A “whistleblower” recently claimed that the LDS Church has a $100 billion in one of its rain-day funds. Unless the Church denies it (with proof), I will assume the allegation is true.
A important question members are asking is: What is a justifiable amount for a rainy-day fund? Tax expert Sam Brunson at bycommonconsent.org calls for a serious discussion on the issue:
As for whether $100 billion is too much for the church to have sitting, unspent: it’s an important thing to think about. It’s a question that the church needs to seriously engage. It’s a question that we, as members of the church and as tithe payers, need to seriously engage.
As we talk and argue and fight over the amount, maybe we’ll start to engage questions of the relationship of money and religion, of what the purpose of money is for a church, of how we (as stakeholders) want to see the church use the money that we help contribute. We can engage with why we contribute (or why we don’t). Maybe we can become self-reflective, and look at how we use our own assets.
If the Church leadership is unresponsive to calls for financial transparency, Sam suggesting that member need to be “self-reflective” when it comes to tithing and other Church donations.
One issue is that all projections for Church growth anticipate a negative revenue point is coming—where the cost of running the Church in third world countries outstrips the current revenue stream, meaning that the long-term prospect is a perpetual drain on endowments or savings.
While Stephen’s comment is well taken, I suspect it doesn’t justify a $100B rainy-day fund. I would like to the Church put much more of its money toward helping alleviate global poverty.