(KUTV) — The LDS Church has connections to or owns U.S. stock market holdings valued at at least $32 billion according to information gathered from an independent website.
The church — officially titled The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — does not not publish the details of its finances, but the website MormonLeaks.io released information it says connects the church to 13 LLC companies that collectively owned the stocks at the end of 2017 and provides the collective value at $ 32,769,914,000. One of the financial reports was from 2015.
MormonLeaks wrote that each of the 13 companies have domains that are hosted by the LDS Church servers, that also hosts LDS.org and Mormon.org. "All of them were registered on July 21, 2016," according to MormonLeaks, that also provided a more technical explanation. It claimed there is little doubt the LLC domains are owned the church.
The information is taken -- MormonLeakes wrote Wednesday -- from forms required by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for investment managers to deal with sums over $100 million. Those forms require business managers to be listed and MormonLeakes said that it attempted to contact all the managers of the LLCs, spoke to three of the 13 and one confirmed she was the business manager of the respective LLC. MormonLeaks said two men denied their connection to the respective LLC. That manager that confirmed the connection told MormonLeaks she could not answer if the LLC was owned by the Mormon Church.
MormonLeaks also claims each of the 13 LLC business managers listed correspond to a 2015 employee directory of the Mormon Church, obtained but not published by MormonLeaks.
KUTV sought comment from the LDS Church and was referred to a statement from MormonNewsroom released a week ago about the church's finances. It said in part: "While the vast majority of its financial resources comes from the tithes and offerings of Church members, the Church also holds business interests that help in accomplishing its mission." It also wrote, "These funds are added to Church reserves, which include stocks and bonds, taxable businesses, agricultural interests and commercial and residential property."
The LDS Church -- often called the Mormon Church -- declined further comment.
MormonLinks provided the names of the 13 LLC companies:
The companies have a combined value of $32,769,914,000.00.
It also provided a spreadsheet, available HERE in over 400 pages, or downloadable from this page of MormonLeaks, that lists the total value of the shares owned by the companies at the time of their most recent year-end filing.
MormonLeaks is a non-profit media organization that says it collects and publishes information about the LDS Church and says it seeks greater transparency from it. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the LDS Church has not disclosed its finances since 1959. According to an article by the LDS Church owned Deseret News, the church donates about $40 million annually to humanitarian causes. The church claimed approximately 16 million members in 2017. Members are required to pay 10 percent of their income to the church to remain in good standing.
KUTV recently profiled the men behind MormonLeaks.
The May 22, the LDS Church release with information pertaining to church finances said:
"The Church is not a financial institution or a commercial corporation. It has no other objective than preaching the gospel and inviting all to come unto Christ."
The LDS Church stated that a small portion of funds comes from its businesses.