation of the President (Salt Lake City: LDS Church Financial Department, 12 Apr. 1961) and Condensed Financial Report to the Corporation of the President (Salt Lake City: LDS Church Financial Department, 20 Dec. 1962), copies in LDS archives.

36. Morgan, “Utah: How Much Money Hath the Mormon Church?” 90.

37. “Income of Mormon Church Is Put at $4.7 Billion a Year,” New York Times, 2 July 1991, A-14. The headline amount included income from sources other than tithing.

38. Condensed Financial Report to the Corporation of the President [12 Apr. 1961]; Condensed Financial Report to the Corporation of the President [20 Dec. 1962]; the 1990 dollar amounts were calculated according to the Consumer Price Index for December 1990, as derived from Statistical Abstract; Economic Trends: August 1991 (St. Louis: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Aug. 1991).

39. Don LeFevre’s statement in “Income of Mormon Church Is Put at $4.7 Billion a Year,” New York Times, 2 July 1991, A-14.

40. History of the Church, 2:221.

41. Cannon and Cook, Far West Record, 131, 187, 188n6.

42. History of the Church, 2:273. For examples of frequent ad hoc financial appropriations to the First Presidency, see ibid., 4:46, 137-38, 412-13.

43. Irene May Bates, “Transformation of Charisma in the Mormon Church: A History of the Office of Presiding Patriarch, 1833-1979,” Ph.D. diss., University of California at Los Angeles, 1991, 302-304; Patriarch John Smith statement in Rudger Clawson diary, 10 July 1902, in Stan Larson, ed., A Ministry of Meetings: The Apostolic Diaries of Rudger Clawson (Salt Lake City: Signature Books/Smith Research Associates, 1993), 463.

44. Zadock Knapp Judd reminiscences, photocopy of typescript, 13, Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

45. John Smith’s 1846-1854 diary and autobiography, 55, LDS archives, with copy in George A. Smith Family papers, Marriott Library.

46. John Taylor to George Q. Cannon, 7 Nov. 1877, in Samuel W. Taylor and Raymond W. Taylor, eds., The John Taylor Papers: Records of the Last Utah Pioneer, 2 vols. (Redwood City, CA: Taylor Trust, 1984-85), 2:16; also quoted in Irene M. Bates and E. Gary Smith, Lost Legacy: The Mormon Office of Presiding Patriarch (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1996), 136.

47. Journal History, 25 Jan. 1899, 2. Elias H. Blackburn’s diary referred to performing blessings of healing but made no reference to a gratuity. However, he noted on 10 June 1895, as if it were an exception, his healing administration to a woman with cancer: “I done my part In Administering to her all for no consideration.” Emphasis in original at Utah State Historical Society, Salt Lake City, Utah, with copy at Huntington Library.

48. Rudger Clawson diary, 10 July 1902, in Larson, Ministry of Meetings, 462-63; Bates and Smith, Lost Legacy, 160.

49. First Presidency circular letter, “Suggestions for Stake Patriarchs,” 25 May 1943, cited in Bates, “Transformation of Charisma in the Mormon Church: A History of the Office of Presiding Patriarch, 1833-1979,” 306.

50. Church Historian’s office journal, 13 Jan. 1859, LDS archives, with copy in fd 9, box 11, Donald R. Moorman papers, archives, Donnell and Elizabeth Stewart Library, Weber State University, Ogden, Utah.

51. Brigham Young office journal, 8 Oct. 1860, LDS archives, with copies in fd 2, box 26, Moorman papers, and in fd 1, box 93, H. Michael Marquardt papers, Marriott Library. That quote was deleted from “REMARKS By President BRIGHAM YOUNG, Bowery, October 8, 1860,” Deseret News [weekly], 28 Nov. 1860, 305, and from Journal of Discourses, 8:201 (B. Young/1860).

52. First Council of Seventy minutes, 28 June 1879, LDS archives.

53. Journal History, 7 Apr. 1896, 4; Marriner W. Merrill diary, 2 Apr. 1896, LDS archives, for quote; also Journal History, 2 Apr. 1896, 2-9, for minutes of the meeting which discussed salaries for church officers.

