The Mormon Church Builds a Mall

On the other hand, says historian D. Michael Quinn, who is working on a book about the LDS Church’s finances and businesses, “The Mormon Church is very different than any other church. … Traditional Christianity and Judaism make a clear distinction between what is spiritual and what is temporal, while Mormon theology specifically denies that there is such a distinction.” To Latter-day Saints, opening megamalls, running a Polynesian theme park, and operating a billion-dollar media and insurance empire are all part of doing God’s work. Says Quinn: “In the Mormon worldview, it’s as spiritual to give alms to the poor, as the old phrase goes in the Biblical sense, as it is to make a million dollars.”

— The title of this Businessweek article is “How the Mormons Make Money,” and I was really extremely ready to read an article about rich Mormons. All the Mormon blogs I read (“all the Mormon blogs I read” — what, you don’t?) seem to have one thing in common, and that is: a ton of money (and also many children, good styling, and family in Utah). Anyway, this is not that, but it’s interesting nonetheless! The megamall mentioned is the $2 billion City Creek Center that the Church just built across the street from their temple in Salt Lake City. There is a retractable glass roof and a Tiffany’s.

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