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LDS church says it spends majority of tithes, donations ‘immediately,’ after IRS complaint on $100b stockpile

LDS church says it spends majority of tithes, donations ‘immediately,' after IRS complaint on $100b stockpile

A group of Mormon women walk to Temple Square in an attempt to get tickets to the priesthood meeting at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints semi-annual gathering known as general conference in Salt Lake City, Utah April 5, 2014. The group, who want ecclesiastical equality with men, seeked admittance to a male-only session of the faith’s spring conference on Saturday, as they promote the ordination of women into the lay priesthood of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. | (Photo: Reuters/Jim Urquhart)

A day after a report on a new whistleblower complaint to the Internal Revenue Service alleged the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had stockpiled some $100 billion of tithes and donations meant for charity, officials at the organization pushed back saying the “vast majority” of those funds are spent immediately for church business and related humanitarian work.

“We take seriously the responsibility to care for the tithes and donations received from members. The vast majority of these funds are used immediately to meet the needs of the growing Church including more meetinghouses, temples, education, humanitarian work and missionary efforts throughout the world,” LDS officials said in a statement Tuesday.

It noted however that the church has managed to save and invest its finances well to build a “prudent reserve for the future.”

“Over many years, a portion is methodically safeguarded through wise financial management and the building of a prudent reserve for the future. This is a sound doctrinal and financial principle taught by the Savior in the Parable of the Talents and lived by the Church and its members. All Church funds exist for no other reason than to support the Church’s divinely appointed mission,” they continued. “Claims being currently circulated are based on a narrow perspective and limited information. The Church complies with all applicable law governing our donations, investments, taxes, and reserves. We continue to welcome the opportunity to work with officials to address questions they may have.”

In the confidential complaint filed at the IRS on Nov. 21, David A. Nielsen, a 41-year-old Mormon who worked as a senior portfolio manager at the church’s investment division, a company named Ensign Peak Advisors until September, disputes the narrative from the LDS and alleges that  the church amassed some $100 billion dollars in accounts meant for charitable purposes over the last 22 years and gave $0 for religious, educational, or charitable distributions even as some members struggled financially.

Nielsen’s twin brother, Lars P. Nielsen, a healthcare consultant in Minnesota who helped prepare the complaint to the IRS, said his brother…

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