54. Journal History, 30 Dec. 1896, 2; 7 Apr. 1897, 2; 27 Oct. 1898, 3.

55. J. Golden Kimball diary, 19 Feb. 1904, Marriott Library.

56. Presiding Bishopric Office 1910 annual report, 32.

57. George R. Blake to D. Michael Quinn, 7 Aug. 1991. His father Samuel Henry Blake was bishop of Vineyard Ward, Sharon Stake, Utah, from 1920 to 1929.

58. L. John Nuttall’s First Presidency office journal, 22 Jan., 25 Jan. 1887, 30 Dec. 1889, LDS archives.

59. Anthon H. Lund diary, 16 May 1901, 2 July 1903.

60. John D. Lee diary, 21 Mar. 1847, in Charles Kelly, ed., Journals of John D. Lee, 1846-47 and 1859 (Salt Lake City: Western Printing Co., 1938), 129.

61. Scott G. Kenney, ed., Wilford Woodruff’s Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, 9 vols. (Murray, UT: Signature Books, 1983-85), 5 (22 Feb. 1859): 294.

62. Salt Lake County assessment books, 1853, 1859-66, Utah State Archives, Salt Lake City; also chart, “Comparative Wealth of the Hierarchy, 1850-1869: Salt Lake County Assessed Property Valuations,” in D. Michael Quinn, “The Mormon Hierarchy, 1832-1932: An American Elite,” Ph.D. diss., Yale University, 1976, 103, and in Quinn, “From Sacred Grove to Sacral Power Structure,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 17 (Summer 1984): 27.

63. Kenney, Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 6 (22 Dec. 1865): 265.

64. Salt Lake County’s 1859 assessment book.

65. Brigham Young 1858-63 office journal, 18 Mar. 1860, 62, LDS archives, with copy in fd 1, box 26, Moorman papers.

66. Brigham H. Roberts, A Comprehensive History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Century I, 6 vols. (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press and “the Church,” 1930), 5:443; Journal of Discourses, 15:208 (G. Q. Cannon/1872).

67. My unpublished calculations of annual property assessments for all general authorities in Salt Lake County (1850-90), summarized in Quinn, “Mormon Hierarchy, 1832-1932: An American Elite,” 110-11, 113-14.

68. George Q. Cannon diary, 17 Jan. 1878, in Joseph J. Cannon, “George Q. Cannon,” Instructor 80 (June 1945): 259.

69. Joseph F. Smith to Henry W. Naisbitt, 2 Dec. 1877, Quinn’s narrative reconstruction of the abbreviated notes in fd 21, box 5, Scott G. Kenney papers, Marriott Library.

70. Joseph F. Smith diary, 3 May 1880, LDS archives, with copy in box 6, Kenney papers; Franklin D. Richards diary, 3 May 1880, LDS archives.

71. Heber J. Grant letterbook-journal, 8 Sept. 1887.

72. Abraham H. Cannon diary, 6 Apr. 1888, Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah (hereafter Lee Library), with copies at Marriott Library and Utah State Historical Society; J. Golden Kimball diary, 5 May 1898.

73. Journal History, 2 Apr. 1896, 3-6; Brigham Young, Jr., diary, 7 Apr. 1896, LDS archives.

74. Heber J. Grant journal sheets, 13 Nov. 1920.

75. Kenney, Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 8: 146, 452, for 10 Jan. 1883, 12 Aug. 1887; Heber J. Grant journal, 8 Sept. 1887; Franklin D. Richards diary, 31 Jan. 1888.

76. Records of the Trustee-in-Trust and Corporation of the President, LDS archives.

77. My interviews, 29-30 Aug. 1992, with Alan Blodgett who was the LDS church’s Assistant Comptroller (1965-69), Comptroller and Managing Director of the Financial Department (1969-80), and Managing Director of the Investment Department (1980-85).

