Dwellings of prophets

Outside (and some inside) observers of the LDS Church sometimes hint darkly at the Church’s great wealth, directly stating or leaving others to infer that this somehow reflects greed, corruption, or insensitivity on the part of LDS Church leaders. Peggy Stack, in today’s Salt Lake Tribune, points out yet another way in which the LDS Church differs from many other Christian denominations: the modesty of the homes that its Presidents have dwelt in:

Sometime soon, new LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson likely will move into the church-owned “presidential apartment.”

Though church spokesman Scott Trotter declined to say when or whether Monson will move, his three predecessors all lived on the top floor of Gateway Apartments on State Street in Salt Lake City, across from the LDS Administration Building and within a block of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and the LDS temple.

Monson and his wife, Frances, currently live in a modest home in Holladay, which the couple built about 40 years ago. . . .

Spencer W. Kimball lived on Laird Street in Harvard/Yale neighborhood. His Mormon neighbors enjoyed the proximity to their spiritual leader.

“He seemed like any of our good neighbors,” said Mavis Oswald, whose husband was Kimball’s bishop. “He talked to children and winked at them while sitting on the stand [behind the pulpit]. He and his wife took walks in the neighborhood, visited with people and patted the dogs.”

Eventually, Kimball, too, had to be moved to Hotel Utah because of security concerns and declining health. He died there in November 1985.

Isn’t it interesting that for all the Church’s wealth, you never hear of any financial scandals or excesses on the part of its leaders involving Church funds? ..bruce..

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