Weber Historical Society Lecture Series Examines LDS Church Finances

OGDEN, Utah – The Weber Historical Society Lecture series will examine the finances of the top leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to kick off the Spring 2019 series Jan. 7 at 7 p.m. in Weber State University’s Hurst Center Dumke Legacy Hall.

Yale-trained historian and author D. Michael Quinn will speak about the church’s top leadership with regard to income, personal wealth and institutional finances.

Quinn is an author and historian whose work has focused on the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Quinn holds a doctorate from Yale and is a former Brigham Young University professor. Quinn has authored several books about the church including three that examine the church’s hierarchy.

“No American success story of any other church, non-profit or business can rival the LDS Church’s rags-to-riches experience,” Quinn said.

Quinn’s lecture will be based on more than 40 years of his research and will cover the years 1830-2010.

Quinn’s research includes annual reports of the church’s tithing income and the records of various organizations within the church, such as the presiding bishopric. Additionally, Quinn has researched the American property tax rolls of Ohio, Illinois and the Utah Territory where the church had settlements from 1831-1889. Quinn’s research extends beyond the United States to include all of the church’s income and expenditures in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Tonga, the Philippines and the United Kingdom from 2000-2010.

Quinn will also include information from the personal diaries of church leaders from the mid-1830s to the late 1960s. His research includes itemized wealth-at-death in the probated estates of the church’s general authorities from the 1840s to the 1980s. He also tracked official documents provided by the church about the amount of the living allowances for its general authorities from the 1990s to the first decade of the 21st century.

The presentation is sponsored by the WSU Alumni Association, the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, the Department of History, Stewart Library and the Weber Historical Society.

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