78. Journal of Discourses, 8:202 (B. Young/1860); Wilford Woodruff record of divorces (1889-98), LDS archives.

79. Anthon H. Lund diary, 19 Oct. 1899.

80. Clark, Messages of the First Presidency, 6:284.

81. J. Reuben Clark to Otto Norman Olsen, 21 Sept. 1949, Clark papers, Lee Library.

82. F. Burton Howard, Marion G. Romney: His Life and Faith (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988), 165.

83. Francis M. Gibbons, Harold B. Lee: Man of Vision, Prophet of God (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1993), 148.

84. Table, “Percent of Mean Wealth Growth For New General Authorities, 1860-1889,” in Quinn, “Mormon Hierarchy, 1832-1932: An American Elite,” 117-18.

85. Francis M. Gibbons, Joseph Fielding Smith: Gospel Scholar, Prophet of God (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1992), 370; Joseph Fielding Smith estate file #59189, Salt Lake County Probate Court records, Utah State Archives.

86. Lucile C. Tate, LeGrand Richards: Beloved Apostle (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1983), 236-37, 255; my interview on 30 Oct. 1992 with Lowell L. Durham, Jr., former president of Deseret Book Company and former president of ZCMI.

87. Gordon B. Hinckley, “Questions and Answers,” Ensign 15 (Dec. 1985): 50.

88. Estate file #59189; Gibbons, Joseph Fielding Smith.

89. “Organizational Chart, 31 Dec. 1995,” at end of chap. 4.

90. Newel K. Whitney, “Memo. of Balances Vs. Individuals Balanced 23d day of Apl. 1834 without Value Recd. because Joseph said it must be done,” Document 113, Newel K. Whitney Family papers, Lee Library.

91. Franklin D. Richards diary, 4 Aug. 1877.

92. Kenney, Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 7 (10 Nov. 1880): 604; Joseph F. Smith diary, 10 Nov. 1880. Smith’s diary, 17 July 1879, also showed that John Taylor, as president of Zion’s Savings Bank and Trust, had the vice-president of the bank destroy two notes for $50,000. I have regarded this as Taylor’s personal indebtedness, but Taylor and Taylor, John Taylor Papers, 2:22, stated: “Taylor cancelled $50,000 in debts incurred by missionaries, and initiated a policy of paying their return fare from Church funds so that they would not have to `return with a load of debt upon their shoulders.'” They cited Journal of Discourses, 20:47, which was John Taylor’s announcement in August 1878 that he and the apostles “decided to cancel such indebtedness.” Since this referred to a debt-cancellation eleven months before the one described in Smith’s diary, I am still inclined to view the latter as Taylor’s personal debt whose cancellation Smith recorded without explanation as one of the frequent dissents expressed in Smith’s diary against Taylor’s decisions. However, because of the ambiguity of the evidence, I moved this discussion into this note.

93. W. W. Riter, August W. Carlson, John C. Cutler, and Heber Scowcroft to the First Presidency (Joseph F. Smith, Anthon H. Lund, Charles W. Penrose), 3 Apr. 1911, 14-16; W. W. Riter, John C. Cutler, Joseph S. Wells, H. H. Rolapp, Heber Scowcroft to the First Presidency, 3 Apr. 1912, 30, both in LDS archives.

94. Anthony W. Ivins diary Oct. 1909-May 1910 diary, 4 Jan. 1910, Utah State Historical Society.

95. G. Homer Durham, comp., Gospel Standards: Selections from the Sermons and Writings of Heber J. Grant, Seventh President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1942), 59.

96. Legal notices, dated 28 Apr. 1842, of bankruptcy petitions by Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Hyrum Smith, Vinson Knight, and others, in THE WASP (Nauvoo, IL), 7 May 1842, [4], reprinted in issues of 14 May, 21 May, 4 June, 11 June, 26 June 1842.

97. Bankruptcy case 467, U.S. District Court of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah State Archives; J. Golden Kimball diary, 19 Apr., 15 May 1899.

