Returning Mormon Stories Podcast guest, Roger Hendrix, is a former LDS Bishop, Mission President, and CES director, and was also called by Gorden B. Hinkley as a Trustee for the Deseret Trust Company for 18 years. And as if that weren’t enough, Roger also worked as a business Management Consultant for 35 years, and did a syndicated daily radio commentary on social, political, and economic trends for nine years.
Join Roger and myself today as we provide an analysis of the LDS church as a multi-billion-dollar corporation, and discuss “the future of Mormonism” – as Roger sees it.
Books by Roger Hendrix:
- Bend, Create, and Plan Your Future, author Roger Hendrix
- Choosing the Dream, The future of Religion in American Public Life. Co- authored with Fred Gedicks
- Leverage Point, a novel written with Gerald Lund.
- The Idea Economy, Why your ideas will have to create personal wealth and hope in an age of uncertainty. Co- authored with Rob Brazell.
00:04:26 – Overview of Roger’s work with the Desert Trust Company
00:12:55 – Discussion of the LDS church as a multi-billion dollar corporation
00:15:42 – Introduction to todays topics and Roger’s relevance in this conversation
00:18:20 – Brief discussion on Roger’s previous Mormon Stories interview & his testimony
00:30:57 – Roger’s background as a management consultant
00:35:45 – Overview of the “6 Trends” that will be talked about
00:46:43 – Trend #1: “The leadership will continue to spend considerable time over the next ten years creating a new religion (church)”
00:48:27 – The name change & other recent changes in the church
00:55:53 – Re-framing church history
01:01:19 – Improving the “product” of the LDS church
01:04:17 – More on the name change
01:09:14 – Assimilation vs. Retrenchment
01:11:39 – Trend #2: “Realizing that the general market for religion is decreasing, the leadership will merge where possible with like type Christian religions”
01:24:50 – Trend #3: “The lack of growth is driving the leadership to create greater efficiencies so that new markets can be found”
01:32:18 – BYU Pathways & Africa as the dominant “market” for the LDS church
01:41:28 – Wealth of the church despite declining members & cost-cutting measures
01:49:36 – Trend #4: “The leadership will continue to make the church a high demand religion. Tithing is core. Cost/benefit analysis vs tithing”
01:58:52 – James Huntsman lawsuit & humanitarian aid from the LDS church
02:15:07 – Ensign Peak & more
02:23:59 – Trend #5: “The leadership will invest great amounts to ensure there will be no more leaks”
02:37:00 – High-profile defections
02:43:49 – Trend #6: “The leadership will play hard to deepen its major strengths in Utah. Strengths are theocracy and money”
02:48:13 – Attendance & membership trends
02:52:47 – “Fortress” strategy
03:02:40 – Closing questions & remarks
John and Rodger. Just be who you want to be . Where did that get you? I am fifth generation on 3 sides . I have given more than 10 percent typically over my 5.5 decades on this earth I have given at least 7 years of labor to this church and my dear family. Prodigy if you will .they are all married in the temple .these secrets have always bothered me .the actions of leadership have always caused me to recoil. While the church has become outrageously wealthy ,tax free ,hiding behind the blessed 501-c3 .we have become an income source .and it’s obvious ,that is where their perverbial heart is .yes it is spelled that way for a reason. It’s perverse . The building of temples ,while our oceans fill with plastic and our forests die and burn ,is fitting if you are a fan of the movie soil and green . We have been watching the movie in the temple our entire lives. The mic was shut off on me and the leadership of our ward in front of my grown children and my wife of 33 years, got up and walked out of the chapel about 1/2 the congregation . This was when I was trying to walk back an unfortunate comment I had made about the martyrdom of Joseph smith in a testimony meeting year earlier. When I learned about the second anointing. I’m an over the top conservative. It’s been ingrained into my eternal soul by parents who taught me the gospel of Jesus Christ sprinkled in with a bit of Mormonism. my father ounce removed some home teachers, for calling him to repent, because we didn’t have family home evening . Jack Mormon he was called but he taught me the value of prayer and he created an immense amount of faith in me . I’m not Denver snuffer but I did grow up in the town he now resides in . And I prayed my way out of extending my mission in 1985 walking away with cloud over me and a remorse that has been answered multiple times since . My experience has been that the leadership is afraid of those who have ,or exhibit extraordinary faith .Rodger may have seen a missionary or two who could utilize the power of prayer and at the very least see things around them clearly. Mormon stories is very much about the growing group of left and far left people being squeezed out by an ever tightening theological dogma .it is failing.