the best use of tithing = hunting preserves?

In line with my earlier post about the LDS ranch in Florida, I just caught wind of this:

The LDS Church owns two hunting preserves in Utah.

Turns out the Deseret News has profiled the preserve and the missionaries who staff it. (Yep, you read that right – missionaries staff the LDS owned hunting preserve.) There is also a podcast available describing it from Sunstone.

A friend of a friend brought this to my attention. Included in his email was the following, which I asked if I could repost on MSP:

I needed a change of pace to my day, which is why I was reading the blog in the first place, so I wondered what those missionaries’ talks might be like when they gave their homecoming addresses in their home wards. Here’s what I came up with…

“There were many, many times I felt the spirit on my mission. When I helped a simple CEO — armed only with a humble Martin recurve bow, not a fancy compound bow — retrieve the majestic buck he shot, the still, small voice whispered to me that we should take the Honda ATV instead of the Yamaha. I’ll never forget the CEO’s surprise, but he trusted me when I told him the spirit said we should take the Honda. Upon our return with that venison that the Lord provided, we cast a knowing look at one another when we saw a rattler had hidden itself next to the Yamaha. The Lord works in mysterious ways, and we must always be prepared for the spirit. I learned this on my mission.”

I don’t know that we need to have the same discussion concerning the ethics of this hunting preserve as we did with the LDS ranch. But this profit initiative seems to be openly flaunting not only the wealth of the LDS Church but also the potential abuse of missionaries as unpaid stooges who pay/volunteer for positions that enrich their religion.


I'm a college professor and, well, a professional X-Mormon. Thus, ProfXM. I love my Mormon family, but have issues with LDS Inc. And I'm not afraid to tell LDS Inc. what I really think... anonymously, of course!

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5 Responses

  1. Goldarn says:

    My understanding of how the church finances missionaries (you send your check to the church, and the church sends some of the money to the missionary) was all about ensuring the tax deductibility (deductingness?) of the funds. Which is fine and legal, if the funds are going for a religious purpose.

    How does that work for missionaries assigned to work on ranches and hunting preserves? Is the LDS church seriously asserting that a hunting preserve has a religious purpose?

  2. visitor says:

    Why would people contribute at all to anything that has NO transparency? It’s only logical to assume mismanagement and abuse when there’s no disclosure.

    As I understand it from other blogs the LDS is required by law to report its income and financial activities in other countries. Why aren’t the faithful in the US who contribute the largest portion of the church’s tithing income entitled to as much?

  3. I found out that the Church stopped sending missionaries back around 2001. Also, to clarify, tithing money (as far as one can tell) is not used to operate the preserves. However, animals are still being hunted for sport for profit going straight to the Church. I think it’s appalling.

  1. September 18, 2009

    […] original post here: the best use of tithing = hunting preserves? | Main Street Plaza Categories: Tithing Tags: best-use, christ, church, earlier, god, hunting-preserves, lds, […]

  2. March 31, 2011

    […] 4) Does the LDS church really need to be in the business of owning hunting preserves? Link. […]

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