98. Anthon H. Lund diary, 27 Mar. 1902.

99. Minutes of First Presidency meeting, 27 Dec. 1919, LDS archives.

100. Anthony W. Ivins diary, 4 Sept. 1930.

101. Cannon and Cook, Far West Record, 233, Appendix A, also 233.

102. Journal of Discourses, 8:201 (B. Young/1860).

103. LDS Church Historian’s office journal, 24 Jan. 1878.

104. John Taylor statement in “Fifty-Fourth Annual Conference,” Deseret Evening News, 7 Apr. 1884, [2]; chaps. 8-9.

105. Journal History, 5 Jan. 1899, 3.

106. April 1907 Conference Report . . . (Salt Lake City: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1907), 39-40; compare with “The Church Audit Committee Report,” Ensign 26 (May 1996): 21.

107. April 1915 Conference Report . . . (Salt Lake City: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1915), 8.

108. Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom, 12.

109. Kenney, Wilford Woodruff’s Journal 6 (7 Oct. 1870): 574; Fred C. Collier, comp., Unpublished Revelations of the Prophets and Presidents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2 vols. (Salt Lake City: Collier’s Publishing Co., 1979-93), 1:113.

110. John Taylor revelation, 28 Apr. 1883 in Collier, Unpublished Revelations, esp. 1:142; Heber J. Grant letterbook journal, 5 Oct. 1887; Abraham H. Cannon diary, 5 Aug. 1889; Journal History, 27 Apr. 1899, 4; Charles O. Card diary, 10 Feb. 1890, in Donald G. Godfrey and Brigham Y. Card, eds., The Diaries of Charles Ora Card: The Canadian Years, 1886-1903 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah, 1993), 109-10.

111. Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom, 388-89.

112. My unpublished historical sketches of each company; Riter, Cutler, Wells, Rolapp, and Scowcroft to the First Presidency, 3 Apr. 1912, 2-3, provided these categories.

113. Brigham Young, Jr., diary, 30 May 1890.

114. James E. Talmage diary, 14 Jan. 1919, 10 Jan. 1921, Lee Library.

115. George Albert Smith’s financial papers, box 110, George A. Smith family papers, Marriott Library.

116. Neil K. Coleman, “A Study of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as an Administrative System: Its Structure and Maintenance,” Ph.D. diss., New York University, 1967, 177, citing documents in the office of the Insurance Department, State of Utah, Salt Lake City.

117. Minutes of meeting of First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, 8 Apr. 1943, LDS archives; J. Reuben Clark office diary, 26 May 1943, 3 Feb. 1961; J. Reuben Clark to John A. Widtsoe, 1 May 1946; J. Reuben Clark memorandum of conversation with William F. Edwards, financial secretary to the First Presidency, 22 May 1957, all at Lee Library; D. Michael Quinn, J. Reuben Clark: The Church Years (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1983), 275.

118. George Q. Cannon, The Life of Joseph Smith, The Prophet (Salt Lake City: Juvenile Instructor Office, 1888), 211.

119. Journal of Discourses, 10:77-78 (Kimball/1862).

120. Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom, 323-34; D. Paul Sampson and Larry T. Wimmer, “The Kirtland Safety Society: The Stock Ledger Book and the Bank Failure,” and Scott H. Partridge, “The Failure of the Kirtland Safety Society,” and Davis Bitton, “The Waning of Mormon Kirtland,” Brigham Young University Studies 12 (Summer 1972): 427-36, 437-54, 455-64; Hill, Rooker, and Wimmer, “The Kirtland Economy Revisited: A Market Critique of Sectarian Economics”; Leonard J. Arrington, “Utah and the Depression of the 1890’s,” Utah Historical Quarterly 29 (Jan. 1961): 3-18; Leonard J. Arrington, From Wilderness To Empire: The Role of Utah in Western Economic History (Salt Lake City: Institute of American Studies, University of Utah, 1961), 17; Elroy Nelson, Utah’s Economic Patterns (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1956), 201-02; Dean L. May, “Towards a Dependent Commonwealth,” Thomas G. Alexander, “From War to Depression,” and John F. Bluth and Wayne K. Hinton, “The Great Depression,” in Richard D. Poll, ed., Utah’s History (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1978), 228, 237-38, 463-69, 472, 481-96; Wayne K. Hinton, “The Economics of Ambivalence: Utah’s Depression Experience,” Utah Historical Quarterly 54 (Summer 1986): 270-71; Brian Q. Cannon, “Struggle against Great Odds: Challenges in Utah’s Marginal Agricultural Areas, 1925-39,” Utah Historical Quarterly 54 (Fall 1986): 308-27.