( the dogma) And at the core there are a few who are being shown the door . The basic tenets of Christianity are no where to be found in this blizzard that is the equal to the September freeze that killed so many in the willie and Martin group . One man from outside was visited he returned to Brigham and he left post haste to save them . And today the populous calls porter Rockwell the hero . Just as most of us had to be nudged awake after the temple film . We are being awakened by this sudden steering adjustment. And Ephriam Hanks is nowhere to be seen . Most of us would have shot brother Joseph also ,having witnessed first hand the debotchery that was Nahvoo in 1844 . Jesus didn’t come then and unless the church spends some money properly to take care of the Samaritans in our midst it will be martyred just like it’s founder clutching its past and not clearly defining its future . Joseph lost touch with his followers. We as faithful saints are loosing hope with the current Sanhedrin that are attempting to carry us home until the second coming.
Wow, this podcast was amazing. I loved hearing analysis of the “corporation” from someone with deep business experience. Roger brought so much insight and unique perspective. It was healthy and healing for me to hear this in a way I wasn’t expecting. To have the church dissected from a business perspective helps you see it for what it is and, in a way, may help soften the blow of the truth claims. It’s also sobering to illustrate just how rich and powerful the church is. Roger’s closing comments about secular mormonism and letting go to “just be you” are very wise. These are very therapeutic words. Our lives can be an emotional wreck leaving Mormonism but only if we allow a deep negative emotional response. We allow the powers that bind us. Brilliant Roger!! Wishing you were the president! The church could turn itself around and become something authentic and more beneficial to the world. Thank you for you objectivity.
John, did you really say it is the mean ex-Mormons that get you down and not the hasidic Mormon? I’m sure you are aware your average TBM believes you are Satan’s minion. I’ve heard that directly from TBMs many times, including my now ex-wife who was furious I listened to your podcasts. I’m sure there are mean spirited ex-Mormons but I’m also sure the vast majority of your audience is ex-Mormon and certainly not believing Mormons.
A useful interview with a classic capitalist. I suggest he read Adam Smith, Not the more famous wealth of nations but the earlier work “The theory of Moral Sentiments” I think it address issues of morality pertinent to the the way the church manages its economic affairs. Most people view Smith as the father of Modern Economics, but he was in the main a moral philosopher with something to say about how institutions should handle their economic affairs.
One of the most important guest and topics ever discussed on Mormon stories! Roger Hendrix is such a classy, loving gentleman. His deliberate, wise and thoughtful delivery is fair, engaging and humorous. Very important subject matter for all Latter Day Saints. Could listen to Roger all day long. Only regret not having him for a mission president
In all of the Mormon Stories Episodes (and I’ve listened to – and loved – the vast majority of them) this one almost made me physically sick; and honestly kept me up most of the night. Roger certainly strikes me as a gentleman who is both knowledgeable and successful; and I’m not “slamming” on him. However, I think my overwhelmingly negative reaction to this discussion ties back to Roger’s description (of what I’ve suspected to be true) in that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is nothing but a corporation; whose primary reason for being is to generate wealth, garner political and cultural power and to solidify its’ existence. Period. Oh yes, some can “dandy this reality up” and declare that it’s the natural result of building up the Kingdom of God; but the coldness and emptiness of this statement is simply vomit inducing and IMHO has nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus Christ.
