skmo wrote:My first problem with an organization like this is clear: It almost certainly does not start with a desire to find pure fact, but rather someone's "truth" they wish others to share. It's very existence will serve as a tool that says "The LDS Church is hiding something and I'm going to find it."
That kind of an attitude can, I say CAN be motivated by a pure desire to ensure not one cent is ever misplaced of the Widow's Mite. In that same vein, political candidates CAN be honest in their campaign promises. Only a fool believes either will ever come to fruition. No one involved in this WANTS to make sure the LDS Church is shown to be fair and honest. If that happens, they don't succeed (and thereby get fame and/or fortune) by finding proper actions. They only look good by making sure other people look bad.
My second problem is this: Since they are specifically looking for something bad, they're going to find it. If it doesn't exist, someone will make sure to create what is needed. If you look for something long enough, you find it, even if it didn't previously exist. It's kind of the opposite of a placebo effect.
I came to peace with the subject long ago. However, If I were to mention this subject in Sunday School or Priesthood meeting I would be excoriated.
Regardless, intent of those releasing information does not negate the subject. To believe that someone is at a mature enough spiritual level to accept that some people will end up in outer darkness for eternity yet it will be disrupting to spiritual progression to talk candidly about the financial benefits of the GA's is insulting.
I believe confusion and frustration among faithful members of the church is the problem.
JandD6572 wrote:guess my concern with church money is something that I read today that the general authorities receive what is called a "cost of living" expense? of over 100 thousand a year?? apparently this is no secret with the western Mormons?? because this is new to me, also, is really bothering considering always being taught that they are not paid, so can someone share some light on this new (to me) information?? I never knew they received a pay check.
The Presidency and GA's of the Church set the standards for how members are to conduct themselves. Honest and forthright is how members are instructed to conduct their lives and affairs. Definition of forthright: a : directly forward b : without hesitation. Synonyms for forthright
adj straightforward, honest,
categorical, sincere, outspoken. candid. plainspoken, blunt, aboveboard, bald, direct, directly, forward, frank, open, plain, real, simple, straight, up front, call a spade a spade, from the hip, like it is, no lie, undisguised.
Jesus: The Perfect Leader
By President Spencer W. Kimball
Because Jesus loved his followers, he was able to level with them, to be candid and forthright with them.
“Line upon Line, Precept upon Precept” (2Nephi 28:30)
By Elder David A. Bednar Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Sister Bednar and I have learned much as we visit with the youth of the Church. You are eager and anxious to learn the doctrines of the restored gospel. You want direct and forthright answers to your gospel questions. And you have earnest desires to appropriately apply correct principles in your daily lives.
Joseph B. Wirthlin Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
...If we are without guile, we are honest, true, and righteous. All of these are attributes of Deity and are required of the Saints. Those who are honest are fair and truthful in their speech, straightforward in their dealings, free of deceit, and above stealing, misrepresentation, or any other fraudulent action. Honesty is of God and dishonesty of the devil; the devil was a liar from the beginning. Righteousness is living a life that is in harmony with the laws, principles, and ordinances of the gospel....I believe the necessity for the members of the Church to be without guile may be more urgent now than at other times because many in the world apparently do not understand the importance of this virtue or are indifferent to it. We see and hear reports of fraud and deception in all levels of our society. A few citizens of some nations betray their country by exchanging sensitive information for money, information they have stolen or with which they have been entrusted. The entertainment industry seems to have lost, in large measure, the concept of moral values. Employees falsify expense accounts. These few examples of guile illustrate how pervasive it is.
Of far greater concern than the outward acts of guile are the inner feelings and the attitudes that motivate them. Fraud and deception appear to be increasingly acceptable; the only wrongdoing seems to be in being caught. The objective often is to get gain or to profit, regardless of the injury, loss, or damage to others. This attitude is totally contrary to the principles of the gospel. It hinders or thwarts the spiritual progress of anyone afflicted by it. The practice of guile prevents the Holy Ghost from prompting, guiding, and instructing us, leaving us ever more susceptible to the buffetings of Satan. When we break the commandments, we close ourselves to God’s influence and open ourselves to Satan’s influence.
If we practice guile in small matters, we soon can find ourselves entangled in an ever-increasing, unending spiral, because each lie or other deception often requires a larger one to cover the first. Moreover, the practice of guile often leads to hypocrisy, which is the false pretense of virtue or righteousness and pretending to be something that we are not. If we know what is right and profess to live by that knowledge but, in fact, do not, we are hypocrites. The Savior denounced hypocrites in unmistakable language. He declared:
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of … all uncleanness.
“Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity” (Matt. 23:27–28).
To the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord revealed: “Wo unto them that are deceivers and hypocrites, for, thus saith the Lord, I will bring them to judgment. …
“[They] shall be detected and shall be cut off, … and wo unto them who are cut off from my church, for the same are overcome of the world” (D&C 50:6,
What are the Latter-day Saints to do? The answer is plain. The Saints are to be absolutely without guile in every aspect of their lives: in their homes and families, Church callings, all business dealings, and, especially, the private and personal parts of their lives into which only they and the Lord see.
I suggest that we look into our hearts and see whether our motives and actions are pure and above reproach and to see whether we are free of deceit and fraud. Perhaps we can ask ourselves a few questions.
Are we totally free of guile in our conversations and associations with our spouses and children so they always know what to expect and always have unquestioning trust and confidence in us?
Are we forthright in our interviews with our bishops and other priesthood leaders?
Are we true to ourselves, our classmates, and our teachers in our schoolwork, even if a little cheating might improve our grades?
Do we do more work than our employers expect or require, and are we always alert for ways to do our work better?
Do we pay our employees fairly for their labors?
Do we file accurate tax returns?
Are we scrupulous in all business transactions to the extent that our associates always know they are being treated fairly and would feel secure if they had no contract?
Are we satisfied with our personal standards of integrity, morality, and honesty? Can we say of ourselves, as Jesus said of Nathanael, that we are without guile?