121. Cowan, Church in the Twentieth Century, 15; Edgley and Edling, “Finances of the Church,” in Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism,2:508.

122. Ronald W. Walker, “Crisis in Zion: Heber J. Grant and the Panic of 1893,” Arizona and the West 21 (Autumn 1979): 257-78, reprinted with less documentation in Sunstone 5 (Jan.-Feb. 1980): 26-34.

123. Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom, 402; Journal History, 2 Dec. 1898, 2. The church investment of $216,800 appears in Rudger Clawson manuscript diary, 7 Mar. 1899, Marriott Library, which entry is omitted from Larson, Ministry of Meetings, 30.

124. Journal History, 8 June 1899, 6.

125. Anthony W. Ivins, “Memoranda Relative to Utah State National Bank,” 25 Nov. 1927, fd 5, box 13, Ivins papers, Utah State Historical Society; J. Reuben Clark, “What Has the Utah State National Bank Cost the Church?” 31 Dec. 1932, Clark papers, Lee Library.

126. Anthony W. Ivins diary, 4 Sept. 1930.

127. J. Reuben Clark remarks to presidencies and superintendents of all church auxiliaries, 1 Apr. 1940, Clark papers, Lee Library; also his less detailed reference in April 1940 Conference Report . . . (Salt Lake City: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1940), 14. In Clark’s office diary for 23 January 1939, he confided to Brigham Young University’s president that the church had spent “between $800,000 and $900,000 more than our revenues . . .”; also Quinn, J. Reuben Clark, 272. Ronald W. Walker and Richard W. Sadler are clearly wrong in their assertion that the “Church never again resorted to deficit spending [after the 1890s], not even during the Great Depression.” See their “History of the Church: 1898-1945, Transitions: Early-Twentieth-Century Period,” in Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 2:630.

128. J. Reuben Clark memorandum, 21 Sept. 1956, Clark papers, Lee Library.

129. April 1959 Conference Report . . . (Salt Lake City: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1959), 91-92.

130. Ernest L. Wilkinson diary, 4 Dec. 1959, Marriott Library; Condensed Financial Report to the Corporation of the President [12 Apr. 1961] for summary from 1950 to 1960. The above diary entry said that the Budget Committee announced “the Church last year had spent $8,000,000 in excess of its income,” which leaves the impression that he referred to 1958. However, the Financial Department reports show that deficit in 1959, which means Wilkinson’s diary reference to “last year” referred to the year which was just ending in December 1959.

131. L. Brent Goates, Harold B. Lee: Prophet & Seer (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1985), 381.

132. Condensed Financial Report to the Corporation of the President [20 Dec. 1962]; Goates, Harold B. Lee, 382.

133. Gottlieb and Wiley, America’s Saints, 101-02, 135; Ernest L. Wilkinson diary, 6 Mar. 1963.

134. G. Homer Durham et al., N. Eldon Tanner: His Life and Service (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982), 208.

135. Ibid., 257: “He was noted for being the guiding genius behind Church investments and finances,” also 208-209, for quotes.

136. Ernest L. Wilkinson diary, 29 Mar. 1966.

137. Ibid., 6 Jan., 3 Feb. 1965, 16 Apr. 1969.

138. Alan Blodgett interviews, 29-30 Aug. 1992.

139. Those “financial controls” are summarized by Edgley and Edling, “Finances of the Church,” in Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 2:509.

