Friday, April 1, 2016

How Many Aprils?
How Many Fools?

When I first saw this link today, I thought it was going to be a lighthearted April Fools gag about a “call out,” white semi trucks, and nut jobs hunkering down at girls’ camps, waiting for the world to end. 

It’s not.

And it’s not funny. But it’s very much worth reading. 

186 Aprils have come and gone since the church’s founding. Yet, we’re farther than ever from Zion. The temples that dot the earth become proof of our inequality and wealth, rather than our care for the poor and our devotion to God.

Here are a couple of “smaller” temples to be dedicated this year in Star Valley, Wyoming and Hartford, Connecticut. 

And here’s the temple being built in the Congo. 

The tragedy isn’t that the African saints are being given such a basic and plain building for a temple. No, the tragedy is that millions of dollars are being squandered on ostentatious showpiece temples when it’s clear a plain, basic building will suffice. 

Zion is yet a long way off. And it’s not a laughing matter.

Rome, Italy temple complex. 


  1. I read the article and was blown away with the irony of the current situation in the LDS church. Like you Adrian, I didn't find any humor in the article, yet I decided to share it on my Facebook timeline to hopefully stir up some eye-opening conversation.

    I was amazed at how many likes and shares the post received from members of the church who weren't able to discern that it was sarcasm. It was getting so much attention in fact that I began to be embarrassed by the fact that I was responsible for misinforming people, or giving them false hope. This share and comment however broke my heart, and I decided to delete the entire post.

    This is a great indicator of how desperate people are to find something real to believe in, some glimmer of hope that perhaps that as members of the church, they can be part of something as wonderful as Zion. Sad....

  2. Adrian, my thoughts exactly. I don't know if you've seen it, but in the "Temples" chapter of my recent book, I did a historical analysis of the costs of temples built by the LDS church since its inception. The pattern I found is that they remain modest in cost until the tenure of David O McKay, who himself talked about how temples should cost no more than chapels. In other words, there is no doctrinal basis for spending so much on these buildings. Of course, there are bigger problems.

    I found the recent announcement of a temple in Zimbabwe particularly disturbing. I spent two weeks on a humanitarian trip there a few years ago, and had the opportunity to visit and interview church officers in every stake save one in the country. Unemployment is over 90% there, and nearly every church member goes without food. It is ridiculous that the church would build a temple there. Instead, they ought to buy a very large farm and allow the poor members to live there. Heck, for half the price of even a "small" temple, they could buy a farm in every stake and feed the members. It is ridiculous.

    1. Rob, the lavish expenditures of constructing temples hit me hard when I read this comment at the bottom of a blog article about malnutrition in the church. This comment was made by Dr. Brad Walker of the Liahona Children's Foundation.

      He wrote, "$20 million would systematically eliminate all malnutrition and illiteracy in LDS kids, plus 100,000 or so non-LDS kids. That’s around 4% of current fast-offering donations so it’s certainly not an unrealistic amount to think about."

      I would imagine that is perhaps the cost of constructing a single yet modest temple, wouldn't you?

  3. The church has done and is currently doing renovations on temples that far exceeds 20 million.

  4. Don't forge there is a scriptural precedence for expensive temples:

    Mosiah 11:10 And he also caused that his workmen should work all manner of fine work within the walls of the temple, of fine wood, and of copper, and of brass.


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