I can’t imagine a God or a Savior who would be pleased with the stockpiling of enormous wealth, unbelievable conspicuous consumption within it’s (so-called) sacred temples and in the ever growing real estate and investment portfolios. (Hmmmm….in this world, I suppose we could declare that Joel Osteen is also “building up the Kingdom of God”. What BS.)
It is not Gorden B. Hinkley, it is Gordon. Small nitpick.
This was very eye opening! Thank you John Dehlin for doing what you are doing! Obviously there was so much to like, but Alexa wanting to play Some country music was definitely a highlight. :-)
Stanford neuroscientist and primatologist Robert Sapolsky states that human primates have the capacity to be both incredibly vicious and equally benevolent. In my opinion, religious belief encourages both extremes. Thanks, John for providing discussions that explore the complex human dynamics that shape Mormon identity and our unique cultural beliefs. The perspectives presented in this podcast are exceptionally insightful. Thanks for staying the course and providing a voice of integrity, reason, and authentic reflection.
It was interesting to hear Jim’s perspective, although there are a few areas where I think more care is needed to understand the mindset of the Q15. When Jim talks about mergers and acquisitions, I believe Jim vastly underestimates the Q15’s ego. Remember the week that Nelson met with the Pope in Rome, the week they dedicated a temple there? That same week Nelson did a photo opp of him holding Peter’s keys. Rest assured that the photo represents more than Nelson failing to understand the world stage that he was on. No, that photo is an illustration of the level of arrogance that will forever saturate the Q15. So much so that it likely never occurred to Nelson how problematic it was for him to have that photo taken of him holding Peter’s keys published for the world to see after meeting with the Pope. What a slap in the face. Yes, the day after he meets with the Pope, Nelson declares that he, not the Pope, has God’s exclusive authority. It’s more than a tasteless photo; it’s a reminder of the Q15’s claim to sole authority from God. Jim doesn’t seem to understand that the Q15 will never relinquish that position and that it will forever limit the level of alliances they will be able to form with other denominations.
I’m not understanding Jim’s perspective that members can choose what kind of Mormon they want to be. I think its an incomplete statement. The reality is that you can choose what kind of Mormon you are as long as you remain closeted. Although there are limitless examples, Natasha Helfer is the latest one that comes to mind. When Jim makes the claim that there are no wolves coming for self styled Mormons, he ignores the thousands of excommunications that have occurred.
I think we can safely conclude this is no church we are talking about, nor does it resemble anything Jesus Christ would direct or be a part of, it is a massive and corrupt Babylonian real estate corporation and business masquerading as a religion w/tax-exempt status which was all contrived by a con-man! Joseph Smith would be proud of what it is today as that was his intent when he created the religion… money, power and control over women. In reality, the ‘church’ is probably worth closer to half a trillion at this point as most corporations will invest 5-10% of its net worth in the stock market and this ‘church’ is known to have $32 billion+ in the stock market. Do the math. A lot of people who are in the know with regard to the wealth of the ‘church’ are still scratching their heads over the stockpiling of $124 billion by Ensign Peak, trying to figure out why such an obscene amount of money is being stored up outside of bailing out Beneficial Life insurance co. and City Creek. Well, this may answer that question…
Uh, there is no universe in which the LDS Church is wealthier than the Catholic Church. Seriously. Just look at the art and other stuff in the Vatican alone (and look what art is selling for these days). You could probably find $150b worth of stuff in the Vatican archives in an hour and hardly scratch the surface.
Many of the ex-Mormons remain angry at the church because the church – its members, policies, or rules – has inflicted tangible and lasting damage on them and/or loved ones.
58:40 John Dehlin is a true prophet, seer and revelator. I guarantee the Mormon Church (win for SATAN! all hail the Dark Lord!) will make these changes and gaslight all the members leaving now for these historical reasons!
Roger, thanks for your lifelong service to the church and its members like myself. I appreciate the perspective that you have and share. I hope more members feel that they can sit on the bench in church and not be “cookie cutter” member but live the church in a healthy way for them. I look forward to the day that we can sit together on the same pew and we can openly believe what we believe.
John, thanks for your work as well!