140. “Ward Teachers’ Message for June, 1945,” Improvement Era 48 (June 1945): 354. In his negative review of Anson D. Shupe’s polemic, The Darker Side of Virtue: Corruption, Scandal, and the Mormon Empire, Mormon sociologist Armand L. Mauss criticized Shupe’s use of this 1945 ward teaching message, “without mentioning that the president of the Church immediately repudiated it.” See Mauss, “The Darker Side of Scholarship,” Sunstone 15 (Nov. 1991): 54. Mauss was referring to the letter George Albert Smith wrote to Unitarian minister, J. Raymond Cope, 7 Dec. 1945, in part, “the passage quoted does not express the true position of the Church,” as published in “A 1945 Perspective,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 19 (Spring 1986): 38. However, President Smith’s conciliatory view was in a private letter to a Protestant minister, while the general church membership received no such information from the Improvement Era or any of the general conference addresses George Albert Smith gave from 1945 to his death in 1951. Therefore, contrary to Mauss, it is legitimate for Shupe and anyone else to regard this 1945 statement (“when our leaders speak, the thinking has been done”) as officially published and unretracted by LDS church headquarters. The 1945 statement has been expressed in a variety of ways by general authorities during the last two decades, including the version by First Presidency counselor N. Eldon Tanner, widely regarded as a liberal: “When the prophet speaks the debate is over.” See Tanner, “The Debate Is Over,” Ensign 9 (Aug. 1979): 2. This was an extended endorsement of an earlier statement (“When the prophet speaks, sisters, the debate is over”) originally made by Elaine Cannon, Young Women’s general president, in “If We Want to Go Up, We Have to Get On,” Ensign 8 (Nov. 1978): 108; see chap. 10.

141. “First Presidency Amends Policy on Corporations,” Deseret NewsChurch News,” 7 June 1975, 14; Deseret News 1995-1996 Church Almanac, 420.

142. “LDS General Authorities To Withdraw From Boards,” Deseret News, 18 Jan. 1996, B-1. For the financial role of the bishopric, see Quinn, Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, 69-76.

143. “Latter-Day Saints: Leaders of Mormonism Double as Overseers of a Financial Empire,” Wall Street Journal, 9 Nov. 1983, 1.

144. Annual reports of individual corporations, Lt. Governor’s office, Utah State, Salt Lake City; Best’s Insurance Reports, Life-Health, 1984 (Oldwick, NJ: A. M. Best Co., 1984); Best’s Insurance Reports, Property-Casualty, 1984 (Oldwick, NJ: A. M. Best Co., 1984); Billion Dollar Directory, 1983 (Parsippany, NJ: Dun’s Marketing Services, 1983); Directory of Corporate Affiliations, 1984: “Who Owns Whom” (Wilmette, IL: National Register Publishing Co./Macmillan, 1984); Million Dollar Directory, 1984 (Parsippany, NJ: Dun & Bradstreet Corporation, 1984); Moody’s Bank and Finance Manual, 1984 (New York: Moody’s Investors Service/Dun & Bradstreet Corporation, 1984); Moody’s Transportation Manual, 1984 (New York: Moody’s Investors Service/Dun & Bradstreet Corporation, 1984); Rand McNally International Banker’s Directory, 1984, 2 vols. (Chicago: Rand McNally & Co., 1984); Reference Book of Corporate Managements: 1984, America’s Corporate Leaders (New York: Dun & Bradstreet, 1983); Standard & Poor’s Register of Corporations, Directors and Executives, 1984, 2 vols. (New York: Standard & Poor’s Corporation, 1984); Walker’s Manual of Western Corporations, 1984, 2 vols. (Garden Grove, CA: Walker’s Manual, Inc., Nov. 1983); Who’s Who in America, 1984-1985, 2 vols. (Chicago: Marquis Who’s Who, Inc., 1984); Who’s Who in the West, 1984-85 (Chicago: Marquis Who’s Who, Inc., 1983).

145. Gibbons, Joseph Fielding Smith, 201.

146. Sheri L. Dew, Go Forward With Faith: The Biography of Gordon B. Hinckley (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1996), 304 (first quoted phrase), 303 (second) 304 (third).

147. Who’s Who in America, 1984-1985, 2:2306, for Apostle Thomas S. Monson who became a counselor in the First Presidency a year after this was published. As indicated above, this entry did not list all of his corporate responsibilities.

