Missionary Chat: Florida Property

In case you didn’t catch it, the LDS Church now owns 2% of the state of Florida.  Since I try not to bug my still Mormon family members about the LDS Church very often, I decided to go to the always available source for thoughts on this: Missionary Chat.  My rules for the chat were simple: ask the missionary (turns out there were two) why the LDS Church was buying so much property in Florida, wait for the answer, then say goodbye.  I wasn’t trying to pick a fight or anything, I just wanted to know what a missionary would say (so convenient).  Here’s the transcript (I’m Bob):

David (Really?  Isn’t it Elder Johnson or something?): Hi, how are you?

Bob: Fine. How are you?

David: great thanks! How can we help you today?

Bob: I have a questions about the LDS Church. I’m wondering why the LDS Church owns 2% of the state of Florida.

David: I wasn’t aware of that… What do they own in Florida?

Bob: Hundreds of thousands of acres of property. Deseret Citrus and Cattle Ranch.

David: Oh ok.

Bob: And they just bought another ranch in the panhandle used for timber. Why does a church own so much for-profit property?

Kevin (his companion, I suppose): So a lot of this ties into the churches welfare program. The food or objects produced goes to help people where they need it. Here is a link that expalians a little more on this.

Bob: Okay. Thanks.

Kevin: Ya no problem! Are there any other questions that we can help you with.

Bob: Nope. That’s it. Have a good day.

Kevin: Okay! Have a great day Bob!

So, David had no idea, and Kevin gave the apologetic response, which doesn’t make sense.  Can’t feed timber or shell rock to people without food.  Off to a good start.  I’m going to keep asking my ever-present missionaries questions to see what they know.  Should be fun.


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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4 Responses

  1. chanson says:

    I saw something about this on the exmo reddit, and was wondering if you knew something about it (since you wrote that earlier piece back when the CoJCoL-dS only owned .7% of Florida).

    Is there something special about Florida, or are they increasing their real-estate holdings everywhere?

    Did you hear about the church’s new apartment tower in Philly?

  2. Suzanne Neilsen says:

    How far above sea level is this property?

  3. profxm says:

    chanson, I’m guessing they are increasing their real estate holdings everywhere. As far as why Florida, in particular, it’s probably because, like with Philadelphia, property prices dropped pretty drastically here and they are likely undervalued at the moment. So, it’s a good financial investment, especially since it’s a growing state. Eventually, that property will be worth a lot of money.

    Of course, that’s assuming Suzanne Neilsen’s point is not relevant. The highest point of elevation in the state is 344 feet above sea level. So, none of their property is going to be above that. Assuming sea level rises even 75 feet over the next few hundred years (which means my house would be gone), they’d probably have lots of ocean front property.

  4. chanson says:

    @3 Makes me wonder whether they’re currently buying up Detroit as well. And how this could possibly be relevant to being a religion…

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