This is an archived copy of a post written by Conflict Of Justice ( Used with permission: Conflict Of Justice may not agree with any alterations made.

  • Estimated $1.5 billion megamall City Creek Center:
  • Total Church humanitarian aid from 1985-2011: $1.4 billion
  • Something is fundamentally wrong with “the one true Church” spending more on an estimated $1 .5 billion dollar high-end megamall than it has in 26 years of humanitarian aid.” (CES Letter)
False Amount – The $1.4 billion total only includes cash contributions to humanitarian aid. It does does not include “in-kind” contributions, which add up to much more. This also ignores the church’s private welfare funds, non-humanitarian charities, the fast offering program, and the perpetual education fund. Helps The Community – I don’t see what is wrong about the City Creek MegaMall. Churches aren’t allowed to have financial assets now? CES Letter must be really upset about the Catholic church owning an entire country then! What about atheist organizations and non-religious non-profit groups, are they not allowed to own financial assets? by denebola2025, creative commons license

The marketplace mall is a real estate asset that revitalizes and services the community. The great thing about building a business marketplace is that rather than storing the assets away in a bank vault somewhere, the money goes to spur economic growth for the community. It allows small businesses to grow and provides jobs for the lower and middle class.

FairMormon:Mormon Church & The City Creek Mall

No Tithing Funds – The funds for the megamall were 100% non-tithing money. The funds were earned through the church’s commercial real estate group, a totally separate for-profit business that pays taxes. CES Letter falsely insinuates that tithing is involved, as they follow up this argument with an argument that asks the question: “I’ve paid tithing. Where can I go to see what the Church’s finances are?”

The truth is, this was financed by a totally separate group that pays taxes, and these for-profit businesses were invested over a century ago. The funds for the Megamall came from business earnings from those old investments, not on the investment itself. Therefore, zero tithing money went to the Megamall. So it’s not really from the church.

See also:Is Mormon Church Transparent With Finances?

Mormons Most Charitable – It is quite surprising to see anti-Mormons lecture us about how we should be spending our money and to complain that we don’t give enough to charity, when Mormons are the most charitable group on the planet. Studies show America is the most charitable country, and Utah is the most charitable state in America. Christians overall are much more charitable than atheists, this is shown over and over again by statistics.

So all these anti-Mormon Socialists lecturing us about charity–how much do they give to humanitarian aid? Mormons are famous for being the first on the ground after a natural disaster, along with Catholic and other Christian charities, because not only are we Mormons sincerely charitable, but we also believe in self-sufficiency and disaster preparation, and that allows us to help our neighbors when something happens. Anti-Mormons ridicule us for disaster preparation and food storage, but when a hurricane hits, the only complaint I hear from anti-Mormons is that we didn’t prepare enough.

Attack On CapitalismCES Letter complains: “For an organization that claims to be Christ’s only true Church, this expenditure is a moral failure on so many different levels.” (CES Letter) Moral failure? It is a moral failure to invest assets?

The real problem here is that Mormons do not believe in redistribution of wealth. That is the issue here. We do not believe “human suffering and poverty” is cured by throwing money at people. You see, Marxists are jealous of wealth, and they are outraged when somebody (other than themselves) is not being forced by the government to redistribute their earned wealth for welfare checks. What Mormons instead believe in is providing storefronts for people to start small businesses and sell their wares. We believe in a path toward self-sufficiency.

“Of all the things that Christ would tell the prophet, the prophet buys a mall and says ‘let’s go shopping!’? Of all the sum total of human suffering and poverty on this planet, the inspiration the Brethren feel for His Church is to get into the shopping mall business?” (CES Letter)

How dare people build stores and shops instead of distributing all the money to disenfranchised classes? Why is it shameful to put financial assets to good use? Why is it shameful for people to donate to build temples, or as CES Letter calls them: “multi-million dollar castles”? What is wrong with building nice places of worship for the general Mormon population?

This attack hearkens back to the Communist Manifesto which claims the bourgeois benefits off the cathedrals which were built by the hands of the lower class. But the fact is, Mormons of all walks of life enjoy the blessings of the temple equally. There is no bias in the temple. Likewise, people of all walks of life can shop or sell at the Megamall.

Again, how much do these anti-Mormons who complain about Capitalism give for humanitarian aid? Is it really about helping the poor for them, or is it something else?

CES Letter Logical Fallacies

FalsehoodThe $1.4 billion sum of humanitarian aid falls short because it does not include in kind contributions. It is ridiculous to consider this shopping center a “megamall.” CES Letter incorrectly suggests tithing went to fund the mall project: “God really place parents in the horrible position of having to choose whether to feed their children or pay what little they have to a multi-billion megamall owning Church.”
Shifting GoalpostsCES Letter was just complaining that the church has “zero transparency.” Then where did CES Letter get that $1.4 billion figure? So do we actually know the finances?
RepetitionRedundancy: CES Letter includes a dollar sign as well as “dollar” after the figure: “$1.5 billion dollar.” CES Letter repeats the $1.5 billion figure several times to make it stand out. CES Letter adds adjectives to make the mall sound more elitist: “$1 .5 billion dollar high-end megamall.” Geez, why not just go all the way with this: “the $1 .5 billion dollar luxury, opulent, super-duper-pricey-megamall”? The mall isn’t even luxurious! It’s just a mall, like any other normal mall, not a “megamall.” A megamall costs over several billion dollars. The megamall in Dubai costs $4.2 billion and the megamall in New Jersey is $5 billion. CES Letter repeats this argument on p.74.
Non SequiturHow does financing a mall contradict one’s effort to help with “the sum total of human suffering and poverty on this planet”? If CES Letter first published this in 2015, why does their figure for humanitarian aid only go to 2011? What about 2012-2015? The mall opened in 2012, so what about the effect of inflation since 1985? Why doesn’t CES Letter consider non-humanitarian aid, such as the church’s massive fast offering program and perpetual education fund? CES Letter tells the story of South Americans who donated to help build a temple: “For a Church that asks its members to sacrifice greatly for Temple building, such as the case of Argentinians giving the Church gold from their dental work for the Sao Paulo Brazil Temple, this mall business is absolutely shameful.” This has nothing to do with the mall. The mall was not built with temple funds or member donations. Also, wasn’t CES Letter just attacking Mormons for building temples as well?
Dramatic Language“high-end megamall,” “fundamentally wrong,” “a moral failure on so many different levels,” “absolutely shameful” CES Letter‘s language appeals to economic class warfare.
Ad HominemApparently, it is shocking and evil to build a mall. This entire argument is an attack on the church’s character.
See also:CES Letter Marxist
Contradiction Strategy

Contradiction Strategy Communist Saul Alinsky famously put it: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Marxist Anti-Mormons complain that Mormon priesthood leaders invest church funds,and they invent some kind of expectation that church the church needs to give all its money to help end poverty. Suddenly Mormons are evil for not being charitable, even though they are the most charitable group on earth.

Naturally, Anti-Mormons don’t practice what they preach. I haven’t seen public disclosures of their finances, but I don’t think anti-Mormons have given all their money to help the poor. They probably don’t even see the hypocrisy in themselves.

Who is funding these Anti-Mormons? I see all kinds of high-quality video productions, extensive media strategies, organized protests and meetings, book publishing and websites, subversive activities in the church… this all costs money. Where does the money come from? Why can’t we see their finances? Why aren’t Anti-Mormons holding charity drives and volunteering their time to help the homeless? If anti-Mormon Marxists are so upset about shopping centers, are they boycotting all shopping centers? Or do they partake in evil capitalism?

Categories: Apologetics