148. Gottlieb and Wiley, America’s Saints, 108. Their source was Alan Blodgett, managing director of the LDS church’s Financial Department (1969-80) and managing director of the Investment Department (1980-85), who made similar statements to me during interviews on 29-30 Aug. 1992.

149. J. Reuben Clark office diary, 12 June 1948; David O. McKay office diary, 22 Dec. 1960, LDS archives; Quinn, J. Reuben Clark, 106-07; Quinn, “From Sacred Grove to Sacral Power Structure,” 30; chap. 4.

150. Marvin S. Hill, “Quest for Refuge: An Hypothesis as to the Social Origins and Nature of the Mormon Political Kingdom,” Journal of Mormon History 2 (1975): 3-20; also his more recent book Quest for Refuge, previously cited.

151. For extensive discussion of these characteristics, see Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom; Hill, Rooker, and Wimmer, “Kirtland Economy Revisited: A Market Critique of Sectarian Economics”; Quinn, Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, 79-103, 105-41; see also chaps. 7-8.

152. Mormon Inc.: Finances & Faith: A Series About the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that Appeared in THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC, June 30-July 3, 1991 (Phoenix: Series Reprint, The Arizona Republic, 1991), 4-5, identified the location, number of employees, and annual income for most of the following corporations (listed alphabetically here, with Salt Lake City locations abbreviated as SLC and with locations deleted if in the company’s name): Agri-Northwest (Washington state), Applied Technology Group (SLC), Beehive Clothing (SLC), Beneficial Development Co. (SLC), Beneficial Life Insurance Co. (SLC), BLIC Agency (SLC), Bluestem Co. (Oklahoma), Bonneville Broadcasting System (SLC), Bonneville Entertainment (SLC), Bonneville Holding Co. (SLC), Bonneville International Corp. (SLC), Bonneville Media Communication (SLC), Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah), Brown & Co. (SLC), BYU-Hawaii (Laie, Oahu), Columbia Ridge Farms (Tri-Cities, Washington), Continental Western Life Insurance Co. (Des Moines, Iowa), Corporation of the President (SLC), Corporation of the Presiding Bishop (SLC), Cultural Centers Properties, Inc. (Oahu, Hawaii), Descal & Co. (California), Desco & Co. (Colorado), Deseret Book Co. (SLC), Deseret Farms (SLC), Deseret Farms of California, Deseret Grain (“nationwide”), Deseret Gymnasium (SLC), Deseret Industries (SLC and “national, similar to Goodwill Industries”), Deseret International Charities (SLC), Deseret Land and Livestock Co. (Utah and Wyoming), Deseret Management (SLC), Deseret Mutual Insurance Corp. (SLC), Deseret News Publishing Corp. (SLC), Deseret Ranches of Florida (Orlando), Deseret Ranches of Wyoming (Cody), Deseret Transportation (SLC), Deseret Trust (SLC), Deseret Trust of California (Los Angeles), Eagle Gate Apartments (SLC), Elberta Farms (Provo, Utah), Eleven Bar Ranch (Nephi, Utah), Farm Management Co. (SLC), Foreign Lands Corp. (SLC), Garrison Welfare Farm (Garrison, Utah), Genealogical Society of Utah (SLC), Grain Handling, Inc. (Washington state), Hotel Temple Square Corp. (SLC), Islands Foundation (Oahu, Hawaii), KAAM-AM (Dallas), KBIG-Radio (Los Angeles), KBYU-FM and KBYU-TV (Provo, Utah), Keystone Communications (SLC), KIRO-AM and KIRO-TV (Seattle), KMBZ-Radio (Kansas City), KMEO-Radio (Phoenix), KOIT-Radio (San Francisco), KRIC-Radio (Ricks, Idaho), KSEA-FM (Seattle), KSL-Radio and KSL-TV (SLC), K2H Farms, Inc. (Washington state), KZPS-FM (Dallas), Laie Resorts (Oahu, Hawaii), LDS Business College (SLC), LDS Foundation (SLC), LDS Social Services (SLC), LDS Social Services of Massachusetts, LDS Social Services of New York, LDS Social Services of Virginia, Mormon Temples (SLC), Magnolia Management Corp. (Orlando, Florida), Mormon Handicraft (SLC), Mortgage Loan Services (SLC), Nauvoo Restoration (Illinois), Newspaper Agency Corp. (SLC), Office Management of Utah (SLC), Pacific Heritage Life Insurance Co. (Portland, Oregon), Polynesian Cultural Center (Laie, Oahu, Hawaii), Promised Valley Playhouse (SLC), Property Reserve of Arizona, Proprietary Holding, Inc. (SLC), Ricks College (Rexburg, Idaho), Salt Lake Macaroni & Noodle Co., Shadow Mountain Press (SLC), Sooner Land & Livestock Co. (Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Kansas), Third Avenue Productions (Seattle), Utah Home Fire Insurance Co. (SLC), Video West Network (SLC), Western American Life Insurance Co. (SLC), WNSR-FM (New York City), WTMX-Radio (Chicago), ZCMI (SLC and national), Zion’s Securities Corp (SLC).

