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Chapter 3- LDS Inc.

Chapter 3- LDS Inc.

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Published by Brad Levin

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Published by: Brad Levin on Jun 20, 2012
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1
3.
 
LDS, Inc.
Now that we’ve spent a considerable page count fighting the Matrix, we turn to my promised explanation.
To avoidappearing overly unfair, I now more fully explain why I refer throughout this work to LDS Inc. or COB rather than TheChurch of Jesus Christ of Latter-
day Saints or The Church. I’m no corporate historian
1
, mind you, but I will attempt tooutline the facts.First off- there is no Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints any more than there is a Santa Clause. Well, I suppose
unless you count the IRI’s (Intellectual Reserve, Inc.) trademark
2
. Okay, let me back up.There
used 
to be a church- it was incorporated under the State of Deseret
3
in 1851. It was dissolved though by theEdmunds-
Tucker Act in 1887 (y’know, when everyone was so uptight about the whole polygamy thing
4
) and thedissolution was upheld in 1890 by the US Supreme Court in the auspiciously-named
LDS Church v. United States
(damn,we lost).Then there was no church for a while and local bishops, in keeping with long tradition, owned church property astrustees-in-trust. This caused all sorts of problems, though (imagine a bishop going rogue and taking the property with,or in the case of Brigham Young, inserting oneself into the presiding bishopric long enough for the presiding bishop todie, then declare himself trustee in trust to gain title to vast quantities of church property, leaving his
abundant 
posterityto squabble over the takings upon his death).Thus, executives elected to create on July 13
th
, 1916, the
Corporation of the Presiding Bishop of the Church of JesusChrist of Latter-day Saints
5
. The CPB is in good standing today, entity #
 
 
553976-0145
, registered agent my former stakepresident, the exceptionally competent Von G. Keetch.Shortly thereafter on November 26
th
, 1923, executives created the
Corporation of the President of the Church of JesusChrist of Latter-day Saints
(COP), which also Does Business As (DBA) Deseret Pasta and Promised Valley Playhouse.
1
I have experience with NAICS codes and business entities for work, though- I actually find corporate law and industry research fairlyfascinating, twisted I know
2
 
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," "Liahona," "Book of Mormon," and "Mormon" are trademarks of IntellectualReserve, Inc.
 
3
 
A brief provisional state that the federal gov’t never recognized, encompassing most of U
tah, Nevada, and Arizona. The UtahTerritory created in 1850 by Congress covered most of Utah and Nevada.
4
Interesting twist of fate- Edmunds-Tucker was overturned the same year as the priesthood ban, i.e. 1978
5
Also DBA Vernon Utah Livestock
 
2Both the CPB and the COB are
Corporations Sole
, which means all the ownership and control belongs to a
sole
individual,in this case either the Presiding Bishop or the President of what we call the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
TM6
.Now, members of non-profit corporations (such as most churches) hold rights equivalent to that of shareholders in for-profit corporations, including votes at shareholder meetings. In a corporation sole, the system is quite different. From
COP’s Articles of Incorporation:
 
The object of this corporation shall be to acquire, hold and dispose of such real and personal property as may beconveyed to or acquired by said corporation
this corporation shall have power,
without any authority or 
6
For once this is an
actual 
 
trademark, owned by Intellectual Reserve, Inc., an NAICS 8319 “
Business, professional, labor, political,
and similar organizations” entity that does business as (DBA) ZCMI and Brigham Creek Dairy. IRI was born November 26, 1997, o
nthe exact 74th anniversary of COP.
 
3
authorization from the members of said Church or religious society 
 , to grant, sell, convey, rent, mortgage,exchange, or otherwise dispose of any part or all of such property 
.
Church members like you and me aren’t really members of 
anything
- certainly not the COP or CPB. Our names sit in adepartment database, housed in a server owned and operated by a multi-billion-dollar corporation. We have no say in
corporate governance, asset distribution, or succession: though some of COP and CPB’s corporate offspring (some
prophet
8
, some non-prophet
9
), such as Intellectual Reserve, Inc., Deseret Book, Bonneville Communications, and DeseretNews, do.
It doesn’t pay to be a child of God, though it certainly does to be a child of COB
10
, in LDS Inc.In a corporation sole, the CEO holds
all 
the keys- to corporate accounts, that is. Thomas $. Monson could unilaterallyconvert LDS chapels into Lairs of Donut Sales if He chose, and none could legally oppose Him
11
.
Okay, so that’s the scoop on
assets and membership. But what of succession-
when the Sole’s soul passes?
 
Corporate succession
Lloyd Newell
I remember learning about prophetic succession in my Teachings of the Living Prophets class at BYU, taught by the voiceof Music and the Spoken Word, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and Ph.D Lloyd Newell (
great 
voice- picked his class overa competing one at
the same hour for that very reason). I love Brother Newell, by the way: we’ve had some excellent
conversations in his office.Aside aside, Brother Newell taught us how the Apostle with the most seniority automatically becomes the nextPresident of the Church. When the Prophet dies, the next heartbeat of the most senior Apostle is the first heartbeat of the new King. Squeaky clean succession- no lots cast, no elections, no confusion
12
.
It wasn’t until later that I learned the derivation of this prayer
-proof 
process: the COP’s corporate charter! (Which you
can read in all its titillating legalese for yourself online
13
).
 Amendment Fourth
of the Amendment to the Articles of Incorporation explains why the divine succession process is delineated in a corporate charter:
7
8
Most are headed by high-ranking LDS executives
9
Some subsidiaries are 501(c)3, some are not
10
Offspring of sexless single parents? How very un-Mormon. Unlike post-manifesto polygyny, at least this time the familyrelationships are registered with the state
11
As numerous commentators have noted, that magnitude of centralized power unsurprisingly creates a cult of prophet worship
(jury’s out, of course, on whether that’s a good thing).
 
12
Like there was when Joseph died-
see John Hamer’s excellent work for the messy schisms that crisis produced
 

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