One question at a time 12 The church as a business
Why does the LDS Church have a business arm and a religious arm?
The LDS Church or Mormon Church or the official name The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has a business arm of the church and a spiritual arm of the church.
The Church operates under a business name of The Corporation of the President and with this business organization the Church is able to do much good, feed and clothe the poor and help in times of large disasters.
Many of the Church leaders serve without pay such as all 29,000 Bishops and Branch Presidents and local leadership. Many of them spend hours each week serving in their callings. With the General authorities many of them are full time workers and do receive a stipend so they can still take care of their families and yet still be able to do the work of the Lord full time. The office of a seventy is also similar and there are eight quorums or groups of seventy men in each group. Some general authority callings are temporary whereas the calling of an apostle is for life. Three new apostles were just called and that will affect their lives from now on until they die. Each apostle will make at least 2 trips out of the country a year and most of the time be outside Salt Lake City 40 or so weekends out of the year.
The business arm of the church is able to send books, sacred temple clothes, informational instruction materials and other supplies to all 29,000 units. This business arm also works hand in hand with other charitable organizations throughout the world. The work of building temples requires engineers, architechs, contractors, interior designers and the list goes on. Temple building provides work to men and women throughout the world. The buildings are very nice and have beautiful lighting fixtures which also require labor in many countries to construct and make each piece. We walked through a recent temple and I asked my son's friend to count the pictures or paintings of Jesus that he saw in the temple. At the end he came up to me and said 37 and I asked him 37 what and I had almost forgotten what I had asked him and he said there are 37 paintings of Jesus in this temple. I personally know one of the artists that does paintings for the temple and doing this helps him earn a living for his family.
Some people feel that the general authorities should not be paid anything yet doing so allows them to focus on their callings and not worry about temporal matters. The Bible talks of not paying your ministers that go out and preach and our over 80,000 missionaries that are our serving and preaching are not paid, on the contrary, they pay for their own missions which for a 2 year period comes up to just over 10,000 dollars each and the Church does subsidize some of that cost when it comes to airfare, rent etc... since the rent in California may be over 1000 dollars yet the rent in Guatemala might be 200. Some of the general authorities have spent their lives in specific professions and when they are called they need to stop and focus on the Lord's work. Some people that learn of the amounts of money tend to judge and complain and I understand when people do so when there are starving people in the world yet I don't question the way that it is being done because becoming a general authority in the Church is not a way to get rich, in fact their lives are dedicated to the Lord's work and very little time is left for diversion or vacations. I have a friend that was in Church security for years and he has told me of many of the experiences with the Church authorities and it only made me respect them even more to hear of some of the inner workings and what they are like behind closed doors.