153. Reprinted in “Church at Fortune 500 Level,” Salt Lake Tribune, 30 June 1991, A-4, A-5; see also Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, for articles on Business, Broadcasting, Bonneville International Corporation, Deseret Book Company, Deseret Industries, Deseret News, Distribution Centers, Farms Management Corporation, Hospitals, KSL, and LDS Foundation.

154. For example, Sheri L. Dew, Ezra Taft Benson: A Biography (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1987), 416, noted that Temple View Farms controls “the Church’s properties in Hamilton, New Zealand.” Aside from Antarctica, I excluded Africa because I have not yet heard of the church having established holding companies on that continent. That will undoubtedly occur eventually.

155. James B. Allen, “On Becoming a Universal Church: Some Historical Perspectives,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 25 (Spring/Mar. 1992): 14, “a kind of cultural imperialism”; also Sterling M. McMurrin, “Problems in Universalizing Mormonism,” Sunstone 4 (Dec. 1979): 14-17; LaMond Tullis, “The Church Moves Outside the United States,” and Jiro Numano, “How International Is the Church in Japan?” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 13 (Spring 1980): 67-70, 87; Murray Boren, “Worship Through Music: Nigerian Style,” Sunstone 10 (May 1985): 64-65; Garth N. Jones, “Spiritual Searchings: The Church On Its International Mission,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 20 (Summer 1987): 64-66; F. LaMond Tullis, Mormons In Mexico: The Dynamics of Faith and Culture (Logan: Utah State University Press, 1987), 202-04; David Knowlton, “Missionaries and Terror: The Assassination of Two Elders In Bolivia,” Sunstone 13 (Aug. 1989): 10-11, 13-14; Michael Hicks, Mormonism and Music: A History (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1989), 221-22; David Martin, Tongues of Fire: The Explosion of Protestantism in Latin America (Oxford, Eng.: Basil Blackwood, 1990), 208-209; Marjorie Newton, “`Almost Like Us’: The American Socialization of Australian Converts,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 24 (Fall 1991): 9-20; David Knowlton, “Thoughts on Mormonism in Latin America,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 25 (Summer 1992): 42-43; Lawrence A. Young, “Confronting Turbulent Environments: Issues in the Organizational Growth and Globalization of Mormonism,” in Marie Cornwall, Tim B. Heaton, and Lawrence A. Young, eds., Contemporary Mormonism: Social Science Perspectives (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994), 50-56; Marjorie Newton, “Towards 2000: Mormonism in Australia,” Ian G. Barber and David Gilgen, “Between Covenant and Treaty: The LDS Future in New Zealand,” Jiro Numano, “Mormonism in Modern Japan,” and Armand L. Mauss, “Mormonism in the Twenty-first Century: Marketing for Miracles,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 29 (Spring 1996): 195-96, 214-16, 219-20, 230-32, 241-42, 245-48; J. Michael Cleverly, “Mormonism on the Big Mac Standard,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 29 (Summer 1996): 72-73.