MANDY - Why does the church waste a tremendous amount of money building expensive temples when there are so many in need of food and shelter in the world? What would Heavenly Father want us to do?

JOEL - Our Heavenly Father would want us to do two things; save lives and save souls. If you understood the importance of what is done in the temples, then you would understand that God not only wants to help people with their physical needs but He also wants to give them all the chance to be saved in His Kingdom after they die. We have been commanded by God to build the temples so the required ordinances can be performed that will provide for everyone the chance for eternal life. So, according to God, we are not wasting His money. We are caring for both the temporal and spiritual welfare of His children. In fact, the more temples we build, the stronger and more dedicated our members become, which makes them more inclined to give even more to help others.

The cost of building temples is actually quite small compared to all the other expenses of the Church, and the humanitaran aid the Church sends out all over the world every day. Of course, as in most any non-profit (not non-prophet :-) ) organization, most of the money comes from the members who donate fast offerings and humanitarian aid every month (in addition to their tithing) which are used to provide for those who are without food and clothing.

The Humanitarian Center of the Church provides immediate aid for relief from disasters by sending food or supplies and helps in the development of self-reliance in countries with chronic suffering. More than 300 missionaries serve in humanitarian assignments throughout the world helping people become self-reliant.

The Church also has 100 storehouses; 80 canneries; 97 employment centers worldwide; 45 Deseret Industries stores; 63 LDS Social Services offices; 106 priesthood-managed production projects; and 1,049 welfare missionaries in 33 countries; all of which bring immediate and long term aid to those in need. From 1985 to 1997 the Church served over 137 countries spending a total value of $162.5 million. It distributed 9,800 tons of food, 20,798 tons of clothing, 894 tons of medical equipment, and 794 tons of educational materials. (See June 1998 Ensign article, Our Brother's Keeper, at Is that not enough? Should we be doing more? OK, we will..

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